Archive for October, 2017

Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For October 16, 2017

Vinted on October 16, 2017 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!

  • 14 Sedger David Syrah (Rogue Valley): The view through this glass is smoky, dark, & dense; but what you can see is darn attractive. $42 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 The Hess Collection Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon (Mount Veeder): Supple and gorgeous; or, it will be in about 7 or so years. $62 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Stewart Merlot (Napa Valley): All of the notes in the Merlot chorus are being hit in tune here, you just need to listen for them. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Micheal Shaps Honah Lee Vineyard Petit Manseng (Monticello): The Manseng equivalent of sultry characters in a political intrigue. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Piera Martellozzo 1899 075 Carati Millesimato Extra Dry (Prosecco): From straw to creamy peach & nary a tasty beat missed. $NA B >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Monte Tondo Casette Foscarin (Soave Classico): Lemon zest and nuts can be sexy. Seriously, I'm not kidding; and neither is this. $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Basilisco Teodosio (Aglianico del Vulture): Plum, dark chocolate truffles, and vanilla, wrapped up in exquisitely smooth leather. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Weingut Oekonomierat J. Geil Scheurebe Kabinett (Rheinhessen): Flowers, spice, and more than just a kiss of candied pear. $16 B >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux Brut (Languedoc-Roussillon): Apples, flowers, & a friendly disposition when it comes to food. $13 B >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Gerard Bertrand Cuvee Thomas Jefferson Cremant de Limoux Brut (Languedoc-Roussillon): C'mon, now you're just kind of showing off. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<

 

 

California Wine Country Fires – How To Help

Vinted on October 12, 2017 binned in wine news

By now, most of you reading this will have at least some knowledge of the devastation that is impacting Northern California wine country in the wake of over one dozen fires that, at the time of this writing, have left over twenty people dead, burned more than three thousand or more structures to the ground, and has consumed roughly 170,000 acres (for some perspective, that is and area larger than the city of Chicago).

Because the situation is changing rapidly due to weather conditions, it will be some time before we know the true impact to the wine businesses in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino, and to the lives of the people who are at the heart of those businesses. For those of you who are looking for details on the impact, WineBusiness.com blog is keeping a list of winerires destroyed or damaged in the blazes.

Personal reports sent to me by those in the area all have one thing in common: the situation is just as bad – if not worse – than depicted in news reports.Fortunately, a good number of the people that I know in those areas have checked in as safe, but how the fires have affected harvests, aging wines in storage, inventory, vineyards… we’re not going to know the extent of that anytime too soon. The feeling of near-helplessness from the Left Coast as friends tell me they are evacuating their homes (some multiple times) has been, in a word, heartbreaking.

What those of us who are remote and care deeply about those gorgeous areas, their beautiful wines, and their wonderful people can do, however, is donate to those funds that are in a position to do something to help. Following are donation links provided by McCue Marketing Communications:

Please consider donating.

Thank you!

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DallA(l)s(ace)? (Hugel Recent Releases)

Vinted on October 11, 2017 binned in crowd pleaser wines, elegant wines, kick-ass wines, on the road, wine review

Hugel front

When I visited venerable Alsatian wine icon Hugel on a media jaunt earlier this year (2017), they were nary a year removed from the family tragedy of Etienne Hugel’s untimely death, and their CEO had left the company the week prior to my visit. When I mentioned to 13th-generation family member Marc-André Hugel that many of the faces in their most recent welcome video could no longer be found with the company, he quipped “You remember [the tv show] Dallas? It’s just like that here.”

Marc-André Hugel

Marc-André Hugel

If anything defines Hugel, it’s probably that combination of reverential, hard working focus and tongue-in-cheek, cavalier acceptance that Marc-André displayed with affable gusto during my visit. Which isn’t surprising, considering that if you took too seriously the things with which Hugel has to deal on a regular basis, you’d probably blow a gasket. As Marc-André put it, “having a company in the middle of a 2,000-year-old city is… not easy…”

Hugel makes about one million bottles of wine annually, exporting them to over 100 countries, and is fond of testing out new tech in the cellar (to wit: they claim to be the first company in the world to employ a robo-palette). But that cellar dates from 1543, and happens to be near the center of the improbably precious town of Riquewihr. The oldest barrel therein dates back to the early 1700s (full disclosure: I might have crawled inside of it… also, they generate some downright impressive tartrate deposits). The combination of relatively large production, modern touches, and ancient surroundings requires the careful use of their restricted (and highly regulated) space.

Life in the vineyards is equally “not easy.” Their most famous is probably Schoenenbourg (which Marc-André described as “my whole fortune!”); not only does it sits within spitting distance of Riquewihr, but it has, at its steepest extent, slopes that are around thirty-five degrees. Add to that farming difficulty the pressure of maintaining a site that has been revered for hundreds of years (Voltaire is said to have once owned holdings there, for example, which might explain where the Hugel clan gets some of their humor)…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For October 9, 2017

Vinted on October 9, 2017 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 Klipfel Gewurztraminer Kirchberg de Barr Clos Zisser (Alsace): Spice, honey, salt, flowers, stone fruits, all of them swoon-worthy $NA A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Pinot Gris (Alsace): Think melons, only with texture that's roughly 300X more interesting. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Pinot Blanc (Alsace): A lot of tropical clarity for not a lot of your hard-earned shells. $15 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 98 Emile Boeckel Chardonnay Extra Brut (Cremant d'Alsace): Gorgeously stunning; an artisinal bakery next to a high-end oyster bar. $NA A >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Domaine Marcel Deiss Langenberg (Alsace): Where salt & sultana meet near the Vosges, you'll find a killer value in white elegance. $35 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir (North Canterbury): Ans so witness a shining rising star well on its ascendant path in the Southern sky. $23 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Philippe Gonet Blanc de Blancs Brut Signature (Champagne): The only things that go down any easier are probably air and water. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Troon Blue Vermentino Cuvee Rolle (Applegate Valley): Playing in true blue fashion to the vibrant, intriguing Vermentino tune. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Rain Dance Vineyards Nicholas Vineyard Estate Chardonnay (Chehalem Mountains): Another zesty, generous example of OR Chard pride. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Violets, & pretty much all the other colors of the gorgeous Napa Cab rainbow $72 A- >>find this wine<<
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