Today I’m very pleased to announce the launch of an idea that I’ve been contemplating in my noggin’ for a long time, which is to add podcasts to 1WineDude.com for interviews (trust me, no one wants to hear a podcast of me talking to myself).
Author and designer Tanya Scholes braved illness, jet lag, and guinea pig status to become the first victim kind-hearted soul to help me launch this podcast idea, which I’m dubbing “1WineDude Radio” because I lack the inventiveness to come up with a catchier name.
Tanya has just released her first book, The Art And Design Of Contemporary Wine Labels, and it’s a beauty (and one that his been garnering praise recently throughout the wine world), which details the previously hidden stories behind the designs of hundreds of stunning wine labels. Yes, I did receive a review copy (for those of you work in the FTC), but that won’t stop me from recommending this as a potential holiday gift for those of you looking to treat yourselves that special wine-lovin’ someone.
Anyway, in this inaugural podcast episode, Tanya talks about how the book came to be, recalls the reaction she gets to the book from winemakers, instructs me on the correct pronunciation (both English and French-Canadian) of her last name, and contemplates why wine label designers seem overly-preoccupied with cephalopods. You know, just another day at the office!
Also – a few of quick points on this whole podcast thang:
- I am NOT attempting to usurp radio programs like (the excellent) Wine Biz Radio, who are actually sponsored, on-air programs.
- I am NOT planning on abandoning the written word (or video).
- YES, I am throwing this format into the mix to spice things up a little bit, and mostly to provide a means for giving more exposure to (hopefully interesting and thought-provoking) back-and-forth interviewing repartee.
1WineDude Radio Episode 1: The Tanya Scholes Interview
“To learn as we grow old
The secrets of our souls.”
– Question, Moody Blues
My intention today is not shock you into your Monday morning with cheesy Moody Blues lyrics (though I’ll admit to jamming out the bass line to Question dozens of times when I was in high school and songs like Question seemed really, really deep and important), but to call your attention to a blog post today by my friend, Wine Enthusiast editor Steve Heimoff.
The more astute reader will immediately recognize that I refrained from calling Steve a colleague, since in my mind that would actually be insulting him, though now that I think about it maybe I should have done that and then asked him for a small fee to remove the reference… anyway…
In said blog post, Steve talks about a recent Napa tasting in which he tasted some big-ass Cabernet wines and walked away thinking that many were, on the whole, quite balanced despite their, uhm, generous sizes. In reflecting on the tasting, he hits on what I consider the king-among-princess of a wine’s better qualities:
“Among all these impressionistic words… I think the most important is balance. Balance is central to wine’s quality.”
On this point, Steve and I are, using a term of which one of my friends is particularly fond, in “violent agreement.”
For my money, nothing, and I mean nothing, in a wine’s lineup of admirable qualities – including things like place of origin and pedigree – trumps balance…
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- 06 Lokoya Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Handsome poker face of blackberry & espresso; will show its hand in like 8 yrs $200 A- #
- 05 Verite “La Joie” (Sonoma County): Band-aid funk crashing an otherwise opulent black fruit party; Warning – for Brett-heads only! $150 B #
- 08 Kimmel Vineyards Chardonnay (Mendocino): Tiny production of a (maybe too) big wine; great acidity & minerals kick it up a notch. $32 B+ #
- 07 V. Sattui Vittorio’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): A black cherry & herbs aromatherapy bath after a very long day. $35 B+ #
- 08 V. Sattui Early Harvest White Riesling (CA): One of the tastiest, liveliest Rieslings you’ll find south of the WA state border. $18 B #
- 07 Volta Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Nice to welcome them back; this dark, big & beautifully balanced Cab was worth the wait. $60 A- #
- 05 Louis M. Martini Monte Rosso Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma Valley): This one joined the Dark (ginormous dried fruit) Side. $86 B+ #
- 06 Marita’s Vineyard Select Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Fig, sandalwood & you do, in fact, go well together. $150 A- #
“Literally all my savings all went into the winery to keep it afloat… it was the most challenging time of my life.”
Winemaking, especially in these troubled economic times, is not for anyone whose skins might be thinner than your average Cabernet grape’s. Case in point: Volta Wines.
Longtime 1WineDude.com readers will no doubt recognize the name Volta – it’s one of the wines that more-or-less put me on the wine-reviewin’ map. I was the first person to ever critically review Volta’s inaugural Cabernet release publicly, and though the review predates my grading system for wine reviews, the rough equivalent I keep coming back to when I consider the balance of power, focus and suppleness in their first release is “A-” – in other words, an excellent wine and getting that right that early is a stellar achievement for a producer’s first try.
Lucky for me, my impression of the Volta 2005 Cab was by-and-large validated by others in the established wine media at the time, including my bro’ Gary Vaynerchuk – that’s the “puttin’ me on the map” part – and over the successive months I found myself often wondering How’s it going with the Volta guys? and Is Volta ever gonna release an `06?
The answers to those questions turned out to be “Not well” and “No,” respectively – a 2006 release never materialized because the entire Volta outfit almost tanked under the weight of the imploding economy.
Yikes. Turns out the blow wasn’t quite fatal, however.
It’s with great pleasure that I tell you that Volta is still alive and kicking – I am very pleased today to present not only the first critical review of Volta’s 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon release (is it appropriate to call this a “comeback” release already?), but also a limited-time discount on Volta wines for 1WineDude.com readers!
First, let’s talk about the 2007 release, and the journey it took to get there… then we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of the discount after the jump…
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