Weekly Twitter Wine Mini Reviews Round-Up For 2011-01-08

Vinted on January 8, 2011 binned in wine mini-reviews
  • 04 Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Blanc de Blancs (Champagne): A baby w/ a ton of tart green apple. Could use more bread but still a bargain $46 B+ #
  • NV Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut (Champagne): Sour cherry comes on all elegant & sexy; this will NOT last very long once opened. $70 B+ #
  • 08 7 Deadly Zins (Lodi): A good one for the bargain-hunters. Smoky, meaty, & not much else-y; but certainly decent for the price-y. $15 C+ #
  • 01 Chateau Doisy-Védrines (Sauternes): Lays on lemon custard thick as molasses. Will go for several more yrs w/out breakin' a sweat. $55 A- #
  • 08 Cru ‘Appellation Series’ Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands): Tasty but things get a lil' dark (cherry fruited) early in these parts $29 B #
  • 07 Montecillo Crianza (Rioja): A bit too much vanilla oak, a bit too much funk, but just tart cherry action amount is *just right*. $12 B- #
  • 01 Montecillo Gran Reserva (Rioja): Black cherry, black licorice, but not to be blacklisted because this is a downright tasty bargain $25 B+ #
  • NV J Cuvee 20 Brut (Russian River Valley): A little aggressive, but a LOT going on (fuji apple, lemon biscuit, honeysuckle) for the $. $20 B #



The Lazy Abuse of Wine Scores: A Glimpse Into One Producer’s Market Struggles (and a Glimmer of Hope)

Vinted on January 5, 2011 binned in best of, commentary, going pro, on the road

No matter how far one travels in the wine world, there is no respite from the rampant abuse of the 100-point wine rating system.

The harsh reality of this fact was driven home to me while visiting the (relatively new, at least when it comes to their modern table wines) Cima Corgo producer Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo during my recent sojourn to Portuguese wine country (while the vineyards have been long-standing and the location making wine since the mid 1700s, the modern winery was built in April 2003).

Quinta Nova’s rather long name is the odd result of a merger of sorts; from the QuintaNova.com website:

“The name ‘Quinta Nova’ (meaning new farm) was the name given to the new Quinta after the two Quintas were joined together. Nossa Senhora do Carmo is the patron saint of the seventeenth century chapel on the margin of the Douro River. In this particularly dangerous bend of the river, the crew of the Rabelo boats would stop at the chapel to beg protection from their patron saint before carrying on down the river.”

In their efforts to get their table wines a bit of market share outside of their Portuguese home base, it seems that Quinta Nova could use some assistance from their canonized namesake – because the abuse of the 100 point system, which has led to what have to be some of the laziest business practices in modern history, is making their journey into the world wine market a treacherous one indeed

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Win Tickets To The 20th Zinfandel Festival in San Francisco!

Vinted on January 3, 2011 binned in California wine, giveaways, wine industry events

Has it really been twenty years since ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers) first held their modest gathering, spearheaded by Ravenswood founder and Sonoma wine icon Joel Peterson (for a glimpse into Joel’s head, check out our interview from Dec. 2008)?

Believe it or not, ZAP’s 20th Annual Zinfandel Festival is, indeed, taking place Thursday-Saturday, January 27-29, and tickets are now on sale. Like most wine events that have grown to become ginormous in size, folks tend to have mixed reviews of the event (or, put more accurately, mixed reviews of the attendees of the event) but some of the positive press comes by way of people for whom I have a great deal of respect, such as my adopted papa Charlie Olken – so there is certainly some fun to be had, and of course the opportunity to taste a sh*tload of Zinfandel from dozens of producers.

It’s in that spirit that we’ve giving away 2 sets of 5 tickets each to two of the 20th Zinfandel Festival events – the Good Eats & Zin Pairing on Thursday, Jan. 27, and the Grand Zin Tasting on Saturday, Jan. 29 – and you can win just by leaving a comment on this post!

Details on how to win are after the jump. Just be forewarned that I’m not independently wealthy and so rather than transport winners from any worldwide destination to San Fran. via my 70-foot yacht staffed by vestal virgins, the winning peeps are on their own for any travel and expenses and the giveaway is open to U.S. readers only (sorry, loyal Estonian readers!).

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