Archive for January, 2014

Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For January 13, 2014

Vinted on January 13, 2014 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!

  • 10 Fields Family Wines Sherman Family Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi): Please queue MJ's "PYT" for this pretty one's theme song. $24 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Kidder Family Winery Duet (Lodi): Those sour cherries have all the rustic charm they'll need, they could lose the spiffy oak suit. $24 B >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Harney Lane Albarino (Lodi): Kicking back, laughing & parting in the tropics; leave the cares & worries with the corkscrew, please. $19 B >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Chateau de Campuget Le Campuget Grenache Viognier (Vin de Pays du Gard): Sometimes, simplicity just happens to be its own reward. $10 B- >>find this wine<<
  • 04 Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut (Champagne): Melons & marzipan, and the ability to bestow +75 charisma to almost any player. $64 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Terlato Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Fancies itself a bit of a cocoa-&-blueberry dandy; and, well, it is. $84 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Terlato Episode Red (Napa Valley): The episode that's not to be missed is the episodic finish on this spicy, succulent beauty. $180 A >>find this wine<<
  • 12 LeSaffre Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast): The Tekken Ling Xiaoyu of Chardonnay, petite but powerful; & in this case dining on oysters. $55 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 05 Laurent de Bescombes Singla Heritage du Temps (Rivesaltes Ambre): Romancing the rancio, with amber colored gems & sweet talk. $49 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico (Valpolicella Classico): And visions of dried sugarplums danced through your tonsils. $70 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Yalumba The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz (Barossa): Inked in sweet, spiced plums, herbs & an accomplished, confident air. $54 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Jim Barry Wines The Lodge Hill Riesling (Clare Valley): You're about to get intimately familiar with the secret lives of limes. $19 B+ >>find this wine<<

 

 

Remember That Time It Got *Really* Cold? And We Had That $500 Cognac? (Frapin Extra Grand Champagne Cognac)

Vinted on January 9, 2014 binned in kick-ass wines, wine review

While you’re reading this, most of the U.S. will have just crawled out from under some of the most bitter winter cold to hit the country in over a decade. Not so much cold that gets into your bones so much as cold that gets into your soul, the kind of cold that embitters otherwise cheerful people towards life itself. This is Chill, With Extreme Prejudice.

I mention this “so frosty, this blows” scenario as contextual backdrop, because I couldn’t find a wine to match it in the sample pool. I had to turn to spirits to get my insides even close to a state resembling warmth.

Spirits are an appropriate choice, I think, for weather that cares not whether you live or die. And that’s because spirits aren’t drinks that care, either.

Really, if you try to imaginatively personify anything over 20% alcohol by volume, you come up with something that really doesn’t give a rat’s tookus what you think about it. When you get to 80-proof distilled spirits, you’re entering the honey-badger-don’t-give-a-f*ck territory of drinks.

In some ways, you gotta love the gaudily impressive sample of cognac that I had on hand, Frapin’s Extra Grande Champagne “Premier Cru” Cognac. A female acquaintance told me, upon tasting it, that “it makes me make ‘a face’,” scrunching up her nose. “That’s okay,” I answered, “don’t feel bad, it doesn’t give a damn what you think about it…”

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Why Rare Wine Collecting Is Kind Of Like Having Sex With Animals (Thoughts On The Rudy Kurniawan Fraud Trial)

Vinted on January 7, 2014 binned in best of, commentary, wine news

By now, you’ll probably have heard that alleged fine wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan has been found guilty of fraud in court (well, he was found guilty of wine fraud during trial in court, not found guilty within a court, although technically actually he was found guilty within a court room… oh, forget it).

You’ll also, no doubt, be nursing a raging New Year’s Eve hangover. So I’ll try to make this pithy since most likely I will also be nursing some manner of raging NYE hangover.

In the event that you’re a self-professed wine geek who hasn’t yet gotten up to speed on the whole Kurniawan Kerfuffle, I recommend taking a quick diversion over to the fine summary of Kurniawan’s alleged fraudulent activities at NPR, so that you can do a rapid catch-up.

All set? Good. Now I can explain why Kurniawan’s guilty verdict means almost nothing whatsoever to the fine wine market, and why I think it will almost certainly not even make a dent in the purchases of fraudulent wine worldwide.

But, in order to do that, I first need to explain why the collecting of rare fine wines is like having sex with animals

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For January 6, 2014

Vinted on January 6, 2014 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!

  • 08 Banfi Brunello di Montalcino (Brunello di Montalcino): Now *that's* a spicy meatball; & a lively, pretty, refined one, too. $65 A- >>find this wine<<
  • NV Vallformosa Origen Brut Rosado (Cava): Not really a graceful host, but certainly a really gracious – and really generous – host. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Dierberg Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley): A spa where the specialty is rubbing ripe mango & flowers all over you to soothing tunes $32 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Dierberg Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley): Spicy, bold, earthy &amp; sporting juuuust a touch too much of that white boy style funk $34 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Dierberg Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley): Running rough shod at the end, but you'll start smooth, & land in brambly sage when it's done. $34 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Dierberg Drum Canyon Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills): Close to the vest, nuanced intrigue starring pepper, tea & spices. $44 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Star Lane Cabernet Sauvignon (Santa Ynez Valley): Generous with the mint & figs, & that structured finish sure ain't messin around $44 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Star Lane Sauvignon Blanc (Happy Canyon): Tropical fruits, leaping about in an energetic jig on a short-cut lemon grass carpet. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria (Sicilia): 100 yr old vines, 203g residual sugar, and about 1000 pounds of awesome $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Franciscan Cuvee Sauvage Chardonnay (Carneros): More nuanced vitality – & penchant for lemon verbena – than you were expecting. $40 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Franciscan Mangificat Meritage Red (Napa Valley): Prefers cedar utensils, a good cigar, & kicking dust off its boots at day's end. $50 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Artadi El Seque Monastrell (Alicante): Getting a little soft in the middle, otherwise it's all chalky anise-filled plummy goodness $40 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Luc Belaire Rare Rose (France): Everything's coming up roses; whether you like roses or not, that's what you're getting, dammit. $34 B >>find this wine<<

 

 

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