Weekly Twitter Wine Mini Reviews Round-Up For December 17, 2011

Vinted on December 17, 2011 binned in wine mini-reviews

Uhm, like what is this stuff?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine sample tasting notes via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be fun, quickly-and-easily-digestible reviews. Below is a wrap-up of the twitter reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find them so you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 06 d’Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings (McLaren Vale): The strokes here are big, bold & burly; but they’re also beautifully rendered. $65 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 11 Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Dry Riesling (Clare Valley): Want some acid with that peach & minerals? No? Well, too damn bad for you. $18 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Pirie South Riesling (Tasmania): Stately, spicy, racy – and tasting like it just might have had some Alsatian grandparents. $20 B >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Bindi Composition Pinot Noir (Macedon Ranges): The tune is noir indeed (dark berry, chocolate), and you’ll be humming it for days. $60 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 06 Yering Station Reserve Pinot Noir (Yarra Valley): Trains leaving here have a bit much cherry oak, but the appointments are elegant $55 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Kooyong Massale Pinot Noir (Mornington Peninsula): Sweet berries brighter than the morning sun. Might turn your disposition cheery. $30 B >>find this wine>>
  • 07 Nickel & Nickel C.C. Ranch Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Velvety fruit, vanilla, violets make for very good vino. $79 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 10 KC Jones Streamliner (Sonoma County): KC Jones, you better watch your unctuousness (but not your vitality, or food-friendliness!). $25 B >>find this wine>>
  • 05 Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz (Eden Valley): Like being served one of those 70% cocoa bars, by angels in the fields of Elysium. $110 A >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Tahbilk Marsanne (Nagambie Lakes): The Rhone, on vacation & soaking up the freewheeling, tropical vibes of the Southern hemisphere $17 B >>find this wine>>
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Reports Of Australian Wine’s Death Hath Been Greatly Exaggerated, My Lords

Vinted on December 15, 2011 binned in crowd pleaser wines, kick-ass wines, wine books

Australian wine has become the red-headed stepchild of the fine wine world. But the ginger brat is still alive and kicking, people.

I can hear the Aussie wine biz calling out from the cart, like the old man in the “Bring Out Your Dead” skit of Monty Python’s Holy Grail: “I’m not dead!… I think I’ll go for a walk… I feel haaaapy!!!”

[ Editor’s note: speaking of Python, anyone remember their old “Aussie Table Wine” bit, based on the idea that fine wine being made in a place like Australia was so laughable that it could be used as premise for a comedy skit? Who’s laughing now? ]

The general zeitgeist of the wine cognoscenti (at least lately) is that Aussie wine (particularly the much-maligned Shiraz) consists of overly-dense, brutish, syrupy, overblown, Port-without-the-charm and generally overpriced vino on the high end, and sugary, soda-pop-wannabe plonk on the low end.

Like most myths, Aussie wine’s death is based in some semblance of truth – but I am growing increasingly convinced that it is exactly that: a myth. Why? Because increasingly I am running into Aussie wines that are anything but plonk, and are a far cry from charmless saccharine plum-sauce.

Sure, Australia pumps out plonky, low-end crap by the Brobdingnag-esque tank-load (literally) – but name me one major wine-producing country that doesn’t do that. As for the high-end, the gems – the wines that truly speak of place and do have charm to spare – well, they are there, you just have to know where to look for them (just as you have to do in every other wine-producing card-carrying U.N. member country).

So what happened? Why are consumers and critics alike turning away from Aussie wine faster than a wombat would turn away after catching a whiff of a stark-raving-mad and starving dingo on the hunt? According to some, the stigma for Aussie wine is mostly Robert Parker’s fault; or, rather, the culpability rests with an industry that got too greedy and built production – and prices – up too fast after Parker anointed a few heady styles of Aussie low-production reds with near-perfect scores while at the apex of his influence in the 1990s. That’s the premise behind Campbell Mattinson’s excellent Thin Skins: Why The French Hate Australian Wine

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Winners Of The ZAP 2012 Giveaway Announced (Along With The Zins Now On My Review List)!

Vinted on December 14, 2011 binned in giveaways, wine industry events

Wow!

You people sure do like your ZAP. Or you sure do like your Zinfandel. Or both, probably.

Between the comments, retweets, Facebook Likes, e-mails, and other versions of time-sucking on-line virtual social water-cooler spots, my giveaway of tickets to some of the ZAP 2012 events generated a few hundred reactions (with over 100 coming in the form of comments alone). That is, by far, the the biggest response to a giveaway in 1WD history! A huge THANK YOU to all of you who made the giveaway so awesome – a special shout-out to reader Leilani Carrara who put us over the 100 comment mark, and in doing so was awarded an impromptu prize (in the form of a free copy of the 1WineDude.com Tasting Guide ebook).

For those who have been playing along at home, you know that the giveaway also determined at least two Zinfandels that I will now be on the hook to review – not necessarily an easy task, since I live in the Communistwealth of PA and so do not necessarily have easy access to the wines demanded by the giveaway winners (attention PR folk: if you have samples of any of these winners, I’m willing to talk!).

And so… the winners of tix for two to a pair of way-cool ZAP 2012 events… aaaaaand their Zin picks, which I now need to get my grubby little hands on to review, are…

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