What's New in January
Everything New in 2010
Over the last decade we have worked slowly and methodically to put together a well reasoned portfolio of exciting properties from Spain. Heading into the new decade we have some amazing new projects to introduce.
In 2010 we are expanding in three main areas in Spain.
Most of you know, thanks to a series of great articles by Eric Asimov and Gerry Dawes, how spectacular this area is for wines. Today we represent D. Ventura, working in two of the five sub zones (Amandi and Miño). In 2010 we are expanding by picking up Dominio do Bibei. Working in the Quiroga-Bibei sub zone, this modernistic project expands on the themes of Ribeira Sacra by adding a new sub zone to our vocabulary with new grapes and methodology.
Dominio do Bibei
D.O. Ribeira Sacra
Our first release from Dominio do Bebei is the 2006 Lalama. Made from a blend of Mencía, Garnacha, Brancellao and Mouraton, this wine was fermented in a combination open oak barrels and tronco conicos (large format barrels) followed by 21 months aging on the lees in a mix of 1-3 year old French 500 liter barrels and cement vessels. It was then aged for 18 months in bottle before release. The Lalama will be released in early 2010.
Many of you know our approach to this grand region and the complications in clearly defining it. The age old discussion of “old school versus new school” is really not what we are interested in. Of much greater curiosity is the exploration of terruño in this region. Today we are fortunate to represent some spectacular properties in all three sub zones of Rioja. In Rioja Alta we have been working with the Count of Hervias. A gregarious bon vivant, Iñigo has spectacular vineyard holdings in Rioja Alta. After years of following the project and finally releasing one wine, we convinced Iñigo to expand the line and allow us to purchase the fruit that doesn't make it into his flagship wine. Two wines will be released.
Pure expression of fruit from the acclaimed vineyards in Torremontalbo (Rioja Alta) with no oak.
Mencos Crianza 2006
The second Mencos release is the 2006 Crianza that is due to arrive later this year. Also made from 100% Tempranillo, this wine is aged in predominantly older American oak barrels from the Conde De Hervias wines. Polish and a true sense of Spain.
We can’t overstate our excitement with cider. As we seek new and exciting flavors, cider has become the product for which we see the most potential in 2010. The reception for our Isastegi cider from the Basque country has been phenomenal. Not caving in to "market pressures", we made a bet that our customers would like the product exactly as it is emjoyed in the place of production. Unfiltered and bone dry, it quickly found a home of adoring fans. That led us to the logical conclusion that we should also represent an Asturian cider. We went, we explored, and we found another amazing producer. The first product landing is anything but traditional but nonetheless exciting. Originally scheduled for 2009, due to shipping delays it will be released in February. The two other releases that will follow are the traditional offerings from this exquisite place.
D.O.P. Sidra de Asturias
This unique cider is produced through the Méthode Champenoise (secondary fermentation in the bottle) utilizing only indigenous yeasts. In the glass exuberant aromas of apples mingling with a earthy component reminiscent of the natural flora of the cider house. Bone dry on the finish with similar flavors replicated on the palate.
D.O.P. Sidra de Asturias
Our second release from Trabanco is their traditional natural cider. It is produced from a multitude of apples coming from the province of Gijón and is fermented in stainless steel tanks utilizing indigenous yeast and then bottled without filtration. The Trabanco is due to arrive alongside the 2009 Isastegi Sagardo in the spring.
D.O.P. Sidra de Asturias
Trabanco Gran Reserva
Our third cider from Trabanco is the Gran Reserva. Also a traditional natural cider, this offering is made from apples sourced only from the best sites within the D.O.P. that are then pressed in the cider house's old wooden presses. A slow fermentation occurs in old chestnut barrels and is followed by extended lees aging. The aging process takes a little longer than the standard Trabanco so expect this cider to arrive in the fall.
The winners of our 2009 Cocktail Contest have been chosen. We had a lot of excellent submissions but we could only chose three winners, here are the results from our tasting panel.
Peace of the Pyrenees
By Alan M. of Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar in New York, NY
1.75 oz Cerbois Bas Armagnac
0.6 oz Mathilde Black Currant Liqueur
0.7 oz El Maestro Sierra Oloroso
Combine all ingredients with ice and stir. Pour into a martini glass with luxardo maraschino cherry in the bottom. Flame an orange twist on top and wipe the rim of the glass, discard the twist.
By Alexandra R. of Txikito in New York, NY
2 oz Celery Syrup
2 oz Fino Elcano
Celery Seed Sugar
Rim a rocks glass or similar tumbler with celery seed sugar and fill with ice. Add chilled celery syrup and chilled Fino Elcano. Finish with club soda and garnish with a large twist.
by Stephen S. of Boston Apothecary
1/2 oz La Cigarrera Manzanilla
1/2 oz Cinzano Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz Del Maguey "Chichicapa" Mezcal
1/2 oz Kirschwasser Cherry Eau de Vie
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass.
Each winner will receive one of our limited edition 2009 hand-painted porrons by Mike Jakob of the Elliot Street Deli & Pub in Atlanta, Georgia. Next month we will be unveiling our 2010 cocktail contest, be sure to check back in February to learn all about it.
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