There’s A Red House Over Yonder (Masroig Montsant Recent Releases)

Vinted on August 16, 2018 binned in kick-ass wines, on the road, sexy wines, wine review

Masroig cellar 1

In the lower-ish (we’re still talking about 400-or-so meters of elevation) valley of Spain’s sunny Montsant region sits a small town (ok, village) of El Masroig.

El Masroig is quaint enough to be named (in Catalan, of course) “red country house” (most likely from the red clay soils that dominate this area of Priorat country), and small enough to sport a population of about 500 people, the vast majority of whose families live off of the farming of grapevines and olive trees.

El Masroig view

In even quainter non-ironic fashion, El Masroig is home to Celler Masroig, a winery founded in 1917 as a co-op that’s now run by just over 25 employees, and – somewhat ironically given all of the above – is easily one of the largest producers in the area at five hundred thousand bottles per year, farming from about 500 hectares of vines.

Even more ironically, given their size, at the time of this writing Masroig has yet to gain a sales foothold in the States. That’s a shame, and is a scenario that needs quick correction, because they’re making the excellent crafting of one of the wine world’s most underrated red grapes – Carignan – look downright easy…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For August 13, 2018

Vinted on August 13, 2018 binned in wine mini-reviews

I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes in a “mini-review” format.

They are meant to be quirky, fun, and (mostly) easily-digestible reviews of (mostly) currently available wines (click here for the skinny on how to read them), and are presented links to help you find them, so that you can try them out for yourself. Cheers!

 

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The Times They… Uhm… Have Changed, Actually (Intowine.com’s Top 100 Most Influential People In The US Wine Industry 2018)

Vinted on August 8, 2018 binned in commentary, wine news
Intowine.com top 100 2018

Image: Intowine.com

Folks, we’re getting old.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a full five years since my friend, fellow wine competition judge, all-around decent guy, and prolific author Michael Cervin assembled the last edition of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the US Wine Industry. So much has changed in those ensuing five revolutions around the Sun that it’s simply mind-boggling to consider the volume… wow, I’m only two minutes into penning this and I already need a drink…!

Intowine.com has recently published Michael’s 2018 version of that US wine biz influencer list, and as always the results are almost equal parts educational, seemingly-inevitable, and controversial (at least one of the names from this year’s list has been associated with infamous wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan). While I don’t have detailed insight into how this list gets constructed, I do know that Michael has, in previous incarnations, canvased industry professionals of various stripes regarding who they see as helping to (directly or indirectly) move the markets when it comes to wine, and frequency of mention from those results was a key determinant for if and where names are placed on the list.

I think it’s worth unpacking the results of the 2018 influencer list, and so unpack them we shall…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For August 6, 2018

Vinted on August 6, 2018 binned in wine mini-reviews

I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes in a “mini-review” format.

They are meant to be quirky, fun, and (mostly) easily-digestible reviews of (mostly) currently available wines (click here for the skinny on how to read them), and are presented links to help you find them, so that you can try them out for yourself. Cheers!

  • 2013 Celler Ronadelles Cap de Ruc Cuvee Premium (Montsant): Funky, earthy, elegant, meaty, only in magnum – presumably because it feels so big – and, alas, likely difficult to acquire… $NA A-
  • 2007 Celler Ronadelles Jaume Giral Gran Reserva Vinyes Velles (Montsant): Iron fist, velvet glove, and hitting much harder than you’d expect from both its age and the age of its centenary vines. $NA A-
  • 2016 Cellers Sant Rafel Solpost Blanc (Montsant): Showing off the curvy fleshiness and beguiling flashiness of Garnaxta Blanca in a compelling, stylish one-piece. $NA B+
  • 2017 Cellers Sant Rafel ‘Joana’ (Montsant): Blue is the color of its dreams, its fruits, its flowers, and of the feelings that this tasty red can chase away for you. $NA B
  • 2015 Cellers Sant Rafel Solpost “S” (Montsant): For those times when you’re demanding that your Carignan be both burly and beautiful. $NA A-
  • 2013 Beringer Vineyards Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Feel free to thoroughly adore it, because the feeling is mutual and it will almost certainly reciprocate for many years to come. $170 A
  • 2017 Pahlmeyer Jayson Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley): A lively but ultimately serious séance at a posh CA party, channeling the spirits of Bordeaux Blanc. $30 A-
  • 2016 Talbott Vineyards Kali Hart Pinot Noir (Monterey): Does talk of Kali and heart make you conjure up images of dark Indiana Jones movies? Fear not, for this is all the Temple of Pleasantness. $26 B+
  • 2016 Niner Wine Estates Jespersen Vineyard Albarino (Edna Valley): Easing you into the realm of the tropically exotic as about as easily as one could hope for outside of booking a private, curated tour. $24 B+
  • 2014 Tenute Castelbuono Lampante Montefalco Rosso Reserva (Umbria): Plums, vivacity, funkiness, and scaffolding all being juggled entertainingly, with nary a ball dropped. $NA B+

 

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