Posts Filed Under kick-ass wines

Pinooooooooooh Yeeeeaaaah (Two Exceptional Pinot Noir Recent Releases)

Vinted on April 7, 2016 binned in kick-ass wines, wine review

Sometimes, the wine sample pool giveth, sometimes the wine sample pool taketh away (usually it taketh away my hope), and sometimes – very rarely – the wine sample pool giveth and then giveth some more.

Today’s focus is the latter; two Pinot Noir recent releases that are downright exceptional. Exceptional enough that I drank the shiz out of tasted them over several days. You know, just to be sure.

The first comes from a producer with which I’m peripherally familiar, having sampled some of their wares over the years, and been suitably impressed enough with their Sonoma releases to have featured one of them in the 2012 Most Interesting Wines of the Year round-up. I have even forgiven that producer – Donum Estate – for their borderline-garish tagline (“the gift of the land…” man, it’s even painful to type that).

The second is the inaugural release from Louis Jadot Estates‘ recently-acquired Résonance Vineyard; and it’s an effort that hits it so far out of the park at its first at-bat that it probably has well-established Yamill-Carlton producers ripping their hair out…

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I Find Your Lack Of Impromptu Opera Singing Disturbing (VINO2016 Highlights)

Last month, I was a media guest for VINO2016, the annual Italian multi-day info-tasting event held in New York City.

As it was last year, this year’s incarnation proved an enlightening experience, both in terms of the breadth of Italian wine offerings not yet widely available Stateside, and in the informative nature of the panel discussions. I can, however, tell you – with the requisite amount of false humility – that nothing in VINO2016 compared to the epic-ness of my panel last year, which included impromptu opera singing.

Vittorio Moretti

Vittorio Moretti, about to crack open some awesomeness (more on that in a few minutes)

But still, an informative event for both palate and brain. Also, how often does a guy like me get to shake down other attendees such as legendary wine educator Kevin Zraly for money (more on that development in the coming months)?

Anyway, let’s get to the vinous stars of the VINO2016 showcase…

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Lights, Camera, Non-Douchebaggery (Ehlers Estate Recent Releases)

Vinted on February 25, 2016 binned in crowd pleaser wines, kick-ass wines, wine review

“I was delayed, I was way-laid
An emergency stop
I smelt the last ten seconds of life…”

– The Smiths, “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before

Sometimes getting a late start can be a good thing.

At least, that’s the kind of thing that I like to tell myself when I finally get around to writing up a tasting almost five months after it happened.

Take Ehlers Estate winemaker Kevin Morrisey’s foray into Napa Valley viticulture as an example.

Originally from Media, PA, he began his winemaking career at the age of thirty-five, when he enrolled at UC Davis to study oenology. Prior to that, Morrisey was a junior Hollywood cameraman, slugging out a living behind the lens in Paris and Los Angeles.

Kevin Morrisey

Kevin Morrisey (image: ehlersestate.com)

When I met him for a tasting lunch in NYC late in 2015, he struck me as the kind of Napa Valley personality that isn’t attempting to hide any douchebaggery, simply because he doesn’t seem to have any douchebaggery to hide. That might come from his Media childhood, or the fact that he’s now making wine with “relative autonomy” (though Ehler’s owners, Leducq Foundation, does require them to “be profitable”), or that he’s still just tickled pink to work for a winery in the Valley that has a real backstory to it (Sacremento grocer Bernard Ehlers founded the winery in 1886, after paying for its 42 acres in gold coin).

“It’s nice in Napa to have a stone barn that’s actually, you know, real stone!” he told me.

And that, to me, kind of sums up the sense of genuine pride and confidence and non-douchey-moxie with which Morrisey presents himself; it’s a sense that also permeates the Ehlers wines that he has made since coming on board in 2009.

To wit…

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