Simple Guide to Hermitage Wine Region

Simple Guide to Hermitage Wine Region

Hermitage may be the greatest wine made from Syrah anywhere in the world. In this post, Jeff takes a close look at Hermitage, focusing on everything from its history and terroir, to its vineyard sites, top producers and more.
Jeff Patten
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Guide to the Northern Rhone

At Flatiron, in the shops and in our newsletter, we talk a lot about the Northern Rhone. We love it, and based on our sales, we’re pretty sure you do too. It’s also a personal interest of mine: this is a region that provides quite a lot of the wine that I drink and cellar. I’m definitely not special in this regard. I don’t think of myself as a trend-follower, but the Northern Rhone is definitely a trend. As a region it ranks up there with Burgundy and Piedmont as one of the wine regions that gets us wine folk most excited these days. If you haven’t paid attention to the region yet, it’s time to start.
Jeff Patten
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A Guide to the 10 Crus of Beaujolais

A Guide to the 10 Crus of Beaujolais

This Guide to the 10 Crus of Beaujolais is just a quick introduction and round-up. Throughout this post, we've linked to our more detailed blog posts on each Cru. But for now we hope this helps you on your exploration through the wonderful world of the 10 Crus of Beaujolais.
Jeff Patten
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Burgundy Quality Levels: A Guided Tasting, at Home

Burgundy Quality Levels: A Guided Tasting, at Home

Back in November, as a part of Flatiron Wines’ educational series, I hosted a class entitled ‘Burgundy:  On The Level’. In it we discussed the levels of complexity and detail to Burgundy and its Crus.
Margaret Scudder
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German Wine Maps

German Wine Maps

As the grand finale for Riesling week, we're delighted to share our wine maps of Germany and the Mosel.
Margaret Scudder
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A Simple Guide to German Riesling: Flatiron Wines’ German Riesling 101

A Simple Guide to German Riesling: Flatiron Wines’ German Riesling 101

What is Riesling?

Riesling is a noble white grape that makes aromatic white wines.

Riesling grapes make a huge range of still, white wines ranging from bone-dry to unctuously sweet. Riesling is famously good at giving a taste of the terroir in which it is grown. So, for example, Riesling grown in France’s Alsace region will taste very different from Riesling grown in Germany.

Jeff Patten
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A Beginner's Guide to Greek Wine

A Beginner's Guide to Greek Wine

  • Don’t forget the weather: sunny and dry. Greece enjoys an incredibly high annual number of sun hours, a feature that not only attracts German tourists but also makes it possible for grapes to ripen even at the high altitudes necessary for good acid/fruit balance in the grapes. This is also a very dry and windy country, which means much less disease pressure than in, say, Bordeaux, and so a relatively easy path to organic farming.
flatironwines Admin
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A Brief History of Chateauneuf-du-Pape

A Brief History of Chateauneuf-du-Pape

...in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, there was a castle that the pope lived in. In the 14th century a castle was built on the hill over the village. This was during the Avignon Papacy when the Pope(s) lived in Avignon rather than Rome. Why? Because French King Philip IV finagled the election of a Frenchman, Clement V to the papacy.
Jeff Patten
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Barbaresco & Barolo: Top 5 Differences

Barbaresco & Barolo: Top 5 Differences

They are both made 100% from Nebbiolo grown in the Langhe. But Barolo and Barbaresco are clearly not the same wine.

What's the difference?

The easy answer is the legal one: Barolo and Barbaresco are two different DOCs. They are located in slightly different parts of the Langhe (see the map above).

There are slightly different rules that they have to follow -- for example Barolos have to be aged for 38 months, of which at least 18 months are in barrel, while Barbaresco only requires 26 months, of which 9 must be in barrel. Barolos have to hit 13% alcohol and Barbarescos only 12.5%.

I guess that sort of thing is great to know for your WSET exam, but it doesn't get you into the heart and soul of how these wines are distinct. Hopefully this list of five key differences will help you do that:

Jeff Patten
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Edges of Burgundy: Pernand-Vergelesses

Edges of Burgundy: Pernand-Vergelesses

More so than any of the other villages covered in this Edges of Burgundy series, Pernand-Vergelesses qualifies for its Edges status thanks to both its red wine and its white wines.  Don't be surprised by this: P-V lies just beneath Corton, the great hill and only village (a small exception in Musigny aside) capable of making Grand Cru wine from both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. With two grapes for the price of one village, this is an area worthy of your attention. Let's get started.
Jeff Patten
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New Australia?

New Australia?

Ever since Jon Bonne published his great book (and even before that in our weekly newsletter!) there’s been lots of talk about “The New California Wine.” And for good reason! There’s no more exciting recent development than the rise of Cali growers and winemakers who look back to the Golden Age of California Wine for inspiration to make wines that are balanced, interesting, subtle and, most important of all, delicious.

But America isn’t the only country with a long, complicated and under-appreciated history of winemaking. It isn’t even the only such new world country that, for a while, went a little bit overboard making “Parkerised” wines. Far from it!

So it's time we Americans recognized something important and exciting: the parallels between what's happening in California and in Australia are striking. Maybe we need to start talking about New Australia. 

Jeff Patten
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Seven Rules for When to Open Meursault

Seven Rules for When to Open Meursault

In the world of fine white wine, perhaps no name resonates quite as much as that of Meursault. It's the kind of wine that everyone knows is pretty good. It is a safe choice. And it is often a very good choice. Maybe one day we'll get to a full guide to the intricacies of Meursault -- all the wonderful vineyards (many of which are classified at the village level and strongly over-perform), and the many fine producers.

For now, I'm just going to address one simple question: when is the right time to open up a bottle? 

Jeff Patten
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