Edoardo Miroglio: Vines, Wines, & Boutique Hotel in Bulgaria

The E Miroglio Winery & Hotel

Italian textile manufacturer Edoardo Mirogolio has created from scratch one of Bulgaria’s most impressive, modern wineries.  In our soon to be published report on The Wines of Bulgaria we rate his wines among the best in Bulgaria, especially the Chardonnay, Mavrud, and outstanding sparkling wines.  Our reviews of the Edoardo Miroglio wines are given below and, also, in our recently published Report # 67 The Wines of Bulgaria. Continue reading

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Posted in Bulgaria, Pinot Noir, Red Wine, Sparkling Wine, Uncategorized, White Wine, Wine Articles, Wine Type | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ingrid Groiss Wines from Austria’s Weinviertel

Ingrid Groiss, Winemaker

Ingrid Groiss is one of the winemaking stars of Austria’s Weinviertel region. While best known for her Grüner Veltliner grown on the area’s loess soils, she also makes an outstanding Gemischter Satz (field blend) from her grandmother’s old vineyard as well as a stunning, authentic rosé of Pinot Noir and Zweigelt. Our reviews of the wines follow.  Watch for our forthcoming report on Austria, an update of our earlier Report # 25 The Wines of AustriaContinue reading

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Book Review Rosé: Understanding the Pink Wine Revolution by Elizabeth Gabay MW

Rosé wine consumption is on the rise, accounting for about one-third of wine consumed in France and a growing proportion of wine drunk in the US, UK and elsewhere.  But as a wine it still doesn’t get the respect it deserves. In spring, food and wine magazine covers display shiny glasses of pink wine but no serious discussion.  Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson’s weighty tome The World Atlas of Wine barely mentions rosé, even in the entry on Provence. And it gets merely a nod in James Halliday’s Wine Atlas of California. It’s as if wine writers consider rosé too light and pretty to warrant serious review. Continue reading

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Bulgaria’s Very Modern Castra Rubra Winery: Michel Rolland Travels East

Bulgaria has created numerous new, state of the art wineries over the past two decades. None is more significant than Castra Rubra where globetrotting enologist Michel Rolland has played a lead role as consulting winemaker as well as in planning the winery and new vineyards.  The wines are what one would expect from Rolland—rich, ripe, voluptuous and delicious! See our reviews below. Continue reading

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J Lohr Vineyards New Releases from Paso Robles, Napa & Arroyo Seco

Jerry Lohr is one of the California Central Coast’s wine pioneers. He started planting vines in the Arroyo Seco region of Monterey County in 1972 and now has 900 acres of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and other varieties planted there.  In 1988 he planted his first Cabernet Sauvignon at the Home Ranch in Paso Robles’ Estrella District. Today, Paso Robles is the center of J Lohr Vineyard red wine operations with 2 thousand acres of mostly Bordeaux varieties planted in several districts: Estrella, El Pomar, San Miguel, and Adelaida. See our Report #62 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon & Other Bordeaux Varieties for more on the excellent wines coming out of this region today. Continue reading

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Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Chardonnay, Countries and Regions, Red Wine, Uncategorized, White Wine, Wine Type | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Herdade do Rocim: New Releases from Portugal’s Alentejo

Located in the Baixo Alentejo with 70 hectares of vineyards (53 red, 17 white) and 10 ha of olives, Herdade do Rocim was founded by the late José Ribeiro Vieira. Today, his daughter Catarina Vieira and husband Pedro Ribeiro own the estate and make the wines. We visited Catarina and Herdade do Rocim on our last trip to the Alentejo. At the time we expressed the hope that the wine would soon be imported to the US, and we’re happy that Shiverick Imports obliged.  In this article, we renew our acquaintance with Herdade do Rocim and review the latest releases. Continue reading

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Posted in Countries and Regions, Portugal, Red Wine, Rosé, Sparkling Wine, Uncategorized, White Wine, Wine Type | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

German Rieslings from the Mosel: SA Prüm, Willi Haag, and Dr H Thanisch

Germany’s top producers are members of the Verdand Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (VDP), an association of 200 quality-oriented vintners. We recently had the opportunity to taste the Riesling wines from three VDP members, all with steeply sloped (up to 60°) vineyards overlooking the Mosel with slate soils eroded by the Mosel over the millenia. The wines come from several vintages, including the frost and rain damaged 2017, which resulted in low yields but good quality for those who did thorough sorting, the outstanding 2015, the wet and difficult 2014, the normal 2012, and the challenging 2010. Continue reading

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Morgan Winery: New 2016-2017 Releases from the Santa Lucia Highlands and Monterey

These are some new stunning releases from Morgan Winery in the Santa Lucia Highlands.   Owner and winemaker  Dan Lee is one of the finest winemakers in the AVA, and we have been big fans of his wines for many years.  We first became acquainted with Dan and Morgan Winery 10 years ago when we were preparing our Report #20  The Santa Lucia Highlands: Unique Terroir, Marvelous Wines.  At that time and with every passing year that we have been reviewing Morgan wines, we have been impressed by their consistent quality, originally and steady improvement.

Dan Lee and wife Donna  founded Morgan in 1982, built a state-of-the-art winery in Salinas in 1984, and purchased the 65 acres Double L Vineyard in the northern Santa Lucia Highlands in 1996. Planted with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the Double L has been farmed organically since its founding and is certified by Monterey County Certified Organic.

Like most of the winemakers in the Highlands, Dan Lee also grows and purchases grapes from other parts of Monterey County.  He  is also experimental by nature and works with unusual grape varieties for California such as the Portuguese Verdelho, Touriga Nacional, and Touriga Franca varietals. These wines are available under Morgan’s sister label, Lee Family Farm.

The wines reviewed here are among Morgan’s finest  wines.  They exhibit high quality fruit, outstanding winemaking, and are exceedingly pleasant to drink. Readers will want to try several of Morgan’s  single variety wines of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah and Rhone style blends.

Wine Reviews and Ratings

Morgan 2017 Albariño Monterey ($2288  This Albariño has a fresh herbal nose and a sweet fruit attack followed by a palate marked by bright acidity. Stylistically it is more tart than tropical like the expressive fruit of Spanish Albariño. Easy drinking.

Morgan 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Monterey ($18) 89  Light straw, this Sauvignon Blanc is a blend of classic Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Musqué, and Semillon. If offers lovely aromas of citrus and apple not unlike a Bordelais white. Aged 5 months in French oak, it is rather soft in the mouth with medium acidity and freshness and a persistent finish.

Morgan 2017 Grenache Blanc Monterey ($22) 90   The Grenache Blanc displays a nice floral character to the nose and rich orchard fruit with light tropical fruit notes on the palate. Aged 5 months in French and Hungarian oak, it is a delicious wine, fruit forward, easy drinking, and nicely balanced with good acidity and freshness on the finish. It’s true to its varietal character!

Morgan 2015 Metallico Unoaked Chardonnay Monterey ($22) 91  Morgan’s Metallico is among the finest unoaked Chardonnay’s produced in California. It displays pure Chardonnay fruit flavors without an overlay of oak or malolactic fermentation. Aged 5 months in stainless steel, it offers ripe orchard fruit with crisp acidity and freshness with a zesty finish.

Morgan 2016 Highland Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands ($28) 91   The 2016 Highland Chardonnay is a flavorful blend of grapes from Morgan’s Double L Vineyard and neighboring vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. It display aromas of ripe tropical fruit and toasted oak with medium acidity and a long finish.

Morgan 2016 Chardonnay Double L Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands ($42) 92   The Chardonnay Double L Vineyard displays a flinty, honeyed nose with hints of honeysuckle and toasted oak. Aged 15 months in French oak, 15% new, it is richly flavored with a creaminess and hints of hazelnut and rich fruit. It has good acidity and balance and a persistent finish.

Morgan 2017 Rosé of Grenache Arroyo Seco ($22) 88  Pink in color, the Rosé of Grenache offers a fruity nose of fresh strawberry. It is ripe on the palate with medium acidity and good persistence. A pleasant quaffing wine.

Morgan 2016 Cotes du Crow’s Monterey ($18) 89 An attractive Rhone-style blend of 52% Syrah, 44% Grenache and 4% Tempranillo, the Cotes du Crow’s exhibits purity of brambly black cherry fruit flavors on the attack. Aged 10 months in French oak, 15% new, it reveals nicely integrated oak and fruit on the palate with good concentration. A very drinkable wine, although it shows the tannic grip of youth.   

Morgan 2016 Pinot Noir Twelve Clones Santa Lucia Highlands ($35) 90   Sourced from among the finest vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands, the Pinot Noir Twelve Clones offers ripe dark cherry fruit with considerable purity and hints of toasted oak. It is soft and round in the mouth with good balance, finesse, depth of flavor and a persistent finish.

Morgan 2016 Pinot Noir Double L Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands ($64) 92  The Pinot Noir Double L exhibits a rich cherry nose and hints of vanilla oak. It is soft and round in the mouth with excellent purity of flavor and depth. It exhibits more precision, and refinement than the 12 Clones and has a lovely persistent finish.

Morgan 2016 Syrah G17 Santa Lucia Highlands ($24) 91  The Syrah G17 consists of 88% Syrah blended with 8% Grenache and a dollop of Tempranillo. Rhone-style in character, it is ruby red in color, and offers pleasant aromas of dark red berry fruit, blackberries and smoked meat. It is nicely balanced with good density of flavor and a long finish.

Morgan 2016 Tempranillo Arroyo Seco ($22) 88 This Tempranillo displays aromas of black cherry and black raspberry.  It is fruit forward in character, very aromatic and pleasant to drink.  It also is nicely balanced with good acidity and freshness.







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Quady North: Serious Rosé from Oregon

Perhaps no American winemaker takes rosé as seriously as Herb Quady. Formerly a winemaker at Boony Doon Vineyards, he moved to Southern Oregon in 2003 to help pioneer winemaking there.  He and his father (owner of California’s Quady Winery) purchased 100 acres in 2005 and began planting. We remember tasting the 2006 maiden vintage (made from purchased grapes) of Quady North, which we reviewed a decade ago.  Our reviews of the 2017 Quady North rosés follow at the end of this article.  Look for our Report #66 The World of Rosé, coming soon. And check out our earlier rosé articles on our web site, including last year’s article focused on rosé of Pinot Noir.  Continue reading

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Galicia’s Quinta da Muradella: Authentic Wines from Monterrei

José Luis Mateo is one of Spain’s very special winemakers. He crafts authentic wines from unique terroir in Galicia using indigenous varieties, including ones he has discovered and rescued from abandoned mountain vineyards. He is one of those rarities in the winemaking world, a pioneering spirit always experimenting with ways to improve his vineyards and his wines and concerned about reuperating his region’s vinous past. We recently met with José Luis to taste his Quinta da Muradella wines and learn more about him and the exciting Monterrei wine region. Continue reading

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