Spit Shine (Domaine Marcel Deiss Recent Releases)

Vinted on September 20, 2017 binned in crowd pleaser wines, elegant wines, kick-ass wines, on the road, sexy wines
Jean-Michel Deiss

Jean-Michel Deiss, talking spit

Jean-Michel Deiss likes to talk spit.

That his family, winegrowers since 1744, are established as the Alsatian version of winemaking royalty probably helps him to get away with it.

“Wine today is an industrial project,” he told me (through interpretation) during a media tour visit to Domaine Marcel Deiss‘ Bergheim winery. “But great wine is not a question of taste. Great wine is like a [good] book; as soon as you finish reading, you look for someone you love [to share it with].”

Or, in my case, you put it on the Internet to share it with total strangers. But the point is a solid one. Anyway, we were talking about spit.

Busker Du Alsace

Busker Du on the streets of Alsace…

“Salivation is how you measure a wine’s energy,” Deiss continued. “You don’t need to be an expert for that. And there’s no salivation without terroir. It’s like geography in the mouth. Where you get salivation, you get terroir.”

“It’s not an efficient concept,” he added, at which point he showed multiple rips in his pants, presumably the result of his efforts in the vineyard and the cellar.

Domaine Marcel Deiss is still a family-run outfit, utilizing about 20 people and overseeing about 30 hectares of vineyards, many of which are old vine field blends (or, as they like to call them “companion planted” vines) of Alsace’s key grape varieties, with roots deep enough that the different varieties essentially ripen around the same time. Deiss’ focus is now solely on vineyard site (rather than on variety), as well as on biodiversity, minimal sulfur additions, and no filtration. Lest you think that this ostensibly hands-off approach should make life at Deiss easier, Jean-Michel’s son Mathieu echoed his father’s sentiment regarding the amount of extra work required by their approach; “with ‘natural’ wine, you have to be more precise in the cellar, not less.” At which point, he offered up the next generation’s version of dad’s ripped pants: according to his cell phone, he had logged the equivalent of 100 kilometers of walking in the last four days alone…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For September 18, 2017

Vinted on September 18, 2017 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 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!

  • 11 Lalanne Lataste Gran Vino (Somontano): Dark, earthy & developed; settled in, but eemingly not quite settled on its true identity. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Onward Sparkling Rose of Pinot Noir Petillant Naturel (Redwood Valley): Fresh, and funky, but neither forced nor forgettable. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Miner Family Winery Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Holds nothing back; delicious, demanding & full-throttle $75 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Tommasi Le Rosse Pinot Grigio (Veneto): The Red Ones? Really? This is more like the Tasty, Energetic, and Mellon-Infused ones. $14 B >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay (Napa Valley): It's difficult to find this much fresh tropical fruit, even when in the tropics. $43 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Dutton Goldfield Fox Den Vineyard Pinot Noir (Green Valley of Russian River Valley): This might contain Fountain of Youth droplets. $62 A >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Siduri Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills): Sometimes, the whole being > the sum of the parts is reason enough to rejoice $35 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Cortes de Cima Trincadeira (Alentejo): You'd probably need to be at a big city Gold's Gym to see more flexing of muscularity. $45 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Quinta da Plansel Dorina Lindemann Limited Edition Tinto (Alentejo): From grip to verve to thyme, everything here is substantial. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Joao Portugal Ramos Marques de Borba Reserva Tinto (Alentejo): Young & focused, give it some years to bloom within the bramble. $65 A- >>find this wine<<
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Like A True Nature’s Child (Exploring The Wildness Of Grignolino)

Vinted on September 13, 2017 binned in Italian Wine, learning wine

Grana

My latest article for the online celebration of all things vinous in Monferrato, MyNameIsBarbera.com, is now available; and in it, I explore the born-to-be-wildness of one of Italy’s most unsung fine wine grapes, Grignolino.

If you’ve never tried a good Grignolino before, you’re un-enviably currently missing out, but are enviably in for a real treat – it’s one of the most unique red wine drinking experiences you’re likely to have, and therefore one of the most geekily memorable, as well.

Hit up the link below for the full article. When you’re finished reading, if you find yourself feeling the kind of thirst that only a Grignolino is gonna quench, I suggest hunting for one from Vini Evasio Garrone, based in Grana. They won’t be easy to find, but they’re worth the effort. One of that family-run business’  head-honchos, Dante Garrone, is a tireless champion of the grape; he also happens to be a good guy and a serious Raiders of the Lost Ark fan…

GRIGNOLINO D’ASTI: BORN TO BE WILD

Cheers!

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For September 11, 2017

Vinted on September 11, 2017 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 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!

  • 14 Donnafugata Ben Rye (Passito di Pantelleria): A 1/2-bottle of honeyed, fig-tinged magic, with fingertip lighting special effects. $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Lobo da Silveira Solar dos Lobos Grande Escolha Tinto (Alentejo): Textural and gripping, once you get past the initial shyness. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Herdade do Esporao AB Alicante Bouschet (Alentejo): The pointy edges have been rounded out, much to the benefit of red wine lovers $39 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Quinta do Zambujeiro Monte do Zambujeiro (Alentejo): All around the mulberry bush… we'll be doing some sultry dancing… $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Henrique Uva Herdade da Mingorra Vinha da Ira (Alentejo): Doing its best to make ripe plums seem sexy… and largely succeeding. $NA A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Jose Maria da Fonseca Jose de Sousa Red (Alentejo): The red and the black (fruits, that is) engage on a stone-laden battlefield… $17 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Monte Branco Tinto (Alentejo): Sporting an intensity that would likely put many athletes in the NFL combine to total shame. $NA A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Windvane Carneros Pinot Noir (Carneros): Smoked meat this inherently good probably doesn't need quite so much wood on the fire. $45 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Windvane Carneros Chardonnay (Carneros): The weather is a little steamy, but there's a crisp breeze blowing in this direction. $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Lasseter Family Winery Reminiscence (Sonoma Valley): Big, brash, bold, brambly, bombastic, and, at turns, kind of beautiful. $125 A- >>find this wine<<
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