Here we are again… and by “we” I mean “me,” waxing not-so-poetic about some of the samples that I receive that cannot be imbibed (at least, not without the use of a blender and several thousand dollars in resultant medical bills).
This month, I’ve got two items to recommend, though I do so with slight reservations.
First up, there’s the recently-released 3rd Edition of The Complete Bordeaux: The Wines, The Chateaux, The People (Mitchell Beazley, $75) by the venerable Brit Stephen Brook. Brook (with whom I’ve judged in wine competitions) has thirty-five years of writing experience – and about the same number of published books – to his credit, and if one reads carefully through The Complete Bordeaux, one will be able to tell that he is a master of the English language. At first, his writing style might seem downright reticent; it’s certainly restrained. But as the paragraphs unfold in pages of the detailed profiles of pretty much anything that is of vinous significance in Bordeaux, you come away with the sense that Brook has mastered his subject, and is presenting it in the most concisely efficient prose possible. It helps that he has coverage of the topic that is both wide and deep; Brook has tasted back vintages of just about every Bordeaux house that has ever mattered.
If The Complete Bordeaux suffers from anything, it’s a relative lack of photographs and detailed maps for a tome of this size (over 700 pages) and price. It also suffers from a wine market in which Bordeaux has arguably never been less relevant, at least when it comes to a now-prevalent younger generation of drinkers. That’s hardly Brook’s fault, of course; so if you’re a Bordeaux lover, this is as comprehensive and as valuable a reference as you are likely to find…
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For my latest entry over at MyNameIsBarbera.com, we return to some video action for the Barbera: In the Glass section. In this short episode, I get schooled by Vinchio and Vaglio‘s Tessa Donadieu on why the wine that forms the base of the Monferrato Barbera quality pyramid – the Piemonte Barbera DOC – ought to be my go-to daily red wine.
As I lay out in the introduction to the vid, Tessa has a (very) good case; not just for me, but probably for you, too, if you dig zesty Italian reds.
You can check out the vid in the embed below, and see more in the Your Daily Wine (Piemonte Barbera) article over at the MYiB site.
- 15 Fontanavecchia Taburno (Falanghina del Sannio): Refined, with just the right amount of edginess to let you know it means business. $19 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 14 Mila Vuolo Aglianico (Campania): Intellectually demanding, darkly mysterious, and absolutely worth the investigatory efforts. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
- 15 Mila Vuolo Fiano Colli di Salerno (Campania): Floral, flinty, & freakin’ taught. Also freakin’ young & freakin’ really good. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
- 13 Portolano Mario Campania Rosso Villa Teresa (Campania): Smoking stogies with a side of black tea and a sprig of fresh mint. $NA A- >>find this wine<<
- 15 Tempi di Zoe Campania Aglianico Diciotto (Campania): What’s there doesn’t last, but what’s there is all spicy supple deliciousness $NA A- >>find this wine<<
- 10 Sanpaolo Taurasi Riserva (Campania): A lot of things to weave together here, but they’re all meshing up just swimmingly, thank you $NA A- >>find this wine<<
- 10 Colli di Castelfranci Taurasi Alta Valle (Campania): Cage match, Spicy Complexity vs Burly tannins. Spicy Complexity wins. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
- 14 Murrieta’s Well Small Lot Cabernet Franc (Livermore Valley): Message from young dark fruit & French oak – ‘Please stand by…’ $58 A- >>find this wine<<
- 16 Murrieta’s Well Small Lot Muscat Canelli (Livermore Valley): Mostly a fragrant wine for now. Not that you’ll be able to wait. $35 B+ >>find this wine<<
- 15 Murrieta’s Well The Whip White Wine Blend (Livermore Valley): Floral, piquant, and sooooo dammmmmmmn easyyyy to liiiiiiiike. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
Getting our Madeira on at Rouge Tomate Chelsea
“As uvas de Terrantez Não as coma nem as dês, Para vinho Deus as fez.” *
Earlier this month, I had what amounted to a kind of dream speaking gig for me: leading Madeira masterclasses in both Boston (at Committee) and NYC (at Rouge Tomate Chelsea).
I was a hired gun for these events, so I had no hand in choosing the wines on offer during the classes or walk-around tastings; not that I’m complaining, since there was an embarrassment of riches in the lineups, ranging from the intriguing to the excellent to the pretty-much-life-changing.
Given that this was a paying gig, I didn’t want to formally review any of the wines on hand at the events, but I struggled with not sharing something from the wares we tasted on those days, if only because these are precisely the kind of wines that blow my dress up over my head. And so, I thought that I’d share something on the rarer side of these rare vinous treasures…
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