California Pinot Noirs come of age

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Posted on March 20th, 2009 by eric. Filed in Wine News.
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Another great article by Eric Asimov, this time on the transformation of (some of) pinot noir winemaking in California.  Below is his summary list of Cali pinots that are produced in a lighter, perhaps even more ‘Burgundian’ style, than some of their other pinot peers:

  • ANTHILL FARMS Sonoma/Mendocino; lovely, fresh and floral.
  • ARCADIAN South Central Coast; lively, pure and age-worthy.
  • AU BON CLIMAT Santa Barbara; well-balanced and complex.
  • CALERA WINE COMPANY Mount Harlan; intense single-vineyard wines.
  • COPAIN Mendocino; delicate and nuanced.
  • FAILLA Sonoma Coast; elegant and focused.
  • INMAN FAMILY WINES Russian River Valley; bright and pretty.
  • JOSEPH SWAN VINEYARDS Russian River Valley; restrained and delicate.
  • LANE TANNER Santa Barbara; light-bodied and fragrant.
  • LITTORAI Mendocino/Sonoma Coast; structured and energetic.
  • LONGORIA Santa Barbara; earthy and intense.
  • THE OJAI VINEYARD Santa Barbara; light and savory.
  • PEAY VINEYARDS Sonoma Coast; spicy and polished.
  • PORTER CREEK VINEYARDS Russian River Valley; fresh and elegant.
  • RHYS VINEYARDS Santa Cruz Mountains; graceful and complex.
  • RIVERS-MARIE Sonoma Coast; intense, lively and balanced.
  • TALLEY VINEYARDS Arroyo Grande; earthy yet fresh.

And finally, the quote of the article:

“The palate in Europe, like the wines, has had a thousand years to develop,” said Ted Lemon of Littorai, whose wines beautifully combine structure and intensity with restraint. “We’re only starting.”

iPhone Wine App Reviews

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Posted on March 8th, 2009 by eric. Filed in Wine News.
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Here’s a fairly comprehensive review of the current (good) wine applications for the iPhone:

http://www.macworld.com/article/139106/2009/03/wineapps.html

Reviews include:

  • Drync Wine 2.0
  • Velvet Vine Wine Companion 1.1.1
  • Wine Enthusiast Guide 1.2
  • Wine Pad 2.3.0.0
  • Wine Snob 2.2.1.

Hello Vino was not mentioned in this particular round-up but it is worth a look as well.

NY Grapes: Thunder from Down Under > Wine Dinner Redux

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Posted on February 20th, 2009 by eric. Filed in Dinner Recaps.
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21 descended on our home last night for a meal and some wine…OK, a lot of wine and an excellent meal.  Here are the wines from the night:

Whites

  • 2004 Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Margaret River
  • 2008 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand
  • 2006 Streicker Ironstone Block Old Vine Chardonnay, Margaret River
  • 2007 Kaesler Old Vines Semillon, Barossa Valley

Reds

  • 2005 Pipers Brook Vineyard Pinot Noir, Tasmania
  • 2002 Magpie Estate “The Gomersal” Grenache, Barossa Valley
  • 1997 Clarendon Hills Old Vines Grenache, Blewitt Springs Vineyard, Barossa Valley
  • 1998 Clarendon Hills Shiraz, Piggott Range Vineyard, Barossa Valley
  • 2003 Torbreck “RunRig”, Barossa Valley
  • 2004 Torbreck “The Struie”, Barossa Valley
  • 2001 Elderton Command Single Vineyard Shiraz, Barossa Valley
  • 2006 Amon-Ra Unfiltered Shiraz, Barossa Valley
  • 2001 Ross Estate Shiraz, Barossa Valley
  • 2004 “3 Rings” Reserve Shiraz, Barossa Valley
  • 2002 Kilikanoon Shiraz, Barossa Valley
  • 2003 Tintara Shiraz, McLaren Vale
  • 2006 Expatriate Revolution Shiraz, McLaren Vale
  • 2001 Majella “The Malleea”, Coonawarra
  • 2005 Two Hands “Lily’s Garden” Shiraz, McLaren Vale
  • 2006 Hewitson “Old Garden” Mourvedre, Barossa
  • 2004 Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2004 Mitolo “Serpico” Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale
  • 2007 Joseph Sparkling Red, Adelaide
  • Chambers Rosewood Vineyards Rutherglen Special Muscat

And dinner consisted of:

  • Starters – 5 cheeses, dates, sausage, crackers, baguette, grapes
  • Appetizer - Mushroom soup (topped with a hint of parsley) with a bread topped with sauteed crimini mushrooms (saute in oil/butter), shallots, scallions, crumbled pecorino romano cheese
  • Main – lamb skewers (lamb marinated in garlic, olive oil, pepper, rosemary, salt) with peppers, onions, tomatoes; garlic rosemary cous-cous with diced craisins and apricots; tzatziki
  • Dessert – brownies with coffee/chili powder, Stew Leonard’s ice cream, and fresh mint

The Ancient Greeks Appreciated Moderated Wine Consumption

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Posted on January 31st, 2009 by eric. Filed in Wine News.
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I now need to dust off my ancient Greek texts, in particular, The Odyssey, where wine is a constant presence in the work.  This, and other facts about ancient Greek life and its relationship to wine, is explored in the following article by Alexander Nazaryan.

2 clever articles on wine snobbery

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Posted on January 30th, 2009 by eric. Filed in Wine News.
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One from the Freakonomics blog on being able (or unable) to distinguish a fine bottle of wine from an unfine bottle when tasted without knowing which came from what at Harvard in the Society of Fellows, and the other generally humorous and sarcastically written way to fool wine snobs into thinking that you walk among them as an equal.