HOLLYWOOD(Spiritsman)6/24/15/–Anticipating the first sip of yet another one of Scotland’s finest whiskeys, what jumps out for this reviewer are the many aromas dancing around my glass at first taste! You are first hit with the peaty flavor and then the smokiness towards the finish combining together perfectly. The deliciousness of drinking a few more sips, The Black Grouse seemed to just cascade over my tongue like a mountain stream flowing over the rocks.
Introduced in 2008 by its sibling The Famous Grouse – which is the best selling blended whisky in Scotland – the Black version is a combination of the White original blend added to the rich Islay malt whiskeys which creates a more full bodied flavor.
What’s good about this is that the smokiness does not over power the palate. The whisky remains light but full of aromas with some oak and just a hint of a sweet finish. Compared to other Islay – produced liquors, The Black Grouse is a very drinkable, affordable, and perfect introduction into the world of the rich and smoky Islay single malts.
HOLLYWOOD(Spiritsman)6/21/15/–This pure spirit brand imported from Peru is gaining rapidly in the USA, and the latest variation on the theme is La Caravedo, a Pisco puro made from Quebranta grapes.
The new expression comes from Master Distiller Johnny Schuler at Hacienda La Caravedo located in Ica, Peru, which is in the foothills of the Andes. It is also known as the oldest distillery in the Americas, and was established way back in 1684. The name itself is based on the port of Pisco in Peru, and it also means “little bird” in the language of Peru’s Quechua Indians.
La Caravedo is made solely from the Quebranta grape which is one of the eight grapes allowed by Peruvian law to make Pisco. It is a non-varietal grape which is known for its fullness and flavor.
It takes 8 pounds of grapes to make one bottle of the drink, which when it eventually arrives stateside sells for a retail price of $24.99 for the 750 ml bottle. Alcohol volume for La Caravedo is 40% and is 80 proof. As a comparison to the Pisco Porton brand from the company which is of course a lot more established, this strong white spirit is 43% alcohol volume, and a high 86 proof.
It is a tough job being a Pisco distiller because since it is distilled to proof, he only has one chance to make each small batch exactly right. La Caravedo is a crystal clear spirit with a slightly sweet palate and notes of botanicals and dried fruits. On the nose it is quite crisp and fresh, and you might smell the unusual combination of grapes, wheat and caramel.
The Pisco spirit dates back to the 16th century and must be produced in a specific region and under certain strictly enforced guidelines that include being crafted in traditional copper pot stills. No additives or flavorings can be added to the finished product, and surprisingly that includes water as well. Apart from the aforementioned Quebranta grape, the other grapes that are allowed are Albilla, Italia, Mollar, Moscatel, Negra Corriente, Torontel and Uvina.
SUMMER DRINK RECIPES
LA CARAVEDO BLUSH
2 oz La Caravedo
Add La Caravedo to a tall glass filled with ice. Top w/lemonade and garnish w/lemon wheel
LA CARAVEDO COOLER
2 oz La Caravedo
1 oz Fresh lime juice
1 oz Simple Syrup
Fresh Mango Juice
Add ice and all ingredients except mango juice and soda in a mixing tin. Shake and strain
Into ice-filled Collins glass. Top with mango juice and a splash of soda and garnish w/lime twist.
CALIFORNIA WINE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES SANTA BARBARA EVENTS
Entering its 12th season, the California Wine Festival promotes and celebrates fine wines, delicious local food and the vibrant California culture.
SANTA BARBARA, Calif (Spiritsman)6/16/15/– –The California Wine Festival, a wine event showcasing , is proud to announce the event details for the upcoming Santa Barbara event taking place July 16-18, 2015. This event will showcase nearly 250 wines from over 70 wineries and 30 fine dining restaurants and gourmet food companies. The California Wine Festival’s mission is to promote and celebrate the fine wines and foods of the California region.
“Over the years, we’ve taken the CWF all the way from San Diego to Monterey,” notes Emily Kaufmann, CWF Executive Director. “Santa Barbara is where it all started and we’ve always enjoyed tremendous support here.” Kaufmann goes on to say, “I’m expecting an even wider variety of wineries from every wine region in California to pour at the event this year, plus we’ve added regional microbreweries into the mix.”
Unique to the California Wine Festival this year is a special wine-experience seminar. Forty lucky guests will enjoy a Cabernet Clinic and Tasting Seminar conducted by winemakers from the Paso Robles Cab Collective and moderated by Matt Kettmann. The seminar precedes the Sunset Rare & Reserve Tasting at the Fess Parker Resort on Friday, July 17.
“We’ve added new wineries from around the state to all of the events this year and have partnered with some prestigious wine regions and wine collections including Santa Barbara Vintners Association, Wine Collection of El Paseo, Paso Robles Cab Collective and more. The California Wine Festival has become the premier wine festival in the state. We’ve always maintained the highest standard in wine, food and entertainment – people have taken notice!”
The California Wine Festival is proud to be a member of 1% For The Planet, in which they donate at least 1% of annual net revenue to environmental organizations worldwide. Additionally, CFW donates a portion of its profits generated from the Santa Barbara festival to The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.
Details for the Santa Barbara event can be found here:
Thursday, July 16, 6:30-9 pm. “Old Spanish Nights Wine Tasting”
A true celebration of wines, foods and music true to Santa Barbara’s Spanish roots. The historic De La Guerra Adobe Courtyard, site of the original Spanish fiesta in downtown Santa Barbara, provides the perfect setting for this exciting evening of wine and food festivities. A large contingent of wineries will showcase their world-class wines accompanied by a spicy array of appetizers from top local restaurants. Colorful Flamenco dancers, accompanied by blazing guitars and hot Latin sounds will keep everyone ‘caliente’ throughout the event.
The elegant and friendly Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort will host the Cabernet Clinic and Tasting. Guests will sample a selection of ultra premium Cabernet’s from some of Paso Robles best vineyards. Winemakers will share their expertise and artistry in this hour-long wine tasting experience.
Limited to just 500 ticketholders, this is the toughest ticket in town! California’s best winemakers dust off their rare and reserve level bottles in a wine-lovers fantasy night of sipping the good stuff! Some wines being poured are impossible to buy and are no longer in distribution. A sparkling champagne reception greets guests who will then be treated to Napa trophy cabs, rare bottles from Sonoma, old vine wines from the high Sierras and the best from California’s Central Coast and Santa Barbara County. Top chefs from Santa Barbara’s most popular restaurants will prepare amazing hot and cold gourmet appetizers while live music keeps things cool. The charming old-world carousel at Chase Palm Park Plaza provides the backdrop for this romantic summer night under the stars. A silent auction of fine wines, exotic super-sized-wine bottles including dozens of magnums, double magnums and special luxury wine trips will raise money for The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.
Saturday, July 18, 1-4 pm. “Beachside Food & Wine Fest”
This is CWF’s signature wine event. Thousands of wine lovers pour into Santa Barbara’s sun-splashed beachside location for a day of sun, sea, wine, food, and music. Hundreds of premium California wines are served up along with the best of the regional microbreweries, local top chefs, food purveyors and vendors of all things related to wine. VIP entry at 12pm.
Experience the quintessential California wine tasting and enjoy hundreds of California’s finest vintage wines, delicious gourmet foods samples and lively music. Discover new wines at every Festival, find a new favorite and pair it with a dizzying variety of fresh gourmet appetizers like artisan breads, cheeses, olive oils and so much more. Enjoy an afternoon of unlimited fun, food and music – at the biggest wine festival under the sun!
USA(Spiritsman)6/8/15/-Spirit of America™, the Award-Winning, Handcrafted Bourbon Whiskey Made 100% in the U.S.A, is now available in 10 States and Rapidly Expanding
Spirit of America™ donates $1 from each bottle sold to:
To honor Mike who served in the military, Spirit of America is donating $1 for every bottle sold to Hope For The Warriors® (www.hopeforthewarriors.org) – indefinitely.
The mission of Hope for the Warriors® is to enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members, their families, and families of the fallen who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty. Hope For The Warriors® is dedicated to restoring a sense of self, restoring the family unit, and restoring hope for service members and military families. Hope for the Warriors® has earned a Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator for four consecutive years.
Indianapolis, IN June 8, 2015 Spirit of America™ (www.soaspirits.com) is 100% American made bourbon born in the heartland of the U.S.A. and handcrafted to be the greatest American Bourbon Whiskey in the world. Spirit of America™ is distilled by MGP in Lawrenceburg, Indiana and Chill-filtered, blended and bottled at the company-owned Hobson & Roberts Distilling Company in Indianapolis.
SOA is distilled in a unique mash bill featuring 51% Corn, 45% Wheat and 4% Malted Barley. The absence of Rye provides a tasting experience that is both sweet and smooth at 86 proof. Spirit of America™ has already garnered top industry awards for its quality:
Silver Medal at The North American Bourbon & Whiskey Competition, 2015
91 Rating – Excellent by Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2015
Silver Medal at The Denver International Spirit Competition, 2015
Silver Medal at San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2015
Since launching in February, SOA is now available at retail locations throughout Indiana, Florida, South Carolina and Kentucky at such retailers as Crown Liquors, Big Red Liquors, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Big Daddy’s, Total Wine, Payless, Belmont Liquors and many others. Launching in June: Tennessee, West Virginia, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina and Maryland / DC.
MGP selects only the finest Midwestern wheat and Indiana provides the perfect year round climate for this crop. Distilling from wheat is easier to use and matures at a much faster rate allowing younger bourbon to provide a mellow tasting experience better than aged rye and corn bourbons. The aroma provides a warm smell of vanilla, toasted oak, spice and sweet caramel and is a bourbon lover’s dream.
Every part of the project is American made. The Liberty bottle is made in Missouri, the cap is from Michigan, the shipper from Minnesota and the bottles are screen printed in Chicago. We are proud to present this bourbon whiskey that is 100% produced and bottled in the U.S.A.
Lenny Roberts, founder of Spirit of America™ says, “Our father, Mike Roberts, and industry legend, had a vision and a keen sense of seeing winners long before they ever became successful. He created the brand ‘Spirit of America” back in 1980 but never found the right product, partner and time to launch it.” As a tribute to Mike, a man who served his country and lived his life by the true Spirit of America – honor, pride, integrity, and hard work.
MERCHANTS OF BEVERAGE EXPANDS SERVICE TO LOS ANGELES TRENDY AND HIP BARS ADDED TO ROSTER
HOLLYWOOD(Spiritsman)6/8/15/–The San Francisco based merchant of drinks/cocktails etc have just teamed up with a handful of trendy bars in Los Angeles to market specialty cocktails that people can try at home.
This latest trend in the cocktail world is exploding, and the MERCHANTS OF BEVERAGE or MOB (no pun intended) might just be at the cutting edge of this trend. Launched in August 2014 the company also sells wines, spirits and champagne direct to the consumer along with stemware and items for the home bartender.
The founder is Jeffrey Meisel, a fairly passionate and resourceful individual whose main purpose In life outside of family is to convince the world that life is a celebration, and should be accompanied by a drink in the hand. He learned about the business working for Domaine Select Wine Estates in a variety of positions, and after that he was the wine and spirits consultant for Gilt Group.
One of the bars in Los Angeles where MOB is working with is the funky Harvard & Stone in Hollywood. There along with Mr.Meisel we enjoyed a Gold Fashioned, a potent blend of Bourbon, Navy Strength Jamaican Rum, Crème De Banane and Mole Bitters. That is available through the web site and the entire kit is available for $145.
Other bars from Los Angeles they are working with are Harlowe, The Varnish and Cinco where you can order the LA Bartender Cocktail Kits as well as the kits from San Francisco and New York.
At Cinco the cocktail of choice created by Ben Molina is called the Tres Brujas. Cinco is located in Playa Del Rey and is loosely described as a “pleasant and laid back Oaxacan haunt.” The basic ingredients are three spirits, Calle 23 Tequila, Mezcal Vago and Strega. Throw in some Angostura Orange Bitters and I think you have a cocktail that maybe is best drank at home. Price of this kit is $150.
Varnish has put together a rum based cocktail called Smugglers Notch by Eric Alperin. This Italian based cocktail was created at the Osteria Mozza with some smuggled Liquor hard to get or banned at the time. These are El Dorado 8 yr rum, Regan’s Orange Bitters and St.George Absinthe Verte.Price of this kit is $65.
The Harlowe Cobbler has been put together by Chris Amirault at the West Hollywood Hangout. This guy is a sherry freak and the drink is a combination of four different Sherries and it has a low alcohol content so you can drink a few of them. The sherries Included are Lustau Amontillado, Fino, Palo Cortado and Lusau Oloroso. The price for this treat is $110.
One of the key features of MOB is the Perfect Gift Platform that allows consumers to send gifts of either $50, $100 or $200 value to the recipients house even if the address is unknown.
The lucky person receives an e-mail advising that a gift will be sent from the MOB and to select the gift from the choices offered. This whole concept must have taken a lot of thought and planning, and if it works look for a lot of competiton to enter into this fledgling market.
HOLLYWOOD(Spiritsman)6/1/15/–This make your dad and put a spin on the Old Fashioned classic cocktail with DeLeón Tequila. Featuring the rick, oaky flavor of DeLeón’s Reposado, the DeLeón Old Fashioned takes the standards of the Old Fashioned category to the next level. In this cocktail, the warm cinnamon notes and vanilla finish of the oak-aged Reposado are enhanced with smoke from the addition of mescal, sweetness from tequila’s native agave, and space from Angostura bitters for a Mexican twist on this traditional cocktail.
A bottle of DeLeón Tequila will show Dad exactly how much he means to you as you help take him to a new standard of luxury with this rich and complex spirit. Un-aged and unrivaled in finish, the DeLeón Tequila line-up starts at $60 per 750ml and is made from 100% Highland agave and rich, complex agave honey that is slow-fermented and twice-distilled.
DeLeón Old Fashioned
1 ½ oz DeLeón Reposado
¼ oz Mezcal
1 bar spoon agave nectar
2 dashes of angostura bitters
Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass over clean cubed and cracked ice until thoroughly chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over a single, clean, large format rock. Garnish with an orange peel.
HOLLYWOOD(Spiritsman)5/22/15/–With Father’s Day just around the corner (Sunday June 21st), we had to share this amazing Scotch Whisky Bloody Mary recipe that all Dads can enjoy on their special day. It’s a really easy DIY brunch recipe that everyone can indulge in for an at-home celebration. Here is the recipe:
To create the distinct smokiness of The Black Grouse, we take our Famous blend and enhance it with specially selected peated malts.
Black Grouse Bottling Note
A delicious blended whisky, we love this peaty version of Famous Grouse. Jim Murray awarded it 94 points in the Whisky Bible. The Black Grouse, or Tetrao tetrix, is a declining species in Europe.
The Third Release in the Extraordinary Cask Collection of Single Malt Whiskies
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, (Spiritsman)4/18/15/ –Berry Bros. & Rudd Spirits and U.S. importer Anchor Distilling Company are proud to announce the third single-cask bottling of The Glenrothes Single Malt Scotch Whisky from the Extraordinary Cask Collection: The Glenrothes Single Cask 1968 #13507. Now available in the United States, The Glenrothes Single Cask 1968 #13507, priced at $9,250, is bottled in a hand-blown lead crystal decanter and housed in a leather-bound carrying case.
The Glenrothes Extraordinary Single Cask 1968 is a bottling from Cask #13507, a second-fill hogshead cask filled on November 19, 1968, that yielded just 145 bottles, 28 of which are available in the US. The hallmarks of The Glenrothes are quality and purity, evident in the beautifully balanced, elegant and well-mannered single malt with peerless texture, perfectly expressed by this single cask bottling. This expression is unchill-filtered and, like all Glenrothes’ bottlings, completely natural in color.
No more than one single cask is released from The Glenrothes each year – and only after lengthy assessment. “This cask follows our initial Extraordinary releases: a Single Cask from 1970 and a Single Cask from 1969, both of which have entirely sold out,” notes Ronnie Cox, Brand Heritage Director at Berry Bros. & Rudd. “The latest bottling, a venerable cask from 1968, in keeping with The Glenrothes’ philosophy to bottle at peak maturity, is now being unveiled.”
Appearance: Bright gold with scarlet notes of burnished copper
Nose: Rose petals and face cream, tinned peaches, apricots in syrup, mirabelles in honey, beeswax polish and candles
Palate: Text-book Glenrothes creamy texture with exemplary integration; mascarpone with orange blossom, very lively with white pepper and Turkish delight
Finish: Leathery and spicy dryness with a reprise of the Turkish delight; a single cask of extreme complexity and elegance.
ABV: Natural strength of 41.9%
“The Glenrothes has once again demonstrated that they are the masters of vintage cask selections with the very limited release of this exceptional whisky,” says Dennis Carr, President of Anchor Distilling Company. “The 1968 Extraordinary Cask gives us the opportunity to experience a piece of whisky history from one of Scotland’s most storied distilleries.”
Bottled in Beauty
Each of the Extraordinary Cask releases is presented in a hand-blown lead crystal decanter to mirror the iconic shape of the instantly recognizable Glenrothes bottle – a design that received a World Whisky Award in 2013. In keeping with the elegance of the whisky and the heritage of The Glenrothes, each decanter has been individually created by a master craftsman at Atlantis Crystal in Alcobaca, Portugal, using the purest form of crystal, distinguished by its great resonance, transparency, luminosity and weight.
A plaque made of polished brass is applied to just one front facet: engraved with the year of distillation and the bottle number to ensure the uniqueness and authenticity of each individual decanter. Brass has also been used for the hand-engraved collar on the neck of the decanter, supplied by Charles Stott, of the Edinburgh-based Scottish Silversmiths. In addition, the head of the stopper is fashioned from the wood of the very cask #13507in which the whisky has matured.
The Glenrothes is also recognizable by its tasting notes label – in this instance it has been positioned around the neck of the decanter to leave the body perfectly unadulterated. The label is hand-signed by the Malt Master, Gordon Motion, and numbered and dated to ensure that each bottle is identifiable and unique.
The outer case is fine, hand-crafted leather, reminiscent of luxury travel luggage. Each bottle comes with its own oak plinth, made from solid Scottish oak, for display purposes and a book co-written by seven leading whisky writers each contributing a chapter about The Glenrothes, its history and the whisky.
Over 310 years ago, Berry Bros. & Rudd opened its shop at 3 St James’s Street, opposite St James’s Palace. Since its inception, Berry Bros. & Rudd has been a pioneering wine and spirits merchant. Today Berry Bros. & Rudd Spirits Ltd enjoys a super-premium portfolio including No. 3 London Dry Gin (winner of the Gin Trophy at the International Spirits Challenge 2012 & 2013), The Glenrothes Single Malt Whisky and The King’s Ginger Liqueur.
About Anchor Distilling Company
Named the 2015 Icons of Whisky Importer of the Year by Whisky Magazine, Anchor Distilling Company aims to provide the bridge between discerning buyers and world’s finest spirits. A privately owned San Francisco based distiller and importer, Anchor boasts a portfolio with over 300 premium niche spirits from nearly 23 countries. Our products are from multi-generational family-owned companies, and are sought by enthusiasts and connoisseurs for their superior hand-crafted artisanal qualities. In addition to being an importer, Anchor Distilling is dedicated to creating very small batches of traditionally distilled spirits. www.anchordistilling.com
SPANISH WINE REGIONS OF RIBERA DEL DUERO AND RUEDA SEEKING TO EXPAND
HOLLYWOOD(Spiritsman)5/17/15/–In an attempt to let the world know a bit more about the wines from this region which Is about 1 ½ hours north of Madrid, a lavish wine dinner was held at the trendy A.O.C.
Restaurant in Hollywood for assorted high profile wine media. What we can report is that the wines are very good and will become increasingly accessible in the months and years to come in the important California market.
Ribera wines are described as bold, rugged and ripe and go with almost very style of food and in particular barbeque. Ribera has a very extreme temperature swing, making it ideal for the Tempranillo grapes that grow there. The terrain is very rocky, summers are very hot and the winters have been described as frigid. Look out for red wines from pago de los capellanes (2013) and lleiroso crianza (2011)
Rueda is known for the Verdejo grapes that flourish in this particular climate, which is the grape friendly type of hot days and cool nights. They are white wines full of flavor that go with anything from oysters and sushi to pizza or cheese and crackers Some of the winemakers to look out for in this category are Javier Sanz and Jose Pariente, both having 2014 vintages on the market.
For those interested a little bit more about the history of the wines in the region, we can report that the Ribera wines come from the upper reaches of the Duero river. Ribera del Duero DO built a solid reputation on “Vega Sicilia”, the most expensive Spanish wine.
The vintages to look for in this outstanding, but inconsistent wine are the years of 1953, 1962, 1975, 1976 and 1982,and this inconsistency was brought about by the habit of aging in different sizes and ages of wooden casks. At one time these wines were being aged for up to twenty-five years, but that time has now been reduced substantially to about six years. The estate dates back to 1864 in limestone hills above the south bank of the Duero but the yield of this powerful wine remains very low due to the climate and the old fashioned wine making techniques.
Rueda wines from the Verdejo grape traditionally were fortified by fino (Palido Rueda) and rancio (Dorada Rueda) styles. Rueda traditionally made its name with a form of sherry known as Palomino a yellow wine grown on chalky clay. Investors from France have seen the potential of the region, so now the white wines are starting to gain momentum, including the newer ones listed above.
Santa Monica,CA(Spiritsman) 4/7/15/–On Monday May 4th, 2015 Gran Centenario, a tequila rich in history and Mexican heritage launched their Angels In Training program at Blue Plate Taco in Santa Monica .
In the late afternoon model angles gathered outside the patio of blue plate taco for their eye catching announcement of their search to honor selfless Latinos within Los Angeles .
At 5:30 pm, a golden angel came to life and blew her horn to summon an array of beautiful white angels who handed out replicas of Mexico’s 1921 Centenario Gold Bullion Coin and shared details of the search of these Angels In Training with attendants and passersby’s.
Private guests media and locals enjoyed the signature Golden Angel cocktail along with Blue Plate Taco signature dishes including the Ceviche Mixto, Flautas, Quesadillas and Veggie tacos to name a few.
On Cinco De Mayo, these angels will disperse into neighborhoods throughout “the City of Angels” in search of these AITs who will all be invited and honored at a private celeb hosted event at the Mondrian Hotel in Hollywood on Tuesday May 19th
By Cheri Fox
HOLLYWOOD(Spiritsman)4/7/15/–Snow Leopard Vodka launched in LA May 5, 2015 , with a private reception at the trendy Eveleigh restaurant ; the party was filled with exclusive spirits media , and distributors The menu included several cocktails including the Conservation Sparrow Swizzle and Ghost Cat.
Guests enjoyed the farm to table experience while sitting in the grassy garden with an authentic wooden picnic type table filled with several of Everleighs popular farm to table dishes included cauliflower, arugula salad, lentils with goat cheese , white fish with zucchini, potatoes and grilled chicken.
Owner Stephen Sparrow greeted all the guests and explained his passion for trying to incorporate his distinguished vodka with the good cause of helping save the Snow Leopards from extinction.
The clean tastings the Snow Leopard made a big splash ; It’s the first luxury vodka of its kind, Snow Leopard is made from the distinctive spelt grain and distilled six times in small batches using natural spring water. With a rich flavor and smooth yet viscous mouthfeel, Snow Leopard stands out in cocktails, rather than blending in and allowing itself to be masked by other flavors.
Unlike winter wheat or rye grains typically used in vodka, spelt’s tough husk protects the grain from external pollutants while retaining nutrients, resulting in a freshness not found
in any other grain. Spelt is grown without the use of any pesticides or fertilizers, ensuring the cleanest final product.
This exceptional vodka was created out of the desire to save the Snow Leopards from extinction, portion of the proceeds is donated directly to Snow Leopard conservation.
Northern California (Spiritsman) —This is a relatively new winery in the Anderson Valley region of Northern California that is and not just for the pot farms in the area. One of the newer and more ambitious wineries there is Domaine Anderson, financially backed by the Roederer Group and open for business, despite the current lack of a tasting room.
At a recent wine dinner at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, I got the chance to meet Head winemaker Jerry Murray, and he laid out the plans to get to the goal of 1800 cases of Chardonnay and 3000 cases of Pinot Noir. Of course Anderson Valley is also famous for its Pinot Noir Festival every May that also sells out if you are lucky enough to find a hotel room in the quaint and rustic region. Burgundy winemaker Jeremy Seysses is a consultant on the project who was quoted as saying “At Domaine Anderson, I think we can make wines hat have fruit and generosity but that are weightless and restrained.”
Those wines include the 2012 Pinot Noir emanating from 37.13 acres of Pinot Noir grapes where the soil is rocky, river gravels and clay loam. This Pinot Noir is aged for 16 months where the barrel aging process (also known as elevage) produces rich and complex wines.
Open top fermentation tanks are used in the process for the precise extraction of flavors and color and slow malolactIc fermentation defines the structure and clarity of the wIne.
The 2012 Chardonnay has a long finish with a hint of apricot, Meyer lemon and spicy oak. There are 13.7 acres of Chardonnay vineyards stretching from the warmer Boonville area to the cooler area closer to the ocean. Here they practice the art of battonage, a process of slow hand stirring while the wine is still in the barrel, ultimately helping the flavor and the balance. About 30% of the French Oak barrels are new in this vintage, and the aging process for this wine is 11 months, quite long for Chardonnay.
The original release from Domaine Anderson was the Dach Vineyard Pinot Noir which lies just half a mile east of the town of Philo in the valley at an altitude of 300 feet. The growing season for this wine is extended thanks to the fog and the cool nights as well as the soil, which is sandy clay Perrygulch. This wine which also benefits from the barrel aging process described previously is aged for 16 months.
To find out more about these wines or to purchase them only from the wine club, go to
Once again, going where no other spirits competition dares to go, Ultimate Spirits Challenge™ (USC) announces the results of its innovative cocktail component for USC 2015. To further enhance USC’s evaluation data for distillers, importers, and suppliers, the USC judging panels tested hundreds of spirits in appropriate cocktails over four sessions from November to March.
For Gins entered into USC, all Gins for 2015 were tasted in a Dry Martini and a Negroni; Tequilas in a Tommy’s Margarita; North American Whiskeys in a Manhattan; World Whiskies in a Whiskey Sour; Brandies and Cognacs in Brandy & Ginger Ale, Piscos in Pisco Sour; Vodkas in Fresh Lime Juice Gimlets; and light Rums in Daiquiris and older Rums in Rum Sidecars. Next year, a different set of appropriate classic cocktails will be assigned to each relevant category.
The identical recipe was carefully measured, including dilution, in milliliters for each cocktail in every suitable category to ensure fairness. Each cocktail was judged blind individually with a glass of the spirit poured neat next to it. Cocktails were scored on a 1-to-5 star scale, with 2 ½ to 3 stars being thought Delicious, 3 ½ to 4 stars Very Delicious, and 4 ½ to 5 stars Drop Dead Delicious.
Said USC Judging Director F. Paul Pacult, “By reintroducing the cocktail aspect to USC, we’ve enhanced the scope of analytical data for suppliers and their marketing teams. Spirits, after all, aren’t only consumed neat. Their inclusion in category appropriate cocktails to gauge their mixability is paramount to their overall purpose. To have expert analysis by mixology superstars such as Dale DeGroff, Tad Carducci, Will Shine, Steve Olson, Andy Seymour, Geoff Kleinman and more on both straight enjoyment AND how that spirit performs in a cocktail is highly advantageous to brands and consumers.”
USC results are promoted globally via email and web publication to both trade buyers and consumers. In addition, high scoring products are featured in the Ultimate Beverage Challenge Guide published each year in the October issue of Beverage Media reaching more than 65,000 on- and off-premise spirits buyers.
Ultimate Spirits Challenge…like no other competition and doesn’t want to be.
ABOUT ULTIMATE BEVERAGE CHALLENGE
Ultimate Beverage Challenge (UBC) provides expert evaluation of wines and spirits for producers, importers and marketers through its two innovative annual competitions: Ultimate Spirits Challenge and Ultimate Wine Challenge. Based on exacting standards, expert judges and rigorous methodology, UBC raises the standards of spirits and wine evaluation and supplies ratings and accolades to help companies build their brands with buyers, both industry and consumer. UBC partners are F. Paul Pacult, Sue Woodley and David Talbot. Past Challenge results, event photos, entry forms and more information can be found at www.ultimate-beverage.com
GLENLIVET WHISKY and AMBASSADOR IAN LOGAN COME TO TOWN..
West Hollywood(Spiritsman)3/22/15/–Spiritsman had the recent pleasure to meet up with Glenlivet brand ambassador Ian Logan at a dinner at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, where we tasted a few of their aged releases.
Glenlivet has been around since 1824 in the Livet Valley in Speyside, and Logan has now been the ambassador for the brand since 2004.
Logan is a typical Scot, full of stories and anecdotes about Glenlivet and whisky in general, and he is on the road about ten weeks a year, visiting the USA at least twice per calendar year. He in fact was in town on his way to a high roller whisky event in Las Vegas, where serious collectors buy and sell bottles for hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases.
The first one I tried was the 15 year -old French Oak Reserve, and following Logan’s instructions It was mixed with water. Color was an intense gold, creamy, rich and fruity with a lingering taste of almonds and spices. One of the secrets of Glenlivet is the method of maturation which means using French Oak barrels for a limited time in the process. Glenlivet was one of the first distilleries to use French Oak, and it is now a common practice in the whisky making process.
Limousin Oak from the Dordogne region of France allows the spirit to penetrate deep into the wood which in turn gives it a strong sense of spiciness.
The 18 year-old has an old gold look and was slightly more elegant than the 15 year-old. Oranges, raisins and toffee characterized the taste, partly because of the use of both American and French Oak casks. The French helps with the spiciness and complexity of the drink and the American helps with the fruitiness of the drink.
The Glenlivet 21 year-old is the mature and debonair drink in the collection and the color reflects that with its amber and copper shades. On the nose there is a hint of dried fruit and sherry, and on the palate you get a cinnamon and ginger feel along with toasted hazelnuts. Production is in small batches with each individual cask nosed and approved by master distiller Alan Winchester.
Last but certainly not least was the tasting of the Glenlivet XXV 25 year-old with a color of rich amber and ripe gold. A very sweet wine as well with the nose smelling dark chocolate and dried sultanas. Obviously if you can get your hands on this one, drink it with dessert where the long and balanced finish will stay on the palate.
Individually selected ex-sherry butts are used in this release where the Oloroso-soaked wood imparts a nutty spiciness perfect for the overall flavor.
Beverly Hills, CA(Spiritsman)3/16/15/–The Vins de Provence Wine Seminar and Wine Tasting on the Roof Top was billed as a Five Star event at the Five Star, L’Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California so it was important to be appropriately dressed and on time for both of these prestigious events. A little upfront planning was in order.
The time to drive from Orange County to Beverly Hills can vary greatly depending on the time of day and traffic conditions, so opting to spend the night in Altadena and making the trip into Beverly Hills the next morning cut the 62-mile trip virtually in half. However, what a Five Star Travel Adventure that turned out to be!
If Rosé is Here to Stay, Can a Delicious Détente Be Far Away
The 28.6-mile trip took me on six different freeways: I-210, CA-134, CA-2, I-5, CA-110, and the I-10. Oh, did I mention that morning traffic on all six freeways flowed as slowly as treacle on a cold day? However once at the hotel, valet parking was a breeze and I was safely inside the L’Ermitage, two hours early. After checking out the assigned meeting room and Roof Top terrace where the events were scheduled, what better use of time than to grab a light breakfast in the hotel coffee shop. One look at the breakfast menu was a reminder that this was indeed a Five Star Hotel; the breakfast burrito was a mere $28.00, coffee a mere $4.50, “Dorothy was definitely not in Orange County anymore.
”Overwhelmingly Favorite Wine in United States, Russia, China
First on the agenda of the long awaited “2015 Seventh Annual Provence in the City Tour, Educational Seminar, and Tasting Event” was the 10:30 a.m. Tasting Seminar. Of particular interest and focus was the diversity of the terroirs and wine styles. Terroir basically refers to the belief that the land/soil the grapes are grown on impart unique qualities and tastes that are unique to that area.
The Uniting Force Just May be Rosé,
After only a few minutes, it became abundantly clear that the 36 people attending the seminar were serious oenophiles who knew wine and appeared to be very confident when expressing their opinions about the characteristics of each wine sampled, at times challenging the sommelier on his perceptions.
When presented with a rosé wine in the United States, the typical reaction is to run and hide. This reaction possibly stems from the erroneous perception that all rosé wines are sweet. Maybe not fifty, however there are different shades of rosé. The following are classified as rosé wines: Grenache, Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan, Cinsault, and Pinot Noir. Considering the wide-range diversity in the characteristics of these wines, you may never again think of rosé wine in the same way. Your own personal Five Star Wines in the future may range from pink to red, all thriving in the rosé spectrum.
The takeaway message from this seminar was that the summation of all the charts and graphs in the presentation was that rosé is the overwhelmingly favored, exported wine from the Provence region of France (around 80-90%) to the United States, Russia and China. Sales of rosé wines from the Provence have doubled for the last several years in a row.
The vast majority of Provence wines come from three appellations:
Cotes de Provence AOP with its four sub-appellations:
Cotes de Provence Saint-Victoire AOP
Cotes de Provence Frejus AOP
Cotes de Provence La Londe AOP
Cotes de Provence PierrefeuAOP
Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provenance AOP
Coteaux Varois en Provence AOP
The Sommelier’s Analysis:
Barton & Buestier Passeport, Cotes de Provence, 2014 Rosé: 50% Grenance, 35% Cinsault, 15% Syrah. Suggested Retail Price (SRP): $15. Available Volumes for U.S. Market (AV): 120,000 Bottles.
Technical Information: Special care after picking to avoid oxidation and to preserve the typical light pink color. Short maceration period and alcoholic fermentation at a controlled temperature of (61- 64 oF). Aging on fine lees for 2 months before bottling.
TASTING NOTES: Appearance: Shiny, pale pink. Nose: delicate, mix of red berries (wild strawberry, raspberry), and flattering hints of spices and white flowers. Palate: an elegant wine full of fruit and freshness on the mid-palate. A long and refreshing finish.
Technical Information: Cold maceration of skins and juices for 10 hours.
TASTING NOTES: Nose: Lemon, pear, grapefruit and mineral. Mouth: Voluminous, fruity, fresh and balanced.
Pentes Douces, Appellation: Coteaux d’ Aix-en-Provence, 2010, Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Grenance. Excellar Price: € 7.75. Technical Information: Selected parcels of vines. Hand picked on the vines and then in the chai. Aged in French oak barrels for 14 months. Non-filtered, non-fined. 30hl/ha.
TASTING NOTES: A complex nose of red and black fruits, spices, and wood with hints of flowers. Full and round in the mouth with smooth and silky tannins. A lovely finish of fruits and mild spices.
Technical Information: Night harvesting, bleeding method (called “saignee”), skin maceration at a low temperature for a few hours. The wines are vinified separately and the temperature not exceeding 59-61oF, after letting the must settle. Malo-lactic formation avoided to ensure the crisp vitality of the rosé.
TASTING NOTES: The rosé obtained is typically Provencal, to be enjoyed as aperitif or with summer cooking, Asian dishes.
In the Final Analysis for the vast majority of wine drinkers, trust your palate; if it tastes good, drink it!
Provence Winemakers’ tours were held March 2 in New York City, March 4 in San Francisco, and March 5 in Los Angeles. These events were open to credentialed members of the trade and media.
Laguna Woods,CA(Spiritsman) 3/16/15–Originally concocted in1941 in Manhattan’s Little Moscow Chatham Hotel, this darling of the 1950’s Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood crowd has received a refreshing makeover. The original recipe was composed of vodka, ginger beer, lime juice, and ice. Gin lovers have taken the Mule to another level by upgrading to Moscow Mule Version 2.0, the Gin-gin-tini.
The Moscow Mule has become the signature drink for numerous restaurant bars including Turlock’s Seafood, Austin, Texas and the Top of the Hyatt Lounge at the Grand Hyatt in Seaport Village, San Diego. Today ginger seems to be as ubiquitous in food and beverages as kale is in health food and health drinks.
The Gin-gin-tini gets its name from the ingredients, Tanqueray Rangpur Gin and Reed’s StrongerJamaican Style Ginger Brew Beer. Rangpur’s juniper, coriander, bay leaves, ginger and lime give this gin an exotic, bold flavor in the British-Indian tradition that works wonderfully well with All Natural Jamaican Style Stronger Ginger Brew Beer; with natural juices, lemon, pineapple, honey and 26 grams of fresh ginger root.
The next time you are in the mood for something just a little different, try the Gin-gin-tini, all bets are that you won’t be disappointed.
Ms. Kay’s Gin-gin-tini Recipe:
James Bond Style, Shaken not Stirred:
Pour one ounce of Rangpur gin into a shaker, add ice and a splash (about ½ teaspoon or to taste) of Reed’s Stronger Ginger Brew Beer. Shake, then pour into your favorite martini glass. Enjoy!
For you contrarians who prefer stirred not shaken, place the gin directly into a martini glass, add the splash of Stronger Ginger Brew Beer and two small ice cubes. Stir.
By the way, just a splash of ginger brew made a very interesting martini, I mean Gingertini. “Ya-Women”
Reed’s passion for ginger comes from ginger’s incredible flavor and healthy properties. Reed’s Ginger Products come in ginger ales/beers(NA), candies and ice creams. The six ginger ale/beer flavors are: Original Ginger Brew, Extra Ginger Brew, Premium Ginger Brew, Raspberry Ginger Brew, Cherry Ginger Brew and Spiced Apple Brew. These award winning, top selling beverages are found internationally in gourmet and natural food stores. Reed’s love for ginger has expanded to creating some of the finest candy and ice creams ever. The ice cream flavors include Original Ginger, Chocolate Ginger, and Green Tea Ginger. The candies are in the crystallized ginger, original and chocolate covered, and chewy ginger, original and peanut butter ginger flavors. So go to your local store and get a delicious dose of health giving ginger with Reed’s!
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L’AVENTURE AND CLOS SELENE-A TALE OF TWO FRENCHMAN IN PASO ROBLES SOUGHT AFTER WINE IN HIGH DEMAND
Paso Robles(Spiritsman)2/23/15/–On my recent inspirational visit to Paso Robles I was introduced to two French vignerons who have very exciting wine brands, L’Aventure ad Clos Selene respectively.
L’Aventure is generally considered by those who know one of the best wineries in Paso Robes Clos Selene on the other hand is not even a winery, but a brand that is located in a warehouse with a tasting room, which like L’Aventure is by appointment only.
These wines have become the critics delight, selling out quickly with a waiting list of wine club members. Production is less than 1,000 cases, so if you can get your hand on one of these wines good luck to you.
L’Aventure is a small producer with an outstanding reputation in Paso Robles and primary wines are the Estate Rose 2014, Optimus 2012, Cote a Cote 2012 and Estate Cuvee 2012 with a combined case production of 5412. Stephan Asseo is the winemaker ably assisted by his wife Beatrice and daughter Chloe who has recently joined the growing business to help with the marketing of the wines.
Stephan comes from a winemaking family in Bordeaux where he established quite a name for himself as a vigneron and viticulturalist, before taking on new challenges in the exciting terroir of Paso Robles.
All the 2012 wines benefited from an early ripening and are big and dense with Intense fruit flavors being the hallmark of these wines with a long aging potential.
The Optimus 2012 which retails for $45 for example uses 53% Syrah along with Cabernet Sauvignon (38%) rounded out with Petit Verdot and is placed in 60% one year old oak barrels and 40% new French oak. Robert Parker gave the Optimus a 95 plus rating, but higher rankings were given to the other 2012 wines which retail for $85.
The winery is currently working on creating a state of the art tasting room and also constructing underground caves Clos Selene is named after winemaker Guillame Fabre’s wife, and Fabre worked at L’Aventure when he first came to Paso Robles. Since they are a small producer at this stage they do not have a vineyard but rent out small parcels in select plots of land in the region to grow their grapes. Prime site for them is the Russell Family Vineyard where they use very tight spacing of the vines.
Clos Selene has about eight wines on the market right now although most are sold out, but I believe you can still get the 2012 Hommage a nos Pairs. This wine is predominately 94% Syrah with a bit of Grenache and Viognier thrown in for good measure. The majority of the wines are hand harvested with the exception of the 2013 La Rose, de stemmed and then subjected to 48F cold soak maceration. Aging time also varies by wine but tends to be about 17 months, and combined case production for all the wines is about 610 cases and the winemaker signature is on every bottle.
To respect the spirit of L’Aventure, Stephan says “the blended varieties are the cornerstone of our production… blending increases the authenticity and the complexity of the creation as a whole”.
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate #208 (Aug 2013) – Review by Jeb Dunnuck
2011 Essence de Roussanne – 92 points
“A barrel-fermented blend of mostly Roussanne (half from James Berry Vineyard and half from Russell Family Vineyard) that spent 7 months in 80% new French oak and saw 10% through malolactic fermentation, the 2011 Roussanne offers up beautiful mineral-laced aromas of lemon peel, brioche, pear and crème to go with a medium-bodied, seamless palate feel. Rich, yet also pure and detailed, it really shows its class on the finish. Enjoy it over the coming 4-5 years.”
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate #208 (Aug 2013) – Review by Jeb Dunnuck
2011 Harmonie – 94 points
“Made from 41% Grenache, 37% Syrah and 22% Mourvedre that spent 15 months in 85% neutral French oak, the 2011 Harmonie is a full-bodied, ethereally textured effort that dishes out notions of black raspberry, licorice, crushed flowers, cassis and hints of white chocolate on both the nose and palate. Knockout stuff, with both richness and freshness, it firms up beautifully on the finish with polished tannin. Enjoy this full-flavored beauty over the coming decade or longer. Drink now- 2021.”
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate #208 (Aug 2013) – Review by Jeb Dunnuck
2011 L’Or Blanc – 94 points
“A standout white from the region, the L’Or Blanc is a co-fermented blend of 85% Viognier and 15% Roussanne that spent 7 months in100% new French oak. Made in a rich, full bodied style, with gorgeous white peach, loads of white flowers and brioche, it has awesome purity and serious length. Very rich, it’s perfectly done in the style and I love it. Enjoy bottles over the coming year or two. Drink now- 2015.”
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate #208 (Aug 2013) – Review by Jeb Dunnuck
2011 Hommage a nos Pairs Reserve – 95 points
“A blend of 93% Syrah, 5% Grenache and 2% Roussanne that was fermented with 5-10% stem inclusion and aged 15 months in new French oak, the 2011 Hommage a nos Pairs Reserve is more supple and upfront than the L’Insolent and offers up deep, layers aromas of raspberry ganache, crème de cassis, chocolate, vanilla and hints of spice on the nose. Full-bodied, voluptuously textured and incredibly polished, with sweet tannin, this sexy, no-holds-barred effort will deliver the goods over the coming 5-7 years, possibly longer.”
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate #208 (Aug 2013) – Review by Jeb Dunnuck
2011 L’Insolent – 96 points
“Due to uneven ripening and shatter, the 2011 L’Insolent doesn’t have any Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend (2010 was Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated) and checks in as a blend of 45% Syrah, 36% Petit Verdot and 19% Cabernet Franc that spent 15 months in 100% new French oak. Inky colored, with notions of blackberry, cassis, truffle, toast and tar on the nose, it is more elegant and seamless on the palate than the nose would suggest. Nevertheless, it’s a beautifuly full-bodies wine that has layers of fruit, ripe tannin and a great finish. I should drink nicely for upwards of a decade or longer. Drink now- 2021+.”
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate #208 (Aug 2013) – Review by Jeb Dunnuck
2011 Sweet Clementine – 92 points
“In addition to some smoking reds, Guillaume also produces a great dessert wine, Made in the style of Banyuls and fortified (10% Brandy was added) blend 97% Grenache and % Syrah that was harvested brix), the uring the first week of November (At 27.5 brix) the 2011 Sweet Clementine is a beauty. Offering up sweet, pure aromas and flavors of spice box, herbes de Provence, kirsch and blackberry liqueur, it is round, supple and full-bodied on the palate. The sweetness is balanced nicely here and everything is in the right proportions. Enjoy it over the coming decade or longer. Drink now-2021+.”
Vinious.com, by Galloni
Clos Solene 2011 Hommage a nos Pairs – 91
“The 2011 Hommage a Nos Pairs is beautiful in this vintage. Crushed rocks, spices, new leather, white flowers and sweet dark cherries wrap around the palate as the wine opens up in the glass. A dark, sumptuous wine, the 2011 possesses striking inner perfume and gorgeous length. The blend is 93% Syrah, 5% Grenache and 2% Roussanne that was co-fermented with the Syrah.”
Vinious.com, by Galloni
Clos Solene 2011 L’Or Blanc – 92
“The 2011 L’Or Blanc Russell Family Vineyards is striking. White flowers, mint and peaches waft from the glass in this delineated, totally beautiful wine. Clean veins of minerality give the wine elements of freshness and verve that aren’t always found in Rhone white blends. L’Or Blanc is 85% Viognier and 15% Roussanne, co-fermented, that spent seven months in 100% new French oak barrels.”
Vinious.com, by Galloni
Clos Solene 2011 Essence de Roussanne – 91
“Clos Solene’s 2011 Essence de Roussanne emerges from parcels in the James Berry and Russell Family vineyards. Layers of white stone fruits, flowers, honey and spices are beautifully alive in the glass. The use of 80% new barrels shapes the wine, but the fruit handles it well. This isn’t the most varietally expressive Roussanne readers will come across, but it is among the most striking. The textured style will be most appreciated by readers who like rich, full-bodied whites.”
HOLLYWOOD(Spiritsman)2/9/15/–Patrón is tapping into your sweet & spicy sides with Patrón XO Cafe Incendio and Patrón XO Cafe Dark. Between the chile-chocolate bite of Incendio and the coffee-dark cocoa kick of XO Cafe Dark, the tequilas will get anyone in the mood to treat themselves this holiday (and someone special if they’re lucky). Patron’s “XO Cafe cocktails are:” A Love potion, elixir of love, Cupid’s arrows, straight to her heart. “Life is better with Tequila”
Spice Is Nice
Created by Tim Cooper, Sweetwater Social (NYC)
½ oz Patrón XO Cafe Incendio
1 ½ oz Roca Patrón Reposado
½ oz Cinnamon Syrup
¾ oz Lime Juice
Top with Freshly Grated Cinnamon
Build ingredients, shake and stir into a glass and pour over ice.
The Spicy Bee
Signature Patrón Spirits Cocktail
1 oz Patrón XO Cafe Dark
½ oz Mike’s Hot Honey
½ oz Heavy Cream
Red Pepper for Garnish
Build ingredients (except heavy cream), shake, and strain into a chilled glass. Shake heavy cream and layer the top of the cocktail with it. Garnish with a dollop of crushed red pepper in the glass.
HOLLYWOOD(Spiritsman)2/7/15/–Celebrate National Margarita Day on February 22nd with the hand-crafted, smooth taste of Ole Smoky Moonshine. Put down the extra sweet, colorful drink with the paper umbrella and change it up with a Moonshine Margarita–a Southern twist on a classic cocktail. Knock back one (or three) of these to add a little zing to your day and get the party started.
2 parts Ole Smoky Original Moonshine
1 part Lime Juice
1 part Simple Syrup
1 part Triple Sec
Garnish for the rim of the glass:
Dash of Fresh Lime Juice
Salt and Sugar
Mix ingredients well and pour over ice
Combine salt and sugar with a dash of lime juice for the rim of the glass
Moonshine is unaged corn whiskey. Ole Smoky uses anauthentic East Tennessee recipe, and is jarred and shipped directly from the company’s famed Gatlinburg distillery The Holler™ (America’s most visited distillery) and new location, the Ole Smoky Barn at The Island in Pigeon Forge. Now available in all 50 states and Canada, Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine can be found at local retailers and is sampled and sold at some of the biggest music and sporting events in the country.