Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For April 23, 2018

Vinted on April 23, 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 Dutton Estate Dutton Ranch Cherry Ridge Vineyard Syrah (Russian River Valley): Bold, dense, but also lithe and spicy; in other words, totally legit. $54 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Robert Mondavi Winery Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Like its namesakes, quintessentially NV in all of the right ways. $62 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Broadside Margarita Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles): Vibrant, structured, savory, delicious, and right on the verge of something exceptional. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Schramsberg Cremant Demi-Sec (California): Taking up an address that's somewhere between Main and Dessert $41 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Tommasi Filo Dora Prosecco (Prosecco): Enough crowd-pleasing fruitiness for all-day drinking; and you probably will drink it all day. $16 B >>find this wine<<
  • 17 Kim Crawford Signature Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough): A little rich, & more than a little expressive; bring your passion for passion fruit. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Ventisquero Grey Glacier Trinidad Vineyard Single Block Cabernet Sauvignon (Maipo Valley): Nary an age wrinkle to be found in this dark, dense, herbal beauty. $24 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Nieto Senetiner Malbec (Lujan de Cuyo): An overachiever that's making its way to the head of the smoky/meaty/spicy class. $16 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Alta Vista Alizarine Single Vineyard Malbec (Lujan de Cuyo): Inky, deep, viscous, plummy, ripe, dense, powerful… looks like somebody unlocked BEAST mode! $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Chateau Picoron Grand Vin (Sainte-Colombe): Plummy, modern, but not afraid of heaping on the black olives; keep an eye on this one. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
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What We Drank When My Kid Hit Double Digits (Tasting 2008 Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling)

Vinted on April 18, 2018 binned in elegant wines, wine review

LKR Spiderman bday

NV Piper-Heidsieck Brut Oscars ChampagneFor my daughter’s birthday, generally I host a fairly large party; while there is a theme (Spider-Man this year – see inset pic – because my kiddo is awesome), and while there are plenty of kids (usually about a third of the 20-30 guests), it’s not a kiddo party per se. It’s just an old-school neighborhood gathering that happens to be hosting a good number of children.

There are some fun things for the kids, but the adults get treats, too; in this case, usually wine from whatever magnums I have lying around the sample pool (the last few years, including this one, have featured the special Oscars magnum release of the perennially delicious NV Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne). So usually the adults are in good spirits at this shindig, despite the fact that there might be ten or so kids throwing foam airplane party favors at their heads. And, No, the kiddos don’t get to have any of the wine (I’m selfish that way).

Anyway, I also often (but not always) break out a birth year wine (my daughter’s birth year, mind you, not mine) if I happen to have one on hand. And this year’s selection happened to tick both the Magnum and Birth Year boxes…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For April 16, 2018

Vinted on April 16, 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 Stewart Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): This one is feeling quite generous about, well, about just about everything, actually. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Frank Family Vineyards Zinfandel (Napa Valley): You'll get lots of wood, you purist, you; but you'll also get lots of sexiness, lots of spiciness, and lots of juiciness. $37 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Rain Dance Vineyards Nicholas Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir (Chehalem Mountains): Earthy, concentrated, not-so-light on its feet, but ultimately crowd-pleasing. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Portlandia Pinot Gris (Oregon): Perky, pretty, and very probably destined to become an outdoor, warm-weather party favorite. $18 B >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Goedhart Estate Bel Villa Vineyard Red Mountain Syrah (Red Mountain): Another spicy, balanced exhibit in the growing evidence list in support of more – and more… and more – WA State Syrah. $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Flechas de los Andes Gran Corte (Argentina): Court is absolutely in session; and the main verdict is meaty, dense, floral, savory, juicy and balanced. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 17 Alpataco Malbec (Patagonia): Bouncy, bright, bringing the big-time florals, and just begging to be served with burgers. $15 B >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Domaine Bousquet Gaia Tupungato White Blend (Mendoza): Rises well above 'kitchen sink blend' status; we can probably thank that heaping of balanced Chardonnay for that. $18 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Domaine Bousquet Grande Reserve Malbec (Tupungato): If you can get past the boisterous woodiness – & you definitely can – there's lots of floral, meaty, spicy bang for the buck here. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Principi Corsini Le Corti Chianti Classico (Tuscany): That modern hairstyle and classic Italian cut suit jacket are really a rather fetching combo on you, bro. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
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Pert, Plus (Perticaia Recent – And Not-So-Recent! – Releases)

Perticaia plow

The name Perticaia is familiar to lovers of big Italian reds, but its meaning – “plow” in the local dialect – likely isn’t as well-known. It is, however, an apt description of how Azienda Agraria Perticaia has forced its way through to the top of the critical food chain when it comes to Montefalco Sagrantino wines.

For that, Perticaia can thank both timing and focus. The brand was founded by Guido Guardigli towards the end 1990s, when Montefalco began a quality boon and a production boom, during which the number of wineries in the region nearly quadrupled. They now farm some sixteen hectares of vines, with not an International grape variety to be found among them, and more or less focus on yields that take produce about one 750ml bottle of wine per plant. Of their 125,000 bottle annual production, a whopping seventy percent gets exported, which means that their oenologist Alessandro Meniconi (working with consultant Emiliano Falsin) is a self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades, handling (among other things) some export management duties, as well.

Perticaia view

Among Montefalco Sagrantino producers, Perticaia is one of the more fastidious when it comes to production techniques, and understanding those is key to getting a full grasp of why their Sagrantino releases are so appealing at such young ages. Only about fifteen percent new French oak is used, with the remainder in some cases being as old as six years, which is kind of like the dotage period in French oak barrel terms (they’re making a push to move towards higher use of older, larger barriques, too).

The big key, however, might be in their seemingly non-intuitive, ass-backwards decision to let their Sagrantino undergo longer than normal maceration. One would think that this would make those reds tougher-than-nails when it comes to Sagrantino’s already rough tannins, but one would be wrong, because Chemistry. The longer maceration actually polymerizes the tannins, making them more approachable at the expense of color (which, as Meniconi emphasized to me during a media visit, “Sagrantino has plenty of, anyway)…

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