Help save some of the most hallowed riesling vineyards in the world

UPDATE: it seems the deadline for the petition I posted about below has passed.  Sorry for the trouble, folks! Watch this space for updates on the Mosel bridge situation, as I find out more… I’ve left my original post below, for those who want to know what all the commotion was about…  -Alan

Hi everyone,

Today is a quick post without any reviews.  To make a long story short, authorities in Germany have plans to build a highway (elevated on stilts, it sounds like) that will run over some of the top riesling vineyards in the world, in the famed Mosel region.  For those of you who are not familiar with the vineyards of Germany, this is something like building a highway over Pauillac in Bordeaux, Vosne Romanee in Burgundy, or Oakville in Napa Valley.  The actual effects are debated and well covered in this article in Slate by Mike Steinberger, but it doesn’t take much to imagine that the traffic, pollution, construction, etc. could all irreparably damage some unique and hallowed wine terroirs in the Mosel region.   To oenophiles everywhere, the question has got to be, “why would you take the chance with world-famous vineyard land?!?”

Fortunately, there is one thing we can do to help – here is an online petition to the German government to protest the highway plan.  Please fill it out even if you’re not a riesling fan – you never know when you might be (I wasn’t until the last year or two, and now it’s one of my two most indispensable varieties), and even if you never are, your support will benefit wine lovers everywhere.  The petition is in German, but there are English translations on the left side of the page to guide you through the process of signing the petition.  Please help if you can, this riesling lover thanks you!

Wines from Argentina: my top malbecs, and some whites worth a look

Today’s post is a somewhat belated report on a Wines of Argentina tasting that I attended in October – apologies for the delay in getting this report together, but since the tasting was a sneak preview of the new vintage for most of the producers present, many of the wines should just be getting in to stores now.

Like many budget-minded consumers, my experience with Argentinean wines was pretty much limited to affordable malbecs.  And of course, this tasting gave me a chance to try many malbec-based wines (over 30 of them) in one sitting to suss out the best of them- but it also exposed me to a white wine varietal widely grown in Argentina called torrontés, as well as a chance to taste other varietals being grown in Argentina including bonarda, cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and petit verdot.

Malbecs

While Argentina is perhaps best known for its affordable malbecs, my top wine from the tasting was a premium-priced malbec, called “Lindaflor” from Bodegas Monteviejo, which is owned by Mme. Catherine Pere Verge, who also owns the notable Bordeaux estates Chateau Le Gay and Chateau La Violette in Pomerol.  Here is my tasting note on the 2006 Lindaflor:

  • 2006 Bodegas Monteviejo Malbec Lindaflor – Argentina, Mendoza, Valle de Uco, Vista Flores (10/8/2009)
    Delicious. Supple, has some noticeable oak treatment but is very balanced. On the nose, dusty tannin and pretty, plummy fruit. Best wine of the Wines of Argentina trade tasting NYC 2009. Tannic but approachable even now. 92-94 (93 pts.)

I’m not turning up any listings for the 2006 Lindaflor yet on Wine-Searcher, so this wine may not have reached Continue reading