One of the worst aspects of the current state of political “discourse” in the USA is the penchant of leaders in our government towards vocalizing complete and total falsehoods, whenever and however it furthers their individual and/or party agendas, with seemingly little consequence for their actions.
Where they deem it necessary, they also repeatedly use this tactic to undermine the credibility of any ideas or expert opinions that they find inconvenient to the forwarding of their agenda, even when those ideas and expert opinions are based on (as in the examples of climate change and global warming) data that are incontrovertible. One need not search far, wide, or for long to find examples of this, many of them technically qualifying as libel, slander, or defamation.
Just as the U.S. wine world is not immune from modern cultural and technological shifts, it is, alas, also not immune from this ridiculous embracing of falsehood over fact, or the downward spiral into the cult of “fake” news wherein “truthiness” trumps (pun intended) actual truth in a disgusting sociopathic display of partisan greed, good old fashioned idiocy, or (too often) both.
Interestingly, this trend may be more a factor of generational social shortcomings now that the Baby Boomers are more-or-less in charge of everything political in the USA (an argument made in a cogent and convincing – though albeit overly-opinionated and overly-lengthy – way by Bruce Cannon Gibney in his book A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America). Having said that, in my view, analyzing the reasons behind this worrying trend isn’t nearly as acute a need as is applying the disinfectant of attention. I.e., calling out and rejecting the behavior adamantly and quickly; consider it the intellectual and moral equivalent of weeding, or maybe playing Whack-a-Mole.
Thankfully, that’s just what happened recently when Naked Wines was more-or-less forced to apologize for going as low as the current U.S. political discourse in some of its most recent marketing efforts…
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Albert Jané knows how to work a wine media crowd.
Acústic’s Albert Jané, who is *not* actually pretending to play bongos on an old barrel
If you want to quickly win over such a group of wine geeks and influencers, you would have had access to a minor clinic in such powers of persuasion had you tagged along during my recent media tour visit to Jané’s Acústic Cellar, in the Montsant town of Marçà.
The script went something like this:
Take them to your gorgeous vineyard, replete with panoramic views of the mountainous Catalan countryside; show off your small two hectare lot of 40- to 80-year-old bush-trained Garnatxa and Samsó (a.k.a. Carignan) vines; say things like “the best barrel is the one you don’t taste,” and “the best winemakers here are the vineyards;” and gleefully pour your vinous wares, which happen to be excellent. Oh, and also serve delicious Spanish cheese.
Jané describes his wines as “unplugged” (hence the yeah-yeah-I-get-it cleverness of his company moniker), and it’s a fitting term for a winemaking style that seeks to showcase the concentrated, small clusters/berries of the organic fruit that Acústic’s old vines produce. Jané’s approach is relatively old school, favoring hand-harvesting and minimal oak treatment; which seems fitting, considering that his grandfather was a winemaker, his cellar is an old textile factory, and much of the exclusively indigenous vines in his vineyard were planted in the 1930s. Here’s a look at the latest quartet playing the Acústic Cellars tune…
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- 17 Berne Emotion Rose (Cotes de Provence): The very definition of solid, dependable Provencal rose – bright fruit, pithy brightness, & sub-20-clams. $19 B >>find this wine<<
- 12 Godelia Mencia (Bierzo): This is basically the friend that you never see very often but everyone really likes and so the parties where he shows up go pretty late. $19 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 17 Simonsig Chenin Blanc (Stellenbosch): Just in case you forgot that CB had an immediately accessible, tropical, zesty side… there's this… $14 B >>find this wine<<
- 14 Duchman Family Winery Oswald Vineyard Aglianico (Texas): Alright, everyone, listen up and sit up straight, because I think they might be on to something here… $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 14 Rodney Strong Reserve Malbec (Sonoma County): Burly, bountiful, bold, and basically bursting at the britches for a big hunk of steak. $40 A- >>find this wine<<
- 13 Geyser Peak Devil's Inkstand Winemaker's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley): As dark as its namesake, but could be drawing slightly sharper lines between those fruit flavors. $39 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 16 Chalk Hill Estate Bottled Sauvignon Blanc (Chalk Hill): Exotic fruits, enticing nose, juicy ripeness, and big-ass mouthfeel. $33 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 17 Miner Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley): Now, *that* is vibrant SB, especially for one of those SBs that's all sexy-like coming from NV. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 16 Jordan Russian River Valley Chardonnay (Sonoma County): Pay attention while you're being beguiled by those peaches, or you'll miss that great zesty finish. $33 A- >>find this wine<<
- 14 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma County): Still not afraid of the herbal side, much to the continued joy of people like yours truly. $55 A- >>find this wine<<
Another day at the “office”
Back in February, I spent a handful of days in the charmingly-imposing Italian town of Montefalco, as the U.S. media guest attending the anteprima showing of Sagrantino’s somewhat-troubled 2014 vintage.
Generally, the way that these things work is that we press-types get to sit around in beautiful locales tasting (and pontificating upon) the latest – and usually not-so-latest – vintages of a region, when we’re not attending dinners or visiting nearby producers, I mean. Just another day at the office…
After highlighting a handful of producers from that visit, I thought that I would wrap up the Sagrantino-related coverage here by sharing some of what I found to be among the more interesting wines that I encountered on that anteprima trip. Some of these wines will, in true 1WD form, be nigh-impossible to find, though most won’t; but think of this less as the brain-dump of tasting notes that it is, and more of an enthusiastic recommendation of some of Montefalco’s best producers.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I have what feels like ten billion wines to tell you about; and so, let’s get it started in here while the base keep runnin’ runnin’, and runnin’ runnin’…
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