The Lazy Abuse of Wine Scores: A Glimpse Into One Producer’s Market Struggles (and a Glimmer of Hope)

Vinted on January 5, 2011 binned in best of, commentary, going pro, on the road

No matter how far one travels in the wine world, there is no respite from the rampant abuse of the 100-point wine rating system.

The harsh reality of this fact was driven home to me while visiting the (relatively new, at least when it comes to their modern table wines) Cima Corgo producer Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo during my recent sojourn to Portuguese wine country (while the vineyards have been long-standing and the location making wine since the mid 1700s, the modern winery was built in April 2003).

Quinta Nova’s rather long name is the odd result of a merger of sorts; from the QuintaNova.com website:

“The name ‘Quinta Nova’ (meaning new farm) was the name given to the new Quinta after the two Quintas were joined together. Nossa Senhora do Carmo is the patron saint of the seventeenth century chapel on the margin of the Douro River. In this particularly dangerous bend of the river, the crew of the Rabelo boats would stop at the chapel to beg protection from their patron saint before carrying on down the river.”

In their efforts to get their table wines a bit of market share outside of their Portuguese home base, it seems that Quinta Nova could use some assistance from their canonized namesake – because the abuse of the 100 point system, which has led to what have to be some of the laziest business practices in modern history, is making their journey into the world wine market a treacherous one indeed

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Win Tickets To The 20th Zinfandel Festival in San Francisco!

Vinted on January 3, 2011 binned in California wine, giveaways, wine industry events

Has it really been twenty years since ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers) first held their modest gathering, spearheaded by Ravenswood founder and Sonoma wine icon Joel Peterson (for a glimpse into Joel’s head, check out our interview from Dec. 2008)?

Believe it or not, ZAP’s 20th Annual Zinfandel Festival is, indeed, taking place Thursday-Saturday, January 27-29, and tickets are now on sale. Like most wine events that have grown to become ginormous in size, folks tend to have mixed reviews of the event (or, put more accurately, mixed reviews of the attendees of the event) but some of the positive press comes by way of people for whom I have a great deal of respect, such as my adopted papa Charlie Olken – so there is certainly some fun to be had, and of course the opportunity to taste a sh*tload of Zinfandel from dozens of producers.

It’s in that spirit that we’ve giving away 2 sets of 5 tickets each to two of the 20th Zinfandel Festival events – the Good Eats & Zin Pairing on Thursday, Jan. 27, and the Grand Zin Tasting on Saturday, Jan. 29 – and you can win just by leaving a comment on this post!

Details on how to win are after the jump. Just be forewarned that I’m not independently wealthy and so rather than transport winners from any worldwide destination to San Fran. via my 70-foot yacht staffed by vestal virgins, the winning peeps are on their own for any travel and expenses and the giveaway is open to U.S. readers only (sorry, loyal Estonian readers!).

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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini Reviews Round-Up For 2011-01-01

Vinted on January 1, 2011 binned in wine mini-reviews
  • 08 Selbach "Fish Label" Riesling Kabinett (Mosel): Will rock the leftover holiday turkey sandwich. Xtra pts 4 the white flower action. $16 B #
  • 08 C. Donatiello Middle Reach Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): Full posse of spicy red fruits & berries riding on a sandalwood horse $34 B #
  • 06 Eifel-Pfeiffer Estate Collection Riesling Spatlese (Mosel): Honeysuckle, limes & good balance abound, riding ye olde petrol engine. $20 B #
  • 09 Afros Vinhão (Vinho Verde): Acquired taste (but tasty nonetheless) of dark, dark, and I mean DARK wild berries, spice & earth. €14 B- #
  • 06 Afros Sparkling Vinhão Reserve (Vinho Verde): Given 100 yrs 1 wouldn't guess something so dark would be so deliciously food-worthy. €19 B #
  • 09 Afros Loureiro (Vinho Verde): Like you just got personally invited to the Citrus & Tropical Fruit Ball (elegant dress included). €13 B+ #
  • 07 Afros Sparkling Loureiro Reserve (Vinho Verde): Brings the brioche, but left me yearning for a bit more Loureiro citrus magic. $NA B #
  • 07 Paraduxx Red (Napa Valley): Will cost you a pair of buxx, but will reward you with classic Zin dark fruit & gripping structure. $55 B+ #
  • Dow's Fine White Porto (Porto): It's magic in the art of blending; as in when you "blend" it in a glass with club soda, mint, & lime. $15 C+ #

 

 

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