Tag Archive for 'bordeaux'

Wineries of Sonoma County – Sebastani

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It’s a rarity in these times of consulting rock-star winemakers that someone would actually stay at a single wine producer for any length of time. But that’s exactly what Mark Lyon did – for 35 years! Mark graduated with a B.S. in Fermentation Science from the University of California at Davis in 1978 and was hired by Sebastiani Vineyards the following year, where he continues to run the winemaking program.

Sebastiani’s first century in Sonoma winemaking began when Samuele emigrated from the Tuscany region of Italy in 1895 and started Sebastiani nine years later. The winery was the only one in Sonoma County to continue operations through Prohibition, making a small amount of sacramental and medicinal wines.

Shortly after Samuele’s death in 1944, his son, August, and August’s wife Sylvia purchased the winery from the estate and began the expansion of the facilities and the product line, adding new varietal wines and proprietary blends. When August died in 1980, Sylvia and their children, Sam, Don and Mary Ann, assumed management of the company. Sam stayed until 1986, when he left Sebastiani to start his own winery. In 2001, the family sold the winery to Constellation Brands, whereupon Don Sebastani left to devote more time to his own brand, which he started with brother-in-law Roy Cecchetti in 1985.

When Bill Foley purchased Sebastiani in 2008, he immediately undertook a program to boost wine quality and raise the winery’s image. Working closely with long-time winemaker Mark Lyon and the viticultural team, they lowered production, restricted yields, acquired more new barrels and winemaking equipment, revamped farming protocols and acquired additional vineyards to guarantee consistent and superior fruit sourcing.

Join us as we talk with winemaker Mark Lyon about Sebastani’s history and legacy, and why he still enjoys working for this iconic label.

For more info:

Sebastani: http://www.sebastiani.com/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #366
(46:36 min 44.8 MB)

The Wines of Bordeaux – with Vignobles Garcin

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One might easily assume the Garcin family have always been Bordelais. However, they’re relatively recent transplants, having previously lived in the French Alps, where they owned a chain of supermarkets and a sports company. After the sale of these companies, brother and sister, Daniel and Sylviane Garcin, headed to Bordeaux in 1991, whereupon Daniel bought Chateau Smith Haut Lafite, and Sylviane bought Chateau Haut-Bergey. At the same time, Silviane formed Vignobles Garcin and continued to buy additional properties.

Vignobles Garcin consists of four small, ultra-premium wineries, including Right Bank properties Barde-Haut and Clos L’Eglise, as well as two Left Bank estates Haut-Bergey in Graves and Chateau Branon in Pessac-Leognan. The properties are now managed by Silviane’s daughter, Helene and Helene’s husband Patrice Leveque. The Garcin’s also decided to invest in Argentina, forming Bodega Poesia in the Lujan de Cuyo sub-appellation in the Mendoza region.

One of the properties, Chateau Barde-Haut, began as an addition to the family home on a 17-acre natural amphitheatre, just a few minutes from center of St. Emilion. Neighbors include Tertre-Roteboeuf and Troplong-Mondot. Dr. Alain Raynaud is also part of the Garcin team and consults on the winemaking.

Join us as we talk with the charming Hélène Garcin-Lévêque about Bordeaux, her family’s properties, and their progressive attitude in creating a state-of-the-art ‘green’ winery at Chateau Barde-Haut.

For more info:

Vignobles Garcin: www.vignoblesgarcin.com/

Bodega Poesia: www.bodegapoesia.com

Sponsor: Best Wines Online: www.bestwinesonline.com

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Show #342
(44:09 min 42.4MB)

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

Adams French Vineyards

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Welcome to our video podcast Adams French Vineyards – Video Show #62.

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In 1993, billionaire Stephen Adams and his wife Denise were married at a country chapel in St.-Emilion, Bordeaux’s historic Right Bank city. This was the beginning of Adams’ fascination with French culture and wine, a fascination that would cause him to purchase six (and counting) Châteaux in and around St. Emilion. His considerably diverse holdings, amassed over the course of 47 years, include banks, billboards, recreational vehicles, and now wineries – and in France, no less. Known collectively as Adams French Vineyards, this gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘an American in Paris.’

Beginning in 2000, Stephen Adams bought Château Lagarosse, in the rolling hills of the Premières Côtes de Bordeaux. He followed this in 2002 with the purchase of Château de Candale in St.-Emilion. Still looking for a flagship winery, he found it in 2004 with the purchase of Château Fonplégade, a 48-acre property located on St.-Emilion’s limestone plateau, yet needing some TLC. His total renovation of the property, at a cost of $7 million, including large new fermentation tanks, and vineyard improvements.

In 2005, he bought Château de Bel-Air in Lalande-de-Pomerol. And, last year, he added Château Roylland in St.-Emilion and Château L’Enclos in Pomerol. All along, his strategy always was (and still is) to pay relatively low prices for properties, then upgrade heavily – all under the direction of Michel Rolland.

Join us as we talk with Stephen Adams at Château Fonplegade in St. Emilion, and tour vineyards and wineries of this and several other of Adams’ properties, including Château De Bel Air, Château de Candale, and Château Lagarosse.

For More Info on Adams French Vineyards: www.adamsfrenchvineyards.com/

The sponsor of this video is Millesima, Fine Wine Merchants: www.millesima-usa.com

Château Petit-Village

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Welcome to our video podcast Château Petit-Village – Video Show #59.

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As with many of the Pomerol properties in Bordeaux, Château Petit-Village is actually devoid of a grand Château. Laid out in a triangular shape, the estate consists of 11 hectares of vineyards, with a nucleus of small buildings that serve as winery, vineyard and business offices. Interestingly, this is presumed to account for its name, which means “small village”.

It is unknown who initially planted vines at the estate, but after the French Revolution, it has been under the ownership of several families, including the Dufresne family, the De Seguin family (Clos Fourtet), and was acquired by the négociant Fernand Ginestet in 1919. It remained among the Ginestet properties, along with other properties such as Château Margaux and Château Cos d’Estournel, until the difficult 1970s forced the Ginestets to divide their properties. Petit-Village was run by Bruno Prats until 1989 when it was sold to the present owners, the insurance group AXA Millésimes. Christian Seely oversees the AXA portfolio, but Petit-Village was managed by Jean-Michel Cazes and Daniel Llose until Cazes’ retirement. Currently, the property is managed by Daniel Llose and technical director, Serge Ley.

The property is nestled among some well-known neighbors: Vieux Château Certan, La Conseillante, and Beauregard. The Petit-Village vineyards consist of 75% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc, however, the cepage (blend) varies year to year (for 2007: 78% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc). As with nearly all Right Bank properties, the blend is predominately Merlot.

Join us as we talk with technical director Serge Ley about the vineyard, the winemaking, and of course, the wine.

For More Info on Château Petit-Village: www.petit-village.com/

The sponsor of this video is Millesima, Fine Wine Merchants: www.millesima-usa.com

Château Cheval Blanc

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Welcome to our video podcast Château Cheval Blanc – Video Show #57.


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Certainly one of the most revered Châteaux in all of Bordeaux, Cheval Blanc holds an almost mystical power over admirers of the famed region. Located in Saint Emilion, the property of this premier Grand cru classé has its origins in 1832, with property acquired from the Figeac Estate by the Ducasse family. The property was enlarged again in 1838, and the Ducasse and ultimately the Laussac-Fourcaud family continued to preside over the estate through the 20th Century.

Bordering the Pomerol appellation (across the road from Château L’Evangile), the vines here are 57% Cabernet Franc; the balance is mostly Merlot, plus a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. What sets Cheval-Blanc apart from its illustrious neighbors is the unique terroir that lie at a crossroads for three distinct types of soil: gravel and sand, clay and sand, and a smaller section of sandy-clay with iron deposits. On average, the vines are over 30 years, and are immaculate and sustainably farmed.

Currently owned by LVMH, the estate is managed by Pierre Lurton, who divides his time between Cheval Blanc and another renowned property, Château d’Yquem in Sauternes.

Join us as we visit with Pierre Lurton, and get a sense of the topography of this famous Right Bank Bordeaux property. We also visit the cellar to barrel taste the exquisite 2007 Cheval Blanc.

For More Info on Château Cheval Blanc: www.chateau-cheval-blanc.com

The sponsor of this video is Millesima, Fine Wine Merchants: www.millesima-usa.com

Château Palmer – Video – Part II

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Welcome to our video podcast Château Palmer – Part II – Video Show #56.

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Château Palmer derives its name from Charles Palmer, an Englishman who owned the property from 1816-1853. An aide-de-camp of the Prince of Wales, Charles Palmer was convinced he should buy the estate of Marie de Gascq, and bought additional land and buildings in the communes of Cantenac, Issan, and Margaux. By 1830 the property covered 163 hectares, including 82 hectares of vines. In 1853, it was purchased by brothers Isaac and Emile Péreire and it continued on, surviving most of the vinous maladies and economic crises of the times until the 1930s, when they sold the estate to several families of various Bordeaux, English, and Dutch descent in 1938.

This Médoc estate is located near the Gironde estuary, and the soils in this area are quite gravely. Among their 52 hectares of vines, Ch. Palmer has a large percentage of Merlot, almost the same amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, and a small percentage of Petit Verdot. Here in Margaux, the vines are planted on rises several meters thick, consisting of brittle black lydite, white and yellow quartz, quartzite mottled with black, green or blue, and white chalcedony. In an effort to help the vine roots sink deep into the gravelly soil, they till the soil regularly. They also maintain a very high vine density – 10,000 vines per hectare – in order to increase competition between the vines and encourage this deep rooting.

Join us for Part 2, as Thomas Duroux, CEO of Château Palmer, continues with the vineyard tour, followed by a visit to the wine library and finally lunch.

For More Info on Château Palmer: www.chateau-palmer.com

The sponsor of this video is Millesima, Fine Wine Merchants: www.millesima-usa.com

Château Palmer – Video – Part I

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Welcome to our video podcast Château Palmer – Part I – Video Show #55.

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Château Palmer derives its name from Charles Palmer, an Englishman who owned the property from 1816-1853. The terroir at this Médoc estate dates from the Quaternary period, when gravel slowly accumulated on the Left Bank of the Gironde, pushed by the Dordogne and carried along by the Garonne. The two rivers meet a few kilometers downstream from Ch. Palmer to form the Gironde estuary. Among their current 52 hectares of vines, Ch. Palmer has a large percentage of Merlot, almost the same amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, and a small percentage of Petit Verdot.

Here in Margaux, the vines are planted on gravely rises several meters thick, consisting of brittle black lydite, white and yellow quartz, quartzite mottled with black, green or blue, and white chalcedony. In an effort to help the vine roots sink deep into the gravelly soil, they till the soil regularly. They also maintain a very high vine density – 10,000 vines per hectare – in order to increase competition between the vines and encourage this deep rooting.

Join us for Part 1, as Thomas Duroux, CEO of Château Palmer, leads us through the vineyards and discusses the growing conditions in the Margaux region of Bordeaux.

For More Info on Chateau Palmer: www.chateau-palmer.com

The sponsor of this video is Millesima, Fine Wine Merchants: www.millesima-usa.com

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 Pomerol Seduction

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Although never officially classified, the wines of Pomerol have nonetheless been able to rise on their own merits to become some of the best, as well as some of the most expensive in Bordeaux. With its clay and gravel soils planted predominantly to Merlot and a lesser amount of Cabernet Franc, this small right-bank region totals less than 800 hectares, and is marked more by its understated farm-house wineries than by grand chateaux.

Now, not content to merely rest on their reputation, many producers in the region have formed an association to further promote Pomerol and its wines. The group, Pomerol Séduction, is currently an assemblage of nine vintners, including Château Beauregard, Château Clinet, Clos du Clocher, Château La Conseillante, Château Gazin, Château Mazeyres, Château Petit Village, Château Rouget and Château Vieux Maillet. Join us as we speak with several representatives from Pomerol Séduction to hear how Pomerol differs from other regions in Bordeaux, and how they differ from each other within Pomerol.

Sponsor- Millesima, Fine Wine Merchant: www.millesima-usa.com

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Show #225
(45:18min 32MB)

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Château Palmer

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Château Palmer derives its English name from Charles Palmer (1777-1851), a former Mayor of the spa town of Bath and Member of Parliament, who rose to the rank of General during the Napoleonic period. A gentleman, officer, and aide-de-camp of the Prince of Wales, Charles Palmer apparently fell under the spell of Bordeaux as well as the charms of a beautiful widow, Marie de Gascq, who convinced him to buy her Château de Gascq estate. From 1816 to 1831, Palmer bought additional land and buildings in the communes of Cantenac, Issan, and Margaux, and by 1830 the property covered 163 hectares, including 82 hectares of vines. Ultimately, the good life did him in financially, and he was forced to sell his magnificent Médoc estate. Purchased in 1853, brothers Isaac and Emile Péreire and their descendents had the château built in 1856, and thereafter battled oidium and phylloxera, survived the Franco-Prussian war, and made it through the First World War, only to succumb to the economic crisis of the 1930s which forced them in turn to also sell the estate. Château Palmer was purchased by several families of Bordeaux, English, and Dutch extraction (the Sichel, Mähler-Besse, Ginestet, and Miailhe families) in 1938, and continues to be owned by its descendants.

Château Palmer’s terroir dates from the Quaternary period, when gravel slowly accumulated on the Left Bank of the Gironde, pushed by the Dordogne and carried along by the Garonne. The two rivers meet a few kilometers downstream from Ch. Palmer to form the Gironde estuary. Among their current 52 hectares of vines, Ch. Palmer has a large percentage of Merlot, almost the same amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, and a small percentage of Petit Verdot. Here in Margaux, the vines are planted on gravely rises several meters thick, consisting of brittle black lydite, white and yellow quartz, quartzite mottled with black, green or blue, and white chalcedony. In an effort to help the vine roots sink deep into the gravelly soil, they till the soil regularly. They also maintain a very high vine density – 10,000 vines per hectare – in order to increase competition between the vines and encourage this deep rooting.

Join us as we talk with Thomas Duroux, CEO of Château Palmer since July 2004, about Ch. Palmer’s fascinating history, along with its vineyards and wines.

For more info on Château Palmer: www.chateaupalmer.com

Sponsor- Millesima, Fine Wine Merchant: www.millesima-usa.com

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Show #218
(1:08:46min 49MB)

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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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