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Posts Filed Under wine review

Carrot-Top Elegance: The Inaugural Releases of Rossi-Wallace

Vinted on January 19, 2010 binned in California wine, wine review

I should just cut to the chase and tell you that the first releases from Rossi-Wallace border on beguiling, and that you should buy them now if you can, especially given their limited production.

But that’s just downright boring, right?  So, I feel obligated to kind of, you know, spruce it all up a bit.

I’ve been sitting on samples of the inaugural releases of Rossi-Wallace’s 2007 Napa Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for months – well, not literally sitting on them, of course, just quietly ignoring them in my cellar… ah, you get the idea…

I suppose that’s a sad commentary of just how behind I am in tasting samples.  A sadder commentary still is that I wasn’t already familiar with Rossi-Wallace’s winemaking team, despite the fact that  Ric Forman and Cheryl Emmolo have been involved in Napa wine in some way/shape/form for 40+ years.

Clearly, their time and experience have been very, very well-spent.

Rossi-Wallace’s namesake is a clever combination of the names of Forman’s and Emmolo’s red-headed mothers – just so you don’t confuse this post’s Carrot-top-reference in the title (we’re NOT talking about the comedian who seems hell-bent on trying to become a  Thundercats’ Liono look-alike wearing a tuxedo).

I could regurgitate the information on their website and press materials about the care and techniques they brought to bear on the first releases of their new label, but you’re smart folks and you can read all of that yourselves.  The bottom line is that if you like your Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to have the in-your-face, indelible stamp of modern, bombastic California winemaking, then these are NOT the wines for you…

Read the rest of this stuff »

Wine Ratings on 1WineDude.com: The Aftermath

Vinted on January 14, 2010 binned in about 1winedude blog, commentary, wine review

I love you people – you sure have some intelligent opinions!

My open discussion on whether or not 1WineDude.com should implement a rating system for its wine reviews generated just a teeny bit of discussion… as in over 70 comments worth of discussion!

There was a poll as well, for those who prefer to have their say without commenting. 

The results?

The poll ended up over 60% favoring the addition of ratings (see the previous post for an explanation of how those ratings would work). 

The comments had a slight majority in favor, with the remaining roughly comments falling into the following groups (in descending order of responses):

  • It’s your blog, do whatever you want.
  • I don’t like ratings but I’ll forgive you if you use them.
  • Please, please, please do NOT do this.

Despite the fact that the majority of responses to the wine rating question were in favor, the mix of poll results and comments didn’t strike me as the type of majority that implies a Dick-Cheney-style voting “clear mandate of the people.”  I’m not sure it feels right.

So what am I gonna do?

Well… I’m gonna compromise

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Marlborough’s 2009 Vintage, The Artists’ Lounge, and a Chance to Win a Kiwi Vacation

Vinted on January 12, 2010 binned in giveaways, wine review

Given that the Southern Hemisphere, whose “reversed” seasons give their winemakers a leg up on vintage releases, already have 2009s hitting the wine store shelves, it’s not too early to call the 2009 vintage for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc a strong one.

I won’t go so far to protest 2009 as excellent for all of New Zealand, because I’ve simply not tasted enough ‘Kiwi’ wine (yet) to make a determination, but I can say that the `09 Marlborough SBs that have made their way into my sample bins have, for the most part, been very good and in some cases excellent.

Case in point is the 09 Drylands Sauvignon Blanc, which is absolutely screaming with passion fruit goodness and a quality finish that is much longer than I’d have expected at a price point under $15.  The QPR on that wine is just roof-busting.

Anyway, it seems that every big wine brand has some sort of social network initiative popping up these days, and New Zealand is no exception – Kim Crawford, who produce a few very good Marlborough wines, has recently jumped into the social networking game in a unique way with their Artists’ Lounge concept.  The interesting thing about the Artists’ Lounge is that Kim Crawford actually has four artists in residence as part of the community – a poet, a songwriter, a painter, and a photographer.  So if you’re into art and NZ wine, Artists’ Lounge might be a cool place for you.

If you’re into winning trips to NZ, then Artists’ Lounge might also be a cool place for you – from now through the week of January 18, members of the Lounge have a chance to win a trip to New Zealand by posting ideas for artistic inspiration in the member forums – the winning entries are chosen by the resident artists, who will create new art works based on the winning entries.

That seems like a pretty cool idea for a contest (and there are worse prizes than visiting the land where Lord of The Rings was filmed!).

More details available here: http://theartistslounge.clmclient.com/contest.php.

Got thoughts on the 2009 NZ wines, the land of Kiwi, or the Artists’ Lounge?  Let’s hear ‘em!

Cheers!

Should 1WineDude.com Start Using Wine Ratings? Have Your Say!

Vinted on January 7, 2010 binned in about 1winedude blog, wine review

Yes, I am actually going there.

No, I don’t expect everyone to like it, which is why I am asking you what you think about it.  Here’s the skinny:

What It Is

  • A grade I would give any wine reviewed on 1WineDude.com (and on the mini-wine review twitter feed).
  • The grade would follow the ‘report card’ format: highest compliment is an “A+” and lowest is an “F” (maybe an “F-“ if the wine really, really, really sucks donkey bong).

What It Ain’t

  • It is NOT a numerical rating system (we know where I stand on that stuff, right?).  For those of you who like to ‘post scan’ and then comment: Please do NOT comment on how I am a sellout because I’m giving a wine a number.  Because I’m not giving it a number.  Actually, why am I writing that since you post-scanners aren’t reading it.  Whatever.
  • It does NOT mean a change to how I cover wines on the blog. Same approach (detailed coverage, a story about and behind the wine, not just a tasting impression), just add the grade to the end of it.

Why The F— I Am Doing This

  • I know that there are many wine-lovin’ people out there who probably don’t take a lot of stock in a numerical score, but still want a quick way to take it all in when it comes to a wine’s value for money, it’s overall sensory impressions, it’s raison de’tre (is that raisin de’tre for Amarone? sorry, couldn’t help myself).  I’m just not sure if those folks are reading this blog.  Hence the poll below.

Feel free to give me your thoughts on this, and comment away if you love it or hate it.  I’m a big boy – I can take it.

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Cheers!

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