Wondrous Stories (Chris Carpenter Recent Releases)

Vinted on July 22, 2015 binned in elegant wines, kick-ass wines, wine review
Cardinale Tasting Room

The “office” (Cardinale Tasting Room, Napa Valley)

In no time at all he took me to the gate
In haste I quickly
Checked the time
If I was late
I had to leave, to hear your wondrous stories

-YES, Wondrous Stories

How does one tell a story (in this case, a fairly wondrous liquid story) when the primary architect of that story’s plot (the winemaker) isn’t a part of the experience?

The options, as I see them:

1) Don’t

2) Let the wine tell the story

3) Make a sock puppet of the winemaker and create a video with overdubbed quotes from said winemaker, using sock puppet as the stand-in.

We’re going with option #2, folks.

KJ Mountain vineyards

Get yer’ hikin’ boots on, peeps!

Because despite the fact that the winemaker in this case (the celebrated and much, much too tall Chris Carpenter) was on the other side of the planet (Australia) when I was able to visit and taste through his high-end Kendall Jackson-owned portfolio reds earlier this year, the wines in that portfolio that most excited me are well capable of telling us their own wondrous stories (so option 1 is out).

And also because I lack any socks long enough to accurately represent how tall Chris Carpenter is (eliminating option 3).

The least expensive of these featured Napa Valley beauties is… $75. So, a budget-picks cheat sheet this article is not. While these ges are pricey, they spin hedonistic yarns that are all but impossible to ignore…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For July 20, 2015

Vinted on July 20, 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 Red Car Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): From perfume to flowers to herbs to berries, this one lacks for almost nada. $68 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Murdoch James High Block Pinot Noir (Martinborough): Ah, to run the fine, gritty texture of fertile earth between one’s fingers… $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Spell Estate Chardonnay (Russian River Valley): Unctuous, curvy, and delicious; she has a bit of a feisty side to her, too. $38 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Spell Estate Nichole’s Blend Pinot Noir (Sonoma County): Nichole? Oh, you’d like Nichole; she’s down to earth and very pretty. $39 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Spell Estate Rose Vin Gris Of Pinot Noir (Sonoma County): Background singer decked out in full-on glitter-studded 70s funk regalia $19 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Gunderloch Nackenheim Riesling Trocken (Rheinhessen): Can Riesling be elegant & burly? This is making a decent case for the combo. $34 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc Beeswax Vineyard (Arroyo Seco): Remaining one of the biggest Rhone bargains not from the Rhone $28 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Volant (California): A hot kitchen is the only thing marring this peppery, savory meal of a beverage $45 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 2013 Fields Family Wines Lodi Native Stampede Vineyard Clement Hills Zinfandel (Lodi): For when ribs go spicy, succulent & gourmet. $35 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Three Rivers Winery Steel Chardonnay (Columbia Valley): The bucket might be steely, but the apples it’s carrying are fresh & crisp $14 B+ >>find this wine<<





There Is No Wine Blogging

Vinted on July 15, 2015 binned in Uncategorized

A recent spate of criticism levied against wine bloggers as a general group got me thinking that there actually isn’t a thing we might call “wine blogging” anymore.

Think about it this way:

Should – or can – we stop people from taking cell phone pictures?

Most of the photos taken by mostly everyone are terrible. Awful lighting. Laughable composition. Deer-in-the-headlights use of (the horror!)… a flash! And don’t get me started on the subject matter chosen for well over 95 percent of what will be the estimated trillion (yes, trillion) digital photographs taken over the next year.

Almost none of those images will even qualify as a mortifying embarrassment for any professional – or even semi-pro – photographer. So, why not rise up in protest, gnash our teeth, and collectively bitch and moan that “amateur photography” is a blight on the professional photography world?

Because that idea is ludicrous, of course. It’s full of faulty assumptions, not the least of which is the notion that amateur personal photography could be controlled – impossible on its face with the proliferation and ease of both its creation (try finding a cell phone without a camera option, folks) and its distribution and publication (flikr… Pinterest… Instagram… the book of face…).

Another impossibly stupid assumption: that all, or even a tiny fraction, of amateur photographers actually believe themselves to be performing at a professional level, and are taking pictures for any reason other than their own personal enjoyment.

If you’re still with me, I’m about to tie this back into the wine world (thanks for your patience… I owe you a glass of something decent)…

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