Surface Tension (Galerie Wines Recent Releases)

Vinted on July 9, 2015 binned in elegant wines, kick-ass wines, wine review
Laura Díaz Muñoz

Galerie’s Laura Díaz Muñoz

There seems to be a bit more going on underneath the surface of Laura Díaz Muñoz than you might at first suspect from her somewhat reserved demeanor. And if winemaking has any potential of being a window into the personality of a winemaker, her Galerie wines have enough intriguing tension under the surface to suggest Muñoz has more complexity than she at first reveals.

Currently, she’s one of the winemakers with Jackson Family Wines, working with Chris Carpenter on brands such as Cardinale, Lokoya, and Mt. Brave since she arrived in the U.S. from Spain about seven years ago. Befitting our little theme here, that last statement is a deceptively simple version of a circuitous wine career than Muñoz began in Madrid, continued in La Mancha, then extended with stints in Marlborough and Chile before settling down – sort of – in the States.

“I wanted to go to Argentina,” she told me while driving to one of the Knights Valley vineyard sources for Galerie, “but Chris convinced me to stay.” [ editor’s note: I’ve met Chris a few times; at well over six feet tall, he looks every bit like he’s just magically stepped off the artwork on the Brawny Towel packaging; I probably wouldn’t challenge him, either… ]

Of course, you’d expect a Spaniard to be crafting wines from Bordeaux varieties in the greater Napa Valley area, right? Or not…

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It’s Not “Hipster” If It’s Already “Mainstream” (On Delectable And The Changing Tastes Of Today’s Fine Wine Consumers)

Vinted on July 7, 2015 binned in commentary, wine news

Last week, one of the nation’s only real newspapers (the New York Times) published a little piece about the popular wine review mobile app Delectable. What I found most interesting about the article was the discussion of Delectable’s user trend data with the company’s resident wine pro, Julia Weinberg.

Here’s a look at the Delectable data as graphed by NYT:

Delectable user data

image: NYT

And here’s what they had to say about wine consumption trends suggested by those data:

“…wines from the Loire Valley in France and Piedmont in Italy — again already favored among the wine pros — have become slightly more popular among regular users, while interest in the typically bolder wines of Tuscany and especially Bordeaux has fallen. Ms. Weinberg said that does not necessarily mean that drinkers are souring on Tuscany and Bordeaux but rather that they are consuming a broader array of wines. ‘It’s always a tricky question,’ she said. ‘Are these kind of higher-acid, lower-alcohol hipster wines taking over? Or is there just so much more access to a greater diversity of wines? One of the reasons why wine is so exciting these days is there’s so much more in the mix.'”

I’ve got a problem with this.

Not because I question the data, but because we have people referring to higher-acid, lower-alcohol wines as “hipster.” It’s not hipster if it’s already mainstream, folks…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For July 6, 2015

Vinted on July 6, 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!

  • 12 Stonestreet Gravel Bench Chardonnay (Alexander Valley): Lots of rock under all that cream but you'd best bring your wood tolerance $65 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Continuum Red (Napa Valley): All estate, and all about flaunting it; because, deep down, it just *knows* that it has it… $200 A >>find this wine<<
  • 13 DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc (Columbia Valley): Seems this unctuous beauty keeps getting prettier, because, well it does. $42 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Monte Rossa Cabochon Brut (Franciacorta): A hearty, aggressive toast, made to apple-and-brioche toastiness – and tastiness. $55 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Broadley Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): Broadly speaking, this is a sweet spot between sweet fruit & perkiness. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Syncline Gruner Veltliner (Columbia Gorge): Capable of respectfully flipping you the middle finger, if it deems it necessary. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Merryvale Starmont Pinot Noir (Carneros): Small it is not, but vibrant and tasty it is, and may be interested in your next picnic. $28 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 CUNE Monopole (Rioja): You thought you were getting a more elegant Spanish white for this price? Dude, what is wrong with you? $12 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare (Central Coast): Lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely… $18 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Bonny Doon Bien Nacido Syrah X-Block​​ (Santa Maria Valley): When you're this light on your feet & carefree it becomes infectious. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
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