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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 in a “mini-review” format.
They are meant to be quirky, fun, and (mostly) easily-digestible reviews of (mostly) currently available wines (click here for the skinny on how to read them), and are presented links to help you find them, so that you can try them out for yourself. Cheers!
- 2016 Dutton Goldfield Docker Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir (Mendocino County): Like anthropomorphic blueberries, wearing silk capes. $68 A-
- 2016 Dutton-Goldfield ‘Deviate’ Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): A bold, beautiful affair, with more baking spices than a tin full of Xmas cookies. $72 A
- 2016 Presqu’ile Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley): California spirit can often lack subtelty; this is NOT one of those times. $44 A-
- NV McIntyre L’Homme Qui Ris (Santa Lucia Highlands): Santa Lucia bubbles, by way of Epernay. $42 A-
- 2015 McCay Cellars Faith Lot 13 Vineyard Zinfandel (Lodi): Awwwww, Lodi is gettin’ all prettied up for us! $32 A-
- 2013 Chappellet Pritchard Hill Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): The Hill has a soul – for proof, we can submit a glass of this stunning achievement. $220 A
- 2017 La Valentina Pecorino Colline Pescaresi (Abruzzo): Saltwater waves rolling over fresh tropical fruits. $16 B
- 2015 Sawtooth Chardonnay (Snake River Valley): Modern, plush, peachy, and likes its toast with butter. $25 B
- 2016 Sawtooth GSM (Snake River Valley): Smoked meat served on a piece of charred gourmet toast, with espresso after. $NA B+
- 2016 Koenig Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Snake River Valley): Cassis, tomato leaf, dried herbs, vivacity… it wants you to love it, and you probably will. $25 B+
NBA living-legend LeBron James appears to be the real deal. And I’m not talking about his on-the-court abilities, which are justifiably considered among the greatest of all time, or even his acting credentials (I dare you to watch his movie cameos and declare him un-funny), which are quite good.
I’m talking about his wine chops. Or, at least, his tastes when it comes to selecting wine (or drinking the wine that gets selected for him, maybe?).
Now, despite my near-endlessly professed love for the six-time Superbowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, the world of professional sports doesn’t often cross our vinous paths here at 1WD; but I was asked by SBNation writer Tim Cato to provide my thoughts on some of the wines featured by James in one of his recent Instagram posts.
Said thoughts on this undeniably, incredibly important matter are included alongside those of winemaker Randall Grahm, writer Meg Houston Maker, and hospitality professor Dr. Han Wen in Cato’s article, which you can read at https://www.sbnation.com/2017/11/28/16710156/lebron-james-wine-incredible-taste-experts-agree.
The TLDR version: James’ picks are legit. They include an `07 Mayacamas Cab, a pretty killer Chassagne-Montrachet, and one of Cathy Corison’s Kronos reds.
But you can check out our quoted ramblings and decide about James’ wine-picking prowess yourselves.
In my latest piece for MyNameIsBarbera.com, we compare the top of the Barbera DOCG quality pyramid to a character who carries an actual piece; namely, 007 himself.
I hope that you’ll forgive the somewhat graphic JB image above… it’s one of my favorites, and it’s more dynamic – though not nearly as pretty! – as vineyard images from Nizza vineyards, like this one:
See? No real thrilling action going on there. That comes after harvest, oak aging, and bottle aging, after which Nizza DOCG Barbera wines ought to thrill lovers of Italian reds, because they are as serious, powerful, and age-worthy as Barbera gets. Hit up the link below for the details on that…
NIZZA DOCG, A SMOKING DRESSED BARBERA
By now, many of you will have heard of, read about, and/or actually watched the documentary Bitter Grapes, a film that examines harsh conditions for workers in some areas of the South African wine industry.
The Washington Post has an excellent summary of the film, its impacts on the image of South African wine worldwide, and the response by the region’s wine trade:
“Danish journalist Tom Heinemann… found that some workers were allegedly being paid less than the minimum wage, exposed to pesticides, consuming dangerous amounts of alcohol and discouraged from joining unions, among other problems.”
The WP piece also puts the film’s findings in important context: like the USA, South Africa doesn’t exactly have a great humanitarian record when it comes to how farm workers were treated in the past. In more recent history, there was the terrible “dop” system (now illegal), under which S. African workers were paid partially in wine.
I’m not here to discuss the implications of the documentary, though for sure I have opinions on those given my past visits to South Africa’s wine country.
What I want to talk about is the Wines of South Africa (WOSA, the promotional body for the region’s wine business) response to Bitter Grapes. Because their response tastes a lot like sour grapes to me…
Read the rest of this stuff »