The Real Burgundy

The Real Burgundy: Not Your Grandma’s Jug Wine

The first time I ever tasted Chablis, it was 1980… I was eight years old.

Shortly after the Chablis incident.

My grandparents’ house was the place for family gatherings, and on Catholic holidays they’d serve up traditional Polish American fare: pierogis, sauerkraut, flounder, along with a big jug of white Chablis. Wine seemed pretty important; after all, priests drank it, so I asked if I could try some.

I remember not liking it too much, and it turns out my instinct wasn’t off, even for an eight year-old: That wasn’t real Chablis after all – ‘twas made in bulk, in California! But thanks to those memories, some thirty years later, many of us still think Chablis is a jug wine that you drink to repent for your sins, or sometimes, to marinate your pork ribs with.

But true Chablis, and the region it comes from – Burgundy, France – are responsible for some of the best wines in the world. And Deschere’s has some… so read on, to re-educate your palate!

Burgundy

The Burgundy region of France is located east-of-center, close to the country’s border with Switzerland. In the Middle ages, the area was under strong influence of the Roman Catholic Church. Coincidentally, men of the cloth had a lot to do with Burgundy’s rich wine heritage.

As Churches acquired land, Cistercian and Benedictine monks experimented with wine grapes and vineyards. They became so intimately familiar with the vineyards, that they categorized and ranked all of the different parcels throughout. This system was so reliable and accurate, that most of those vineyards still remain over 1000 years later. The best wines come from the Grand Cru (Great Growth) and the Premier Cru (First Growth) parcels.

Check out some of the pictures in this Gallery to see  Burgundy for yourself:

 

The Grapes

Confusing as French wine labels are, there are only two main things you need to know about Burgundy wines: Most whites are made from Chardonnay and most reds are made from Pinot noir.

What Does Burgundy Wine Taste Like?

The chalky soil of Chablis are said to give the wines a strong mineral character.

For those who are used to drinking California Chardonnay, Burgundy Chard is a bit of a surprise. French winemakers prefer their wines to be, “naked,” meaning they don’t like to interfere with the natural character of the grape too much. Burgundy is crisp, subtly fruity, lighter and certainly, has less oak.

Burgundy Reds made from Pinot noir tend to be very light and elegant, some may even call them feminine: They’re subtly beautiful with an underlying complexity that only reveals itself upon closer inspection. You’ll taste fresh strawberries, raspberries, smoke and cedar from French oak barrels, and in older wines, a hint of earthiness.

Chablis

Although it’s a part of Burgundy, Chablis is a satellite that sits further north, close to Champagne and Paris. Temperatures are much cooler here, and therefore, make for wines that are very sharp, acidic and light. Chablis wines typically use little-to-no oak, so these are even more naked than Burgundy.

What’s On Offer…

If you’ve never had a real Burgundy or Chablis, Deschere’s is proud to offer four amazing examples, all worth seeking out. These are certainly not your grandma’s jug wines, and we feel, you owe it to yourself to find out what 1000 years of history tastes like. Be sure to click the attached links for more information, and to find a PA State store where you can buy these gems:

#74534 La Chablisienne Cote de Lechét 1er Cru 2015 (Chablis) – $29.99
90 points, Wine Advocate

La Chablisienne was founded in Chablis, in 1923. This top-ranked wine (Premier Cru) is practically as good as it gets! For its pale yellow color in the glass, the first aromas you get are of spices, toast and white fruit. The wine has finesse and complexity, it is fruity, floral and chalky. The long, mineral finish and acidity linger… Perfect for cooked shellfish, and raw-bar staples like oysters, clams, and scallops.

Buy it here…

#25883 La Chablisienne Grand Cuvee 1er Cru 2015 (Chablis) – $23.99
92 Points, Wine Advocate

Another first-growth wine, this one is also a pale yellow color with some light green glints. The expressive nose of white peach and apple is enhanced by a touch of soft vanilla. It’s fresh and lively in the mouth with a ­flavor of white-fl­eshed fruits, white flowers and minerals. The lingering finish ends both rich, and slightly spiced. This would be a great compliment to poached lobster and sweet King crab legs.

Buy it here…

#34974 Nuiton Beaunoy Pinot Noir 2015 (Burgundy) – $14.99

This is Pinot noir as it should be – the true, original from Burgundy, France. Often lighter and more elegant than New-World versions, this is a wine with subtle finesse and flavor that is perfect with lighter fare. Elegant aromas of crushed raspberry and strawberry with a hint of earth. French Pinot is amazing with roasted fowl, especially turkey and duck, and with creamy, stinky cheeses.

Buy it here…

#37786 Terres Secretes Macon Village Chardonnay 2015 (Burgundy) – $14.99

Terres Secrètes was founded in 1928, and its world-famous Chardonnay is at home in the Macconais region of Burgundy; the grape actually takes its name from an ancient village there. This is one very expressive wine: clear and bright with aromas of white flowers, citrus and yellow fruit, smooth and full in the mouth. Burgundy Chards are great with butter-poached seafoods, escargot, and roasted poultry.

Buy it here…

Unique, Powerful, Elegant: The Wines & Women of Uruguay’s Artesana

Uruguay sits between the 30th and 35th parallels in the southern hemisphere.

Ten years ago, if someone put me on the spot and asked me to point to Uruguay on a globe, I probably couldn’t have located it. Of course, these days, you could just Google it, to learn that it’s actually far below the equator, in South America, humbly wedged under Brazil and east of Argentina.

I never was good at Geography, but it’s not all my fault: Uruguay doesn’t really get too much attention here in the United States. With thousands of miles between, and cultural and lingual barriers separating us, I didn’t really find out about this wonderful country until I got into wine. I discovered Uruguay, and hence, Artesana Winery when they contacted me to do a video for them (see below).

Turns out, Uruguay is a pretty interesting place…

The Country

For starters, it’s small – about the size of Washington State. It’s a land of immigrants, a mix of Portuguese, Spanish and Italian, most of whom came to the region starting in the late 1500s to colonize (to this day, some natives speak a local dialect known as Cocoliche, a mix of Italian and Spanish). Uruguay is now home to approximately 3½ million people, half of whom live near the capital of Montevideo.

The modern streets of Montevideo reflect its Latin and Hispanic past. FromWikipedia.

Despite its roots, Uruguay’s collective spirit is anything but old-world. The citizens embrace progressive ideas like environmental sustainability, social equality, and world peace. Same-sex marriage and abortion are legal. The government is ranked first in Latin America for democracy, the water supply is among the purest in the world, and almost 100% of the country’s energy comes from renewable resources.

But perhaps one of the most radical claims of this left-leaning culture, is that they legalized Marijuana in 2013. For this, and many more reasons, Uruguay is often called the, “Switzerland of South America.”

The Tannat grape

Wine History

Known for high-quality beef and soy beans, but not necessarily wine – Uruguay’s vinicultural history began in the 19th century, when Italian and Basque immigrants brought vines with them from Europe. In the 1870s a man by the name of Don Pascual Harriague imported grapes from the south of France, clippings of a little-known red French grape called Tannat, and in 1878 the first successful harvest was realized. This milestone is often thought of as the start of Uruguayan wine industry.

Although far behind in terms of world production, Uruguay is actually ranked #4 in terms of South American wine production. There are now over 250 wineries, the majority of them located in the hills, about 30 miles north of Montevideo.

Artesana Winery

The Artesana Winery occupies 80 acres of land.

Artesana Owner and Import Director, Leslie Fellows

It is here, in the Canelones region, we find Artesana winery. To this day, the same Tannat grape that was introduced 140 years ago, still thrives. And in fact, it’s become the Uruguay’s signature grape. Artesana Owner and Import Director, Leslie Fellows, explains why:

“Uruguay is the only Latin American country completely outside the tropics. It sits between the 30th and 35th parallels, in line with some of the best winegrowing regions of Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Its temperate coastal Atlantic climate produces growing conditions (over 220 days of sunshine) often compared to Bordeaux (France).”

Tannat produces rich, full-bodied wines with dark fruit and spice aromas and flavors; the deep, inky color has much to do with the fact that its skin and pulp are both tinted (known as “Teinturier” in French). Named for its high tannin content, Tannat has been found to be the healthiest of red wines with 3-4 times more antioxidants and an average resveratrol concentration of 4.2%

Winemakers Analía Lazaneo & Valentina Gatti

The name, Artesana, is technically not a word in Spanish. The masculine-dominant language only has the word, “Artesano,” to describe a craftsperson. So, the winery decided to put a fittingly progressive spin on the word, as a symbolic nod of respect to the feminine artists of Latin America: Particularly Artesana’s award-winning winemakers, Analía Lazaneo and Valentina Gatti (pictured). The winery also employs other local women to handle day-to-day tasks in and around the winery. This environment gives them an opportunity to work for fair pay and advance themselves in a culture that still favors men, to a degree.

It should also come as no surprise that the Artesana vineyard is entirely hand-farmed. Sustainable, low-input, dry farming is practiced to maintain the long-term health of the land. The end-goal is making wines with minimal intervention, simply allowing the character of the fruit to be expressed.

The Art of Asado and the Parillero

Photo by John Walker on Flickr

In Uruguay, where nearly 80% of the rolling, open land is dedicated to livestock farming, the cowboy, or Gaucho, plays an important role in the culture. Not only do they manage the herds, but they are also known to be experts at grilling meats (asado), on open-air pits, spits and more often, over the slanted metal grates of the Parilla (a smaller, wood-coal fired grill). The asador is an artist, patiently coaxing the flavors from any meat – shrimp, octopus, steak and chicken, nothing is off limits –  by raking hot coals into the right places at the right time, and moving the meats up or down the slanted racks to get them closer or further away from the heat.

And the drink of choice for the perfect asado? You guessed it… Tannat wine.

The Wines

Deschere’s is proud to bring a taste of Uruguay to wine lovers in Pennsylvania. Now that we’ve told you all about them both, let’s take a look at the wines of Artesana. For current inventory and pricing in Pennsylvania State Stores, check here.

Artesana Tannat Rosé 2017

This fresh and vibrant rosé exhibits lovely aromatics of bright red berry fruit. Crisp, clean acidity enhances intensity and imparts a dry, lingering fnish. Pairs beautifully with seafood, light pastas and soft cheeses. Serve chilled.

Artesana Tannat 2015

Gold Medal & Uruguay Winery of the Year, 2017 New York International Wine Competition

Full bodied and redolent with rich cassis and blackberry fruit suffused with layers of licorice, clove, cedar and allspice harmonizing in a long and well-rounded finish. Pairs beautifully with pasta and meat dishes including beef, lamb and pork!

“Artesana’s Tannat could easily go head-to-head with even some of the famous labels of California cabernets of much higher price.” –  John Mariani, Huffington Post

Artesana Tannat-Merlot-Zinfandel 2015

Gold Medal & Uruguay Winery of the Year, 2017 New York International Wine Competition

Deeply aromatic, suffused with layers of rich black raspberry, licorice, cedar and baking spice coalescing in a velvety mouthfeel and supple, full finish. Pairs beautifully with strong cheeses, pastas and roasted or grilled meats.

“Artesana’s Tannat-Merlot-Zinfandel is probably the best wine I’ve tasted from Uruguay”
(Excellent +) – Dave Mcintyre, Washington Post

Thirsty to learn more? Why not check out our video about the wines:

Highway 12 Winery

Highway 12 Winery Captures the Heart of Sonoma

As far as California wine goes, Napa Valley gets a lot of attention, but fewer people know about Sonoma and its rich wine heritage. Located 60 miles north of San Francisco, the two regions may be close in proximity, but not necessarily in spirit.

Sonoma and Napa Valleys

Sonoma is just 45 miles from the California coast.

Situated like a giant horseshoe, the two Valleys are separated only by a small range of foothills and connected at the bottom. This is where Napa’s Route 29 meets Sonoma’s Route 12.

For Sonoma, Highway 12 is the main artery, home to dozens of wineries, but also symbolic as the central lifeline of the region.

The History

Wine has been made here for a long time. Once a part of Mexico, Russian colonists planted the first grapes in 1812. In 1825, Padres of the Sonoma Mission planted the first vineyard in what would later become the Highway 12 Wine Corridor. And in 1857, Sonoma became the location of the first commercial winery (Buena Vista) in the then-new state of California.

Long known as a supplier of wine grapes, Sonoma grows substantially more than its sister to the east, and still supplies them in bulk to many Napa wineries. To this day, it feels more like a rural town, with rustic B&Bs, small restaurants and bars; whereas Napa is a bit more glossy and upscale with its spa retreats and Michelin-Star restaurants. Both places make outstanding wine, but Sonoma seems to have an easygoing spirit that really shows itself in the wines produced here.

The Heritage

Highway 12 owners and winemakers, Michael Sebastiani (left) and Paul Giusto (right).

Many of the original immigrants to this area were Northern Italian or from other wine-growing regions of Europe. Families like the Sebastianis have been making wine here since 1904. Over three generations of family members grew the Sebastiani brand into one of California’s largest and most well-known. With that heritage in mind, fourth-generation Michael Sebastiani and partner Paul Giusto decided to venture out with a new winery, but not wander too far — really, at all — off the road.

“Through legendary Sonoma Valley and the famed Carneros District, California’s Highway 12 is the quintessential Wine Road. Home to dozens of world renowned vineyards and wineries, this region has been the heart of Northern California’s Wine Country since the first plantings in 1825. Recognizing that our winery, and our neighboring wineries, owe much to this corridor, we proudly assumed the name and the responsibility of honoring its historical significance.”

The Land

“If there’s a motivating factor behind the quality of our wines, it’s the name. Assuming the name of California’s premier wine road as our winery name was not without discussion and sincere commitment. There are many wineries and vineyards along this historic route and our commitment to excellence had to be, not only to history, but to our neighbors who share this famed corridor. The wines here listed represent years of winemaking experience and devotion to a lifelong craft. We offer them proudly as the wines of Highway 12.”

Vineyards in the Sonoma Hills, Overlooking the Mayacamas. Napa is in the distance, on the other side.

Vineyards in the Sonoma Hills. Napa is in the middle ground, the Mayacamas in the Background.

To find the perfect grapes, Michael and Paul source their grapes from Sonoma, Napa and the foothills of the Sierras, putting longstanding friendships with neighboring growers to use. “It all Starts in the Vineyard,” is the mantra and the guiding principal at Highway 12. From the vines of those master growers, passing through three generations of wine growing experience in the winery, and into the bottle – you can taste it all, in every sip.

The Wine

Deschere’s is proud to offer Highway 12 wines in the State of PA. These wines deliver so much for the price! See for yourself:

#49121 Highway 12 Chardonnay 2015 – $16.99

The inaugural release for Highway 12, sourced from the Delta-Clarksburg region. A minimalist approach to winemaking makes for a bright and lively wine with a nose of elderflower, citrus and stone fruit. Crisp Asian pear dominates on the palate. It’s a fruity and floral wine, finishing off with a rich toasty vanilla oak warmth. Perfect with BBQ chicken, buttered shellfish and just perfect on its own on a warm day.

Buy it here…

#16806 Highway 12 Sonoma Red Blend 2014 – $18.99

Aptly referred to as SRB, this blend delivers massive quality and structure in a bright and luscious Sonoma style! 63% Merlot, 14% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and 4% Malbec, the wine was aged in French oak for 14 months and showcases a full-bodied richness. A bright bouquet on the nose with hints of ‘dust’ give this wine it’s unique character. This wine will stand up to and surpass most Red Blends in it’s price category! Perfect for hearty tomato-based pasta and stews, or maybe just fireside at your favorite ski lodge.

Buy it here…

#49122 Highway 12 Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 – $17.99

Depth, strength and elegance in one wine! Bright, yet luscious, this Cabernet (with a touch of Cab Franc and Merlot) is full of cedar and oak, cherry, blueberry and a soft, vanilla-oak finish. An easygoing, versatile red that’s great for a variety of settings, from casual apps to grilled BBQ.

Buy it here…

Want to know more about Highway 12? Visit their Website at www.highway12winery.com

Champagne Tastes, Prosecco Prices: Award-Winning Bubbly from Washington’s Treveri Cellars

Here in the US, the term “Champagne” is often used loosely to describe a wine that has bubbles in it. “Are you bringing Champagne to brunch?” More than likely it’s Prosecco, or maybe Spanish Cava, but who cares, right? It’s all Champagne to most of us.

Not All Bubbles Are Created Equal

Champagne only comes from one place: Champagne, France. And it ain’t cheap. The specific production technique, known as Methode Champenoise, is done with painstaking care; manually and slowly. Only the highest standards are allowed here. This is why you’ll pay big bucks (hundreds, for a famous brand) for a bottle of Champagne.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were sparkling wines made to Champagne standards, but at more affordable prices? Well, great news! There are… and they’re made right here in America!

Presenting Washington State’s Treveri Cellars

Located in Wapato, Yakima Valley, Treveri Cellars is a family-owned sparkling wine house that now produces some of the finest handcrafted sparkling wines in the United States. Their wines have been served at White House State Department receptions and the James Beard Foundation in New York, and have scored many awards and high ratings over the years.

 

Winemaker Juergen Grieb was born in the town of Trier, Germany and has a degree in both winemaking and sparkling winemaking. While attending wine school in the early 1980s, Juergen learned his craft with some of the best German Sekt (pronounced, “ZEKT”) producers of the day. After graduating, he scored a job with a German-based winery in Washington, where he worked for decades before setting out on his own.

Juergen opened Treveri (During the times of the Roman Empire, Trier was known as, “Treveris,”) in 2010 with a mission to put Washington sparkling wine on the US map. As one of the State’s first dedicated sparkling wine houses, that meant, figuring out exactly what makes a Washington bubbly unique. He decided, it was about letting the purity of the grapes – more crisp, acidic and bright, in this region of the country – shine through without interference. Each wine is handcrafted in the French Methode Champenoise, using great care and attention, which produces some of the best sparkling wines you’ve ever tasted: All fresh, complex, yeasty and each one, characteristic of their respective grape.

The Wines

Treveri largely focuses on 100% varietal (single-grape) sparkling wines, including non-traditional varieties such as Riesling and Mueller-Thurgau. Deschere’s is proud to offer six top-sellers to PA consumers through the Fine Wine Good Spirits stores. Here’s the topline:

 

#46309 Blanc de Blanc Brut – $13.99

Rated 91 Points Wine Spectator Magazine
Rated 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast Magazine
Best Buy, Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Made of 100% Chardonnay from the Yakima Valley this Blanc de Blanc (white wine, made from white grapes) features green apple flavor with a hint of brioche, balanced by bright acid and a touch of yeast on the palate for a cool, crisp finish. Pair this one up with oysters on the half-shell, grilled chicken breast with citrus glaze and white fish, like cod!

Buy it here…

 

#38581 Sparkling Rose Sec – $18.99

Rated 91 Points, Wine Spectator Magazine

A blend of Syrah and Chardonnay with a delightful color and a fruit-forward profile, this rosé is all strawberry, rhubarb, watermelons and spice with a hit of yeast on the nose. It would be great with a Prosciutto panini, salmon cakes with cilantro-ginger aioli and Salade Niçoise. An award-winning Sparkling Rosé that’s been served at the US State Department for 4th of July celebrations in 2012 as well as the Spring Diplomatic Receptions in 2014.

Buy it here…

#20282 Sparkling Syrah – $18.99

Rated 88 Points, Wine Spectator Magazine

A one-of-a-kind red sparkling wine made from 100% Syrah, combining rich flavors of blackberry, pepper, cherries, and a hint of tobacco for a dark and delicious treat that is all its own. This beautiful sparkling wine has not only caught the eye of Treveri’s customers, but it has also garnered national attention as it was served at the US State Department Holiday Receptions. Pair it up with a sweet and tangy smoked brisket, pork chops and grilled lamb chops.

Buy it here…

#73614 Sparkling Blanc de Noirs – $17.99

Rated 88 Points, Wine Spectator Magazine
2016 Top 100 Value, Wine Spectator

“Blanc de Noir” means, “white from black.” 100% Pinot noir adds a subtle touch of color and complexity, with a hint of strawberries and brioche on the nose. The rich acidity and creamy finish are great for pairing with fatty foods like smoked salmon, lamb chops with mint aioli and sea scallops topped with a raspberry compote.

Buy it here…

#47412 Sparkling Riesling Demi Sec (Slightly Sweet) – $18.99

One of the world’s most aromatic varietals, Treveri Cellars’ sparkling Riesling boasts a delightful bouquet of apricot, peach, and a bit of honey, balanced by high acidity and a rich creaminess on the palate. Riesling grapes are on the rise in Washington state, and Treveri Cellars is the only facility to produce a sparkling Riesling, adding another dimension to a full line-up of award-winning sparkling wines.

This wine is refined and semi-dry, rich in minerality and is accompanied by peach, apricot, and yeast on the nose. It would be tasty with a bitter greens salad, Tandoori chicken or poultry, and sweet & sour chicken.

Buy it here…

#47411 Sparkling Gewürz Demi-Sec (Slightly Sweet) – $18.99

Rated 89 Points, Wine Spectator Magazine

Pronounced GUH-VERZ-TRA-MINER, this wine has a storied tradition of a fragrant nose and tropical fruit on the palate. With our winemaker’s German heritage, a sparkling Gewürztraminer makes so much sense! Treveri Gewürztraminer was recently served at the James Beard Foundation in New York City.

Notes of lychee, combined with rich tropical fruit, allspice, nutmeg, and clove are balanced with an underlying acidity for a true expression of the grape. Pairs great with Asian-style flavors, like balsalmic-glazed poultry, Thai curry mussels and Seafood stew with coconut.

Buy it here…

Additional Accolades:

Wine Business Monthly “Hot Brands of 2014”

“Best Value Sparkling Wine, 2 years in a row”
“Four 90+ wines in Four Years”
“New Winery to Watch For in WA”
– Wine Spectator Magazine

Want to Have Some Fun? Watch Our Video about Treveri’s Sparkling Syrah

A Royal Deal in Portugal: Check out Real Companhia Velha

Photos by Zach Carey

Looking for delicious, unique and fantastically affordable wine? Portugal is often overlooked by wine lovers, and that’s a real (or should I say Royal) shame!

An Isolated History

Portugal has largely remained a mystery to the American market, for a few reasons. First, at just 350 miles “tall,” and 130 wide, it’s relatively isolated – at the tip of the Iberian Peninsula, with Spain to the east, and the Atlantic ocean to the west. Second, since the 1600s, Portugal has had a strong maritime trade with England, and much of its produce, including the celebrated Port wine, went there. Third, many years of political oppression (36 years under dictator Antonio Salazar) and economic depression set the country back during the 20th century. (click on the map to enlarge)

The Douro (Marked in green on the map)

 

Portugal is best known for its sweet, fortified Port wines, made in the breathtaking Douro region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site named after the river that runs east to west, across the top quadrant of the country.

Most Douro vineyards straddle the river itself, perched on steep, terraced cliffsides that must be managed and harvested by hand. The terrace walls are made of manually-stacked rocks that, in some cases, are centuries old. The climate is extreme, marked by cold, wet winters and hot, dry summers: So hot, that oftentimes grapes need to be harvested at night so they don’t spoil. The grapes are still tread by foot in giant concrete pools, called Lagares, just as they have been since the beginning. By default, and by necessity, sustainable production is a way of life in this environment.

Over eighty different types of indigenous grapes are grown in the Douro, ones with names that will tie your tongue in knots: Touriga Nacional, Tinto Cão, Viosinho, Souzao, and Rabigato, to name a few. Many of them go into the finest port wines. But those same grapes can, and do, make fantastic dry wines too.

Real Companhia Velha

 

For over 250 years, Real (pronounced REY-al, meaning, Royal) Companhia Velha has quietly survived, even thrived, in this challenging region. Founded in 1756 by the Royal Charter of King D. Jose 1, it’s the oldest family-owned wine company in the country.

The winery has quite a history, from shipping its Port wines to Catherine of Russia, to rationing Napolean Bonaparte’s troops in the famous French invasions. In the 1990’s, the Company restructured it operations, bringing its production up to par with the modern wine industry.

Consisting of five separate Quintas, essentially, farms, the winery occupies Over 1,300 acres on the Douro. They make everything from sweet Port wines (under the Royal Oporto label) to olive oils and of course, premium dry wines.

The Wines

You would think, with all of this history, time and care that goes into these wines, you would be paying a premium, but the reality is that because Portuguese wine is still relatively unknown in the world, the prices can often belie the quality inside the bottle. Descheres is proud to bring Pennsylvania residents two exceptional RCV wines, both award-winning reds:

#43463: Porca de Murca Red Blend 2013 – $10.99

Rated 90 Points by Wine Spectator, ranked #39 on their, “Top 100 of 2015” List.

Porca de Murça is the Douro’s leading brand, and with 90 years of history, one of Portugal’s oldest wines. The name originates from a folktale about a mighty female boar (a Porca) that once terrorized the village of Murça.

Porca de Murça is a blend of four Portuguese grapes: Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca. It’s a fresh and intense wine, full of ripe red berry and cherry flavors. Velvety and well-balanced, this wine would be a great partner for roasted poultry and pork.

Buy it here…

#17635: Evel Red Blend 2014 – $13.99

Rated 90 Points by Wine Spectator, ranked #50 on their, “Top 100 of 2016” List. 

Evel is also one of the oldest wine brands in Portugal (104 years old). With no specific meaning, the word Evel is an anagram for the Spanish word, leve (light).

Much like its name, Evel is an elegant, smooth and enjoyable wine. Made from three indigenous grapes – Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca & Tinto Roriz – the wine is fresh and acidic, full of red berry and plum flavors, with a hint of black pepper and mineral on the finish. Although you certainly can (and should) enjoy it now, it could age at least another five years!

This is an easy drinking and juicy red that would be a great compliment to grilled meats, especially beef.

Buy it here…

Want to learn a little more? Check out our video:

 

Gouguenheim Wines

Argentina Delivers Big: Why Gouguenheim Wine is a Best Buy in PA

Ask a wine drinker if they like Malbec, and they’ll say, “I love wine from Argentina!” even though the grape is originally from France. And while, five years ago you could almost count on there being a bottle of something from California on a person’s kitchen counter, these days it’s more likely Argentine.

It is indisputable that Argentina has become a hot spot for wine lovers, and for good reason. So much great wine is being made here now, that you can buy world-class drinks for half the price of more famous regions. The country is the fifth largest wine producer in the world.

Most of this volume comes from one region alone: Mendoza, located west, in the foothills of the Andes mountains, along the border with Chile. This is where you’ll find the Gouguenheim winery.

patricio gouguenheimMeet Patricio

Born in Argentina to French parents, Winemaker Patricio Gouguenheim has been crazy about wine since his childhood. Originally a professional in Mergers and Acquisitions, his work took him to Mendoza during the economic crash of 2002. It was there that he first learned of an old winery in nearby Uco Valley, in disrepair and up for sale. A wild seed was planted, and in a move that his two daughters called, “mad,” Patricio decided to hang up his suit and tie – and start making wine.

The Winery

The winery has 98 acres of vineyards, located at over 3,600 feet above sea level. With a desert climate and 320 days of sun exposure a year, meltwater from the snow of the Andes Mountains must be carried by irrigation channels, through the sandy soils, to the vines. There’s a big temperature difference, called a Diurnal Swing, between day and night, that allows for the perfect ripening of the grapes.

The Wines

Gouguenheim has become one of the best performing/top quality wineries in Argentina. They currently make about 15 different wines and are distributed in 15 countries. Deschere’s is proud to bring Gouguenheim to the state of PA. We really believe these wines deliver so much, for the price! Read on to discover why:

37749 Gouguenheim Malbec
#73177: 2014 Gouguenheim Malbec Reserva – $11.99

Big, dry, fruity, rich and smooth with soft tannins. Dark ruby color, aromas of blackberry, spice, earth, coffee, smoke and toast. Good balance, long and lasting finish. A wine this bold and complex needs a bold and complex food pairing, we suggest French cassoulet, hearty beef stew or Lamb Tagine. More info here…

#73178: 2013 Gouguenheim Cabernet Reserva – $11.99

Beautiful dark red, with juicy black cherry, spice, dried figs and anise flavors. Smooth and rich! A more fruit-driven Cabernet like this is great with grilled red meats, burgers and tomato-based stews. More info here…

73623 Gouguenheim Sparkling Malbec
#72623: Gouguenheim Sparkling Malbec (Rosé) – $10.99

A pale rose color. Delicate, with red fruit aromas, predominantly of cherries and strawberries. Very fresh in the mouth, soft tones with well-balanced acidity. Small, brilliant bubbles. An amazing buy at this price, perfect for light apps, rich cheeses, and shellfish of all kinds! More info here…

Does all of this sound good? Be sure to look for Gouguenheim wines in your local PA Fine Wine & Good Spirits Store. We also import their Merlot, Chardonnay and a Torrontes too… all similarly great buys!

Want to learn more about Patricio and Gouguenheim wines? Check out this YouTube video:

Five for Fall: Easy and Affordable Wines

 

Autumn is here, soon to bring the inevitable rush of the holidays. Rather than add to your stress, we at Deschere’s prefer to help you avoid it; so, here are five deliciously-different wines to stock up on now. We feel that wine is not only beneficial – actually, necessary – for your health and sanity, especially during the holidays!

1) A Must For Any Celebration

Whether you’re going to a party, or throwing one, sparkling wine is a must: But you don’t need to break the bank on expensive Champagne! Washington’s Treveri Cellars makes bubbly on par with fine Champagne, but for much less. Their 91-point Blanc de Blanc (100% Chardonnay) is great for celebratory toasts, appetizer courses and even in mixed drinks. We’re big fans of their entire line of award-winning wines, and predict Treveri might even become your new go-to for New Year’s Eve!

Fox Run Arctic Fox2) A Sweet Partner for Your Meal

If you’re looking for a wine with an easygoing attitude and a sweet disposition, we’d like to suggest Fox Run’s Arctic Fox. Made right here in the USA, in New York’s Finger Lakes region, Fox Run has been making wines for almost twenty years. Made from the Cayuga grape, this is a fragrant and citrusy wine akin to a German Riesling. Pair with any course, from soft cheeses to roasted ham, to dessert. Great for Football Season: Try it with grilled chicken wings! See our video for more info…

Artesana Tannat Rosé3) Rosé Season is NOT Over!

Artesana Tannat rosé has a very interesting background story: It’s made from a French grape, in Uruguay, South America, by two women winemakers. Slightly more full-bodied, citrusy and lip-smackingly tart, it’s perfect with just about any kind of food, from starters, salads and appetizers to poultry and seafood. A versatile food partner, great with glazed hams. Check out our video with wine expert Marc Supsic for more information!

4) Something Subtle and Refined

For those who enjoy a red, but want something a little lighter and more elegant, we suggest Pinot noir. Oregon is well-known for its beautiful French-style Pinots and this one from Eola Hills Winery comes with 35 years of experience in the bottle. This is dry, tart and full of fresh cranberry and raspberry flavors, which means it’s perfect for the Thanksgiving table. Pair it with pork, turkey and especially, duck. Get some Holiday Pinot pairing ideas with wine pro, Marc Supsic.

McPherson La Herencia5) A Red as Big As Texas

Of course, we know sometimes you just want a wine that tells it like it is. For the big, bold red wine drinker, here’s a beautiful blend, made from five different grapes, that won’t disappoint. McPherson cellars is 100% Texas – that’s right, Lubbock Texas – and La Herencia (Spanish for “Heritage”) is the kind of wine you drink when subtlety is not necessary. Full-bodied, tannic and even a little oaky, La Herencia will stand up to grilled meats, game meats, and even your Uncle Bud’s off-color remarks at the dinner table. Check out our video for a taste of La Herencia!

All of our selections are available through Pennsylvania’s Fine Wine and Good Spirits Stores. If you need help locating a bottle of ours, please contact marc@descheres.com and we’ll help you find it at your nearest store.

Cheers, and happy (responsible) drinking,
Deschere’s Selected Wines and Spirits

Sheldrake Point Rose

Exploring the Finger Lakes: Sheldrake Point’s Dry Rosé

The Quick Sip
Just in time for Spring, we have a new rosé on the shelves! If you’ve never had a wine from the Finger Lakes region before, you’ll be surprised to see how good they are.

The Finger Lakes Region
Located in western/central New York, the area is named after 11 long, narrow lakes that resemble a handful of fingers (OK, maybe two-plus handfuls). And in turn, the lakes were named by the Native American Iroquois, the area’s original inhabitants. Lakes Seneca and Cayuga are the two largest lakes in the cluster, where most of the wineries are located.

The Wine Scene
Even though wine was made here as far back as the 1800s, it wasn’t until the 1960s that farmers began to take the Finger Lakes seriously. There are now over 100 wineries in the area, on 11,000 acres: It’s the largest wine producing area in New York. The region is often compared to Germany, as far as climate is concerned.

Sheldrake Point dry roséSheldrake Point
Sheldrake Point Winery, located on Cayuga Lake, has been in business since 1998. The 160 acre lakeshore site that is now Sheldrake Point Vineyard was operated as an orchard and dairy farm from 1850 until the mid 1980s. Owners Chuck Tauck and Fran Littin were attracted to the Finger Lakes wine industry during Chuck’s graduate work at the Cornell Hotel School. Together, they transformed the property into today’s winery and vineyard.


The Wine

Sheldrake Point’s Dry Rosé 2016 is made from 100% Cabernet Franc,
a French wine grape (famous in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley) that is starting to show some fantastic results in the region. Normally used to make red wines, this rosé is made by allowing the red grape skins to sit in the crushed juice for two days, just enough time to extract that beautiful salmon/onion-skin color.

The wine is floral and fruity, with an interesting herbal scent. It makes me think of orange peels, strawberries and sage. The sage/herbal smell is neat; typical of the Cab Franc grape when grown in a cooler climate. It’s zingy, acidic and lively, and you get this rush of tangy grapefruit, berries and even some minerals as it fades out on your tongue.

Enjoying Sheldrake Point Dry Rosé
As the weather warms up, rosés are all the rage, and rightfully so. They’re fun, refreshing and versatile (they’re also pretty to look at). Something light and zingy like this is perfect with appetizers and light fare. This would be great with a salad (add raspberry vinaigrette for additional wow factor), grilled veggies, light, spreadable cheeses, charcuterie, or my favorite: watermelon and arugula salad.

Sheldrake Point Dry Rosé 2016
Available in Pennsylvania’s Fine Wine and Good Spirits Stores
Item #17662
Price: $16.99