Separating the Wheat from the Chaff in Bordeaux: Montesquieu Winery Tastes the 2010s

May 20, 2011, by: Stephen George

Fonda and Tony Connell tasting at La Grappe

If October is the biggest month of the year for winemakers, April is the biggest month of the year for wine marketers, at least in Bordeaux.

That’s because the beginning of April is when Primeurs takes place – that critical week when Bordeaux chateaux pour barrel samples of the most recent vintage for merchants and critics to taste.  This process kicks off the “en primeur” season, during which merchants have the opportunity to purchase futures of Bordeaux, wines that are still in barrel and won’t be will be available for consumption for two or more years.  It’s important for the Bordelais, because it generates an early stream of cash; it’s important for the entire wine world, because it serves as a barometer for the global market for fine wines. View Full Post

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Las Vegas Shows Big Heart for the Children of St. Jude

May 12, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

There are some big hearts in Vegas, and they’re getting quite a bit of attention!   In various locations around town you will find impressive five-foot tall sculptures, each one custom created by a professional local artist as part of the upcoming St. Jude “An Affair of the Heart” fundraiser gala May 21, 2011 at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas.

Heart of Las Vegas by Alexander P. Huerta

The hearts were originally cast from a sculpture created by well known local sculptor Miguel Rodriguez. Each artist selected for the project created their own design, painting the hearts with their interpretations of “Inside the Heart of a Child”.  The results are an inspiration—vibrant and multi-colored—each with an expressive and unique genre. They have caused quite the sensation, bringing timely attention to the wonderful work being done by St. Jude. View Full Post

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Experiencing Harvest in Argentina: Falling in Love One Cluster at a Time

May 9, 2011, by: Stephen George

In sports, it’s the championship game.  In law, it’s the closing statement.  In business, it’s closing the deal.  In almost every profession, there’s that watershed moment when everything you’ve been working toward comes together in one critical effort.  It’s a moment when everything is on the line, when your future hangs in the balance, when you’re making decisions that could realize your hopes and dreams or dash them on the rocks.

For the best winemakers – those talented savants who form the beating heart of the wine industry – this critical moment is harvest.

Michel Rolland's Val de Flores vineyard Uco Valley, Mendoza Argentina

Michel Rolland's Val de Flores vineyard, moments before harvest

Naturally, the moment of harvest is shot-through with excitement.  It can be tense and nerve-wracking, certainly. But for those of us who are romantics at heart, who love adventure, it’s the best time of the year.  We risk-takers live for these moments, and we thrive in the thrill they provide.

So imagine our level of anticipation as we woke up before dawn, on our third day in Argentina, to head out to the Val de Flores vineyard to begin the Uco Valley’s Malbec harvest.  We were a tired group – dinner the night before had ended around 1:00am, and after the customary post-dinner frivolity, most of us crawled into bed much later than that (’tis the Argentine way, we were learning!).  But nary a grump was to be found on our team.  We were too excited – our eyes glimmered with the possibilities of the day. View Full Post

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What’s Cooking with Montesquieu Wines: 4 Classic Spring Recipes with Pairings

May 6, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

Alexandra Holt's Roasted Cod With Vegetables

Roasted Cod With Vegetables

We at Montesquieu Winery are very passionate about finding and making the very best wines possible—wines we are inspired by and know our clients will love. It is natural that when we discover particularly delicious pairings that we would want to share them with you!

With the recent spring holidays and warmer weather now upon us, several delightful dishes jump to the forefront that are especially fabulous this time of year. The recipes are straightforward, yet elegant, and include recommendations for pairings from our eclectic portfolio of international Montesquieu Wines.

What could be more enjoyable than sharing a lovely meal and wines with friends and family? Not much in our book! As you all juggle busy lives, we hope that you find these recipes to be a helpful part of your food and wine repertoire. View Full Post

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Scouring the Globe for Greatness and Finding it in Our Own Backyard

April 29, 2011, by: Stephen George

At Montesquieu Winery, we love the thrill of the chase, the adventure of exploration, the romance of hot pursuit.  And we know that the best wines – the wines that offer the most profound experiences – are often the most difficult to find.  That’s why we dedicate ourselves to scouring the globe for the most exciting, rarest vineyards and wines, and bringing them in for our clients to enjoy.

Montesquieu Winery exploring the vines of Hermitage

Recently we were doing just that in Argentina, meeting new producers, discovering some of Mendoza’s oldest vines and best terroir, and tasting the region’s top wines.  Before that we were in Bordeaux.  And our quest has taken us to places like Burgundy, Champagne, the Rhone, Piedmont, Tuscany, Germany, even Turkey.

But believe it or not, sometimes the rarest finds are right in our backyard.

Napa Valley may not seem as exotic as Argentina, since it’s so close to home.  But there’s no denying that Napa is the source for some of the world’s greatest wines.  And although too many Napa wineries have gone the route of high-production, there are still some amazing vintners doing fascinating, unique, artisanal projects – the kind that promises not only a taste to die for but also a wine experience that literally cannot be replicated. View Full Post

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An Affair of the Heart: Montesquieu Winery Collaborates to Honor St. Jude in Las Vegas

April 26, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

Montesquieu Winery Sponsors St. Jude Fundraiser

We at Montesquieu Winery are pleased to announce our partnership with St. Jude for the second annual Las Vegas Honors St. Jude: An Affair of the Heart fundraiser gala May 21, 2011 at the Mandarin Oriental.

St. Jude is known worldwide for pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other major diseases. Ranked the No. 1 pediatric cancer hospital by Parents magazine and the No. 1 children’s cancer hospital by U.S. News & World Report, St. Jude is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children.

The results are amazing: St. Jude has developed protocols that have helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20 percent when the hospital opened in 1962 to 80 percent today! View Full Post

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A Walk through the Vines: Catching Michel Rolland’s Vision in Argentina

April 22, 2011, by: Stephen George

Thierry shows us the majestic Mariflor vineyard with Bodega Rolland in the distance

There’s something about beginning your morning by hopping into the bed of a pick-up truck and hurtling toward a day of walking the vines and tasting grapes in Argentina.  The crisp dessert wind whips around your hair, the sun’s first rays dance on your cheeks.  Gravel from the unpaved roads peels underneath the truck’s tires filling the air behind you with clouds of dust, the jagged peaks of the Andes stand guard on the horizon.  Your body doesn’t mind the jerking of the truck, absorbing without a thought the jolts of the uneven road.  You feel connected to nature.  You feel lithe and strong, you feel the promise of adventure coursing through your veins.  You are acutely aware of being alive.

You know it’s going to be a good day.


And you’re not wrong.  Not when you’re in the hands of the talented Thierry Haberer and his team at Michel Rolland’s bodega in the breathtaking Uco Valley.  Not when you’re about to experience firsthand the origins of the Mariflor Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Malbec, which have been so explosively popular with our clients over the past year or so.  And especially not when the agenda for the day goes like this: View Full Post

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Living La Vida Argentina: Montesquieu, Mariflor and More

April 16, 2011, by: Stephen George

Chateau Fontenil Fronsac

Michel Rolland’s home in Fronsac

This is a story about Argentina.  But like so much in the wine world, this story starts in France, one year ago.

During last year’s Montesquieu Winery trip to Bordeaux to taste the 2009 vintage en primeur, Michel Rolland invited us to his house to spend the evening.  He lives in a beautiful old farmhouse on a hill overlooking the Fronsac appellation, just outside of Libourne on Bordeaux’s Right Bank.  Not surprisingly, he makes a wine there too – a terrific Merlot/Cab Franc blend sourced from the vines surrounding his home. View Full Post

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Montesquieu Winery Updates on Direct to Consumer Shipping

April 15, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

Montesquieu Winery supports Free the Grapes and Stop HR 1161

2011 has shaped up to be very eventful regarding direct to consumer shipping (DTC) legislation.  We want to be sure everyone is aware of the latest developments regarding this vital issue.  We at Montesquieu Winery believe that wine lovers should be able to buy from the wineries and wine retailers of their choice no matter which state they live in!

The following are updates mainly regarding the states and their DTC related bills that we outlined in our March 13th post.  We are happy to report some good news starting with Maryland! View Full Post

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From France to Argentina: Montesquieu Winery Reports on our Adventures in Bordeaux and Mendoza

April 14, 2011, by: Stephen George

Harvesting 2011 Malbec at Michel and Dany Rolland Estate, Val de Flores

Harvesting Malbec in the Uco Valley

I’ve finally come up for air.

As you may recall, roughly two weeks ago I jetted off to France and Argentina with high hopes of blogging my way through the wines of Primeurs 2010 and the vines of Mendoza.  I made bold promises to provide regular updates.  I expressed a brash commitment to real-time coverage.

What was I thinking? View Full Post

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