Created: March 04, 2022 07:59
Véronique Boss-Drouhin leads the winemaking team at Domaine Drouhin Oregon (Photograph provided)
In honor of International Women’s Day on Tuesday, today we’ll be showcasing wines heavily influenced by women who are winemakers or work in their family’s vineyards.
There are far too many to include in one article. A recent column featured Dry Creek Vineyards and Catena Zapata, both run by daughters who took the reins from their fathers.
Sorry to say bro, but women have 50% more neurons in the olfactory center of their brains than we do, and 35% have an exceptional sense of taste compared to 15% of us.
I had the great pleasure of meeting some members of the Drouhin family of Burgundy renown and it is Véronique Boss-Drouhin whom they call “the guardian of the Joseph Drouhin style”. This family was the first Burgundy producer to settle in Oregon and Véronique leads their winemaking team. She also strictly adheres to biodynamic practices, as they do in France.
That’s how she describes it Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2018 from Oregon: “Our Dundee Hills 2018 is complex and structured, a great combination of flavor, intensity and structure. Subtle notes of rose petal, raspberry and black cherry lead to layered flavors of sour cherry, cranberry, black tea and plum. Although young, there is an extraordinary balance between the fine tannins and the energizing energy of the vibrant red fruits and acidity. This is a wine that will be exciting to follow as it passes 5, 10 and 15 years. » Parker’s Wine Avocado gives him 94+ and James Suckling 93. $44.35 (Stock #8077). Biodynamic.
Isabelle Simi took over responsibility for her family estate at a very young age when her father and uncle died suddenly in 1904 of the flu. She passed away in 1981, but she was there on my first visit to this historic Sonoma winery that she guided for over 70 years. Simi continued, until the end of prohibition.
Today, Melissa Stackhouse is director of winemaking at Simi, and she graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in viticulture and enology. Rebecca Valls is the assistant winemaker.
This is how they describe 2018 Simi Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon: “Dark garnet color with ruby reflections. Toasted oak frames and adds depth to the fruit aromas of black bramble and dried blueberry, leading to intriguing notes of exotic spices and roasted coffee. Lifted aromas of juniper and subtle violet add generosity, layers and aromatic complexity to this wine. Dark fruit dominates the entry with jammy black cherry and dark plum followed by black licorice, cocoa and toasty oak with a spicy, lifted mid-palate. Incredibly food friendly and not a headache to match. $39.70 (Stock #6100).
Federica Stianti Macheroni owns Volpaia with her mother and brother. An ancient Roman hamlet, it is located on the highest hill in Tuscany, surrounded by 1,000 hectares of forest, olive groves and biodynamic vineyards. She was a lovely guest to my wife and I and we sat in their hill top house and enjoyed fine wine with her and her mother.
The Vinous site has this to say about Volpaia Chianti Classic 2019: “A nice mid-weight wine. Silky and beautifully perfumed, this mid-weight Chianti Classico is an excellent example of the supple styles so typical of Radda. Crushed flowers, mint, sweet red berries and tobacco linger. 91/100. $29.45 (Stock #8965). Biodynamic.
And now we’re going to meet Tamra Kelly-Washington who grew up in Marlborough during the region’s wine boom. Spending school holidays working in vineyards and wine restaurants sparked an early fascination with wine and its creation. A graduate in viticulture and oenology from the University of Lincoln, she has worked in California, Australia and Italy. She now leads the winemaking team at Seresin Winery in New Zealand, where she started years ago as a lab assistant.
Isabelle Simi took over responsibility for her family winery as a very young woman when her father and uncle died suddenly in 1904 of the flu (Photograph provided)
Critic Michael Cooper assesses the 2020 Seresin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 4.5 stars and writes: “This is one of the most sophisticated, subtle and satisfying Sauvignon Blancs in the region. It is also one of the largest, given its wide international distribution and BioGro certified status. The wine (which includes five to ten percent Sémillon) is mostly fermented in vats with native yeasts, but part of the blend is fermented and aged on lees in seasoned French oak barrels. The 2020 is a young wine, still in the making. Bright and light lemon/green, it is full-bodied, with strong and vigorous tropical fruit flavors showing good complexity. Hyper classic.” $27.65 (Stock #8714). Organicdynamic.
Maria Larrea was born and raised in the Rioja district of Spain and is now Technical Director of CVNE. Here is how she describes the event that prompted me to continue distributing their wines:
“Each wine I produce is unique and must be a number 1. The wine spectator Number 1 Wine of the Year Award for Imperial Gran Reserva 2004 validated this. I like to believe that the award is not just for a vintage but for a brand with over 90 years of history, its ability to age and the recognition of the potential of the great Rioja wine region.
“It was truly a great honor and totally unexpected that the 2004 Imperial Gran Reserva was awarded Wine Spectator’s Number 1 wine of the year, as CVNE was the first Spanish winery to be chosen as number 1 and to this day we remain the only Spanish winery to have been awarded number 1 wine of the year.
If you want to enjoy such excellence, we can sell you 2014 CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva which scores 94/100 from James Sucking and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. It is only produced during great vintages and in very limited quantities. $86 (Stock #9735).
This column is an infomercial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. Contact Michael Robinson at email@example.com. Burrows Lightbourn has stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554) and Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355). Visit www.wineonline.bm