Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For August 10, 2015

Vinted on August 10, 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!

  • 11 Lokoya Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): French press coffee from paradise; plunging will take about 10 years. $350 A >>find this wine<<
  • 12 St. Innocent Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): Guilty of tasting a bit too much as though it were from RRV. $41 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Villa Franciacorta Emozione Brut (Franciacorta): Plenty of croutons on this edible flower salad, for those bread lovers out there. $35 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Urban Riesling (Mosel): Pleasant enough company it is, but living up to the legends of its storied namesake it quite isn't. $14 B >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): Actually, that'd be a whole lotta fruity, spicy fun. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Tortoise Creek Le Charmel Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie (Loire Valley): Stones, pears, and in a hurry to get going, right now. $12 B >>find this wine<<
  • 12 VIE L'Intruse Mourvedre (Santa Barbara County): Not intrusive at all; in fact, it knocked first, & brought chocolate and tarragon. $39 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 VIE Thompson Vineyard Syrah (Santa Barbara County): Throwing blackberry chunks, in large pixelated blocks, aiming at your head. $45 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Contadi Castaldi Franciacorta Brut (Franciacorta): Not complicating things, and not stopping you from drinking the hell out of it. $20 B >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Willamette Valley Vineyards Bernau Block Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): Pucker up for earthy, tart-berry kisses, & feel the luv. $55 A- >>find this wine<<



Curmudgeonly Yours (Talking Wine Consumer Advocacy With The Wine Curmudgeon)

Vinted on August 7, 2015 binned in 1WineDude Radio, commentary
wine curmudgeon


This week, I’ve the pleasure of being the featured guest on The Wine Curmudgeon Winecast podcast.

I’ve judged with and hung out with Wine Curmudgeon founder, author, and journalist Jeff Siegel, and consider him a friend (hence my strong reaction to a recent misunderstanding about quotes from Jeff, and about his place in the wine journalist field). Jeff is good peeps, and he honestly gives a crap about the challenges faced by wine consumers today. By the way, do yourself a favor and check out his book; you won’t be disappointed.

While Jeff’s generous description of me is almost certainly incorrect (“the first wine blogger with a reach, an audience, and reputation that equaled many print writers” – I am, for sure, predated in those areas by, and, among others), Jeff’s take on what the wine biz is getting right/wrong for wine consumers is, in my view, spot-on.

You can download the podcast at, or listen to the embed below (browser capabilities allowing, of course). Best enjoyed, I think, at home with glass of wine in hand (and since it’s Jeff’s podcast, the wine ought to be priced at under $15 / bottle… just sayin’…).





Sweet Niblets! (2010 Anakota Helena Montana Vineyard Cabernet)

Vinted on August 5, 2015 binned in kick-ass wines, on the road, wine review
Helena Montana

Sweet Niblets! Helena Montana (image: Jackson Family Wines)

The gravelly, sandy soils of the Helena Montana vineyard sit about 950 feet above sea level in Knights Valley. It’s where we’ll be wrapping up the recent spate of California coverage her on 1WD (…and all the Europhiles rejoiced…).

When I visited said vineyard, I resisted the urge to shout “Sweet Niblets!” – which, I think we can both agree, was a substantial act of maturity on my part.

After tasting (twice) the results of that vineyard’s vines, in what, in my view, might be the best Cabernet Sauvignon yet produced from Knights Valley, I damn nearly went the “Sweet niblets!” route again (for the second tasting, held at home with a review sample, I’ll admit that the phrase might have escaped my lips… just once… ok, twice… whatever, just shut up about it!).

Of course, it makes perfect sense that former Armagnac guy Pierre Seillan crafted the wine that is on today’s 1WD radar, right? No?

Fine… it might make a bit more sense when we recall that Seillan is the guy behind Jackson Family Wine’s Château Lassègue in Saint-Émilion (for more on that, check out some previous coverage). Better? Ok, good.

Of course, why a seemingly sane Frenchman such as Pierre Seillan would move to the U.S. from France is a matter of debate; according to His wife Monique and their daughter Helene, Pierre was inticed by the combination of soil diversities in Knights Valley, and the freedom enjoyed within American winemaking regulations (compared to the more restrictive versions in his homeland).

In any case, fans of Knights Valley Cab ought to be glad he made the relocation…

Read the rest of this stuff »




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