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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-ish 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!

  • NV Aguila Brut (Cremant de Limoux): Fresh, toasty, clearly possessing talent and know-how, and maybe just a touch self-absorbed. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Williams & Humbert Canasta Cream Sherry (Andalucia): Its soul is Oloroso, so don’t expect this date to be cloying despite the sweet talk. $18 B >>find this wine<<
  • 17 Tasca Regaleali Bianco (Sicilia): The real question here, with all of that gulpable tropical action, is – Where the hell is my hammock?!?? $11 B >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Howell Mountain Vineyards Petite Verdot (Napa Valley): Dark, sultry, floral, toasty, and all-around seductive; sic, btw – lol, ikr? $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Angeline Vineyards Rose of Pinot Noir (California): Delivered with a cherry-fruity, citrus-pithy, soon-to-be-a-distant-memory type of simplicity. $15 B- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Georges Duboeuf Brouilly (Brouilly): A strawberry-laden, peppery, perky delight; for this price, you don’t really need more info than that, do you?? $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas (Gigondas): Haughty and hearty, meaty and meaningful, and even at over 30 clams a bit of a bargain. $35 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Maison Nicolas Perrin Crozes-Hermitage (Crozes-Hermitage): Earthiness and meatiness that are dutifully trying to put the Fun back in Funky. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 17 Urban Provence Rose (Cotes de Provence): Almost obnoxiously floral, but also un-apologetically fresh, zesty, lively, and drinkable. $23 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 17 Berne Inspiration Rose (Cotes de Provence): Tropical fruits, cherries, and roses, all arguing a bit too loudly in what’s supposed to be the Quiet Car. $20 B >>find this wine<<

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For May 21, 2018 from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!
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One of the worst aspects of the current state of political “discourse” in the USA is the penchant of leaders in our government towards vocalizing complete and total falsehoods, whenever and however it furthers their individual and/or party agendas, with seemingly little consequence for their actions.

Where they deem it necessary, they also repeatedly use this tactic to undermine the credibility of any ideas or expert opinions that they find inconvenient to the forwarding of their agenda, even when those ideas and expert opinions are based on (as in the examples of climate change and global warming) data that are incontrovertible. One need not search far, wide, or for long to find examples of this, many of them technically qualifying as libel, slander, or defamation.

Just as the U.S. wine world is not immune from modern cultural and technological shifts, it is, alas, also not immune from this ridiculous embracing of falsehood over fact, or the downward spiral into the cult of “fake” news wherein “truthiness” trumps (pun intended) actual truth in a disgusting sociopathic display of partisan greed, good old fashioned idiocy, or (too often) both.

Interestingly, this trend may be more a factor of generational social shortcomings now that the Baby Boomers are more-or-less in charge of everything political in the USA (an argument made in a cogent and convincing – though albeit overly-opinionated and overly-lengthy – way by Bruce Cannon Gibney in his book A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America). Having said that, in my view, analyzing the reasons behind this worrying trend isn’t nearly as acute a need as is applying the disinfectant of attention. I.e., calling out and rejecting the behavior adamantly and quickly; consider it the intellectual and moral equivalent of weeding, or maybe playing Whack-a-Mole.

Thankfully, that’s just what happened recently when Naked Wines was more-or-less forced to apologize for going as low as the current U.S. political discourse in some of its most recent marketing efforts

It was author Jaime Goode who most prominently called attention to Naked Wine’s marketing snafu, which ultimately was answered with a mea culpa from CEO Rowan Gormley; here’s the exchange as reported via Twitter:

image: twitter.com

In their missive, Naked Wines 1) implies that wine competition results are bogus, and 2) states that wine critics both invent trends (this is almost certainly unprovable) and receive payment to push those trends and/or certain wines on to consumers (the latter is news to me… apparently I’ve been doing this wine critic thing ALL wrong, and am missing out on a lucrative income source!).

It’s not just that the accusations in the Naked Wines marketing material are likely demonstratively false, and possibly flirting with libel or defamation territory; it’s that they just didn’t bother to cite any sources for their claims. In the case of their comments on wine critics, that’s almost certainly because their claim is total bullshit. In the case of wine competition medals not meaning anything, that’s very likely corporate jealousy at play, since strong cases can be made for any differentiating recommendation (including wine competition medals) helpung to increase sales. Almost ironically in this case, their concluding assertion that real customer reviews are a good way to find wine recommendations is probably true, but not for the reasons that they imply.

Mad props to Goode for calling this crap out as, well, crap, and for doing it publicly and quickly. A nod to Gormley for fessing up, too.

But shame on Naked Wines for taking the low road in the first place.

Collectively, the wine biz is better than this, folks.

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Naked Wines And The Cult Of “Fake News” from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!
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Albert Jané knows how to work a wine media crowd.

Acústic’s Albert Jané, who is *not* actually pretending to play bongos on an old barrel

If you want to quickly win over such a group of wine geeks and influencers, you would have had access to a minor clinic in such powers of persuasion had you tagged along during my recent media tour visit to Jané’s Acústic Cellar, in the Montsant town of Marçà.

The script went something like this:

Take them to your gorgeous vineyard, replete with panoramic views of the mountainous Catalan countryside; show off your small two hectare lot of 40- to 80-year-old bush-trained Garnatxa and Samsó (a.k.a. Carignan) vines; say things like “the best barrel is the one you don’t taste,” and “the best winemakers here are the vineyards;” and gleefully pour your vinous wares, which happen to be excellent. Oh, and also serve delicious Spanish cheese.

Anyway…

Jané describes his wines as “unplugged” (hence the yeah-yeah-I-get-it cleverness of his company moniker), and it’s a fitting term for a winemaking style that seeks to showcase the concentrated, small clusters/berries of the organic fruit that Acústic’s old vines produce. Jané’s approach is relatively old school, favoring hand-harvesting and minimal oak treatment; which seems fitting, considering that his grandfather was a winemaker, his cellar is an old textile factory, and much of the exclusively indigenous vines in his vineyard were planted in the 1930s. Here’s a look at the latest quartet playing the Acústic Cellars tune…

2016 Acústic Celler Blanc (Montsant, $18)

Mostly Garnatxa Blanca, with Macabeo and a few others thrown in there in small amounts, this white is floral, rich, tropical, and heady, with a substantial and silky palate. What really blew my away was how textural the palate was for such a hefty wine, and how well the mineral tones showed through. Lest you be concerned with how well it ages, we tasted back to the `11 and it showed some lovely, honeyed goodness. And for a sub-$20 white, it’s overachieving in a big way if it can give you that much pleasurable drinking after even a couple of years or repose in the bottle.

2015 Acústic Celler Tinto (Montsant, $20)

Mostly Carignan, with 30% Garnacha, all from vines that are between 25 and 60 years of age. There’s a bit of French oak spice on the nose here, though the barrels are clearly not new, and the wine is powerful, fruity, plummy, deep, juicy, and big. I’d go so far as to say that it’s flashing a come-hither look at you, so keep this one in mind for date night dining. There’s future promise here, too, by the way; tasting back to the 2007, the plummy profile remains, but that older offering still seems fresh and young (though it did take on more floral components).

2015 Acústic Celler “Auditori” Vinyes Velles Magiques de Garnatxa (Montsant, $55)

All Garnacha, from some of the oldest vines on the Acústic estate, this is so dense and plummy that it’s almost jammy; it’s also floral, spicy, savory, and sporting serious licorice tones. While undoubtedly powerful, Auditori is also fresh, delicious, and fruity enough to leave you with a lasting, impressive, well,  impression.

2015 Acústic Celler “Braó” (Montsant, $33)

Guess what? Old vines, again, these averaging about 40 years (with some in the 60 to 95 year old range), with the emphasis (80%) on Carignan, and the remainder filled out with Garnacha. The yields are, understandably, quite low with bush vines in this age range. The result is warm, buxom, dense, ripe, and delicious. It’s also complex: violets, licorice, baking spices, plums, and even some graphite. Probably my fave out of this quartet, especially considering how the 2007 turned out (inky/extracted/dense, of course, but also savory, floral, and still sexy). The moniker is supposed to evoke strength and courage in Catalan, and, well, yeah, that.

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at An “Unplugged” Spanish Quartet (Acustic Cellar Recent Releases) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!
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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-ish 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!

  • 17 Berne Emotion Rose (Cotes de Provence): The very definition of solid, dependable Provencal rose – bright fruit, pithy brightness, & sub-20-clams. $19 B >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Godelia Mencia (Bierzo): This is basically the friend that you never see very often but everyone really likes and so the parties where he shows up go pretty late. $19 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 17 Simonsig Chenin Blanc (Stellenbosch): Just in case you forgot that CB had an immediately accessible, tropical, zesty side… there's this… $14 B >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Duchman Family Winery Oswald Vineyard Aglianico (Texas): Alright, everyone, listen up and sit up straight, because I think they might be on to something here… $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Rodney Strong Reserve Malbec (Sonoma County): Burly, bountiful, bold, and basically bursting at the britches for a big hunk of steak. $40 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Geyser Peak Devil's Inkstand Winemaker's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley): As dark as its namesake, but could be drawing slightly sharper lines between those fruit flavors. $39 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Chalk Hill Estate Bottled Sauvignon Blanc (Chalk Hill): Exotic fruits, enticing nose, juicy ripeness, and big-ass mouthfeel. $33 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 17 Miner Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley): Now, *that* is vibrant SB, especially for one of those SBs that's all sexy-like coming from NV. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Jordan Russian River Valley Chardonnay (Sonoma County): Pay attention while you're being beguiled by those peaches, or you'll miss that great zesty finish. $33 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma County): Still not afraid of the herbal side, much to the continued joy of people like yours truly. $55 A- >>find this wine<<

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For May 14, 2018 from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!
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Another day at the “office”

Back in February, I spent a handful of days in the charmingly-imposing Italian town of Montefalco, as the U.S. media guest attending the anteprima showing of Sagrantino’s somewhat-troubled 2014 vintage.

Generally, the way that these things work is that we press-types get to sit around in beautiful locales tasting (and pontificating upon) the latest – and usually not-so-latest – vintages of a region, when we’re not attending dinners or visiting nearby producers, I mean. Just another day at the office…

After highlighting a handful of producers from that visit, I thought that I would wrap up the Sagrantino-related coverage here by sharing some of what I found to be among the more interesting wines that I encountered on that anteprima trip. Some of these wines will, in true 1WD form, be nigh-impossible to find, though most won’t; but think of this less as the brain-dump of tasting notes that it is, and more of an enthusiastic recommendation of some of Montefalco’s best producers.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I have what feels like ten billion wines to tell you about; and so, let’s get it started in here while the base keep runnin’ runnin’, and runnin’ runnin’…

2015 Tenuta Alzatura Rosso di Montefalco (Umbria, $NA)

We can’t – well, we can, but we shouldn’t – forget one of Montefalco Sagrantino’s little vinous brothers, Rosso di Montefalco, which in Cecchi Alzatura’s case hails from three different vineyards supplying the Sangiovese, Merlot, and Sagrantino making up the blend; a key advantage since, as Agronomo Alessandro Mariani told me, “In Montefalco, everything is in small pieces.” This offering is textbook for the region: chewy, sexy, plummy, and spicy.

2007 Tenuta Alzatura “Uno di Dieci” Sagrantino di Montefalco (Umbria, $31)

When it comes to the burly Sagrantino grape, having perspective in essential, so it helps to taste something from an older, excellent vintage to get said perspective, as I was fortunate enough to do with Alzatura’s `07 incarnation of their “Uno di…” series. This is still young, but has kept its round, ripe, and generous fleshiness. Earthy, dark, leathery, juicy, and fruity, this one has character, power, and poise.

Scacciadiavoli’s imposing cellar

2015 Arnaldo-Caprai Montefalco Rosso Riserva (Umbria, $46)

So… yeah, you’ve heard of these guys, who famously threw out their first vintage back in the 1970s, and now at 136 hectares of vines and 800,000+ bottles of wine a year are among the larger producers in the region. They’re fans of extended oak aging which, seemingly paradoxically, smooth out the rougher and ample Sagrantino tannins by adding more tannin (and thus elongating the tannin molecule chains and makes for a potentially silkier mouthfeel overall.  This Rosso Riserva sees twenty months in oak, and it’s hot, burly, and big, while also being spicy, supple, and plummy. Get a good steak, because you’ll need it with this.

2014 Arnaldo-Caprai “25 Anniversario” Sagrantino di Montefalco Riserva (Umbria, $75)

This Sagrantino is the result of vineyard and barrel selections, resulting in a concentrated, meaty, and excellent red that’s crazy spicy, crazy powerful, and crazy smooth. The tannins might be supple, but they are also significant and abundant; the wine will definitely age, and it definitely requires it.

NV Scacciadiavoli Rosé Vino Spumante Brut Metodo Classico (Umbria, $NA)

And now for something completely different… here’s a side of Sagrantino that one rarely sees: namely, a “feminine” take. In this case, the burly grape is picked on the early side and given the Champagne treatment, including sur lie aging. The result is a combination of ripe red apple, brioche, and citrus tones, and is eminently gulpable.

2014 Di Filippo ‘Etnico’, Montefalco Sagrantino (Umbria, $NA)

This is a minor triumph of the challenging `14 vintage; laden with tobacco spice, ripe and tart plum fruit, and serious structure/grip, this is about as elegant as a young Sagrantino can get.

2014 Di Filippo Montefalco Sagrantino (Umbria, $50)

Tighter than a tourniquet, which has the advantage of temporarily showcasing freshness and minerality along with the more common Sagrantino elements of sipcy tobacco. This might not be ready for drinking until Elon Musk’s Roadster collides back into Earth…

Scacciadiavoli’s other imposing cellar

2014 Moretti Omero Sagrantino di Montefalco (Umbria, $36)

This gets very dark, very quickly, and moves from silky to mineral and gritty almost as quickly. Layers of herbal spiciness and dark fruits hint at something special ahead (if you can wait for it).

2014 Rocca di Fabbri Sagrantino di Montefalco (Umbria, $30)

Ohhhhhh! This one is getting very, very fresh with us! While it’s not the most complex Sagrantino you will encounter, the core structural elements and typicity are ridiculously strong with this excellent Sagrantino example. Taken with the acidic lift, it’s a winning combo.

2014 Fattoria Colleallodole Milziade Antano Sagrantino di Montefalco “Colleallodole” (Umbria, $45)

There’s so much going on here, it’s almost a little overwhelming at first blush; tobacco, herbs, flowers, mint, leather, plums… and lest you think that all of that reveal this early on might hint at a shorter aging curve, there are a shit-ton of tannins included for good measure to prove you wrong.

2014 Lungarotti Sagrantino di Montefalco (Umbria, $45)

Graphite, spices, and lots (and lots) of dark-fruited generousity, especially considering the vintage. It’s also powerful (and even a tad hot), but will make the steakhouse crowd very, very happy.

2014 Cantina Fratelli Pardi “Sacrantino” Montefalco Sagrantino (Umbria, $NA)

This single vineyard Sagrantino bears a name that hearkens back to the wine’s past, but is quite modern in presentation. Minty, brambly, and showing off black cherry, plum, and sweet tobacco action, this starts smooth, gets a nice lift in the middle, and ends powerfully and long. And I mean powerfully – at over 16% abv, this one will could get you onto your knees in pseudo-religious-prayer formation, and in short order.

2014 Valdanguis “Fortunato” Sagrantino di Montefalco (Umbria, $NA)

Fortune favors the bold, and in this case, also the grippy, leathery, and spicy. Tobacco, dark cherry, game meat, and even a hint of salinity make this one one of the more compelling Sagrantino releases of the vintage, in my not-so-humble opinion.

Tenuta Bellafonte

2014 Tenuta Castelbuono “Carapace” Sagrantino di Montefalco (Umbria, $38)

Part of the Lunelli group of brands, this wien is named after their famous tortuga shell-shaped edifice, which I can tell you from firsthand experience is a sort of odd wonder of design and construction. While the building might seem a bit on the whimsical side (and look like the giant Gamera decided to retire and become a winery), this Sagrantino isn’t fooling around at all. Elegant cigar spices, dried herbs, black and red cherry fruit, mineral, and even hints of roses are all packed into a fascinating aromatic profile.

2014 Cantine Adanti Arquata Sagrantino di Montefalco (Umbria, $45)

Tied up tight with sprigs of mint and other dried herbs, this red reveals little on the nose but starts to hint at great chewy fruitiness on the palate. That is, before said palate also tightens up into serious grip.

2014 Tenuta Bellafonte “Collenottolo” Montefalco Sagrantino (Umbria, $50)

You gotta admire the tenacity of this producer, who make 30,000 bottles a year from only estate fruit, and with only two wines in the portfolio. Going back in time with their vintages of Collenotolo was a treat, and it showcased how much their investment has paid off over the years (when asked how much that investment amounted to, owner Peter Heilbron replied “Too much! But pleasure has no price!”). The `14 Collenotolo is floral, herbal, earthy, minty, and full of cherries and spices on the palate. Sweet plums eventually take over, and the whole experience of drinking it is so nice that one feels compelled to keep going…

2013 Cantina Bartoloni “Essentia” Bianco Umbria Passito (Umbria, $NA)

It seems fitting to wrap all of this Montefalco-ing up with something uniquely Montefalco. While there’s plenty of dessert-style passito made from Sagrantino to be found in the area, the “Essentia” showcases Trebbiano instead, with no oak treatment. Apricot, sultana, and floral perfume on the enticing nose move to a soft palate entry, then to a sense of freshness, finishing with citrus peel and honey. All of which you’d need, too, if you had to wash down all of those burly, young Sagrantino reds…

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at The Almost-Full Monty (Montefalco Sagrantino Anteprima 2014) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!
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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-ish 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!

  • 14 Halter Ranch CDP Cotes de Paso (Adelaida District): Deftly matching up against your robust spare ribs with a spicy, chewy ease. $33 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Lieb cellars Reserve Pinot Blanc (North Fork of Long Island): Oh, you're not from Europe? Wow, could've fooled me, bro. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Dutton Goldfield Emerald Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir (Green Valley of Russian River Valley): Dark berries, meet Dark Rea; Dark Tea, meet Dark Berries. $62 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Paul Jaboulet Aine Beaumes de Venise Le Paradou (Rhone): Violets galore!!! Enough to make you want to type "violets galore" with exclamation points at the end. $24 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Loimer Brut Rose (Niederösterreich): Attempts to be zesty, and both familiar and exotic at the same time; and it basically nails it. $32 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 17 Leyda Pinot Noir Rose (Valle de Leyda): Move to the head of the class! Strawberry, pith, & an ability to pull its weight with verve. $15 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Laurent Perrier Brut Nature Ultra Brut (Champagne): Kind of like drinking a phaser beam, only it's set on stun, and all in a good way. $68 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Barone Pizzini Rose (Franciacorta): Zesty, substantive, lovely, and at turns absolutely stare-you-in-the-eyes, I-knew-it-was-you-Freddo deadly-serious. $45 A- >>find this wine<<
  • NV Warre's Warrior Finest Reserve (Porto): Not shy about its fruitiness, its expressiveness, or its hot-under-the-collar mouthfeel. $19 B >>find this wine<<
  • NV Sandeman's Founders Reserve (Porto): Juicy stuff, and also as solid a pick for a dessert companion as its weighty palate implies $19 B+ >>find this wine<<

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For May 7, 2018 from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!
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Hey, remember when I waxed all dime-store-poetic about the longevity and power of Barbera reds from the relatively-new, tippy-top-of-the-Asti-area-quality-pyramid region of Nizza?

Well, I do.

Anyway, if you’re curious how the highest-end Piedmonte Barbera wines fare when they have upwards of a decade of aging under their labels, check out the latest video in my Barbera in the Glass series for MyNameIsBarbera.com.

This episode features the second portion of my tasting with Tenuta Olim Bauda head honcho Gianni Bertolino, in which we delve in-depth into a couple of older vintages of their Nizza wines, and I kind of have my mind blown and gesticulate wildly with my hands while I make funny faces trying to express how good those wines really are. It’s a quick watch, and definitely worth a viewing if you’re one of the true lovers of Monferrato wine (and if you’re not… what the actual f–k is wrong with you?!??).

Barbera in the Glass #7: Nizza tasting (2) - YouTube

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at My Name Is *Still* Nizza (Drinking Monferrato’s Older Top Reds With MyNameIsBarbera.com) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!
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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-ish 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!

  • 15 Andre Brunel Becassonne Blanc (Cotes du Rhone): Floral, perfumed, substantive, sultry, and downright delightful. More lunch dates should be like this. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Famille Perrin La Gille Gigondas (Gigondas): Hails sandy soils, and that's pretty much the only thing that's rough about this sexy little beast. $38 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Ferraton Pere et Fils La Martiniere(Crozes-Hermitage): Everybody was kung-fu fighting… only it was in the smokehouse! $23 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Chateau Peybonhomme-les-Tours Le Blanc Bonhomme (Bordeaux): This little fellow had focus, and this little fellow had tropical fruits, and this little fellow had toast… $15 B >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Portlandia Momtazi Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): You'll want to bring your spiced-plum-loving side, and that side won't leave disappointed. $39 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Troon Vineyard Red Label Vermentino (Applegate Valley): Both literally and figuratively nutty, and both in fun, intriguing, refreshing ways. $15 B >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Rain Dance Nicholas Vineyards Estate Chardonnay (Chehalem Mountains): Showing off in supple, perky ways why Chardonnay is OR's next – or maybe current – big thing. $30 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Pfendler Sonoa Coast Chardonnay (Chardonnay): Creamy richness, floral loveliness, citric zesty-ness, bank-account-friendly affordable-ness. $38 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Chateau Montelena Calistoga Zinfandel (Napa Valley): Maintains herbal spice and a sense of zing among the plummy juiciness; in other words, it's a playful-and-accomplished balancing act. $39 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Siduri Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands): Black raspberry tea with a side of smoked meat, and they're not just for lunch anymore. $55 A- >>find this wine<<

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For April 30, 2018 from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!
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It’s time here on 1WD for entry in the ongoing wine product sample roundup articles series, in which I try out samples sent to me that are not directly vinous / edible in nature. Once again, I’ve tried to whittle down the pile of wine-related tomes cluttering my office floor, but I also managed to have a sort of battle with (yet another) wine opener-type-thingy…

image: amazon.com

First, there’s the book: The Search for Good Wine: From the Founding Fathers to the Modern Table, by John Hailman (University Press of Mississippi, 301 pages, about $29). Hailman has been a wine competition judge, has authored a couple of other books, and had a nationally syndicated wine column; The Search for Good Wine pulls from the latter, which is the both the book’s strongest asset and (for me) its greatest source of consternation. This is a compendium of Hailman’s well-written, often witty, more often informative, and always accessible column essays, organized into four main categories (people, places, tips, and humor). They are good reads. The trouble is that (too) many of the essays employ relative references (mostly regarding time), yet lack details about when they were written and published. Not a big deal, until you hit the twentieth or so relative mention, at which point the editor in me (and maybe in you) will want to scream. Anyway, it’s solid work if you can get past that possibly-not-so-minor cavil.

Finally, we have my run-in with Vineyard Elite’s “The Perfect Wine Opener” (https://theperfectwineopener.com, $69.95). With such a haughty moniker, and a price to match, you’d think that this thing would work exceptionally well. And you’d be very, very wrong (based on my usage trials, anyway)…

image: theperfectwineopener.com

The package comes with “The Perfect Cut” foil cutter (which I found average), three “Perfect Seal” wine bottle pump-stoppers (which work decently well, though they’re not really sized for bottles with smaller necks), and the decently-constructed opener itself, which employs an interesting design.

To use the Perfect Wine Opener, you pierce the cork with the unit’s encased needle, and pump air into the bottle, which forces the cork out with a POP!

Or, at least, that’s what’s supposed to happen.

I only managed to get it working about 50% of the time, and even then I was a bit fearful that I could end up breaking the bottle due to the added pressure (this is absolutely the type of product that should not be used on sparkling wine). Ultimately, this one just doesn’t up live to the price, let alone the name; and while you might have a better success rate using it than I did, I’d advise you to check out one of the similar, cheaper alternatives first (some of which can be found for about $16).

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at In Search Of… The Not-So-perfect (April 2018 Wine Products Roundup) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!
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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-ish 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!

  • 15 Dutton Estate Dutton Ranch Cherry Ridge Vineyard Syrah (Russian River Valley): Bold, dense, but also lithe and spicy; in other words, totally legit. $54 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Robert Mondavi Winery Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Like its namesakes, quintessentially NV in all of the right ways. $62 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Broadside Margarita Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles): Vibrant, structured, savory, delicious, and right on the verge of something exceptional. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Schramsberg Cremant Demi-Sec (California): Taking up an address that's somewhere between Main and Dessert $41 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • NV Tommasi Filo Dora Prosecco (Prosecco): Enough crowd-pleasing fruitiness for all-day drinking; and you probably will drink it all day. $16 B >>find this wine<<
  • 17 Kim Crawford Signature Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough): A little rich, & more than a little expressive; bring your passion for passion fruit. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Ventisquero Grey Glacier Trinidad Vineyard Single Block Cabernet Sauvignon (Maipo Valley): Nary an age wrinkle to be found in this dark, dense, herbal beauty. $24 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Nieto Senetiner Malbec (Lujan de Cuyo): An overachiever that's making its way to the head of the smoky/meaty/spicy class. $16 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Alta Vista Alizarine Single Vineyard Malbec (Lujan de Cuyo): Inky, deep, viscous, plummy, ripe, dense, powerful… looks like somebody unlocked BEAST mode! $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Chateau Picoron Grand Vin (Sainte-Colombe): Plummy, modern, but not afraid of heaping on the black olives; keep an eye on this one. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<

Grab The 1WineDude.com Tasting Guide and start getting more out of every glass of wine today!

Shop Wine Products at Amazon.com

Copyright © 2016. Originally at Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For April 23, 2018 from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!
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