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On The Road | 1 Wine Dude - Page 19

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What Goes Around, Comes Around: The Kermit Lynch Interview!

Vinted on March 6, 2012 under 1WineDude TV, interviews, on the road

While I’m celebrating the 5th anniversary of 1WineDude.com this year, there’s a true living legend who is marking a much more meaningful – and impressive – milestone in 2012.

Importer, author, musician and iconoclast Kermit Lynch has been working in the wine biz for forty years (as long as I’ve been alive). And he’s managed to keep doing it successfully despite the big wine mags mostly labeling his wines “uncool” in favor of more bombastic, oak-infused, pedal-to-the-metal powerhouses.

Well, what goes around, comes around: wines of place, vibrancy, and context are cool again, and no one is cooler in the world of those wine than Kermit himself.

I caught up Kermit him in his Berkley, CA shop in February and geeked out with him over some delicious Corsican wine from Yves Leccia; the kind of wine that hits your palate like a life-force-giving tazer gun, inciting you with an immediate desire to finish the bottle (preferably over dinner and with friends). Kermit kindly agreed to a video interview – a rarity for this guy – which is posted below after the jump.

What does someone with forty years of against-the-grain vinous fortitude have to say about the most transformative moments in nearly half a century in the wine biz? What about the future of the wine world excites someone with that kind of perspective? And more importantly, will he let me play bass on his next album? Watch to find out!…

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Postcard From Cali (Or “Goats, The Hobbit, And Oakville Cab For Prog Rock Geeks”)

Vinted on February 28, 2012 under on the road

I hope you’ll forgive the quick-hit, “I was there, maaaaaan!” style post, but I’m still en medias res on my Napa jaunt, in which I’ve culled the raw material for what I think will be some great content for Playboy.com, Wines.com, and of course keeping the geekiest stuff for right here on 1WD.

But in between under-sleeping and breakfast, I wanted to give you a very brief run-down of a few of the more exciting things to which I was exposed while on the trip so far (other than the 80F weather and sunshine, and partying, I mean).

Leggo My Breggo

Boonville might be a bit of a sleepy little hamlet in Northern CA (okay… not might… and not a little…) but the wine scene in the nearby, relatively cool-ish Anderson Valley growing area is actually quite dynamic, if the poised wines of Breggo Cellars are any indication, anyway.  Breggo, by the way, is Boontling for “goat” (Boontling being a ribald sort-of dialect of American English that “developed” among the local, relatively-isolated farming community in Boonville in the 19th century… and no, I am not making that up).

It seems a bit of a coup that Cliff Lede scooped up Breggo in 2009, and with it their tall, lanky, mild-mannered winemaker Ryan Hodgins. Hodgins is one of those winemakers whose Alsatian-style vision for the wines – nearly as lean and angular as his own tall frame – is transparently open in just about every whiff of the juice he’s creating.

Breggo’s Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir is furthest along that continuum, a meaty, structured, complex wine that is able to offer grip and heft in a Pinot but still remain pretty and not feel like it’s brooding over your impending doom. Their whites, though, seem to get Hodgins the most excited and that’s probably because, while very good, they’ve yet to achieve the same port of arrival vision he’s got in mind for them. The Gewurztraminer in 2010 is rose-petal central, with ginger and limes, and tasting back to the 2008 showed great potential for laying the tuff down (think vinyl, hazelnuts, lychees, lemons).  Their Riesling is also no joke, with the 2009 being a pretty, floral, pear-wielding, chalky, grapefruity pleasure. I’m looking forward to seeing where this guy takes these wines over the next several years…

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Minerals And Mustachios (Can Muscadet Be Aged For The Long Haul)?

The short answer to the question posed in the title, for the impatient among you, is “Yes.”

At least 35 years, in fact (maybe more).

The long answer is considerably, well, longer… and a lot more complicated, but those who choose to brave its circuitous path will be rewarded with tidbits of French wine family history, geographical trivia, a short-list of ridiculously overachieving wine bargains from two of the Loire valley’s best Muscadet producers (who have chosen to go beyond the region’s simple-and-saline oyster-pairing quaffers), and a mustache that has to be seen to be believed.

Your call.

But if you’re feeling adventurous…

The tale begins with a tasting of Domaine De La Louvetrie (and said mustache) at the 2012 Salon des Vins de Loire (that region’s annual over-the-top exposé of more than 600 producers, who pour their wares for the media and trade in elaborate booths in a convention center that spans the area of several Manhattan city blocks), and ends with a Luneau-Papin Muscadet from 1976 that showed no signs of slowing down any time soon

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If You Give A Wine Geek A Savennières…

Vinted on February 16, 2012 under elegant wines, on the road

If you give a wine geek a Savennières, eventually he’ll want to take a trip to Savennières.

If he takes a press trip to Savennières, he’s probably going to want to visit a Chateau.  Even if it snows and it’s bitterly cold. Even if that area of the Loire valley hasn’t seen snow in a damn long while and he didn’t bring his snow boots.

When you take him to the Chateau (in this case, Chateau des Vaults at Domaine du Closel), he’ll want to tour the vineyard, so you’ll have to lend him some galoshes so he can walk around in the snow and take pictures.

After he’s been walking around the vineyards taking pictures, he feet will get (really, really) cold because the galoshes have no lining. If his feet get cold, they’ll go numb and he’ll start walking around like a duck having a rare viral attack on its nervous system while everyone else on the vineyard tour is trying to pay attention to what the vigneronne (in this case, Evelyne de Pontbriand) is telling them about the vines and the special plot of land.

When he starts walking around like a duck having a strange and rare viral attack on its nervous system, everyone else will start to feel sorry for him, so one of them will give him those little chemical hand warmer packs and tell him they’re great for warming up your hands when tasting wine in cold Burgundian wine cellars.

If someone gives him hand warmers, the little wine geek will stick those hand warmers in his galoshes, where they’ll lodge themselves at the ankles, blocking his feet from moving properly and causing him to walk like a 1950s B-horror film alien robot in the snow (when he’s not falling down, that is)…

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