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Kim Crawford, Marlborough (New Zealand) Sauvignon Blanc "Signature Reserve" 2017 ($25, Constellation Imports)
 A selection of two vineyards, Springfields and Steam Wharf, shows a step toward elegance over the unabashedly forward regular bottling of this Kiwi icon.  Rich yet subtle grapefruit gets some lemon, lime and moderate gooseberry and grass tones alongside, and finishes with a very long yet subtle mixed citrus and herb impression.  This will run the gamut of food possibilities -- I’m going for my mixed pepper salad with red onions, carrots, black olives and bacon, and whatever else might be fresh and appropriate. 
93 Rich Cook


Posted by Rich Cook on August 1, 2018 at 4:25 PM

A Savior for Leftover Wine Arrives at Last

I’m often greeted with a snicker or two when bringing up the discussion of how to handle leftover wine.  In fact, I think I can hear some of you right now: “Leftover wine?  What’s that?”  I realize that there are some among us that are serious practitioners of the “open means empty” ethos.  However, many other consumers wish to moderate consumption by not polishing off an entire bottle, or prefer to retain a portion for a future occasion when the wine might provide a good food match.  Yet, until now, the span during which a wine could be saved but held in good condition was pretty short, or the devices that could prolong the span were prohibitively expensive.  I’m pleased to report that the window has now been significantly and economically extended.

The repour™ winesaver is a stopper that--when inserted into a partially consumed bottle--purports to consume the oxygen in the air space, keeping the wine fresh in the same bottle until it is consumed, “even if taken glass by glass over days, weeks or months,” according to the packaging.   Having tested myriad systems and gadgets over the years, my personal favorite method has been to pour half of a 750 ml bottle immediately upon opening into a 375ml bottle, top the 375 with a shot of argon (“Vineyard Fresh” or “Private Reserve” are brands) and set aside.  I’ve had this method preserve a wine for about 30 days maximum, and probably for about two weeks on average.  Looking to extend that period, I put the repour™ through a real-world test that some might regard as rather unscientific, but which was nevertheless quite telling.

I took three bottles that I reviewed favorably that had been open for about four hours (resulting in three different fill levels) and sealed them with the repour™ stopper on April 17, tasting them a few times over the course of three months.  As of July 17, all three wines are still going strong after opening and resealing over that time.  In fact, my senses tell me that the device makes the wine go a touch anaerobic, meaning it closes up slightly.  A little swirl time in the glass gets some oxygen back in and reawakens the wine.  This occurrence is noted on the product box, and it rings true.  Bottom line: each of the three wines I used as test subjects are showing as fresh as the day I scored them.  The product is available in boxes holding 4, 10 or 72 stoppers, retailing between $2.25 and $1.67 per stopper, based on quantity purchased, at repour.com.

Possible uses for these stoppers extend well beyond the homes of consumer here.  A restaurant by-the-glass program could benefit greatly from them, potentially broadening the selection of wines that might be offered, and possibly lowering costs, which could be good for proprietors and customers alike.

If you’ve grown tired of pouring your favorite wines--and your money down the drain, try a box of these babies--you’ll be glad you did.

Dr. Michael
This Issue's Reviews
Marchesi Frescobaldi: 'When you prune, you get to know the plants'
Michael Apstein

Lamberto Frescobaldi, tieless in a casual sports jacket, has a down-to-earth demeanor and a twinkle in his eye that belies his nobleman status. He is the 30th generation of that famed winemaking family, which in the past traded wine for paintings with Renaissance artists. Lamberto, a man who must be worth hundreds of millions of dollars and has a 700-year family legacy in winemaking, explains with a child-like enthusiasm, 'When you prune you get to know the plants.' Many wine producers with such a legacy would hunker down, counting on their past to sustain themselves. Not Frescobaldi. Under Lamberto, who now might qualify as the Master of Merlot, a handful of recent projects highlight the direction of Italian wine.
TEXSOM 2018 Musings
Jessica Dupuy

This past weekend I had the pleasure to attend my twelfth TEXSOM conference in Dallas. Each year, I'm amazed at the innovation and depth of content offered through the myriad seminars, tasting lunches, and sponsored tasting rooms offered throughout the three-day conference. With somewhere around one thousand wine professional attendees, volunteers, speakers, and sponsors, it's a pretty target-rich environment for industry networking and socializing, but more importantly digging deeper into relevant topics and trends swirling about the wine world.
Wine With
WINE WITH…Risotto with Red Wine and Mushrooms

Risotto is usually served as a first course (primi) in Italy, and is generally made with white wine. Substituting red wine makes this a much richer and more complex dish, one that can stand alone as a simple but very satisfying main course. Pair it with meat, poultry or fish if you like, but we find it to be very gratifying on its own, accompanied perhaps by nothing more than a green salad. You could add a vegetable such as green beans, though in truth the mushrooms are so meaty in flavor and texture that you don't really need anything else on the plate.
On My Table
Mountain Cabernet
Mary Ewing-Mulligan

So much excitement exists around Pinot Noir in California now, it can seem that Cabernet Sauvignon is becoming an also-ran. Of course, Cabernet is California's most celebrated red wine, and in Napa Valley -- California's most celebrated wine region -- it leads in volume of production, crop value, and reputation. But is there anything new and exciting about old, reliable Cabernet? Meet Acumen, a wine estate in the Atlas Peak district of Napa Valley, that originated just six years ago. Proprietor Eric Yuan has amassed 116 organically-certified acres of vines spread across two sites in a remote, cool locale of steep slopes, high elevation and rocky, volcanic soils. From these estate vines, Acumen produces several red wines based on Cabernet Sauvignon that are masterful expressions of this noble grape.