Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For April 16, 2018

Vinted on April 16, 2018 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway? I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140-ish characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 15 Stewart Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): This one is feeling quite generous about, well, about just about everything, actually. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Frank Family Vineyards Zinfandel (Napa Valley): You'll get lots of wood, you purist, you; but you'll also get lots of sexiness, lots of spiciness, and lots of juiciness. $37 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Rain Dance Vineyards Nicholas Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir (Chehalem Mountains): Earthy, concentrated, not-so-light on its feet, but ultimately crowd-pleasing. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Portlandia Pinot Gris (Oregon): Perky, pretty, and very probably destined to become an outdoor, warm-weather party favorite. $18 B >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Goedhart Estate Bel Villa Vineyard Red Mountain Syrah (Red Mountain): Another spicy, balanced exhibit in the growing evidence list in support of more – and more… and more – WA State Syrah. $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Flechas de los Andes Gran Corte (Argentina): Court is absolutely in session; and the main verdict is meaty, dense, floral, savory, juicy and balanced. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 17 Alpataco Malbec (Patagonia): Bouncy, bright, bringing the big-time florals, and just begging to be served with burgers. $15 B >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Domaine Bousquet Gaia Tupungato White Blend (Mendoza): Rises well above 'kitchen sink blend' status; we can probably thank that heaping of balanced Chardonnay for that. $18 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Domaine Bousquet Grande Reserve Malbec (Tupungato): If you can get past the boisterous woodiness – & you definitely can – there's lots of floral, meaty, spicy bang for the buck here. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Principi Corsini Le Corti Chianti Classico (Tuscany): That modern hairstyle and classic Italian cut suit jacket are really a rather fetching combo on you, bro. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
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Pert, Plus (Perticaia Recent – And Not-So-Recent! – Releases)

Perticaia plow

The name Perticaia is familiar to lovers of big Italian reds, but its meaning – “plow” in the local dialect – likely isn’t as well-known. It is, however, an apt description of how Azienda Agraria Perticaia has forced its way through to the top of the critical food chain when it comes to Montefalco Sagrantino wines.

For that, Perticaia can thank both timing and focus. The brand was founded by Guido Guardigli towards the end 1990s, when Montefalco began a quality boon and a production boom, during which the number of wineries in the region nearly quadrupled. They now farm some sixteen hectares of vines, with not an International grape variety to be found among them, and more or less focus on yields that take produce about one 750ml bottle of wine per plant. Of their 125,000 bottle annual production, a whopping seventy percent gets exported, which means that their oenologist Alessandro Meniconi (working with consultant Emiliano Falsin) is a self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades, handling (among other things) some export management duties, as well.

Perticaia view

Among Montefalco Sagrantino producers, Perticaia is one of the more fastidious when it comes to production techniques, and understanding those is key to getting a full grasp of why their Sagrantino releases are so appealing at such young ages. Only about fifteen percent new French oak is used, with the remainder in some cases being as old as six years, which is kind of like the dotage period in French oak barrel terms (they’re making a push to move towards higher use of older, larger barriques, too).

The big key, however, might be in their seemingly non-intuitive, ass-backwards decision to let their Sagrantino undergo longer than normal maceration. One would think that this would make those reds tougher-than-nails when it comes to Sagrantino’s already rough tannins, but one would be wrong, because Chemistry. The longer maceration actually polymerizes the tannins, making them more approachable at the expense of color (which, as Meniconi emphasized to me during a media visit, “Sagrantino has plenty of, anyway)…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For April 9, 2018

Vinted on April 9, 2018 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway? I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140-ish characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 12 Grgich Hills Estate Merlot (Napa Valley): Six years on, and it’s just starting to get into fine, plummy, sexy, and herbal-spicy form. $44 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 J Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): Lush, spicy, flauntingly sexy, to the point of it almost getting a little old… *almost*. $35 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Scheid Vineyards San Lucas Vineyard Grenache Blanc (Monterey): The GB could alternatively stand for ‘Great Balance’ in this lovely example. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Scheid Vineyards Doctor’s Vineayrd Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands): The Doctor is IN, and he’s generous, compelling, and maybe a tad bit too bold. $75 A- >>find this wine<<
  • NV Sokol Blosser Evolution Sparkling Wine (USA): Deft craftsmanship making something specifically lively out of some things specifically unspecific. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Georges Duboeuf Flower Label Fleurie (Beaujolais): In this case, the cover does reveal much about the book, in floral and earthy ways. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Domaine de la Sangliere Cuvee Speciale (Cotes de Provence): The red fruits are on the riper side, the florals on the rosy side, & the whole thing on the kind-of-a-bargain side. $17 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Pazo Cilleiro Albarino (Rias Biaxas): What manner of fresh heaven in this? Vibrant, juicy, pithy and… well, you don’t really need any more than that, do you? $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 CVNE Rioja Reserva (Rioja): Spicy in the right ways, woody in the right amounts, and delicious in just about every respectable aspect. $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Godelia Blanco (Bierzo): Flowers, biscuits, and a bright, sunny, energetic attitude; the glass is definitely half-full in the outlook with this one. $19 B+ >>find this wine<<
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Kinky Sex Drinking, And “Educative” Viticulture (Back Through Time With Romanelli Montefalco Sagrantino)

Vinted on April 4, 2018 binned in kick-ass wines, sexy wines, wine review

Romanelli vines

Drinking Montefalco Sagrantino is kind of like having kinky sex.

I mean, there’s the juicy anticipation phase when you smell all of that ripe red fruit and spice on the nose; then there’s the sexy, feel-good phase when the wine enters your palate like silk; and then… WHACK! The tannins smack/bite/spank you.

Devis Romanelli

Devis Romanelli instructs us visitors on the proper use of cell phones in Montefalco. Or not.

This is not to say that you should assume that abyone drinking Montefalco Sagrantino is into kinky sex, it’s just to give you degenerately progressive and tolerant 1WD readers a frame of reference, and show you where my own head was during my recent media visit to the region.

During that trip, I decided to have a visit to the relatively small (eight hectares, about 45,000 bottles/year) and decidedly non-kinky (family-run) producer Romanelli, who’s vineyards sit in the northeastern corner of the region, and who I strongly suspect will not exactly be totally thrilled that I opened their feature here with a reference to kinky sex. Anyway… with the high winds there, it’s a great spot for passito style dessert wines (FTR, theirs is spicy, racy, and pure, and well-worth seeking out), but also (as is common in Montefalco) for several types of farming.

Devis Romanelli, who took over the winemaking reins in 2007, has been making a push to certify Romanelli’s olive oil and vines as organic, which isn’t easy in the sunny-but-continental Montefalco climate. “2013 was very… educative for me for organic viticulture” he quipped.

Devis’ grandfather purchased the farm in the late 1970s, during which it was also producing wheat, olives, and supporting cattle; grapes were sold to the once-ubiquitous Montefalco co-ops. Their Sagrantino comes mostly from their San Clemente vines, which grow on a limestone/clay mixture. It’s these that are in the 1WD review focus today, as Devis walked me through a tasting of their Sagrantinos going back to his first vintage… so buckle up, and get your safe words ready…

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