Carrot-Top Elegance: The Inaugural Releases of Rossi-Wallace

Vinted on January 19, 2010 binned in California wine, wine review

I should just cut to the chase and tell you that the first releases from Rossi-Wallace border on beguiling, and that you should buy them now if you can, especially given their limited production.

But that’s just downright boring, right?  So, I feel obligated to kind of, you know, spruce it all up a bit.

I’ve been sitting on samples of the inaugural releases of Rossi-Wallace’s 2007 Napa Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for months – well, not literally sitting on them, of course, just quietly ignoring them in my cellar… ah, you get the idea…

I suppose that’s a sad commentary of just how behind I am in tasting samples.  A sadder commentary still is that I wasn’t already familiar with Rossi-Wallace’s winemaking team, despite the fact that  Ric Forman and Cheryl Emmolo have been involved in Napa wine in some way/shape/form for 40+ years.

Clearly, their time and experience have been very, very well-spent.

Rossi-Wallace’s namesake is a clever combination of the names of Forman’s and Emmolo’s red-headed mothers – just so you don’t confuse this post’s Carrot-top-reference in the title (we’re NOT talking about the comedian who seems hell-bent on trying to become a  Thundercats’ Liono look-alike wearing a tuxedo).

I could regurgitate the information on their website and press materials about the care and techniques they brought to bear on the first releases of their new label, but you’re smart folks and you can read all of that yourselves.  The bottom line is that if you like your Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to have the in-your-face, indelible stamp of modern, bombastic California winemaking, then these are NOT the wines for you…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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2009’s Most Engaging Wine Blogs and Our Utter Lack of Diversity

Vinted on January 18, 2010 binned in about 1winedude blog, commentary, wine blogging

Last week, I found out that I finished in the top ten of PostRank.com’s list of the most engaging wine blogs of 2009.  PostRank’s list is based on algorithms that measure online social network reactions to blog articles.  I think, anyway – it all seems a little complicated and makes me glad that I like writing instead of math.

I’m pleased as spiked sangria punch to be sharing the top 10 list with such talented and esteemed company.

I’m less pleased at how similar we all seem to be.

As you will note from this handy inset graphic, the list is comprised almost entirely of white males (click to embiggen):

To be fair, both Decanter and Lenndevours are blogs with talented staff, not all of whom are white males.  Just the vast majority of whom are white males.

The lack of diversity is kind of odd, and sad.  I wonder if we represent the majority of wine consumers?  I doubt it, considering the studies that point to women being the driving force behind wine consumption (especially in the U.S.).

I’ll stop now as I expect to get flamed for even bringing up the topic (those of you who know me have figured out by now that I can’t help myself) and turn to the somewhat safer discussion of which 2009 1WineDude.com blog posts PostRank measured as being especially engaging.  But I’ll warn you, that this list had me scratching my head just as much as I did over the ‘white guy convention syndrone’ of the top 10 list…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini-Reviews Round-up for 2010-01-16

Vinted on January 16, 2010 binned in wine mini-reviews
  • 07 Rossi-Wallace Pinot Noir (Napa Valley): A dense cherry core draped w/ aromas of violets, like it’s wearing a boa made of flower petals. #
  • 07 Rossi-Wallace Chardonnay (Napa Valley): Bright, steely, awesome, & about as close to Chablis as you’re ever gonna get from California. #
  • 07 Swanson Pinot Grigio (Napa Valley): As grapefruity & aromatic as you'd expect out of Alsace or NZ. Still priced like Napa, though. #
  • 06 Wallis Little Sister Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Luxurious dark fruit & fennel take a long (& affordable!) trip down tobacco road. #
  • 04 El Coto de Rioja Coto de Imaz Reserva: Sure-footed (those are vanilla-dipped red berry feet), dependable, tasty, & a tad overpriced. #
  • 07 Six Prong Chardonnay (Horse Heaven Hills): 1 prong lemon, 1 prong pear, & 4 prongs flab. Mouthfeel = letdown, even for a budget pick. #
  • 06 Robert Mondavi Chardonnay (Napa Valley): *Almost* enuf harmony in the stone & peachy fruits to forgive the touch-too-much of oak & lees. #

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Wine For Haiti Disaster Relief (How You Can Help)

Vinted on January 15, 2010 binned in commentary

Driving home last night, I heard a segment on NPR about the local response to the current disaster in Haiti:

  • A Haitian man had made his way to one of the camps being set up to care for the displaced. He was asked if he was injured or looking for lost relatives.  No, he said, he was fine and his family was unharmed.  He had come to see if he could in any way comfort those who had no one left after the devastating earthquake.  The man ended up comforting an eight year old girl whose entire family had been killed in the disaster.

There are scores of stories like this. 

The situation for Haitians was dire before the quake – now, it’s abysmal, and there is no government relief effort.  Now you can help, in two wine-related ways:

  1. The first way comes to us via mweb’s posterous site: If you purchase charity wine at ONEHOPEWine.com using the promo code HAITI you receive a 20% discount and 20% of your purchase will go to support those in need (via donations to Partners in Health).
     
  2. The next comes to us via PalatePress: PalatePress.com is partnering with Brother, can you spare a bottle? to create a wine auction from wines that you donate from your cellar, with proceeds going to the American Red Cross.  Palate Press is covering costs of shipping and handling to the auction winners. Check out the details at http://palatepress.com/2010/01/haiti/.

Please spread the word, support one of these causes if you can!

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