Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wine Maker Mia Klein of Selene Wines








Mia Klein established her own wine Selene Wines in 1991 after nearly a decade of working in Napa Valley as a consultant. She is a Graduate of the UC Davis and makes her wines using fruit from Larry Hyde's esteemed Carneros vineyard. She is most likely one of California's most sought-after winemakers, with clients such as Dalla Valle.



We attended a Selene Winemaker Dinner and had the pleasure of sitting at her table. I engaged her in a conversation comparing New Zealand Sauvingon Blancs and those grown in Mia's area of Napa Valley. I got quite an education on viticulture !



Mia offered her Selene Merlot 2000 Napa Valley. In the glass it was dark and rich . On the nose hints of raspberry, blackberry , chocolate and tobacco came through and integrated well. The nose was confirmed on the palate with the blackberry, raspberry and chocolate finishing with currant and smoke with medium tannins. This lovely Merlot had 16 months in French Oak and scored 92 points in Wine Spectator !


This was one of the best Merlots we had in a long while and still have a bottle in our cellar. Mia Klein is very personable and has a committed passion for what she does and it shows in the quality of the wine that she makes. We will be looking forward to what Mia has to offer us in the future.


To learn more about Mia Klein you can go to the Blog section to the right of the page and read her very informative blog. The web site link to Selene Wines is to the right of the page as well under Napa Valley . Check out these links see what Selene and Mia have been up to !


Cheers !









Friday, October 26, 2007

Carrefour Vineyards at Bleu Gourmet in Summerlin




We stopped in at Bleu Gourmet and were pleased to see Marilyn Nitz owner of Carrefour Vineyards pouring her wines. Carrefour's vineyard was started on 18 acres in Napa Valley in 1997 when they planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. In 2000 they added Sauvignon Blanc and Petite Verdot. In 2003 Carrefour made its first estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Sauvignon Blanc. In 2006 the vineyard produced Botrytis late harvest Sauvignon Blanc, named "ELEVENTH HOUR".
We had the opportunity to taste the Sauvigon Blanc 2005 and the Pinot Noir 2004 which was fabulous and the Cabernet Franc was out of this world ! In fact we ordered a bottle for the table.
There was a special treat at the end of the meal when we tasted the 2003"Eleventh Hour" Sauvingon Blanc Late harvest desert wine. This was not like most desert wines we have had. It had alot more acid and less sugar than you would expect from a desert wine. If you want to know more about Carrefour Vineyards we have added them under Napa Vineyards to the right of the page.
This Vineyard is a great example of a small vineyard making some great wines. Kelly De’Ianni, formerly a winemaker at St. Supery winery joined Carrefour Vineyards as the consulting wine maker and has done a great job !
When your travels take you to wine country anywhere in the world. Sometimes it is best to look for the small hidden treasures you may find tucked away between the "big boys ". These are often very good and more affordable than a big name label. Happy hunting and cheers !






Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Chateau De La Gardine Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2003





We had had many fine wines in the past. Like most people who appreciate wines , you remember the good ones no matter how long ago you drank them. It is always disappointing when the last drop falls from the bottle into the glass and you swirl , sniff and taste that wine for the last time. It is wines like these that you will remember. Chateau De La Gardine 2003 in our opinion is one of these wines. We were invited by Aaron to join himself Tex and Gidget to have dinner and share Magnum of Chateau De le Gardine 2003.
In the glass this wine had a heavy body and showed a dark ruby/purple color. On the nose there was a big, rich bouquet of black cherries, tar, and smoke, The fruit jumped out on the palate and finished Medium to full-bodied with medium tannins.

The appellation Chateauneuf-du-Pape is located between Orange and Avignon in the southern portion of France's Rhone region. Grenache is the dominant variety in the area and the wines can age 5-20 years. Also of note, The Wine Advocate scored this vintage a 91 in December of 2004.


This wine was simply amazing and will be remembered for a long time to come ! Thank you once again Aaron



Cheers !



Sunday, October 21, 2007

Le Volte Le Volte 2005 Blind Tasteing Marche Bacchus








As we have said before, blind tasting is very humbling at times. This was a time that we were "caught" by the wonderful mysteries of wine and wine making. Saturday afternoon lunch on the patio with Tex , Gidget and Aaron is always nice. Irene from Vegaswineaux also stopped by to say hello as well. Alex brought over a blind red wine to try.


In the glass the wine showed purple red with very little ring variation. Most of us figured the vintage to be 2003-2005. Body of wine in the glass was medium. On the nose aromas of black cherry, cassis , tobacco , blueberries and oak call came through. On the palate, oak, cassis , cedar black cherry and blueberry were all prominent. This wine finished wonderfully with medium tannis.


Most all of us picked up on Cabernet Sauvignon characteristics of the cassis, blackberry, oak and tannis. Some members decided it was a Cabernet blend from the new world. Other members were more specific and decided it was 100% Cabernet Sauvingon one said Napa Valley and the other from Central Coast.


Our confidence was high as Alex brought out the bottle and explained it had just been added to Marche Bacchus wine list. We were surprised to see when Alex reveled it to be Volte Le Volte 2005 Tusany Italy ! None of our group picked up on any old world characteristics at all. We did some research on this wine that surprised us all.


Blend: 50% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
Elegant and enjoyable, the 2005 vintage is characterized by ample fruity, slightly spicy notes. Produced following closely the Tenuta dell'Ornellaia's philosophy, Le Volte is the result of the research and selection of the best Mediterranean terroirs in Tuscany. It matures for about 10 months in 2-4 year old barriques which have been previously used for the aging of Masseto and Ornellaia.
The Mediterranean expression of Sangiovese gives the wine opulence and warmth while structure and complexity are provided by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The result is a harmonious, balanced, well-structured wine with an enjoyable finish.


This just goes to show us all that appreciating wine is always a never ending learning process that hopefully will last a life time !
















Marche Bacchus the end of an era and a new begining







If you have been reading this blog for a while or have met us in person we have always spoken highly of Marche Bacchus. You can search the blog and see the numerous articles and pictures that we have written about this restaurant.






The owners , Gregoire and Agathe have decided to move on to other projects. We wish them all the very best in their future endeavors. One of our concerns was who would take over and start a new era for the restaurant. Will the new owners appreciate what they have accomplished ? Will they take into account the regular customers that have been coming there for years and will they live up the the accolades that Marche Bacchus has acquired? Only time will answers these questions, but with the background and expertise of the new owners we have little doubt that the reputation will stand.


We had the opportunity to meet Jeff and Rhonda Wyatt the new owners. Both have numerous years of experience in the industry and have been customers of Marche Bacchus for years.



Pastry Chef Christophe Ithurritze is now at Marche Bacchus as well. He started in Las Vegas at Wolfgang Puck's legendary Spago chain and from there moved on to The Mirage. Before arriving in Las Vegas Chef Ithurritze studied pastry at the famed L'Ecole les Rocailles, on the balmy shores of Biarritz. After a culinary tour of duty throughout France, he was chosen as part of the opening team of Joachim Splichal's flagship restaurant, Patina.



We were relieved see that Jeff and Rhonda have the experience along with Chef Christophe and his wife Noanie to continue the reputation that Marche Bacchus has earned over the years. We look forward to enjoying the new additions to the menu and of course the deserts that Chef Christophe is creating in the kitchen.

Au'reivor Greg and Agathe we raise our glass to you both and thanks for establishing such a great restaurant. Cheers











Marche Bacchus Wine Tasteing Cakebread , Twomey and Silver Oak





Most every Saturday you can find us at one of our very special places located in Desert Shores, Marche Bacchus. This Saturday was a very special one as it marked a new beginning for the restaurant. We were treated to tastings of Napa Valley's Cakebread Vineyard Chardonnay and Sauvingon Blanc. It did not stop there. Next up on our list was Twomey 2003 Merlot Napa Valley. This was a fantastic Merlot probably one of the best we have had in a long while. The wine was blended barreled in early 2004 and over the next 18 months racked every three months. Alot of labor went into making this lovely Merlot and it shows.

Perhaps one of the most well known wines in the world is Silver Oak Vineyards. The final wine of the tasting was Silver Oak 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley. The 2003 Cabernet was aged 25 months in American Oak barrels and another 15 months in the bottles before it was released in August 2007. The 2003 Silver Oak is very special with hints of black cherry, dark chocolate and cassis with a long finish and medium tannins.

Stopping in at Marche Bacchus is always a great experience and when you begin with wines like these you can never go wrong.


Cheers

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Marimar Estates Wine at Bleu Gourmet




We stopped by one of our favorite places Bleu Gourmet in Summerlin. As usual , every Wednesday there is a free wine tasting. This week it was one of the best we have had this year. Marimar Estate wines National Sales Manger Kyle Ray was there to talk about the wines from the Torres Family Vineyard. J.D Collins , President of J.D Collins & Company wine marketer was also there to assist in pouring the wines. They were pouring four of their fabulous wines. Two Chardonnays and Two Pinot Noirs.
The fours wines were 2006 Chardonnay "Acero" Don Miguel Vineyard Russian River Valley , 2003 Chardonnay Don Miguel Vineyard Russian River Valley, 2003 Pinot Noir "Christina Selection, Russian River Valley and the 2004 Pinot Noir Doña Margarita Vineyard Sonoma Coast .
One of the highlights of the evening was the 2004 Pinot Noir Dona Margarita Vineyard from the Sonoma Coast. It was so good we ordered a bottle for the table. In my opinion this wine was not like a Pinot from the Sonoma area. It had hints of musk and earth as well as the unmistakable aroma and taste of Cherrys. I felt it was more like a Oregon Pinot. Overall , this Pinot was well balanced and had a nice hint of spice on the finish.
Proprietor/Winegrower Marimar Torres has done it once again with a portfolio of very fine wines. Her vineyards are located in the Russian River Valley 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean and 50 miles north of San Francisco. This areas climate is perfect for Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. She has a long family history of making some very fine wines will continue to do so many vintages in the future.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

1st Annual American Wine Society Las Vegas Chapter Picnic










The weather has been so great here so The Las Vegas Chapter of the American Wine Society decided to enjoy it together. The 1st Annual Picnic was a big success complete with a Jazz trio was was fantastic. Many thanks go out to Ken Rosenblum of Rosenblum Cellars who stopped by the picnic and donated many of his fine wines. Dan Tudor of Tudor wines and Radog wines donated wines as well our good friends at Banfi.
The combination of great wines, music , weather and friends were really an unbeatable comination for a great time. Andy Ashbaugh, Chairman of the Las Vegas Chapter even put together a Bocce Ball Tournament with the Grand Prize being signed bottles of Roseblum wines by Ken Rosenblum himself. I had never played Bocce ball but found it alot of fun and even ended up as an official !
Natalie Buster, Owner of Vino100 stopped by and joined us for lunch. Vino100 is a great wine shop and has all kinds of wine events. For more information on Vino100 click on the link to the right of the page !

We hope to have more Chapter outings where the entire family , even the pets can join in for a day of friendship and fun.

Cheers !
























Monday, October 8, 2007

Grape Street Cafe and Wine Bar

























We have been going to Grape Street for years and just stopped by for a casual dinner and Monet and Chandon White Star Champagne. On a personal note , Champagne is not just for special occasions as they have known in Europe for hundreds of years ! The atmosphere at Grape Street is casual and friendly. As long as it is not the middle of summer you can enjoy a meal outside on the patio. Miriam is the owner and chooses the wines personally . We have found some wines here that are not found anywhere in Las Vegas. You can enjoy a wide selection of wines by the glass at a very good price. If you happen to be in the area on Mondays , all wines by the bottle are half price. The food is great and the wine is one of a kind. If you want a nice casual lunch or dinner stop by Grape Street in Summerlin. If you want to see more of Grape Street just click on the link on the right side of the page. Great job to everyone at Grape Street Cafe and Wine Bar. !



Cheers.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

ENVY The Steakhouse




We have always wanted to visit ENVY. We have heard many good things about it for quite sometime. We joined Tex and Gidget at ENVY for dinner and were not disappointed. EVNY has its own VIP Wine club that is free to join. On selected nights members get half price off bottles of any wine they choose. ENVY has also added wine tasting and winemaker dinners to their long list of events. Being from Miami , ENVY reminded me of a South Beach Art Deco fine dining restaurant. The first thing that caught our attention was the wine cellar that rises from floor to ceiling. We decided to have the wine tasting before dinner.
Restaurant Manager John Griggs selected three wine wines and three red wines for us to taste. He described each wine to perfection and was very knowledgeable. One of our favorites was the Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc. When dining at ENVY take the time to look over their extensive wine list that is well organized and easy to read.
ENVY is best known for being a Steakhouse and for having a Sunday brunch with free live jazz. Although known for steak, three of us decided on seafood. I recognized many fine wines on the list but we decided to get John involved and have him suggest a wine that we have not tasted. After looking over the list He suggested Havens Merlot Carneros 2002. We went with his suggestion and were pleased with the pairing. This Merlot paired very well the the seafood and the steak that had been ordered.
In the glass it showed to be medium bodied. The color and ring variation were consistent with the varietal and year. On the nose hints of blackberry , cheery and cocoa were all prominent. The palate confirmed the nose with blackberry, cherry , cocoa and medium tannins on the finish.
ENVY is located in the Renaissance Hotel near the Las Vegas Convention Center. The service and food were excellent. The wine list is one of the best I have seen here in Las Vegas. This is a must stop if you are a visitor or local. You will love ENVY.

Monday, October 1, 2007

2008 World of Pinot Noir March 7th-8th



We attend many events throughout the year. This has to be the highlight. We have been looking forward to the World of Pinor Noir from the minute we left last year.




This event is held at the Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach. In our opinion there is no finer venue to sample the best Pinot Noir than at this event over looking the Pacific Ocean. There are receptions, Winemaker Dinners, Seminars , and a seaside tasting that cannot be equalled. The food was magnificent and of course the Pinot Noir was unmatched. We plan to be there again this year. Tickets went on sale October 1st. This event sells out quickly so go to the World of Pinot Noir website at

http://www.worldofpinotnoir.com/ for tickets and event information. Our thanks go out to Barbara at Treana Wines for her hospitality last year. We look forward to another great event in March 2008


Cheers !






Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott