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Several Interviews


(posted 6/10/2009)

Wil Baily visits with a world of grape growers and wine makers: Robin Back of Fairview and Goats do Roam who speaks on South African grape growing, Stu Devine of Villa Maria who expresses the intricacies of canopy management in New Zealand's maritime climate, Dominic Symington of Warres Port on the characteristics of each property's terroir, Carlos Trad of Dona Paula cutting the Gordian knot of Argentine viticulture asserting that altitude determines more than anything.

Artisan Vineyards brings you face to face with the artisans in their vineyards!

Featured Wines


Dona Paula Malbec Estate 2008 
Characteristics: Dona Paula Estate Malbec 2008, Lujan de Cuyo
5% of this fruit is from the Uco Valley which is the highest appellation and makes for bright acids in this wine. Nose of cedar, spice box, black cherry and cassis. Palate is black fruit, and bright juciness in mid palate with flavors of dark raspberry, blackberry, and violet. Long and supple on the finish.
-Wine review by DH, June 2009
Origin: Argentina - Mendoza
Average Rating: 4 out of 5
Type: Red
Price: $17.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Dona Paula Malbec Selecion de Bodega 2005 
Characteristics: This single vineyard Malbec is Doña Paula’s best foot forward and that’s saying something for a house adored for crafting top quality at great value. The color is still dark. The fruit is still fresh with big tannic structure. 2005 was a great vintage. This Malbec will easily age for another 10-15 years and only show more complexity over time. Right now the wine is mouth filling and takes all your concentration. The structure is a balance of focused acidity to cut through the ripe fruit and enough tannin to dissolve an ox. Great perfume promises a great bouquet to come. For all its mighty stamina, this Malbec still shows its soft side of cherries, raspberries, plums and faint blueberry. When you drink this young, be sure to have a nice cut of beef, bison, lamb or venison because it will become a glorious example of how a rich wine marries well to a rich meat. Given time, when you’re ten or more years wiser, it will become sublime. -Wine review by Nicholas Livingston, May 2009
Origin: Argentina - Mendoza
Average Rating: not available
Type: Red
Price: $50.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 6
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Dona Paula Olives Road Shiraz-Viognier 2006 
Characteristics: 97% Shiraz and 3% Viognier skins, not grapes. Still a young wine with amazing potential, a little tight in the nose right now, will open up in a short time. The name comes from the fact that olive trees are planted around the vineyard. This wine shows great concentration, wonderful ageing possibilities. Parker score is 89pts. -wine review by MN, May 2009
Origin: Argentina - Mendoza
Average Rating: 4 out of 5
Type: Red
Price: $32.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 6
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Dona Paula Salix Tannat Malbec 2005 
Characteristics: Aha! More proof that sustainable agriculture makes superior wine, this dark red embodies the deep qualities of these Bordelais varietals. With an aroma like spiced fruit compote, a mouthful of dark, stewed black and blueberry fruit and a body filled out by pumice like tannins, this deep and dense red blend has a dry complexity on the finish somewhat reminiscent of dark chocolate. 35 year old vines do a lot to condense all these attributes and 16 months in French oak lend even more breadth. Balanced by a mineral acidity and sound structure, this is a wine to enjoy for years to come. -NL (tasted February 2009)

2005 Dona Paula Salix (70% Tannat, 30% Malbec)
Dark cherry and hints of tobacco and cedar on the nose. Darker berries including a little bit of blueberry pie come across on the palate. Quite punchy but backed with firm tannins and delicious, delicate fruit on the finish. -wine review by KS, May 2009
Origin: Argentina - Mendoza
Average Rating: not available
Type: Red
Price: $32.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 6
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Dona Paula Shiraz/Malbec 2006 
Characteristics: Deep purple color. Very youthful. Ripe, spicy nose with white pepper, jalapenos, black plum, warm strawberry jam, and dusty incense. Long lovely finish. -wine review by PC, May 2009
Origin: Argentina - Mendoza
Average Rating: 3 out of 5
Type: Red
Price: $17.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Fairview Goats Do Roam Red 2007 
Characteristics: An appealing mix of roasted meats and fruits with a little earth and spice thrown in for good measure. Plenty of ripe black berry and plum on the nose but interlaced with lots of savory side notes. The mouth is full and well structured. Sweet oak and spicy wild game come together in a chewy finish that says "turn on the grill". -wine review by WB, May 2009
Origin: South Africa - Paarl
Average Rating: not available
Type: Red
Price: $11.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Fairview Goats Do Roam Rosé 2007 
Characteristics: The juice from the Shiraz, Pinotage, Cinsault and Pinot Noir grapes was drawn off after 12 hours of skin contact, prior to fermentation. Bunches of Gamay grapes were whole bunch pressed after 12 hours of skin contact. The color is a deep vibrant pink. This melange of varietals yields an aroma of ripe summer berries, and red fruits. The flavors are rewardingly zesty ripe fruit, with a clean, crisp dry finish.
Origin: South Africa - Paarl
Average Rating: not available
Type: Rose
Price: $11.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Fairview Goats Do Roam Rosé 2008 
Characteristics: Sweet cherry and strawberry on the nose matched with a light gamey quality. The mouth is crisp with a dusty mineral note yet finishes dry and juicy. Perfect for the patio.
-WB (tasted February 2009)
Origin: South Africa - Paarl
Average Rating: 3 out of 5
Type: Rose
Price: $11.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Fairview Goats Do Roam White 2007 
Characteristics: This is the brightest vintage of this wine in sometime; the Viognier which often dominates even in small proportion takes a maestro baton here leading the others to decidedly complementary roles. A very pleasant quaff. No goats were harmed in the creation of this wine.
-LAC (tasted February 2009)
Origin: South Africa - Paarl
Average Rating: not available
Type: White
Price: $11.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Fairview Pinotage 2007 
Characteristics: Good youthful garnet hue. Brambley red fruit and dusty currant. Medium weight, good soft tannins, a friendly wine. Great with grilled veggies and pork. -PC (tasted January '09)
Origin: South Africa - Paarl
Average Rating: not available
Type: Red
Price: $16.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Villa Maria Cellar Sauvignon Blanc 2007 
Characteristics: This Sauvignon Blanc is bursting with ripe gooseberry, citrus lime, tropical melon and exotic herbal aromas. The wine’s layers of flavour excite and intrigue. It is a fresh and ripely flavoured wine with fantastic intensity, finishing with crisp and racy acidity. - the Winemaker
Origin: New Zealand
Average Rating: not available
Type: White
Price: $25.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Villa Maria Private Bin Cabernet/Merlot 2006 
Characteristics: This wine is a bit subtle initially on the nose, showing hints of lavender, sage and black fruit. On the palate the wine is medium bodied, displaying eucalyptus, semi sweet chocolate, cherry oak and spice. -CM, April 2009
Origin: New Zealand
Average Rating: not available
Type: Red
Price: $18.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Villa Maria Private Bin Chardonnay 2007 
Characteristics: Crafted to capture the essence of Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay, full of ripe peach and mealy stone-fruit flavours this wine is finely balanced with an edge of minerality.
Origin: New Zealand
Average Rating: not available
Type: White
Price: $18.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Noir 2005 
Characteristics: The nose offers attractive cherries and plums along with subtle oak and spice influences. On the palate the wine is appealing with its generous ripe fruit. Savoury characters add complexity and demand the accompaniment of good food. Soft, fine-grained tannins make the wine ideal for immediate consumption.
Food Match: Seared tuna, veal shanks, and Asian fusion dishes.
Origin: New Zealand
Average Rating: not available
Type: Red
Price: $24.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Villa Maria Private Bin Riesling 2007 
Characteristics: A pure and delicate bouquet of ripe citrus-lime and spring-blossom aromas. The palate is beautifully balanced with intense flavours, lovely juicy length and a zesty lime finish. Great on it’s own or with light fresh food. - the Winemaker
Origin: New Zealand
Average Rating: not available
Type: White
Price: $18.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2008 
Characteristics: The Private Bin label represents Villa Maria’s commitment to approachable, consistent, quality wine. An excellent value range popular with wine drinkers throughout the world.

Bursting aromas of ripe passion fruit, fresh citrus lime and an exotic herbaceous complexity. A juicy mid-palate with fullness and length, finishing with a refreshing crisp acidity. -Winemaker's notes
Origin: New Zealand
Average Rating: not available
Type: White
Price: $18.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2009 
Characteristics: The nose is of a riper, sweeter gooseberry; the ripest in the bowl. There is less pungent grapeyness too and some really snappy, refreshingly tart acids. Normally Villa Maria is made in a rounder, more succulent style with apricots and peach, but this year it is more direct in a more linear style. It is more Loire than it has ever been. -Wine review by BH, August 2009
Origin: New Zealand
Average Rating: not available
Type: White
Price: $18.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Warre's 20 Year Old Tawny  
Characteristics: Warre's 20 Year Old has all the classic hallmarks of Old Tawny, namely a rich tawny color, delicious soft raisiny fruit, a glorious nutty bouquet, superb balance and a long lingering finish.
Origin: Portugal - Douro
Average Rating: 5 out of 5
Type: Dessert
Price: $65.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750ML
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Warre's King's Tawny Port  
Characteristics: Warre’s Kings Tawny is a three-year-old blend, which is less intensely coloured than the ruby. Lighter in style than Ruby, through selective and skilful blending it brings together the youthful fruit aromas of young wines and the fine balance and mellowness achieved through maturation in oak casks.
Origin: Portugal - Douro
Average Rating: 4 out of 5
Type: Dessert
Price: $19.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750ML
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Warre's Late Bottled Port 1999 
Characteristics: Intense nose, with plum and red fruit aromas and notes of chocolate. Well-balanced acidity and tannins, has good body and volume with a long finish. -MB (tasted 11/08)
Origin: Portugal - Duoro
Average Rating: not available
Type: Dessert
Price: $33.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Warre's Nimrod  
Characteristics: Nimrod is a careful blend of the finest Ports, from the best vineyards in the Douro valley, with an average of 15 years maturing in oak casks. Gradually, these wines lose their initial ruby color, gaining their characteristic light amber tone and nutty, woody flavors. No decanting is required and Nimrod can be served slightly chilled in warmer weather.
Origin: Portugal - Duoro
Average Rating: not available
Type: Dessert
Price: $39.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Warre's Otima 10-year Old 6/500  
Characteristics: Aromas of chokecherries and heady orange rinds pull you into a remarkable palate that balances the taste of dried orange rinds with a nutty tinge rounded out by a delightful sweetness of semi dried fruit flavors. Pound for pound, this 500 ml bottle punches way above its weight class, kept us coming back for “just another little pour,” and makes just about the perfect wine to bring to a Winter housewarming all the while proving that Warres, though renowned for the flexing force of their darker Ports, can excel at the elegant end of the spectrum as well. 20% alcohol by volume 500ml
Wine review by Nicholas Livingston, December 2010

The grapes used in the production of Otima 10 years old are a blend of traditional Portuguese varieties from the Douro Valley, such as Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, and Tinto Cão. The wine is aged in oak casks at the lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia. Light tawny color, with an excellent nose of dried fruits and walnuts. On the palate, classic flavors of nuts highlighted by mature fruit. Well balanced with long fresh finish. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.
Origin: Portugal - Douro
Average Rating: 5 out of 5
Type: Dessert
Price: $32.00/bottle
Bottle size: 500ML
Bottles Per Case: 6
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Warre's Otima 20-year Old 6/500  
Characteristics: The translucent copper coloured tone of the
wine is matched by the beautiful soft nutty
aromas gained by a full twenty years ageing in
seasoned oak casks. OTIMA 20 Years is rich
and delicate, but never cloying; the tannins
and acidity ensure balance and perfect length.
Does not need decanting.
The wine is ready to drink when bottled, but
will maintain its quality in bottle.
Serve lightly chilled in warmer climates, with
light desserts such as crème brûlée, or on its
own.
OTIMA 20 is a pleasure to drink at any time,
not just at the end of a lunch or dinner.
Origin: Portugal - Douro
Average Rating: 5 out of 5
Type: Dessert
Price: $54.00/bottle
Bottle size: 500ML
Bottles Per Case: 6
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Warre's Ruby Port Heritage  
Characteristics: Heritage Ruby is a robust dark fruity wine full of youthful vigor. It is aged in oak casks for an average of 3 years, and is bottled when ready to drink. Ruby colour, with on the nose robust youthful aromas of red fruits, and on the palate fresh, persistent and well balanced.
Origin: Portugal - Douro
Average Rating: 4 out of 5
Type: Dessert
Price: $18.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750ML
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Warre's Sir William 10 year Tawny Port  
Characteristics: Attractive tawny color, with a complex bouquet of predominantly nuts and some dried fruits, sweet, with a fine balance between fruit and age, and an intense nutty finish.
Origin: Portugal - Duoro
Average Rating: not available
Type: Dessert
Price: $35.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Warre's Vintage Port 1970 
Characteristics: Clean clove, cinnamon, dried cherry and cranberry, sassafrass and chocolate, floral rose water and sandalwood come forward on the nose and through the attack. Then a cavalcade of carob and cocoa are carried along the polished tannins and a curious mineral quality. Well burnished alloys of flavor meld sandalwood, turkish delight, cordial cherries, fragrant hardwoods and brambles of ripe berries. It's subtle. It's delicate. It's not overpowering and yet it's still showing a beautiful sanguine hue and a sinuous tannin that has calmed considerably over time. Any trace of alcohol has worked into the wine in such supple ways that it is niether proud on the nose or warm in the throat. Since Warre's embodies the touchstone whereby other quintas should be compared, the glory in this glass comes as no surprise. Tasting history seldom tastes so kind. Tasting review by Nicholas D. Livingston
Origin: Portugal - Douro
Average Rating: 5 out of 5
Type: Dessert
Price: $130.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750ML
Bottles Per Case: 12
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Warre's Vintage Port 2003 
Characteristics: Rich, ripe, dense and full, savory, sweet, long and memorable –such words and praise belong to all Port. With dozens if not hundreds of grape varieties allowed in blending, Port may very well possess the broadest spectrum of fragrance and flavor for any wine. Couple that with sound maturation in cask or bottle and you are sure to enjoy an inimitable wine unique in the entire world; perhaps because the five main varieties are indigenous to Portugal: Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Francesa, and Touriga Nacional. Aged great lengths in wood, Ports soften to a tawny color with a caramel quality replete with nuances of nuts, citrus rinds and dried fruits. Those Ports aged in bottle are more opaque, sinuous, and tend to combine the richness of dark, dried fruits with a high toned fragrance of flowers harmonizing with low notes of gingerbread, molasses, anise, spice box, and a finish that lingers to show you even more. Port is a nonpareil that reaches a vinosity in ways no other wine can; enjoy them for the rest of your life –may it be a long one!
Origin: Portugal - Duoro
Average Rating: not available
Type: Dessert
Price: $98.00/bottle
Bottle size: 750 mL
Bottles Per Case: 12
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