Archive for February, 2012

Weekly Twitter Wine Mini Reviews Round-Up For February 4, 2012

Vinted on February 4, 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!

  • 07 Cornerstone Cellars Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Promising glimmer in a blackcurrant, graphite & herbal eye. $75 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Sequana Sundawg Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): Toast more like char, but strawberries & spice more like heaven. $50 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 06 Hopper Creek Winery Merlot (Napa Valley): Maraschino cherries, chocolates, herbs & a lingering, shadowy sense of malaise. $35 B >>find this wine>>
  • NV Cantine Maschio Cadoro Moscato (Moscato Spumante): She is most definitely *not* leaving the bar alone after closing time. $15 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Domaine de Chevalier (Pessac-Leognan): Just as fresh, lively, juicy and inviting as the ripe plummy fruits that it evokes. $90 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Chateau Haut-Bailly (Pessac-Leognan): Such intense, lovely red & black fruit; and such intense, un-lovely, funky-a** stank. $150 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Chateau Pape Clement (Pessac-Leognan): I shouldn’t feel cheated by all the plum, chalk, flowers & big tannins; but, well, I do. $150 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Chateau Pape Clement Blanc (Pessac-Leognan): Milk, honey, & apricots priced for insanely rich fashion designers & biz moguls. $150 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Chateau La Louviere Blanc (Pessac-Leognan): Floral & pretty as a cute woman in a spring dress (carrying baskets of tropical fruit) $42 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Chateau De Fieuzal Blanc (Pessac-Leognan): Offers some smoke, a little vinyl, a lot of cream & pure extract of total seduction. $50 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc (Pessac-Leognan): Any more austere than this & it would have to be a statue (& a v. pretty one at that) $90 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc (Pessac-Leognan): Mouthful of citrus, melon & total gorgeousness; only the patient need apply here, tho. $42 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Chateau Bouscaut Blanc (Pessac-Leognan): Flintier than a revolver, but one wonders if all the chambers were totally filled. $35 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 BenMarco Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendoza): Jack Black of SA Cab; in yer face but belying way more depth & complexity than you’d expect $20 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Anoro Chardonnay (Mendoza): Mountain fruit knocked slightly off its peachy balance by its own oak clogs during the long trip down. $25 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Martellotto Cellars Let The People Decide Red (Santa Barbara): Smokier than just about any backroom at a 1960s political convention $24 B >>find this wine>>



Weekly Wine Quiz: Room To Grow?

Vinted on February 3, 2012 binned in wine quiz

Hereby marketh the fourth installment of the Weekly Wine Quiz! Based on feedback from ever-so-vocal-and-intelligent 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 en route to the Loire wine region this week, for the Salon des Vins de Loire (more on that next week), so the answer may not be quick in forthcoming (depending on how my access to the Global Interwebs fares during those travels); your patience is most appreciated!

Champagne: Room To Grow?

Finishing up our Champagne theme that kicked off the Weekly Wine Quiz, here’s one last question that has to do with the region, and the real backbone of its production!

The Champagne region is home to many storied brands with unique histories, including some that have become household names. You probably know many of the famous few brand names, but do you know how many grape growers actually own the vast majority of Champagne vineyards?

  • A. 19,000
  • B. 12,000
  • C. 5,500
  • D. 1,700

Cheers – and good luck!




Song Of The Happily Depleted Burgundian Bank Account (Domaine Chanson’s 2009 Grand Crus Hit High Notes, And High Prices)

Vinted on February 2, 2012 binned in elegant wines, kick-ass wines, sexy wines, wine industry events, wine review

It’s not often that a wine guy avoids a wine region by choice.

Yet that’s more-or-less where I’ve found myself when it comes to France’s Burgundy, home of both ethereally-exquisite, mind-blowingly-good wines and overpriced, cabbage-in-the-bathwater bad swill, with little to guide the consumer from choosing one over the other apart from painstakingly acquired detailed knowledge of the region’s négociants… and we’ve all go those guys’ details committed firmly to memory, right?!??


And so, when you get invited to a vintage tasting in NYC for a Burgundian producer with whom you have no prior experience, even as a critic-of-sorts you steel yourself for what is surely to be the inevitable dropping of the other shoe; as in, having to taste wines that smell like the other shoe dipped in someone’s droppings.

And then, when you’re not only pleasantly surprised by the outcome – as I was at Blue Fin last week, after going through the 2009 lineup from Père & Fils’ Domaine Chanson – you’re practically blown away… Well, then you have to endure the odd-paired painful pleasure of watching your personal assessment of both that producer’s abilities and your own douchebag rating simultaneously skyrocket. [ Editor’s note: This pain was salved slightly by the fact that Père & Fils’ was pouring bubbly from Champagne producer Bollinger, which they also own, and which I can now tell you from personal experience washes down the taste of crow with elegant, floral appeal. ]

Much of Domaine Chanson’s rise to within-spitting-distance of Burgundy’s upper-echelon (and therefore arguably the wine world’s upper-echelon) can be attributed to the hard work of its President, Gilles de Courcel – an amicable guy with thinning brown hair, a quick smile and eyes that light up when he gets a chance to exercise his borderline-obsessive passion for describing the tiny geography from which Chanson’s top-tier, tiny production Grand Cru wines originate…

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“Proof That Social Media Has Forever Changed The Landscape Of Wine?”

Vinted on February 1, 2012 binned in going pro, wine 2.0, wine news

Well… if this isn’t “proof that social media has forever changed the landscape of wine” (their words, not mine), then I’m not really sure what is.


Ok, so it’s not really proof, but it’s hard to deny the traction when someone like me makes the top 20 in a list like this. And #14?? Seriously?!? WTF?!??

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