Posts Filed Under crowd pleaser wines

Twenty Years Maligned (Tasting 1995 Chateau de Sales)

Vinted on February 5, 2015 binned in crowd pleaser wines, wine review
Lunchtime carnage

Lunchtime carnage

I’ve been lax in my wine review coverage throughout the start of 2015 here on 1WD. This is not due to a lack of material (I have late 2014 visits to Red Car and Amici in the coverage pipeline, as well as a tasting of a couple of magnums around the Winter holidays, so the material is stacking up), but I’ve got so much going on on the positive end (professionally) and the negative end (personally) that I haven’t been able to get it together to do those items justice.

Not that I’m starting now, alas.


I tasted something recently (courtesy of a business lunch with local Philly wine guy Bob Trimble) that I found intriguing enough to at least temporarily release me from the dreaded lack-of-formal-featured-reviews rut.

As it turns out, the little number that Bob and I drank over lunch has a negative story of its own, and one that, in retrospect, might be undeserved…

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What We Drank For Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving

Vinted on November 27, 2014 binned in crowd pleaser wines, holidays, kick-ass wines, wine review

Quick, get ready to freak out; I am about to talk about a wine that was not a sample, but for which I paid using my very own hard-earned cash! The atom might destabilize!!

It’s true. About the wine being purchased, I mean, not about the atom (I think).

The short version of the story is that at 1WD HQ, we tend to do a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving meal, in which we indulge in home cooking, and focus on healthier versions of the Turkey Day classics, paired up with lots of wines from the sample pool.

Only this time, I found myself in desperate need of more than the usual pick-me-up, and decided to break into a bottle that I’d picked up on my lonesome, and have been not-so-patiently waiting for an excuse to crack open and enjoy.

As you will see from the inset pic and details below, much of what we drank – including that self-procured vino – are slightly different takes on wine world staples…

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That Old, Old, Old, Old, Old Place In Lodi (A Bechthold Vineyard Cinsault Tasting)

Vinted on November 6, 2014 binned in crowd pleaser wines, elegant wines, kick-ass wines, wine review

Remember when we talked about that old Cinsault vineyard in Lodi?

I mean, that REALLY OLD Cinsault vineyard in Lodi?

The tiny, flat, rectangular Bechthold vineyard – all 25 acres of it, or just about 0.0025% of Lodi’s overall plantings – is an organic, own-rooted, sandy-soil patch of Cinsault in the Mokelumne River area, near the town of Lodi itself. Once just a holdover from a time when such vineyards were being ripped out and replanted in the rip=roaring 1990s, it now counts Turley and Bonny Doon among its clients, with a long waiting list for its fruit.

We can thank German settlers for Bechthold’s orerly layout, which is still owned and farmed by descendants of the family that broke vinous ground there in the late 1800s. Given that phylloxera hit the Cinsault plantings of Europe pretty hard, this little Lodi spot is as close as we’re likely to ever get to original, un-grafted Cinsault. In fact, it’s likely the world’s oldest Cinsault planting.

Farming there is a challenge not just in that the vines are still relatively productive, but also because their age (nearly 130 years) basically guarantees disease. As grape grower Craig Ledbetter told me (and a handful of other Right coast media types) at a recent tasting of Bechthold Cinsault wines held at Brooklyn Wine Exchange (I was a guest of the Lodi Winegrape Commission, which Ledbetter chairs): “at 128 years old, you have to assume that it has it, no matter what disease you’re talking about.”

The results of the wines crafted from this special plot of Earth? Well, I’m not going to say that they’re profound wines, because they’re not; at least, not in the way that we typically think of profundity in wine these days, which is basically in terms of complexity and harmony. But more authentic wines you are unlikely to ever taste. In that sense, they’re wonderful, geek-gasm treasures of juice…

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