Wheels Keep Turnin’ (Red Car Recent Releases)

Vinted on May 21, 2015 binned in elegant wines, kick-ass wines, wine review

I have (among other things) been described as peripatetic.

Red Car vineyard 1That adjective is apt, but as peripatetic as I can be, I pale in comparison to Red Car‘s tall, thin, and quick-witted General Manager Peter Willmert. Willmert, along with winemaker Carroll Kemp and vineyard manager Adam Carter live, breathe, and seemingly sleep (if Willmert actually settles down long enough to do that, I mean) all things Red Car from their small spot on Graton Road in Sebastopol.

Like Willmert (who is fond of jumping quickly from topic to topic, somehow without losing an ability to take deeper dives along the way), Red Car has been in more or less constant motion in its relatively brief history.

“I like the acidic, crisp style,” Willmert told me when I visited. “One part of the [ Red Car ] evolution was getting out of the Central Coast; we’ve left a trail of warmer vineyards, and moved everything to the Sonoma Coast. Since the 2000 vintage, the wines have been pretty consistent.” It helps that they’ve got dedicated vineyard staff (as he put it, “I’m a control freak. And Carroll’s a control freak”). Somewhat ironically given Willmert’s penchant for rapidly bouncing between topics, Red Car’s wines have arguably never been more focused and singular of purpose.

What he means is more lithe, energetic, and focused on premium. Much of the source material for Red Car’s wares come from vineyards that are surrounded by orchards and redwoods (and gophers), within spitting distance of the sea, in areas that were long though too cool to house “serious” viticulture. Judging by the wines I tasted, those early pronouncements were dead wrong…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For May 18, 2015

Vinted on May 18, 2015 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!

  • 12 Cornerstone Cellars Stepping Stone Cabernet Franc (Napa Valley): Strutting along, humming Boston's "Smokin'" & looking cool. $45 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Estate Argyros Assyrtiko (Santorini): Not quite a transporting you to the caldera, but getting you close enough to get the picture $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Banfi Principessa Gavi (Gavi): Like your finishes crisp but lengthy? Well, then, make haste to the princess party my friends. $16 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Cenyth Sonoma County Red (Sonoma County): The mouthfeel walks on set & about steals the show in chewy, vibrant, refined fashion. $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Cenyth Sonoma County Red (Sonoma County): Hard to get to know, but also damn hard to forget once you do decide get to know it. $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Maggy Hawk Hawkster Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley): A powerful thoroughbred that's kicking up clay and mocha in its muscular wake. $66 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Maggy Hawk Jolie Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley): The long finish brings some heat, but it also brings a copious amount of rose-hips. $66 A- >>find this wine<<
  • NV Vie Winery Melange Maison II (California): Vying for a the Meaty, Jammy, Big And Bouncy title, and looking like a contender. $29 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Krone Borealis Cuvee Brut (Western Cape): Juggling three balls for your entertainment; one toasty, one friendly, and one fruity. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Youngberg Hill Vineyards Cuvee Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): Spicy, bright, & sure of purpose; if only it hung out a bit longer! $30 B+ >>find this wine<<



Boxed In (Talking Boxed Wine For Publix Grape Magazine, Summer 2015)

Vinted on May 13, 2015 binned in learning wine, wine publications
Publix Grape Summer 2015

image: Publix Grape Magazine

Supposedly, it is Spring. Here in the Philly area, however, we jumped from sub-40F evenings directly to sunny, 80+F afternoons and something like 12,000% humidity. So, Summer decided to crash the party early.

A serendipitous time, therefore, is upon us during which to tell you of my contribution to the Summer 2015 edition of PUBLIX’s Grape Magazine (to which many of you can subscribe for free, by the way).

I contributed quite a bit of uncredited content to that one (much of it in the form of wine/food pairing write-ups). I also penned the In Focus section, this time focusing on the dreaded topic of boxed wines. Why this amazing little form of alternative wine packaging is still widely derided is beyond me, as we’re long past the point of the juice inside of those bag-in-boxes being sub-par. Granted, fine wine-ing it’s not, and admittedly it’s not the easiest task on earth to find a boxed wine that over-delivers on quality, but it certainly is easier finding a fairly-priced, tasty, and totally drinkable boxed wine than ever before.

During the In Focus piece, we get into the history of the boxed wine format, as well as explore some of the technology behind the bag-in-box packaging, which in a geeky way I have always found fascinating. You can check it out by subscribing at http://www.publix.com/clubs-programs/publications/publix-grape-magazine .

Cheers – and stay cool!




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