Archive for February, 2012

Postcard From Cali (Or “Goats, The Hobbit, And Oakville Cab For Prog Rock Geeks”)

Vinted on February 28, 2012 binned in on the road

I hope you’ll forgive the quick-hit, “I was there, maaaaaan!” style post, but I’m still en medias res on my Napa jaunt, in which I’ve culled the raw material for what I think will be some great content for Playboy.com, Wines.com, and of course keeping the geekiest stuff for right here on 1WD.

But in between under-sleeping and breakfast, I wanted to give you a very brief run-down of a few of the more exciting things to which I was exposed while on the trip so far (other than the 80F weather and sunshine, and partying, I mean).

Leggo My Breggo

Boonville might be a bit of a sleepy little hamlet in Northern CA (okay… not might… and not a little…) but the wine scene in the nearby, relatively cool-ish Anderson Valley growing area is actually quite dynamic, if the poised wines of Breggo Cellars are any indication, anyway.  Breggo, by the way, is Boontling for “goat” (Boontling being a ribald sort-of dialect of American English that “developed” among the local, relatively-isolated farming community in Boonville in the 19th century… and no, I am not making that up).

It seems a bit of a coup that Cliff Lede scooped up Breggo in 2009, and with it their tall, lanky, mild-mannered winemaker Ryan Hodgins. Hodgins is one of those winemakers whose Alsatian-style vision for the wines – nearly as lean and angular as his own tall frame – is transparently open in just about every whiff of the juice he’s creating.

Breggo’s Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir is furthest along that continuum, a meaty, structured, complex wine that is able to offer grip and heft in a Pinot but still remain pretty and not feel like it’s brooding over your impending doom. Their whites, though, seem to get Hodgins the most excited and that’s probably because, while very good, they’ve yet to achieve the same port of arrival vision he’s got in mind for them. The Gewurztraminer in 2010 is rose-petal central, with ginger and limes, and tasting back to the 2008 showed great potential for laying the tuff down (think vinyl, hazelnuts, lychees, lemons).  Their Riesling is also no joke, with the 2009 being a pretty, floral, pear-wielding, chalky, grapefruity pleasure. I’m looking forward to seeing where this guy takes these wines over the next several years…

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Monday Mini Wine Reviews Round-Up For February 27, 2012

Vinted on February 27, 2012 binned in wine mini-reviews

Uhm, like what is this stuff?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine sample tasting notes via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be fun, quickly-and-easily-digestible reviews. Below is a wrap-up of the twitter reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find them so you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 09 Francois Chidaine Les Lys Moelleux (Montlouis sur Loire): About as full of honeysuckle as U can get w/out actually being a flower. $75 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Francois Chidaine Clos Baudoin (Vouvray): Mr. Clean doesn’t come off this polished. Or lovely. Or focused. Or beguiling, either. $30 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Francois Chidaine Les Bournais (Montlouis Sur Loire): Scrubbed down, cleaned up wooly mammoth delivering citrus fruit to your door $30 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Francois Chidaine Les Choisilles (Montlouis Sur Loire): Limes, cream & more aging potential than most Old Testament characters. $24 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Domaine du Closel Clos du Papillon (Savennières): Demanding much brain power B4 allowing U to down its grapefruity deliciousness. $32 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Charles Joguet Clos du Chene Vert (Chinon): Plummy, dark & lovely, w/ a graphite density that might redefine your image of Chinon. $43 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Charles Joguet Les Petites Roches (Chinon): Dark, peppery, earthy, round & tasty as the main platter from any high-end steakhouse $20 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 11 Charles Joguet Rose (Chinon): Flowers, with berries, in the rock garden. Sprinkle pepper. You will then get the general idea. $22 B >>find this wine>>
  • 06 William Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): For those wanting to connect-the-jam (specifically with black olives). $25 B >>find this wine>>
  • 07 Luneau-Papin Excelsior (Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Cru Communal): On the shore, preparing to sail to an epic battle on foreign soil. $20 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Luneau-Papin Le L d’Or (Muscadet Sèvre & Maine sur Lie): Hello lemon drop, don’t mind if I do just eat you the hell up right now! $18 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Luneau-Papin Terre de Pierre de la Butte de la Roche (Muscadet Sèvre & Maine sur Lie): Come back in 10 years, prepare to be wowed. $23 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 11 Domaine De La Louvetrie Hermine D’Or (Muscadet De Sevre-et-Maine): Complex, nervy, energetic beauty for the price of a cheap date. $12 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 11 Domaine De La Louvetrie Amphibolite Nature (Muscadet De Sevre-et-Maine): Lemon peel, served with crazy amounts of drinkable-ness. $13 B >>find this wine>>
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Weekly Wine Quiz: Say What???

Vinted on February 24, 2012 binned in wine quiz

Welcome to the next installment of the Weekly Wine Quiz!

Based on feedback from ever-so-vocal-and-intelligent peeps just like YOU, I will not be supplying the answer directly in the post – you will need to tune back in later in the comments section for the answer. So you can put your answer in the comments for potential bragging rights later (not that you’d gloat… too much…).

I’m on the road (yes, again!) this week (this time in Napa), so the answer might not be super-speedy in coming (your patience is most appreciated!).

Say What???

This week’s cepage synonym quiz is a tough one! What aromatic white wine grape is also known as Mouhardrebe?

Cheers – and good luck!

 

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Minerals And Mustachios (Can Muscadet Be Aged For The Long Haul)?

Vinted on February 23, 2012 binned in crowd pleaser wines, elegant wines, on the road, overachiever wines, wine review

The short answer to the question posed in the title, for the impatient among you, is “Yes.”

At least 35 years, in fact (maybe more).

The long answer is considerably, well, longer… and a lot more complicated, but those who choose to brave its circuitous path will be rewarded with tidbits of French wine family history, geographical trivia, a short-list of ridiculously overachieving wine bargains from two of the Loire valley’s best Muscadet producers (who have chosen to go beyond the region’s simple-and-saline oyster-pairing quaffers), and a mustache that has to be seen to be believed.

Your call.

But if you’re feeling adventurous…

The tale begins with a tasting of Domaine De La Louvetrie (and said mustache) at the 2012 Salon des Vins de Loire (that region’s annual over-the-top exposé of more than 600 producers, who pour their wares for the media and trade in elaborate booths in a convention center that spans the area of several Manhattan city blocks), and ends with a Luneau-Papin Muscadet from 1976 that showed no signs of slowing down any time soon

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