Big thanks to Nathaniel Center for this timely piece on Avinyó! It’s December and time to get excited about bubbles!
On our first day in Spain we arrived at the Avinyó winery in Penedes excited and slightly jet lagged. We were greeted with cava poured from parones and a steaming plate of paella (that respectively enhanced the excitement and removed the jet lag). In a region dominated by large producers and bulk wine, the Esteve Nadal family operates a quality-oriented winery in the village of Avinyonet. As we walked through the vineyards, they explained that out of the approximately 240 cava producers in Penedes, only 20 or so make cava exclusively from their estate vineyards (and Avinyó is among this select few.) For the family, this small scale and attention to detail is really what sets them apart. Most wineries of their size bring in grapes to supplement their harvest, but Avinyó actually ends up selling away anything that “doesn’t work for them”. Even in low-yielding years their tiny winery doesn’t have the capacity to vinify everything they grow, so choosing the absolute best has always been a necessity. Natural ambient yeasts are employed whenever possible and they a favor long cold fermentation (which they compare to steeping ingredients for extended periods in cooking). Read more
Thanks Charles Hildreth for this reflection on Remelluri in Rioja.
La Rioja, the oldest DOCa in Spain, is a bit shy of 2,000 square miles. As of a 2015 report, it has 61,645ha (152,328 acres) planted to vines, 16,413 vineyards, and over 600 wineries. The three principal regions are Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja with each area producing its own unique expression of Rioja wine. La Rioja Alavesa and La Rioja Alta, located closer to mountains, are at slightly higher elevations and have a cooler climate. La Rioja Baja to the southeast is drier and warmer.
As a comparison, there are less than 30,000ha of vines planted to about 100 different AOCs in Burgundy, France. And yet that region is famous for its intricate system of village and vineyard designation. As we discovered, it takes a visit to Remelluri, near Ribas del Tereso in Labastida, to help intrepid oenophiles understand why the Rioja Denomination of Origin is misguided and sorely behind the times. Read more
Josep and Joan d’Anguera
This week, Bonney Rowley writes from Joan d’Anguera in Monsant. Thanks Bonney!
The saying, fine soil makes fine wine, has been passed from one generation of winemakers to another in the d’Anguera family. Their estate sits nestled between several mountain ranges and just east of the Ebro river in one of Spain’s newest D.Os, Montsant. This is a region often overshadowed (literally) by the mountainous, and more well-known, region of Priorat. I am struck by the beauty of this area as we drive through the dusty yellow hills and up into the brick colored mountains. Skeletons of stone foundations dot the landscape; relics of the region’s history of war and turmoil. It’s hard to believe that Catalonians only gained autonomy in 1978 after years of civil war and the rule of dictators. Read more
With tears in my eyes, I must share with you all some very sad news.
We lost a loving brother, an eccentric, loyal and devoted family member last night Sept. 10, 2016.
He was phenomenally chaotic, brilliant, honest, dutiful and legendary in his generosity. Marc brought light to the core of T Edward.
Our history is filled with indelible Pichon moments, we’ll miss you. RIP Marc Pichon.
-T. Byrnes Read more
Thank YOU to the amazing 150 vignerons who came to our Grand Tasting at the Public Theater on Tuesday. And thank YOU to the 800+ who attended. If anyone has ever questioned why we do what we do, or how we have gained our reputation in the market, the photos below will tell you all. But enough from us, let’s pass the mike to the people themselves. Read more
Domaine les Cantates
We are crazy about Savoie! Domaine les Cantates, Domaine Lupin and Domaine Delalex, all tucked between Jura, Switzerland and Bugey. Home to a range of mountains, lakes and rivers Savoie has three appellations and over 2100ha of vines spread across its alpine terrain. With steep-slopes, a mountainous topography and local varietals, Savoie produces 70% white wine with a palate that mirrors its Alpine surroundings: light in color, airy, clean and bright, and mineral driven. And while 95% of these wines were consumed locally until recently, it’s high time we shine a light on Savoie and its 17 crus. Read more
Francesco Grosso of Marea, Pam Yung & José Ramirez-Ruiz of Semilla, Lee Campbell of Andrew Tarlow’s group, Sean Sant Amour of Blue Ribbon, Bill Fitch of Vinegar Hill House
2015 was an amazing year of great growth and change for us here at TEW! We added a number of new members to our family, both producers and in-house, and we wrote about a great many of our friends and supporters here in NYC. We thank you for an amazing year, as we look forward to sharing another vintage of peace, prosperity and great wine in 2016. Read more
Thank you to everyone who came out on Tuesday to A Year in Wine at Lafayette! It’s been quite a year since our 20th Anniversary Tasting in 2015. Keeping things fresh, we opted to pour only items that had joined our book since then, including 34 estates and 6 new craft distilleries, totaling over 200 additions to our portfolio! We’ve been busy! We hope you had a chance to taste through everything, from Domaine Arnoux to Xavier Benier and Nicolas Badel. Bodegas RE, Hudson Vineyards, Vodopivec, Pfluger and High Wire Distilling. We also saw new additions from Matthiasson, Forlorn Hope, Teutonic, Rio Maggio and Pierre Frick. Big thanks to our friends André Tamers at De Maison Selections, Bill and Byron at Goatboy Selections, Emily Kunhardt of Craft Distillers and Roberto Ijalba of Bodegas Santalba. We hope to see you all again soon! Read more
“Cepas Vellas” 200+ year-old Albarino Vines at Do Ferreiro
In 1973, Geraldo Méndez’s father purchased a plot of land in Rias Baixas that became Do Ferreiro. “They really bought it because of the house,” said Manuel Mendez, who now works with his father Geraldo. “When they began to clean the whole area, they realized that they had those great vineyards. They didn’t know that. It was very lucky.” Very lucky indeed, as the tiny plot besides the house turned out to be Cepas Vellas (“Old Vines”), 1.5ha of 200+ year old Albariño vines. Read more
Dominio do Bibei
“When you’re an interventionist, you’re changing the profile of the vines,” said Iría Otero of Dominio do Bibei, in Ribeira Sacra. “We’re not exactly biodynamic, because there are some things in biodynamics that we don’t completely love, so we started to work organically. We try to be very respectful. There has been no intervention since the beginning, but for the past four to five years, we’ve gotten more into organic farming. I think it’s an idea of balance and respect. It’s a way to respect Mother Nature. To try to not take too much from the vineyard, just what it gives. The quality is better. The production is lower, but we don’t mind. We get better quality and more balanced wines.” Read more