Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For January 26, 2015

Vinted on January 26, 2015 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 Nieto Senetiner Don Nicanor Blend (Mendoza): Living up to the promise suggested by the sum of its separate silky, vibrant parts. $19 B >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Kokomo Winery Ruth's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley): Overacting doesn't necessarily mean not being entertaining. $42 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Gallegos Yountville Charmer Vineyard Chardonnay (Napa Valley): Tough to argue with this charmer's tone & captivating conversations $35 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 10 V. Sattui Winery Paradiso Red Wine (Napa Valley): A consummate winner, at turns explosively adamant, & compassionately smooth. $75 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Bodega Dominio Buenavista Veleta Nolados (Granada): Spicy, ripe, meaty, luxuriant & one with which you'd do well not to trifle. $17 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Bodega Dominio Buenavista Veleta Tempranillo Privilegio (Granada): Concentration that delivers, and most decidedly will not break. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Robert Oatley Great Southern Riesling (Great Southern): Cleaner than a slate whistle that's been thoroughly washed in lemon juice. $17 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Davis Family Vineyards Cuvee Luke Saralee's Vineyard White (Russian River Valley): Luke has a cool hand, inside a heady glove. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Vall Llach Idus de Vall Llach (Priorat): Like dark matter – inky black & not lacking for density – if dark matter liked violets. $55 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Crossbarn by Paul Hobbs Anderson Valley Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley): No shortage of things to say, no lack of pride in doing so. $35 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Starmont Winery and Vineyards Stanly Ranch Estate Chardonnay (Carneros): Bold, d complicated, big-time; & yet, never losing grace. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
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Furmint Adventures Episode 3: Barta Winery

Vinted on January 22, 2015 binned in 1WineDude TV, on the road

The third episode of my Furmint Adventures is now available for your viewing edu-tainment.

In this episode, I get my sorry lush ass dragged up to the Öreg Király dűlő (Old King Vineyard), an ancient volcano with an historic vineyard on it that was saved from oblivion by Károly Barta, owner of Barta Winery.

Of course, we also drink some stellar Furmint wines, while he shows me the stunning views from the vineyard site, and jokes (I think it was joking, anyway) that a lot of wine bloggers have… monkey brains. It will all make sense in less than six minutes!

Furmint Adventures – Episode 3: Barta Winery

Cheers!

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Are Wine Critics More Qualified Than Wine Bloggers?

Vinted on January 20, 2015 binned in commentary, wine news

A friend of mine – Elaine Brown of Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews – recently sent me a note indicating that another friend of mine (David White of Terroirist) and I were mentioned in an online article over at FirstWeFeast.com that was written by yet another friend of mine, Jonathan Cristaldi.

Yeah, the wine world is kind of small like that.

Anyway, the article is titled “10 Dirty Secrets of Wine (That Nobody Wants to Talk About)” and it makes for a fascinating, funny, and at times kooky read about some revealing but less-than-glamorous aspects of the wine trade in general (my personal favorite from the list, which is funny although it sells many bartenders seriously short: “Bartenders and mixologists don’t give a shit about wine”).

The item in which we’re mentioned is “Wine critics aren’t necessarily more qualified than bloggers,” which I am quoting below so you can get up to speed quickly:

If we drew a line in the sand and asked established Wine Critics (capital C) to stand on one side, and amateur wine bloggers (lowercase b) to stand on the other, we’d immediately expose an ongoing war of credentials—one which leaves its bloodied tracks on bitter comment threads around the Internet.

Wine bloggers are correct in assuming that many notable critics have bypassed formal beverage industry education in lieu of “life experiences.” They take great pleasure in declaring that major critics are class-act bullshit artists—the likes of Robert M. Parker Jr. (a lawyer and self-taught wine guru), James Suckling (an undergraduate tennis pro with a graduate degree in journalism), and Eric Asimov (the nephew of author Isaac Asimov, with an undergrad degree in “American Civilization”).

Still, the relationship between the two camps is complicated. When the Critic unleashes a bad score or expounds on the subject of natural wines, wine bloggers will heap waves of tyrannical expletives upon them—but only behind closed doors. Put those same bloggers in front of the venerable Critic, and you’ll see them whimper in admiration and jealousy.

The Critic is well aware of this duality, and several of these esteemed scribes take great pleasure in lashing out against people they consider to be amateur fluff writers. In truth, many amateur wine bloggers are anything but amateur, having earned legit credentials from industry-lauded institutions like the Wine, Spirits & Education Trust (WSET), the Society of Wine Educators, or The Guild of Sommeliers, and many of them contribute articles to the very publications that major Critics write for — folks like Joe Roberts of 1 Wine Dude; David White, who founded and edits a daily wine blog called Terroirist; Elaine Chukan Brown of Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews; and many others.

Does formal education trump life experience? Do professionals owe it to their readers to earn a formal degree? Who, then, is rightfully deserving of the title “Critic”?

There are a whooooole lotta worms in the can that JC opened up there…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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