The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2012

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Page 30 of 124

WINE BRIEFS A Story in Every Bottle THE WINE MAP OF THE WORLD IS A PATCHWORK OF UNIQUE CUSTOMS, HERITAGE AND INDIVIDUALITY. JUST AS NO TWO PRODUCERS ARE ALIKE, THE REGIONS THAT SHAPE THEM ARE EQUALLY DIVERSE. HERE'S A GLIMPSE INTO WHAT MAKES THESE WINERIES, AND THEIR WINES, SO SPECIAL Jean-Luc Colombo: A Living Legend Hailed as the winemaking wizard of the Rhône, Jean- Luc Colombo has achieved a high-profi le international reputation for making innovative wines that are original, memorable and bursting with personality. The dynamo has turned to his roots at the vineyards of the Blue Cape near Marseilles for the inspiration behind his latest wine- making venture: Cape Bleue Rosé, produced from Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes grown on hilly vineyards with white limestone soils just above the Bay of Marseilles. The results are a soft, delicate salmon-pink wine with hints of peach, rose petal and pepper on the nose that opens to surprisingly complex fl avors of raspberries, fresh cherry, black olive and fennel. It's as full and refreshing as any wine from Provence, from a true visionary. El Coto de Rioja: European Superstar El Coto de Rioja, located in Oyón, was founded in 1970 by a group of winemakers committed to creating a new type of Rioja. Its fi rst bottling was released in 1975, and today, El Coto is the leading brand in Spain and among the top-selling Spanish wines in Europe. Estate vineyards are located in La Rioja Alta's village of Cenicero, near the east bank of the Najerilla River, a tributary of the Ebro. Facing northwest, vineyard soils are mostly ferric clay, sand and limestone, which contribute structure, power and elegant minerality, to the wines. The recently incorporated Los Almendros estate, shared with Barón de Ley, adds an additional 300 hectares of vineyards to the impressive estate holdings. Additional grapes are sourced from 2,000 hectares in Rioja Alavesa. Here, limestone, clay and stony soils make aromatic, expressive wines with great fi nesse that are truly refl ective of Spain's contributions to the wine world. 30 / the tasting panel / march 2012 Fournier: A Legendary Marriage Claude Fournier is the ninth generation of his family to make wine. His wife, Eliane, is the thirtenth. With such a storied pedigree, it is unsurprising that the Fournier house is now one of the most important estates in Sancerre. The Fournier family has worked tirelessly to produce top-quality wines, combining passed-down wine- making traditions with state-of-the-art facilities, including custom-made tanks and a modern winery design that incorpo- rates hand-sorting of the grapes and the use of gravity to ensure delicate treatment of the juice. The past 50 years have seen the Fourniers' estate grow from their ancestor's 13 acres to 222 acres in Sancerre, Pouilly Fumé and Menetou Salon.

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