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:
- Resalte Crianza Pena Roble 2006—Tom’s reaction: “Big red wine with layers and layers of flavor.”
- Resalte Crianza 2005, a wine that earned 94 points in Wine Spectator and is one of the top 100 wines in the world—Tom’s reaction: “Fantastic food wines.”
- Resalte Reserva 2004—”Very interesting elements. Food friendly. Very Old World. Just amazing.”
- Gran Resalte 2001—”Wow! Oh my.”
“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