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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For November 17, 2014

Vinted on November 17, 2014 binned in wine mini-reviews
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HiYa! If you're new here, you may want to Sign Up to get all the latest wine coolness delivered to your virtual doorstep. I've also got short, easily-digestible mini wine reviews and some educational, entertaining wine vids. If you're looking to up your wine tasting IQ, check out my book How to Taste Like a Wine Geek: A practical guide to tasting, enjoying, and learning about the world's greatest beverage. Cheers!

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 Szent Tamas 3909 (Tokaji): This zip code is an upscale, respectable & sweet, orange blossom-lined neighborhood for late harvest. $NA A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Szent Tamas Szent Tamas Furmint (Tokaji): For some wines, the minerality quotient must be measured not in stones, but in boulders. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Szent Tamas Percze Furmint (Tokaji): Sooo linear. Sooo lovely. Sooo elegant. Sooo lively. Sooo heady. And sooooooo damn young. $35 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 06 Dobogo Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos (Tokaj-Hegyalja): Sort of like edible liquid gold, only with sides of flowers, orange peel & tea. $85 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Dobogo Mylitta (Tokaji): I'm picturing the words "Sultana, sultana," only being sung to the tune of Toto's Rosanna. But I'm weird. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Dobogo Furmint (Tokaji): Tangerines & citrus zest, moving in straight, determined lines, their GPS coordinates set for Freshville. $16 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Viento Underwood Mountain Vineyards Gruner Veltliner (Columbia Gorge): Everything but the meat, from veggies to fruit to bread. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Maysara Asha Pinot Noir (McMinnville): Grab a few handfuls of chewy, savory, sour cherries, and then join in the proceedings. $39 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Cliff Creek Cellars Claret (Southern Oregon): Sheets of red fruits & cardamom, all hung up with savory, tannic threads. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Brandborg Ferris Wheel Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (Elkton): Packing surprising levels of oomph for having such a light step. $38 B+ >>find this wine<<

Northbound Pachyderm (Tasting Claypool Cellars, Cobb, And LaRue 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinots)

Vinted on November 13, 2014 binned in elegant wines, on the road, wine review

A note to musically-inclined wine people: if you help the nice folks at Claypool Cellars folks pick their consulting winemaker, eventually you’ll get to hang backstage at kick-ass Primus concerts.

And while that might at first sound like a raging conflict of interest, I suppose it’s worth noting that a) that hasn’t stopped me from telling them how I think the wines could be improved, and b) I didn’t charge them any consulting fees (so maybe we’re just about even, actually).

Anyway, long-time 1WD faithful will know that we’ve been following the career of Claypool Cellars (founded by Primus front-man Les Claypool and his wife Chaney, both Sonoma-area residents) with great interest over the years.

And while it might seem strange that a rocker who is performing trippy, virtuosic renditions of music from the 1971 Willy Wonka movie would be attempting to make world-class California Pinot Noir, I can offer this tidbit from Les: “We want it to be like Primus; I mean, we’re goofy, but underneath, it’s pretty serious. We can play.”

[ Editor’s note: for what it’s worth, Les has also told me things such as “have you ever had cannabis wine?” and “hey man, where’s the fanceé booze?!???” ]

I am happy to report that, since picking up Ross Cobb as their consulting winemaker, Claypool Cellars has come closer to achieving their goofy-meets-serious goal, and have in their 2012 releases produced the best wines I’ve yet to taste from them. I recently caught up with Chaney, Ross, and Ross’s winemaker partner Katy Wilson to eat some viddles in Sonoma, and taste through some of their single-vineyard 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinots (yeah, I know, tough life I’ve got here)…

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Wine’s Quiet Hypocrisy

Vinted on November 11, 2014 binned in commentary

For some reason (maybe I look trustworthy?), I’ve had a disproportionately large number of conversations with winemakers in which they divulge to me that they are upset about a myth/misunderstanding/half-truth/whatever being perpetuated by members of the wine media.

This could be things such as -

1) inaccuracies regarding long-held notions about a growing region, or

2) the supposedly (but grossly oversimplified ) poor performance of an overall vintage or a particular grape in a particular place, or

3) someone getting the historical facts about a producer’s or region’s history wrong, etc., etc., etc.

The not-so-subtle implication in those conversations is that wine media are abusing their positions of power in perpetuating these inaccuracies, misinformed opinions, and the like.

Far be it from me to disagree with these moderately-pissed-off folks. In the vast majority of cases, they have excellent points (hey, do we need yet another example of a wine from a supposedly “poor” vintage outperforming and outlasting wines from a supposedly “superior” vintage?). And they are usually much bigger than I am (even the girls).

BUT (and you knew that was coming)…

These same people (most of them, anyway) fail to see the hypocrisy in which their legitimate complaints are steeped. And as we’re about to see, those complaints are absolutely dripping in it, like a pair of feet are dripping with juice after they’ve have been stomping Port grapes in the lagares all day…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For November 10, 2014

Vinted on November 10, 2014 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 Belle Pente Estate Reserve Pinot Noir (Yamill-Carlton): Citrus peel tea, anyone? Yes, when it's this soft & supple, you should. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Ayres Vineyard Lewis Rogers Lane Estate Pinot Noir (Ribbon Ridge): An austere, peppery, lithe beauty of a boysenberry bargain. $38 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Cristom Sommers Reserve Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): The ride ends too soon, but the view is incredibly lovely all the way. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Lange Estate Dundee Hills Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills): If you can mind a little leathery heat, it's worth staying in this kitchen. $70 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Bethel Heights Southeast Block Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): Maybe a little top-heavy, but it quickly recovers its poise. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Kramer Vineyards Zero Dosage Brut (Yamhill-Carlton): green citrus and clay, to fit right into your Autumnal apple picking plans. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Sokol Blosser Goosepen Block Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills): Large & chewy; but also lovely & robust. Less muscle car, & more formula 1 $80 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Villa Ponciago Fleurie la Reserve (Beaujolais): Don't mind the green stems along this stony path, red berries await you at the end $19 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Louis Guntrum Niersteiner Rehbach Riesling Spatlese (Rheinhessen): Tea, with lemon, combined into something dangerously drinkable. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<

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