Putting the OLD in Old Vine Zinfandel (Tasting Wellington Vineyards)

Vinted on February 22, 2010 binned in wine review

When it’s cold outside, as it has been the last few weeks in the Mid-Atlantic, one craves a wine that is… warming, big, bold.  When there’s a blizzard, as there was in the Mid-Atlantic not too long ago, one doesn’t reach for Orvieto; one reaches for something, well, just… obnoxious.

Bone-warming wine calls for dark color, big fruit, and – most of all – hot toddy levels of booze (at least).  So naturally, one raids the zinfandel area of the sample bin. At least, that’s what one does when one is 1WineDude and one has my sample bins.

What came out, though, was actually not a sample but a bottle of 2004 Zinfandel wine I’d purchased myself for $50 in Sonoma a couple of years ago, from Wellington Vineyards.

At 15.5% abv, it certainly fit the bill for “potentially obnoxious” but what really pulled me in was the fact that when the vines whose fruit eventually produced this wine were planted, St. John’s in Newfoundland was on fire, St. Petersburg was incorporated in Florida, Benjamin Harrison was president of the United States, and a new small company called General Electric was founded.

The year was 1892.

Now that is some old vine ‘Old Vine’ Zinfandel…

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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini-Reviews Round-up for 2010-02-20

Vinted on February 20, 2010 binned in wine mini-reviews
  • 95 Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Rarely, words are inadequate to convey a wine's sublime & heavenly balancing act. $350 A+ #
  • 81 Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Spice & barnyard suggest its previous potential, now thoroughly dead. (Price N/A) C #
  • 07 William Hill Chardonnay (Napa Valley): A deftly balanced take on the Napa Chard. And, therefore, a stone fruity bargain at $25. B #
  • 07 William Hill Bench Blend Chardonnay (Napa Valley): A spoonful of minerals helps the butterscotch (and Mediterranean food) go down $35 B+ #
  • 06 William Hill Estate Meritage (Napa Valley): PV is holding court under layers & layers of black fruit, but comes off a little 2 soft $85 B #
  • 06 William Hill Estate Cabernet Franc (Napa Valley): Francy goes to Napa, gets fat, but keeps his spice to show he's still a badass $40 B- #

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The 2010 Wine Writers Symposium in 10 Easily Digestible & Tasty Morsels

Vinted on February 19, 2010 binned in commentary, wine industry events

Alternative title: “What I Learned (So Far) At the 2010 Professional Wine Writers Symposium in Napa

  1. Symposium Chairperson and Wines & Vines editor Jim Gordon, may, in fact, be the sweetest and most patient person on the planet (there remains one more day of symposium activities in which to properly test this theory).
  2. The amount of downtime built into the entire week of Symposium activities is approximately 47 seconds.
  3. The amount of raw talent and brain power among the symposium attendees is staggering, but is immediately doubled in terms of IQ points the moment that AbleGrape.com founder, Yahoo search pioneer, and twitter search guru Doug Cook walks into the room.
  4. When you read aloud (over a loudspeaker) a tasting note that you’ve written in which you compare a glass of Syrah to an uncomfortable satin thong, you will piss off famed author, wine educator, and television personality Karen MacNeil [ Editor’s note: this was recently substantiated via personal experience. ]
  5. Both Eric Asimov and Steve Heimoff are practical, warm and charming in person (meaning that I have lost at least two bets and the week isn’t even over yet).
  6. Harlan wines will be poured judiciously at Symposium after-hours gatherings, but only when I am not available that evening to attend any of them.
  7. Journalism jobs, freelance writing gigs, and book deals net you more money than Amazon.com affiliate fees. But not much more.
  8. If you take the ethical standards of critical writing / wine review writing, combine them in number, double that number, square the result, and divide by 0.0002, you will arrive at roughly the number of ethical violations that I might have inadvertently committed.  Before lunch. On day one.
  9. When Alder Yarrow uses the term “folks at our level” and you realize that he is talking about wine blog writing and is including you, you have to suppress the urge of performing a double-head-fake and then blushing.
  10. If you are serious about wine writing, then you should get serious about attending the Symposium in 2011.

Cheers!

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