Monday, April 30, 2007

New website on the way...

I've been up since 4:30 this morning putting the final touches on the new TexaCali Wine Co. website...I wanted to push it out tomorrow - not gonna happen. I shouldn't have spent last weekend in the yard - that was precious time to work on the site. Oh well - at least it was a workout and a little sunshine on my face for once.

Here's a sneak peak of the new home page...

So stay tuned, I'm off to Houston for the next 3 days, hope to launch the new site by the weekend.

Check back tomorrow - May 1 for a VERY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT! Cheers - Ali

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Today in Dallas

I'll be representing Handley Cellars at the Dallas Food and Wine Festival

Please join us at Abacus at 1:00 - 2:15 for the "Summer Splash - Global Styles of Sauvignon Blanc"

More information on their website .

Oh the joy of I-35 on a Saturday morning....Ali

Friday, April 27, 2007

$10.99 - Crios Rose of Malbec

THE bottle to buy this weekend, come on - everyone's doing so! It's available all over Texas - just ask your favorite wine shop to chill it down for you!

Tasting Notes/Food Pairing Suggestions
A beautiful, deep, vibrant rosé color. Has a surprising amount of glycerin and body for a rosé wine, and beautiful aromas of fresh, ripe wild strawberries. On the palate, the flavors of strawberries and cherries come rushing in, accompanied by some spice notes and a clean, dry finish. This is the wine to serve with warm-weather meals when there is a mix of traditional white & red wine foods. Keep one in the fridge at all times and you’ll always have a delicious wine to enjoy with light snacks and cheeses. Best consumed in its youth.

About the Name/Label
Crios means "offspring" (as in children). Susana selected a word to express the notion that these are wines that haven’t quite "grown up" to the same level of quality and maturity as her more expensive Susana Balbo label wines, but they receive the same loving care and attention throughout the winemaking process. The label features a series of three connected and overlapping hands, an image inspired by a Mayan artifact. The three hands represent Susana and her two children.

Cheers - Ali

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Jo Pithon Texas Trip

This was Jo Pithon's first visit to Texas. He flew into Austin on Sunday just in time to catch a Texas-size BBQ dinner out at the Salt Lick. Since it's BYOB I took a 1989 Domaine Viking Vouvray I had in my stash at home and a 2001 Luca Malbec - to my surprise, the white wine actually paired better due to all the brown sugar in the Salt Lick BBQ sauce. YUM.

So we drove up to Dallas to meet with a few restaurant accounts as well as the Sigel's Fine Wine staff. It was a rainy and dreary day - thank goodness we had such amazing wine to talk about and taste all day - truly the sunshine we needed!

The Sigel's customer tasting at the Greenville Ave. store was a wonderful success - over 50 folks came out in the rain (and a Stars Game night!) to taste Jo's chenin blanc and to meet the man in person. All of his wines tasted absolutely beautiful, now I totally understand why the greats of Burgundy look up to this man!

To make Jo's time in Texas just about perfect, we dined at Lola on Tuesday night. As always, a perfect meal, amazing wine and a true delight to sit and talk with Van - the owner over the Pithon collection.

Jo Pithon wines are available at Sigel's in Dallas - and soon at The Austin Wine Merchant for those in my hood! Have a good weekend - Ali

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hot off the Press Today in Dallas!

I'm in a rush so more details later - the 2006 Dallas Morning News Wine Competition announced the winners today...over 3300 wines entered worldwide, 17 bottles represented by TCWC received TOP HONORS!

Here's the list of medal winners:


  • Crios Torrontes - Argentina
  • Fort Ross Pinotage - Sonoma Coast - California
  • Fort Ross Chardonnay - Sonoma Coast - California
  • Fort Ross Pinot Noir - Somoma Coast
  • Tikal Patriota - Argentina
  • Crios Syrah Bonarda - Argentina
  • Davis Family Vineyards Barn d'Or (Syrah/Cab blend) - California
  • Davis Family Vineyards Syrah - Russian River - California
  • Davis Family Vineyards Pinot Noir - Russian River
  • Davis Family Vineyards "Gusto" Sauvignon Blanc - New Zealand
  • Davis Family Vineyards Chardonnay - Dutton Ranch - California
  • Handley Cellars Zinfandel


  • Handley Sauvignon Blanc - Anderson Valley, California
  • Handley Chardonnay - Anderson Valley California
  • BenMarco Malbec - Argentina
  • Crios Malbec – Argentina


  • Generations of Sonoma HWY 12 - (Cab, Cab Franc, Merlot blend) Sonoma California

Stay tuned for more info! Cheers - Ali (photo credit: EVANS CAGLAGE / DMN)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Click on this!

Check out the following link to the Wine Spectator - it's a quick video featuring "Mendel Unus" from central Mendoza.

Mendel is fast becoming a favorite among Texas Malbec drinkers!

Mendel Malbec Clip

Cheers - Ali
PS...thanks for all your emails over the past few days, I'll be back in my office to answer them all on Thursday!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mark your calendars North Texas!!!

Please stop by Sigel's on Greenville Ave. to meet Jo Pithon and taste his highly acclaimed wines next Tuesday from 5-7pm.

Who is Jo Pithon you ask? He is a treasure on loan from the Loire Valley. If you don't know anything about Chenin Blanc from France or if you are an aficionado - you won't want to miss tasting the GORGEOUS Pithon wines. We will have a selection of 3 dry wines and 2 sweet labels open for this special offering.

Here's a little background on this character from Gunsmoke looking genius...
Pithon and his colleagues should be applauded for attempting to push the quality envelope.Robert Parker

"Mastermind of Chenin Blanc

Founded in 1978, Domaine Jo Pithon is situated on 12 hectares in the Loire valley, 25 kms. south of Angers. With only 4 full time employees, including Jo's wife, Isabelle, all the wines dry to sweet are produced from 100% Chenin Blanc and have been barrel aged from 12-18 months. In order to achieve a sense of terroir in every wine the vineyards are farmed organically with minimum intervention. The dry wines complete maloactic fermentation, and the sweet wines are hand harvested in selective pickings "tries." Only native natural yeasts are utilized to start fermentation; the wines are never chaptalized and sulfer additions are kept to a bare minimum.

This event is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for any lover of wine! See you there, Ali

Cool Announcement Today

Wow - what a couple of hours I'm having right now, I just announced the arrival of Lange Winery to all the Texas wine buyers and a select few "Inner Circle Members". One of the first rules I created upon starting TexaCali Wine Co. "Only represent great families who make quality wines", well, I haven't had the pleasure of personally meeting the Lange family, but a few people in Texas have met them and have been incredibly quick to tell me how they are such great folks! For this alone, I can't wait to help them sell more wine in Texas than ever before - I'm so proud to represent.

This is the first and only
Oregon producer represented by TexaCali Wine Co.

Oh but the wine ---- so delicious!

A little tidbit…Don and Wendy Lange settled in the Dundee Hills of Willamette Valley in 1980 and by 1987 they had released their first vintage. The inaugural production included only Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay...and they have stuck to their Burgundy-varietal-guns ever since.

Pinot Gris 2005 Willamette Valley - retail price around $15
3000 cases produced
100% stainless steel and little to no RS makes for a great, dry pinot gri"gio" style gris. Lange was only the fourth winery in the USofA to produce a singe-varietal Pinot Gris.

Chardonnay 2005 "Reserve" Willamette Valley - retail price around $22
400 cases produced
50/50 stainless steel to oak with minimal malo results in a vibrant, tropical chard that shows off pear and melon instead of a tongue depressor dipped in Land-O-Lakes.

Pinot Noir 2005 "Three Hills Cuvee" Willamette Valley - retail price around $40
600 cases produced (6pk)
13 months in French oak, 40% new...13.5% far so good...sources from Lange Estate in Dundee Hills, Freedom Hill and Yamhill (Three Hills)...a little slice of the valley.

Pinot Noir 2005 "Dundee Hills" Willamette Valley - retail price around $60
400 cases produced (6pk)
same oak treatment; this is Lange Estate fruit from their holding in the Dundee Hills..
.possibly the best example of Oregon Pinot Noir that Lange has to offer. Tremendous.

Pinot Noir 2005 "Freedom Hill" Willamette Valley retail price around $60
400 cases produced (6pk)
same oak treatment; while this is Lange's 11th vintage with Freedom Hill namesake bottling, they've been using fruit from this vineyard site since 1990. I have a feeling they know what they're doing with it. Enjoy.


Cheers - Ali

PS - Big thanks to JI for helping with the wine tasting notes today!

Friday, April 06, 2007

5 Days 50 Boxes

Hey everyone, sorry for the lack of updates this week. I've been moving since last Saturday and it's been soo LAME. I won't go into details, but I really rather sell off all my possessions next time I need to move than to pack it all up again. I've got A MOUNTAIN of work to catch up on over the weekend, so stay tuned for some new blog posts with some killer wine news soon! Cheers - Ali