Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For October 9, 2017

Vinted on October 9, 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!

  • 10 Klipfel Gewurztraminer Kirchberg de Barr Clos Zisser (Alsace): Spice, honey, salt, flowers, stone fruits, all of them swoon-worthy $NA A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Pinot Gris (Alsace): Think melons, only with texture that's roughly 300X more interesting. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Pinot Blanc (Alsace): A lot of tropical clarity for not a lot of your hard-earned shells. $15 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 98 Emile Boeckel Chardonnay Extra Brut (Cremant d'Alsace): Gorgeously stunning; an artisinal bakery next to a high-end oyster bar. $NA A >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Domaine Marcel Deiss Langenberg (Alsace): Where salt & sultana meet near the Vosges, you'll find a killer value in white elegance. $35 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir (North Canterbury): Ans so witness a shining rising star well on its ascendant path in the Southern sky. $23 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Philippe Gonet Blanc de Blancs Brut Signature (Champagne): The only things that go down any easier are probably air and water. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Troon Blue Vermentino Cuvee Rolle (Applegate Valley): Playing in true blue fashion to the vibrant, intriguing Vermentino tune. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Rain Dance Vineyards Nicholas Vineyard Estate Chardonnay (Chehalem Mountains): Another zesty, generous example of OR Chard pride. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Violets, & pretty much all the other colors of the gorgeous Napa Cab rainbow $72 A- >>find this wine<<
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Through Some Glasses, Prettily (October 2017 Wine Product Roundup)

Vinted on October 4, 2017 binned in wine products
Hand-painted wine glasses by Jodi Granovsky

Photo-bomb courtesy of Lorelai Roberts

Hand-painted wine glasses by Jodi GranovskyOnce again with travel looming, and with a break between bouts of Alsace coverage probably not being that bad of an idea, we’re going with an early run of the monthly wine product review roundup (in which we highlight wine product samples that I receive that cannot be safely digested).

First up, we go (very) small scale with Hand-painted wine glasses by Jodi Granovsky (around $30 and up). Granovsky contacted me and offered up some examples of her work (available on Etsy), which I can now attest to striking a fantastic balance between obviously-hand-made and display-worhty-rustic-chic. As you’ll see from the inset pics, she’s fond of seasonal themes.

Generally – and it’s the case here – I don’t recommend ornamented stemware for drinking, as the designs tend to overshadow (and in some cases obscure) the true star of the gustatory show, which ought to be the wine, and cleaning something that is hand painted tends more often than not to be a pain. But if you’re looking for a pretty, high-quality gift for a wine lover on your list, these would likely find a nice spot on display somewhere in his/her home.

ArT wine preserver

image: amazon.com

Next, and lastly, I was recently able to put a sample of the ArT Wine Argon Wine Preserver Spray (about $15) through the paces. The ArT is basically a can of non-toxic argon gas that you spray directly into an opened bottle of wine. Being denser than air, the argon should sink below whatever oxygen is in the bottle, protecting the unfinished wine in the bottle from oxidation (thanks, chemistry!). ArT claims a fourteen day preservation maximum; I sprayed the stuff into a half-empty bottle of Christophe Pacalet Chenas (delightful, by the way), put the ArT-provided stopper into the bottle neck, and left town for about a week. When I came back, that Chenas was still fresh-as-a-daisy drinkable (ask me how I know).

On the plus side, ArT is easy to use, it seems to work great, and the can is recyclable. The downsides: I’m not sure how the hell you will be able to tell when you’re getting low on argon in the can (ArT claims it’s good for up to 130 uses), and it’s probably the least-romantic wine preserver ever (unless you consider spraying Glade to be a romantic endeavor). Still, I can see a lot of viable uses for it, particularly on premise.

Cheers!

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For October 2, 2017

Vinted on October 2, 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!

  • 16 De Martino Gallardia Old Vine White (Itata Valley): Flowers, lychee, energy, and a deeply grounded and humble sense of soul. $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Addendum Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah (Atlas Peak): Pls wait for all of that silk to wrap around all of that wood. $80 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Stewart Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): In this case, the Sonoma Coast is a bit more like the Sultry Coast, but it works. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs (North Coast): This is begging – BEGGING – to be the tag-along for your next Thai dinner outing. $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Ridgeview Fitzrovia Brut Rose (England): Mellow wild berries that pretty up well, with nary an ounce of pretension to be found. $40 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Prosper Maufoux Chablis (Chablis): Steel, flint, and lemons, all cuddled up together as cozy and familiar bedfellows. $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Zuccardi Jose Zuccardi Malbec (Valle de Uco): Almost as amiable, focused, convincing, and full of character as its namesake. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Enate UNO Tinto (Somontano): Black licorice to start, then but this Cab/Merlot blend starts to sing a lot more than just one note. $NA A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Enate UNO Chardonnay (Somontano): Peachy, pretty, perfumed, and powerfully sexy; and glowing gold like handfuls of bling. $NA A- >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Sommos Colleccion Gewurztraminer (Somontano): Flowers angling their way towards sunlight with clear, precise determination. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
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Cheap Tricks (Domaines Schlumberger Recent Releases)

Domaines Schlumberger crand cru vineyards 1

“We are very cheap for a Grand Cru!”

Thomas Schlumberger

Thomas Schlumberger

It could be said that Domaines Schlumberger‘s Thomas Schlumberger doesn’t fully understand the negative connotations of the word “cheap” in the English language. I write that because, as he told me the above quote during a media visit to the Guebwiller property that has been in his family for about 200 years, he phrased it in a tone that was at once proud and matter-of-fact.

The bottom line is that no one really offers a smoother glide path into the vinous world of Alsatian Grand Cru that Schlumberger. First, they have the typical history portion covered: Domaines Schlumberger is still a family business (7th generation export manager Thomas lives across the street from the winery, “where I grew up,” having come back to the family business after a stint in the perfume industry at the behest of his uncle), and still operates out of the area in which the family settled from Germany (choosing the site because of its access to water, needed for their textiles business). From a desire to make wine for their own consumption, they gradually expanded and replanted their plantings in the area to about 70 hectares (this took the purchase of 2500 plots in a single decade, along with ten years of replanting, much of it on terraced slopes so steep that a special breed of horses that don’t experience vertigo were needed to work the vineyards).

Domaines Schlumberger winery dog

obligatory winery dog photo…

From a Grand Cru perspective, Domaines Schlumberger has the raw material to offer inexpensive Grand Cru action: about ten percent of all Alsace Grand Cru wines are sold by them, and they are the largest independent winery in the area, exporting 2/3 of their production to 50 countries (so chances are good that you can find some of their wares).

Maybe most importantly for an ultra-competitive, information-saturated wine market, they have what might be the simplest Alsatian SKU category formula: you can try “classic” versions of Alsace’s principal grape varieties in their Les Princes Abbés line, or the Grand Cru single-site versions, and that’s basically it…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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