Lights, Camera, Non-Douchebaggery (Ehlers Estate Recent Releases)

Vinted on February 25, 2016 binned in crowd pleaser wines, kick-ass wines, wine review

“I was delayed, I was way-laid
An emergency stop
I smelt the last ten seconds of life…”

– The Smiths, “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before

Sometimes getting a late start can be a good thing.

At least, that’s the kind of thing that I like to tell myself when I finally get around to writing up a tasting almost five months after it happened.

Take Ehlers Estate winemaker Kevin Morrisey’s foray into Napa Valley viticulture as an example.

Originally from Media, PA, he began his winemaking career at the age of thirty-five, when he enrolled at UC Davis to study oenology. Prior to that, Morrisey was a junior Hollywood cameraman, slugging out a living behind the lens in Paris and Los Angeles.

Kevin Morrisey

Kevin Morrisey (image: ehlersestate.com)

When I met him for a tasting lunch in NYC late in 2015, he struck me as the kind of Napa Valley personality that isn’t attempting to hide any douchebaggery, simply because he doesn’t seem to have any douchebaggery to hide. That might come from his Media childhood, or the fact that he’s now making wine with “relative autonomy” (though Ehler’s owners, Leducq Foundation, does require them to “be profitable”), or that he’s still just tickled pink to work for a winery in the Valley that has a real backstory to it (Sacremento grocer Bernard Ehlers founded the winery in 1886, after paying for its 42 acres in gold coin).

“It’s nice in Napa to have a stone barn that’s actually, you know, real stone!” he told me.

And that, to me, kind of sums up the sense of genuine pride and confidence and non-douchey-moxie with which Morrisey presents himself; it’s a sense that also permeates the Ehlers wines that he has made since coming on board in 2009.

To wit…

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Putting More Than A Cork In It (Talking Alternative Wine Closures For Fix.com)

Vinted on February 23, 2016 binned in going pro, learning wine
fix.com closures

image: Fix.com

1WD is no stranger to the geeky details of alternative wine closures (see previous thoughts on touring the Nomacorc synthetic cork plant, my write-up about screwcap closures for Publix Grape, and an introduction to cork alternatives penned for Answers.com). Some of us find shizz like that to be fascinating… potentially unhealthy, argue-about-it-vehemently-over-many-drinks levels of fascinating (that’s why they call us “geeks).

The other 99.99% of wine drinkers probably (ok, definitely) don’t spend anywhere near as much time pondering the developments in the alternative closure scene; it is for them (the normal people) that my latest Fix.com article has been penned.

In this info-graphic-laden entry, we take a look at traditional cork, “technical” cork, glass stoppers, synthetic cork, and screwcaps, the Pros and Cons of which are all brought to colorful life by the Fix.com crew. Full embeddable graphic below after the jump, for your viewing pleasure.

Cheers!

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For February 22, 2016

Vinted on February 22, 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 Bonny Doon Vineyard Syrah Le Pousseur (Central Coast): Compelling in its peppery litheness, for those who prefer a lighter touch. $26 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc Reserve (Arroyo Seco): A toasty, burning ember of concoction, ignited by flint and honey. $48 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Erin E Sonoma Stage Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Pretty darned vibrant, & pretty darned promising; & pretty darned pretty. $37 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Wairau River Pinot Gris (Marlborough): Love me some stone fruits. I just don't usually love me them when they're this viscous. $21 B >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Lieb Cellars Reserve Sparkling Rose (North Fork of Long Island): A glas conjures up a single word, & that word is "delightful!" $35 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Bodega Vistalba Corte C (Mendoza): If we wish hard enough, maybe we can magically make Summer appear & then grill up some burgers. $18 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Luce Della Vite Lucente (Toscana): Dude, throw that pasta, sauce, sausage & herbs into a pot, stat! This is makin' me hungry! $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 David Bruce Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): Roses,blood orange, & baking spices? Yes, & it works. Sort of. $38 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Rodney Strong Symmetry (Alexander Valley): The geometry is round and smooth here, but the wood scaffolding is all a bit much. $55 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Gundlach Bundschu Estate Vineyard Gewurztraminer (Sonoma Coast): Dry, spicy, textured, & begging to be poured when the snow falls. $23 B+ >>find this wine<<
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