Articles Tagged sauvignon blanc
At this point, I think that we’ve established that Bordeaux native Christine Barbe is at least a little bit crazy. Very talented, but a little crazy. Crazy enough to justify the namesake of her personal brand, Toquade, anyway.
She has, after all, devoted a significant portion of her current winemaking career to – egads! – Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, a region/variety combo that is often either derided (justifiably, for the too-frequent examples that taste like melon-cream soda gone flat mixed with grain alcohol), or in the better cases (unjustifiably) pigeon-holed as always just-shy-of-greatness, the NV also-ran grape. It occurs to me now that NV SB is a bit like the Philadelphia Eagles of the wine world, only without the awesome fight song (seriously, it’s the best one in the NFL; yeah, the San Diego Super Chargers song has an awesome bassline, but otherwise it’s waaaay too disco for football).
NV SB is also the primary focus of Barbe’s other winemaking job, helming the juice at Clay and Brenda Cockerell’s Coquerel brand. They make wine from other varieties, too (the Verdelho and Chardonnay are both well worth seeking out), but it’s that underdog NV SB that has captured Barbe’s heart.
That’s crazy in a good way, of course, and I wish more winemakers had Barbe’s brand of eccentricity, because she’s making the kind of wines – both intellectually and sensually pleasing – that I like to drink on my own time and my own dime.
On one of my recent sojourns to the Left Coast, I got to catch up with Barbe over dinner at San Francisco’s Farallon, a restaurant that sports a décor that I can best describe as “Alice goes scuba diving in Wonderland.” Fortunately, they specialize in seafood, which made a natural match for our little Sauvignon Blanc-fest…
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Given that the Southern Hemisphere, whose “reversed” seasons give their winemakers a leg up on vintage releases, already have 2009s hitting the wine store shelves, it’s not too early to call the 2009 vintage for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc a strong one.
I won’t go so far to protest 2009 as excellent for all of New Zealand, because I’ve simply not tasted enough ‘Kiwi’ wine (yet) to make a determination, but I can say that the `09 Marlborough SBs that have made their way into my sample bins have, for the most part, been very good and in some cases excellent.
Case in point is the 09 Drylands Sauvignon Blanc, which is absolutely screaming with passion fruit goodness and a quality finish that is much longer than I’d have expected at a price point under $15. The QPR on that wine is just roof-busting.
Anyway, it seems that every big wine brand has some sort of social network initiative popping up these days, and New Zealand is no exception – Kim Crawford, who produce a few very good Marlborough wines, has recently jumped into the social networking game in a unique way with their Artists’ Lounge concept. The interesting thing about the Artists’ Lounge is that Kim Crawford actually has four artists in residence as part of the community – a poet, a songwriter, a painter, and a photographer. So if you’re into art and NZ wine, Artists’ Lounge might be a cool place for you.
If you’re into winning trips to NZ, then Artists’ Lounge might also be a cool place for you – from now through the week of January 18, members of the Lounge have a chance to win a trip to New Zealand by posting ideas for artistic inspiration in the member forums – the winning entries are chosen by the resident artists, who will create new art works based on the winning entries.
That seems like a pretty cool idea for a contest (and there are worse prizes than visiting the land where Lord of The Rings was filmed!).
More details available here: http://theartistslounge.clmclient.com/contest.php.
Got thoughts on the 2009 NZ wines, the land of Kiwi, or the Artists’ Lounge? Let’s hear ’em!
The rage is relentless
We need a movement with a quickness
You are the witness of change
And to counteract
We gotta take the power back
Sometimes I wonder if the Internet should have a theme song. I’d nominate Rage Against The Machine’s Take The Power Back, given the possibilities of democratization that the connected economy presents to us nearly every day.
That’s an overly-dramatic introduction to a couple of on-line surveys… but what the hell, why be afraid to revel in our time, right?
Anyway… frequent 1WineDude readers will know my good buddy (and uber wine-geek) Jason Whiteside, who is currently finishing up the challenging WSET Diploma program (the stepping-stone into Master of Wine qualification). Jason is taking on a bit of wine consumer research as part of his WSET work, and he needs your help!
Below you will find links to two (very, very quick) surveys that Jason is running to collect consumer’s views on two hot topics in the wine world. The first, rising alcohol levels, is a topic that generates just about as much passion as any other being discussed around wine today. The second is a more specific exploration into what wine consumers think about Sauvignon Blanc (which surprisingly also brings out strong opinions among true wine geeks).
I’ll defer to Jason to introduce the surveys:
“These surveys represent a small amount of consumer research, which is being done for the WSET Diploma (the Diploma is divided into six learning Units, and one of them is on “The Business of Wine”). Both surveys are about ten questions each, and should take less than three minutes to complete. Consumer preference doesn’t garner the attention that Wine Critic preference does, but surveys like this can help swing the power back to the people. Thank you very much for your time in filling out the surveys. Your answers will remain confidential; even I will not be able to see who answered what.”
The results will be published in a future 1WineDude article, so do us a favor and take 5 minutes to tell us your thoughts!
Have your say about Alcohol Levels and Wine:
Tell us what you think about White Wine and Sauvignon Blanc: