GSM is a classic red wine blend from the South of France, namely the Rhône valley. The acronym “GSM” comes from the grape names that make up the primary ingredients: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre. It also indicates the percentages of each wine that makes up the final blend; although exact percentages will vary from year to year (depending on a particular vintage’s quantity and quality of yield), traditionally there will be the highest amount of Grenache, followed by Syrah, and finally Mourvèdre.
But because wine blending (and winemaking in general) is equal parts art and science, vintners will spend days, weeks, maybe even months perfecting their final blend. If you have a chance to participate in this art project/science experiment, do it. It’s an opportunity to learn about the importance of vintage and terroir, harvest and winemaking methods, individual grapes and final blends.
When a wine is good. No. When a wine is outstanding. Full-on, stop eating, stop talking, focus all senses on the wine in hand — outstanding. It makes you want to understand where it came from, how it was produced, and — most importantly — who made it. This. This Passagio Wines 2014 Grenache. This is one of those wines. Thank you to Cindy Cosco, owner and winemaker of Passaggio Wines, for sharing this with me. I honestly can’t wait to meet you in person so I can hear (and taste) your story in person and share it with my little wine-loving world. Cheers!
“Simple ingredients done right.” I’m sure a number of chefs have said those words, but in my mind I hear them whispered by the gentle giant Marco Pierre White. I say these words today because I’m celebrating Laurel Glen Vineyard, a winery whose name is synonymous with Sonoma County Cab simply because (outside of one current release Sauvignon Blanc) that is all they do. They’ve chosen their ingredient, and they’ve done it — to perfection.
Chateau Montelena is probably most noted for their Chardonnay, which won the Judgment of Paris in 1976. The winery itself has changed hands several times since then, but the great Chateau still stands (though it’s become a bit of a tourist trap) in the great grape-land that is Napa Valley. And they still, of course. produce exquisite Chardonnay.
It may seem trite to some big name bloggers to feature a “celebrity” winemaker. And, indeed, there are those celebrities with so much cash to spend that they’ll simply slap their name on a label of pretty much any product. So, it would stand to reason that a celebrity-named wine would taste as artificial as Hollywood looks. Well, Yao Ming isn’t from Hollywood and if you know anything about him, you know that he’s actually a gentle-spoken, if not shy, individual. The Yao Family Wines 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon speaks, not of Yao’s social status — but of a young wine-personality on the brink of great ideas.