Puny Mortal! (Madeira Wine, 1976 To 1850 For Palate Press)

Vinted on March 15, 2016 binned in on the road, wine review
Madeira group photo

image: Madeira Wine Institute

I think I’m still a bit in shock.

In a good way.

My recent press trip to Madeira was an amazing experience; pretty much exactly what a long-time Madeira wine geek (remember, I once compared Madeira to Iron Man) would have hoped it would be. And while my palate, brain, and soul are all still trying to wrap that jaunt up into something that puny morals like me can understand, I did manage to get it together juuuuuust enough to pen an introductory piece on the experience for Palate Press.

The premise for the feature, titled Tasting immortality, was to begin the article ‘s tasting notes with offerings that are at an age where most normal wines would be long dead (30 years). We would then travel back in time, via the older blends and vintage Madeira wines that I tasted on that trip, eventually working our way through all six of the island’s producers who currently export to the U.S.

Oh, yeah; and working our way through the 1950s, 1940s, 1920s… ending up at 1850. Without any hesitation or hyperbole, I can tell you that among those wines were some of the finest that I have ever tasted, of any style of fine wine, anywhere.

F*cking surreal (for more background on what makes Madeira special, beyond the near-constant influx of senior citizen tourists from much of Western Europe, see the previous post “The Worst Place in the World to Make Wine”). I’m pretty sure that I lost more than a few friends after posting envy-inducing images during my visit…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For March 14, 2016

Vinted on March 14, 2016 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!

  • 13 Estate Crush Bechthold Vineyard Cinsault (Lodi): The vines might be ancient, but there's nothing but youthful verve to be found. $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 La Valle Franciacorta Rose Brut (Franciacorta): Dressed to the nines, but its soul prefers jeans & a slightly less cleaner image. $55 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Trapiche Broquel Malbec (Mendoza): Getting more oak than you bargained for, but also more spicy enjoyment than you deserved. $16 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 La Mozza Morellino I Perazzi (Morellino di Scansano): Your gourmet pizza has a new boyfriend, & he's stable & really, really cool. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Fields Family Wines Sherman Family Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi): Reticent now, exceptional later; consider this one a steal $26 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 09 Rodney Strong Reserve Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): Not reserved, but amply fruity & definitely strong; Pinot for Cab lovers $45 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 08 Donnafugata Ben Rye Edizione Limitata (Passito Di Pantelleria): Bronze, luxuriant, focused, complex, haughty, & probably expensive. $NA A >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Nieto Senetiner Don Nicanor Malbec (Mendoza): Smoked meat, with stewed plums, spice, & cloves taking side roles as the garnish. $19 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Francois Montand Rose Brut (France): Not nasty or brutish – actually, fruity and exuberant – but it is most definitely short.$15 B >>find this wine<<
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I Find Your Lack Of Impromptu Opera Singing Disturbing (VINO2016 Highlights)

Last month, I was a media guest for VINO2016, the annual Italian multi-day info-tasting event held in New York City.

As it was last year, this year’s incarnation proved an enlightening experience, both in terms of the breadth of Italian wine offerings not yet widely available Stateside, and in the informative nature of the panel discussions. I can, however, tell you – with the requisite amount of false humility – that nothing in VINO2016 compared to the epic-ness of my panel last year, which included impromptu opera singing.

Vittorio Moretti

Vittorio Moretti, about to crack open some awesomeness (more on that in a few minutes)

But still, an informative event for both palate and brain. Also, how often does a guy like me get to shake down other attendees such as legendary wine educator Kevin Zraly for money (more on that development in the coming months)?

Anyway, let’s get to the vinous stars of the VINO2016 showcase…

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