Crisp, dry and brimming over with flavors of Meyer lemons, mandarin orange and a splash of lime, Dry Creek Fume Blanc 2018 ($16) is the wine of summer. Winery founder David Stare was the first person to plant Fume Blanc in the Dry Creek Valley. Since 1972, when the winery began, Sauvignon Blanc is now the most widely planted grape in the region.
Montecucco is a very new denominatin in Italy and is Tuscany's best kept secret. Wines of the region are finally coming into their own, thinks to the high quality and distinctive character of these wines which are primarily made from Italy's most planted grape, Sangiovese. What makes Montecucco Sangiovese difference from all the others is its taste, brought about by its unique climate and soil conditions. Organic production is the norm rather than the exception, with 68% of its vines produced under organic conditions. Montecucco is nestled in the south of Tuscany between two more famous neighbors, Morrellino di Scansano and the little town of Montalcino which produces t he regal Brunello di Montalcino.
Acacia Napa Valley Chardonnay is one of the benchmark labels of the regithe on. With its layers of bright tropical fruit flavors; both sweet and sour lemons, white flowers, honeycomb and ripe Asian pears, the wine is among the region's most coveted Chardonnays at any price. Now comes a version of this superlative wine that provides a "casual Friday" approximation of the same delightful wine at about half the price. Say hello to A by Acacia Chardonnay, a 'second label,' if you will, featuring an un-oaked version of their more well-known flagship. The wine has the same pure varietal character of the Chardonnay grape as the top-tiered version, sans the oak aging. The same care is used in its vilification; from fermentation under constant low temperatures to preserve its rich fruit flavor to longer aging in stainless steel tanks to preserve the mouth-watering flavors of citrus, green and Golden Delicious apples and Fuji apples and pears. A hint of apple blossom adds just a touch of perfume and complexity.
Montecucco is a very new denomination in Italy and is Tuscany's best kept secret. Wines of the region are finally coming into their own, thinks to the high quality and distinctive character of these wines which are primarily made from Italy's most planted grape, Sangiovese. What makes Montecucco Sangiovese difference from all the others is its taste, brought about by its unique climate and soil conditions. Organic production is the norm rather than the exception, with 68% of its vines produced under organic conditions. Montecucco is nestled in the south of Tuscany between two more famous neighbors, Morrellino di Scansano and the little town of Montalcino which produces t he regal Brunello di Montalcino.
"If you stay here, you either get locked up or knocked up." Those candid words from Gemma, the film's primary focus, provide the nucleus of the narrative for the 18th Tribeca Film Festival's Best Documentary Feature Scheme Birds from first time directors Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin. Seen through the unflinching eye of cinematographer Hallin, the feature-length debut from this Swedish duo places a laser-like focus on the grim world of wayward teens growing up in the concrete wasteland of the housing projects of Motherwell, a forlorn Scottish town just on the outskirts of Glasgow. Music by Charlie Jefferson further illuminates the measured progression of this unfolding drama of hope and humanity. With its gang bangers, school dropouts and teen pregnancies, this fractured coming-of-age tome could just as easily been filmed in Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, or any other hovel of despair in America. Gemma was born just after the Thatcher administration shut down the steel mills in Motherwell, the town's sole source of livelihood. As she grows into her teen years, she witnesses the steel mill's demolition, a reflection of the crumbling pillars of her own life and those around her.
May marked the U.S. debut of the latest releases of wines from Ramon Bilbao of Rioja, Spain. Established in 1924, it is currently the fastest growing winery in the Spanish market and is recognized as one of the World's Most Admired Wine Brands for 2019 by DRINKS International. Rodolfo Bastida, the company's affable winemaker since 1999 presented a dazzling array of vintages, dating back to 1999, with a selection of delectable cuisine specially prepared for the occasion. The presentation showcased the versatility of the wines, primarily comprised of the Tempranillo grape, Spain's flagship indigenous variety.
French winemaker Jan Panman says the Benedictine monks in his Limoux region of France were the first makers of sparkling French wine a full 100 years before Dom Perignon, and he has the papers, dating from 1544, to prove it. He displayed an ancient bill of sale, reportedly from the Abbey in Limoux that purports to show the sale of "sparkling wine" to an English court, which clearly states the name of the Blanquette estate. With that proud declaration, Panman recently unveiled the latest vintage of his Chateau Rives-Blanques Blanquette Blanc de Blanc ($19.94).
For the first time in its history, The Tribeca Film Festival held its Opening Night in the African American community with the World Premiere of the HBO Documentary The Apollo from Oscar-nominated director Roger Ross Williams (the Oscar-nominated bittersweet “Life, Animated” and the devastating “God Loves Uganda”). The Apollo chronicles the 85-year history of what is arguably the most iconic entertainment venues in the nation. What started as a midtown vaudeville house in the 1930s which was then moved to Harlem by its co-funder Frank Schiffman, grew into the world's leading stage for black entertainment. The film contains priceless rare footage of the most famous names in the world of show business from their earliest performances. We see a young Ella belting out her first hit, a nine year old Leslie Uggams, the youngest performer to ever grace the Apollo stage, a 13 year old Lauryn Hill, who was roundly booed at the world famous Amateur Night and her later triumph as a headliner of the hit TV show Live at the Apollo.
Natural and Organic wines are big for summer. Besides their general appeal from their producer's sustainable practices, the wines have a clean, fresh taste, which fully expresses their varietal characteristics with little interference from their makers. Caleb Leisure is one such winemaker. His wines are grown primarily in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California and all of his grapes are organic. After interning with natural wine producers in France Caleb completed his studies in the Languedoc-Roussillon and Jura regions of France. After two years, he decided that wine was his calling and struck out on his own. The results are fruit forward wines that express the mineral rich soils from which they come and the ideal grape growing climate of the region.
When Norman deLeuze and Gino Zepponi first pooled their limited financial resources to obtain a winery permit in Sonoma County, their objective was to create wines that would emulate those of the famed Burgundy region of France. Since those halcyon days 50 years ago, the winery has not only reached that goal, but exceeded it, producing exceptional wines that not only possess sophistication and elegance, but reflect style and terroir that is uniquely Californian. ZD Such an example is their new release, 2017 Chardonnay ($42). A blend of Chardonnay grapes from four coastal regions, Santa Maria Valley, Arroyo Secco and the famous Carneros district that straddles both Napa and Sonoma Counties, the wine literally dances with flavor.