New Customers Save $30 off $100+* with code OCTNEW30
New Customers Save $30* with code OCTNEW30
*New customers only. Order must be placed by 10/31/2017. The $30 discount is given for a single order with a minimum of $100 excluding shipping and tax. Items with pricing ending in .97 are excluded and will not count toward the minimum required. Discount does not apply to corporate orders, gift certificates, or StewardShip membership fees. No other promotion codes, coupon codes or corporate discounts may be applied to order.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This is probably the only totally dry 100% Muscat de Alexandria made in Malaga, where this grape is used for sweet wine production. To give you an idea how much I love this wine, for the wedding of my goddaughter, held near Pittsburgh last summer, I purchased five cases of the 2010 for her reception. Moreover, I bought an additional three cases of the newly released 2011 (reviewed here) for consumption in my home over the summer and early fall. This is a wine made by the family bodega of Jorge and his sister Victoria Ordonez. Producing 5,000 cases from the decomposed slate and quartz soils of Malaga, their harvest remarkably begins in July to capture the fresh, incredibly perfumed fruit of this varietal. It is then fermented totally in stainless steel, making it one of the most perfumed, naked expressions of dry white wine in the world. This is a killer example that people just love. Let me see if I can properly describe it. The exotic aromatics could fill a small room, with notes of flowers, honeyed white citrus, melons and hints of more exotic tropical fruit such as mango and tangerine. Jorge Ordonez and his sister Victoria, as well as their consulting winemaker, Gerhart Kracher (son of the late, great Alois Kracher) are trying to bring back the reputation of Malaga with wines such as this. The history of the wines of Malaga can be traced to 600 B.C. and the Greek era, and more recently, this area’s wines were celebrated by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand in the 1500s, but then they largely fell out of favor until a number of innovative producers such as the Ordonez family, in alliance with the Krachers of Austria, began to resurrect the sweet wines as well as this incredibly perfumed, dry white, the only one to exist from this region.
Ours is the first winery to be established in the local area, which is not surprising since the traditional use for Muscat Alexandria grape is in the production of raisins. Though, perhaps, the most innovative aspect of our winemaking proposal was to entrust the elaboration of our wines to world-renowned Austrian winemaker, Alois Kracher, who is undoubtedly the number one in Austrian sweet wines. In addition Gerhard Kracher, who succeeded his father in 2008, a group of entrepreneurs from Málaga participate in the winery together with one of the most prominent Spanish wine importers in the US, Jorge Ordóñez, at the helm of this most original project, and his sister Victoria who is the general manager of the winery.
A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide, Burgundy is a perennial favorite of many wine lovers. After centuries of winemaking, the Burgundians have determined precisely which grape clone grows best on which plot of land, determined by the soil type, the elevation, and the angle in relation to the sun—this is a region firmly rooted in tradition and the concept of ‘terroir’ reigns supreme here. Because of the Napoleonic Code requiring equal distribution of property and land among all heirs, vineyard ownership in Burgundy is extremely fragmented, with some growers responsible for just one row or even one vine. This system has led to the predominance of the "negociant"—a merchant who purchases fruit from many different growers to vinify and bottle together.
Burgundy’s cool, marginal climate and Jurassic limestone soils are perfect for the production of elegant, savory, and mineral-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with plenty of acidity. Vintage variation is of particular importance here, as weather conditions can be variable and unpredictable. Spring frost and hail are near-universal risks. The Côte d’Or, a long and narrow escarpment, forms the heart of the region, split into the Côte de Nuits to the north and the Côte de Beaune to the south. The former is home to many of the world’s finest Pinot Noir wines, while Chardonnay plays a much more prominent role in the latter, though outstanding red, white, and rosé are all produced throughout. Other key appellations include the Côte Chalonnaise, home to great value Pinot Noir and sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne; the Mâconnais, producing soft and round inexpensive Chardonnay; and Chablis, the northernmost region of Burgundy and an acidity-lover’s Chardonnay paradise.
One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.
In the Glass
Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.
Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.
Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.