Exciting news! Our dry, delicious Bere Aran has been featured by Martha Stewart Living. Author Sarah Tracey recommends including cider on your table this fall, and calls Sidra "one of the most food-friendly ciders out there." For Bere Aran, she offers the excellent pairing of shrimp tapas with cured ham.
Vinicola del Priorat's Onix Classic Blanc has once again been singled out by Wine & Spirit's Magazine. The wine is one of only 8 Spanish selections included in their "100 Best Buys of the Year" list for 2015.
A blend of hand harvested Macabeo (60%), Garnacha Blanca (35%) and Pedro Ximenez (5%), they describe it as "...nutty and creamy with powerful richness...it ends fresh and crisp, calling you back for another sip." We find this makes it the perfect match for seafood pasta, polenta or vegetable dishes. Cheers!
Learn more about Vinicola del Priorat and their much acclaimed winemaker, Sandra Estevez here.
Our Las Lilas Rosé Vinho Verde is featured in the summer 2015 edition of the Charleston Style & Design Magazine. Writer Robert Calvert finds it "crisp and refreshing" paired with a light salad and seared scallops. Saying it's "like biting into a slice of chilled watermelon on a hot summer afternoon," he makes us wish we had a bottle waiting for us at home!
Below is an excerpt, or read the full article here. Cheers!
"Las Lilas Rosé...is a beautiful cherry color, darker and richer in hue than the typical rosé. The bouquet reminds one of minerals and rhubarb with a whiff of yeast. The wine is slightly tart in the mouth, with elements of cherries, oranges, peaches and strawberries."
We are very pleased to announce that our Cicchitti Gran Reserva and Melipal Nazarenas Vineyard Malbecs are once again earning high marks from the critics! In the October edition of Wine Enthusiast, Cicchitti's Gran Reserva 2012 will receive 93 points and Melipal's Nazarenas Vineyard 2012 earns a 94. They will also be included on the "Editor's Choice" list.
The Cicchitti Gran Reserva Malbec is inky purple in color, with aromas of spice box, tobacco and black cherry. Thick and sweet, it has excellent depth, concentration and superb length. The May issue of Wine & Spirits Magazine gave 92 points to the 2008 vintage and recommended a pairing of beef empanadas. We think it's also delicious with mushroom and sausage pasta, barbecue or cumin spiced dishes. Or cellar it for a special occasion.
Learn the story behind the Cicchitti winery here.
Exciting news - our Cicchitti Gran Reserva Malbec receives a 92 point rating in the current issue of Wine & Spirits Magazine! They describe it as a "rich red that flows with perfect ease," that is "generous in fresh fruit, soft in texture and has enough grip." Read the full review below.
They recommend enjoying it with beef empanadas, which would certainly be delicious. You could also uncork it with mushroom and sausage pasta, barbecue, lean meats, or cumin seasoned dishes. Or cellar it for a special occasion.
To learn more about this beautiful, family owned winery, go to their page.
"Balanced between sweetness and freshness, this takes on Malbec's friendly and approachable role as a rich red that flows with perfect ease. It's generous in fresh fruit, soft in texture, and has enough grip to serve with beef empanadas. The Cicchitti family farms the fruit for this Malbec on 30-year-old vines in Tupungato."
- Wine & Spirits Magazine, May 2015
Wine & Spirits' April 2015 issue hit the stands recently, giving Brunn's Riede Stein Gruner Veltliner a rating of 93 points. They call it "primordial in its rich swirl of peachy flavors, violent scents" with "everything brought together by the wine's umami richness." We couldn't agree more!
They suggest pairing it with tafelspitz (Austria's national dish of boiled beef in broth, served with horseradish). Other options that work well are: grilled veal cutlet, grilled asparagus or spicy Asian food. Read the full review below. To learn more about Brunn, check out their page.
Brunn 2013 Kamptal Riede Stein Gruner Veltliner - 93
"This gruner comes off a plot of loess over primary rock (stein in German). It feels primordial in its rich swirl of peachy flavors, violet scents and a vegetal, mustard-green note, everything brought together by the wine’s umami richness. It has the stuffing to pour with a beef-brothy tafelspitz, or to age for several years.
The Artisan Collection, NY"
Brunn is a small, family-owned winery located north of the Danube in Kamptal. The wine is 100% Blauer Zweigelt grapes, hand-harvested from old vines. Winemaker Karl Steinschaden produces this red to 13.5% abv. It's really fun to drink - a little bit like a restrained Cabernet Franc or a Pinot Noir gone wild.
The nose exhibits savory spices and tobacco, a tart twist plus a little hint of gunpowder to liven up the show. On the palate, red berries, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and a really nice acidity get things moving, while a firm tannic grip is apparent upon opening. The tannins soften over time, so pair with a steak right away. - Randy Fuller
"The Las Lilas Vinho Verde - a pale, white wine - pours up frizzante, with a slight bit of bubble action showing on the sides of the glass. Pleasant aromas of white peaches and nectarines are the first above the rim, while the scent of grapefruit kicks its way through the mellow to liven up the joint. On the palate, there is a nice citrus play, with orange, lemon and lime peel figuring into it. That grapefruit angle is a bit more subdued on the tongue than is in the nose, but still adds freshness to the overall sensation.
The wine finishes without extreme tartness but the memory fades fairly quickly. Its crisp acidity and refreshing zing combine to make it a great match for a shrimp salad or a ham and cheese sandwich. It's a great wine for spring or summer, but you shouldn't feel compelled to save it for then. Pair it with potato soup or clam chowder right now!"
Wine writer Randy Fuller recently had the opportunity to taste our Santiago Palo Cortado Sherry. In his article on "Now and Zin Wine," he starts with: Wine is easy. Sherry is Difficult." He does a fantastic job of explaining and highlighting the complexities of Sherry, with a focus on our Palo Cortado. Below is an excerpt from his article.
"The wine looks great - the amber color of bourbon or a Newcastle Brown. That deep color makes for high expectations in other areas, and those expectations are met. There is a fair amount of alcohol on the nose, but wafting in and out - like the sound of a distant marching band on a windy day - are luscious fragrances of brown sugar, burnt caramel and dried raisins. Now, high expectations are set for the palate.
If this is your first experience with Palo Cortado, the aromas may lead you to expect a very sweet drink, which is not the case. The sherry is far less viscous than might be expected and quite dry, with none of the flavors having anything to do with the sweet aromas coming from the glass. It drinks more like a spirit than a wine, with a strong nutty flavor and just an idea of raisins and caramel behind it.
The big story, though, is the acidity. It zips across the tongue in racy fashion and really makes itself know in the throat, on the way down. I have always heard sherry referred to as a sipping wine, or a cooking wine. This one is a pairing wine. The notes of chestnut and hazelnut are great with pork or even some herb goat cheese on a wheat cracker. The acidity helps it mate with just about anything you could throw at it. I'd have it with a steak, no problem. A big, old-Vegas kind of steak."
- Randy Fuller
The February 2015 issue of Wine & Spirits features a new review of the “Year’s Best” wines. The Artisan Collection is proud to announce some outstanding ratings for our portfolio. Of the 19 “Best Buys” in the Spain category, The Artisan Collection represents 4.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding the wines listed below.
Year's Best Catalan Wines
2013 Vinicola del Priorat Onix Classic Blanc (Best Buy) 94 Points
"Grown in licorella soils in the hills of Gratallops, this is a blend of macabeo (60 percent) with garnacha blanca (35 percent) and pedro ximenez. It has a delicate scent that brings to mind flor, the layer of lees that protects sherry as it ages in cask. The flavors are nutty and creamy with powerful richness, then the wine tightens up in the finish, where it ends fresh and crisp, calling you back for another sip."
2012 Vinicola del Priorat Onix Classic (Best Buy) 93 Points
"Half garnacha, half carinena, this is youthfully juicy. Generous in red fruit, rich in spice, what dominates here is the mineral sensation, a tannic edge that brings to mind the licorella soil, roughing up the texture while charming in its nerve. This is particularly well priced, and particularly great with wild boar."
2013 Vinicola del Priorat Clos Gebrat (Best Buy) 92 Points
"A blend of garnacha (40 percent) and carinena (35 percent) with merlot, syrah, and cabernet, this is focused on bright red fruit. Whatever wood influence is there has lost the battle, taking a second postion to the fruit, which feels a little rustic and wild. Its tannins are set for steak tartare."
Read more about Vinicola Del Priorat here!
Year's Best Rhone
2011 Lunar Apoge Lirac 90 Points
“Christian Leperchois started farming organically at Domaine des Carabiniers in 1977 and has moved the vineyards for Lunar Apoge to biodynamics (certified by Demeter). This one comes from his 37 acres in the sandy, pebbly soils of Lirac, the youngest vines 32 years old. In 2011, those vines gave a juicy, generous wine that’s still amazingly fresh, the fruit vibrantly purple and lively. With the air it gains detail-an earthy depth, an herbal scent-yet the vibrancy never fades."
Read more about Lunar Apoge here!
The December issue of Wine Enthusiast features a story on their journey through the Bierzo region of Spain in May of this past Spring. The region is home to 74 registered wineries, and Gancedo was among the 10 wineries visited. The article discusses the special qualities and characteristics of Bierzo, which are expressed in the wines. Michael Schachner praises the region for wines with "exotic aromas, alluring flavor profiles and undeniable style."
We are proud to report that Gancedo has 2 red wines reviewed, earning ratings of 91 points. Please contact us for more information on availability and pricing.
Gancedo Mencia 2012: "Initial aromas are oaky and a touch raw, but soon they settle on raspberry and plum. This is a chunky, fruit forward Mencia with dark berry, raspberry, spice, resiny oak and salty flavors. A full lively finish is muscular but also fresh and bright. It has only eight months in oak; drink now through 2015."
Gancedo Xestal Mencia 2008: "Dry, leathery and earthy up front, this mature Mencia is all about grip and complexity. In the mouth, it's tight and tannic. Flavors of dry cherry and berry are layered and earthy, while hard tannins and additional earth notes steer a long spicy finish. Drink through 2019."
On October 8, 2014 in New York City and November 10, 2014 in Los Angeles, The Artisan Collection presented some of our finest Spanish wines to the industry and the public in an all day showcase of Spanish wines and delicacies.
In issue 176 of Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar more than 30 of our wines received ratings of 90 points or higher. See this list of top scoring wines below:
2011 Bodegas Altanza Hacienda Valvares Rioja Crianza 90 points
2010 Bodegas Altanza Seleccion Especial Reserva Rioja 92 points
2009 Bodegas Altanza Club Lealtanza Rioja Reserva 92 points
2008 Bodegas Altanza Lealtanza Seleccion de Familia Rioja 91 points
2013 Bodegas Baigorri Blanco Fermentado en Barrica Rioja 90 points
2010 Bodegas Baigorri Rioja Crianza 90 points
2010 Bodegas Baigorri Garnacha Rioja 93 points
2009 Bodegas Baigorri Rioja Reserva 91 points
2009 Bodegas Baigorri Belus Rioja 92 points
2009 Bodegas Baigorri Baigorri de Garage Rioja 93 points
2009 Bodegas Baigorri Baigorri B70 Rioja 93 points
Bodegas San Prudencio
2007 Bodegas San Prudencio Cueto Rioja Reserva 90 points
Vinicola del Priorat
2012 Vinicola del Priorat Onix Fusio Priorat 90 points
2011 Vinicola del Priorat Clos Gebrat Crianza Priorat 91 points
2011 Onix Evolucio Priorat 91 points
RIBERA DEL DUERO
Bodegas Felix Callejo
2012 Bodegas Felix Callejo El Lebrero Vino de la Tierra de Castilla 90 points
2012 Bodegas Felix Callejo Flores de Callejo Ribera del Duero 90 points
2011 Bodegas Felix Callejo Callejo Ribera del Duero Crianza 91 points
2011 Bodegas Felix Callejo Majuelos de Callejo Ribera del Duero 93 points
2011 Bodegas Felix Callejo Felix Callejo Ribera del Duero 93 points
2009 Bodegas Felix Callejo Gran Callejo Ribera del Duero Gran Reserva 93 points
2010 Besadien Ribera del Duero Reserva 91 points
CAMPO DE BORJA
2011 Bodegas QUO Garnacha Premium Campo de Borja 91 points
2011 Bodegas QUO Garnacha Gastiago Campo de Borja 90 points
2013 Jordi Miro Garnatxa Negra Maceracio Carbonica Terra Alta 90 points
Bodega Carmen Rodriguez Mendez
2011 Bodega Carmen Rodriguez Mendez Carodorum Seleccion Especial Toro 91 points
2011 Bodega Carmen Rodriguez Mendez Carodorum Toro Crianza 90 point
Bodegas y Vinedos Gancedo
2013 Bodegas y Vinedos Gancedo Capricho Val de Paxarinas Blanco 90 points
2008 Bodegas y Vinedos Gancedo Gancedo Ucedo Bierzo 93 points
2008 Bodegas y Vinedos Gancedo Gancedo Xestal Bierzo 91 points
Felix Callejo Crianza 2011 ($50) 90 points
Felix Callejo Majuelos De Callejo ($95) ?
Felix Callejo Vinedos de la Familia ($190) 91 points
Carmen Rodriguez Mendez 2011 Cardorum Issos ($19) 87 points
Carmen Rodriguez Mendez 2011 Carodorum Issos ($25) 88 points
Carmen Rodriguez Mendez 2011 Carodorum Seleccion Especial ($60) 91+ points.
Bodegas Altanza 2013 Blanco Rioja 88+ The 2013 Blanco is a blend of 55% Viura and 45% Sauvignon Blanc. It is very fresh and fruit with perfumed aromas of grapefruit, minerals and spice. It is crisp on the palate with excellent acidity and good extract on the finish.
Bodegas Altanza 2008 Lealtanza Reserva Club Rioja ($70) 91 The 2008 Lealtanza Reserva Club displays a lovely opaque red color and aromas of fresh dark cherry, toasted oak, and a hint of mint on the nose. On the palate it reveals bold dark red fruit, dark chocolate. rich, coconut-chocolate notes from the oak. Aged 18 months in French oak, it is nicely structured with a feminine texture and good tannic grip on the finish.
Bodegas Altanza 2010 Reserva Selección Especial Rioja ($44) 91 The 2010 Reserva Seleccion Especial reveals aromas of dark red cherry with notes of cacao and wood spice. Fresh on the attack and concentrated on the palate showing good dark red cherry, mocha, and a hint of underbrush. fine ripe tannins. Easy to drink and deli- cious.
Bodegas Altanza 2008 Lealtanza Reserva Selecciónde la Familia ($50) 91 The Reserva Selección de la Familia offers a bouquet of earth and spice box complemented by dark red cherry notes. This is a nicely concentrated wine, with a lot of well integrated oak, and still dry tannins. It’s silky smooth on the attack.
Bodegas Altanza 2008 Gran Reserva Rioja ($50) 91+ The 2008 Gran Reserva displays an opaque ruby colors and aromas of . mint and clove on the nose with notes of spice box, violets, dark red fruit. Aged 24 months in oak, it is big and soft on the attack and silky on the palate with lots of, dark red and black fruit, chocolate and toasted oak, and firm tannins with a rich long finish.
Bodegas Altanza 2008 Reserva Artistas Españoles ($100) 94 The Flagship of the winery, this 2008 Reserva Spanish Artist Collection is crafted from a selec- tion of the estate’s oldest vines and best fruit with extraor- dinary low yields of below 2 tons/ha. It offers aromas of black cherry, earth and mushroom, and is firmly structured with lots of oak on the palate and fine fruit overtones. Aged for 18 months in new French oak, it shows firm dry tannins at present but is still very young and will benefit from more time in the bottle.
LeAltanza 2008 Reserva Artistas Chinos Rioja ($100) 92 Fresh plum and dark red fruit define the character of this medium-weight wine. Aged for 18 months in new French oak, It is rich and full flavored and is nicely balanced on the palate with a soft texture and excellent concentration. Importer: The Artisan Collection, New York, NY
Bodegas Baigorri With 272 ha of estate vines in Rioja Alavesa, Baigorri makes a wide range of wines from the traditional Alavesa carbonic-macerated Tempranillo Tinto to the very rich, ripe and extracted Baigorri de Garaje. Its vines are old and sustainably farmed, while the grapes are hand harvested and carefully sorted. Developed by Jesús Baigorri and currently owned by businessman Pedro Martínez, the winery is perhaps best known for it modern, gravity flow winery. Designed by the architect Iñaki Aspiazu and located on the heavily traveled route between Logroño and Laguardia, the seven story, modern glass cube building is a popular tourist attraction in the Rioja Alavesa. Lead winemaker is Simone Arina Robles uses the latest technology, including small conical fermentation tanks of stainless steel. Annual production is about 600 thousand bottles. The wines are distinctly modern in character with lavish use of new French oak.
Bodegas Baigorri 2012 Cask Fermented White Wine Rioja ($40) 91 Yellow gold. Fresh and saline in character, this Baigorri Viura shows notes of lightly toasted almonds and honeyed stone fruit. It’s well balanced with good acidity and viscosity. Savory and delicious. A blend of bar-rel fermented Viura (95%) and Malvasia (5%).
Bodegas Baigorri 2007 Baigorri de Garage Rioja ($95) 92 Madein small lots, this “garage” wine is rich, dense and modern with a strong influence from 22 months in new French oak. It shows ripe dark red plum, tobacco spice, chocolate and coconut shavings, and herbs. The palate is smooth, fresh, and shows good depth, finishing with gritty tannins. We expected more flavor integration with several years in bottle. 100% Tempranillo.
Bodegas Baigorri 2007 Crianza Rioja ($30) 90 The 2007 Crianza displays a minty herbal nose with nice freshness on the palate. It reveals a silky mouth feel with good integrated fruit and oak flavors, and good extract on the finish.
Bodegas Baigorri 2010 Garnacha Rioja 90 The Garnacha follows in the modern Baigorri style with ripe, lush dark red fruit lavishly wrapped in heavily toasted oak. The result is rich flavor and a lush mouth feel with prominent coconut and chocolate notes that mask the Garnacha. Not a subtle wine but one that many will like.
Bodegas Baigorri 2006 Reserva Rioja ($48) 90 The quintessential Rioja Reserva showing a lot of toasted oak and dark cherry fruit complemented by notes of saddle leather, baking spices, and tobacco leaf. But a bit weak on the mid-palate and firmly tannic and dry on the finish. Needs to be decanted and would benefit from additional aging. 100% Tempranillo aged 18 months in French oak. Importer: The Artisan Collection, New York, NY
Las Lilas Vinho Verde gets rave review from Scott Greenberg of WTOP, Washington, DC.