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Turkey Talk: A Run-In with Pavo Wines

Vinted on September 17, 2009 binned in California wine, wine review

I know what you’re thinking:

Man, I really hope that today’s 1WineDude post somehow combines the Acura Integra, InfoTech department payroll practices, farm animals, Lord of the Rings, marijuana, and estate-grown California Syrah!

What can I say? Who loves ya, baby?!?

On second thought, I might have painted myself into a serious blogging corner here… let’s just push on and see how all of this pans out, shall we?

You see, Pavo Wines Syrah is not my first run-in with a wild turkey (though this wine is no “turkey” – more on that in a minute or two; or three).  No, not that Wild Turkey, either.  No, what I’m talking about are the large and sometimes colorful birds that tend to roam on farmland across much of North America.

A little over 10 years ago, I was speeding through the backroads of southeastern PA on my way to work, just after dawn on a gorgeous morning, zipping through twisting, winding roads that bisected local farms.  When I say “speeding” I mean speeding.  As in, the kind of speeding that not only breaks local traffic laws, it borders on violating county moral and ethical standards as well.  I was flirting with being late for work, and at that time my InfoTech day job had a punch-card policy – we ‘clocked-in’ for work just like anyone else on the site (which consisted mostly of factory floor workers). This policy managed to promote a few interesting behaviors, like creating a feeling of equity among the entire site staff, and also allowed the company to offer a ‘punctuality bonus’ if you showed up on time (which is a nice way of saying that if you are late, you’ll be docked a percentage of that day’s pay).  In my case, it helped create unsafe roadways, since I was hell-bent that day on not missing out on some pay, if you catch my drift.

Hugging the road, I had but one stretch of farmland to cross before I’d be out of the woods (literally and figuratively).  I took the final turn (blind, of course, as most of these turns are in PA) on the bisecting lane at ridiculous speed, steering for the apex and finding directly in front of me, just as I cleared the corner, two very large and very unsuspecting wild turkeys, making their leisurely way across the road.  They couldn’t have been more directly in front of my oncoming road hazard.

SCREEEEEECH went the brakes.  The car stopped so suddenly, and jerked forward so roughly, that I wasn’t sure if I’d hit anything or not.  I peeked over the steering wheel.  Nothing.  A pregnant moment passed that couldn’t have been more than a few seconds but felt like a lifetime.  A head appeared above the windshield.  A turkey head.  It was bobbing, clearly perturbed, offering up a “Beeatch – I’m gonna f—k you UP!” look, but it was a head that was otherwise unharmed.  I leaned forward and saw its mate follow suit, but she appeared less agitated at the whole affair.  They couldn’t have been more than 16 inches in front of my car.

To recap: that’s the Acura, IT payroll, and farm animals. Now, it’s time to talk about the wine (yeah, yeah, and Lord of the Rings – I didn’t forget); a wine that takes its logo from a wild turkey, and like a turkey is tasty, colorful, and dense (just not that meaning of dense)…

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An Average Wine Dude vs. Chateau d’Yquem

Vinted on September 2, 2009 binned in wine review

“…like a Viennese waltz in my mouth…”

Thus read the words of CellarTracker.com member Kdawg, in his (her?) New Year’s Eve 2007 tasting note of a 1995 Château d’Yquem.  For those who don’t yet know about CellarTracker, it’s a veritable institution in the on-line wine world, offering on-line wine management and community tasting notes.  I mention this only because the community tasting notes on CellarTracker.com are widely regarded as being notoriously tough in their wine ratings (which are offered on the 100 point scoring scale). 

So it’s somewhat remarkable that the tasting notes available on CellarTracker.com for the `95 d’Yquem average a score of 94.45 (excepting an outlying blank anonymously submitted score of a 50 – including that would bring the average down to a 93).  The highest score offered was a 99/100.  Any way you slice the numbers, it amounts to praise of the highest order when it comes to the annals of CellarTracker.

At a Whole Foods wine bar in Virginia, I recently had an opportunity to try a glass of the `95 d’Yquem.  How was it?  Well, it was pretty f—king good.  More on that in a minute or two.  Or three.

Of course, it wouldn’t be 1WineDude article without a twist, and the sand-in-the-condom of this potential vintage d’Yquem advertisement is this:

If you paid $150 for a 375ml bottle, aren’t you predisposed to say that it’s great?  How much economic investment causes so much emotional investment that it clouds your judgment?  Could a hefty price tag perpetuate the hype of a wine’s awesomeness?…

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Southern Hospitality? (Sampling VA’s Loudoun County Wineries)

Vinted on August 24, 2009 binned in commentary, on the road, wine review

Virginia, as the marketing slogan goes, is for Lovers.

VA may soon be for wine lovers, especially if you’re fond of Old World style  Cabernet Franc.

VA is not necessarily for wine writers, however.

Those are the tidbits of knowledge that I came away with anyway, after touring a handful of Loudoun County wineries with a group of other bloggers, sponsored by Reston Limousine.

To be fair, before I start making pronouncements on the state of wine in D.C.’s wine country – and I will make pronouncements about D.C.’s wine country, of course – my tour visited only a handful of wineries in the Harmony Cluster.  While it’s situated in close proximity to D.C. and Reston, Loudoun County gets particularly rural particularly quickly, and if you’re planning on a tour of the area’s wineries you could hardly do better than to hire someone else to navigate the narrow, twisting, unpaved roads between wineries, which I imagine would be harrowing to navigate in poor weather, darkness, or when you’re hammered.  Not that you’d do that, right?  Right?!??

I did come away quite impressed with Reston Limo, who sponsored our trip and offer public tours of the area’s wine trail.  Our driver was big enough to have been on NFL offensive lineman, and thankfully was quite funny, approachable, and talented (he possesses a very good singing voice, and is able to create – I am not making this up – cursive renditions of your name created from a piece of twisted wire).  So I came away from the tour fairly impressed by Reston Limousine.

The Loudoun country wineries, on the other hand, did not all impress me…

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Do You Care About Wines You (Probably) Can’t Have?

Vinted on August 5, 2009 binned in twitter, wine products, wine review

Damn my over-processing brain.

I was going to write about two wines that I tasted last week while I was in in Napa & Sonoma for the Wine Bloggers Conference… technically I was actually (sweltering) in Tacoma when I tasted them, but I received the wines in Napa & Sonoma…

Anyway, I was going to write about these wines when my ever-processing, never-lets-me-rest brain decided to switch it up on me.  Now, it turns out I’m writing about not getting these wines. Or, writing about writing about not getting these wines.  This will all clear up in a minute or two.  I think.

The wines in question are C. Donatiello’s Rose, and the new 2006 release of Prime Cellars’s Cab.  Both of them are very, very good wines, the kind of wines that I want to get to know and want others to get to know – small production, interesting, made by up-and-coming, passionate winemakers who are tweaking things, trying to find the right balance and improving their wines early on with every vintage.

The thing is, I’ve been wondering if I should write about these wines.

Because chances are that you can’t get them…

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