Cune Rioja

CVNE (Compania Vinicola del Norte de Espana) is a well known and historic winery in the Rioja region of Spain.  CVNE has been around since the late 1800’s and is still owned and run by the same family that started it all that time ago.  They have expanded over the years and now own three separate wineries in Rioja.  All three integrate their traditional roots with modern techniques to create exceptional wines that exemplify the terroir in which they are grown.  

CVNE’s Vina Real vineyard is located in the Alesia sub-region of Rioja, they released their first vintage in 1920.  The wines

Crianzafrom Vina Real showcase the fruit forward wines of Alvesia, all while maintaining structure and balance.  While I enjoy all of CVNE’s wines the ones from their Vina Real vineyard are my favorite, and I find the best, as far as value and overall enjoyment is their Rioja Crianza. The wine is full of great intensity, flavors of the red and purple fruit shine thru with toasty vanilla notes to add complexity.  It is well structured with lingering fruit and well-integrated tannins, with a long finish with nice acidity.  

CVNE, while now a larger operation, has remained true to its roots as a boutique winery.  I highly recommend all of their wines, for they are a great value and beyond enjoyable.

Onabay Vineyards

Onabay vineyard is a family owned farm, and winery located on the North Fork of Long Island.  The surrounding waters of the Peconic Bay and Long Island sound create a warm, unique microclimate similar to that of Bordeaux.  Onabay MerOnabay Cab Franclot, Onabay Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Onabay Chardonnay do exceptionally well there.  

The Anderson family, owners of Onabay Vineyards care a great deal for the land they farm and the wines they produce.  This makes Onabay the definition of a boutique winery, with limited production and great thought and care going into every wine that they make.  

This is the reason that we here at VinoVin decided to carry some of Onabay’s wines.  We love family-owned winery’s that create exceptional wines at a good value.  

Tres Palacios Family Vintage Cabernet Sauvignon

Tres Palacios is a family owned winery that is located in the Cholqui sector of the Maipo Valley, Chile.  They make a number of fantastic wines, my personal favorite is their Family Vintage  Cabernet Sauvignon.Tres ps Family

This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the oldest vines in the Tres Palacios vineyard.  These vines produce low yields, which in turn makes great grapes with tons of character.  The grapes are hand-picked and fermented in stainless steel vats.  The wine is then aged in French oak for ten months, then another year in the bottle before release.  

The wine exemplifies the terroir in which it is grown, with fresh red fruit and spice on the nose, followed by raspberry and strawberry on the palate.  The finish is smooth with nicely integrated tannins and earth.  The use of French oak complements the wine, adding structure and elegance.

Tres Palacios Family Vintage Cabernet is a great example of a boutique wine, and a great value at $14.99.  The  first time I tried this wine I was completely blown away with the quality, and complexity that came from this reasonably priced bottle.  Anyone who likes California Cab’s is sure to love this wine, and at half the price of comparable wines.

Azelia Barolo

Azelia Barolo is the definition of a boutique wine, coming from the family owned Scavino vineyard in Piedmont. This organic vineyard produces some amazing wines including their 2003 Barolo. Azelia Barolo

2003 was a very warm year in Piedmont, making it a tough year to grow Nebbiolo. The result was a wine with high tannins, so the Scavino family did something extraordinary, and stored their Barolo in their own cellars to let the wine age properly, and then released it upon the world to drink in 2015. The result is a beautiful wine that has reached its peak, the color is gorgeous, with a garnet red core and pink rim. The nose has aromas of sweet ripened cherries accompanied by licorice, cedar wood and earth tones. The palate is full, round and fresh, very well balanced and well structured.

Here’s the best part about this wine, it gives you the idea of what a well-aged wine is supposed to taste like, and all at a very reasonable price, for under thirty dollars. In the past, I have spoken about how great aged wines are, and recommended certain wines for aging. You can buy this wine now and really enjoy the beauty of a properly aged wine, and this will help give you the patience to let those other bottles sit. Think of this, if a bad vintage year can taste this good thirteen years later, imagine how great 2010, a great year, will taste in thirteen years. Boom, my mind was blown.

Check it out today while supplies last, there were only 1040 cases produced and it won’t be around for long.

Ripanuda Chianti Classico

At VinoVin, we pride ourselves on bringing you boutique style wines from family owned vineyards at a reasonable price, and Ripanuda wines are no exception.  

Ripanuda winery is located inside the Chianti Classico region, near the town of Gaiole.  While not actually family owned, it is the chosen family of four friends that started the winery in 2007.  They decided to run the winery “their” way, combining classic and modern winemaking techniques, all with respect for the environment.  These four friends earned their chops making wines all around the world, then when one of their grandfathers offered them a beautiful vineyard in the heart of Chianti Classico, they jumped on the opportunity.  Their belief is “bringing agriculture into a different dimension made of respect of the natural flow; from the vineyards to the cellar, we assist nature creating wine”.

Ripanuda Chianti Classico is a wine that exhibits bright red fruits with a slight floral note on the nose.  The palate is full with red cherry flavors and ample spice, with refreshing acidity and supple tannins on the finish to make a well-balanced, structured wine.  The blend is 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot.  

Order this wine for free home delivery within our delivery area or shipping.  If you are a Chianti lover this boutique wine is sure to please.

Big Run down on French Wine

Education is the key to understanding these renowned wines

French wines are some of my personal favorites. They are refined, focused, well structured and delicious.

I also understand how they can be intimidating for wine novices, for they are classified by the regions that they come from and not by the grape varietal, like we are used to here in the U.S.  Another misconception is that French wines are expensive, this cannot be further from the truth, for some great values can be found, with the proper research. For this particular article, I am going to focus on a couple different French reds that will satisfy a variety of palates, and budgets.  

Let’s start in Burgundy, for this is the easiest region to understand when it comes to French Reds, for if it’s from Burgundy it is Pinot Noir. Wines from Burgundy do tend to be on the expensive side. As a matter of a fact, some producers from this region make the most expensive wines in the world. David Duband is a producer who makes several fantastic wines, one of which is his Bourgogne Hautes Cotes De Nuits, Louis Auguste.

This Pinot Noir is an incredible value, drinking way above its price point. The nose is full of wild floral notes, rich cherry and earth, the palate has nice cherry flavors, followed by wild mushroom and forest floor flavors, with a fantastic finish with balancing acidity tannins. This well-structured wine is a crowd pleaser for sure, and all for under $30.

Provence is not a region well known for its red wines, but more for its roses.  I was lucky enough to find one from Mas de Gourgonnier. This wine is a juicy blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan. Bright red fruit and spice stand out on the nose, with strawberry and raspberry flavors on the palate. The finish is smooth with nicely integrated tannins, earth, and herbal notes. This is the perfect example of a value wine from France, from a region not well known for its reds.  

Bordeaux is one of the most complicated regions to navigate for its red wines. The grapes used in Bordeaux blends are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, usually with Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot being the dominant grape. The reason it is difficult to follow is that each producer uses different blends. Sometimes Merlot is the lead grape and other times Cabernet Sauvignon, sometimes just two varietals are used and others have all five. This leads to wines that vary in flavor and texture, so it is important to ask your wine professional what the wine’s blend is and what amounts to decide what you will like best.

Chateau de Landiras is one of my favorite red Bordeaux. This wine is 80 percent Merlot and 20 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. This vineyard is a small family-owned Chateau in the Graves section of Bordeaux, with great care going into the farming of the land and making the wine that only a small family operation provides. The wine has an aromatic nose filled with black cherry and currant, the palate fills with dark fruit and earth, with great structure and balance throughout. Unlike many red Bordeaux, this wine is meant to be enjoyed when it hits the shelves and does not need any bottle age. It is a great value at around $20.

Another fantastic producer in Bordeaux is Chateau Pascaud, another family owned vineyard that puts great care into their land and the wines they produce. This blend of 90 percent Merlot and 10 percent Cab Franc shows blackberry, floral and mocha notes on the nose, with soft tannins and juicy black cherry on the palate. The finish is full and balanced with a touch of licorice. It has a true Bordeaux character ready for consumption at the modest price of under $15.  

The Rhone valley is home to my two favorite French reds, one for everyday drinking and another for special occasions. Cotes du Rhone is the everyday drinking wine for people in this region, as well as myself. Les Garrigues is a producer that hits the nail on the head with its blend of 60 percent Grenache, 25 percent Syrah, 10 percent Mourvedre and 5 percent Cinsault. Spicy and fruity is the best way to describe this one, perfect for sipping with friends or paired with BBQ. At around $10 a bottle, it would be difficult to find a better value for a fruity smooth drinking red.  

Clos du Mont-Olivet is an exceptional Chateauneuf du Pape and a perfect wine for special occasions. A similar blend to it’s little brother Cotes du Rhone has 80 percent Grenache and the rest rounded out with Syrah, Cinsault, and Mourvedre. This wine comes from the best terroir in the Rhone Valley, making it more complex and balanced. On the nose, this wine exhibits red fruit, spice and floral notes, followed by fresh raspberry and rose petal on the palate. The finish is long and smooth with spice, sweetness, and well-integrated tannins to add balance. It is still considered a great value for Chateauneuf du Pape for $35 a bottle.

Wine Gifts & Celebrating

Everyone loves to celebrate.  I hate to open a blog post making an overarching generalization, but let’s be realistic- we all love to cut loose in our own way.  For many of us, celebrations usually consist of some sort of gathering with wine and friends.  We’ve gotten some questions from clients and prospective clients recently on how to proceed for celebrations and gifts.  I think many people typically associate Champagne with celebrating, although we are getting more requests for other items.  I also had a personal problem recently, I wanted to find a great wine to celebrate a wedding… Still or sparkling wine?  I went to Google, of course, to settle the debate existentially and to guide our clients in an appropriate direction, but there wasn’t much out there.

I found a few articles quoting Sommeliers and I talked to experts in the business.  This is what I came up with: as a general, for toasting any occasion, nothing beats a sparkling wine (usually Champagne.)  From there, however, do what seems right.  If you have a client, friend, or family member that doesn’t drink white wine, a Blanc de Blanc may be an odd choice.  Opting for a great red is more than appropriate in that instance.  People also often gravitate towards items that can sit for 1, 5, or 10 years to drink on an anniversary of a special occasion (closing on a house, Wedding etc.)  Be sure you know the tastes of those you are buying for, however, as a Barolo may not fly well for a Chianti/Brunello drinker.  Furthermore, if your gift is for someone a little less than patient it would behoove you to buy something ready to drink now.  With a little information at your disposal, it’s easy to pick what suits the occasion.

Wine Shipping

You know what grinds our gears? Shipping.  Surprising, I know, coming from an online wine store.  Rob and I actually love it, but we have seen some things out there that we really don’t like.  We’ve done a ton of research for the last year as far as online wine shopping goes.  First, you’re overpaying on shipping. Second, it can get pretty inconvenient waiting for your wine to show up. Based on the responses from the survey you completed we know shipping and convenience are a big deal.

Rob and I won’t lie, shipping wine is expensive.  A typical case can weigh from 30 to 35 lbs and require extra costs to ship beyond that.  That said, we’ve noticed consistently retailers marking prices up beyond what shipping costs actually are, and it’s not quite honest.  If you don’t believe us, go through a few orders if you can… we’ve done over 50 trials with different retailers testing it out and over 80% of the time, there are hidden costs that jack up the price.  Here’s an example of a typical Internet Sale: $8.00 per bottle = $96.00 per case as advertised but upon check out another $34.00 is added for shipping bringing the total to $130.00 or $10.83 per bottle.Our philosophy is simple. The cost should be the cost, pretty straightforward.  I’m not trying to say that we have it 100% right, but we are saying that buyers should look closely at shipping costs.  There are lots of wines out there for sale, and lots of places list them for very little while others list them for a little more.  If you see a price too good to be true, it usually is.

Rob and I know the other factor, convenience is equally big.  The adult signature required for wine shipments can sometimes present a problem so we’re working on a solution straight through our store. Soon you’ll have an opportunity to request your delivery date, change your delivery date or have the wine held at will call if you cannot accept a shipment that day, for whatever reason.  All the flexibility is there. We’ll be telling you more about it next week.  In the meantime, we’d appreciate your feedback- let us know if you learned something new, forward this post to a friend, or give me a shout out on Twitter- @dandanwineman.

About Our Store

VinoVin is a specialty online and brick and mortar retailer focused on providing boutique wine, fine wine, and rare wine.  We emphasize value and offer flat rate shipping on all items.  The store is owned and operated by Rob Accordino and Dan Decker. Rob has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and wine industry, and Dan has five years of experience in online marketing, content generation, and customer service.  We look forward to helping you find great wine.

2011 Brunello Vintage Preview

In the upcoming months, the 2011 vintage of Brunello di Montalcino is being released, and so with it naturally you wonder what to expect.  Let’s get right into it.

2011 was a little harsh in terms of the climate in Tuscany.  The season started off warmer than usual, and then cooled off where it normally warmed up.  Top that off with above average rainfall and a late summer heatwave, and the end result was a harvest about three weeks earlier than normal.  That is not to say that the wine is in any way bad, but it did present problems for growers and vintners.  Many growers argue that the quality is indeed there, even if the grapes did take a bit of a hit in August.  The other value adds for the 2011 vintage is that it was a smaller yield, which as discussed in previous posts often means that the quality is impacted in a positive sense.  Smaller yield also means a little less wine and a little more rarity.

2010 was an exceptional vintage and while 2011 is indeed another excellent vintage, reports so far indicate that overall 2010 was a better year.  Brunello lovers should rejoice though with the 2011 vintage as there is indeed a silver lining.  If you are not a wine collector but love Brunello (or a great Chianti/Chianti Classico) the 2011 vintage may be more your style.  The wine collectors may steer away from 2011, which means that prices should be lower than 2010 (plus there are favorable exchange rates right now, which should also help.)  The wine should also be ready to drink sooner rather than later, so the challenges of the harvest produced an incredible wine that consumers should be able to enjoy well within this decade, which for many will be pleasant news indeed.

Stay tuned for more on the Brunello vintage release.