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Burdened With Glorious Purpose (Livio Felluga Terre Alte 2011)

Vinted on November 20, 2014 binned in elegant wines, wine review
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HiYa! If you're new here, you may want to Sign Up to get all the latest wine coolness delivered to your virtual doorstep. I've also got short, easily-digestible mini wine reviews and some educational, entertaining wine vids. If you're looking to up your wine tasting IQ, check out my book How to Taste Like a Wine Geek: A practical guide to tasting, enjoying, and learning about the world's greatest beverage. Cheers!

It’s been a while since I bitched and moaned about tasting (okay, and drinking) wines long before “their time.” So I think we can both agree that I am due for a repeat.

The trouble is, in the words of Loki, “I am burdened with glorious purpose!” when it comes to wine criticism. Generally, I’m supposed to taste vino, ascertain where it sits on the quality spectrum from worst to best in the world, taking into account where it’s from, what it’s made of, and when it was crafted, and guessing at the intentions of those who made it, then make a determination of a recommendation (or not), including guessing when it will likely be drinking at its best, even though that last part is almost entirely subjective.

Easy, right?

It also makes the “job” bittersweet, in that occasionally I run into a bottle from the sample pool that is excellent and downright stunning, enjoyable now but teasing at how, given X amount years of further bottle repose, the constituent elements might come together to offer something even more compelling.

It’s the “f*ck!-this-tastes-great-now-dammit-why-couldn’t-I–have-waited?!??” syndrome. First World problem, yes. But doesn’t make the tinge of regret any easier to bear, probably because I am a weakling.

Anyway, before I flagellate myself over this and you start playing sad songs on the world’s smallest violin, let’s talk about the stunner…

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Pucker Up (Talking Tannins For Publix Grape Magazine Winter 2014)

Vinted on November 18, 2014 binned in going pro, learning wine

Winter is nigh (sorry, peeps, face into it), bringing with it the 2014 Winter edition of Publix Grape Magazine.

I’m still fortunate enough to be penning items for Grape, including this time out several wine pairing write-ups, including desserts and other seasonal recipes. So, if you’re hankering to know what supermarket wines might pair up with a Double Apple Crisp with Salted Bourbon Caramel Sauce, or Squash & Lentil Salad with Hazelnut Vinaigrette, you’ll want to head over to one of their locations and check out the issue (try not to drool over the food porn too much, okay?).

For this issue, I’ve also provided an introduction to the topic of wine tannins (including a primer on which grapes have lower / higher pucker-up tannin potential, from Gamay to Tannat) for their In Focus section.

You can subscribe to Grape (for free) to check it out.

Just make sure to have your pucker face ready.

If you need a break from all that palate-ripping tannin talk, head over to my article section on Snooth.com where you can find a primer (and recommendations) on the different levels Chablis (and its palate-ripping acidity).

Cheers!

Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For November 17, 2014

Vinted on November 17, 2014 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 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!

  • 11 Szent Tamas 3909 (Tokaji): This zip code is an upscale, respectable & sweet, orange blossom-lined neighborhood for late harvest. $NA A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Szent Tamas Szent Tamas Furmint (Tokaji): For some wines, the minerality quotient must be measured not in stones, but in boulders. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Szent Tamas Percze Furmint (Tokaji): Sooo linear. Sooo lovely. Sooo elegant. Sooo lively. Sooo heady. And sooooooo damn young. $35 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 06 Dobogo Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos (Tokaj-Hegyalja): Sort of like edible liquid gold, only with sides of flowers, orange peel & tea. $85 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Dobogo Mylitta (Tokaji): I'm picturing the words "Sultana, sultana," only being sung to the tune of Toto's Rosanna. But I'm weird. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Dobogo Furmint (Tokaji): Tangerines & citrus zest, moving in straight, determined lines, their GPS coordinates set for Freshville. $16 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Viento Underwood Mountain Vineyards Gruner Veltliner (Columbia Gorge): Everything but the meat, from veggies to fruit to bread. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Maysara Asha Pinot Noir (McMinnville): Grab a few handfuls of chewy, savory, sour cherries, and then join in the proceedings. $39 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Cliff Creek Cellars Claret (Southern Oregon): Sheets of red fruits & cardamom, all hung up with savory, tannic threads. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Brandborg Ferris Wheel Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (Elkton): Packing surprising levels of oomph for having such a light step. $38 B+ >>find this wine<<

Northbound Pachyderm (Tasting Claypool Cellars, Cobb, And LaRue 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinots)

Vinted on November 13, 2014 binned in elegant wines, on the road, wine review

A note to musically-inclined wine people: if you help the nice folks at Claypool Cellars folks pick their consulting winemaker, eventually you’ll get to hang backstage at kick-ass Primus concerts.

And while that might at first sound like a raging conflict of interest, I suppose it’s worth noting that a) that hasn’t stopped me from telling them how I think the wines could be improved, and b) I didn’t charge them any consulting fees (so maybe we’re just about even, actually).

Anyway, long-time 1WD faithful will know that we’ve been following the career of Claypool Cellars (founded by Primus front-man Les Claypool and his wife Chaney, both Sonoma-area residents) with great interest over the years.

And while it might seem strange that a rocker who is performing trippy, virtuosic renditions of music from the 1971 Willy Wonka movie would be attempting to make world-class California Pinot Noir, I can offer this tidbit from Les: “We want it to be like Primus; I mean, we’re goofy, but underneath, it’s pretty serious. We can play.”

[ Editor’s note: for what it’s worth, Les has also told me things such as “have you ever had cannabis wine?” and “hey man, where’s the fanceé booze?!???” ]

I am happy to report that, since picking up Ross Cobb as their consulting winemaker, Claypool Cellars has come closer to achieving their goofy-meets-serious goal, and have in their 2012 releases produced the best wines I’ve yet to taste from them. I recently caught up with Chaney, Ross, and Ross’s winemaker partner Katy Wilson to eat some viddles in Sonoma, and taste through some of their single-vineyard 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinots (yeah, I know, tough life I’ve got here)…

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