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Showing posts from 2018

Wine of the Week: Louis Jadot, Gevrey-Chambertin 2009

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ~ Epictetus
It was fantastic evening on the high seas, sailing justing offshore of France. It was at that moment, during dinner, aboard a cruise ship, we had terrific Burgundian experience not desiring anything else than the pleasure of our own company, a fantastic meal, candlelight and fantastic Sommelier who kept our glasses full. Mrs. Cuvée and I must have put away at least two bottles of this beauty on the very first night of a cruise we recently took. A great way to kick off things off huh? 

This was one of our most memorable nights because earlier we enjoyed the 2010 Louis Jadot Meursault from the Cotede Beaune region. How this aspect of the meal remained so memorable is beyond me, seeing we had more than a few glasses of the Meursault as well. 
This 2009 may possibly be a bit hard to find, but it would be worth the effort. I found this wine selling most places [and they were not to…

Wines with Soul: 2003 La Spinetta (Rivetti) Barbaresco Vürsù Vigneto Starderi

“[I]t is the wine that leads me on, the wild wine that sets the wisest man to sing at the top of his lungs, laugh like a fool – it drives the man to dancing... it even tempts him to blurt out stories better never told.” ― Homer, The Odyssey
You often read here, or perhaps have seen me tweet about wines with soul; the wine pictured above is one which fits nicely in that category. It’s a wine of pure terroir, breeding and its apparent great care went into producing this beauty. It's not some 'cooked' laboratory produced [breaking-bad] freak oozing mega purple or any other odd additives found in far too many wines today.

No folks [IMO] this wine is the real deal. So yes while a bottle of wine like this is pricey, it's worth every penny to uncork something which makes you tilt your head back in amazement. Hopefully, while truly appreciating what it takes to make wine that says, "yes I came from somewhere".

"The genius of La Spinetta; is that it encompasses a…

Wine of the Week: 2011 Domaine Trotereau Quincy

"Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used; exclaim no more against it." ~ William Shakespeare
Many of you may have at one time, or the other has celebrated and/or promoted Sauvignon Blanc Day? Sure I had my invites to do so, but as I've said before, this is not one of those faddish wine blogs, with a big splash in the pan, only to fizzle out a few months or a year later, silently falling below the glittery limelight. That said, while my participation in the process has slowed a bit, my passion for extolling the virtues of drinking well has assuredly not. So if you fancy yourself a 'swirler' of Sauvignon Blanc, then you'll be sure to want to give this gem in today's dusted off review of a wine that will knock your socks off, don't doubt me.

I'm not sure when it happened, each and every varietal having its own 'day' but it's an irritating trend, driven no doubt by PR firms desperate to get their clients a bit …

J Wrigley Vineyard: One Stick at a Time

"Progress always involves risk; you can't steal second base and keep your foot on first."-- Frederick Wilcox
I had the distinct pleasure of getting to know the Wrigley's a couple of weeks back while visiting Oregon's Wine Country on a press trip. The primary goal of my trip was to get to know the McMinnville AVA [also affectionately known as the Mac AVA] much better, I feel I accomplished that goal in spades. I stayed with the Wrigley's for two days, in their tasting room [which you see above, bathed in the glow of the rising sun] and more specifically the 'media-room' reserved for visiting writers and such.

The 'tasting room' is primarily constructed of re-purposed materials, a work in progress which John likens to the progress of a beaver building a damn, it's "one stick at a time." I believe from my observations, that he takes this philosophy into his daily life as well, as he and his wife Jody are building a winemaking lega…

Wine of the Week: 2006 Pago Casa del Blanco 1605

"Great wines don’t make statements, they pose questions. To end with an exclamation mark is easy; when a question mark, perhaps not more difficult, but far more interesting."  - Hugh Johnson
Every once in a great while, you run into a wine that is very different from all the others sitting in the cellar, that have arrived via the sample train or otherwise. Oh sure it's produced from grapes all too familiar to even the casual wine drinkers among us. Here are two grapes which I don't often think of as complimenting each other, all too well. Yet, this 50/50 Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah make for a harmonious blend, one which makes some very beautiful music together.

This wine left me with more than a few questions, I'm not sure they were all answered. But one question, what prompted the idea to blend these two grapes getting together in the first place? I know for some folks, this blend is not all that uncommon and you know they're quite right, it's not. But…

Lodi Uncorked: Where Perception and Reality Meet

“There is no creation without tradition; the 'new' is an inflection on a preceding form; novelty is always a variation on the past.” ― Carlos Fuentes
I'm continually surprised by the things I believe to be true, about a particular wine region, like Lodi. This is especially true when it turns out to be completely different than my expectations. This is where perception walks up to meet reality. On this journey into the 'renewed' Lodi Wine Scene, my expectations about what I would find there was turned on its head more than once. Of the five other wine writers who had traveled with me, I was the only one who had been to the area before, and this time around I was happily surprised by what I found. 

Moment of honesty; it was with a bit of hesitation, that I agreed to go on this trip in the first place. Especially knowing I had to put my preconceived ideas about the region on the back burner and approach the visit with an open mind and an open tasting notebook. 

Frankly, …

Trentino-Alto Adige Uncorked: 2009 Foradori Granato

It has been said, "Wine buffs write and talk as though the food and wine will be in your mouth at the same time, that one is there to be poured over the other. This is bullshit. Gustatory enjoyment comes from food and wine and cigars of your liking. So far no one has said that a Monte Cristo is the only cigar to smoke after Armagnac, Romeo, and Juliet after Calvados ... but the time may yet come." ~ Clement Freud
It's always a fascinating adventure to uncork wines from previously unknown-to-me wine regions of the world, there are so many that fly under the radar of the better known, tried and true varietals, this bottle delivered on nearly every expectation. Mr. Freud here makes some good points, and he is right who am I tell you what to drink or eat for that matter? I mean c'mon we can all agree, that each of us should drink/eat what we like. But like the patrons who visit the wine store where I once worked, who often would query me for recommendations and or opinio…

Wine of the Week: Reustle Pray Rock Vineyards 2015 Riesling:

"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like." Lao Tzu

Here we're once more, the coveted Wine of the Week, from a producer who may need a bit of introduction, for wine enthusiasts outside of the Southern Oregon wine scene. This winery is a local favorite, in the Umpqua AVA, located south of the well-known Willamette Valley. A short trip down the I-5 corridor to sample a variety of wines not produced from the iconic Pinot Noir grape. People will often ask me to recommend wineries in town, and Reustle is in my top five. The Umpqua wine region offers the average wine enthusiast a multitude of different varietal expressions, and many of those will be unexpected, like the Bull's Blood I recently encountered.
At the same time those expressions of tried and true varietals are also evolving here in Southern Oregon, and until you take …

Orange is the New Black

“Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is perfect harmony.” ― Coco Chanel, Chanel
While l love to quote the rather outspoken Ms. Chanel, I have to disagree with her this time, because in the case of Pinot Gris Orange from Beauregard Vineyards [Santa Cruz Mountains] orange is the new black. This is a standout wine, for it's unique approach to Pinot Gris, its unique aromas, and flavors. This was the first time, I've had the opportunity to sample wine like this. Frankly, I had no idea what to expect. I really did like where it took me tho.

This wine represents the perfect mid-March springtime review, while it's still cool outside here in Southern Oregon, my palate was treated to the summertime sipping delights of the Regan Vineyard, Pinot Gris Orange. The nose itself I thought was quite captivating, it again reminded me of another Chanel quote.

"Perfume “is the unseen, unforgetta…

Winemaker Profile: Alison Crowe, Garnet Vineyards [Part Two]

"A slight chill can focus aromas, tame the perception of alcohol and can make a red [wine] seem more refreshing, especially when the weather heats up." ~ Alison Crowe
Here's part two of a great conversation I had with the winemaker of Garnet Vineyards in Carneros. A Santa Barbara native and winemaking degree from UC Davis in her back-pocket she's lighting up the wine world. She is also the author of the Winemaker's Answer Book, which you can take a look at here. If you'd like to stay in touch with her many adventures, you can do so by following her via twitter.

In the photo above she is demonstrating the proper technique on how-to reinsert the bung back into the bunghole [oh-my]. If you didn't know, Alison has ventured into the world of wine-blogging, one she has dubbed the Girl and the Grape; you should check out when you have a chance. As an example; Alison queries in a recent blog post "so don't know your bung-hole from your wine thief?"

Wine of the Week: 2011 Elk Cove, Mount Richmond Pinot Noir

“He who knows how to taste, does not drink wine, but savors it secrets” ~ Salvador Dali.
Here we're once more, the coveted Wine of the Week, from a producer who needs little introduction, as they're an icon on the Oregon wine scene. If you do plan a visit, the Google directions can be a bit wonky, you may end up on a dead-end road in the middle of nowhere. There were more a few secrets which needed to slowly be unfolded from what turned out to be quite the tasty Pinot Noir I had hoped it would be. It did take two bottles though to discover it, as Capt. Obvious was nowhere in sight the first time I uncorked this wine. Some wines while excellent [or at least very good] like the one pictured above take time to understand the distinctive character they possess if we are patient enough to wait for them to evolve.

After uncorking this wine and pouring myself a glass into an expressive Riedel Pinot Noir stem, the wine seemed very 'closed' and quite standoffish to the point, t…