Sunday, January 27, 2013

Primitivo Negroamaro : wild grapes bitter black wine

I did try some wine clubs. One of them is
So far most of the wines have been average . For an average price of $15 a bottle, we got what we paid for.
However 1 particular wine stood out at least in my view.
It stood out for the very interesting name :

Primitivo Negroamaro . With my French and Romanian languages, when I read Primitivo it makes me think of primitive of course, or in other words unsofisticated, antique, rough so it makes me think of some vine that is maybe wild, something as different as wild apples are from orchard apples. Interesting no ?

But this is not the end. Negroamaro makes me think of negre , which in this context I would take it as particularly dark, sombre, pitch black and amaro, which brings to me the notion of bitter. So, bitter black.

In fewer words , this is  a wild grapes bitter black wine. Huh ??

I had to open it.
And guess what ?
The color is very interesting, pitch black, dark, very dark purple. Look at your tongue in the mirror :)
But what about the taste ? It was rich, full, it made you fill more like you were drinking thick hot cholocate then wine. The amaro ? Not really, a very interestingly pleasant unique wine.

I loved it and quickly bought a steady reserve of it . Did I mention the price ? $20 / bottle :)

So here is my recommendation :

Wild grapes bitter black wine :

2009 PIllastro Selezione d'Oro Primitivo Negroamaro at $20

Oh, and did I mention the bottle was also very preatty ? Thick glass, nice label, a wonderful experience all around.

Enjoy !

New Year's wines

We spent New Year's Eve party near San Jose. Putting aside that people in San Jose consider driving to Napa a "long trip" and it took us 1.5 hours, I do think that they privileged proximity to the fountains of Napa and Sonoma should give them an unfair expertise edge.
Then of course some of them who really enjoy wine, have an expensive wine cooler and take trips to Napa multiple times a year should have some really nice wines. And what is a better event to take a good bottle of wine out then during New Year's Eve party after we just came from 10 days in Napa and Sonoma, and we talk about wine a little bit too much.
One never knows what that will yield. But to my happiness that yielded some of the best wines we tried in the entire trip. Happy ending to a wonderful trip.

During our trip we were told to go visit Del Dotto's. We went, we tried. We moved on. But clearly we hadn't tried the really good stuff.

Our host had a  2006 Del Dotto Rutherford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (from Napa of course) which was wonderful with the meal, I strongly recommend it.

It seems to be hard to find, the winery doesn't have it on its website ... but maybe there is some left. Here is how the label looks :

Beautiful Cab from Del Dotto:

2006 Del Dotto Rutherford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon at $50

If you can really find it

And of course before this we had a few Napa Chardonnays. 2 of them to be precise. Both were really good. I think my favorite was the 1st one, but , honestly, given time has passed, and regretting I didn't take notes, it could have been any of the 2.

Here they are :

Maybe my favorite of the 2:

2006 Mi Sueno Chardonnay Pugash Vineyard Sonoma Mountain at $45 or so

I can't find the 2006 anymore anywhere, but the 2008 is $45 :
Note: I have NOT tasted the 2008 and there is absolutely no guarantee that it's even coming from the same vineyard as wineries can rename things for marketing purposes.
But here is the link :

and the 2nd :

2006 Kali Hart Chardonnay Monterey County at $16

Given the price difference it really makes me believe that most likely the 1st one was indeed my favorite. But as you know, the price doesn't make the wine, especially not according to my taste.

Castelo di Amorosa ... not my favorite

Well, as you know I don't like to talk about wines that are not aligned with my taste. So I won't say much more except that my wife really liked it and I didn't.
And we continue on our search for good wines for a reasonable budget :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Castelo di Amorosa may have good wine (despite the name)

While we were in Napa we didn't have much interest in visiting the Castello di Amorosa as it is known for the preatty castly ( we therefore assumed their wines should have nothing interesting !).

However friends told us that their favorite wines , out of a group of 10 testers, and in unanimity, was this one :

The beautiful castle's wine :

2008 IL BRIGANTE Red Wine Blend at $32

I guess we have to test it now !

We'll make our own opinion but it looks quite promising already.
I hope we'll enjoy !

The math of wine

A question I always had in my mind was the economics of wine.

So here is more info that may help you also get an idea :
(some of this info comes from  : )

1 acre of vineyar = 2 tons of grapes
1 ton of grapes = 2.5 barrels of wine
1 barrel of wine = 24 cases of 12 bottles each
1 case = 12 bottles of wine of 750ml each

Therefore 1 acre = 5 barrels = 120 cases = 1440 bottles
Which at 10$/bottle assuming one sells all the bottles in 1 year, means a revenue $15,000 / year / acre

So for example if you have 100 acres planted with vineyard you can expect about
$1,500,000 million revenue at 10$/bottle.
(Roughly vineyard sells at $1,000,000 per 10 acres in Napa in prime vineyard area).

Here is an example to buy 60 acres for $6,000,000 :

Per the math above, 60 acres means about $1 million per year at $10/bottle in revenue.
So assuming 20% margin, you'll pay back the 6 million in 6/0.2 = 30 years....
Of course if you can sell your wine at 20$/bottle the math looks much better. And the average retail wine bottles sells more around 25$ I would hope or more then around $10.

Enjoy !

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Back home , what now ?

Well , now that we are back home in Boston , no more winery tasting for some time.
So what will happen next ?
It's very simple , first, we'll drink all the wine we bought in Napa and Sonoma. We already started :)

But more important, and far more useful, in our every day lives we do run into wines that we like a lot. It doesn't happen very often, maybe every few months. When that happens we usually take a picture of the label and ...forget about it.
Now we have a place to store them ! So , with no particular rush, expect us to post about new wines every now and then.
And as a matter of fact we had had a few amazing wines over New Year's Eve party, but ...I completely forgot what they were. I'll try to dig the info out, but no promises.

Happy New Year to everybody !!