How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Carricante (Highlights From Sicilia En Primeur 2015)

Sicilia en Primeur 2015 Etna

Message to Etna: No devastating explosions while I’m visiting, ok?

It’s somewhat ironic, as I kick off a series of posts about my press jaunt to Sicily earlier this year, that the wine region I often cite as a source of reasonably-priced wines made from international varieties will now be compressed into a highlight reel focusing primarily on one indigenous variety.

But hey, we gotta keep it real, so my take on the 2015 Sicilia en Primeur event (in its twelfth year, showcasing the wares of some of the island’s best producers) will orbit like a satellite around my new-found vinous luuuurv, the Carricante grape.

Much more from my Sicily jaunt is coming (and there’s been a teaser of sorts published last month via one of my final Answers.com pieces) but today is a cross-cut from the walk-around tasting at en Primeur, with my takes on some of the juice that I found particularly intriguing.

Sicilia en Primeur 2015 Etna

Sicily is entering an interesting time (interesting in both the American and British senses of the word).

It continues to produce a fairly substantial amount of wine, though plantings have decreased by about fifty percent in just over fifteen years (a combination of economic realities and a renewed quality focus). There might never be a better time for Sicily to try to capitalize on its entrenched U.S. market opportunities (hello? how many Italian restaurants are there in Manhattan alone?), with the 2014 vintage being hailed as “la vendemmia perfetta.” There’s serious potential there, if they can get ti together and get some of these wines into the mouths of importers/buyers/consumers. But since we’re talking about Italian politics here, there’s certainly a non-zero chance that they’ll squander it.

Speaking of the wines, best that we get to those before I get myself into trouble (and/or before this all starts reading like the lyrics to a Soronprfbs song)

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Apparently “Riedel” Is Actually Pronounced “A**hole” (Glassware Company Bullies Wine Blogger)

Vinted on August 11, 2015 binned in wine news

Riedel assware

Last week Riedel, the Austrian glassware company that seems tailor-made for the anally-retentive (the company produces glasses designed specifically for different wine styles and individual varietal wines, and even for different types of water), threatened wine blogger (and friend of 1WD) Ron Washam, better known within the wine biz as The Hosemaster of Wine.

Apparently, Georg Riedel didn’t take kindly to Washam’s satirical take on the company, published recently on MW Tim Atkin’s website. While Atkin was probably more vulnerable (due to the archaic UK laws regarding publishing), Washam was likely relatively “safe,” though of course subject to fast-mounting – and surely unwanted – legal bills in his defense.

From Atkin’s standpoint, the matter has been settled. Presumably in relation to the settlement, Atkin added the following preamble to the original article:

In this piece, US-based wine writer Ron Washam pokes fun at Riedel, the wine glass company, a brand that I respect and use personally. This is a piece of satirical writing. No offence is meant to be caused either to Georg Riedel or to his business. Please note that no interview with Georg Riedel took place in the creation of this article and that all quotes are fictitious and do not represent the personal views or business practices of Georg Riedel or his company. Tim Atkin

But as a company Riedel has, as of the time of this writing, not answered for what I would consider its blatantly asinine public behavior relating to this matter. Not only did they level the threat of legal action on Washam, but Riedel also removed complaints about / references to the incident posted by visitors to their Facebook page (I know this to be the case, because at least one of mine was removed).

[ Insert plaintive, exacerbated sigh here. ]

There are so many problems with this, it’s difficult for me to calm down long enough to know where to begin. Let’s start here: Riedel is way off base in challenging Hosemaster’s satire. From their letter to Washam, as reprinted on his website:

“… there is nothing satirical or funny about the Article…”

[ Insert incredulous What. The. HELL?!?? here ]…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For August 10, 2015

Vinted on August 10, 2015 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway?
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 with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 11 Lokoya Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): French press coffee from paradise; plunging will take about 10 years. $350 A >>find this wine<<
  • 12 St. Innocent Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): Guilty of tasting a bit too much as though it were from RRV. $41 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Villa Franciacorta Emozione Brut (Franciacorta): Plenty of croutons on this edible flower salad, for those bread lovers out there. $35 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Urban Riesling (Mosel): Pleasant enough company it is, but living up to the legends of its storied namesake it quite isn't. $14 B >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): Actually, that'd be a whole lotta fruity, spicy fun. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Tortoise Creek Le Charmel Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie (Loire Valley): Stones, pears, and in a hurry to get going, right now. $12 B >>find this wine<<
  • 12 VIE L'Intruse Mourvedre (Santa Barbara County): Not intrusive at all; in fact, it knocked first, & brought chocolate and tarragon. $39 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 VIE Thompson Vineyard Syrah (Santa Barbara County): Throwing blackberry chunks, in large pixelated blocks, aiming at your head. $45 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Contadi Castaldi Franciacorta Brut (Franciacorta): Not complicating things, and not stopping you from drinking the hell out of it. $20 B >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Willamette Valley Vineyards Bernau Block Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): Pucker up for earthy, tart-berry kisses, & feel the luv. $55 A- >>find this wine<<
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