Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vanguard Wines in Wine & Spirit's Top 100

We would like to congratulate the following wineries from the Vanguard family of estates that showed the dedication, determination and talent required to be included in this prestigious list:

Dashe Cellars

The husband and wife team of Anne and Michael Dashe together have a unique set of skills for making wine: Anne trained at the prestigious Bordeaux University and at numerous famous Chateau. Michael honed his craft at U.C. Davis and is a true California winemaker. Together they bring panache, style and sophistication to the rocky soils and really old vines of Dry Creek Valley.


Dirk Niepoort and family have been making incredible ports in the Duoro Valley since 1842. Their master blender is also the fifth generation of his family to blend wines at this prestigious estate. Niepoort sources from incredibly old vines that have been farmed with the utmost care and precision for over a century, and all methods at the winery are a mixture of tradition and modern with quality as the ultimate determinate. In addition to all of the international acclaim and fame that Niepoort has recieved, the wines are considered by the Portuguese to be among the very best which is perhaps the greatest accolade of all.

Weingut Nigl

No one would deny that Martin Nigl is one of the most talented winemakers in Austria. Nor can anyone deny that the weather-worn granite that lines the family vineyards in the heart of the Kremstal is a perfect environment for crafting some of the most unique and exciting Gruner Veltliner and Rieslings the world has ever seen. The intense heat of the summers coupled with brutal winters creates just enough stress on the vine to create wines of incredible purity, piercing minerality and haunting delicacy.

Pierre Gimmonet

From the Terry Thiese portfolio of fine Grower Champagnes, Pierre Gimmonet stands apart as a bastion of fruit in the Cote des Blancs. Usually wines from this area of Champagne are focused, linear and piercing, but the Gimmonet adds lush fruit, suave style and an easy to love quality that will have you swearing that they somehow took Grand Cru Chablis and made it all bubbly! 100% Chardonnay. 100% Grand Cru. 100% Delicious!

Ramey Wine Cellars

David Ramey has transformed winemaking in California by showing what the incredible fruit of the best vineyards of Napa and Sonoma can do if treated as if were grown from Grand Cru vineyards in Burgundy and Bordeaux. The results are wines that showcase fruit, balance and above all terroir. After stints at Rudd, Chalk Hill and Dominus, David has developed a unique feel for the vine as well as relationships with California's best grape growers. His wines are among the most highly sought after and highest scoring around, no matter what the name of the publication.

Schloss Gobelsburg

What can be said about an estate that traces its history back to 1171 A.D.? How about that it has been voted Austrian Winery of the Year three out of the last six years? Or that it creates an array of amazing and diverse wines from vineyards that have been famous for centuries? Or that they have pioneered the use of old clones and production techniques to make wines the way they were made over a century ago but improved by modern touches? Or how about that they produce wines that are known the world over for their finesse, bright fruit and consistent quality no matter what the vintage? Or maybe... you get the point. They are just really, really good!

Vilmart & Cie

Vilmart has quickly acheived cult status in the world of Champagne. Widely considered to be the greatest of the Grower Champagnes, the wines of Vilmart are like nothing else. They ferment and age their base wines in oak barrels. This time-honored tradition is today practiced by only a select few of the most dedicated of Champagne houses. The resultoing wines have more depth, more body, more openly lush fruit and more complexity than anything else found in Champagne. If Montrachet could sparkle, it would strive to be Vilmart. The Couer de Cuvee from Vilmart has been called the "perfect" wine.

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