#WineStudio Recap: Bubbles – Staying Alive!

For our last #WineStudio of 2013 we sipped Bubbles. Although we ascribe to the notion that drinking bubbles year round is the way to go, we chose to concentrate on bubbles because of the celebratory effect sparkling wines lend to any environment.

Le Metro Wine. Undergrounds.’s Volume VII Underground Bubbles is just that: what’s old is new again and what you’ve never had is now at the tip of your lips. Oh it’s all well and good to sample the big boy Champagne houses but Aaron of course curated in the other direction as he is wont to do. 

Spirit of the Andes NV Sparkling Torrontés, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina
A festive aperitivo! And the winner of the evening! 

As we opened the #WineStudio festivities, we were informed by @LeMetroWine that sparkling wine is incredibly common in Argentina, usually enjoyed at the end of a meal. Of course The #WineStudio gang agreed wholeheartedly and added beginning, end all works to either get the palate moving or to cleanse the palate! The Torrontés is sustainably farmed 3,000 feet above sea level and is produced using the Champagne method, spending 12 months on its spent lees lending richness and subtlety to a crowd-pleasing, super inexpensive sparkling wine. And as @sector61 so eloquently put it: Somm Secret: Sparkling wine starts the party, I’ve seen it countless times, turns a dead scene into a lively event!

Sorelle Bronca NV “Particella 68″ 100 % Glera, Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG, Veneto, Italy
There’s Prosecco, and then there’s PROSECCO. The daily wine!

Particella 68 is the land registry’s official name for the plot of land where these single vineyard, forty year-old vines grow. Sorelle means “sisters” in Italian, owners Antonella and Ersiliana Bronca, who are now joined in the cellar by Ersiliana’s daughter Elisa.  The Bronca is created by the “tank” (or “Charmat”) method, as is the case with almost all Prosecco. This means that secondary fermentation occurred in a tank rather than inside this bottle (as in the Champagne Method). This allows constant freshness. And the grape, Glera, lends itself to a bit of Prosecco controversy. The wine has been rebranded by this old, indigenous grape.

Parigot & Richard NV Rosé 100 % Pinot Noir, Crémant de Bourgogne, Burgundy, France
Burgundy… with bubbles. Pinot lovers rejoice!

@LeMetroWine stated: simple, hedonistic pleasure. The color gets me every time. A perfectly balanced wine, Champagne by another name.  Few will deny Burgundy’s title as “Home of the World’s Best Pinot Noir,” and this stunning rosé contains nothing but. A big winner for the rosé crowd, inexpensive but using the Champagne method, the resulting “bready” notes add unique complexity to this festive wine, whose salmon-colored hue will shine through your glass. @ProtocolWine said the Parigot is funky! Love the earth!

Medici Ermete 2012 “Concerto” 100% Lambrusco Salamino, Lambrusco Reggiano DOC, Emilia Romagna, Italy
Sparkling. Dry. RED. YES!

We all agreed, NOTHING cuts through fatty food like lambrusco.  This wine was originally created for one simple purpose: to cut through fatty foods that are in great local abundance in Emilia Romagna, which is one of Italy’s main culinary organs. This wine is produced in close proximity to the cities of Bologna, Parma, and Modena. The land it comes from is the birthplace of tortellini, prosciutto, and Parmigiano Reggiano.  Oh, and did we mention this beauty’s colour? It’s red, blood red. Many people take this to mean the wine is sweet. It is anything but. The lambrusco was the darling of the evening. It was an unknown for most but of course the Ermete won over many a palate!

Leclaire-Gaspard NV Grande Réserve 100% Chardonnay, Avize, Champagne, France
The crème de la crème. Toasty & yeasty goodness!

@sector61 remarked: Tina brings out the Champagne and this happens…  It’s true. If you’ve never heard of Leclaire – Gaspard, it may be because they don’t have a website. A tiny grower-producer, they grow their own grapes, on their own land – and their prices do not include a marketing surcharge. This wine rests on the lees for six years, made almost entirely from fruit picked in 2006. This extended contact leads to noticeable yeasty notes, which are cushioned by a dry palate and soft bubbles. Definitely one of the highlights of the evening–the only Champagne. There’s magic in the small, grower-produced wines:  there’s soul, determination and an overall sense of vivant.

La Caudrina, NV La Selvatica 100% Moscato Bianco, Asti DOCG, Piedmont, Italy
Breakfast wine… For Dessert. Spectacular with the cheese board!  

This is one of Italy’s only DOCG appellations for sparkling Moscato. The label was hand-painted by renowned grappa producer and artist Romano Levi just before his passing in 2008. The vines in this small, sloping vineyard plot are almost forty years old, and the grapes are treated with the utmost care to preserve Moscato’s distinctive aromas. It has enough sweetness to finish the meal, perhaps with the cheese sideboard or as many agree: Brunch wine!  The perfect kiss of partners sweetness and acidity.

All of the above wines have somewhat of a Cinderella story. Not particularly known, and in some cases previously shunned, but when some of the better examples are revealed, the results can be revelatory. Le Metro Wine. Underground. and #WineStudio does not exist to tell anyone what to drink, rather we’re sharing what we’re drinking and why. And as we quickly move into 2014, we do hope the journey of wine discovery continues.

There’s only one way to wine discovery… #WineStudio

Bubbles, bubbles, and more bubbles.

As Christmas gives way to New Years, even those who are not as bubbles obsessed as we are begin thinking “Champagne.”

To build your excitement even further, here are some photos from our First Annual Holiday Bubbles Bash, which we held on December 14th at the Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.

Many bubbles were consumed and good times were had by all. Thank you so much to all who attended!

To those who missed it, we’ll see you next year. Our events schedule for 2014 will be online soon.

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Parigot Rosé rocked the house

The best & brightest of San Diego food & wine came out to celebrate.

The best & brightest of San Diego food & wine came out to celebrate.

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Curator Aaron proudly shows off the current edition of Le Metro artwork: Volume VII – “Underground Bubbles.”

PROTOCOL wine studio pride! Tina & GUY lookin' good.

PROTOCOL wine studio pride! Tina & GUY lookin’ good.

CHEERS!

CHEERS!

The French Gourmet put on quite a show.

The French Gourmet put on quite a show.

Happy holidays from Le Metro!

Happy holidays from Le Metro!

For more photos from this great event, check out our Facebook page.

#WineStudio Recap Week 3 – Argentina Express!

Week 3 of 4 of Argentina Express on #WineStudio and it was a fantastic evening! It was an intelligent, exciting wine conversation focused on the Argentina wine scene. We concentrated on varieties, which was kicked off by an article that was posted on #WineStudio written by The Drinks Business. Cabernet Franc – Argentina’s new Variety. Alejandro Vigil, chief winemaker at Catena Zapata, said: “Cabernet Franc is the future for Argentina.

With the core group of #winestudio on hand plus special guests @winefashionista,  @grapefriend, @GuilleBarbier and @OWOCWines it was a killer Argentina Express! evening!

We all agreed that Cabernet Franc could certainly have a place in Argentina, it’s just a matter of finding where, @OWOCWines reminded us:  I think we will see more Bordeaux varietals planted in Mendoza. Look how well they did with Malbec (Cot.)  It’s all just a matter of regionally mapping the area and determining if Cabernet Franc fits.  I posted that #Argentina is poised for a #wine renaissance, moreso in the terroir topography & mapping arena.

Mendoza

I have been doing some research on Argentina’s soil composition and I found this: Since 2008 Altos las Hormigas, with the help of Pedro Parra, South America’s only Soil and Terroir specialist, has started its own Terroir Project, based upon their groundbreaking knowledge on Geomorphology and Soil Profile, and its influence upon wine: Terroir Project  – a fantastic read!

Keep in mind there’s no true wine regulations in Argentina (variety must be at least 80% for the label) and although that hasn’t stopped them from establishing themselves as a Malbec powerhouse, as we discussed Tuesday, that sparkle is beginning to wear off. So what next? Just like with anything, in order to be heard you have to shout a little, thus, we’re seeing some good things coming out of Argentina. I mentioned that Argentina must organize on regionally and mapping. The Terroir Project could turn into Argentina’s turning point into more quality wine production–definitely something to watch.

Has Malbec run its course?

And with that possible turning point, what does that mean for Malbec? @toledowav mentioned: I wonder if Malbec has run its course. People are bored with mass production Malbec. As we’ve seen in many other countries, “mass production” lives and breathes so there will always be a place for that. However, with Argentina’s producers spending more time mapping the topography, we could begin to see more refined and focused Malbec-dominant wines. Big question here is does more refined mean more expensive and is that sustainable? Answers are forthcoming. Regardless, Argentina would be a fool to abandon Malbec.  As we’ve seen with Malbec de Angeles—a superb Malbec from an old vineyard. Looking forward to tasting this beauty again Tuesday 10 December on #WineStudio.

Heck, Argentina has World Malbec Day – can’t abandon that! @LeMetroWine and @OWOCWines will regale us next week of what goes on in a country that revels in its adoptive grape.

Grand Tasting Tuesday 10 December 6pm pacific 9pm eastern #WineStudio

For those in San Diego who own a laptop and have a Twitter account, we’ll be tasting all wines at the studio live Do join us!

Recuerdo Wines 2011 Torrontés La Rioja

Verum 2010 Pinot Noir Alto Valle del Rio Negro, Patagonia

Viña 1924 de Angeles 2008 Malbec de Angeles Vistalba, Luján de Cuyo

Viña Alicia 2007 Syrah Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza

Achaval Ferrer, 2010 Quimera  27% Malbec 25% Cabernet Franc 24% Cabernet Sauvignon 20% Merlot 4% Petit Verdot Mendoza

Carmelo Patti 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Perdriel, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza

Ready your palate. Open your mind!

Bubbles REVEALED

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December means one thing for wine geeks: BUBBLES. But it’s important to remember that not all that sparkles is Champagne.

Here at Le Metro – Wine. Underground. sparkling wine is all we’ve been talking about for the past month. Now the time has come. Are YOU ready?

Our newest and most provocative release yet – Volume VII – “Underground Bubbles” is now available! If you haven’t ordered yours yet, don’t worry. We saved some wine for you.

Even more exciting for those of us in Southern California, we’re officially counting down the days until our First Annual Holiday Bubbles Bash at The Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego on Saturday, 12/14. Please make sure you click here to purchase your tickets in advance, as we won’t be able to sell them onsite.

We’ll be pouring an unparalleled selection of sparkling wines from around the world, featuring these special treats:

  1. Spirit of the Andes NV Sparkling Torrontés – Argentina
  2. Sorelle Bronca NV Prosecco “Particella 68″ – Italy
  3. Gérard Villet NV Crémant du Jura – France
  4. Parigot & Richard NV Rosé Crémant de Borgougne – France
  5. M. Bonnamy NV Rosé Crémant de Loire – France
  6. Medici Ermete 2012 Lambrusco “Concerto” – Italy
  7. La Caudrina NV “La Selvatica” Asti Spumante – Italy
  8. Leclaire-Gaspard NV Champagne Grande Réserve Blanc de Blancs – France

Cheers! We hope to see you there. But if you can’t make it, fear not – Le Metro can bring the bubbles to you. Order your edition of Volume VII – “Underground Bubbles” now!

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Welcome to Le Metro Wine, where wine and art make a classical pairing through our pioneering wine zine. Receive a free digital download of this limited edition offer and begin your wine adventure today! Ready your palate, Open your mind!

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