Archive for April, 2008

The Wines of Marqués de Murrieta

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If you are into Spanish wine, it is likely you are aware of the oldest Bodega in the Rioja. Founded in 1852, Marqués de Murrieta concentrates on making Reserva and Gran Reserva, each spending multiple years in large oak barrels. The Castillo de Ygay is their Gran Reserva, and is produced only in exceptional years. Incredibly, the current release of this wine is 30 years old! The 1978 vintage was not bottled until 1998, after spending 212 months in oak!

Join us as we sit with Vicente Dalmau, President of Marqués de Murrieta winery. Vicente (who is also the Conde de Creixell) discusses Tempranillo, La Rioja, and an exciting new property in the Rias Baixas area of Galicia, where they are producing Alberiño.

For more information on Marqués de Murrieta:

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Show #198
(48:43 min 35 MB)

Audio #34: All About Port
Audio #37: The Wines of Sierra Bodegas Montecillo
Audio #130: Hospice Du Rhone – The Priorat Posse

The Wines of Dunn Vineyards

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Beginning in 1979, Randy Dunn (then winemaker at Caymus) produced his first vintage of Cabernet from Howell Mountain fruit, arguably putting Howell Mtn on the map, and creating a demand from then on for “mountain-grown”
fruit from Napa Valley.

Join us as we talk with Kristina Dunn about her role as marketing director of the family business, the legendary long-lived Cabs made by her father, and what it was like growing up on Howell Mtn.

For more information on Dunn Vineyards:

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Show #197
(46:26 min 33 MB)

If you enjoyed this episode check out these other related shows:

Audio #15: Shafer Vineyards with Doug Shafer
Audio #16: The Wines of Bob Foley
Audio #93: Mondavi – 40 Years In Napa
Audio #103: Bo Barrett and Ch. Montelena
Audio #108: Winery Profile: Trefethen Vineyards
Audio #125: Winery Profile: Staglin Family
Video #1: The Staglin Family
Audio #148: Wine Maker Profile: Mike Trujillo

Among the Stones – The Wines of Cayuse

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Welcome to our video podcast of the Among the Stones – The Wines of Cayuse – Video Show #30.

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Some might say Christophe Baron had rocks in his head to plant Syrah in 1997 in Washington’s Walla Walla Valley. But actually, it is the vineyards of Cayuse that are loaded with rocks. As with most of his colleagues, Christophe feels the answer to great wines is to work hard work in the vineyard. But, the weather is a tough variable here in Southeastern Washington. To keep the vines from freezing during the harsh winter, Christophe must bury the vines with rocks and dirt. And, since grafting is a problem because of the cold winters (grafts would have difficulty surviving), all of his vines are all on their own rootstalks.

Join us as we listen to this fascinating vigneron, and his take on working among the stones to make great wines from the Walla Walla Valley.

For more information on Cayuse Vineyards:

Soil, Weather, Terroir and Wine

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Ted Burns interviews David Schildknecht, Robert White and Greg Jones about the influences of soil and weather on wine grapes. David Schildknecht is a well-respected wine critic and writer for the Wine Advocate and has a special interest in the topic of terroir. Robert White is author of the book, Soils for Fine Wine. Greg Jones is a climatologist and vineyard site selection consultant.

The participants discuss the influence of the physical and chemical properties of soil and the influence of weather on wine grapevine growing, the quality of wine and the terroir of many winegrowing regions. The topic of taste of “minerality” is also discussed during this in depth look at these important and usually only superficially-covered topics.

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Show #196
(1:42:29 min 73 MB)

GrapeRadio Tops American Wine Blog Awards

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GrapeRadio is proud to announce that it has won the award for “Best Wine Podcast and Video Blog” from the American Wine Blog Awards. A panel of wine industry insiders selected the finalist in each category and the winners were then selected by popular vote of the listening public. So thanks again to all of our listeners.

Summary of all Winners:

Grape Radio
The crew that produces Grape Radio deliver one of the finest wine radio shows in America. And they have for quite some time. In my mind, what sets them apart from other wine related radio broadcast, be they originating on the Internet or via broadcast, is their willingness to treat their listeners with the respect they deserve, not talking down to them and not assuming they all need remedial education. The American Wine Blog Awards is hardly their first piece of recognition. The Grape Radio crew is now twice honored as a James Beard Award Nominee.

Last year Alder Yarrow’s Vinography took the prize for Best Wine Review Blog. I consider this award offering even broader recognition to what has become the standard bearer of the wine blogging effort. Alder has not built a substantial readership based on marketing and promotion. He’s earned it through his thoughtful, insightful writing and analysis.

Good Wine Under $20
Deb Harkness, aka Dr. Debs, the LA college professor and wine blogger has probably been the most newly noticed wine blog of the last 12 months or so. This is all due, as far as I can tell, to her enormous passion for both wine and her readers’ passions for wine. Her subject matter has of late broadened beyond recollections of her search for good wines under $20. This is very good news because she is quick witted and has an excellent eye for the curious and newsworthy. Yet her focus on value remains true and will likely be what delivers even more readers to her outstanding blog.

Chateau Petrogasm
Benjamin Saltzman and Andrew Stuart have done something remarkable. They created something new and very, very good in the world of wine reviewing. When I first came across Chateau Petrogasm I was knocked by in my chair by their graphic approach to reviewing wines. How simple. A single picture to convey their impressions of a wine. The approach is both highly cerebral as well as arresting due to its implications for how sophisticated and precise the simplest form of communication can be. There is no doubt a coffee table book in the Chateau Petrogasm’s future.

Tablas Creek
Tablas Creek has one of the longest running winery blogs. Any really good winery blog must impart the experience of working at a winery and running a winery. The Tablas Creek blog not only does this but is able to do so by also imparting the excitement they possess for being in the business, the seriousness with which they take their efforts and with the occasional self deprecating approach. It is a joy to read that takes one inside the head of someone who thinks clearly and communicates clearly about the business and fun of growing grapes and making wine.

Good Wine Under $20
This was for me by far the most interesting group of nominees in this year’s awards. All four nominees do give their readers an educated and passionate glimpse into their view of the world of wines. Deb Harkness of Good Wine Under $20 did not necessarily win this category running away, but she did win it convincingly, with both the public and the judges. Why? I think it’s because voters and judges see in her reviews exactly what we all want when we encounter a wine we’ve not tasted: an excitement stemming from true discovery. Dr. Debs is clearly becoming an important person in the world of wine blogging and wine reviewing.

The Wine Collector
The raise to win Best Business Wine Blog was easily the closets of them all. In the end, Steve Bachmann’s The Wine Collector took the prize, actually garnering the most votes from both the public and the judges. The Wine Collector was the winner of last year’s prize for Best Single Subject Wine Blog. This year it was honored for what it does best: deliver exceedingly high level analysis of the wine market and wine selling from the perspective of someone who knows markets and knows about selling wine. Steve’s blog posts, however, are not so far in the air above people’s heads that they won’t appeal to a broad market. What accounts for this is the straightforward nature of his writing. The Wine Collector is a deserving winner.


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GrapeRadio is a wine talk show. Show topics cover issues such as the enjoyment of wine, wine news and industry trends - the hallmark of the show is interviews with world class guest (winemakers, vineyards owners, wine retail / wholesale leaders, restaurateurs and sommeliers). The scope of the show is international so expect to hear many guests from around the world.

GrapeRadio has received numerous awards and honors including the 2008 James Beard Award for excellence in Journalism.

GrapeRadio has been the subject of numerous news reports by: The New York Times, Business Week, CNN, The Financial Times of London, and Wired Magazine.