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  • Levante and Almansa Spanish Wine

    The Levante wine and region

    Almansa Spanish WineThe area of Castilla-La Mancha is so large that it is dealt with in two parts. In the previous section that dealt with the high plateau of the Meseta we travelled through the western part of Castilla-La Mancha (Vinos de Madrid, La Mancha, Mentrida, and Valdepeñas). It is now time to visit the eastern part of Almansa.

    Almansa is situated on the high plateau of the Levante, close to the autonomías of Valencia (Alicante, Utiel-Requena, and Valencia) and Murcia (Bullas, Jumilla, and Yecla). Although Levante is the Spanish name for the east coast and therefore strictly only applies to Murcia, Almansa’s position and isolation justifies our dealing with this enclave of La Mancha within our section on the Levante. The climate in this eastern part of Spain varies between a distinctly Mediterranean one on the coast to a semi-continental one with Mediterranean influences in Almansa.

  • Limoux - French Wines

    Still and sparkling white French wines are produced in the 41 communes around Limoux. The climate in this area is clearly influenced by the Mediterranean, moderated by the influence of the Atlantic. It is much greener here than elsewhere in the Languedoc but from this apparent cool the local wines are somewhat tempestuous. Various Roman authors extolled the quality of the still wine of Limoux around the start ofthe first millennium. The natural conversion of still wine into sparkling was not discovered by a Benedictine monk until 1531. The first brut was produced at St-Hilaire, close to Limoux.

     

    BLANQUETTE DE LlMOUX

    This fresh sparkling wine must be produced with a minimum of 90 per cent of Mauzac grapes. The only grapes permitted to be supplemented are Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. After the initial fermentation and acquisition of the basic wine, tirage de liqueur is added to the wine. This causes a second fermentation in the bottle which adds bubbles to this French wine.

    The residues from the fermentation are removed after at least nine months in the process of degorgement. Depending on the desired taste (brut or demi-sec) either none, a little, or more liqueur is added. Blanquette de Limoux is pale yellow tinged with green, is lightly but enduringly sparkling and has a fine nose of green apple and spring blossom together with a floral, fresh, and fruity taste.

    Drinking temperature for this French wine at: 6- 8°C (42.8-46.4°F).

     

    CREMANT DE LlMOUX

    This French wine is actually closely related to the Blanquette. The differences are in the proportion of grapes used: a minimum of 60 per cent Mauzac (instead of 90) and a maximum of 20 per cent Chardonnay and 20 per cent Chenin Blanc together with a minimum maturation of 12 months instead of nine. The colour is pale golden, while the nose is very aromatic with suggestions of white flowers and toast, the taste is complex, light, and fresh. This Cremant is always characterised by its gentle, more delicate bubbles that make this a very subtle and elegant wine. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 6-8°C (42.8-46.4°F). There are special luxury cuvees of both the Blanquette and the Cremant. These do not perhaps possess the same finesse at top Champagnes but they do benefit from the warmth and generosity of the Mediterranean and the South of France. The price is exceptionally reasonable for a French wine.

     

     

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  • Listrac-Médoc, Loupiac and Lussac-Saint-Émilion Bordeaux Wines

    Listrac-Médoc Bordeaux Wine

    Loupiac Bordeaux WineMonsieur d’Armailhac, in his 1855 book on viticulture in the Médoc, said the Listrac plateau could be compared to the region’s most favorably placed properties. With magnificent outcrops on either side—Forréad to the south and Fourcas to the north—the five-kilometer-long Listrac plateau is one of the highest in the Médoc. Monsieur Boissenot, a wine specialist, describes Listrac wine as follows: “Listrac wine presents in the mouth an extraordinary body, enveloping the palate. Its presence is built. This is the wine of oenophiles, this is the wine that you chew, so tight is its texture. Solidly constituted, tannic and structured, it is the perfect meeting of the fruit provided by Caber-net and the strength supplied by Merlot. As a result it is ample and silky, a mixture of spirit and virility.

  • Lombardia (Lombardy)

      Lombardy (Lombardia) lies right in the centre of northern Italy running from the foot of the Alps to the Po valley. Various tributaries of the River Po flow from the Alps, of which the best known is the Tieino.

     The area is characterised by water and it is home to four huge lakes: Lago Maggiore, Lago Como, Lago Iseo, and Lago Garda (Lake Garda etc.in English).

    Lombardy is a fairly large area with a number of famous cities and towns including Milan (Milano), Como, Bergamo, Pavia, Cremona, Brescia, and Mantua (Mantova) . This is a land of great contrasts such as that between the bustle of commercial life in the big cities and the quiet rural life in the picturesque mountain villages.

    Lombardy's wine-growing is fairly concentrated, especially in Valtellina (north east of Milan), around Lake Garda and in the Oltrepo Pavese (around Pavia, in the south).The Lombardian attitude to wine is 'small but fine '. It is surprising that the inhabitants of the big towns and cities seem to prefer wines from other regions to their own.

     

     You will search in vain in Milan for a bottle of local wine but this is no problem for the wine industry for rural consumption is almost equal to the production. Little wine is available for export.

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  • Lombardia Region

    Italian Wine

     Lombardy (Lombardia) lies right in the centre of northern Italy running from the foot of the Alps to the Po valley. Various tributaries of the River Po flow from the Alps, of which the best known is the Tieino.  The area is characterised by water and it is home to four huge lakes: Lago Maggiore, Lago Como, Lago Iseo, and Lago Garda.

     Lombardy is a fairly large area with a number of famous cities and towns including Milan (Milano), Como, Bergamo, Pavia, Cremona, Brescia, and Mantua (Mantova) . This is a land of great contrasts such as that between the bustle of commercial life in the big cities and the quiet rural life in the picturesque mountain villages.

     

    Lombardy - Italian Wine

     

  • Luxembourg Wines and Regions

    Luxembourg Wine

    Grand Premier Luxembourg WinePoets and writers have waxed lyrical about the unspoiled beauty of the Luxembourgeois Moselle since the times of the ancient Roman empire, as evidenced by the delightful verse of Ausonius about the ‘Mosella’. Julius Caesar’s words in praise of the magnificent landscape and superb wines of the Luxembourgeois Moselle may have been less poetic but were equally important.

    Yet the valley of the ‘Mouse’ (as it is known locally) forms only a small part of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. There is much more to see in the relatively small European country that is wedged between France, Germany, and Belgium. The country has a character all of its own and three cultures have been melded together to form the true ‘Letzeburger’.

     

  • Macedonia Wines

    Macedonia – a wine country yet to be discovered

    Vranec Special Selection Macedonia WineA few of the most famous wine regions, such as Nappa Valley in California and Bordeaux in France, lie on the same geographic latitude as Tikves, the largest vine valley in the Republic of Macedonia. This valley is a part of the Central wine region, or better known as Povardarie, and together with the East and West wine regions, it marks the territory where this small country in the Balkan and European south grow vine.

    The tradition of growing vine in Macedonia dates back from ancient times. Undoubtedly, thanks to its natural conditions, as Macedonia is the place where the continental climate from the North meets with the Mediterranean climate from the South, resulting in moderate and mild winters, and long, dry summers with gentle breeze. Such climate, combined with various soil compositions, including alluvial, volcano or terra rosa soils, creates conditions for growing more than 50 types of grapes. Internationally recognized varieties, such as Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon… successfully grow in Macedonia, just as the varieties that the world is yet to discover, Kratoshija, Stanushina, Temjanika, Vranec, Rkatsiteli… The fact that many of these international varieties have local names speaks of how long the tradition of wine making is. So, when in Macedonia you are offered Belan, and you recognize the flavor of Grenache Blanc, or, if you recognize Pinot Noir in a glass of Burgundec, or, you taste Primitivo or Zifandel while drinking Kratoshija, do not be confused.

  • Macedonia/Serbia/Bosnia Wines

    Macedonia Wine

    Macedonian WinesThe landscape of the independent state of Macedonia is dominated by mountains, valleys, and wonderful lakes in the south of the country. The climate has influences from the Mediterranean, Central European (continental), and the mountains. The present state of the wine industry in Macedonia is still relatively unknown.

    Many of the sweeter Macedonian wines disappear into the German market to satisfy that country’s demand for ‘liebliche’ wine. Only a few dry red wines are worth the effort to discover at present but this will probably change soon.

  • Mâconnais Wine - French Wine

    Mâconnais

    The Mâconnais, between Sennecey-le-grand and St­ Verand, is the home of the quick charmers.

    MCON

    MCON SUPERIEUR MCON VILLAGES

     With a few exceptions, the ordinary white Macon is an uncomplicated and excellent French wine which can be drunk without a long wait. The red compatriots are of better quality and are made   from   Pinot   Noir and Gamay grapes. The greater the proportion of Gamay the more approachable, generous and often more fruity is the French wine. Some Macons with lots of Pinot Nair can be more powerful and high in tannin, with plenty of structure, particularly when aged in oak.

    The better   white   wines from the Maconnais have their own appellation.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    POUILLY-FUISSE

    Chardonnay is always most at home on chalk and that is apparent in the wine. This French wine is a very clear and pale golden colour with a bouquet of fresh grapes and almonds, with a juicy and fresh taste of great elegance. When the wine is aged in oak casks it develops a characteristic nose of vanilla, toast, hazelnuts, and roasted almonds.

    Pouilly-Vizelles

    Pouilly-Loché

    These French wines are less well-known and generally lighter than Pouillly-Fuissé. They are usually elegant, very aromatic wines with a bouquet of butter, lemon, flowers, and grapefruit.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    ST-VERAN

    This is an exceptional French wine from the borders with Beaujolais. (note the name of the wine is written without the final 'd' of the village of St­Verand).

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  • Madeira Fortified Wine

    Madeira is a small, mountainos island in the Atlantinc Ocean. Lying 350 miles from the coast of Morocco, the island is warm and temperate the whole year round, and has fertile, volcanic soil.

     Due to its location, Madeira was once a port of call for sailing ships bound for the Americas. Even today, Nrth America is still an important market. The Madeira vines cling to steep, terraced vineyards in coastal settings at high altitude.

     Since 1993, it has been compulsory for the best Madeiras, labelled sercial, Verdelho, Bual or Malmsey, to be made from a minimum of 85 per cent of the named variety. Those callde seco (dry), meio seco (medium rich) or doce (rich?sweet), are made from the chameleon Tinta Negra Mole grape, which has the knack of imitating the four ‘classic’ varieties.

     Madeira

     

    Manufacture Madeira fortified wine

     Madeira fortified wine can be made in the same method as port (by stopping fermentation) or, to pruce the sweeter wines, by blending in the same manner applied to sherry. The young wine is then put through a process unique to Madeira, called ‘Estufagem’. In the days of sailing as ballast. During the slow voyage to the indies and back, there wine was gradually warmedup abd then cooled down. The character of the wine would change, developing a softness and toffee-like texture. A heated-tank (‘estufas’) system recreates those conditions, by slowing heating and cooling the wines in a hot store. After Estufagem, the wines mature, before being blended, sometimes in a solera system.

     Portugal’s Madeira is a hidden gem of a wine, capable of ageing fantastically. Even when opened, the sweet styles will not really change, allowing the consumer to enjoy the drik over a period of time, if the bottle lasts that long.

    Portugal’s Madeira is a hidden gem of a wine, capable of ageing fantastically. Even when opened, the sweet styles will not really change, allowing the consumer to enjoy the drik over a period of time, if the bottle lasts that long.

     

    ► Fortified Wine  ► Sherry Fortified Wine ► Port Fortified Wine   ► Madeira Fortified Wine{jcomments on}

  • Madrid Spanish Wine

    Vinos de Madrid

    Ribera del Duero Spanish WineMadrid, the capital city of Spain, has been better known for centuries as a large consumer of wine than as producer. The Vinos de Madrid only made their appearance on the market in 1990. This Spanish wine is produced close to the city, at Alcorcón, Móstoles, Leganés, and Getafe in the west, Arganda and Aranjuez in the south-east, and a very small area of Alcalá de Henares between Guadalajara en Madrid. Because of the large market on the doorstep no attempt has yet been made to export these Spanish wines. For this reason you are unlikely to encounter these wines of the Meseta.

  • Maison Blanche and Margaux Wines from Bordeaux

    Maison Blanche (Ch.) Bordeaux Wine Region

    Maison Blanche  Bordeaux WineChâteau Maison Blanche is a magnificent property of forty undivided hectares. Since the addition of the Lamarsalle vineyard—which also belonged to Lord Corbin’s domain—at the beginning of the twentieth century, this has become one of the biggest and most beautiful estates of the Saint-Émilion region. It is located a few acres from the meeting point of the appellations Lalande-de-Pomerol, Pomerol, Saint-Émilion, and Montagne-Saint-Émilion, and covers part of the lands of the ancient Gallo-Roman villa Lucianus.

    The division of Roze Gruignet de Lobory’s estate on May 2, 1765 showed that a vineyard existed at that time on the land of today’s Château Maison Blanche. Considered one of the best crus of the Montagne-Saint-Émilion since the early 1900s, this Bordeaux wine is known throughout the world thanks to its distribution on all five continents.

  • Make Wine

    About making wine and wines

    Grapes and wineWine is the product of fermenting the juice of crushed grapes using yeast and natural grape sugar to produce alcohol. When the required level of alcohol or sweetness has been achieved, the process is stopped and the wine is put into barrels or tanks for storage or bottling.

    That is all there is to it, but from your own tasting you will know that some wines can be magnificent and others quite foul. The skill in wine-making is knowing how to make the best possible wine from the grapes. The work of producing good wines starts in the vineyard. The soil and climate can influence the style of the variety planted, but many other factors come into play.

  • Make Wine

    How to make wine

    How to make wineA horizontal press is normally used for white wines. The grapes are put into the cylindrical container until it is full, and it then revolves. As it rotates, chains inside the container break up the grapes and the juice runs off either to fermenting vats or barrels. A second type of horizontal press contains a central bag which is gradually inflated once the grapes have been loaded. The expanding bag pushes the grapes against the side of the container and the juice is pressed out The amount of juice extracted is carefully controlled by the winemaker. The first pressing is generally considered to make the best wine, but wineries can go on to second and third pressings.

  • Make Wine

    Making wine and fermentation

    Making wine in oaksIf the wine is not to have secondary fermentation, it must be removed from the vats, and this process is known as racking or back blending. Before this can happen the wine-maker must decide the style of wine he wants. If it is to be medium or sweet, the fermentation will have to be stopped artificially using filters. The wine is passed through very fine screens which extract all the yeast so there can be no more fermentation. In some areas, Germany for example, sweet natural juice is then added to increase the residual sugar content of the wine.

  • Making wine

       Many of the world's vest producers believe that great wine is first created in the vineyard.

     Indeed, it is difficult to argue with the suggestion that using top-quality ingredients helps when transforming grapes into red wine or good wine. White wine can be made from both white and black grapes. Crushing breaks the skins, after which de-staking takes place. Gentle pressing is favoured and skins are removed. Fermentation traditionally happends in oak barrels, although today, when minimal change is required, most white wines will ferment in stainless steel vats, Maturation in oak barrels can add another dimension and flavour profile to a good wine.

    FRENCH WINE *** CLUB WINE

    Red wine must be made from black grapes. This time the juice is fermented on the skins for better colour extraction. The juice, which runs freely after fermentation, is of the highest quality. The remaining pomace, or skins, are further crushed to release any more juice, which is generally used in blending for the best red wine.

     Maturation can be controlled on oak barrels. The filtration of red wine may be minimal, if at all. Most fruity wines made to be consumed young will have little further maturation or development in the bottle. Some of the world's great classics however, can evolve slowly, to reach a plateau of maturity and amazing levels of complexity.

    FRENCH WINE *** CLUB WINE 

    Using oak

    Oak wine Oak barrels are used by a winemaker to impart complementary flavours and aromas to a wine. Barrels are toasted at various levels from light to medium to heavy, and will be selected to suit o particular grape variety or style of wine. Barrels are a convenient container in which to store a wine, as the subtle exchanges with oxygen, moisture ans alcohol help the wine to evolpe from the youthul 'green' to more complex and mature flavours.

     Many different types of oak are used in the winemaking process, with white oak being the most common. French, Hungarian, and North American oak are the best-known species used, with each one having slightly different attribures. Just as vines and grapes are distinctly individual when groun under differnet conditions or areas, so are oak trees.

    FRENCH WINE *** CLUB WINE

       Very few wineries have their own cooperage, preferring to rely more often on purchasing barrels that have been carefully milled, cured, and toasted. It is an expresive business to be made by the barrel supplier.

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  • Making wine

    Many of the world's vest producers believe that great wine is first created in the vineyard. 

    Indeed, it is difficult to argue with the suggestion that using top-quality ingredients helps when transforming grapes into red wine or good wine. White wine can be made from both white and black grapes. Crushing breaks the skins, after which de-staking takes place. Gentle pressing is favoured and skins are removed. Fermentation traditionally happends in oak barrels, although today, when minimal change is required, most white wines will ferment in stainless steel vats, Maturation in oak barrels can add another dimension and flavour profile to a good wine.

    Red wine must be made from black grapes. This time the juice is fermented on the skins for better colour extraction. The juice, which runs freely after fermentation, is of the highest quality. The remaining pomace, or skins, are further crushed to release any more juice, which is generally used in blending for the best red wine.

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  • Málaga Spanish Wine

     

    Málaga wine and region

    Malaga Spain wineThe Málaga DO is situated in the province of the same name and consists of two zones: the western one on the coast near Estepona and a northern one around the town of Málaga as far as the borders with the provinces of Granada en Córdoba. Only this latter area is of any interest. Although Málaga officially makes seco (dry) and abocado (medium sweet) wines, the area is better known for the honey sweet Málaga Dulce. The wine came to fame through British visitors during the Victorian era. The soil constituency of the two areas differs slightly.

    There is underlying chalk bedrock virtually throughout the area with chalk-bearing upper layers but on the coast there is rather more ferruginous clay interspersed with mica and quartz. The climate is definitely Mediterranean on the coast but slightly more continental inland. Only two varieties of grape are recognised in Málaga: Moscatel along the coast and Pedro Ximénez, which thrives inland.

  • Marche Wine Region

    Italian Wine of Marche

    Marche Wine ItalyThe Marche is bounded to the west by the Apennines, Umbria, and a corner of Tuscany, in the north by Emilia, to the south by Abruzzo, and in the east by the Adriatic. The best-known towns along the coast are Pesaro and Ancona, the best know inland places are Macerata and Ascoli Piceno.

  • Margaux and Médoc Bordeaux Wines

    Margaux (CH) Bordeaux Wine REGION

    Margaux Wine Bordeaux LabelWith its Ionic peristyle, monumental staircase and classic facade, Chateau Margaux is as imposing as the celebrated cru of the same name. Nobility of balance and size, and a sumptuous style aptly define both this architectural jewel and the wine produced by the vine-yards that surround it. This distinguished residence housed Edward III, King of England; at the time it was one of the most imposing fortified chateaux in Guyenne. In the twelfth century, when it was known as La Mothe, it was owned by the powerful Albret family. Later it belonged to the Montferrand family, then to the Lords of Durfort.

    In the mid-eighteenth century Chateau Margaux became the property of Monsieur de Fumel, a Bordeaux military commander who played a large part in building this magnificent estate's reputation. When the Marquis de la Colonilla acquired the property in 1802 he had the gothic manor house torn down and ordered the construction of the present chateau.