Archive for January, 2009

Sauvignon Blanc and Marlborough

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Located at the top of New Zealand’s South Island, Marlborough is home to the Kiwi’s largest wine growing region. Its international reputation has been cemented with the production of some excellent Sauvignon Blanc, along with some very nice Chardonnay and Riesling, and it is now flirting with Pinot Noir. However, fully one-third of the region is planted to Sauvignon Blanc, making it akin to the national grape. And, it’s no wonder – with plenty of sun, cool nights, and very little autumn rain, the well-drained gravel-laced alluvial soils make a comfortable home to the grape.

So, it should come as no surprise that a new Marlborough producer, Long Boat, is also concentrating on Savignon Blanc (“Savi” in Kiwi). However, they’ve decided to push the envelope and grow the wine at an elevation of 400-1,000 feet in the more remote Awatere and Waihopai Valleys, rather than on the flatlands of the Wairau. They feel the added stress of the vines should produce wines with more intense flavors.

Join us as we talk with Craig Murphy, winemaker and winery manager for Long Boat, about the country, the region, and Long Boat’s own unique style of “Savi.”

Sponsor- The Office of Champagne USA: www.champagne.us

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Show #231
(41:58 min 30MB)

Wine Prices

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Wine prices – can there be a more contentious subject among wine lovers? We all know wine prices have been going up for many years now, but then again, most other consumer goods have as well. And, with relatively few exceptions, most of us have been paying these increases – some of which have been mildly incremental, while others have been quite significant – all in order to keep ourselves on a mailing list, build a cellar, or maintain a vertical of our favorite wines. The question then becomes, at what point does the wine’s price exceed its perceived value to each of us?

The recent world financial problems have compounded this issue. Many people are now “trading down” their regular purchases, or spending less, or not spending at all.

Where will all of this lead? Join us as the GrapeRadio bunch take a look at the current situation, where escalating prices may have met their match with today’s economy. What’s a bottle worth to you?

Sponsor- The Office of Champagne USA: www.champagne.us

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Show #230
(46:05 min 31MB)

The Wines of Jonathan Maltus

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When Jonathan Maltus bought Château Teyssier in the early 1990s, he had big plans. Never mind that Château Teyssier was located in Vignonet, arguably the equivalent of the Outer Hebrides of St. Emilion, big plans could still come to fruition.

The original estate had seen better days, but with the arrival of Jonathan and Lyn Maltus in 1994, a complete modernization of the winery and cellar took place, and a second winery was even constructed. Maltus replaced the old concrete vats with stainless steel, bought all new cooperage, and added a state-of-the-art bottling line. New vineyards were also purchased, one literally a stone’s throw from Ausone, all of which to supply Maltus with plenty of pedigreed fruit for a few pet projects.

One of the first “garigistes” of Bordeaux (one who produces ‘vins de garage’ or garage-wine), Maltus has produced a string of bottlings, such as: Le Dôme, Château Laforge, and Le Carre, all of which were admittedly designed from the beginning to garner critical praise. Sharp, amiable, and bearing more than a passing resemblance to actor Robbie Coltrane, Jonathan Maltus would seem to be a force to be reckoned with in Bordeaux. Eschewing many old world traditions, he steers clear of convention, embraces things like reverse osmosis, and seemingly has no desire to “blend-in.”

Join us as we talk with the irrepressible Jonathan Maltus about his wines, his philosophy and his tilting at the windmills of Bordeaux.

Sponsor- The Office of Champagne USA: www.champagne.us

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Show #229
(57:04 min 41MB)

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The Boys of John Ash & Co: An Interview with Dan Kosta

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The Santa Rosa restaurant, John Ash & Co., has played a little known but remarkably important role in the history of Sonoma County wine. John Ash & Co. was known for spawning numerous innovative and progressive wine trends that have since become commonplace in restaurants today. Restaurant wine-by-the-glass service originated in California at John Ash & Co., and organized blind tastings of wines and creatively themed wine dinners emphasizing food and wine pairings were first popularized at the restaurant. John Ash & Co. was among the first restaurants to have a wine bar and an associated retail wine store.

Over the years, numerous ex-employees of the restaurant have went on to become successful winemakers, winegrowers and key employees in various wine related businesses.

Listen to Dan Kosta, a former Wine Director at John Ash & Co. talk about his experiences that led up to him co-founding Kosta Browne with Michael Browne, another former John Ash & Co. employee.

For more info on John Ash & Co: www.chefjohnash.com

For more info on the wines of Kosta Browne: www.kostabrowne.com

Sponsor- The Office of Champagne USA: www.champagne.us

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Show #228
(36:30 min 26MB)

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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.

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