Cesar Baeza is one of the nicest gentlemen I know.  Yes, I say gentleman.  My first encounter with him was when I began working for the Shawangunk Wine Trail.  He welcomed me with open arms and was very sincere.  He was the Winemaster and the first person to come to mind when Keryl and I created Happy Bitch Wines. I never thought of another person to go to for guidance.
Now that Cesar has recently scaled down his responsibilities at Brotherhood Winery, new doors have opened for the Winemaster who Wines & Vines Magazine listed in the top 50 Winemakers in the US.  I had the opportunity to have lunch with him in September and boy did we chat.  We both opened up about our experiences, but that’s not what I’m here to write about.  It’s life beyond Brotherhood.
Welcome to Baeza Wine Connection, a consulting firm involved in all aspects of wine from blending to commercialization.  A consulting firm designed to help distributors find wines and wineries find distribution. Baeza Wine Connection is a family affair that began out of the love and passion for good wine by, Cesar and his brother Fernando who has been a restaurateur  in Long Island, NY for many years.
The Baeza Wine Connection is currently working with wines from Chile, Spain and Italy.   “Viejo Feo” is a Chilean wine whose label shows an Ugly Old Man standing next to a mirror, revealing it’s the beauty inside that counts. They’ve developed  an estate- bottled Cabernet Reserve, Merlot Reserve, Sauvignon Blanc and a unique Pinot Noir.
They are introducing  Finca Loranque Winery in Spain to the American market for the first time. Finca Loranque produces Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and  Syrah.   They have already received international recognition for many of their wines.
I recently tasted Finca Loranque’s 2006 Tempranillo/Syrah blend.  Going in with no expectations Paul and I were wowed by this wine.  It’s 60% Syrah and 40% Tempranillo, barrel-aged in French oak for 12 months and at least 1 year in the bottle.
With aromas of black fruit, the palate dances with blackberry and raspberry.  As the wine opens up, plum and more dark fruit enter.  There are not a lot of tannins in this wine.  It’s elegant and smooth and nicely balanced.  The finish is one of soft spice.
I paired this wine with an aged Mimolette and Manchego and both went very well.
For those of us who know Cesar, he always has something exciting in the pipeline (or the grapevine if you will).  He’s working on a Super Tuscan using Italian heirloom grape varieties and tells me we’ll have to wait until next year for the results.  And also organic wine.  Maybe German wine too.