About The Author:

"Roger, The Wine Guy" is Roger Yazell, CWS. He is a member of the International Wine Guild and has had a long time admiration of wine. After careers in broadcasting, advertising and marketing account management, he explored his love of wine in hospitality, wholesale and retail sales. The intent of Roger's Grapevine is to share stories, history and information that will add to the reader's love, enjoyment and appreciation of wine and sake'.

Questions, requests for topics and comments are always welcome via email: rogerthewineguy@gmail.com.

(Note: The Wine Guy is currently undergoing chemotherapy and this blog will be on hiatus for the duration and into a recovery period. The Wine Guy is planning to celebrate his recovery with a trip to the two wine producing regions in Argentina and that should provide for some interesting new blogs. Meanwhile please enjoy the archives and feel free to email in the interim.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dos Hemisferios Wine Update

Being in Ecuador for two months, my last blog dealt with an Ecuadorian winery named Dos Hemisferios. A reader requested that I follow up on more of their wines after I had the opportunity to sample them. The Wine Guy actually hasn't had the opportunity to try their flagship red called Paradoj nor their 100% Chardonnay called Enigma (more on the reasons why in a moment). What I have found, however, is that the winery is also producing a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend they have labeled Del Morro. This reserva blend is aged in French oak for 6 months and then receives an additional 6 months aging in the bottle before release. The sample I found was a vintage 2008 so there has been some additional shelf/warehouse ageing as well. Although quite drinkable for a near zero latitude wine retailing under $9, I suspect this wine did not benefit from the extra time it spent in the bottle after it left the winery and before it reached my table. That have been due to handling but it may also indicate a little weaker product. It wasn't bad, it was just simply a little bit of letdown after my previous experience with their red blend Bruma. I'll look forward to trying another bottle if I can locate an additional source. It will be interesting to see if the disappointment was due to the handling of the wine before or after its release from the winery.

That might take a little while. Those of you who are here in Ecuador with me are probably aware that the Ministry of Health put a short moratorium on retail liquor sales across the country. It seems some bootleg methyl alcohol has made its way into some branded liquors in Ecuador and has resulted in more than a score of deaths and hospitalizations. Although It appears all of these were a result of hard liquor ingestion, the ban covers all retail establishments and all alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine.

It looks as though the fetching Mrs Wine Guy and I will be heading to one of our favorite cafes for some extra Mochachino fixes over the next few days. Think of us as you enjoy your next glass of wine but never fear, I will get to enjoy some additional wines soon. Salute!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Unique Ecuadorian Producer

Dos Hemeferios Vineyards got its start in 1999, but its first planting of grapes for wine production didn't occur until 2002. This Ecuadorian producer is not located in Ecuador's mountainous regions as you might expect but rather in the low rolling lands of the Santa Elena Pennisula. A mere 2 degrees south of the equator insures a warm, humid climate but the expected heat is moderated by near constant breezes. Situated near San Miguel del Morro, about 34 miles southwest of Guayquil, the vineyards are nearly equidistant from the broad Gulf of Guayquil and the Pacific Ocean. The water influence allows for wine grape production that in fact yields two harvests per year. It wasn't until 2006 that this vineyard produced its first (and still its flagship) wine, Paradoja, a 50/50 Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec blend that's aged for 18 months prior to bottling then an additional six months in the bottle. Bruma, A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Syrah followed in 2007. the vinieyard followed with a white mwine named Enigma, from 100% Chardonnay and by 2009 all three wines were being distributed in Ecuador.

The Bruma is the only one of the three that has been sampled by The Wine Guy, but based on that experience, I'm looking forward to experiencing the other two offerings from this truly unique vineyard. The fetching Mrs. Wine Guy also thoroughly enjoyed her first sampling and has requested we do it again! With her endorsement, it looks as though an Ecuadorian wine will be regularly found in The Wine Guy's inventory.