TGIC Importers

Posts tagged 'Guarachi Family Wines'

Guarachi Family Wines recommended by Texas Rangers superstar shortstop, Elvis Andrus

In this interview with Texas Rangers superstar shortstop Elvis Andrus, MLB Network’s Intentional Talk asks him about his wine expertise. Check out 2:15 into the interview where he recommends Guarachi Family Wines:

How we taste wines in our office

The process of wine tasting is tricky. Everyone has his own method, and I am no exception. I look forward to the various types of wine tastings that take place in our glass-enclosed conference room. While people may believe that tasting wine is the easiest part of my job as an importer or a California producer, it can be quite tough depending on the situation.

For example, we often have wineries who seek us out because they want representation in the market. In this instance, my team and I look at everything: packaging, price and quality. We ask ourselves–does the wine over-deliver to the customers? The ratio of the quality to the price is very important. If we are interested in a particular region, that area takes priority over other submissions. The opposite is true as well. We have recently been inundated with requests from Spanish wineries; however, we currently have two fine wineries from Spain so we are not interested in any Spanish wine at this time. As we taste, we look at the price. We especially like wines that taste like they should cost $30 but actually cost less.

Recently, Paul Hobbs, Julian Gonzales and I conducted a tasting of 2011 Guarachi Family Wines baby wines, which is the process of tasting wines about two to three months after the grapes have been harvested. At this early point in their development, the wines show what they will be like, and a professional can see the potential of the vintage. We ask ourselves are the wines up to par? Do they have the color, structure, tannins, acid and fruit? They need all of these components. Despite doing these early tastings, it can still be difficult to determine with 100 percent certainty how the wines will be upon release. Baby wine tastings can be quite exciting and challenging!

When we receive new releases of wines in our current portfolio, we always taste them before sending them out to be reviewed. We automatically compare the new vintage to the previous ones. We ask ourselves is the new release fantastic? If so, should we order more? Should we do a special promotion? A new vintage with a wonderful taste almost guarantees good acceptance by the trade. We can often do a presale based on the wine’s description. We buy more of a great vintage so we don’t run out of stock, but figuring out the right amount to buy can be complicated. In the past, we have run out of Montes Reserve Cabernet and Norton Reserve Malbec. If a $20 bottle of wine gets a 92-point score or a $12 bottle receives a 90-point score, then you will run out of wine. Unfortunately, the scores often come out many months after we put in our orders.

Whether we are tastings new wines, baby wines or new vintages, the process of tasting wines in our office is fun, challenging and unpredictable. It’s not the easiest part of my job, but it’s not the worst part either.

— Alex Guarachi

Alex introduces Resalte to Tom Leykis

Last week, I was a guest on The Tasting Room with Tom Leykis; Tom and I have known each other for many years. When he interviewed me last year to discuss Guarachi Family Wines, we tasted Guarachi Family Wines 2009 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, which he hailed as, “Fabulous.” Tom is definitely a wine guy, and once again, I thoroughly enjoyed wine tasting with him.

Everyone knows Tom is an entertaining man, but I also find him interesting. The man knows his wine; his knowledge about vino is both broad and deep. However, he is still curious to learn more about the industry. For example, Tom asked how importers find the wines they represent. I explained to him that I listen to the market, and I work with the best winemakers in the world. At TGIC, we are very selective. We only work with family-owned wineries with their own vineyards, own soil, own dirt. And always quality first. We try to always overdeliver when it comes to taste and price. Though people often send us bottles of wine to sample, I usually discover new wines by traveling to various regions.

Tom wondered what was “hot” right now in the wine world. I told him that Argentina and Malbec are popular as well as Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Consumers are looking for good values these days so $10 – $15 is the sweet price point. Tom and I discussed how the Argentine government has affected the local agriculture (e.g., inflation). I find that people are not as loyal to imports so if the price goes up, they will move on to a different wine. Therefore, politics can hurt the wine industry.

After some shop talk, Tom and I began tasting wines. We started with Guarachi Family Wines 2010 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, which Tom declared, “Delicious.” The Chardonnay was just released, and it’s from a single vineyard. The next wine we tasted was Guarachi Family Wines 2010 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. It’s from the same single vineyard called Gap’s Crown. The grapes there are fantastic. Tom commented on the “great tannins” in the full-bodied Pinot.

Although Tom had traveled to and tasted wines in Spain, he had never tasted Resalte—the newest winery in our portfolio. Resalte is a Spanish winery located in Ribera del Duero, one of the hottest regions in Spain. It’s the Napa Valley of California. It’s the Bordeaux of France. Their wines are very approachable and 100 percent Tempranillo. We tasted the following wines:

“Every one of these [Resalte] is a good food wine.” Tom and I agreed that the wines would only get better with decanting. He finished our time together by saying, “This last one [Gran Resalte] was just amazing.” I couldn’t agree more.

– Alex Guarachi