Posts Filed Under wine mini-reviews

Thirty Days Of The Other (Tasty) Side Of Bordeaux

Vinted on October 17, 2012 binned in twitter, wine mini-reviews, wine review

I haven’t always been kind to Bordeaux. Okay, actually I’ve pretty much never been kind to Bordeaux.

But that’s because Bordeaux’s most visible stand-bearers – the classified growths at the high-end of the production spectrum, making wines that most of us 99%-ers cannot afford – hasn’t really been all that kind itself to the general wine marketplace, pricing its wines more in-line with rampant consumerist greed than with real value for money.

But that’s not the only Bordeaux story – it just happens to be the most prevalent one. There’s another side of Bordeaux, the side that produces something like ninety percent of its wine, priced in the budget ranges and made in volumes that make California look small-time. Put another way, in the words of Chateau Rauzan Despagne’s Thibault Despagne (who I met while touring Bordeaux in September as a media guest of Planet Bordeaux):

“We always hear that Bordeaux is arrogant and too expensive. And yes, I agree – but that isn’t the only story. The journalists are the problem.”

And I came to realize during my Bordeaux jaunt that Thibault isn’t wrong – we do spend an inordinate amount of time complaining talking about the upper-echelons of Bordeaux, and often don’t recognize the lower-end – the 99%-ers – of Bordeaux at all. But it’s not without some justification; there’s still a lot of bad low-end wine being made there.

But… having said that… I did get a bit of a crash course in non-sucky Bordelaise wine, and I can’t actually review it (at least, not conventionally – more on that in a minute), because I got that crash-course Bordelaise style…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For October 15, 2012

Vinted on October 15, 2012 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like what is this stuff, anyway?
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 with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 09 Clos de los Siete (Mendoza): Smoother than Don Draper
    at the bar, & probably the most elegant & darkly sophisticated Siete yet. $20 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 DiamAndes de Uco Viognier (Valle de Uco): It’s going for high viscosity, but it’s also going for a high volume of flower bunches. $20 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 DiamAndes de Uco Chardonnay (Valle de Uco): Peach, pineapple, & a penchant for the unctuous; go creamy or go home, apparently. $20 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 J. Wilkes Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley): Come take a spot of black raspberry tea, to introduce you to what SMV is all about. $24 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 Paul Lato Il Padrino Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard (Santa Maria Valley): Power in a velvet glove, indeed; silk, spice, verve to spare $90 A- >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 Paul Lato Suerte Solomon Hills Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley): Sometimes very, very big can also be very, very beautiful $70 A- >>find it at snooth<<
  • 07 Qupe Bien Nacido Hillside Estate Syrah (Santa Maria Valley): Perfumey, funky, meaty, plummy, chocolaty & just downright brilliant. $40 A- >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 La Fenetre Bien Nacido Z Block Syrah (Santa Maria Valley): Juicy red plums, pepper & gravely minerals that co-starred in True Grit $50 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 The Ojai Vineyard Solomon Hills Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley): Peppery herbs sporting spotlight-bright red berry fruit. $35 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 Deovlet Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley): Flinty, succulent, deep, focused, pithy & possessing of inner beauty $45 A- >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 Deovlet Solomon Hills Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley): Apple nut bread, flashy but delivers the acid goods B4 it’s done. $35 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 07 Kenneth Volk Solomon Hills Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley): Cherry cola, spice, flowers & herbs, but in perfume form. $48 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 Au Bon Climat Historic Vineyards Collection Bien Nacido Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley): Gorgeously mouth-filling, & draw-dropping $30 A- >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 Foxen Block UU Bien Nacido Vineyards Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley): Burnt caramel for starters, gets more compelling from there. $32 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 Stephen Ross Bien Nacido Vineyards Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley): For the times when you want your toast done juuuuuuust right. $30 B+ >>find it at snooth<<

 

 

Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For October 8, 2012

Vinted on October 8, 2012 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like what is this stuff, anyway?
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 with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 09 Bartinney Cabernet Sauvignon (Stellenbosch): Cassis, cedar & tomato leaf make for strange bedfellows, but they’re tasty bedfellows $29 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 Bartinney Chardonnay (Stellenbosch): Short on the zing, but definitely long on the ripe pears, apricots, pineapple, nuts & vanilla. $25 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • NV Mionetto Prosecco Treviso (Prosecco): Green apple soldiers, sailing into battle on melon rind ships & aggressive bubble propulsion $15 B- >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 La Follette Manchester Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay (Mendocino Ridge): Marzipan, apricots & perfume; quite a way to end the evening. $47 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 La Follette Sangiacomo Vineyard Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast): She ruled forcefully, but she also ruled fairly, & the people loved her $38 A- >>find it at snooth<<
  • 07 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley): Digs in the clay & herbs, then serves berry cobbler for dessert $70 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 Batasiolo Sovrana Barbera d’Alba (Barbara d’Alba): Spices, red plum & the concentrated acid of an entire tomato plant in full fruit $19 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • 06 Batasiolo Vigneto Corda della Briccolina Barolo (Barolo): Chocolate & truffles, & fresher than a closing-time martini bar come-on. $83 A- >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 Y Rousseau Chardonnay Milady (Mt. Veeder): Funky homemade artisan toast w/ white peach, yellow apple & fig jam, hold the butter. $38 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 Domaine Paul Blanck Pinot Gris (Alsace): Definitely has some juicy melony flesh hanging on those pithy, zesty, steely bones. $23 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 Domaine Mittnacht Freres Terre d’Etoiles Pinot Blanc (Alsace): Spice-ed pear; only you have to say it with a thick German accent. $19 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • 09 Domaine Zind Humbrecht Riesling (Alsace): Zesty *and* creamy, like someone just served up a bit of gourmet lime & lychee sorbet. $27 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 Willy Gisselbrecht Tradition Pinot Gris (Alsace): Sweet Lemon drop hovers overhead, & it’s definitely dropping the funk on us, too $16 B- >>find it at snooth<<
  • 11 Seghesio Arneis (Russian River Valley): Then the Italians invaded Northern CA, and the populace was both refreshed & relieved. $22 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • 07 Chateau Serame Corbieres (Corbieres): A warming, fulfilling and rustic homemade stew just got set before your weary, hungry eyes. $15 B >>find it at snooth<<
  • 10 Spotted Owl Vineyards Chardonnay (Mt. Veeder): Fresh, vibrant pineapple, and it’s canned up with a healthy splash of awesome. $45 B+ >>find it at snooth<<
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