Wednesday, November 30, 2005
... is now certified organic. I took the Anderson Valley Estate Chardonnay out with me yesterday to taste with accounts in Big D. Everyone agreed - YUM. This bottle is truly filled with elegance and grace. I opened the bottle at 2:00pm and finally drank a full glass at 6:00pm - still full of character and fresh apple and pear flavors.
Silver Medals: New World International Wine Competition, Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, San Diego Wine Competition, Monterey Wine Competition.
Click here to read about the Milla Handley's organic certification thoughts. Oh how Texans love the beautiful wines Handley Cellars continues to produce each year! Cheers - Ali
Monday, November 28, 2005
Just in time for the holiday gift giving season...
According to California Wine Merchants, “The 2003 Block 16 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, is the near-to-end result of a generous growing season that culminated in a spare, concentrated crop that stayed on vine until the end of September, gathering sugar and extracting flavor in the soft fall sun.
The grapes, sourced from an organically sustained vineyard on the west side of St. Helena, were (and are), in our opinion, the prize fruit of this esteemed valley. Between crush and bottle, the wine aged 15 months in French oak barrels (70% new), where it "found" itself. What we've found is our 2003 Block 16 exhibits the distinct flavors of the acclaimed St. Helena microclimate and growing conditions: dense ripe berries, clove and cooking spices, and warm vanilla on a lengthy finish. Cabernet Franc from the same vineyard was blended in for even more density and layering, adding a richness carried in cocoa. Silky tannins balance the complex fruit of this wine, while a polished firmness makes it worthy of cellaring. Which brings us to the actual end: opening a bottle.”
I couldn’t have said this any better – look for it at your favorite fine wine retail shop or department throughout Texas. Suggested Retail $55 Cheers! Ali
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
The www.texacaliwine.com redesign is in the works, stay tuned.
Holiday Wishes from Robert Parker today..."So what if it is an American holiday...it is always rewarding to pause at least one day a year and be thankful for the freedoms most of the civilized world enjoys(and often takes for granted).To do what we want in life and pursue our pleasures and hopes for good health for us and our loved ones does indeed make one feel very fortunate.And I intend to keep wishing, no matter how stacked the odds are against it,that just maybe we might one day see an end to war,violence,poverty and tyranny ....so here's to everyone having a terrific holiday....!
I certainly agree with Bob on this one - Happy Thanksgiving - Ali
Finally, she has arrived in Texas! A fruity and delicious sauvignon blanc from California's North Coast. Eloise...a perfect dinner companion or a sassy bottle to share with the girls (Oh I better bring two).
Look for it first at Central Market in Ft. Worth, Dallas, Austin and Houston. Cheers - Ali
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2004
Gold Medal & Best of Class
Release Spring '06
Cloverdale Ranch Merlot 2002
Currently available ($20 retail)
Cloverdale Ranch Merlot 2003
Release January '06
Pellegrini Zinfandel 2004
Currently available ($24)
Pellegrini Chardonnay 2004 Unoaked
Currently available ($15)
Olivet Lane Pinot Noir 2003
Currently available ($24)
Olivet Lane Pinot Noir 2004
Release Spring '06
CR Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
Currently available ($22)
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Normally, I plan my meal around a certain bottle of wine I have in mind. Thanksgiving Day and weekend is just the opposite. I always have my list set early – from pre-dinner bubbles to spicy football watching reds to that perfect port with a cigar out on the patio late night. Don’t get me wrong, the holiday is always about my dearest friends and family giving thanks together, but I must confess in recent years - sharing incredible wines are among my fondest memories of Thanksgiving! You won't go wrong with these...
Dominique Portet Sauvignon Blanc – “Class in a Glass”. Portet’s Bordeaux heritage stands out in this beauty of a wine! Elegant and soft in style, sooo good on its own, but even better with homemade yeast rolls and butter! (Australia)
Luca Syrah is intense, deep purple in color. Aromas of toasty oak. Rich, lush, and mouthfilling on the palate. Deep fruit flavors of blackberry jam, black cherry and hints of sweet oak. Not French Syrah, not California Syrah—truly Argentine Syrah, with the Malbec lending some nice additional complexity. Truly a wine to “show-off” to your Thanksgiving guests! (Argentina)
Handley Sauvignon Blanc – The label is so beautiful, you can’t help but love this gorgeous wine at any fancy dinner table. Fresh scent of apricots and tangerines, with a pleasant mineral accent. Forward flavors of tangerine and lemongrass with a mouthwatering finish. This Sauv Blanc pairs very well with turkey and cranberry leftover sandwiches! (Anderson Valley, California)
Handley Gewürztraminer - Delicately perfumed with rose, orange blossoms, and sun-warmed melon, this wine fills the mouth with flavors of citrus and spice. The 2004 Anderson Valley Gewürztraminer is very versatile at the modern American table, with its many influences from all over the world. Slight sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what this Gewurz taste like! (Anderson Valley, California)
Olivet Lane Chardonnay – I still can’t believe this amazing bottle is so inexpensive! This Chardonnay is so elegantly balanced with gorgeous fruit and lightly toasted flavors. A tremendous value from the Pellegrini folks and a great compliment to creamy cheeses, roast turkey and all the fixings! (California)
Handley Pinot Noir - Upon opening this beautiful Pinot Noir, you will notice subtle violet perfume with an accent of cinnamon. It is spicy in the mouth as well, with a long finish. Beautiful companion to smoked turkey and sweet potato pie! (Anderson Valley, California)
Teira Zinfandel – aromas of dark berry fruit on the nose: blueberry, blackberry and cherry. On the palate, the wine leads with round, rich flavors balanced with natural acidity and California Zin structure. What a MOUTHFULL – this will add a little ZING to your Turkey Day festivities! (California)
Olivet Lane Pinot Noir is such a delight, make sure to score more than one bottle of this if Pinot is your game! Williams Selyem and Merry Edwards used this vineyard for years. Dark fruits and sage on the nose, lingering and deep delicious serious fruit! By far the most elegant bottle of pinot made from the Russian River region in California, it’s wonderful with our without food!
Handley Anderson Valley Chardonnay - This wine starts with a subtle vanilla kiss. It is reminiscent of ripe pears and apples right out of a sunlit orchard, with faint floral accents. With incredible length and nice acidity, the 2002 Estate Chardonnay is lovely with creamy potatoes and pumpkin pie! (Anderson Valley, California)
Crios Torrontes – to serve before you sit down for the big meal! Enticing aromas that are strikingly similar to Viognier, with hints of peach pit, flowers, and orange citrus fruit. On the palate, it has mouthwatering acidity that keeps you coming back for another sip and plenty of body for a wine that shows such delicate aromas and flavors. Fruity, floral and yet still quite dry, this wine has to be tasted to be believed. (Argentina)
Fontaine Rosé Yarra Valley is available for the first time in the USA, Dominique Portet's Rosé has won Best Rosé in Australia 3 years in a row... only 56 cases imported for the entire USA. Refreshing, Provence-like rosé made with Cabernet, Shiraz and Merlot from the Yarra Valley.
2002 Cloverdale Ranch Cabernet and Merlot – no need to tell you how INCREDIBLE these wines are, you’ve probably tasted these and bought a few already – these rich reds are quickly becoming Texas’ best selling Alexander Valley Reds!
Print this list off, forward it to friends, wines are available statewide at your favorite wine shop or department - just ask! Happy Thanksgiving - Ali
Monday, November 14, 2005
My greatest challenge with starting and managing my own company is dealing with “gatekeepers” who do not share this same passion of coolness. But big things are on the horizon – a new generation of all things wine are stepping up and making waves all over the world, I’m honored and privileged to be a member of this group – as long as I keep earning my stripes, waking up each day excited to teach and share with others the gift of wine and SAKE that so many families for hundreds of years have allowed me to discover the coolest job on the planet. I'm so grateful! Cheers - Ali
Nov 14, 2005 DOMINIO DEL PLATA Malbec Mendoza Susana Balbo 2003 (90 points, $27) Very ripe, this gushes with blackberry, boysenberry and fig fruit, along with mineral, briar and toast notes. Flashy and fruit-driven, but has structure and length too. Drink now through 2007. 850 cases made. - James Molesworth
Friday, November 11, 2005
The Crown Jewels of Argentina have arrived in all their glory for holiday purchases. Keep your eyes out for the “Kings of Argentina” at your favorite wine retailer throughout the state or send me an email and tell me where you live …
Weekend has finally arrived and my brother is turning the Big 30. Laurent-Perrier Brut Rose bubbly to start the birthday festivities off with a bang. Happy Birthday Colby!
Cheers - Ali
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Record highs across the state, I sat outside yesterday at lunch at received a sunburn! Good for the thousands of golf courses I’m sure, bad for rich, big and bold red wine! We had a teaser a few weeks back with temperatures in the low 40’s. This weather is insane.
Spending a fair amount of time in Austin these days, that place just rocks. Here are a few bottles I spied on tables and shopping baskets. Very eclectic selection – just like the scene in A-Town! Luca Chardonnay, Nandu Malbec, Fontaine Rose, Crios Torrontes (look for a nice article about Torrontes and Virtusoso in Austin Woman magazine), Pellegrini Sauvignon Blanc and Handley Chardonnay! I love Austin! Cheers - Ali