The Renaturating Three (Backstage With Claypool Cellars 2017)

Vinted on October 25, 2017 binned in crowd pleaser wines, elegant wines, wine review
Chaney Claypool backstage 2017

Chaney Claypool shows off the CC wares backstage in Philly (2017)

Being a prog music geek (actually, make that a music geek in general), we’ve had our fair share of literal rock star wine producer interviews here on 1WD, probably none as effortlessly entertaining as those with Primus’ Les Claypool.

Claypool, along with his wife Chaney, are the proprietors of Sonoma-based Claypool Cellars, whose development I’ve been following (and on which I’ve been reporting) for several years.

Pompeo Claypool Roberts

Me, my drummer, & Les Claypool (if you have to guess who is who, then come back when you’re sober)

With the release of the new Primus album The Desaturating Seven  (highly recommended, by the way; think of it as a mix between the group’s older quirky-jam-based writing style, and the showmanship flamboyance of the more recent Primus and the Chocolate Factory) and its subsequent tour, Chaney and Les recently found themselves in Philly. By their invitation, my drummer and I found ourselves at their Philly stop pre-show, tagging along at one of the cooler aspects of Primus’ tour: fans can purchase a premium-VIP package that includes a Q&A session with the band, and (more pertinently in this case) a tasting of some of the recent Claypool Cellars offerings, with Les and Chaney (mostly the gregarious Les) taking questions and waxing philosophic about Sonoma County wines in general.

Since bringing on the Pinot Noir wunderkinder consulting winemaking duo of Ross Cobb and Katy Wilson, Claypool Cellars has gone from promising-and-devoted-side-project to ageworthy-kind-of-cult-wine levels of quality, so for me it’s always a pleasure to catch up with the Claypools and their wines (funky-ass basslines or not). Here are some thoughts on their continued vinous progress (see what I did there…?)…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For October 23, 2017

Vinted on October 23, 2017 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!

  • 14 Chamisal Vineyards Califa Chardonnay (Edna Valley): Whoever told you that big CA Chard was dead was lying through their teeth. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Lasseter Family Winery Voila (Sonoma Valley): And, well, just like that, you’re staring at an empty bottle of this succulent white $46 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Monticello Vineyards Corley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Aromatically, prepare to be thoroughly and totally swooned. $90 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Mt. Brave Mt. Veeder Merlot (Napa Valley): Just the right amounts of just about everything; worth the short-term hit to your wallet $75 A >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Amici Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): A little slice of Bordelais heaven with a Northern CA tan and a laid-back attitude $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Addendum Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Deep, big, silky, and delicious, though it wants to leave the party early. $90 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Addendum Napa Valley Skellenger Lane Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford): Brushing off the dust to reveal silk, leather, & sexiness. $95 A- >>find this wine<<
  • NV Prosper Maufoux Cremant de Bourgogne Brut (Burgundy): Apples, apples, apples, apples; sometimes you don’t really need anything else $19 B >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Dopff & Irion Grand Cru Vorbourg Pinot Gris (Alsace): Sure there are some wrinkles, but youth is far from the only form of beauty $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Macchialupa Beneventano Falanghina (Campania): Pairs well with your porch, pool, hammock, or back deck on warmer nights… $22 B >>find this wine<<
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Certifiably Certifiable (Talking Wine Certifications For SevenFifty Daily)

Vinted on October 18, 2017 binned in learning wine, wine appreciation
SevenFifty Daily’s Guide to Wine Education

image: daily.sevenfifty.com

I was recently asked by my friend Lana Bortolot for a quick interview, to help contribute to a piece she was writing about the value (or lack thereof) of certifications in the wine biz. Lana’s work has subsequently been published in a well-researched and well-considered article, SevenFifty Daily’s Guide to Wine Education.

My dime-store-level philosophizing can be found in the article’s section on the Society of Wine Educators (SWE). I was shocked, in a decidedly pleasant way, at how many of the other sources quoted in Lana’s article that I happen to know personally, have worked with, and/or consider to be friends, which I suppose underscores my comments that Lana quoted in the piece.

It’s kind of difficult to imagine, but there was a time a few years ago when certifications were a bit of a fire-starter topic in the wine blogging community; the value propositions of the programs in general were challenged in general. Over the years, I’ve tended to put up camp squarely in the wine-certs-are-a-good-thing territory, though I’ve often cautioned that not all of them are created equally (Lana hits on what I would consider the most important and widely recognized of the bunch in her article). The TLDR version of my past coverage: certifications are a means to differentiation, which is rarely a bad thing; but do your research, have an “end-game” in mind, and choose your certification path wisely to meet it.

If you’re considering getting your feet wet in the wine certification pool, give the SevenFifity Daily overview a read.

Cheers!

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For October 16, 2017

Vinted on October 16, 2017 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!

  • 14 Sedger David Syrah (Rogue Valley): The view through this glass is smoky, dark, & dense; but what you can see is darn attractive. $42 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 The Hess Collection Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon (Mount Veeder): Supple and gorgeous; or, it will be in about 7 or so years. $62 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Stewart Merlot (Napa Valley): All of the notes in the Merlot chorus are being hit in tune here, you just need to listen for them. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Micheal Shaps Honah Lee Vineyard Petit Manseng (Monticello): The Manseng equivalent of sultry characters in a political intrigue. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Piera Martellozzo 1899 075 Carati Millesimato Extra Dry (Prosecco): From straw to creamy peach & nary a tasty beat missed. $NA B >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Monte Tondo Casette Foscarin (Soave Classico): Lemon zest and nuts can be sexy. Seriously, I'm not kidding; and neither is this. $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Basilisco Teodosio (Aglianico del Vulture): Plum, dark chocolate truffles, and vanilla, wrapped up in exquisitely smooth leather. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Weingut Oekonomierat J. Geil Scheurebe Kabinett (Rheinhessen): Flowers, spice, and more than just a kiss of candied pear. $16 B >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux Brut (Languedoc-Roussillon): Apples, flowers, & a friendly disposition when it comes to food. $13 B >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Gerard Bertrand Cuvee Thomas Jefferson Cremant de Limoux Brut (Languedoc-Roussillon): C'mon, now you're just kind of showing off. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
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