“When minds are dripping color, And there’s liquid on the brain
They laugh to one another, And politely go insane”
– Primus, The Dream
Last month, I had the pleasure of (once again) checking out the funky, entertaining, and technically dazzling band Primus, as they rolled through Philly on their Ambushing the Storm tour. Primus are currently playing with fellow prog-influenced band Mastodon in support of The Desaturating Seven, an at turns raucous, pretty, trippy, and virtuosic concept album based on Ul de Rico’s also trippy, gorgeous, and all-too-allegorically-topical-and-relevant-today (hey, one of the goblins is Orange… just sayin’…) children’s book The Rainbow Goblins. The album is played in its entirety during the show, with vibrant and also trippily-fantastic visual accompaniment that, I can tell you from personal experience, goes down even better with a wine-altered state of consciousness.
As was the case last year, I got to tag along with the VIP Package ticket-holders as a guest of Chaney Claypool, wife of Primus front-man Les Claypool and (along with Les), proprietor of Sonoma-based Claypool Cellars, who have been mentioned on these virtual pages for over eight years (holy crap!) at this point. The current tour VIP package offers a Q&A session with the band, and a tasting of some of the more recent Claypool Cellars releases; given my penchant for awesome prog-y type tunes, and my pinch-me wine-thing day job, and my music-thing side-gig, you can probably guess that I was pretty pumped to spend an early-summer-ish evening watching my various worlds collide…
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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 in a “mini-review” format.
They are meant to be quirky, fun, and (mostly) easily-digestible reviews of (mostly) currently available wines (click here for the skinny on how to read them), and are presented links to help you find them, so that you can try them out for yourself. Cheers!
- 2017 Bota Box Dry Rosé (California): One hell of a pithy, fruity, well-rounded bargain, except without any of the actual Hell part. $22.99 B+
- 2013 Bonny Doon Vineyard 30th Anniversary Le Cigare Volant (Central Coast): Lovely, lovely, lovely; a fitting, reserved, and perky tribute to a venerable legacy. $45 A-
- 2015 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc (Arroyo Seco): Curvy and pretty, floral and perfumed, living up to the Beeswax vineyard namesake, and coming off as a veritable bargain. $28 A-
- 2015 Clos du Val Winemaker’s Signature Series Three Graces Red Blend (Napa Valley): The Napa deal, the whole Valley deal, and nothing but the deal, and basically the real deal. $180 A
- 2015 V. Sattui Winery Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Boldly going where, well, where many Napa reds have gone before, but doing it with both gusto and a sense fo prestige. $100 A-
- 2012 Donnafugata Mille e una Notte (Sicily): Check it out, somebody is doing their sexxaaaahhhhh dance!!! $75 A-
- 2015 Rocca Sveva Castelcerino (Soave Superiore Classico): Substantive, textural, interesting, anda little nutty; so, basically, a really good Postmodern novella. $17 B+
- 2015 Selbach Riesling Kabinett (Mosel): Subtle and understated, but to be overlooked only at your lime-blossom-missing peril. $25 B+
- 2016 M. Chapoutier Domaine de Bila-Haut Lesquerde ‘L’Esquerda’ (Cotes du Roussillon Villages): Could use a bit more verve, but otherwise you’ve got an incredibly tasty, sweet maple sausage breakfast in a glass here. $28 B+
- 2013 The Infinite Monkey Theorem “The Bubble Universe” Sparkling Wine (Grand Valley, CO): Like a bubble, rich in texture, beautiful to behold, and yet light as a feather throughout. $55 A-
“I hate waiting…”
So… I promised a follow-up to that 2016 Vintage Port preview, and since I’m a man(-child) of my word, here ’tis!
The central theme of my `16 VP roundup was that we all need to slow the f*ck down and accept the fact that Vintage Port not only takes a looooooong time to come around, and that a) many of us might be dead before newly-released VPs are fully developed, but we should buy them for future generations, and b) your patience regarding waiting on the slow maturation of VP will be well rewarded.
It’s time for us to get to the “b)” part, as we take a trip back through roughly thirty years of time, beginning with 2007 (when we were lamenting the state of our 401k balances) and ending with 1980 (when we were wearing JAMs, listening to disco, and some of you were probably snorting cocaine). We’re going to walk through a tasting of some of the world’s best “recent” Port vintages (with an average price per bottle of a staggering $367), from a tasting at which I was a media guest in NYC because, well, my life totally rocks (for more on the background of the various Port houses and their respective VP styles, see this post).
Alrighty then, wipe your nose and let’s get to it…
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