Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Upcoming Events & About Us

Welcome to TWITs - click here to read about us.

    List of Wines the TWITs have tried so far ---> TWITs Events
    Helpful Tasting & Pairing Aides ---> Help
Upcoming TWITs Events:  

May 23rd 2016 - Pet-Nat Wines - hosted by Ms. Lauren
Pet-Nat is a nickname for petillant naturel, a method of producing sparkling wine by bottling the wine during the the primary, alcoholic fermentation to capture the carbon dioxide that is naturally released. This differs from wines like Champagne that undergo a second, bubble-producing fermentation.
Other fun news:

We once hosted a tasting for "I don't always drink white wine, but when I do I drink this one..." and every guest brought their fave white wine and had to explain why it was their fave. During that evening, Lynn and Brian brought us an infographic to look at, it showed 20 White Wines and the various qualities of each. You can see it here: http://seanseidell.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/WhiteWineInfographic_Web.png

So I wrote the artist, Sean Seidell, directly and asked if he also had one for RED wine too. he actually replied to me today! he has an iPhone app coming out soon, and he will be doing the Red Wine Infographic for the holiday season. I am so excited. He does Infographics on more than just Wine items, which is also pretty darn cool. Follow his Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/seanseidellartscience

TWITs away from home:
We have a wonderful TWIT living the dream in Napa Valley California.  Ping us if you'd like more information.

We, unfortunately, no longer have a Sister Club based in Orlando, Florida called the TWOTS (The Winos Of The South). However, we do know several fantastic honorary TWITs who live there, ping us if you are traveling to the area and need a fellow wino contact.

Wines TWITs have tried so far:

January - ?
February - ?
March - ?
April - Malbec - hosted by Ms. Shannon
May - Grenache - hosted by Ms. Abbie
June - Pinot Grigio - hosted by Ms. Amanda
July - Chianti - hosted by Ms. Jane
August - Reisling - hosted by Ms. Mina
September - Monastrell - hosted by Ms. Sarah
October - Rioja - hosted by Ms. Abbie
November - Petite Sirah - hosted by Ms. Jennifer
December - no wine club this month

January - Champagne - hosted by Ms. Jane
February - Organic Red Wines with No Sulfites Added - hosted by Ms. Abbie
March - ISAW Wines - hosted by Ms. Mina
April - Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley Oregon - hosted by Ms. Elizabeth K.
May - Sauvignon Blanc - hosted by Ms. Elizabeth
June - Nero D'Avola - hosted by Ms. Shannon
July - no wine club this month
August - Viognier - hosted by Ms. Deb & Ms. Jennifer
September - Tempranillo - hosted by Ms. Elizabeth K.
October - Barbera - hosted by Ms. Mina
November - Gamay/Beaujolais - hosted by Ms. Abbie
December - Holiday Sparkling Wines - hosted by Ms. Sarah
January - Wine & Cheese Pairings - hosted by Ms. Jane
February - ISAW Foundation Tasting at Emily Amy Gallery - hosted by ISAW, EAG, and the TWITS
March - no wine club this month
April - Chilean Wines - hosted by Ms. Abbie
May - Pinot Noir - hosted by Ms. Deborah & Ms. Jennifer
June - Pinot Grigio - hosted by Ms Marilyn
July - no wine club this month
August - Rose - hosted by Ms Abbie
September - cancelled

October - Prosecco - hosted by Ms Kat
November - no wine club this month
December - Sparkling Wines - hosted by Ms Abbie

January - no wine club this month
February - South African Wines - hosted by Ms Abbie
March - North Georgia Winery Tour
April - no wine club this month
May - no wine club this month
June - Le Caveau tasting 6/4/11
July - Le Caveau tasting 7/3/11
August - Spanish Wines - hosted by Ms. Abbie
September - no wine club this month
October - no wine club this month
November - French Red Wines - hosted by Ms. Abbie
December - Australian or South African Shiraz/Syrah - hosted by Ms. Marilyn

January - Tempranillo - hosted by Ms. Ardela
February - Tuscan Wines - hosted at Le Caveau
March - Garnacha - hosted by Ms. Leslie
April - Georgia Mountain Wineries Bus Tour - TWITs Event
May - Bottleshock Movie Night - hosted by Mr. Janssen
June - Arizona Wines & Blood Into Wine Documentary Viewing - hosted by Le Caveau & Prime Wine & Spirits
July -Rose - hosted by Mr. Janssen
August - Wine to Water Charity Event - hosted by Ms. Deb
September - Chianti - hosted by Ms. Susan
October - ISAW Foundation Wines - hosted by Ms Ardela
November - Gamay & Beaujolais Nouveau - hosted by Ms. Marilyn
December -Christmas Cabernet - hosted by Ms. Abbie & Mr. Matt

January - Le Caveau and Joe Herrig - New Wines for 2013
February - Vino Venue - Try the Enomatic Wine Tasting System
March - Bordeaux Wines - hosted by Ms. Val and Mr. Rheinallt
April - Pinot Noir - hosted by Ms. Kathy and Mr. Jamie
May - Italian Wines - hosted by Ms. Deb and Mr. Jaffett
June - I Don't Always Drink White Wine, but When I Do, I Drink This - hosted by Ms Abbie and Mr Matt
July - Le Caveau Blind Tasting of Natural Wines - hosted by Ms Melissa and Mr Les
August - Argentine Wines - hosted by Ms Abbie and Mr Matt
September - Holiday Dinner Wine Pairings - hosted by Ms. Kim and Mr. Alan
October - TWITs GA Winery Tour - TWITs event
November - Cabernet Franc - hosted by Ms Marilyn
December - Languedoc Wines - hosted by Mr Matt and Ms Abbie

January - Syrah - hosted by Ms Jacki & Mr Santi
February - A Red Wine You Love - hosted by Ms Abbie & Mr Matt
March - we ended up postponing February's tasting into March, so we covered both months already.
April - Tomfoolery Tasting - hosted by Ms Jackie & Mr Santiago
May - Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa or Sonoma & Pool Party - hosted by Ms Lynn & Mr Brian
June - La Dolce Vita!  Favorite Italian Wines hosted by Ms Kathy & Mr Jamie
July - German & Austrian Wines - hosted at Le Caveau 
August - Chardonnay - hosted by Ms. Ardella
September - TWITs Takeover Southbound - hosted by Southbound Restaurant
October - Spanish Red Wines - hosted by Ms. Abbie & Mr. Matt
November - Rhone Wines - hosted by Ms. Valerie and Mr. Rheinallt
December - Sparkling Wines- hosted by Ms. Marilyn

January -Winter White Wines - hosted by Ms Abbie & Mr Matt
February - we skipped February
March - Volcanic Wines - hosted by Ms. Karin and Mr. Joshua
April - Eastern European Wines - hosted by Mr Matt and Ms Abbie
May - Loire Valley Wines - hosted by Mr. Rheinallt and Ms. Val
June - Rose - hosted by Mr. Janssen
July - Australian Wines - hosted by Ms Kat and Ms Angela
August - Basque Wines and a Game - hosted by Ms Deb and Mr Jaffet at Le Caveau
September -Red Wines of the Piedmont - hosted by Abbie & Matt
October - we skipped but Abbie had a Serendipitous Encounter with Jancis Robinson!
November - Au Rendezvous Bistro - hosted by Abbie & Matt
December - Oregon "Pick Your Pinot" - hosted by Ms. Marilyn


January - Farewell to Marnie @ Kaleidoscope
February - Greek Wines - hosted by Abbie & Matt
March - White Burgundy Wines - hosted at Le Caveau Fine Wines
April - Uruguay and Brasil: the Overlooked South American Wine Country - co-hosted by Joshua & Karin and Deb & Jaffet
May - Pet-Nat Wines - hosted by Ms. Lauren
June - 
July - 
August - 
September - 
October - 
November - 
December - 

Monday, May 2, 2016

May "Pet-Nat Wines" - hosted by Ms. Lauren

May "Pet-Nat Wines" - hosted by Ms. Lauren

When: Monday May 23rd, 2016 - 7:00pm ET

Theme:  Pet-Nat is a nickname for petillant naturel, a method of producing sparkling wine by bottling the wine during the the primary, alcoholic fermentation to capture the carbon dioxide that is naturally released. This differs from wines like Champagne that undergo a second, bubble-producing fermentation.
Articles about Pet-Nat
What is Pet-Nat Wine ?  An Ancient Winemaking Style on the Rise
Pet-Nat, Champagne's Hip Younger Sister
Pet-Nat, Champagne's Cool Kid Sister is the Bubbly You Want to Party With
Pet-Nat, the Alcoholic Soda of My Dreams

Bring:  Bring a bottle of Pet-Nat wine within the specified price range (Up to $20/bottle for Singles, between $20 - $40/bottle for Couples)

Tasting Notes:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

April 28th - Uruguay and Brasil: the Overlooked South AmericanWineCountry - Co-Hosted by Joshua & Karin and Deb & Jaffet

Uruguay and Brasil: the Overlooked South American Wine Country 
Co-Hosted by Joshua & Karin and Deb & Jaffet

When:  Thursday, April 28th, 2016 7:00 pm ET

Uruguay and Brasil: the Overlooked South American Wine Country

Bring:  TWITs pay $20/person to cover the cost of the wine.

How to say Cheers in Uruguay or Brasil:  Saude!  (Pronounced Sa-OOO-Gee)

South America possesses more vines and makes more wine than any continent except Europe. The wine was not up to international standards until things began to change in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Chile was first to export, Argentina makes more wine and Brazil is third but a sleeper.

When they opened their markets to import it became obvious to the locals that the imported wine was a higher quality. They began to invest in equipment and hired oenologists.

The most important producers have started moving south, developing the Campanha (Fronteira) on the Uruguayan border.  (Wikipedia)

Map of Uruguay and Brasil vineyards, whose wine we tasted

Flag of Brasil and map

Brazil (Brasil): The climatic diversity typical of a continental country and creativity of the Brazilian people, known for their ability to reinvent everything, have led the country to develop a completely original vitiviniculture. The European tradition, brought to Brazil by thousands of immigrants in the 19th Century, coupled with investments in innovation, also contributed to the construction of this unique character.

Each region developed their specialty, preparing labels with culture, typicity and their own features. In common, they show the freshness of a young industry, consisting of small producers (on average two hectares per family), who make light fruity wines with moderate alcohol content. This style, which has the real spirit of Brazil, has been discovered and increasingly admired around the world.

Brazil is currently the fifth largest producer of wine in the southern hemisphere and it is certainly one of the fastest growing markets in the world. There are over 1,100 wineries across the country, companies that have been gaining a reputation for the development of high quality labels, with special emphasis on sparkling wines. Both those made through the champenoise method and the light and aromatic ones made from Moscato grape have received numerous compliments from international critics. The secret lies in the outstanding balance of acidity shown by the grapes grown in the country.

Brazilian wine (made from Syrah, Gamay and Tempranillo) was chosen as one of the official labels of the event, an anticipation of the success that the Brazilian wine industry will have when the country hosts the next Olympics in 2016 and the 2014 World Cup. (Snooth)

Inspired by the search for identity and excellence of Brazilian wine and committed to develop only premium and top premium wines.
Lidio Carraro Boutique Winery entered the market breaking paradigms. With a Purist philosophy and rescue the essence and integrity of the wine, the whole process of Lidio Carraro is conducted with minimal interference and maximum respect to the natural expression of the grape and terroir of origin, developing unique wines which reflect the 'Pure Wine' concept that requires much knowledge, sensitivity and only the best row material.
Lidio Carraro is a pioneer in the country to deploy an integrated vineyard management and winemaking, which begins with a careful study of clones and soil mapping, strict production control, until receipt by gravity and grape wine of great wines without the use of wood.

A dash of history
Millions of native Brazilians lived in the area for thousands of years prior to the landing in 1500 of a Portuguese sailor, Pedro Alvares Cabral, who claimed the land for Portugal. His real purpose was to reach India to load his ship with spices, silk, and some other valuables. 
Lusitanian settlers migrated to coastal sections of Brazil, and a lot of them cultivated sugar cane. Over 4 million Africans arrived to Brazil between 1550 and 1850, as slaves to grow and process the sugar cane. 
After sugar cane, farmers grew coffee which continues to be an all-important crop nowadays. The national language is still Portuguese. (Wikipedia)

 Flag of Uruguay and map

Uruguay is considered the fourth most successful wine producing country in South America behind Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Its rise to prominence is based on the inky French grape, Tannat (pronounced Tuh-NOT, as in "To Be or To Not"), known for its high tannin levels, hence its name. 

Tannat, the main grape of the Madiran, was brought over by Basque-French immigrant Pascual Harriague in 1870. (Decendants of the original cuttings still exist and are known as “Harriague.”) The grape proved perfectly suited to Uruguay’s sunny, but wet climate. It is produced in many examples of excellent dry red wines as well as a late harvest desert wine, that somehow tames the tannins into rich, sweet cocoa flavors. 

Other varietals grown in Uruguay are for reds: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah. Whites: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and some instances. (Snooth)

Tasting Notes:
NOTE:  It was difficult to source all of the wines at a retail store, so prices are approximate, as they were sourced (at times) from various distributers, etc.

1) Uruguay - 2013 Vinedo de Los Vientos 'Estival' White Blend - $24
12.5% alcohol, 60% Gewurtztraminer 30% Chardonnay  10% Moscato Bianco
thicker wine, viscous, acidic, 

2) Brasil - NV Salton, Flowers, Serra Gaucha Brazil - $17

11% alcohol, 70% Moscato, 25% Malvasia, 5% Gewurtztraminer
florals, honey, green apple, light wine, residual sugar, pear, white grape, a good Summer Pool wine.

3) Uruguay - 2012, 1752 Gran Tradicion Petit Manseng Sauvignon Gris $17 @ Brookhaven Wines

14.5% alcohol Blend of Petit Manseng and Sauvignon Gris
funky start, viscous, thick, syrupy, pear, rotten melon, marmalade, spread on tart, pair with food, earthy, apricot, dried fruites, dessert-like, peppermint on the end/spice burn, almost like menthol, 

4) Uruguay - 2014 Bodegas Carrau, Sauvignon Blanc $17

13% alcohol
cumin, grapefruit, acidic, menthol, dry, sweet tart, unbalanced, licorice 

5) Uruguay - 2014 Bodega Garzon, Albarino $20 @ Whole Foods

12.5% alcohol
light on the nose, white flowers, light, acidity, (nose is better than the palate), white peach pith, pear, 

6) Uruguay - 2014 Pisano Pinot Noir $15ish @ Total Wine

13.5% alcohol
hazelnut, mossy, oaky, scrub brush, white pepper, very spicy hot, barrel burnt, ash

7) Uruguay - 2012 Bodegas Carrau, Pinot Noir de Reserva $16

13% alcohol
fresh cut grass, rubbing alcohol on after-palate, tart, pucker

8) Brasil - Salton, Pinot Noir, Serra Gaucha Brazil $15

13.5% alcohol
tar, charcoal, burnt bacon, black pepper, charcoal past the burnt, super fruity, no earthy-ness
This was my personal favorite of the reds.

9) Brasil - 2013 Lidio Carraro Merlot Agnus $12.59 

13.5% alcohol
chemical, formaldehyde, pine sol, cola, root beer, fart in a sanitized doctor's office, burnt flavor, forest funk, septic, poopy, nice palate but the nose is nearly unbearable, recommend pairing with something gamey or fatty (like a marbled steak) 

10) Brasil - Salton, Cabernet Sauvignon, Serra Gaucha Brazil $15

13% alcohol
a perfect cab, dry, leathery, dark fruit, pepper, 

11) Uruguay - 2011 Vinedo de Los Vientos 'Eolo' Gran Reserva $29

14.5% alcohol, 85% Tannat 15% Ruby Cabernet - 3 yrs in barrel
Eolo means "God of the Winds" - herbal, earthy, cocoa, black licorice, eucalyptus, chocolate

12) Uruguay - 2009 Bodegas Carrau, AMAT Tannat $25

13% alcohol - aged 7 years - 10 hours breathing time before we tasted it
subtle nose, caramel, viscous, dry, pucker, chewy, has grip, cherries

13) Uruguay - 2013 Tannat Pisano winery $21ish
13% alcohol
burnt caramel, rubber, syrah-like, strawberry, sweet tarts

14) Uruguay - N/V Vinedo de Los Vientos "Alcyone" Tannat Dessert Wine 500ml $42 @ Le Caveau

16% alcohol
delicious, krispy kreme donuts, burnt sugar, frosting, molasses, raspberry cream sauce, lemon bars, 


Brasil - Romeu y Julieta (guava paste & cheese) 
Uruguay - Martín Fierro (quince paste & cheese)

Recipes usually evolve over a long period of time, but today we explore a recipe that one man changed forever. In the late 19th century, José Hernández wrote stories about gauchos, freedom, and love from his home, in Argentina. Gauchos are like the equivalent of the American cowboy: men who’s spirits are forever roaming.His most famous character was Martin Fierro (so famous, in fact, that when the author, Hernández, died, the people announced that Martin Fierro had died, too). Though his stories spoke to the people, he spent much of his life as an exile in Uruguay.
As much a creature of habit as any other man, the author became known for ordering the same dessert – one that reminded him of home, but that also celebrated the local ingredients in Uruguay:


He always ordered a certain dessert modeled on the popular Argentinian sweet known as Vigilante, which consisted of slices of cheese and sweet-potato paste. The dessert’s curious name derived from the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century policemen who ate cheese with sweet- potato paste because it was cheap and easy to carry. However, in Uruguay, quince paste, rather than sweet-potato paste, was eaten with cheese, and this is the combination that Hernández enjoyed. As a famous activist for gauchos’ rights and author of the beloved Martín Fierro, Hernández’s every move was observed. News of his preference for the Uruguayan version of Vigilante quickly spread throughout the country, and soon the combination of cheese and quince paste was named Martín Fierro in his honor.  (Peregrina Gourmet)

Grilled Radishes and Bell Peppers (locally sourced from a CA)

Grilled cabbage and snow peas (locally sourced)

Beef Skewers and yummy sauce

Pão de Queijo - Brasílian cheesy bread

Pascualina - Uruguayan Spinach Pie

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Winderlea Tasting with Bill Sweat at Le Caveau

Winderlea Tasting with Bill Sweat at Le Caveau - Thursday, 03/31/2016

Friday, March 25, 2016

White Burgundy Wines at Le Caveau - Saturday March 26th 3p-5p

White Burgundy Wines at Le Caveau - Saturday March 26th 3p-5p

When:  Saturday, March 26th 3pm - 5pm ET

Theme:  White Burgundy Wines The Burgundy region, in eastern France, runs from Auxerre in the north to Mâcon in the south, or to Lyon if the Beaujolais area is included as part of Burgundy.  Of the white grapes, Chardonnay is the most common. Another grape found in the region, Aligoté, tends to produce cheaper wines which are higher in acidity. Aligoté from Burgundy is the wine traditionally used for the Kir drink, where it is mixed with black currant liqueur. Sauvignon blanc is also grown in the Saint Bris appellation. Chablis, Mâcon wines and the Côte d'Or whites are mostly produced from 100% Chardonnay grapes.

Bring:  TWITs should bring $20/each to cover the cost of the tasting.  Le Caveau does accept credit/debit cards.

Where:  Le Caveau Fine Wines
5256 Peachtree Rd.  Ste. 102
Atlanta, GA 30341
Phone: 770-837-0710

RSVP: reply to the TWITs email invite and let us know if you are joining us.

Tasting Notes: 
1) 2014 Jean Collet et Fils Chablis $23.99
100% Chardonnay farmed sustainably, 12.5% alcohol
Pear, apple, sweet citrus, and crushed white rocks fill the nose.  Tart apple and pear, alongside lemon juice and pith dominate on the palate.  Additional notes of caramel linger in the background with white flowers.  Heaps of crushed white rock melding with mouth-watering acidity all make for a textbook Chablis.
Descended from generations of vignerons stretching back to the late 18th century, Jean Collet founded his domaine in 1952, which is now headed by his son Gilles, alongside grandson Romain.  The 16 hectares of vines for this bottling are from 25 yr old vines on top of Kimmeridgian limestone.  It is fermented and aged entirely in stainless before bottling to preserve the hallmarks of the Chablis terroire.
TWITS notes:
Pair with steak tar-tar, this is Dan's first wine he had in Chablis when he visited. Matt says he would "drink the sh*t out of this" wine.

2) 2011 Demessey Bourgogne Blanc  $14.99
100% Chardonnay farmed sustainably 13% alcohol
Yellow apple skin, apple flesh, lemon juice and pith are supported by ample white flower, mirepoix, and fresh mozzerella on the nose.  The palate follows with classic chardonnay fruits of apple and citrus, finishing with crushed white rocks.
Located within the commune of Meursault, Demessey is a negociant helmed by winemaker Isabelle Laurand.  With projects throughout the entirety of Burgundy, Laurand sources only fruit which best reflects Burgundy's varied terroires.  This bottling is sourced entirely from a South-East facing slope of clay within the Maconnais.  Sustainably farmed and hand-harvested, the wine is aged in a mixture of stainless and French oak to emphasize the rich, roundness of the wine.
TWITS notes:
more juicy, flowery, white flowers, fresh pineapple, yellow fruits,

3) 2011 Bruno Debize 'Cepage Gris' Beaujolais Blanc $34.99
Chardonnay and Pinot Gris farmed biodynamically, 11.5% alcohol
The Cepage Gris has a beautiful yet floral nose with orchard fruit, smoky caramel, salty sea air, and wet rock notes.  The palate is mouth-filling yet restrained with layers of aromatic apple, pear, and smoked caramel alighting on a lithe frame of well-integrated acidity and minerality.
Bruno mostly makes vineyard selected bottlings from a few places in and around the little village of Bully in the southern part of the Beaujolais.  Biodynamic since 1999, he makes some of the purest, most terroir-driven wines in a region where style and dogma often trump transparency.  The fruit for this wine comes from a single vineyard of old Pinot Gris, and younger (40-50 year old) Chardonnay vines planted on white clay and broken limestone.  Note:  Bruno retired last year.
TWITS notes:
like a Jura, apricot, briny, salty, viscous, would pair with white fish and cream sauce, pork tenderloin, scallops, bechamel sauce.

4) 2008 JanotsBos Bourgogne Blanc $24.99
100% Chardonnay farmed biodynamically, 12.5% alcohol
The nose shows ripe orchard fruit aromas that have a wonderful purity and freshness to them.  The medium-bodied palate echoes those pure notes framed by churned butter and a stony Puligny-Montrachet minerality.  The texture is opulent, but offset by lively acidity and great finesse.  This wine is drinking beautifully now and easily has 5-6 more years of positive evolution ahead of it.
Thierry Janots has worked for Joseph Drouhin and Domaine des Comtes Lafon, while Richard Bos bought and ran a cafe in Nijmegen Holland.  In 2005 they partnered to create a winery in Meursault with the idea of making real wines with a sense of place.  The 2008 is a blend of grapes from four different parcels in and around Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet.  The bulk of the fruit comes from 30 year old vines in 'Les Femelottes' and 'La Combe' which are farmed biodynamically.  Les Femelottes is on the Puligny-Montrachet/Meursault border and Le Combe is in Puligny-Montrachet.
TWITS notes:  more fruity initially but then butter on the end of the palate, delightful!

5)  2013 Nicholas Maillet Macon-Verze $32.99
100% Chardonnay farmed organically, 13% alcohol
Intense, concentrated aromas of fresh heirloom apples and pears, orange marmalade, white flowers, and grilled hazelnuts entreat the nose.  Rich, yet lively, on the palate, beautiful apple, pear, and meyer lemon, with nuances of lanolin and mineral all wrapped in a cream and citrus oil texture.
Nicolas was one of the first in the region to go back to manual work, plowing, no weed-killers, and hand harvesting.  He doesn't like oak and his wines are kept a long time in vat on their lees to give them more richness and texture, without the need for oak.
TWITs notes:  that's dense, so good, unctuous, lanolin, orange on palate, classic duck l'orange, viscosity

Thursday, February 18, 2016

February 18th 2016 Greek Wines at Ms Abbie and Mr Matt's home

February 18th 2016 - Greek Wines - hosted by Abbie & Matt

The wines will be curated for you (special Thank You to Eric at Le Caveau for helping us procure the wines and taste them in the best order). TWITs, please just bring yourself and $20/person to cover the cost of the wines.  Greek food will be provided.

Tasting Notes:

1)  2013 Kir-Yianni, Sparkling Rose, Akakies $ 25.00
100% Xinomavro, 11.5% alcohol

Winemaker’s Note:  “An intense mousse and a bright cherry color, pronounced aromas of ripe strawberry and cherry and an elegant acidity adding freshness while pairing harmoniously with the discrete presence of sugars create a wine that is at the same time dynamic and balanced.”

Terroir:  The grapes are sourced from the viticultural zone of Agios Panteleimon within the Amyndeon appellation in Florina, Northwestern Greece. The high altitude (600m) and the poor sandy soils of the area lead to the production of wines displaying finesse and a rare aromatic character. The four surrounding lakes that act as a buffer zone create perfect weather conditions for the cultivation of Xinomavro, more temperate than expected in this continental climate.

The great diversification of the vineyard blocks, leads to wide variations regarding the technological and phenolic ripeness of the grapes between the different vintages and requires a meticulous management of each vintage. Therefore, the grapes are classified at the moment of delivery at the winery by alcohol potential, acidity, phenols and bunch weight. This selection, which is carried out every year, allows to choose the proper wine making technique taking into account the quality and the different properties of the raw material

Winemaking:  The must is composed entirely of grapes carefully selected during the harvest on the basis of their content in sugars, phenols and acidity. The optimal point of maturity for the production of Akakies Sparkling is at 10.5 ABV. After delivery at the winery, and before the press, the grapes are chilled at 11-14 °C. Three pressings take place under continuous and gradually increasing pressure. For the production of Akakies Sparkling we use the second pressing. After the must is settled and racked the first alcoholic fermentation takes place. This fermentation is short and carried out using the traditional method. The wine stays and is stirred on its lees for a few months and then is transferred to the tanks for the second fermentation, during which the bubbles are formed and the wine gains 1% in alcohol. The wine will stay on its lees for 3-5 more months before it is bottled.

TWITs Notes:  Lovely Rose, good, light effervescence, touch of sweet, warm weather rose, i would buy this again.

2)  2015 Domaine Sigalas, Santorini, Assyrtiko – Athiri Blend $ 23.00
75% Assyrtiko, 25% Athiri, 13% alcohol

This is a delightful marriage of two grapes that are indigenous to Santorini: the Assyrtiko variety, intense, earthy, and clearly expressing the volcanic island soil; and the more aromatic, quince-scented Athiri variety. Athiri is believed to be a parent of the fascinating Ribolla Gialla grape, which is found mostly in Italy. As is the custom on Santorini, the vines are trained in basket shapes to protect the fruit from the intense wind. It's an elegant way of extracting great fruit from a wild landscape, and when you taste this wine, you'll be very glad they figured it out. Try with shrimp in herb sauce.

A clean and crisp gem of a wine with a nose of earthy minerals, volcanic ash, and slightly smoky aromatic quince/pear fruit. The palate is definitely mineral-forward with a backbone of stewed peppery fruits that is simply wonderful. This complex & refreshing wine would of course match Greek mixed meze.

Terroir:  On the ancient plain of Oia, in the island of Santorini, the winery of DOMAINE SIGALAS can be found. Here, the most vibrant variety of the Mediterranean zone, the Santorini Assyrtiko as well as the Aidani, Athiri, Mandilaria and the Mavrotragano are put to the best use possible, and with the proper respect to their organoleptic characteristics, the quality wines are produced which receive acclaim in international competitions, both in Greece and abroad.

TWITs Notes: minerally, very sauvignon blanc,

3) 2011 Domaine Sigalas, Santorini, Assyrtiko, Barrel Fermented, Magnum $ 87.00
100% Assyrtiko (60 year old vines), 13.5% alcohol

Vinification: Typical, white wine vinification techniques, which take place in French, oak barrels of 225Lt and 500Lt. New oak is used, at a % of 30 and the rest is of 2nd or 3rd use. The “sur lies” method is applicated for 6-8 months.

Colour: Yellow, with golden hues.

Nose: Complex, with citrus and minerality, harmonically balanced with discreet vanilla essences and tobacco.

Taste: Round and smooth in mouth with the acidity, being the back - bone, that allows it to age. More petrol aromas, nuts and honey-suckle appear in aged Assyrtikos, like the German and Alsatian Rieslings.

TWITs Notes: petrol, minerality, riesling-ish, golden, more aged, spice on it, delicious.

4)  2011 Domaine Gioulis Sofos ‘The Wise One’, Korinthos, Greece $ 16.00
50% Agioritiko, 50% Cabernet, 13% alcohol

Organic, non-GMO wine, The Agiorgitiko vineyard is located in Klementi village which is neighboring with Nemea P.D.O., the largest red appellation of Greece, home of the Agiorgitiko grape.
The vineyard has a south-west orientation and the altitude of 800 metres.  The Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard is located on the slopes opposite of the village of Klimenti. It has a northeast orientation and an altitude of 850 metres.  The soil is calcareous clay for both vineyards.

Vinification: Traditional red wine vinification; separately for each variety. Then the alcoholic fermentation takes place and the Cabernet Sauvignon ages for 6 months in French oak casks. The blending of the varieties takes place after the fermentation.  Ageing: for about 20 months in steel tanks to keep the flavors fresh

Tasting notes: Red ruby color with violet hues. The nose has aromas of mature blackberries, raspberries and sweet spices. The palate has a well balanced acidity and a medium plus body; fragrant of fresh blackcurrant – blackberry fruit, red pepper and hints of black chocolate.

"The red SOFOS has a deep ruby colour with aromas of plum, sour cherry and hints of truffle and oak. In the palate we found medium plus acidity, soft tannins and a great complexity of flavours such as dried plum, raisin and notes of wet leaves and tobacco. It is a quality red wine which is ready to drink but also with a good potential of ageing. It combines the spicy and fruity aromas of the indigenous Agiorgitiko with the structure and the complexity of the famous Cabernet Sauvignon." - Konstantinos Lazarakis

TWITs Notes:  Gamay on steroids, chewy, beaujolais-like, jammy, fruit-leather, cherry, fig, it's really nice, mountain fruits, this calls for dirty food, sticky, like a hot dog or hush puppies, should pair with savory food, steak, heavily marinated beef, can take some strong flavor.

5)  2013 Douloufakis, Dafnios Dafnes Liatiko, Crete $ 19.00
100% Liatiko, 13.5% alcohol

“Dafnios, from the name of our village, Dafnes.Dafnes, Crete, 350 metres altitude. The indigenous variety "Liatiko" is mainly found in Dafnes and offers dry wines but also sweet, sun-dried wines. The most prized variety of the region of Dafnes is liatiko, which is named after the month of July, in reference to its early ripening. It produces a light- to mid-weight red that can be made into a dry or sweet wine, depending on the appellation regulations. This example, from the multi-generational, organic-certified Douloufakis winery, is dry and gently aromatic, and a nice wine to pair with an old family recipe for moussaka

Classic red vinification with fermentation at 18⁰C in stainless steel tanks. Aged in 2nd and 3rd year used French oak barrels, for 9 months.

Liatiko will fascinate every restless wine lover who will discover and enjoy this traditional and rare wine. Ruby color with brown hints. Fruity, spicy nose. Round mellow texture. Very stylish and mouth filling wine.

TWITs Notes: a Creten wine, very good, fantastic, great value, spice, dense fruit, nice gentle pull, gentle grip, I like this the least, but it's still good.  smoked meats, BBQ. stronger nose,

6)  2011 Kir-Yianni Naoussa Ramnista $30.00
100% Xinomavro, 13.5% alcohol

Winemaker’s Notes: Aromas of ripe strawberry, cherry and black pepper, along with varietal and barrel-aging notes of liquorice and ginger, robust tannins offering a firm structure and a lingering, fruity finish compose the typical expression of a Xinomavro harvested in an outstanding year.

Terroir:  Selected vineyard blocks within the private vineyards of Kir-Yianni Estate in Yianakohori.  The vineyards used for Ramnista have an overall southeast exposure at an altitude of 280-330 m. Rainfall is abundant during the winter months, but summers are so dry that regulated drip irrigation is applied to prevent water stress. Vine density ranges from 3,500 to 4,000 per hectare and the average crop yield is maintained below 2.5 kg per vine. For "Ramnista" we use grapes mostly from the vineyard blocks in the lower pH range and with lighter soil types to maximize the aromatic intensity and complexity.The grapes are handpicked and sorted on a conveyor belt before crush. After a six–day pre-fermentation cold soak at 8-10° C, the must undergoes a 12-15 day fermentation at controlled temperatures of no more than 25°C. Roughly one third of the wine ferments in open-top tanks with pigeage. The final blend is made five months after harvest and the last racking takes place about six months later. Both French and American barrels are used, 25% of which is new oak, and about 25% 500-lt casks. The wine is filtered very lightly.

Winemaking: 16 months in 225-lt and 500-lt French and American oak casks plus further ageing in bottle for another 6 months.  After three consecutive years of rather average quality, it looks like in 2011 Xinomavro comes back to its very high standards. This year the weather helped the grapes to reach good levels of phenolic maturity with relatively low potential alcohol, which is one of the things that we try to achieve during the last years. After a rainy month of May, the long period that followed was dry but with no extreme temperatures. As a result, the grapes ripened well, while the absence of heat waves during summer resulted in grapes with very good levels of acidity, which, in their turn, gave wines with long aging potential. It seems that 2011, just like 1994 and 2001, will be one of these years that only come once in a decade!

TWITs Notes:  tropical fruit nose, lovely nose, not as fond of the finish, cellar it awhile.

7) 2012 Paranga Kir-Yianni - $16.99 @ Toco Giant
50% xinomavro, 25% merlot, 25% syrah - 13.5% alcohol
funky nose, smells French, delicious! dry.