Friday, July 12, 2019

Bodegas LAN Rioja Crianza and Thick-Cut Sirloin Steak on the Grill #WinePW

I always feel I get the best bang for the buck when I drink Rioja wines from Spain. This old world charm always has the complex flavor that’s appropriately oaked and structured, but is affordable for everyday consumption. Thanks to Jeff Burrows from Food Wine Click, some of us were able to obtain a sample from Bodegas LAN and have a great wine to start the feature blog about Rioja wine and summer BBQ. 
The Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja is located in the north of Spain, on both sides of the River Ebro. It is divided into three large zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental (Baja). In the highlands of Alavesa and Rioja Alta the remnants of the westerly winds from the Atlantic cool the vineyards. The harsh winds from the north are filtered by the Pyrenees and by the Cantabrian mountains. The result is a cold winter, mild and sunny spring, hot summers, and mild autumns with cooling night-time breezes. Although the highlands have a typical continental type of climate, a more Mediterranean climate rules in Rioja Baja with hot, dry summers with many hours of sunshine. 
Photo Credit: Fernando Beteta
Each of the wine zones has its characteristics. Rioja Alta and Alavesa, at the highest elevations, are considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier, Rioja Oriental, produce wines with deep color, great body, and richness.

LAN, composed of the initials of the three provinces that make up the D.O.Ca. Rioja: Logroño (now La Rioja), Álava and Navarra, started their winemaking in 1972. Viña Lanciano is the name of the 72 hectares vineyards embraced by a curve of the River Ebro, on the natural border between the Rioja Alta and the Rioja Alavesa. A privileged location, sheltered by the Cantabria Mountains, which creates a different microclimate in each of its 22 parcels. It is also naturally protected from frost and extreme summer heat.

LAN Crianza 2015 Wine Note (from Bodegas LAN)

GRAPE VARIETIES: 96% Tempranillo and 4% Mazuelo.

VINEYARDS: Selected vineyards in the Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa, aged between 10 and 20 years. Chalky-clay soils, located on well-drained slopes with good sun exposure.

WINEMAKING: Traditional winemaking, destalking - crushing. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks. 15 days’ maceration, with continuous pumping-over to optimize color extraction.

Aging: Aged for 14 months in hybrid oak barrels (a mixture of American oak staves and French oak bases), that LAN pioneered the use of, followed by nine months’ bottle conditioning.

TASTING NOTES: Bright cherry red with a garnet rim. An elegant nose with predominant notes of red and stone fruits: strawberry, raspberry, and peach. Patisserie and cream enveloped in elegant notes of vanilla and caramel and a subtle hint of cinnamon. It is flavorful and expressive on the palate. It is immediately inviting, enveloping the palate and leaving a long and pleasant aftertaste.
Without much hesitation, I have grilled a thick-cut of sirloin steak to pair with the LAN Crianza 2015. I generously seasoned the steak with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper right before putting it on the hot grill. A summer weekday steak dinner accompanied by a glass of LAN Crianza – a happy combo that I can eat, sip, and repeat on a regular basis!

Disclosure: The wine in this post is sample. All opinions are my own.

Check out our fellow bloggers' Rioja and BBQ!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Sipping the Day Away with Prosecco DOCG #ItalianFWT

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the entire Prosecco region in Italy and the 10th anniversary of the Prosecco Superiore DOCG region. Camila from Culinary Adventures has invited the #ItalianFWT bloggers to celebrate this special occasion with the samples procured by Liz from What’s In That Bottle?. Thank you The Consorzio of Prosecco Superiore DOCG for sending me these marvelous Prosecco Superiore DOCG samples: 2017 Bortolotti Rive di S. Stefano Montagnole Brut, Il Colle Brut, and 2018 Grappoli Di Luna Brut Millesimato La Vigna di Sarah. These wines are elegant bubbles that are brut, citrusy, food-friendly, and perfect for sipping the day away!
Conegliano Valdobbiadene is a small wine zone in the Veneto that’s located between Venice and the Dolomites, in northern Italy. Only in this zone, it produces the “Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG”, which is a wine that is exclusively sourced from 15 communes: Conegliano, Valdobbiadene, San Vendemiano, Colle Umberto, Vittorio Veneto, Tarzo, Cison di Valmarino, San Pietro di Feletto, Refrontolo, Susegana, Pieve di Soligo, Farra di Soligo, Follina, Miane, and Vidor.

Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG represents the top-quality expression of Prosecco. The zone where this wine is made has been recognized as one of the world’s 22 most outstanding wine landscapes. The production regulations restrict the sparkling version to be made in three styles: Brut, Extra Dry, and Dry. Glera grapes, the obligatory base, need to make up to 85% or above of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG sparkling wines. Blending with local indigenous varieties, Verdiso, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Perera and Glera Lunga for up to a maximum of 15% is permitted. The style of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG can come from adding these local grapes which have their unique characters. Verdiso adds salinity. Perera increases the wine’s perfumes and fruitiness.  Bianchetta Trevigiana makes the wine mellower.

Autoclaves - Photo Credit: Italian Wine Central
The sparkling wines are made using the Italian/tank method – the use of large pressurized tanks called autoclaves, in which the base wine is added along with sugar and yeasts. This method has the full intention of keeping the authentic aromas of the grapes in the neutral stainless steel tanks, preserving the wines’ inherent floral notes and fruitiness. Subsequently, during re-fermentation of the wine, the yeasts use the sugar to produce carbon dioxide, which generates elegant bubbles that are typical of Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG. 
Photo Credit:
How do these wines taste? Well, they are somewhat similar, but the subtleness differentiates one Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG from another. 
2017 Bortolotti Rive di S. Stefano Montagnole Brut
Alcohol: 11.82 %                                
Residual sugar: 4,50 gr/l
Nose: clean, hints of pear
Palate: fresh, green apple, solid acidity
Il Colle Brut
Alcohol content: 11%
Residual sugar content: 10 – 12 gr/l
Nose: green apple, bright acidity
Palate: crispy, dry, well balanced, smooth, and harmonious

2018 Grappoli Di Luna Brut Millesimato
Alcohol content: 11.5% 
Residual sugar content: 5 gr/l
Nose: mushroom, briny
Palate: yeasty, briny, rich and creamy with persistent finish

It’s a lazy summer day and I can’t think of any other effortless accompaniment  than a platter of antipasto to pair with these Prosecco Superiore DOCG sippers. These crisp, lighter-alcohol and citrusy bubblies really rock the Prosciutto, Soppressata, Milano Salami, Coppa and aged cheddar by taming the saltiness of the food and enticing you to sip, eat and repeat! In addition to the laughter, the sound of lip-smacking as well as the “mmm yummy” from good wines and foods fills the summer patio!

Disclosure: The wines in this post are samples. All opinions are my own.

Check out what other Prosecco Superiore DOCG my blogger friends are drinking at:
  • Wendy, of A Day in the Life on the Farm, says Summertime and the Living is Easy with Prosecco DOCG in My Glass.
  • Jill, of L'Occasion, asks Looking for Freshness? Check out Prosecco DOCG.
  • Rupal, the Syrah Queen, writes Prosecco Elevated - Sipping Prosecco Superiore DOCG.
  • Jane, of Always Ravenous, pours Prosecco Superiore Paired with Italian Small Bites.
  • Deanna, of Asian Test Kitchen, is Pairing Cartizze Prosecco DOCG Beyond Oysters.
  • David, for Cooking Chat, says Prosecco Superiore: The Special Italian Sparkling Lives Up To Its Name.
  • Liz, of What’s in That Bottle, is Discovering the Delights of Prosecco Superiore.
  • Jeff, of FoodWineClick!, goes Beyond Apertif, Enjoy Prosecco Superiore at the Dinner Table.
  • Martin, of ENOFYLZ Wine Blog, encourages Getting to Know Prosecco Superiore.
  • Pinny, of Chinese Food and Wine Pairings, is Sipping the Day Away with Prosecco DOCG.
  • Gwendolyn, of Wine Predator, shares 3 Prosecco DOCG and Calamari with Lemon Caper Sauce.
  • Linda, of My Full Wine Glass, offers Take-aways from a week of glorious Prosecco DOCG.
  • Jennifer, of Vino Travels, declares Prosecco DOCG is more than just Prosecco.
  • Susannah, of Avvinare, is Taking A Closer Look At Prosecco Superiore DOCG
  • Kevin, of Snarky Wine, declares Vintage Prosecco DOCG: Quality Matters.
  • Cindy, of Grape Experiences, posts What a Girl Wants: Gourmet Popcorn and Prosecco DOC and DOCG.
  • Li, of The Wining Hour, asks you to Step Up Your Game with Prosecco Superiore.
  • Camilla, of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, is Climbing the Prosecco Hierarchy: To Prosecco Superiore di Cartizze with Steamed Clams, Smoked Scallops, and Capellini.