On The Road: Chile & Argentina Wine Countries

Vinted on March 7, 2011 binned in on the road

I’ll be asking for your patience over the next couple of weeks, as I continue the trend of upping the travel here on 1WineDude (hey, you told me you wanted more travel pieces, after all!).

This jaunt is going to feel bittersweet for me: for one thing, I’m stoked to be heading to Chile and Argentina (although I am not sure how warmly I will be greeted by the Chileans after my little mention here of their greener wines last October… let’s hope they have a short memory…); for another, it’s still time away from my family right on the heels of previous travel to the Left Coast for the Pro Wine Writers Symposium and Premiere Napa Valley.

The trade-off for your patience in indulging a bit  of inconsistency (I’ll still be trying to connect and post from Chile and Argentina whenever and wherever possible) is that things might get quiet here over the coming weeks, which not only is blogging anathema in general in that it breaks some of the fundamental rules of playing in the blog-o-world, but it also means that we mess around a bit with part of the contract that I have with you out there reading this blog: namely, the publication schedule that I’ve been rigorously (and not without some pain – especially the borderline-carpal-tunnel-variety) following since October…

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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini Reviews Round-Up For March 5, 2011

Vinted on March 5, 2011 binned in wine mini-reviews
  • 09 GROONER Gruner Veltliner (Kremstal): Lime, apple, hints of herbs & more versatility than MacGyver (when it comes to food, anyway). $12 B #
  • 09 Ministry Of The Vinterior Chardonnay (Russian River Valley): That’s a fun pineapple, but it kinda hides a razor blade of acid. $15 C+ #
  • 06 Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): A boysenberry shrine is built but the structure never fully finds its footing. $61 B+ #
  • 07 Bolen Family Estates Merlot (Napa Valley): Lush plums of every strips show up, but are dancing ringfenced by a booze enclosure. $60 B #
  • 09 Zin 91 Old Vine Zinfandel (CA): Hits its target of everyday, easy-drinking, jammy tastiness. Just don’t look for complexity here. $11 C+ #
  • 08 Misty Oaks “Jones Road” Cabernet Franc (Umpqua Valley): Digging on the dark fruit & chocolate, but pining away for the spice. $28 B #
  • 02 Shafer Vineyards Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Amazingly ripe, focused, fragrant wine. Amazingly bad price. $425 A #
  • 07 Franciscan Cuvee Savage Chardonnay (Napa Valley): Further proof that I’m lying to myself about only liking Chablis-styled Chards. $40 A- #
  • 06 Freemark Abbey Sycamore Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Patience; it takes hours to show its minty, black currant hand. $65 B+ #
  • 08 Tres Sabores Rutherford Estate Zinfandel (Napa Valley): Picks up right where the 07 left off – spicy, black, vibrant & damn fun. $35 B #
  • 09 Stags’ Leap Winery Viognier (Napa valley): OMG, pears & flowers – it actually tastes like Viognier (& it likes food, too)! Word up $22 B+ #
  • 08 Continuum Red (Napa Valley): Complex as a Lewis Carroll riddle & structured like an Eiffel bridge. Artistic, dark & wonderful. $150 A #
  • 08 Montes Alpha Carmenere (Colchagua Valley): Black fruit racing against oak & green stemmy notes, and looks to be just a step behind. $24 B #
  • 09 Cantina di Soave Re Midas Soave: What’s this citrus & almond goodness doin’ at dinner? Rockin’ yer chicken satay, that’s what. $10 B- #
  • 09 Cantina di Soave Re Midas Corvina (Venezie): Fun, juicy, burger-ready, and about bustin’ with dried cherry & earthy strawberries. $10 B- #
  • 07 Hestan Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Impeccably-made, but best for fruit-lovers as even the long finish is juicy on this one. $100 A- #
  • 08 Hestan Chardonnay (San Francisco Bay): This was a surprise; creamy, smooth apricot & spice from a place not yet on the wine radar. $50 B+ #
  • 07 Stephanie Merlot (Napa Valley): Olives, pepper & a dash of raisiny Cab Sauv rounds out a juicy (and fairly-priced) Merlot recipe. $35 B+ #

 

 

1WineDude TV Episode 28: Premiere Insanity (A Glimpse Into Premiere Napa Valley Auction 2011)

Vinted on March 3, 2011 binned in 1WineDude TV, California wine, wine industry events

The Scarecrow becomes Mrs. King of Napa Cult Cabs at Premiere Napa Valley Auction 2011, and you get to see the action in today’s vid.  The record-setting winning Scarecrow bid is featured, as is a compelling one-of-a-kind wine story by Casa Nuestra (and lots of purple teeth)!

Some of my tasting notes are featured below after the jump, so stick around and check them out after you watch!

(reviews after the jump)…

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The 2011 Professional Wine Writers Symposium In 10 Easily Digestible Morsels

Vinted on March 2, 2011 binned in going pro, wine industry events

1) It is the darkest of times for wine writing. The general decline in the consumption of real journalistic reporting has resulted in immensely talented people being out of regular wine-writing-work.  The black cloud enveloping the wine writing sphere is actually the dark cloak of the grim reaper; that silver lining you see is his scythe, gleaming against the available light, raised to the apex of its arc in his cold, bony hands, beginning its inexorable path to cut wine writing down at its haunches.

2) It is the brightest of times for wine writing, for those who are comfortable with ambiguity and have an entrepreneurial bent.  Since information about wine is now being consumed in almost an infinite array of forms on-line (with no-to-low-cost barriers to entry to almost all of them), those with passion, drive, talent and business sense can earn a comfortable living – if they’re able to market themselves and build their own personal brands.  Success stories include new and traditional media types (and those like Dominique Browning who have successfully leveraged both).

3) Apparently, I have fooled a good number of people into thinking that I know what I am talking about. I think there might be a good book idea in there somewhere, but I won’t bother to pitch it because the traditional publishing industry has 14 billion levels of checks and bureaucracy and is (almost) hopelessly broken.

4) Everything positive that you’ve ever heard about the legendary Gerald Asher is probably true. His keynote speech seamlessly wove together wine writing history, wine sales, insight into the human condition, and prostitution – and that was just in the first three minutes.

5) Please stop telling me that Napa wines are never Bretty, or that their ripe fruits will outshine any Bretty stank even after years in the bottle.  Because I sampled some older vintages at the post-prandial (does anyone not love that word?) tastings at the Symposium, and while most were NOT Bretty, those that were displayed way more fruit-of-the-barnyard than fruit-of-the-vine, if you catch my drift.

(more after the jump…)

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