Category Archives: accolades

MOSAIC WINE GROUP WELCOMES ANTONIO GIANOLA

Mosaic Wine Group is proud to announce the addition of Antonio Gianola to the sales and marketing team. Antonio has long been one of the most respected sommeliers and wine buyers in the state, and will be an incredible asset to the Mosaic Wine Group portfolio.

Antonio was most recently Sommelier and General Manager at Catalan Restaurant in Houston, managing one of the most exciting wine programs in the country. Previous to Catalan, Antonio managed the extensive Italian wine program at DaMarco in Houston.

Antonio lives in Houston with his lovely bride, Melissa.

Please join me in welcoming Antonio Gianola to the team of Mosaic Wine Group.  Antonio can be contacted at antonio.gianola@gmail.com.

CLOS LA COUTALE CAHORS – 90 points from Wine Spectator!

CLOS LA COUTALE CAHORS 2007 – Score: 90  POINTS – Wine SpectatorCLOS LOA COUTALE

“Big, rich and darkly colored—these are the descriptors for the best red wines from the Cahors district of southwest France. The leading grape is Malbec (that’s right, there was Malbec before Argentina) and now a small group of quality-oriented producers is pursuing a higher profile for Malbec in its homeland. Tannat and Merlot can also used in these blends. Besides an array of dark fruit flavors, the following wines from Cahors offer plenty of muscle and dense structures. They beg to be drunk with a juicy rib-eye or a roasted leg of lamb. There’s a good sense of elegance to the well-defined, concentrated flavors of dark cherry, blackberry and plum, followed by notes of sage, dark chocolate and tobacco leaf on the long, powerful finish. Drink now. 5,000 cases imported. — Kim Marcus“

Philippe Bernéde is a renaissance man whose interests range from cooking, to sports, aviation and a few patented inventions. Winegrowing is his passion, however, and it shows in the quality of his wine. This 55 hectare estate spreads over a stretch of land on the alluvial valley floor, along the meandering Lot River. The soil, which consists of gravel, silica clay and limestone, is particularly well-suited for vines. Because the vineyards face southwest, they are protected from the cold winds that blow from the Causse upland plateau. This also allows the fruit to achieve full ripeness early in the season.

The domaine has been in the family for six generations and is planted to the traditional varietals of Cahors – Malbec (locally known as ‘Cot’), which provides deep color, structure and tannin and Merlot, which softens the young wine and improves the bouquet. The wine is aged in large oak foudres before being bottled unfiltered. Although it can be enjoyed young, it ages very well.

“Incredibly bright color, like the skin of a ripe black cherry, the aroma captivates. There is a suspicion of new oak, a jumble of black fruits (cherry, cassis, blackberry), plus a little corner of blueberry, plus a subtle smoky nuance, and a fleeting suggestion of black truffle. And the perfume is only the opening salvo. The palate is rich, loaded with delicious fruit. It is round, and tannic with superb balance and structure.” – Kermit Lynch

dan_kermit1a_2 Dan & Melinda Redman of Mosaic Wine Group with Kermit Lynch

BEEN DOON SO LONG – Mosaic Wine Group welcomes back an old friend – Bonny Doon Vineyard!

What a difference a Doon makes! Mosaic Wine Group is very pleased to announce its newest addition to the portfolio – an old friend, adviser and colleague, Randall Grahm and Bonny Doon Vineyard! Times have changed for the Grahm over the past couple of years, as he has retooled his portfolio in order to streamline his message of building one of the the greatest biodynamic wineries that California has ever produced.

P8310133Dan Redman of Mosaic Wine Group and the Grand Master of Wine Zen

I had the opportunity to work with Randall Grahm and Bonny Doon Vineyard during their monumental climb of brand equity and consumer recognition, with the rise of Big House Red, White & Pink. Having sold off those ‘industrialized’ wine labels, he has focused his sights on streamlining his portfolio to create wines of great substance and character, through biodynamics. Randall first introduced me to the ways and means of Biodynamics at a Bonny Doon National Sales Meeting several years ago in California, when he invited one its pioneering forefathers, Nicolas Joly of Coulee de Serrant, in the Loire Valley of France, to speak to a room full of farmers and winemakers. It was that day that the lightbulb turned on for me, regarding biodynamics, and I have immersed myself in learning as much about this ‘natural’ style of farming in order to help educate the masses to its benefits.images-2

Randall Grahm is back, and he’s better than ever! Known for his razor sharp wit and intellect, he has a new book, titled ‘Been Doon So Long’ being released next month, which chronicles his life, his stories and his penchant for making world class wines in California. I hope to have Randall back in Texas soon when he tours the country on a national book signing tour.Been Doon So Long

Here is a letter that Randall authored, which is going out to the trade channels of Texas.


Dear friends and fine wine buyers of Texas –

Randall Grahm here, speaking to you through the magically realistic medium of words. I’m writing to tell you about some very significant changes chez Doon.  You have, perhaps, heard of our divestiture of the Big House and Cardinal Zin brands?  No need to get into the convoluted psychological mechanisms that motivated the sale[1] of the brands and significant restructuring of the company,[2] but suffice it to say that we are now calibrated to a truer compass, becoming ever more congruent to our deepest values and aesthetic sensibilities. We have cut our production 90%, and reduced the range of wines produced similarly.

The Bonny Doon portfolio is now much smaller and more focused, deeply committed to vins de terroir. It is our aim to move as quickly as we can to utilizing only Estate grown fruit, but this process, of course, does not occur overnight.  At the moment, we are farming 125 eclectic acres biodynamically in Soledad, CA, and the third commercial releases of these wines – Albariño and Muscat most notably – were released in February.  They are pure,[3] mineral-intensive wines and a great harbinger of things to come.  Since 2007, they are also certified Biodynamic® by Demeter. These wines, along with an extremely distinctive Sangiovese (also farmed biodynamically in the slightly warmer climes of San Benito County) will be sold under the Ca’ del Solo label.

Until our new Estate vineyards are producing, we have greatly upgraded all our grape sources[4] – all killer, no filler, as it were, and are working primarily with biodynamically grown fruit. From the 2008 harvest, we sourced about 70% of our fruit from biodynamically farmed (working towards certification) vineyards.

The core of the Bonny Doon portfolio remains the Cigare family – Le Cigare Volant, Le Cigare Blanc, Vin Gris de Cigare and Le Vol des Anges;[5] this was the starship that brought us here (and will presumably take us back some day).  As a complement to the meridional Cigare, we also produce a septentrional[6] Syrah, “Le Pousseur,” from the Central Coast. We will plant a large (100ish acre) Estate Cigare vineyard in the area in the coming year, with the aim of producing a Truly Great Cigare.  I believe that we have seen a great breakthrough in the quality of Cigare in recent vintages, and if you have been following our wines, this is not really news to you.[7]

The most germane news that I have to report is that in addition to Pioneer Wine Company, Bonny Doon wines are now also being represented in Texas by Dan Redman’s Mosaic Wine Group.  We are very excited to be working again with Dan. He is a particularly passionate wine person; if you aren’t already cognizant of this truth, I promise you that it will be a great pleasure for you to work with him.

Dan Redman, Mosaic Wine Group
P (512) 904-9463
M (713) 398-2604
F (512) 401-3101
dan@mosaicwinegroup.com
9120 Edwardson Lane
Austin, TX 78749

Pioneer Wine Company
North and East Texas, Dallas (214) 461.7600
Central, South & West Texas, Austin (512) 895.0558
Greater Houston Area (832) 778.5743

Best wishes,

Randall Grahm
Winemaker & President-for-life


[1] In brief, I felt that the company had drifted too far from its originating spirit – a commitment to distinctive, fine wines, to terroir (though I didn’t really fully appreciate the preciousness of this notion back then).  Further, I had developed a very keen interest in Biodynamic wines, wines with more soul and life-force.  At the scale that we had attained, it was effectively impossible to convert our portfolio to 100% Biodynamic production.

[2] The most salient changes: Big House and Cardinal Zin brands were sold to The Wine Group (i.e. no longer Bonny Doon products) and we are phasing out certain products (viz. Eurodoon wines and others) to make the line more coherent.  The Pacific Rim brand, while I still own will be a quasi-autonomous entity no longer managed by Bonny Doon directly, nor sold by the Bonny Doon Vineyard sales team.

[3] Is purity really a virtue in this town?  All of the wines from our Ca’ del Solo vineyard, at least, were fermented this year with indigenous yeast; use of enzymes and other technical aids were eschewed, as was acidification and virtually all of the winemaking tricks upon which we winemakers have grown so reliant.

[4] We have changed too many practices to really enumerate here, but the biodynamic bit has really made the largest difference.

[5] “The Angel’s Flight.” A new dessert wine for us, botrytised roussanne, which should set everyone free.

[6] Referring to grapes grown below or above the 45th parallel, but in fact signifying a Southern and Northern Rhône style respectively.

[7] Certainly we were somewhat distracted by the Big House sideshow and all of the marketing schtick that attended it, but we have been on the path back to Our Roots, as it were, for a few years now.

Summer Wines to Soothe the Senses

Thanks for your patience over the past few weeks and a lack of postings. Mosaic Wine Group has been chock fulla travel, but we’ve got a slew of updates, including some great news, incredible press and exciting events to keep your wine needs and desires sated!

Hope that everyone is having a wonderful winederful summer. With consistent triple-digit temperatures and no foreseeable end in sight, may we recommend some cool, crisp, aromatic white wines, rosés and (of course) sparkling wine!

6256_126679692124_82067522124_3013265_3024512_n Jeff Feinberg and Dan Redman of Mosaic Wine Group blind taste sparkling wines in the vineyards at Laetitia.

May we suggest the following quaffable wines for your summer wine needs?

Bubbles:

  • Laetitia Brut Cuvee
  • Laetitia Brut Rosé
  • Bisol Jeio Rosé
  • Bisol Crede Prosecco

lucio_mastroberardinoLucio Mastroberardino of Terredora di Paolo is well known for his crisp, aromatic white wines

Whites:

  • Terredora di Paolo Falanghina, 2008 (Campania, Italy)
  • Domaine du Salvard Cheverny, 2008 (Loire Valley, France)
  • Bonny Doon Albariño, 2007 (Monterey, California)
  • Bonny Doon Dry Muscat, 2007 (Monterey, California)
  • Groom Sauvignon Blanc, 2008 (Adelaide Hills, Australia)
  • Patz & Hall Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, 2006 (Sonoma, California)
  • Neyers Carneros District Chardonnay, 2007 (Carneros, California)
  • Abbazia di Novacella Kerner, 2007 ( Alto Adige, Italy)
  • Arizona Stronghold ‘TAZI’, 2008 (Cochise County, Arizona)

Rosés:

  • Cantele Negroamaro Rosato, 2008 (Puglia, Italy)
  • Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare, 2008 (California)
  • Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre Rosé, 2008 (Loire Valley, France)
  • Arizona Stronghold ‘Dayden’ Rosé, 2008 (Cochise County, Arizona)

pink1

Chateau Trinqueuedel Tavel Rosé,  Domaine du Salvard Cheverny Rosé, Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre Rosé
and Argiano L’O Rosato (clockwise from top left)

Light-to-Medium Bodied Red Wines:images-1

  • Marcel Lapierre Morgon, 2007 (Beaujolais, France)
  • Capestrano Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, 2007 (Abruzzo, Italy)
  • Laetitia Estate Pinot Noir, 2007 (Arroyo Grande, California)
  • Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 2007 (Sonoma, California)

CHEERS!

Texas welcomes the wines and music of Maynard James Keenan!

Mosaic Wine Group is proud to announce the highly anticipated arrival of the wines from Maynard James Keenan and Eric Glomski of Page Spring Cellars! The wines have just landed in Texas and will be distributed through Pioneer Wine Company. Coincidentally, Maynard was in Texas this past weekend touring with his iconic rock band, TOOL. Mosaic Wine Group had the pleasure of attending both shows and spending some time with Keenan to talk about his wines, and his part in the pioneering duo behind Caduceus Cellars, Arizona Stronghold and Merkin Vineyards.

images-2Maynard James Keenan and Eric Glomski

In May, Mosaic Wine Group had the opportunity to fly out to Arizona to visit the property to familiarize ourselves with the story, the terroir and the components of this innovative project in the highlands of Arizona. For more information on this visit, check out our blog post of the trip. The portfolio includes a broad selection of wines from Arizona, supplemented by a couple of wines produced in the Central Coast of California and Paso Robles, where Eric Glomski honed his winemaking skills with David Bruce Winery.

Here’s some detailed information on the portfolio of wines:

ARIZONA STRONGHOLD

  • TAZI (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Malvasia Bianca): Tazi was the eldest son of Cochise and peacemaker for the Chiricahua Apache Tribe. Tasting Notes: Fresh, bright acidity, with floral aromas and both tropical & citrus fruit flavors, leading to a clean, balanced finish. (1967 cases produced)
  • DAYDEN ROSE (Saignee Rosé of Grenache, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvedre): Dayden means “little girl” in Cochise’s native Apache language. Tasting Notes: Light crushing and limited skin contact lend to fruity and floral aromas, while the palate is rich and full-bodied with delicate flavors of crushed strawberries, sour cherry and crisp, refreshing acidity. (295 cases produced)
  • NACHISE (Syrah, Grenache & Petite Syrah): Nachise was the youngest son of Cochise, and fiercest warrior & freedon fighter for the Chiricahua Apache Tribe. Tasting Notes: This Rhone-style blend is rich and smoky with flavors of cassis, blackberry,  licorice and mineral notes. (Fall ’09 Release)
  • MANGUS (Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Pfeffer & Petite Syrah): Mangus Coloradas was Cochise’s Father-in-Law and leader of the Mimbres Clan of Apache. Tasting Notes: Italian-style blend with bright red fruit, cardamom spice and leather, with nice concentration of dried fruit, lush acidity and firm, integrated tannins. (Fall ’09 Release)

MERKIN VINEYARDS

  • CHUPACABRA (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Verdot & Petite Syrah): “The Shape Shifter”, this wine has evolved since it’s inception, with inaugural vintages born of Paso Robles, California fruit, which will transition into Arizona fruit. Tasting Notes: Bold, rich and dark with a ribbon of acidity and freshness that leads to tremendous structure and complexity.

images-1Merkin Vineyards Chupacabra Label

CADUCEUS CELLARS

  • DOS LADRONES (Chardonnay & Malvasia Bianca): “The Two Thieves”, this inaugural release of 50/50 Chardonnay & Malvasia Bianca is stunning! Tasting Notes: Tropical fruit aromas and flavors of pineapple, mango and white peach, with lovely balance and acidity.
  • PRIMER PASO (Syrah & Malvasia Bianca): “The First Step”, this Cote Rotie style Rhone blend is tremendous, bold and well sculpted! Tasting Notes: Beautifully concentrated aromas of forest, orange peel and tobacco, with velvety red & dark fruit and a deep, rich and clean finish. (280 cases produced)
  • ANUBIS (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc & Syrah): Rhone meets Bordeaux in our unique blend. Tasting Notes: Blueberry, floral and cedar notes lead to rich, decadent tones of clove, star anise and cigar box and a silky, smooth finish.
  • NAGUAL DE LA NAGA (Cabernet Sauvignon & Sangiovese): From Paso Robles, this Super-Tuscan blend is a perfect combination of ‘New World’ Sangiovese meets ‘Old World’ Brunello. Tasting Notes: Raspberries and black cherries with black currant, coffee and thyme. Rich, complex and delightful.
  • NAGUAL DEL SENSEI (Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah): Inaugural release from Pope Valley in Califiornia, earned 90 points from Wine Spectator. Tasting Notes: Brawny, muscular style with fruit forward style, and velvety-smooth tannins. (87 cases produced)
  • JUDITH (100% Cabernet Sauvignon): Named for Maynard James Keenan’s mother. Tasting Notes: Incredible concentration of dark and red fruit, currant, cassis and cedar, with beautiful acidity and a long, lingering finish. (90 cases produced) – SOLD OUT

2007JudithCab1Maynard with a bottle of his prized Caduceus Cellars Judith Cabernet Sauvignon

For more information on these wines, please contact Mosaic Wine Group. And stay tuned for more information and details, including fall / winter tour dates when Maynard will be touring with his new project, Puscifer!

Suavia and Terredora score BIG in Wine Spectator!

soave

Above: the vineyards at Suavia in the heart of Soave Classico.

CLICK HERE FOR A DOWNLOADABLE AND PRINTABLE VERSION OF THE WINE SPECTATOR ARTICLE “ITALY’S IMPROVING WHITES.”

The August edition of The Wine Spectator has just hit the streets and two Vias Imports products have scored BIG!

    “In the Veneto, which stretches roughly from Verona to Venice, Soave makes the best-known whites. They can be bland, but the dynamic estate Suavia made an outstanding Soave Classico in its 2008 (91 points).”
    “Campania’s top producers have released excellent Fianos: Terredora Fiano di Avellino Campore 2007 (92 points).”

For information on these or any other Vias products, please contact us by email here.

Terredora is Austin Chronicle “wine of the week”

Above: Lucio Mastroberardino belongs to one of Italy’s most illustrious winemaking families. His origins as a winemaker stretch back to the 17th century. Today, his Terredora estate produces some of Southern Italy’s most coveted fine wines.

WINE OF THE WEEK
BY WES MARSHALL
The Austin Chronicle
July 3, 2009

Terredora di Paolo’s jolly and very talented winemaker, Lucio Mastroberardino, likes to explain to American wine lovers that, despite outward appearances, pizza wasn’t invented in Pizza Hut. It comes from the Italian region of Campania. He draws that comparison to make another point, that wine as we know it today originated in Campania (the area which includes Naples and Pompeii) under the Romans more than 21 centuries ago. Notwithstanding the possibility of alternative viewpoints from Greek or Egyptian food historians, the point is that people have been making wine from both the Fiano and Aglianico grapes grown outside Pompeii for more than 2,000 years. All that experience has helped them master the making of wine from those grapes.

Click here to read more…