Weekly Twitter Wine Mini-Reviews Round-up for 2010-09-25

Vinted on September 25, 2010 binned in wine mini-reviews
  • NV Chateau Frank Célèbre Cremant (Finger Lakes): Those scoring it lower have likely not had this apple-tinged delight with food. $19 B- #
  • 00 Chateau Frank Brut (Finger Lakes): CF’s 1st foray into the classic Champagne grapes is still lovely, lively, spritely & kickin’. $25 B+ #
  • 08 Schloss Saarstein Pinot Blanc (Mosel): If I’d dreamt of a wine for stuffed scallops, it would taste much like this elegant offering $16 B #
  • 09 Johannishof “V” Riesling Kabinett (Rheingau): A lot going on (pear candy, lemons, flowers, apricot, spice) w/out being ponderous. $24 B+ #
  • 07 Spring Valey Vineyard Nina Lee Syrah (Walla Walla): Any hotter and Nina would probably have to register herself as a deadly weapon. $50 B #
  • 09 Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough): Too-sweet Wild tropical fruits (uh-oh) tamed by herbs & acid (hooray!). $15 B #
  • 10 Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough): Finally tastes like it’s got the mark of the ‘borough (but otherwise unremarkable). $11 C+ #
  • 10 Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough): Crisp, almost sweet but solid as the wet rocks its aromas evoke. $14 B- #
  • 10 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough): Green tinge hints @ heap of nettles on the nose. Passion fruit & mouthfeel 2 the rescue $18 B #
  • 10 Drylands Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough): Overachieving to the point of being smarmy. The gooseberries & flint are esp. nice touches. $16 B #
  • 10 Kim Crawford “Spitfire” Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough): Like a group of animated cartoon citrus fruits; it’s almost *too* lively. $26 B #
  • 10 Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough): 14% abv?? And yet it totally works, and will rock your next shellfish meal like a star. $22 B+ #
  • 09 Kim Crawford Pinot Noir (Marlborough): Loved the chewy cherry & raspberry; but the rough mid-palate, not-so-much loving that. $19 B #
  • 09 Nobilo Icon Pinot Noir (Marlborough): Ok, where has this sexy, toasty, earthy, spice, vibrant red-fruited thang been all my life? $22 B+ #
  • 07 Kim Crawford Pinot Noir (Central Otago): Red, dark & enticing, like a chocolate-covered strawberry, but being shoved into your face. $33 B #
  • 09 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough): Herbs & tropic fruit are all textbook Marlborough (its pages treated W/ all that acid!) $17 B #
  • 09 Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay (Marlborough): Balanced w/ fun aromas of apricot & buttered popcorn. Might be onto something here! $17 B #
  • 07 R.A. Harrison Family Cellars Nobility (Napa-Sonoma): As it warms, this honeyed lemony treat goes from “nice” to “magic” in a hurry $75 A- #
  • 09 Cornerstone Cellars Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley): Feels just a bit too big & luscious for its own impeccably crafted britches. $25 B #
  • 08 Cornerstone Stepping Stone Cabernet Franc (Napa Valley): NOT Old World; but for fans of big, lush & spicy, it’s worth a good look. $30 B+ #
  • 09 Innocent Bystander Pinot Gris (Victoria): Going thru a slightly awkward middle-palate period, but still pretty in pear & jasmine. $16 B #
  • 06 L’Ecole No. 41 Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla): Plum, spice, everything’s nice (& bigger than the sum of its multi-sourced parts) $40 B+ #



What You Need To Know About Sulfites In Wine (Molly Dooker Shake Edition)

Vinted on September 23, 2010 binned in wine health

I recently received a shipment of wine samples from the critics’ darling Molly Dooker, which came with a handy set of instructions on how to perform the now-famous “Molly Dooker Shake.”  The Molly Dooker shake is the arguably inelegant but certainly effective way to release the nitrogen that is used is bottling several of the Molly Dooker line of wines.

But I ran into some trouble when I hopped onto the Molly Dooker website to learn a bit more about why they use nitrogen in the winemaking process in the first place.  Not technical trouble, but accuracy trouble.

The accuracy trouble is that their explanation contains less truth than it does (as Steven Colbert likes to put it) truthiness.

Here’s the explanation, given both on the Molly Dooker website and in the demonstration video of the Molly Dooker shake; I’ve added comments to the quote below to indicate the parts that as far as I can tell have Truth and those that have truthiness:

“Why do we use Nitrogen gas in our winemaking? Sulphites are often added to wine after fermentation to protect the wine from oxidation [Truth]. The only problem is that some people have an allergy to high levels of sulphites [Truth] and may get headaches [truthinessif they mean getting headaches from sulphites, that is]. By using Nitrogen to protect the wine during winemaking, we can use less sulphites [Truth] and more people can enjoy our wines [truthiness].”

Now… let’s break this truth vs. truthiness down in a little more detail…

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Alive And Kicking: Has NY Wine Come Of Age?

Vinted on September 22, 2010 binned in best of, commentary, wine review

Ten years ago, on a trip with friends to New York’s Finger Lakes wine country, I bought a few bottles of bubbly.

I was not a pseudo-wine-pro back then; I was an avid consumer (that term still applies!), and the majority of my vacation travel was centered around wine exploration.  I had a budding interest, passionate zeal, and I knew what I liked though I would have had a lot more trouble telling you why, or explaining how, a wine I liked got to that point.

It was one of those gorgeous sunny Autumn days that was quickly turning into a chilly Autumn evening (no sun = no heat) and most of the Finger Lakes tasting rooms were closed or moments-away-from closing; we happened upon what was then a joint-producer tasting room featuring only local sparkling wines.

I knew what I liked, and I really liked the 2000 Chateau Frank Brut that evening.  So, my girlfriend and I bought some.

Ten years later, at the surprise 50th birthday party of one of dear friends (who helped us greatly in getting through the tough times leading up to the recent loss of our Weimaraner, Samson, and to whom we gave a bottle of 2007 Quinta do Vesuvio so you know we love her), I had occasion to open the 2000 Chateau Frank Brut – Dr. Frank is one of the birthday girl’s favorite wine producers (alongside the most recent offering of Chateau Frank’s non-vintage Riesling sparkler, Célèbre Cremant).

And it rocked.

The fruit had started to subside a bit, but what remained was bready, lively, and wonderful; still fresh, still food-friendly, still (in the words of Simple Minds) Alive & Kicking.

An apt comparison, it turns out, for the state of NY wine in general…

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