Archive for August, 2012

Freedom, Liberty And The Pursuit Of One Of Barossa’s Best Reds (Langmeil Recent Releases)

Vinted on August 9, 2012 binned in crowd pleaser wines, kick-ass wines, on the road, overachiever wines

I have a confession to make. I hate the word “freedom.”

Rather, I hate the misuse of the word freedom; because, at the risk of sounding like an unpatriotic American, I’ve noticed that most of the time people use “freedom” when they really mean “liberty” (the latter of which, unlike the former, constitutes non-contradictory inherent states of being and is actually the idea most people have in mind when they talk about the principles upon which the USA was founded). Of course, I’m still red-blooded enough of an American to call myself “American” and laugh when the Canadians also call themselves “American” (Canadian: “Where are you from, eh?” Me: “I’m an American.” Canadian: “Well, I’m an American, too – a North American.” Me: “Awww… that is soooo cute!”).

Anyway, today I officially wrap up coverage of my two-week Australia jaunt earlier this year as a guest of Wines of Australia, recounting a visit to what must be one of the wine world’s most special places: what’s believed the oldest surviving shiraz vineyard in the world, first planted in 1843 by Christian Auricht, who emigrated his family to South Australia to escape religious persecution in Prussia.

And in that sense, the name of Aubricht’s 3.5 acre alluvial loam, red clay, limestone and ironstone Tanunda vineyard – now tended by Barossa producer Langmeil – is not only poignant but also apt (and, I’d add, technically correct!): The Freedom 1843 Shiraz Vineyard.

The wine produced from it shares the same name, and it just might reinvigorate your faith in Southern Hemisphere Shiraz from the persecution of overly-extracted, soda-pop, wanna-be Shiraz plonk

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Poetry Inn And Traveling Like A “One-Percenter” For

Vinted on August 8, 2012 binned in going pro, Wined Down (

Last week, I made a foray into a (sort of) non-wine related piece of writing for’s Nightlife section, contributing to what they call the “1% Travel Guide.”

The idea behind that guide is to feature travel destinations so remote, or so extreme, or so exclusive, or so expensive (or some combination of the four) that 99% of us will likely never get to experience them.

Some of us get to piggy-back on that world, though. We usually go by the title of “winemaker” or “wine media,” and I fall into the latter category. Which means that occasionally I get hosted in surroundings that are ridiculously beautiful and/or ridiculously expensive, because I’m not fitting most/any of the bill myself. When I visited Napa as a guest of C. Milan Communications earlier this year, that’s precisely where I found myself, so I pitched the idea to Playboy about giving my hotel at that time – the Poetry Inn, owned by Cliff Lede (yes, that Cliff Lede, whose Stags Leap wine facility is visible from the Inn’s hillside perch, so this is actually a little bit wine-related) – a possible feature in the 1% section.

Since I got paid for the piece, I can now afford what I’d calculate to be a few minutes stay back in the Poetry Inn’s suite…

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1WineDude TV Episode 52: Alexandra Manousakis On The Challenges (and Ironies!) Of Crete’s Modern Wine Biz

Vinted on August 7, 2012 binned in 1WineDude TV, interviews, on the road

In this episode of 1WineDude TV, I talk (on location!) with with Alexandra Manousakis, whose family makes wine from Rhone varieties on the Greek island of Crete. Aside from prettying up things here on 1WDTV, Alexandra gives us an insider’s take on Crete winemaking history, along with her insights on the challenges facing Cretan wine on the international stage. Yes, the cicadas are annoying (believe me, I removed 90% of their noisy asses from the video already!); get over it, and enjoy…

1WineDude TV Episode 52: The Challenges (and Ironies!) of the Modern Crete Wine Biz




Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For August 6, 2012

Vinted on August 6, 2012 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!

  • 00 Sandeman Vau Vintage Vintage Port (Porto): Spicy, dark, viscous & struggling with the weight of its own generous fruit burdens. $40 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • NV Sandeman Founders Reserve Port (Porto): Just enough pepper & fresh blue fruits & figs to stave off all those woody staves. $19 B >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Derby Wine Estates Derbyshire Vineyard Pinot Noir (San Luis Obispo): Rhubarb gets its due as a main course, sides of meat & toast. $36 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay (Dundee Hills): A spar between pithy citrus peel, sweet tropical fruit, & creamy luxury $55 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Puiatti Zuccole Pinot Grigio (Fruili): Like lemon, apple, melon cleaned clearly in mineral water; why go to any other PG region? $13 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Feudi Di San Marzano Primitivo (Puglia): Tone down your average CA Zin, keep a hint of the jaminess & add a healthy dash of pepper $12 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Tormaresca Neprica (Puglia): Negroamaro, Primitivo, & Cab all playing nice with leather, cassis, licorice, & plummy toys. $10 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Famlia Eguren Vinedos de Paganos La Nieta (Rioja): Has character, like Antonio Banderas when he’s acting & not going thru motions. $145 A >>find this wine>>
  • 05 Vinedos de Paganos El Puntido Gran Reserva (Rioja): Sandalwood, pepper, dusty earth, dark cherry, red plums & perfumey elegance. $56 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Vinedos de Paganos El Puntido (Rioja): Lift, leather, lilting flowers; marred only by a bit too heavy a syrupy maple oak dollop. $56 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Sierra Cantabria Organza (Rioja): Fruit cocktail in a glass now, but structured enough to carry that tropical fruit some distance. $29 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Sierra Cantabria Amancio (Rioja): Old school savory, floral, toasty Rioja gets focused, minty, plummy – & damn excellent – turn. $145 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Sierra Cantabria Finca El Bosque (Rioja): Finely hewn & muscular, from densely-packed tobacco & black cherry to toasty finish. $145 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Senorio de San Vicente Rioja (Rioja): Hairy Tempranillo chewing black raspberry, snorting dried herbs & spitting smoke tobacco $56 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Sierra Cantabria Reserva Unica (Rioja): Don’t let the wood fool ya, things get spicy, plummy, fresh & bright before it’s all over. $29 B >>find this wine>>
  • 04 Sierra Cantabria Gran Reserva (Rioja): Give it time in the glass, those dried blueberries, cherries, tobacco & licorice are shy. $38 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Marques de Caceres Rose (Rioja): Its Strawberry brings a little crowd-pleasing sunshine, but its bite brings a little bit of rain. $11 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Skouras Megas Oenos (Peleponnese): Under that veil of oak spice stands cassis, graphite, confidence & an affinity for skirt steak. $25 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Skouras Saint George Aghiorghitiko (Nemea): Like Cab Franc’s talented lil’ brother; leather, sour dark cherry & big bro’s spiciness $15 B >>find this wine>>



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