Archive for February, 2018

Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For February 26, 2018

Vinted on February 26, 2018 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-ish 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!

  • 13 Rodney Strong Symmetry Meritage Red (Alexander Valley): In time, all of that sweet, elegant wood spice will integrate; but that time will not be short… $50 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Gundlach-Bundschu Mountain Cuvee (Sonoma County): Dependably coming together in an ensemble that's decidedly sexier than the sum of its constituent parts. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay (Chalk Hill): Think, lobster, butter, potatoes, and cheese, and serve it all up in the chilly dead of mid-Winter. $42 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Blason-Louis Haut-Medoc Cru Bourgeois (Bordeaux): This is everything that's right about B-L's unique business model; more of this please… much more… $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Blason-Louis Sancerre (Loire): Sancerre as you don't often see it, namely totally relaxed and just letting everything hang out. $26 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Vilarnau Brut Reserva (Cava): Serve it to your annoying friends who say that all Cava sucks, and watch them furiously backpedal on their no-longer recalcitrant stance. $15 B >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Cantina Campotondo Mezzodi di Campotondo (Orcia): Chewy, and delicious; like, whoops-I-drank-that-entire-bottle-by-myself-with-a-hamburger delicious… $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Poggio Grande Sesterzio Sangiovese (Orcia): All of Sangio's beguiling pieces, still deconstructed but merging inexorably into a cohesive whole. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Podere Albiano Cirie (Orcia): A hefty shot of Merlot gives this spicy Sangio some plusher edges, without losing an ounce of focus or intent. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Val d'Orcia Terre Senesi Sornione Sangiovese Riserva (Orci): For those who like to play fast and loose with their tobacco, spices, and leathery grip. $35 B+ >>find this wine<<
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Wine And Place And Threats (February 2018 Wine Product Roundup)

Vinted on February 21, 2018 binned in wine books, wine products

For February’s wine product sample roundup (in which I cast a critical eye on wine-related stuff that isn’t actually wine), we once again hit the book shelves, with some mixed but ultimately geekily fascinating results…

Shadows in the VineyardFirst up is a long-overdue mention of Maximillian Potter’s account of the train-wreck-style-too-crazy-to-look-away story behind the 2010 threat to poison the vines of Burgundy’s La Romanée-Conti, which produce some of the most sought-after and expensive Pinot Noir wines on the planet (interestingly, the vintage under threat was the same one that I reviewed and – SPOILER ALERT! – everything turned out okay). The book is titled Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World’s Greatest Wine (Twelve Books, 289 pages, about $10), and if that subtitle sounds a bit fawning, it’s also an accurate indication of the book’s only real flaw.

Potter’s an accomplished and experienced former staff writer, and he knows both how to spin a yarn and how to meticulously research his topic, both of which come together masterfully in Shadows in the Vineyard. Be forewarned, however, that Potter also falls into the same trap that has snared countless others who’ve mentioned this fabled Burgundian top-tier producer, which is to mention so often that its wines must be the world’s best that your facial muscles might get a bit tired from all of the ensuing eye-rolling. I mean, we get it already. But in terms of entertaining wine-related reads, this is a top-notch tale…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For February 19, 2018

Vinted on February 19, 2018 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-ish 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!

  • 15 Ravenswood Big River Single Vineyard Designate Zinfandel (Alexander Valley): Aptly named; there is nothing small about this textural, jammy, deliciously-succulent guilty pleasure. $39 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Vines Zinfandel (Sonoma County): Still one of the cooler stories – and one of the better values – in the modern Zin marketplace. $18 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Siduri John Sebastiano Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills): So muscular, sinewy, powerful, and gorgeous, it might as well be a thoroughbred. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Caroso Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo): The theme here is dark-&-robust; that goes for the tobacco, earth, woody, and fruit. Bring the big boy pants! $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rose (South Africa): A bit like German-language opera, where the craft & execution have to overcome the brute force of raw material. $24 B >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Robalino Albarino (Rias Baixas): Lemons and lemons and lemons, all of which are fresh and juuuuuust sweet enough that you can't put them down. $18 B >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Tommasi Rafael (Valpolicella Classico Superiore): Leather, sweet cherries, dried spices, and a penchant for beef stew on really, really cold Winter evenings. $16 B >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Restoran Vinarija Josic Baranja Ciconia Nigra Cuvee (Croatia): For when you want your red chewy, burger-friendly, and meaning business. $12 B- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 G. Descombes Morgon (Morgon): Will make you say things like 'More Morgon!' and actually mean them sincerely without feeling like a dork. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Domaine de Cala Rose (Coteaux Varois en Provence): Yet another reason – not that we needed more – to start your exploratory dry rose journey in Provence. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
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Drunken Globetrotting Good Ideas (Domaine Bousquet Recent Releases)

Vinted on February 15, 2018 binned in crowd pleaser wines, sexy wines, wine review
Anne Bousquet

Anne Bousquet

Anne Bousquet has some of her best ideas when drunk.

This isn’t something that I have experienced firsthand, mind you, but comes by way of her own admission (during an NYC media lunch at which I was recently a guest). And it’s the opinion of her wine-growing father, Jean Bousquet.

More on that later. The point is that some of Anne’s vinous ideas (sober or not) are very, very good. Such as her credo that “we just want to make high quality wines that others can afford.” That one is definitely a winner, as her wares from Domaine Bousquet harken back to a time when many of us marveled at the QPR of Argentina’s wines.

The backstory goes something like this: Anne grew up in a wine-centric family in Southwest France, moving to Minnesota and then Boston to pursue education and work, respectively. While she was busy building up her CV, dad Jean (in the 1990s) decided to plant vines in the Gualtallary Valley of Tupungato in Argentina. Jean knew a good thing when he saw it, favoring the high elevation conditions there and planning to go organic. Anne was in the process of moving to Brussels when dad called, suggesting that she come back to the family biz, which a few years later saw Anne moving yet again to another country to join her father in tiny-put-promising Tupungato as the eventual Domaine Bousquet CEO. Subsequent culture-shock ensued.

“The town of Tupungato hadn’t done much to capitalize on tourism,” Anne told me, ” so the wines really had to step up.” The last few years have seen Tupungato’s more forward-thinking wineries take the lead in terms of the type of gastronomy-focused endeavors that are meant to attract wine-lifestyle-loving tourist dollars to the region. But to do that, the wines have to be worth the trip, which in this case, they are.

By the way, Anne now splits time between Miami (where Bousquet’s importing company is based) and Tupungato, because apparently her passport had a little bit of space left on it…

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