Double Decanted

Wine

View of the vineyards in the Marlborough district of New Zealand's South Island

The Versatility of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

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This article originally appeared in the August 2014 issue of Royal Oaks Living and it is reprinted here with permission.

Sauvignon Blanc is an aromatic, versatile white grape that’s grown around the world.

It’s famous in France for its use in the mineral rich wines of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, as well as white Bordeaux in which it’s often blended with Semillon. New world wine regions have embraced the varietal, too. In California, it’s made into a range of wines and often labeled Fume Blanc to signify the presence of oak. It is also popular in South Africa and Chile. However, for many sommeliers and wine drinkers, the best expression of Sauvignon Blanc comes from New Zealand.

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Chateau de Beaucastel

Châteauneuf-du-Pape: The Pope’s Wine

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This article originally appeared in the June 2014 issue of Royal Oaks Living and it is reprinted here with permission.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is one of the most famous French wines in the world. And its notoriety and allure stems from its strong ties to the Catholic Church during a time when the Papacy was located in France, not Rome.

Wine & the Avignon Papacy

In 1308, Bertrand de Got, a French bishop, was elected Pope Clement V. Concerned about security in Rome, Pope Clement V moved the papacy to Avignon, a city in France’s Rhone Valley. For the next 70 years, seven popes governed the church from Avignon. The Avignon popes were great supporters of the local wine, known as “Vin du Pape”. Pope John XII even built a summer residence just north of Avignon. This castle, called Châteauneuf-du-Pape, was a symbol of the appellation and, over time, the nearby village and the wine produced there became known by the same name.

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Bouchard Pere et Fils Wine Sample

Understanding the Wines of Burgundy, France

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This article originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of Royal Oaks Living and it is reprinted here with permission.

Burgundy, France is the birthplace of some of the best and most famous wines in the world, and it’s sacred ground to many wine lovers. Yet a lot of Americans find Burgundy wine confusing. With no grape variety listed on the label, and a list of appellations and unfamiliar village and vineyard names in its place, it’s easy to be perplexed by this type of wine.

Most wine professionals would agree that Burgundy is the most complex wine region in the world. But don’t let this stop you from exploring its great wines! You don’t need to be a Burgundy expert to appreciate and enjoy it; you just need to know a few key points.

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Four New Years (Wine) Resolutions You’ll Keep in 2014

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This article was originally published in Royal Oaks Living magazine and is reprinted here with permission.

Most New Year’s resolutions involve the word “less,” especially when it comes to alcohol. After enjoying countless glasses with friends and family during the holiday season, it may seem like a good idea to cut back. But let’s be honest, how long do your New Year’s resolutions usually last? (If you’re like me, the answer is not long!) This year, strive to enjoy wine more with these resolutions you can keep well into 2014!

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Vineyards in Champagne

Farmer Fizz: The Champagne You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

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This article was originally published in Royal Oaks Living magazine and is reprinted here with permission.

Most people are familiar with the main champagne brands — Perrier Jouët, Tattinger, Veuve Clicquot, Bollinger, Laurent-Perrier, Louis Roederer and Moët & Chandon. These champagne houses have master blenders who craft a consistent “house style” of champagne year after year because they are able to purchase grapes from growers across the Champagne region.

However, grape growers (a.k.a. farmers) own roughly 90% of the vineyards in Champagne, France, according to the CIVC, the trade association for champagne producers. And some growers do make their own champagne — nicknamed “farmer fizz” — instead of selling their grapes to the big brands. And this fizz is worth trying!

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