Posts Filed Under wine review

Out From Napa’s Shadow (High End Wines Shine At Taste Of Sonoma 2012)

Vinted on October 4, 2012 binned in crowd pleaser wines, elegant wines, kick-ass wines, on the road, wine review

Message to Sonoma: you’re no longer in your neighbor Napa Valley’s shadow.

You’re not the uncool kid at the dance, the next-to-last picked for the two-hand-touch football game during recess, or the slightly-less-talented and almost-as-comely sister when compared to Napa, at least not on the high-end of the vinous spectrum.

That bit of news flash will come as no surprise whatsoever to those producing and enjoying the best that Sonoma has to offer, many of whom I suspect will email me with encouraging (read: angry) words to let me know just how late I am to that party, but it might make those less familiar with Sonoma’s best wines reconsider their options when next given the opportunity to sample them. And reconsider they should, because Sonoma has probably never produced high-end wines quite as good as those that they’re making now.

That was the main takeaway for me when I attended the 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend festivities as a media guest, a multi-event held across the Labor Day weekend and culminating in an Indian-themed (yeah, I didn’t get it, either) auction (their 20th) that raised over $1.6 million for Sonoma-area non-profits. Auction highlights for me included chatting about wines of character with real character viticulturalist Phil Coturri, talking with screenwriter-turned-proprietor Robert Kamen about penning The Professional (because that flik is just awesome), and drinking a bit too much of Joel Peterson’s gorgeously spicy 1997 Ravenswood Belloni Vineyard Zinfandel blend (spookily, Joel had near-perfect-detail recollection of our first meeting back in 2008…).

But I found my highest highlight (if you will) before the auction event, at the “Club Reserve” area of the 33rd annual Taste of Sonoma event (held at MacMurray Ranch)… because that’s where I got properly schooled in real high-end Sonoma juice…

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Art, Artemis, And A Cautionary Tale Of On-Line Wine Review Stickiness (Revisiting Etching Expressions)

Vinted on September 27, 2012 binned in sexy wines, wine products, wine review

I was recently contacted by the folks over at Etching Expressions, a service that provides custom etched wine bottles and personalized wine labels, complete with vino in bottle.

They wanted to send me a sample, but not for the usual reason of hoping that it might turn into a formal review. No, this was to potentially counter a review of their products that I penned back in June… of 2009.

In that post, I gave high marks the top-notch bottle etching that EE pulled off (a custom job, by the way, using one of the 1WD t-shirt logos). I gave not-so-high marks to the generic plonk of a wine that they used to fill that sample bottle.

And there, my friends, was the rub.

It seems that on the Global Interwebs (and no, I will NOT stop using that dorky phrase anytime soon), reviews can get to be sticky matters. Which is one of the reasons, I think, that wine and product producers of all stripes clamor to get folks on the web with half-decent following to cover their products: these things live virtually (in both senses of the word) forever. Of course, the double-edge of the sword that cuts you is the negative review that happens to get published, which is probably why most people steer clear of the negative stuff (I myself have just found too much good shiz to tell you about lately, making the potential negative coverage a lot more difficult to justify in terms of taking up virtual real estate here on 1WD). In this case, EE couldn’t seem to get a Google search result without my less-than-stellar 2009 review popping up front-and-center; not great for brand perception on-line, I suppose.

And so I gave EE the okay to send me another product sample for possible review, and told them I’d amend the previous review to account for the fact that their vino selection had been substantially upgraded in the years between my visits. And I can tell you that I was more than pleasantly surprised by what I found both outside and inside that new sample…

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9 TV Episode 54: The Gina Gallo Interview (Tasting Through Gallo’s Signature Series Recent Releases)

Vinted on September 13, 2012 binned in 1WineDude TV, crowd pleaser wines, interviews, on the road, wine review

Wanna get inside the head of one of THE most powerful people in the entire wine world? Start watchin’ already – because that’s exactly what we do with Gina Gallo in today’s episode of 1WD TV. TV Episode 54: The Gina Gallo Interview

[ Editors note: For those not totally up on the current events in the love lives of the wine world’s richest-and-most-famous, part of the vid might get a bit confusing; Gina is married to Jean-Charles Boisset, scion to the largest negociant business in Burgundy and a man best described as a charming whirling dervish and with whom Gina has recently sired twin baby girls. Incidentally, JCB makes me look like I’m standing still, which those who know me will understand isn’t all that easy to do! ]

I caught up with Gina at the 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend’s Taste of Sonoma event, and we talk about what it takes to get motivated to work when you’re so rich that you could have somebody killed and buried at the bottom of the Russian River and not have anyone ever know a thing about it.

If you’re interested in what that wine we were drinking in the video was like, by the way, read on

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