Archive for August, 2009

Oregon and the Wines of Eyrie Vineyards

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Jason Lett took over the winemaking reigns at The Eyrie Vineyards beginning with the 2005 vintage. His father, David Lett, founded The Eyrie Vineyards in the Dundee Hills of the Willamette Valley in 1966 becoming the first to successfully plant and vinify Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris in the Willamette Valley. The Eyrie Vineyards specialized in in the trinity of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. David Lett was so revered that in his later years he became affectionately known as “Papa Pinot.” David Lett passed away at the age of 69 in October, 2008.

Jason Lett trained at Maison Joseph Drouhin in Burgundy and has a degree in plant ecology from the University of New Mexico. He is committed to continuing the Eyrie style which emphasizes light, supple and ephemeral wines that age. Prior to this year’s International Pinot Noir Celebration, Jason conducted a complete vertical tasting of Eyrie Chardonnay dating back to 1970. Each vintage of Chardonnay is now available for sale to benefit Eyrie’s cellarmaster’s wife who must have a kidney transplant.

Listen to Jason talk about his father’s legacy, the Eyrie Chardonnay tasting, Pinot Gris and its place in Oregon, and his plans for The Eyrie Vineyards in the future.

To find out more information: Eyrie Vineyards: www.eyrievineyards.com

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Show #246
(39:11 min 28MB)

The Wines of Jerez – Part 2

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Welcome to our video podcast: Jerez – Part 2 – Video Show #74.

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Located in the Andalusia region in southwestern Spain, the city of Jerez has become synonymous with the production of Sherry. Dating back to Moorish times – in fact, the name Jerez is actually a corruption of the Moorish name of the town, “Scheris.” In addition to wine, however, the area is equally famous for its fine horses as well as Flamenco music and dance, and of course its food.

The sherry bodegas (cellars) are located, surprisingly, in the centre of the town of Jerez and are generally associated with an aristocratic pride even to this day. As with Porto in Portugal, British winemakers have been active here for centuries, and many of the names have an Anglo-Saxon quality to them.

Join us as we visit southwest Spain and talk with sherry producers, market vendors, and fellow diners – with an eagerness to soak up as much culture (and sherry) as we possibly can.

The Wines of Jerez – Part 1

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Welcome to our video podcast: Jerez – Part 1 – Video Show #73.

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Many of us are familiar with the name Sherry, but admittedly know little about the wine – or for that matter, the area that is famous for it. Jerez de la Frontera, or Jerez for short, is located in the Andalusia region of southwestern Spain. Wine has been made in this region since 1100 B.C., and is so ingrained in the culture that in present day terms Sherry and Jerez have largely become synonymous. This city of over 200,000 is the hub of the world Sherry trade, and has a fascinating cultural background – due in no small part to 500 years of Moorish influence.

Sherry is a fortified wine made from the Palomino, Pedro Ximénez, and Moscatel Romano grapes. As with most fortified wines, alcohols typically run 15-20%, which allows it to travel well, and accounts for its origins, as well as its longstanding popularity in the U.K. as an aperitif or with meals.
In this part of Spain, there are soils of lime, clay and sand, but in widely varying proportions, and mixed in pockets with small amounts of various minerals. The soils run from chalk white sand to very dark clay, which is considered important because lighter and darker soils produce somewhat representative colors of Sherry.

Join us as we delve into this region of Spain and explore the vineyards, wine, and culture of Jerez.

The Versatility of Cognac

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As the saying goes, all Cognac is brandy – but not all brandy is Cognac. Cognac is distilled wine, or brandy, and often referred to as eau de vie. Of course, in order to be called Cognac, the brandy must be made according to strictly-defined regulations, and it must also come from the Cognac region in France. Located about a hundred miles north of Bordeaux, this twenty-mile area is called the “golden circle,” encompassing Cognac and the second distilling town of Jarnac.

During our recent visit to the Cognac region, we had the opportunity to visit with a number of producers to learn much more than we ever imagined about this fascinating beverage. Join us as we talk with Jérôme Durand, Director of Marketing and Communications for the BNIC, or Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac, to get a better sense of Cognac’s historical place in the world of wine.

To find out more information:

Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac: www.cognac.fr

If you like this interview check out our previous show:

All About Cognac: Show #172

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Show #245
(25:23 min 18MB)

Château Pichon-Longueville

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Welcome to our video podcast: Château Pichon-Longueville – Video Show #72.

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It was during the 17th Century that Jacques de Pichon, Baron de Longueville, and his father-in-law, Pierre de Rauzan, first established the vineyard of Pichon-Longueville. This estate, in southern Pauillac region of Bordeaux, was then handed down among the male heirs for several generations, until the death of Joseph de Pichon-Longueville. According to Napoleonic law at the time, the large estate was then split into separate parcels and divided among each of the children. With his brother deceased, Raoul de Pichon-Longueville inherited two shares of Château Pichon-Longueville, and remaining three shares were passed on to family daughters, forming the basis of waht was to become Château Pichon-Lalande.

In 1851, Raoul razed the manor house and built the current château. Pichon-Baron was classified a 2nd Growth in 1855, and the wines continued to live up to their reputation through most of the 20th Century, unfortunately declining somewhat in stature by the 1970-1980s. At this point, Jean-Michel Cazes and AXA Millésimes became involved in resurrecting the estate’s reputation, with AXA completing its purchase of the Château and vineyards in 1987. Under the management of Christian Seely and technical director Jean-René Matignon, the estate underwent a complete restoration and is now back to 2nd growth form.

The estate’s proximity to the Gironde River accounts for its warm and humid weather, which, when combined with gravely soils produces powerful Cabernet-based wines that are muscular, yet elegant. Working with older vines at Baron-Pichon has developed the team’s profound respect for the past – as well as the future – since planting decisions made by one generation directly affects both quality and production for the following generation.

Join us at Château Pichon-Longueville, as we visit with Jean-René Matignon and Christian Seely, sample some wine and hear what is old, and what is new, with this great estate.

For More Info on Château Pichon-Longueville: www.chateaupichonlongueville.com

The Billionaire’s Vinegar with Ben Wallace

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In 1985, Michael Broadbent found himself conducting a wine auction for what seemed to be the rarest of wines – a bottle of Château Lafite apparently once owned by Thomas Jefferson. It was a standing-room only crowd, as the bidding for Lot 337 began. Among the bidders was Kip Forbes, son of publisher Malcolm Forbes and Marvin Shanken, publisher of the Wine Spectator. The bids bounced back and forth between Forbes and Shanken. When the gavel finally fell, Kip Forbes had purchased the rare bottle for the tidy sum of $156,000, making it the most expensive bottle of wine in the world.

The monumental auction drew attention and curiosity At some point, many people grew suspicious of the provenance of these bottles. A mysterious collector named Hardy Rodenstock had consigned the bottle to Christie’s, telling everyone that it had been found hidden in a secret cellar in France. Rodenstock seemed to have other rare bottles as well, some of which he would pour and share with others at lavish dinners and tastings. Some he would sell through merchants, such as the bottles bought by billionaire Bill Koch. The mystery of the rare bottles kept growing.

Join us as we talk with author Ben Wallace about the research that led to his book, “The Billionaire’s Vinegar,” which documents the sudden emergence of these rare bottles of wine, all apparently unearthed by noted wine collector Hardy Rodenstock.

To find out more information:

Ben Wallace and his book: www.benjaminwallace.net

Update!: Broadbent Wins Jefferson Bottles Libel Case: www.decanter.com

If you like this interview check out our previous show:

Thomas Jefferson and Wine: Thomas Jefferson and Wine Show #221

Sponsor – Pinpoint Technologies – Mailing List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #244
(48:19 min 34MB)

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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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