Archive for October, 2012

Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For October 8, 2012

Vinted on October 8, 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!

  • 09 Bartinney Cabernet Sauvignon (Stellenbosch): Cassis, cedar & tomato leaf make for strange bedfellows, but they’re tasty bedfellows $29 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 Bartinney Chardonnay (Stellenbosch): Short on the zing, but definitely long on the ripe pears, apricots, pineapple, nuts & vanilla. $25 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • NV Mionetto Prosecco Treviso (Prosecco): Green apple soldiers, sailing into battle on melon rind ships & aggressive bubble propulsion $15 B- >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 La Follette Manchester Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay (Mendocino Ridge): Marzipan, apricots & perfume; quite a way to end the evening. $47 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 La Follette Sangiacomo Vineyard Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast): She ruled forcefully, but she also ruled fairly, & the people loved her $38 A- >>find it at snooth<<
  • 07 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley): Digs in the clay & herbs, then serves berry cobbler for dessert $70 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 Batasiolo Sovrana Barbera d’Alba (Barbara d’Alba): Spices, red plum & the concentrated acid of an entire tomato plant in full fruit $19 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • 06 Batasiolo Vigneto Corda della Briccolina Barolo (Barolo): Chocolate & truffles, & fresher than a closing-time martini bar come-on. $83 A- >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 Y Rousseau Chardonnay Milady (Mt. Veeder): Funky homemade artisan toast w/ white peach, yellow apple & fig jam, hold the butter. $38 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 Domaine Paul Blanck Pinot Gris (Alsace): Definitely has some juicy melony flesh hanging on those pithy, zesty, steely bones. $23 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 Domaine Mittnacht Freres Terre d’Etoiles Pinot Blanc (Alsace): Spice-ed pear; only you have to say it with a thick German accent. $19 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 Domaine Zind Humbrecht Riesling (Alsace): Zesty *and* creamy, like someone just served up a bit of gourmet lime & lychee sorbet. $27 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 Willy Gisselbrecht Tradition Pinot Gris (Alsace): Sweet Lemon drop hovers overhead, & it’s definitely dropping the funk on us, too $16 B- >>find it at snooth<<
  • 11 Seghesio Arneis (Russian River Valley): Then the Italians invaded Northern CA, and the populace was both refreshed & relieved. $22 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • 07 Chateau Serame Corbieres (Corbieres): A warming, fulfilling and rustic homemade stew just got set before your weary, hungry eyes. $15 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 Spotted Owl Vineyards Chardonnay (Mt. Veeder): Fresh, vibrant pineapple, and it’s canned up with a healthy splash of awesome. $45 B+ >>find it at snooth<<



Weekly Wine Quiz: Being A Cretan

Vinted on October 5, 2012 binned in wine quiz

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

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. Got it? Good, let’s boogie!


Being A Cretan: Which of the following grapes are cultivated mostly on the Greek island of Crete?

Cheers, and good luck!




Out From Napa’s Shadow (High End Wines Shine At Taste Of Sonoma 2012)

Vinted on October 4, 2012 binned in crowd pleaser wines, elegant wines, kick-ass wines, on the road, wine review

Message to Sonoma: you’re no longer in your neighbor Napa Valley’s shadow.

You’re not the uncool kid at the dance, the next-to-last picked for the two-hand-touch football game during recess, or the slightly-less-talented and almost-as-comely sister when compared to Napa, at least not on the high-end of the vinous spectrum.

That bit of news flash will come as no surprise whatsoever to those producing and enjoying the best that Sonoma has to offer, many of whom I suspect will email me with encouraging (read: angry) words to let me know just how late I am to that party, but it might make those less familiar with Sonoma’s best wines reconsider their options when next given the opportunity to sample them. And reconsider they should, because Sonoma has probably never produced high-end wines quite as good as those that they’re making now.

That was the main takeaway for me when I attended the 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend festivities as a media guest, a multi-event held across the Labor Day weekend and culminating in an Indian-themed (yeah, I didn’t get it, either) auction (their 20th) that raised over $1.6 million for Sonoma-area non-profits. Auction highlights for me included chatting about wines of character with real character viticulturalist Phil Coturri, talking with screenwriter-turned-proprietor Robert Kamen about penning The Professional (because that flik is just awesome), and drinking a bit too much of Joel Peterson’s gorgeously spicy 1997 Ravenswood Belloni Vineyard Zinfandel blend (spookily, Joel had near-perfect-detail recollection of our first meeting back in 2008…).

But I found my highest highlight (if you will) before the auction event, at the “Club Reserve” area of the 33rd annual Taste of Sonoma event (held at MacMurray Ranch)… because that’s where I got properly schooled in real high-end Sonoma juice…

Read the rest of this stuff »




Millennial Wine Marketing Misfire (Note To High-End Vino Producers: You Don’t Have An “Entry-Level” Wine)

Vinted on October 2, 2012 binned in commentary, wine buying

If you’re a wine producer and calling, say, your refreshing but probably overpriced (c’mon, let’s be honest) $35 Sauvignon Blanc an “entry level” wine, you might be missing the trick with both the older (now in the 30s) and younger (just reaching legal drinking age) Millennial generation.

That conclusion isn’t based on reams of hard data (believe me, I tried to find those reams, and no one has them… yet…), and so I will go ahead and do you the favor of substantially undermining my own argument here before I even start. But… there are some signs in the wine marketplace worth mentioning, signs that might be of concern to those vintners who offer “lower-priced” wines over $25 labeled as “entry level,” secondary products without as much focus as their high-end stuff. And they are signs that suggest that the target markets don’t consider those wines as much “entry level” (a term they most likely associate with “affordable”) as they do “splurge.”

Consider these tidbits:

Which means that your “entry level” wine is actually splurge material for most Millennials, and yet is probably marketed as an adjunct to your “real” wines (the more expensive ones) that most of them can’t afford even if they’re splurging. Hellooooo, mixed messages!…

Read the rest of this stuff »




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