K is For K-rap Lawsuit? (The First Time I’ve Banned a Wine Product)

Vinted on October 5, 2010 binned in commentary

Hopefully it will be the last time, as well.

[ Also, please be forewarned that this post contains several references to the concept of poop. ]

By now, the more on-line socially active of you (sounds sexy!) will have not only heard about the kerfuckle over at Blake Gray’s excellent blog The Gray Market Report between some the blog’s Anonymous commenters and K Vintners winemaker Charles Smith.

Since the announcement of the lawsuit (which, in a nutshell, centers on a complaint of libel that the Anonymous commenters on the original GMR post), lots of blogs have reacted to various aspects of the suit.

I’m not going to talk about any of that.

I’m going to talk about my reaction to what I consider a totally frivolous lawsuit, the primary purpose of which, as far as a I can discern, is to stimulate economic recovery for the law industry while causing headaches for Blake Gray, Google, and anyone else involved.

My reaction: K Vintners will never again be mentioned in the virtual pages of 1WineDude.com, unless Charles Smith and K publicly take a different approach in all of this, and quickly. The primary reasons for such a drastic measure?

  1. I don’t want 1WineDude.com readers having to worry about being wrapped up in lawsuits.
  2. I won’t have 1WineDude.com readers treated like they have the brains of poop-flinging monkeys – which is essentially what Smith and K are doing by filing this type of lawsuit; they’re sort of telling you that you are unable to discern a smarmy, anonymous comment from the reasonable musings and opinions of an intelligent blog reader.

I sincerely hope this is the only time I will ever have to do something like this; but for now, Smith can stick with the many accolades for his wines from the traditional press, where he can feel safe and secure that people can’t respond anywhere near as quickly; and, presumably, let his ego grow to monstrous proportions in the meantime…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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Old Vines, Old Families, New Recommendations (Three Reds Worth Your Time and Money)

Vinted on October 4, 2010 binned in crowd pleaser wines, kick-ass wines, overachiever wines, wine review

Today, we’re talking wine recommendations, simply because over the last week I had the pleasure of tasting samples of three very different but very badge-worthy Reds that I wanted to share with you. The first comes from old vines; the remainder from old winemaking families. Also, in reviewing these I’ve just noticed that each “review” has a sh*t-load of links, which is either “adding value” or “annoying as hell” depending on your viewpoint (which I’m sure many of you will share with me :-) …

1WD_Badge_Overachiever_thumb1_thumb[1] 09 Jean-Paul Brun Domaine des Terres Dorees L’Ancien (Beaujolais): As good as many of the Beaujolais Crus out there & a few $ cheaper! $15 B #

I’ve got a soft-spot for Cru Beaujolais, which I find to be some of the most food-worthy wine in the world for usually not a lot of cash.  So it’s really cool for me when I take part in a tasting (in this case, a TasteLive.com Discover Beaujolais round-up) and find a Beaujolais that thinks it’s a Cru but actually is an even-more-approachable and slightly-less-expensive-but-just-as-good general Beaujolais appellation offering, with the added bonus of being made from old vines. Brambly, deep red berry fruit (possibly courtesy of those Vieilles Vignes), pepper, and a hint of game, and generally just really f*cking yummy.

1WD_Badge_KickAss_thumb[1] 07 Continuum Red (Oakville): Graphite & fig did it for me, but w/ complexity like this you can find 20 other things to float yer boat $129 A #

Last week, I joined Philly’s First Lady of Wine, Marnie Old, at Osteria for dinner with Continuum Estate’s H. Stuart Harrison (who, interestingly, was also Opus One’s first employee) and Carissa Mondavi (you will have heard of her granddad). I know that sounds all NY-Times-name-dropping but hear me out, okay?

During dinner, we sampled the `07 Continuum which, aside from sharing the same name as one of the most kick-ass pieces of jazz bass proficiency ever conceived, also happens to kick ass in its own right. The oddest thing about this endeavor is that Tim Mondavi launched it only a few years ago, at what should have been the worst possible time for anything new and expensive. That is, of course, a blip on the radar when it comes to the viewpoint of the Mondavis, who seem to start every venture with the belief that it will last 100+ years.

Now in its third vintage, Continuum wine is extraordinarily good, seamlessly merging the focused power of Pritchard Hill fruit with the more lush, velvety and “open” components from fruit on the Valley floor – and with a healthy dose (18%) of Petit Verdot that is, somehow, not at all obnoxious. I’m kind of amazed that they got it right so quickly, even with fruit that good and several generations of Napa winemaking DNA at their disposal. Pricey, for sure, but worth every penny of it and I hope I get to taste some of this ten or twelve years from now.

1WD_Badge_Crowd_Pleaser_thumb11_thumb[1] 06 Louis M. Martini Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Heck of a crowd-pleasing, velvety, tobacco-infused ride for the price. $25 B #

Going to the other side of the Napa Cabernet spectrum, Martini – another (very) long-standing Napa wine family – has been pumping out some consistently tasty wines lately that lean decidedly towards the velvety-smooth-drink-me-now-baby side of said spectrometer sampling.  Bottom line  on this wine is that I’ve had far less interesting, less complex, and less tasty examples of Napa Cab that cost a lot more to one’s bottom line. Very good wine, very good price, and very good conversation piece for the winos at your next dinner par-tay.

That’s it – short (for me, anyway) and sweet!

Cheers!

(images: 1winedude.com, continuumestate.com)

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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini-Reviews Round-up for 2010-10-02

Vinted on October 2, 2010 binned in wine mini-reviews
  • 06 Louis M. Martini Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Heck of a crowd-pleasing, velvety, tobacco-infused ride for the price. $25 B #
  • 07 Continuum Red (Oakville): Graphite & fig did it for me, but w/ complexity like this you can find 20 other things to float yer boat $129 A #
  • 09 Jean-Paul Brun Dme. des Terres Dorees L'Ancien (Beaujolais): As good as many of the Beaujolais Crus out there & a few $ cheaper! $15 B #
  • 09 Dme. de Vissoux Les Griottes Rose (Beaujolais): Long on acid, short on fruit. Still, better give it benefit of the doubt w/ food. $15 C+ #
  • 09 Domaine Dupeuble Pere et Fils (Beaujolais): What, u don't like red berry w/ peppers & flowers? Fine – more for me then, buck-o! $13 B- #
  • 09 Chateau des Pethieres (Beaujolais): Slightly homely love-child of Strawberry, banana, violet & venison tryst. Yeah, I'm serious. $15 C+ #
  • 09 Castell Silvaner trocken (Franken): Lime Sprite for the wine set, & about as easily / drinkably accessible (if a tad overpriced). $17 B- #
  • 05 Clos Du Val Stags Leap Dist. Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Napa Cab in a sharp European suit, talking w/ a mild French accent. $70 A- #
  • 06 Kilikanoon M Reserve Shiraz (McLaren Vale): If u like yer cola big, black & extracted you might just fall in love; otherwise avoid $70 B+ #
  • 08 Penley Estate Aradia Chardonnay (Coonawarra): It went big (& buttery), I went home, but lovers of large might feel right *at* home $20 B #
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