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Wine’s Next Big Thing Is…

Vinted on September 16, 2014 binned in commentary
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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 seems that every quarter we get predictions about the next big thing in the U.S. wine market. Like most predictions, these are almost always wrong and therefore actually have, at best, neutral value for the wine biz (it could be argued that since they’re almost always incorrect, they have negative value if decisions are made based on them; but since they also have some positive entertainment value, let’s call it a draw).

“Next Big Thing” wine predictions are also almost always predicated on two principles: 1) the idea that the wine buying public is scared of wine, and therefore needs some sort of guidance on what to purchase, and 2) these recommendations must come in the form of grape varieties.

Both are probably wrong, or at least are bad for the wine biz, as I will explain in a moment, and that means that the NBT predictions are missing what’s really going to be the Next Big Thing in wine (okay, so I am making a prediction here… but at least it’s not based on those principles above, okay?!?)…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For September 15, 2014

Vinted on September 15, 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!

  • 12 Trisaetum Ribbon Ridge Estate Riesling (Ribbon Ridge): It's wines like this that give the word "lovely" an even better name. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva (Chianti Classico Riserva): A teen, promising but sleeping heavily during puberty. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Castello di Gabbiano Bellezza (Chianti Classico): Too much wood, not enough cherries, but more than enough pleasing refreshment. $40 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Arnaldo-Caprai Montefalco Rosso (Umbria): Sweet fruit, flowers & promises up front; but it's all untanned leather on the behind. $22 B >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Robert Oatley Signature Series Chardonnay (Margaret River): Signed with authority, & deftly schooling Chards twice as pricey. $17 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 I'M Wines Isabel Mondavi Estate Pinot Noir (Carneros): Flaunting the richer side of Carneros, but it's remaining pretty about it. $40 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Siduri Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands): Happy with its interesting contradictions; rich, lovely, & feral. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Nicolas Feuillatte D'Luscious Demi-Sec Rose (Champagne): Champers, living on the ripe, chewy berry side, baring skins and all. $45 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Donnafugata Anthilia Bianco (Sicily): Refreshing as a summer breeze, but with the ability to engender slightly more happiness. $17 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Chehalem Three Vineyard Riesling (Willamette Valley): It feels pithy, oh so pithy… it also feels complex, refreshing & textured. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Becklyn Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Showing the growing pains of youth, but also the promise of a fine pedigree. $60 A- >>find this wine<<

Siduri Single Vineyard Recent Releases

Vinted on September 11, 2014 binned in kick-ass wines, sexy wines, wine review

Earlier this week, we got into the head of the rabble-rousing guy behind the Siduri label, Adam Lee.

That interview turned out to be too interesting for me to edit significantly, and so I decided to take advantage of the online format’s theoretically limitless space and publish as much of it as I could. But even I have limits on the length of the posts I’m willing to publish here, and unfortunately that decision left no room for exploring Lee’s wines.

I’m making up for that today, and below you’ll find highlights from a much larger pool of Pinot Noir samples that Lee sent over to me for consideration.

Before the tasting notes fun begins, I feel compelled to point out a couple of things:

- All of the highlighted wines below are small-production, single-vineyard takes on California Pinot. Some won’t be terribly easy to locate, as they’re made in quantities of only a few hundred cases each.

- Each of the wines clocks in somewhere between 14.1% and 14.5% abv, and as such are all fairly powerfully-built Pinots.

- Having said that, there is something that drew me in about each of the four wines you’ll read about (I swear I will get to that eventually) here: each one is balanced. You will feel the power in these Pinots, for sure, but you won’t really be feeling the heat of the alcoholic fire…

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Getting Inside The Head Of Siduri’s Adam Lee

Vinted on September 9, 2014 binned in interviews

Siduri’s Adam Lee is a rabble-rouser.

He’s probably most known for producing interesting Pinot Noirs using from several different west coast vineyards (more on some of those single-vineyard wines later this week). He’s also pretty well known for something else: a couple of years ago, while taking part in a panel on alcohol levels and balance in Pinot Noir wines at World of Pinot Noir, he swapped labels on two of his wines (one at 13.6% and the other at 15.2% alcohol) just to prove a point.

That point is that a wine’s abv doesn’t matter anywhere near as much as a wine’s overall balance in how it presents itself, and its harmony among its constituent parts (tannin, acid, etc.). It’s the kind of rabble-rousing trouble-making that I enjoy. It also helps that the wines don’t suck, either!

Lee and I have been trying to get some sort of interview done for… well, years, actually, and never seemed to get around to it.

Until now, that is.

Here is our (unedited) interview for your reading enjoyment. We talk abv, of course, but also CA Pinot, sex toys, goddess’s nipples, the hard work of wine criticism, and whether or not wine blogs matter.

Lee isn’t short on entertaining opinions, as you will quickly learn…

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