Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For June 12, 2017

Vinted on June 12, 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 Steven Kent Winery Ghielmetti Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Livermore Valley): Gorgeously taking *you* through *its* lovely paces. $65 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Brooks Willamette Valley Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): Savory and bright, this one has its thinking cap on; so should you. $28 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Knudsen Vineyards Chardonnay (Dundee Hills): There's gold in them that Hills, and it's the impeccably crafted, liquid kinda gold. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Principe Corsini Marsiliana (Maremma Toscana): Modern, traditional, refined, & sexy, all in just about equal proportions. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Cecchi La Mora Vermentino (Maremma Toscana): Well, now, this is just about as pleasantly bright as the Tuscan sun itself. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Il Cancelliere Nero Ne (Taurasi): Wound up taught, yet still expressive; has a steady grip on the reins of those tannins, too. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Donnachiara Taurasi Riserva (Campania): Demanding, but balanced; let that spicy tobacco & dark personality sleep for about 4 years $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 07 Di Meo Vittorio Greco di Tufo (Greco di Tufo): Gorgeously confident, comfortably curvy, perfumed, lovely, and owning the spotlight $NA A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 I Favati Greco di Tufo Terrantica (Greco di Tufo): Honeyed, heady, rich, zesty, long, lemony, & basically just freakin' fantastic. $NA A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Cantina Sanpaolo Greco di Tufo Claudio Quarta (Greco di Tufo): The floral side of Greco; and, apparently, the zesty side, as well. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
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Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2017 Critics Challenge International Wine Competition Highlights)

San Diego kiss

Kiss kiss! We heart San Diego…

CIWC 2017I was once again fortunate enough to be invited to judge at the annual Critics Challenge International Wine competition, which took place late last month in Stay-Classy San Diego.

CC is always one of the highlights of my professional year; the organizers, volunteers, and fellow judges are all top-notch, and the fact that they’re also great people with whom to hang is just tasty icing on the cake. And then there’s the whole going-somewhere-gorgeous-to-taste-wines aspect, and, well, I suppose In can’t be helped for waxing too poetic at about it.

As in past years, I thought that I would highlight a few of the wines that I considered particularly memorable from the medal-winners. In this case, there were two that received a Platinum award from my judging panel that went on to take Best-in-category awards, and another that didn’t come from my table, but I just wanted to make sure was on your radar because it’s friggin’ tasty…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For June 5, 2017

Vinted on June 5, 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!

  • 11 Guastaferro Primum Riserva (Taurasi): Loudly pegging the acid, plums, spice, grip, and tobacco meters across the soundboard. $NA A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Cantine Astroni Colle Imperatrice Falanghina Campi Flegrei (Campania): Captivating in that staring-at-abstract-art kind of way. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Cantine Astroni 'Strione' Falanghina (Campania): Rums, flowers, nuts, and lemon zest; those work better in glass than on paper. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Feudi di San Gregorio Studi Arianiello (Fiano di Avellino): Flinty, funky, & nutty; enjoy soonish, but enjoy it you certainly will $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Feudi di San Gregorio Serrocielo Sannio Falanghina (Campania): It's in the mood to make friends; you'll be in the mood to be one. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Bird In Hand Shiraz (Adelaide Hills): Eccentric at first, then lays on the pillow talk with in silky, sexy, irresistible tones. $35 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Ferraton Pere & Fils Samorens Blanc (Cotes du Rhone): Tropical fruits, white flowers, & a sunny enough disposition to go suit them. $14 B >>find this wine<<
  • NV Le Grand Courtage Grand Cuvee Blanc de Blancs Brut (France): Much more honeydew than Honey, don't; so get your picnic face on. $18 B >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Dutton Goldfield Cherry Ridge Vineyard Syrah (Russian River Valley): Bacon, big stogies, blackberries, a bit of electrical current $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Ponzi Vineyards Tavola Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): Bay leaf, cherries, and spicy red plums… well, you outta be satisfied. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
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Less Is More (Marangona Lugana Recent Releases)

Vinted on June 2, 2017 binned in elegant wines, on the road, overachiever wines, sexy wines, wine review
Marangona's Alessandro Cutolo

Marangona’s Alessandro Cutolo

Alessandro Cutolo kind of looks like a viking.

Aside from close proximity to a body of water (in this case, the Italian Lake Garda), however, the heavy-handed Old Norse warrior comparison fizzles out completely. Because at the crossing of the Veneto and Lombardia regions, Cutolo, as owner and winemaker of Lugana’s Marangona, crafts elegant, svelte whites without even a hint of the roughshod among them; thanks in part to what could only be described as a minimalist approach.

Marangona vines“I want to do as little as possible,” Cutolo told me during a recent media-trip visit, “to [express] my idea of the wine.”

This don’t-touch-it-in-fact-don’t-eben-look-at-it-you’ve-already-seen-enough approach starts in his calcareous-clay soil vineyard, where the grass is high (“it helps with disease”) and the treatments are few. “If it’s possible to have less [impact],” he remarked, “than why not?”

Cutolo owns 27 hectares of ten to fifty year-old vines in Lugana, most of them planted to the deceptively age-worthy Turbiana variety. The estate’s buildings date from the late 1600s, and his family farmed grapes, corn, and cattle here since the 1950s. He now produces about one hundred thousand bottles of (downright delectable) Lugana wine per year…

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