March 25, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi
Montesquieu Winery's Helene Mingot at Arkenstone
In the Cellar
Our last cellar update in early December left off with our Montesquieu wines in barrel undergoing malolactic fermentation. Throughout the process, all of the barrels are constantly monitored and tasted to follow development closely— keeping our winemaker Hélène Mingot on her toes!
Each lot is unique and reaches the end of malolactic fermentation separately. The entire process was finished by early March, with all of our 2010 wines having proceeded to aging in our custom French oak barrels, which is where we are now.
The story behind our barrels is a result of a long-standing relationship that Stéphane Derenoncourt has had for years with a small French cooperage in business for generations. Stéphane and Hélène greatly value working directly with their trusted source, who procures only the best single-forest wood from very specific sustainable forests. View Full Post
March 23, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi
Fonda Hopkins and Helene Mingot bid for Levy & McClellan at Premiere Napa Valley
Montesquieu Winery recently acquired one of the top lots of the day at last month’s 15th Annual Premiere Napa Valley Auction in St. Helena, the annual event that serves as a barometer of the domestic wine market and a window into emergent winemaking trends. Montesquieu Winery viewed this lot of 2009 Levy & McClellan Napa Cabernet Franc – the highly-anticipated Auction debut from husband-and-wife winemaking team Bob Levy (of Harlan and Bond) and Martha McClellan (of Sloan and Blankiet) – as the most impressive of the tasting. This view was shared by many others, whose vigorous bidding propelled the wine to the highest sale price for a non-Cabernet Sauvignon in the Auction’s history.
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March 19, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi
HR 1161, the successor to last year’s HR 5034, was introduced March 17 by main sponsor Representative Jason Chaffetz (R) from Utah. The bill was devised by the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America and their wholesaler allies. Read the WSWA statement here.
Wine, Beer and Spirits producers have wasted no time in speaking out against HR 1161, stating “We strongly oppose H.R. 1161, which, like its predecessor in the last Congress, is unnecessary. Its provisions would harm consumers and the marketplace, limit consumer choice, and allow states to enact protectionist and anti-competitive laws. If this bill became law, it would make it much harder for brewers, vintners, distillers and importers to get their products to market.” View Full Post
March 18, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi
Alex and Sandra Manhattan Office
The last several months have been eventful for Montesquieu Winery, with many exciting opportunities coming to fruition in 2011. At the end of February, our participation in Premiere Napa Valley resulted in our acquisition of three stellar lots and the honor of being among the top bidders for the second consecutive year. Then off to New York at the beginning of March for the Executive Wine Seminars Stéphane Derenoncourt tasting in Tribeca, followed immediately by our trip to Las Vegas to premiere the 2007 Derenoncourt California collection with guests joining us from all over the country.
In the middle of all these happenings, while in New York we celebrated our very latest addition to Montesquieu Winery—our new location at 483 Tenth Avenue in Midtown West Manhattan in the up-and-coming Hudson Yards area bordering Hell’s Kitchen. The newly renovated historic building has views of Midtown’s hustle and bustle and is within walking distance of Chelsea, Broadway, Hudson River, Theater and Off-Broadway District, Times Square, Restaurant Row, and Penn Station. View Full Post
March 13, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi
As many states have entered their 2011 legislative sessions, we at Montesquieu Winery thought it timely to share updates regarding legislation that involves direct shipping. 2011 should prove to be very interesting!
Wine Country Gift Baskets.com v. Steen
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ‘denied cert’ on this Texas case, rejecting the challenge to a 5th Circuit Court ruling that allows only retailers within the state to ship wine to consumers. We were not surprised by the denial to hear the case, as only 5% of all cases are heard at this level, but disappointed as there seemed to be momentum from the 2005 Granholm v. Heald case which ruled that laws in New York and Michigan that permitted in-state wineries to ship wine directly to consumers, but prohibited out-of-state wineries from doing the same, were unconstitutional.
So as it stands in Texas, out of state wineries may ship wines directly to consumers yet out-of- state retailers may not. Had the Supreme Court heard the Wine Country Gift Baskets.com v. Steen case and overturned the 5th Circuit Court ruling, then out-of-state retailers would have been able to ship direct to consumers. Attorney Tracy Genesen, lead council representing wine retailers for the case, has stated the fight is far from over. View Full Post
March 9, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi
Fonda Hopkins of Montesquieu, Jerry Butler, Destiny Dudley, Annie Clawson, Doc and Amber Hendley of Wine to Water, Stephane Derenoncourt
Last week we at Montesquieu Winery had the great pleasure of celebrating the release of the highly anticipated 2007 Derenoncourt California wines with a fundraiser dinner benefiting Wine to Water highlighted by a delectable six-course meal specially created to complement the wines. It was an intimate and inspirational evening, with guests joining us from all over the country including California, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, New Mexico, Iowa, Illinois, Florida, and North Carolina, filling the entire dining room of Twist by Pierre Gagnaire on the 23rd floor of the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas. Several of our Montesquieu wine brokers were also on hand to savor the Derenoncourt wines in a new setting with new friends and to become better acquainted with the good folks from Wine to Water, a non-profit that provides clean drinking water to communities in need. View Full Post
March 1, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi
Standing Room Only at Premiere Napa Valley 2011
Top members of the wine industry including vintners, retailers, restaurant owners, distributors, brokers and media from across the country and around the world assembled at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena on February 26, 2011 for the 15th Annual Premiere Napa Valley Auction. It was a record-breaking event, both for overall sales which reached nearly $2.4 million, and for the highest priced single-lot to date of $125,000 for five cases from Scarecrow Wine made by Napa Valley winemaker Celia Welch. It was a very crisp, cold yet sunny day—snow was predicted—but the only snow in sight was on Mount Saint Helena, gorgeous in the distance dressed in white. The atmosphere inside, however was warm and electric, with a buzz to the room we hadn’t quite experienced before. We felt as though big things were bound to happen! View Full Post
February 26, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi
When glamorous stars in elegant attire start gracing the red carpet, it seems a natural pairing to bring out the best bubbly. And quite frankly it doesn’t have to get more complicated than that. Our 2005 Jerome Dehours Grand Vintage Champagne is chilling as we speak.
However, for a little cinematic wine adventure, we have compiled a list of Montesquieu wines we feel match each nominee for best picture. Pick your favorites and get set for an evening to remember!
Black Swan Just the color alone of the 2006 Alexandre Rochette Cornas qualifies- black, noir, opaque, midnight. One sip and you disappear into the blissful abyss…
The Fighter The ongoing finish that never gives in, never gives up-2005 Vinyes Poboleda Priorat. Just when you think it is done, it keeps on going. And going.
Inception Anyone that has ever had our Morpheus Napa Valley can tell you it is a dream within a dream-otherworldly.
The Kids Are Alright Fire up the family barbecue and crack open the 2009 Latham Pinot Noir to have with grilled Copper River Salmon and organic veggies.
The King’s Speech If a couple of sips of the sumptuous 2004 Monti Coroni Amarone doesn’t calm the nerves than we are not sure what will. The added bonus of glamorous decadence in the glass never hurts.
127 Hours Extreme. At the “end of the world” not far from ice fields and penguins is Patagonia where you will find the vineyards for our 2006 Elelin Reserve Malbec. Such character from hardship.
The Social Network Magnum or larger bottling seems to fit the bill here with plenty to share. Our 2005 Sorada Napa Valley seems appropriate for a social phenomenon of this caliber.
Toy Story 3 All American blueberry pie, but with depth and twists—makes you happy yet makes you ponder. Hélène Mingot’s 2008 Bardo.
True Grit We might as well be on the trail with the 2007 Mercali Rockpile Cabernet. Cured tobacco, smoked and peppered meats, saddle leather—wah-huh.
Winter’s Bone Elements of suspense and danger cannot be missed in our 2007 Lodi Black Widow Zinfandel which pairs well with adrenaline.
Whichever wines you choose while you enjoy the show, Montesquieu raises a glass to passion pursuing one’s craft, to the good life and to the art of living. Cheers!
February 23, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi
For almost 30 years Executive Wine Seminars, or EWS, has been organizing dream wine tastings featuring some of the most highly regarded wines in the world. EWS is one of the most respected tasting venues in the US, held in New York’s Tribeca, catering to elite private and corporate executives including ABC News & Sports, Lehman Brothers, American Express, Union Bank of Switzerland, Sumimoto Corporation of America, Goldman Sachs, and Merck Pharmaceuticals to name just a few.
It is not uncommon for celebrity vintners to fly in from Europe or California to discuss their wines and answer questions. Montesquieu is pleased to announce that Stéphane Derenoncourt will be doing just that for the next EWS tasting March 1, 2011. Given the line-up of wines, it will be a spectacular evening. View Full Post
February 17, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi
It was a shot of sorts, heard ’round the world in the wine industry, prompting an immediate flurry of reports and speculation—Robert M. Parker Jr. announced February 1, 2011 that he would no longer be reviewing California wines for the Wine Advocate at eRobertParker.com. He passed on this responsibility to Antonio Galloni, who has been responsible for Italian wine as well as Champagne. Galloni also took on several other duties, including the influential portions of Burgundy — Côte-d’Or and Chablis.
Parker will keep Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley, as well as older vintages of Bordeaux, Rhône and California wines. Regarding California, he wrote to his subscribers that he would be doing “a series of horizontal and vertical tastings of perfectly stored California wines that will give readers insight into how they are developing.”
Yes there will be a change in California, as any void creates a vacuum. But the void is being filled by someone personally appointed by Parker, with the caveat, “If I thought Antonio Galloni was incapable of appreciating the greatness of those California wines that I have extolled, I wouldn’t have given him this important responsibility.”
Doesn’t sound like a big shake-up. Additionally a staff of more than a dozen reviewers have contributed to the Wine Advocate for quite some time, and it is generally accepted that the influence of the Wine Advocate brand (Parker’s dynasty if you will) is on par with the influence of Parker himself. View Full Post