Posts Filed Under sexy wines

Wine in the Time of Coronavirus, Part 5 (“Courage of Convictions” with Smith-Madrone)

Vinted on July 1, 2020 binned in elegant wines, kick-ass wines, sexy wines, wine review

Smith-Madrone Cabs

The latest in the steady stream of sipping during SIP virtual tastings brings up back to longtime friend of 1WD Stu Smith, one of the masterminds behind Napa Valley’s well-regarded Smith-Madrone.

If you’ve spent any appreciable time perusing this little website, then you know that Smith is smart, verbose, and opinionated – all of which are a wine writer’s wet dream (ok, that came out totally wrong, but you get the idea), and all of which were on typically intriguing display when I (and a handful of fellow wine-media-critic-types) recently tasted through some of the recent Smith-Madrone releases with Stu via Zoom meeting.

Speaking of intriguing, that’s a fitting descriptor for Smith’s wines in general…

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Wine in the Time of Coronavirus, Part 4 (Legendary Zinfandel Vineyards)

Vinted on June 25, 2020 binned in crowd pleaser wines, elegant wines, sexy wines, wine review

Zinfandel 2020 tasting

Virtual (a.k.a., remote) tastings have been a thing for several years (hell, I was involved in some of the very first… daaaaannnng, remember those?!?), but they’ve positively (and virtually/figuratively) exploded during this time of SIP sipping.

This has been a welcome surprise and a needed respite, since some of us (myself included) are unable to hit the road at the moment, due to a combination of factors (one of which, of course, is not wanting to unnecessarily tussle with a global pandemic when one has regular contact with high-risk loved ones).

This latest dip into SIP (Sipping In Place?) comes courtesy of my friend Robert Larsen, who organized a tasting themed on some of legendary Zinfandel vineyards of California. My thoughts on each liquid entrant are below. As always, Robert provided an educational, entertaining, and high-octane good time, even if we all couldn’t actually clink glasses together IRL (where possible, I have included the words of the folks representing each brand to provide some context on why the vineyards are special)…

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Alentejo Postcard, Part 1 (Cartuxa Recent Releases)

Vinted on June 4, 2020 binned in elegant wines, kick-ass wines, on the road, sexy wines, wine review

Cartuxa vines

Portugal’s Cartuxa is fairly well-known for being one of two wineries run by a wide-ranging non-profit foundation (focusing on developing the Évora region culturally). It’s equally well-known for being named after a monastery and having roots going back to 15th Century Jesuit monks, and still employing amphora from the 1800s.

CartuxaBut Cartuxa is most famous for producing one of Portugal’s most sought-after and historically expensive dry wines: the (arguably overpriced) Pêra-Manca Tinto, a wine that I’m not even going to discuss here, since during my media visit to Cartuxa back in December it wasn’t even poured.

Despite getting Heismaned pretty hard on the PM Tinto pour, I can’t help but have a great deal of respect for Cartuxa, and not just because of their foundation’s mission of community development; their more affordable wines are, simply put, damned good ones…

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Wine in the Time of Coronavirus, Part II (Alma de Cattleya & Lucia Recent Releases)

Vinted on April 30, 2020 binned in crowd pleaser wines, kick-ass wines, sexy wines, Uncategorized, wine review

2020 Zoom 1

Gotta love the modern wine biz. Despite our penchant for socialization being tampered down by the (entirely reasonable) shelter-in-place orders (courtesy of our current global pandemic), we always manage to find a way to not have to always drink alone!

Last week, I was part of a cast of online wine peep characters taking part in a live tasting of new releases from Alma de Cattleya and Lucia wines, who happen to be made by Bibiana González Rave and Jeff Pisoni, respectively, who also happened to join us for the virtual tasting, and who also happen to be married to one another in a modern embodiment of a winemaking power couple scenario. As González Rave told us regarding their relationship, “We both are a little bit perfectionist, so we always have criticisms during the process, especially when we blend. I love to share my blend trials with Jeff, always blind, to hear his opinion. We are lucky to have each other for sure.”

Of said power couple, González Rave’s backstory is the more compelling, which is not an attempt to throw any shade at Pisoni, because her backstory is the more compelling when compared to almost anyone else’s in California wine at the moment. I’ll let her tell it as she tweeted it to us:

“I was born and raised in Medellin [Columbia]. Really during the worse times of Drug cartels and Guerrillas…. But I was so fortunate to still be able to dream and have quite a normal life. Since I was 14 years old I started to say that I wanted to make wine. I was fascinated by wine, the meaning of it, the history that comes with [it]. I just remember so much that year, and telling my teachers and parents about my dream. I obviously didn’t know anything about wine, neither that wine comes from farming, and that farming will frame my life.”

See? Told ya…

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