Archive for February, 2014

1WineDude TV Episode 59: In Pursuit Of Balance (And Ridiculously Good California Pinot) 2014

Vinted on February 27, 2014 binned in 1WineDude TV, elegant wines, on the road, wine review

Two years ago, after tasting at the 2012 incarnation of the In Pursuit of Balance event (a bi-coastal roadshow of largely classy, vibrant, and restrained California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay offerings), I expressed surprise at the quality of wines coming out of the collaboration between sommelier Raj Parr and winemaker Sashi Moorman.

So after tasting at the 2014 incarnation of IPOB in NYC earlier this year, I shouldn’t have been surprised at the quality of wines coming out of the collaboration between sommelier Raj Parr and winemaker Sashi Moorman.

But I was, because where they’d hit it out of the park in 2012, they launched it clear out of the park, bounced it off the hood of a shiny Corvette Stingray convertible in the stadium parking lot, and sent just about into escape velocity and geosynchronous orbit in 2014. But more on that in a minute or two, after you watch the interview I did with Raj’s cohort and IPOB’s co-founder Jasmine Hirsch, to discuss the impetus behind the event, and how they graduated from brainstorming a wish list of participating winemakers and wines on the back of a cocktail napkin, to formally selecting the IPOB touring lineup. [ Special thanks to The Drunken Cyclist for the camerawork, and to Jasmine for staving off minor starvation for a few minutes so we could chat on vid. ]

1WineDude TV Episode 59: In Pursuit of Balance with Jasmine Hirsch

All done? Good. Now let’s get to the tasting notes, because in this case, the wines themselves are most definitely the story…

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February 2014 Answers.com Wine Articles Roundup (Snowmaggedon Edition)

Vinted on February 25, 2014 binned in going pro

After the most recent Snowmaggedon, which, if I’ve got my facts straight, is the 47th of the current Winter season, I can now tell you that I hate snow and ice. I think it’s only temporary, but I currently hate snow and ice with a fiery passion that rivals the hot intensity of the Earth’s molten core.

I hate snow as much as I hate the Dallas Cowboys. Ok, ok, you’re right, that’s extreme. Of course I hate the Dallas Cowboys more than I hate snow and ice (Go Steelers, etc., etc., etc.). I think.

Anyway… despite the number that snow shoveling has done to my poor degenerative-disk-laden back this past month, I did manage to maintain a sitting posture long enough to construct quite a few Wine.Answers.com articles for your wine-learning pleasure, including a few interviews with rock-star winemakers, a book review of what I consider to be a downright classic in the wine canon, and a comparison of some wine cellar monitoring tech that I put through the ringer…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For February 24, 2014

Vinted on February 24, 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!

  • 09 Tres Sabores Petite Sirah (Napa Valley): How about that; the decor of this former man cave had seen the touch of a feminine hand. $45 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): The haul might not be a long one, but the seats are leather & the living is large $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Domaine de La Rectorie Cuvee Leon Parce Banyuls (Banyuls): And aaaalllll the chocolate ants are marching… & drinking… a lot… $45 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Masut Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (Mendocino): Unquiet slumbers for the sleepers… in that quiet, toasty, meaty, dark earth $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Chateau Les Pins Muscat de Rivesaltes (Roussillon): Freewheeling, but anchored with sweet orange blossom & exotic fruit wheel pins. $15 B >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Tenuta Regaleali Lamuri Nero d'Avola (Sicilia): Currants that came here to kick ass & chew sage, and it's *almost* outta sage. $17 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier (Eden Valley): A wild, frenetic, modern mini-symphony, played with passionate abandon & obvious skill $19 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache (Barossa): Awesome for all the same reasons that spicy, peppery beef jerky is also totally awesome. $19 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Montepulciano): If you only knew the spicy, sweet, savory power of the Dark Fruit Side! $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV G.H. Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut (Champagne): Fresh apples that are crisp, tangy, focused, & gliding at high speed on a biscuit luge. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
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The Godfather, The Orc, & Timeless Spaghetti Westerners (Ravenswood Single Vineyard Zinfandel Recent Releases)

Vinted on February 20, 2014 binned in crowd pleaser wines, kick-ass wines, on the road, wine review

My third run-in with Joel Peterson – founder of Ravenswood, ZAP Association board of directors member, and dubbed “the godfather of Zinfandel” – might have been the most interesting one to date. And that’s saying something, considering that the first time I met him (to talk about the potential of East Coast wines) he tried to turn the meeting around and interview me, and the second time I ran into him was at Taste of Sonoma during which he was decked out in Indian garb. And a cowboy hat.

It was at that Sonoma event that Peterson poured me some of his 1997 Ravenswood Belloni Vineyard Zinfandel blend, a gorgeously spicy introduction to a side of the Ravenswood juggernaut that many don’t get to see, primarily because so little of their single-vineyard designate Zins are made (usually under 1500 cases for each release).

During my jaunt north to attend New Hampshire Wine Week (about which there will be more written on these virtual pages, assuming something resembling free time appears within the next couple of weeks and it isn’t booked solid with appointments to shovel more goddamned snow out of my goddamned driveway), I spent a good deal of time with Peterson, during which we gabbed, drank (particularly the deliciously overachieving 2009 Ravenswood Pickberry Vineyards Red blend), ate (a lot), and generally laughed at the beauty and absurdity of the modern wine world. Ok, mostly the absurdity.

We also talked Zinfandel; rather, Joel talked Zinfandel and I got schooled on it, the results of which have been chronicled over at Wine.Answers.com in the form of an introduction to Zinfandel wine through Peterson’s eyes, as well as a history lesson about the grape, in which its true, original name is compared to an Orc from Tolkien’s The Silmarillion.

Luckily for me, I got to tag along with Peterson as he poured for patrons of NH’s flagship wine outlet (“Store #69”), which afforded an opportunity to get reacquainted with Belloni, along with some of its other single-vineyard brethren…

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