BEST BAROLO WINE

BEST BAROLO WINE

The Best Barolo Wine is considered to be an exceptional selection when it comes to Italian red wines. Barolo is a red wine produced in the Piedmont region of Italy. The wines are made from Nebbiolo, a small, thin-skinned red grape varietal generally high in acid and tannins. In Piedmont, Nebbiolo is one of the first varieties to undergo bud break and last to be picked, with harvest generally taking place in late October. Barolo wines must be solely composed of Nebbiolo, with no exceptions.

What About a Great Wine

The wines are rich and full-bodied, with a strong presence of acidity and tannins. The Best Barolo wine is often compared to the great Pinot Noir of Burgundy, due to their light brick-garnet pigments and bright acidity – plus the region it’s made has a lot that is aesthetically common to Burgundy too. Rose flower, tar, and dried herbs are aromas frequently associated with Barolo wines. According to DOCG regulations (Denominazione di Origine Controllata or Denomination of Controlled Origin), the wines must be aged for at least two years in oak and one year in bottle, with five years of age (three in oak) required for Riserva labeling, both with a minimum 13 percent alcohol content.

 

 

 

Advances in Viticulture

Advances in viticulture have helped to bridge the gap between modern and traditional producers. Better canopy management and yield control have led to riper grapes being harvested earlier with more developed tannins in the grape skins. As of 2015, winemaking for both traditionalist and modernist Barolo producers includes strict hygiene controls and the use of some modern winemaking equipment such as temperature-control fermentation vessels. Rather than fall into one hard-line camp or the other, many producers take a middle-ground approach that utilizes some modernist techniques along with traditional winemaking. In general, the traditional approach to Nebbiolo involves long maceration periods of 20 to 30 days and the use of older large Botti-size barrels. The modern approach to Nebbiolo utilizes shorter maceration periods of 7 to 10 days and cooler fermentation temperatures between 82-86 °F (28-30 °C) that preserve fruit flavors and aromas. Towards the end of the fermentation period, winemakers often heat the cellars to encourage the start of malolactic fermentation, which softens some of Nebbiolo’s harsh acidity. Modern winemakers tend to favor smaller barrels of new oak that need only a couple of years to soften the tannic grip of the wines. While new oak imparts notes of vanilla, it has the potential to cover up the characteristic rose notes of Nebbiolo. Barolos tend to be rich, deeply concentrated full-bodied wines with pronounced tannins and acidity. The wines are almost always lightly colored varying from ruby to garnet in their youth to more brick and orange hues as they age. Like Pinot noir, Barolos are never opaque. Barolos have the potential for a wide range of complex and exotic aromas with tar and roses being common notes. Other aromas associated with Barolos include camphor, chocolate, dried fruit, damsons, eucalyptus, leather, licorice, mint, mulberries, plum, spice, strawberries, tobacco, white truffles as well as dried and fresh herbs. The tannins of the wine add texture and serve to balance Barolo’s moderate to high alcohol levels (Minimum 13% but most often above 15% ABV). Excessive extraction from prolonged maceration periods and oak aging can give the wines an over-extracted bitterness.

 

 

Best Barolo Wine-oak barrels

 

 

The Special Piedmont Area

Barolo is located in the northwestern portion of Piedmont called Langhe, about seven miles southwest of Alba. There are 11 communes that make up the wine-producing region of Barolo, including the five most prominent ones: Barolo, La Morra, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba, and Monforte d’Alba. To break it down, Langhe can be divided into two areas, the Serralunga Valley where the Fontanafredda estate is located, which encompasses the eastern communes of Castiglione Falletto, Monforte d’Alba, and Serralunga d’Alba, and the Central Valley, which covers Barolo and La Morra. The greatest difference between these two divisions is the soil; while the Serralunga Valley has soils high in sand and limestone, the latter tends to be higher in clay. The sandy soils of Serralunga produce more intense wines that demand a longer aging period than the Central Valley Barolos, which are known for softer, fruitier expressions of the region. The commune of La Morra produces the most wine of the five communes.

 

 

Best Barolo Wine-Barolo vineyards in Serralunga d'Alba at dawn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barolo Chinato an After-Dinner Drink

 

 

Best Barolo Wine-Nebbiolo grape

 

 

Nebbiolo

In the Piedmont region, old Barolo wine is used to make an after-dinner digestif known as Barolo Chinato. The bark from the South American cinchona tree is steeped in Barolo and then flavored with a variety of ingredients, depending on the producer’s unique recipe. Some common ingredients of Barolo Chinato include cinnamon, coriander, iris flowers, mint, and vanilla. The resulting beverage is very aromatic and smooth.

 

 

Production

 

 

A string of favorable vintages in the late 1990s led to an increase in price for Barolos and, in turn, led to increased plantings. Between 1990 and 2004 there was a 47% increase in Nebbiolo plantings in the Barolo zone with 4,285 acres (1,734 ha) under vine. The production subsequently increased from 7 million bottles in the mid-1990s to 10.25 million bottles in the mid-2000s. In the rush to increase plantings some less ideal sites previously used by Barbera and Dolcetto were gobbled up. It remains to be seen if these sites will be able to adequately ripen Nebbiolo enough to produce quality Barolo that justifies the high price of the wine. Some experts are predicting a market correction similar to what was seen in the 1980s when a backlog of vintages caused prices to stabilize.

 

 

Food pairing

Best Barolo Wine-a glass of Barolo

 

 

A glass of Barolo with the characteristic brick color hue around the rim

A big, powerful, tannic wine, Barolo needs to be matched with foods of similar weight. Paired with light dishes low in protein, such as steamed vegetables, a Barolo will overwhelm the food; its tannins will react with the proteins on the tongue and sides of the mouth, accentuating the bitterness and drying the palate. In Piedmont, the wines are often paired with meat dishes, heavy pastas, and rich risottos; the tannins bind to the food proteins and come across as softer

Meat

Beef Tenderloin, Prime Rib Steak, Roast Duck, Roast Turkey, Pork Sausage, Meat Ragu, Roasted Game Hen, Braised Pork, Prosciutto

Cheese

Fresh Burrata, Soft Triple-Cream Cow’s Cheese, Parmigiana Reggiano, Bechamel Sauce, Full Fat Feta Cheese, Manchego, Pecorino, Washed-Rind Cheeses

Herb/Spice

Sage, Tarragon, Black Pepper, White Pepper, Rose Hip, Coriander Seed, Fennel Seed, Celery Seed, Sichuan Pepper, Asian 5-Spice, Anise, Star Anise, Ceylon Cinnamon

Vegetable

Wild Mushrooms, Chestnut, Roasted Garlic, Shallot, Truffle, Butternut Squash, Grilled Radicchio, Cannellini Bean, Fried Polenta, Olive, Caper Sunchokes, Braised Leeks, Cippolini Onion, Funghi Pizza, Farro, Wild Rice, Roasted Fennel Bulb, Charred Green Onion

Best Barolo WineMauro Veglio Barolo 2015

Best Barolo WineMauro Veglio Barolo Castelletto 2015

Best barolo Wine Gaja Barolo Dagromis

Best Barolo Wine La Sacrestia Barolo Ravera, 2014

Best Barolo WineAbbona Barolo

Best Barolo WineSandrone Barolo le Vigne, 2014

Best Barolo Wine Prunotto Barolo Bussia, 2009

Best Barolo WinePio Cesare Barolo Ornato, 2014

Best Barolo Wine Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falletto, 2014

Best Barolo WineMarchesi Di Barolo Sarmassa, 2011

Best Wheated Bourbons

The Best Wheated Bourbon Alternatives

The finest smoothest wheated Bourbons may also be some of the most expensive. However, there is a selection of the Best Wheated Bourbons available in lieu of the very expensive and prized Pappy Van Winkle.

As seemingly straightforward as the spirit is, whiskey (and/or whisky) is actually a pretty complicated alcoholic beverage. In fact, the greater category has a surprisingly large number of distinct sub-categories within it, including things like scotch, Irish whiskey, Canadian whiskey, Japanese whisky, rye whiskey, Tennessee whiskey, and of course our topic of interest bourbon whiskey.

In the case of the spirits you see before you today, we are going to concentrate on a type of distinctly=American whiskey called wheated bourbon. Specifically, we are interested in this particular variety because Pappy Van Winkle.is exceedingly hard to find and even when you can track it down it can be absurdly expensive even for seasoned collectors. However, if you know where to look, there is actually a pretty wide range of alternatives to Pappy that are more widely available and a good deal less expensive. You will find eight of the best on our following list of wheated bourbon alternatives to Pappy Van Winkle.

Best Wheated Bourbons - A fine Bourbon

What is Bourbon?

Bourbon

The Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits, codified under 27 CFR §5.22(b)(1)(i), states bourbon made for U.S. consumption must be:

  • Produced in the United States
  • Made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn
  • Aged in new, charred oak containers
  • Distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume)
  • Entered into the container for aging at no more than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume)
  • Bottled (like other whiskeys) at 80 proof or more (40% alcohol by volume)
  • Host a grain bill that is at least 51% corn
  • Must be produced at no more than 160 proof (80% ABV)
  • Needs to be stored in new charred oak barrels for at least four years at no more than 125 proof (62.5% ABV)
  • Must be bottled at a minimum of 80 proof (49% ABV).
  • Required to be made in the United States

Straight bourbon, which has a minimum aging requirement of two years. Any bourbon aged less than four years must include an age statement on its label.

Bourbon that meets the above requirements has been aged for a minimum of two years, and does not have added coloring, flavoring, or other spirits may be called straight bourbon.

  • Bourbon that is labeled as straight that has been aged under four years must be labeled with the duration of its aging
  • Bourbon that has an aged stated on its label must be labeled with the age of the youngest whiskey in the bottle(not counting the age of any added neutral grain spirits in a bourbon that is labeled as blended as neutral-grain spirits are not considered whiskey under the regulations and are not required to be aged at all)

And Why Pappy Van Winkle Is So Popular

The basic processes for distilling bourbon whiskey are mostly the same no matter. In fact, there are a few must-haves for a distilled liquor to even be considered bourbon in the first place. This includes a mash (the baseline mixture of water steeped with grains) that’s at least 51% corn, a period of aging in charred oak barrels, and a lack of any other additives. However, outside of those parameters, distillers are free to change The specific varieties of charred oak barrels, and even the amount of time a spirit is aged.

One of the most popular styles fin recent days is wheated bourbon. What differentiates wheated bourbon from other bourbon is that, after corn, wheat is the secondary flavoring grain, rather than rye or barley in the recipe. The result is a smoother spirit with less harshness and bite that allows many of the other flavors and aromas to come through a bit more. The most popular and fabled label to specialize in this style is Pappy Van Winkle. Owned by Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. Pappy is widely considered the wheated bourbon that set the standard in the industry.

There is no denying that Pappy Van Winkle’s recipes certainly set them apart from their competition, as does the label’s rigorous aging standards, which starts at a minimum of 15 years (twice as long as Jim Beam). However, there’s also another significant determining factor in what makes Pappy Van Winkle sometimes cost in the thousands of dollars is the rarity of the beverage. The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery actually only produces a few thousand cases per year. Jack Daniel’s, by contrast, produces over 100 million bottles a year. It’s so rare that the brand uses a lottery system just to select people who have the opportunity to buy it. These alternatives, by contrast, are much easier to find and purchase, as they are not as sought after and are widely available for purchase in essentially any liquor store.

Best Wheated Bourbons

WL Weller Special Reserve Wheated Bourbon

This alternative to Pappy Van Winkle is the price at or about $20. There is one very important fact that makes this spirit such a bargain is that uses the exact same mash recipe and in the same distillery as Pappy Van Winkle. However, WL Weller is only aged for seven years as opposed to Pappy’s aging for 15 years. The prospect of getting something similar to Pappy Van Winkle for a fraction of the cost is great. WL Weller also makes a 12-year aged version.

Best Wheated Bourbons - Larceny

Larceny John E. Fitzgerald Wheated Bourbon

Originally produced in 1870, Old Fitzgerald is one of the oldest American whiskey brands around and was and has been purchased by the Heaven Hill Co in 1999. Heaven Hill to develop Larceny as a tribute to wheated bourbons. It was revealed that Larceny has approximately 1/3 more wheat in its recipe than its competitors. This Larceny wheated bourbon whiskey has plenty of spice at 89 proof and is also somewhat smoother than its similarity priced whiskeys.

Best Wheated Bourbons

McKenzie Bottled-in-Bond Wheated Bourbon Whiskey

Bottled-in-bond Whiskeys are special and notably an American thing. These whiskeys are government regulated spirits and defined as must come from a single distiller during a single distilling season. These must be aged for a minimum of four years in a government-approved facility and must be bottled at 100 proof. McKenzie’s Bottled-in-Bond Wheated Whiskey meets all that criteria and also is an exceptional alternative to Pappy Van Winkle with a significantly lower price to go. It is a spicy flavor and has enough kick. It goes well on-the-rocks as it does neat or mixed into a classic cocktail.

Best Wheated Bourbons

1792 Sweet Wheat Bourbon

This is the first product to come from resonable1792resonable as a wheated bourbon. This spirit delivers a smooth sweet flavor with notes of vanilla and caramel with subtle flavors of fruit. The sweetness is balanced out by an abundance of oak tannins. The 1792 Sweet Wheat Bourbon is an excellent selection for a drink and comparable to most of the other wheated bourbons on the market. It is also a reasonably priced bargain.

Best Wheated Bourbons-Wyoming Whiskey

Wyoming Whiskey Wheated Bourbon

This fine whiskey has a strong masculine side in its taste including dark char, raw rope, as well as vanilla, and notes of cherry and orange peel. The bourbon is spicy, peppery driven bourbon with a sugar sweetness.

Wyoming Whiskey Wheated Bourbon is a bit high priced when compared with other wheated bourbon alternatives. It is sweet but not too sweet and also very smooth. It still has a prominent flavor profile even though it is only 88 proof. It is a whiskey one should try to possibly become a fan.

Best Wheated Bourbons-Redemption Wheated Bourbon

Redemption Wheated Bourbon

The Redemption product line has been about in the past rye bourbon and has not included a wheated bourbon. Redemption has now developed an exceptional wheated option with a considerable addition of 45% winter wheat (higher than most of its competitors) and is aged for a minimum of four years in charred oak barrels. The spirit at 96 proof, with floral notes alongside touches of vanilla and walnut, has a fantastic score of 91 at the 2019 Ultimate Spirits Challenge make this am exception wheated bourbon.

Best Wheated Bourbon-Maker's Mark Private Select Wheated Bourbon

Maker’s Mark Private Select Wheated Bourbon

Maker’s Mark bourbons are historically wheated. Maker’s Mark standard offering is both popular and available at a reasonable price. The Private Select Wheated Bourbon is just somewhat better. This fine quality is due to the expression starting out as a cask strength version of regular Maker’s Mark. Each barrel has 10 custom wood finishing staves added to them, before being sent to age in the brand’ limestone cellar. With 1000 possible combinations, each expression of this liquor is unique.

Best Wheated Bourbons-Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Garrison Brothers was founded in 2006 and is the first legal bourbon distillery in the state of Texas. Garrison Brothers Texas has very quickly built up an impressive reputation and is one of the most sought after wheated bourbon because is so good. This wheated bourbon was also awarded the brand a silver medal at the 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, which is no small feat, as that’s one of the stiffest competitions in the entire spirit industry.

Please try one of our exceptional Bourbons and go to our site for a world of fine beverages

 

 

 

 

Best Wheated Bourbon-Bourbon Barrels

Pinotage South African Wine

Pinotage South African Wine

The name Pinotage South African Wine is a little bit misleading because it sounds so much like Pinot Noir. This South African grape is related to Pinot Noir but the grape looks and tastes more like Shiraz. Its reputation has been mostly confined to South Africa.

The result of the crossing between Cinsaut and Pinot Noir was unexpected. The Pinotage grapes were extremely dark and the wine they created was bold and high in tannin and anthocyanin. Despite the difference in flavor, Pinotage would eventually become the 2nd most planted grape in South Africa.

Pinotage is a red wine grape that is South Africa’s signature variety. It was cultivated there in 1925 as a cross between Pinot noir and Cinsaut (Cinsaut was known as “Hermitage” in South Africa at that time, hence the portmanteau name). It typically produces deep red varietal wines with smoky, bramble and earthy flavors, sometimes with notes of bananas and tropical fruit, but has been criticized for sometimes smelling of acetone. The grape is a viticultural intraspecific cross of two varieties of Vitis vinifera, not an interspecific hybrid.

 

The first recognition came when a Bellevue wine made from Pinotage became the champion wine (General Smuts Trophy Winner) at the Cape Wine Show of 1959, a feat repeated by Sauer & Rossouw in 1961 with their Pinotage from Kanonkop Wine Estate. The Bellevue wine would become the first to mention Pinotage on its label in 1961 when Stellenbosch Farmer’s Winery (SFW) marketed it under their Lanzerac brand. This early success, and its easy viticulture, prompted a wave of planting during the 1960s. Pinotage is a grape variety that was created in South Africa in 1925 by Abraham Izak Perold, the first Professor of Viticulture at Stellenbosch University. Perold was attempting to combine the best qualities of the robust Hermitage with Pinot noir, a grape that makes great wine but can be difficult to grow. Perold planted the four seeds from his cross in the garden of his official residence at Welgevallen Experimental Farm and then apparently forgot about them. The young plants were moved to Elsenburg Agricultural College under Perold’s successor, CJ Theron. In 1935 Theron grafted them onto newly established rootstock. The newly grafted vines and the one that was doing best was selected for propagation and was christened Pinotage.

Fruit Flavors

Pinotage association member and winemaker Danie Steytler Jr. says it’s common to find purple fruits and black fruits in Pinotage, but occasionally you’ll taste amazing red fruit flavors of raspberry, red licorice, and even red bell pepper.

Other Flavors

On great bottles of Pinotage South African Wine you’ll be delighted by the flavors other than fruit. A wide array of other flavors include rooibos, dried leaves, bacon, sweet and sour sauce, hoisin and sweet pipe tobacco.

Tannin & Acidity

You should expect tannins to be bold but to have a sweet note on the finish –almost like flavored smoke. As far as acidity is concerned, the grape is typically high pH (low acidity) so most winemakers will acidify their wines early in the fermentation process so the acids are more integrated. Many wineries in hot climates, including California, Australia and Argentina, acidify their wines. Well-integrated acidification is unnoticeable although some tasters appear to be more sensitive to this trait than others.

Pinotage Renaissance

Pinotage remained relatively obscure internationally until Beyers Truter from Kanonkop won the 1987 Diners Club Wine of the year for his Pinotage. Pinotage has since experienced a renaissance in South Africa, with an increasing number of producers exploring a bright and juicy expression of the variety that shows off the fruit rather than oak, and showing real finesse with less ripe extraction.

In the past decade (2007 -2017) the quality, demand, and supply of Pinotage has grown excessively. From around 3 million liters of Pinotage a year at the turn of the century, domestic sales have increased to over 5 million liters, and exports since 2001 have gone from just over 8 million liters a year to close on 19 million liters.

In the past two decades, winemakers and marketers have embraced this grape cultivar which lead to the expansion of the market for Pinotage globally. Competitions like the Absa Top 10 Pinotage Awards, which started in 1997, and initiatives by organizations like the Pinotage Association have assisted in establishing this uniquely South African wine. Accolades like the 2017 Tim Atkin’s South African Red Wine of the Year confirms the trend of quality Pinotage wines. Pinotage weighed heavily in favor of Kanonkop cellarmaster Abrie Beeslaar being named the 2017 Winemaker of the Year at the prestigious International Wine & Spirit Competition in London, making him the second Kanonkop winemaker to achieve the honor. Of the Top 10 most-planted wine grape varieties in South Africa, Pinotage is the only red cultivar to have grown in hectares over the past 10 years (2007-2017).

Wine regions

In addition to South Africa, Pinotage is also grown in Brazil, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, United States, and Zimbabwe. In New Zealand, there are 94 acres (38 ha) of Pinotage. In the US, there are plantings in Arizona, California, Michigan, Oregon and Virginia.

South African Wine Map

South Africa

The majority of the world’s plantings of Pinotage is found in South Africa, where it makes up just 6% of the vineyard area but is considered a symbol of the country’s distinctive winemaking traditions. It is a required component (30-70%) in “Cape blends”. Here it is made into the full range of styles, from easy-drinking quaffing wine and rosé to barrel-aged wine intended for cellaring. It is also made into a fortified ‘Port wine’ style and even a red sparkling wine. The latest and fastest-growing trend is the production of coffee styled Pinotage. The grape is very dependent on the skill and style of winemaking, with well-made examples having the potential to produce deep-colored, fruity wines that can be accessible early as well as age.

Viticulture and winemaking

The vines are vigorous like their parent Cinsaut and easy to grow, ripening early with high sugar levels. Pinotage can be grown via the trellised system or as bush vines (untrellised). The older Pinotage vineyards are predominantly planted as bush vines and it is perceived that these lend to more concentration of fruit and depth to the wine. It has the potential to produce yields of 120 hl/ha (6.8 tons/acre) but older vines tend to lower their yields to as low as 50 hl/ha. Yield restriction is managed through water stress and bunch thinning. In winemaking, controlling the coarseness of the grape and the isoamyl acetate character are two important considerations. Volatile acidity is another potential wine fault that can cause Pinotage to taste like raspberry vinegar. Since the 1990s, more winemakers have used long and cool fermentation periods to minimize the volatile esters as well as exposure to French and American oak.

The grape is naturally high in tannins which can be tamed with limited maceration time but reducing the skin contact can also reduce some mulberry, blackberry and damson fruit character that Pinotage can produce. Some winemakers have experimented with letting the grapes get very ripe prior to harvest followed by limited oak exposures as another means of taming the more negative characteristics of the grape while maintaining its fruitiness. Newer clones have shown some potential as well.

PinotageFreshly picked Pinotage

While large-scale bulk production tended to yield a wine of little distinction, some wonderful examples of Pinotage were made not long after Lanzerac became the first to sell it commercially in 1959. Lanzerac and Kanonkop were early flag-bearers, and indeed still are, for two of their labels made it into the 2017 ABSA top 10 Pinotage Wines.

PinotageThe 2017 ABSA top 10 Pinotage Wines

Pinotage South African Wine Food Pairing

beef:

• beef

• carpaccio, beef tartar

• sausages

• steak

cheese:

• cheese: hard

• cheese: medium

• cheese: soft

• goat cheese

chicken/poultry:

• chicken: curried

• turkey

• partridge

Desserts:

• souffle: chocolate

Egg dishes:

• quiche

Ethnic dishes:

• Chinese dishes: spicy

• spicy Mexican dishes

• Thai dishes

Wild game:

• ostrich

• quail

• rabbit

lamb:

• lamb: roast & grilled

Pasta:

• couscous

• pasta with vegetables

Pinotage Wine with pizza:

• pizza: cheese

• pizza: Hawaii

• pizza: pepperoni/meat

Pinotage Wine with pork:

• cotechino

Pinotage Wine with seafood & shellfish:

• fish: curried

• grouper

• seafood casserole

• swordfish

• tuna

Pinotage Wine with veal:

• veal

Please sample and order from our selections below or go to our main site winetospiritscrown for a complete selection of all wines and beverages

Ashbourne Pinotage 2016

Southern Right Pinotage 2018

Beeslaar Pinotage 2017

Doolhof ‘Dark Lady Of the Labyrinth’ Pinotage 2017

Kanonkop ‘Black Label’ Pinotage 2016

Kanonkop Pinotage 2017

La Cave Pinotage 2017

Lievland Pinotage 2017

Neethlingshof Pinotage 2017

 

Painted Wolf Guillermo Pinotage 2017