Archive for September, 2012

Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For September 24, 2012

Vinted on September 24, 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!

  • 11 Roark Wine Co Chenin Blanc (Santa Ynez Valley): The journey gets better the farther you go down this rock-strewn freshwater stream. $15 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Andrew Murray Terra Bella Vineyard Grenache (Paso Robles): Spicy & balanced, dusty & floral, jamy & jammin’ on the licorice. $30 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Andrew Murray Watch Hill Vineyard Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley): Portable BBQ of meat, spices, dried herbs, char & raspberry reduction $30 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 11 Andrew Murray Camp 4 Vineyard RGB White (Santa Ynez Valley): Minerality + white flowers + melons = 750ml of crowd-pleasing juice. $25 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 e11even Wines This IS Eleven Red (Central Coast): Dark fruit that’s plummy, toasty & flamboyant, but also pretty damn buoyant. $18 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 e11even Wines Unplugged White (Central Coast): A lot of juicy verve for a tropical, pithy wine that’s going acoustic on us. $18 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Sandhi Bien Nacido Pinot Noir (Santa Rita Hills): Now that’s a spicy (& peppery, & rich, & pithy, & interesting) meatball! $42 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Sandhi Pinot Noir (Santa Rita Hills): Flint & edgy, as if that flint might just give off a spark & catch something on fire. $36 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Sandhi Bien Nacido Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley): The Force (of the mineral water & gorgeous, pithy citrus) is strong in this 1. $45 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Stolpman Angeli Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley): So much heft, yet with so much lift, it’s like a bodybuilder performing Swan Lake. $68 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Stolpman Originals Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley): A focused & complex stare that would befit a a pro poker championship player. $38 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Stolpman Estate Syrah (Santa Ynez Calley): Pepper & flowers, meat & minerals, lift & vibrancy; a sigh wishing more were like this. $28 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Stolpman L’Avion Roussanne (Santa Ynez Valley): Stately, fleshy, toasty, & excellent package sealed with a drop of paraffin. $38 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Francis Ford Coppola Directors Cut Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley): Jam, jam, jam, but with just enough juice to avoid jive talkin’. $25 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Francis Coppola Votre Sante Chardonnay (California): Guiltily hedonistic but refreshing, like a surreptitious quickie at a party. $15 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Mounts Family Winery Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley): Wears leather, will bing chocolates, but is almost creepily enthusiastic. $20 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Pedroncelli Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley): Like spicy dried figs? Well, you just found your liquid happy place. $20 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Bastianich Adriatico Friulano (Colli Orientali): A little peachy, a little funky, a little nutty, a little zesty, a lot refreshing. $16 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Riverbench Mesa Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley): Don’t let the sweet red berries fool ya, it’s serious in that pithy structure. $48 B+ >>find this wine>>



Weekly Wine Quiz: Chillaxin’ (The Fastest Way To Chill A Bottle Of Wine)

Vinted on September 21, 2012 binned in wine quiz

Welcome to the Weekly Wine Quiz, where things are about to get a little… chilly!

Standard disclaimer: based on feedback from ever-so-vocal-and-intelligent peeps like you, I supply the quiz question each week, but I do *not* supply the quiz answer immediately. YOU supply your best guess for the answer in the comments, and then tune back in later today in the comments section for the official answer.

Chilaxin’: Pick the fastest wine chilling combo from the items below.

  • A. Ice
  • B. Ice + Water
  • C. Ice + Water + Salt

Cheers, and good luck!




Getting Hip At The Washington Post, And Raiding The Wine Expense Account With Ornellaia At

Vinted on September 20, 2012 binned in commentary, kick-ass wines, Wined Down (

A couple of weeks ago, I cropped up in two totally unrelated places on the “Global Interwebs” – (which you expected, right?) and The Washington Post (which, admit it, you didn’t expect).

The Washington Post article, titled Some wineries adding a little hip to swirl, sniff and sip routine, was one of those rare instances where I was interviewed for a wine piece and then was actually quoted in the finished work. The quotes I’ve given to reporters have been so… well, probably so damned odd that my contribution to most wine-related article interviews seem to hit the cutting room floor more often than they do any column space. [ UPDATE: the original WP article link is DOA, but looks like Yahoo! News also picked it up so changed links to point to that version. Sorry! ]

I thought it worth mentioning because this particular AP article focused on wineries that were bucking the status quo in order to make trips to their tasting rooms more fun (imagine! the audacity!); the author had nice things to say about recent efforts in that space by Raymond Vineyards, Judd’s Hill and Brooklyn Winery, and at one point quotes me:

“The wine world’s about eight years behind everything with the exception of bottling lines and production techniques,” he says with a laugh.

The thing is, I don’t really recall laughing about it (at least not on the inside); if I did, it was I-work-in-an-office-and-this-Dilbert-strip-is-funny-but-it-also-really-hurts-because-life-in-my-office-is-really-like-that funny. I honestly believe that the wine world generally functions that far behind most other industries, and as amazing as the wine biz is, that lag is one of the most painful things about trying to get anything moving in the biz.

Anyway… on to happier topics…

Read the rest of this stuff »




Finger Lakes Feature Wins International Wine Book Of The Year

Vinted on September 19, 2012 binned in wine books, wine news

Summer in a Glass

Today, a quick-hit to tell you that my friend Evan Dawson’s recently-released book Summer in a Glass: The Coming of Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes just took home the award for “International Wine Book of the Year”at the 2012 Louis Roederer Wine Writing Awards.

I am personally thrilled for Evan, who is having a banner year in 2012 as he kicks ass and takes names across the wine writing spectrum. Evan is the kind of writer whose works make the rest of the on-line wine media world look good.

I’d offer you more thoughts on Evan’s first printed work, but as I’m quoted in it and am clearly biased all I can tell you is that it’s a decidedly well-written humanist take on the stories behind the Finger Lakes wine region. For more non-review thoughts on the book, check out my, well, non-review from a little over a year ago.

Congrats to Evan on such a well-deserved win – my friend, you’re making us proud!




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