Scores Still Kinda Suck – Now With More Better Science?

Vinted on March 21, 2018 binned in commentary

There’s been a good bit of discussion lately on the Global Interwebs over a recent blog post by the wine-data-focused David Morrison (to which I was alerted by intrepid friend-of-1WD Bob Henry).

In that post, Morrison puts the scores of two of Wine Spectator’s then-critics-both-named-James, James Laube and James Suckling, through the data-analysis wringer, focusing on scores they gave to wines as part of WS’s “Cabernet Challenge” of 1996.

Generally speaking, Morrison’s blog post, while enviably thorough, can justifiably be criticized as much ado about nothing, considering that no one in the right minds could draw any statistically relevant conclusions from such a small data set. The summary version is that he found a high level of disagreement in the scores that the two Jameses gave to the same wines. Morrison draws out some interesting suggestions from this finding, though, primarily about the use of numbers when evaluating wine quality; to wit (emphasis is mine):

“The formal explanation for the degree of disagreement is this: the tasters are not using the same scoring scheme to make their assessments, even though they are expressing those assessments using the same scale. This is not just a minor semantic distinction, but is instead a fundamental and important property of anything expressed mathematically. As an example, it means that when two tasters produce a score of 85 it does not necessarily imply that they have a similar opinion about the wine; and if one produces 85 points and the other 90 then they do not necessarily differ in their opinion.

So… where have we heard that before?

Oh, that’s right, we heard it right here on 1WD. Several times, actually…

Read the rest of this stuff »




Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For March 19, 2018

Vinted on March 19, 2018 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway? 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 with you via twitter (limited to 140-ish characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 15 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec (Valle de Uco): Expertly crafted, resulting in generous sexiness without a lack of determined focus. $24 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Casarena Owen's Vineyard Agrelo Cabernet Sauvignon (Lujan de Cuyo): See, people, this is an example of why I keep telling you that magic can happen in the 30-bucks range… $32 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Badenhorst Family Wines Secateurs Chenin Blanc (Swartland): Racy, ripe, & lovely – since we don't have an R word for lovely handy; a side of toasted nuts makes this a nice bargain, too. $15 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 m2 Wines Lodi Native Soucie Vineyard Zinfandel (Mokelumne River): All the spiciness and jammy fruit that your lil' ol' Zin-lovin' heart (and bless it!) desires. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Dutton Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay (Russian River Valley): Gorgeous, sexy, and bright; more people, let alone wines, ought to aspire to be like this elegant combo. $38 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Miner Family Wines Emily's Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Basically, this is kind of like having a hot date, only it's in a bottle format. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Tommasi Poggio al Tuffo Rompicollo (Toscana): A mouthful of both pronunciation & chewy, plummy fruits; also kind of a versatile, tasty steal. $19 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 17 Mansalto Vino Spumante Brut Rose (Italy): Citrus peel and cherries combine into focused raciness; Sangio showing even *more* versatility, not that we ever doubted it. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 16 McBride Sisters Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough): Gooseberries and starfruit for days; or, alternatively, Days of Gooseberry and Starfruit. Whatever, it's delicious. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV McBride Sisters Brut Rose (Marlborough): Red berries galore, and an enthralling, enviably delicate – and dare we say, feminine – personality. $24 B+ >>find this wine<<



My Name Is… Nizza… (Drinking Monferrato’s Top Reds With

Vinted on March 16, 2018 binned in 1WineDude TV, Italian Wine, on the road

You might have read about the venerable Tenuta Olim Bauda (and its head honcho, Gianni Bertolino) here before, as I’ve previously covered my gig promoting Italy’s incredible Monferrato region over at at Back in December, the MNiB team had produced video of me getting the low-down from Bertolino on Nizza, the relatively new tippy-top of the Barbera DOCG quality pyramid.

Well, we’ve got some more vid from that session, this time covering the first part of my Nizza tasting with Bertolino, during which I get introduced to more recent vintages of the (quite excellent) stuff. You can jealously watch me gulping down some tasty Nizza reds int he embedded video below. Next up in the series will probably be the second half of that tasting, in which I get to drink older Nizza vintages to see if they live up to their age-ability hype.

Tough job, right?

Barbera in the Glass: Nizza Tasting #1





Through The Past, Scholarly (March 2018 Wine Product Reviews)

Vinted on March 14, 2018 binned in wine books, wine products

For the most recent batch of wine product sample roundup articles, I’ve been focusing on reducing the pile of wine book sample copies currently littering the floor of my home office. And so for March, I am slowly whittling away at said pile by offering up two more hardcover tomes for your vinous reading consideration. You still read books, right?

French Wine A History


Firstly, we have French Wine: A History by Rod Phillips (University of California Press, 319 pages, about $30). That’s an unassuming title for a book with such an ambitious scope. Actually, its scope is bordering on insanity. Beginning from roughly 2500 years ago, Ottawa-based historian Phillips carves up the topical elephant into almost-digestible-sized time period chunks: the period before 1000 CE, the Middle Ages, through to the Enlightenment, the onset of the World Wars, etc. I say “almost” digestible because even each of those chapters is sizeable in terms of the rich historical content and context of the topic (remember, wine involves chemistry, historical events, economics, farming….).

The ground zero / linchpin moment of French Wine if there is one, after which all is forever changed, seems to be the phylloxera epidemic of the late 1800s. Like the rootstocks of its precious vines, nothing in the French wine world was ever quite the same after the country’s vineyards were decimated by that little louse.

All of this is told in dense, matter-of-fact prose, but Phillips isn’t afraid to call out others’ opinions (even somewhat challenging the venerable Hugh Johnson at one point). It’s not a fast or particularly easy read, but ultimately a worthwhile one. And its conclusion is appropriately bittersweet: France is growing fewer grape vines, producing fewer bottles, and drinking less wine than in its historical apexes, and yet the standard-bearer wines (in terms of quality and prices) are still at the top of the global game; and while we may be seeing a dip overall, the country’s vinous development has been anything but uniform, as French Wine dutifully shows us…

Read the rest of this stuff »




The Fine Print

This site is licensed under Creative Commons. Content may be used for non-commercial use only; no modifications allowed; attribution required in the form of a statement "originally published by 1WineDude" with a link back to the original posting.

Play nice! Code of Ethics and Privacy.

Contact: joe (at) 1winedude (dot) com





Sign up, lushes!

Enter your email address to subscribe and get all the good stuff via email.

Join 40,791 other subscribers