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1WineDude | A Serious Wine Blog for the Not-So-Serious Drinker - Page 6

“Best Of The Best” From Premiere Napa Valley 2014

Vinted on March 6, 2014 under on the road, wine industry events, 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!

By now, many of you will have heard that 2014’s incarnation of Premiere Napa Valley, the annual Napa Valley Vintners fundraiser auction, broke records and brought in a haul to NVV that I think is best described as a sh*t-ton of money, times three (I had dinner with a couple of nice folks from NVV after the weekend of the event, and their collective mood could be summarized as something between kid-at-the-Crayola-factory elation and exhausted relief). PNV14’s auction of rare, small-lot Napa Valley wine rarities amassed nearly $6 million, with Scarecrow’s lot bringing in something to the tune of $4K per bottle.

I’ve covered PNV, on and off, for several years here on 1WD, and for 2014’s recap I’ve decided to play the tune again, which has a catchy-but-getting-too-damned-familiar-like-Call-Me-Maybe melody to it at this point, but with a different tempo and some funky rhythm section time signature changes, to try to keep things feeling a little fresher.

As usual, I did not taste all of the auction lots at PNV, because that is an endeavor that I view as somewhat insane, like NHL hockey goaltending (seriously… they need to be a little not-quite-altogether to volunteer for that job… just sayin’…). However, between two days of preview parties and barrel auction tasting, I did manage to sample more PNV lots than I ever have in past years. Ironically, this has made me decide to refrain from listing all of the lots I tasted with their respective ratings, and instead talk about only the lots that really moved me in some way. No ratings, no badges, just praise. It’s a “Best Of” PNV14, if you will, only with me acting as the sole arbiter of what constitutes “best” in this case (hey, it is my blog, after all).

But first, a few words on Napa’s 2012 vintage, which was on strong (arguably the strongest possible, given the pedigree) showcase at PNV14…

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Meet The Bloggers, Then Have Them Lambast Your Lazy Wine PR (Wineries + Breweries Unlimited 2014)

Vinted on March 4, 2014 under wine blogging, wine industry events

In a a week and a half, I’ll be taking the stage with a pair of like-minded fellow wine bloggers at the request of Vineyard and Winery Management magazine’s Tina Caputo, to talk about (how terrible most) wine PR (is), as part of the upcoming Wineries + Breweries Unlimited Trade Show & Conference in Richmond, VA.

I don’t expect to see many 1WD readers at the conference, namely because it’s not really a taste-all-kinds-of-awesome-juice-and-chat-with-winemakers event, and more of a place-to-be-to-check-out-developments-in-labeling-bottle-technology type of event. I do, however, expect that there will be some interesting take-aways from our panel discussion, the focus of which is how to approach (pitch) bloggers.

Unlike some of my fellow wine blogging compatriots, I do not see PR as evil, and I received quite a divisive reaction when I publicly stated so here on 1WD back in November of 2011. I do, however, see wine biz PR as mostly lazy, an attribute it shares with just about 95% of all U.S. service industries. They have a difficult job, and the difficulty curve of that job got pushed a little closer towards the Impossible axis over the last seven years or so with the explosion of wine blogs and alternative wine media voices that ended up garnering influence and splintering fine wine media consuming audiences…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For March 3, 2014

Vinted on March 3, 2014 under 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 Coppo Costebianche Chardonnay (Piedmonte): Italy's version of homemade apple pie, crust and all, in lithe & lovely liquid form. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Beaumont Hope Marguerite Chenin Blanc (Walker Bay): Fresh, crisp & tasty as fresh apples; solid as baked bread; lovely as a flower $20 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Vriesenhof Vineyards Chardonnay (Stellenbosch): Clean as a mountain stream, smooth as wet river stones, longer than a river. $13 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Lange Winery Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): Pepper, leather, earth, presence, a whole lotta soul, & a whole lotta honesty. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Ravenswood Pickberry Vineyards Red (Sonoma Mountain): A lovely, spicy, tough-&-tender bargain that's not afraid of its rustic side $30 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Roth Estate Heritage Red (Sonoma county): About as tightly-wound – and tobacco-laden – as F-ing Merlot from Cali. can get. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Roth Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley): Wearing a tomato leaf hat, riding high on acid, chewing herbs, kicking dust. $28 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Roth Estate Merlot (Alexander Valley): Sweet plums, sweet currants, sweet oak, not all yet tied up in a sweet, neat little bow. $22 B >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Roth Estate Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): A smokey quartz of an experience, both crystal clear & eerily dark at the same time. $28 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Roth Estate Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast): The conversation isn't terribly complex, but the group is certainly a lively, vibrant bunch $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Roth Estate Sauvignon Blanc (Alexander Valley): A tropical beast, favoring ripe apples & saving its toothy bite for the tail end. $15 B >>find this wine<<

1WineDude TV Episode 59: In Pursuit Of Balance (And Ridiculously Good California Pinot) 2014

Vinted on February 27, 2014 under 1WineDude TV, elegant wines, on the road, wine review

Two years ago, after tasting at the 2012 incarnation of the In Pursuit of Balance event (a bi-coastal roadshow of largely classy, vibrant, and restrained California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay offerings), I expressed surprise at the quality of wines coming out of the collaboration between sommelier Raj Parr and winemaker Sashi Moorman.

So after tasting at the 2014 incarnation of IPOB in NYC earlier this year, I shouldn’t have been surprised at the quality of wines coming out of the collaboration between sommelier Raj Parr and winemaker Sashi Moorman.

But I was, because where they’d hit it out of the park in 2012, they launched it clear out of the park, bounced it off the hood of a shiny Corvette Stingray convertible in the stadium parking lot, and sent just about into escape velocity and geosynchronous orbit in 2014. But more on that in a minute or two, after you watch the interview I did with Raj’s cohort and IPOB’s co-founder Jasmine Hirsch, to discuss the impetus behind the event, and how they graduated from brainstorming a wish list of participating winemakers and wines on the back of a cocktail napkin, to formally selecting the IPOB touring lineup. [ Special thanks to The Drunken Cyclist for the camerawork, and to Jasmine for staving off minor starvation for a few minutes so we could chat on vid. ]

1WineDude TV Episode 59: In Pursuit of Balance with Jasmine Hirsch

All done? Good. Now let’s get to the tasting notes, because in this case, the wines themselves are most definitely the story…

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