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~ February 2013 Archives ~

 

02.27.2013

Vinography Unboxed: Week of February 24, 2013

I'm not on the road at the moment, which gives me some time to dive back into the samples pile. So welcome to the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better wine samples that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week's offerings span the globe, from France, to Australia, to Uruguay, to Italy. I got a pair of white Burgundies from small producer Henri Darnat, whose village Puligny-Montrachet was quite tasty, and made a nice counterpoint to the Grgich Hills Chardonnay, which is always a reliable bottle of wine. I really enjoyed the Clos du... continue reading

02.26.2013

The Best of Napa's 2011 Cabernets: Tasting at Premiere Napa Valley

This past Saturday, Napa Valley held what the Napa Valley Vintners association refers to as its "Annual Bake Sale." The event officially named Premiere Napa Valley is held each February as a fundraiser for the Vintners' operations, and is open only to members of the trade (retailers, corporate buyers, and the like). Every year, this auction provides a gauge of the overall demand for Napa wine, and perhaps a broader barometer of the American fine wine market overall. Judging by the auction's proceeds of $3.04 million, which didn't quite top last year's record haul of $3.1 million, the demand for... continue reading

02.23.2013

Great Dirt is Not Sentimental: Ted Lemon on Terroir

Perhaps the most commented on post I have made in the past few months has been my posting of the transcript of Matt Kramer's speech at the Wellington Pinot Noir symposium in New Zealand. Kramer's thoughts on what it takes to make truly great wine were both inspiring and controversial. A couple of weeks after Kramer made his comments, another articulate American found his way to the southern hemisphere and offered his own thinking on making great wines. Ted Lemon is one of America's most experienced and thoughtful winemakers. Trained in Burgundy, Lemon has been making wines under his Littorai... continue reading

02.22.2013

Vinography Images: Vineyard Bowl

Vineyard Bowl REDWOOD VALLEY, CA: A bowl-shaped vineyard of Pinot Noir ripens on the vine under a warm Mendocino County summer sun at Masut Vineyards near Redwood Valley, California. Sunny skies and cooperating weather contributed to a bumper crop of premium wine grapes throughout California in 2012. INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To... continue reading

02.22.2013

11th Annual Pinot Noir Summit: March 16th, San Francisco

Every January, unbeknownst to most wine consumers, a group of wine writers, sommeliers, and other wine industry professionals spend many the entire month doing nothing but tasting Pinot Noir. Over many successive days, through rigorous double-blind tastings, these judges whittle down hundreds of Pinot Noirs from all over the world (though mostly California and Oregon) to a select final few. This process is called the Pinot Noir Shootout, and it is put on every year by an organization called Affairs of The Vine. I have participated as a judge for this event in the past and lived to tell the... continue reading

02.20.2013

Robert Parker and Cesar Chavez Inducted into Vintners Hall of Fame

What do the world's most influential wine critic and one of America's foremost community organizers have in common? As of Monday night, they are both members of the Vintner's Hall of Fame at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California. Robert M. Parker, Jr. and Cesar Chavez, along with winemaker Merry Edwards and writer Frank Schoonmaker, were honored at an induction ceremony where they joined forty other luminaries from two centuries of California wine history. The Vintners Hall of fame was founded in 2007 by the Culinary Institute of America as a way of honoring the men and... continue reading

02.17.2013

Hawke's Bay Wines With Some Age On Them

With the clouds turning a peachy pink against the always-riveting-blue sky above Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, I found myself strolling around the grounds of Clearview Estate sampling bits of the region's past. To celebrate the final evening of the few days that I and a few dozen other journalists, sommeliers, and wine buyers had spent immersed in the region, several producers grabbed a couple of older bottles from their cellars and offered them up for a leisurely tasting as the last rays of the day hit the cliffs of Cape Kidnappers above the gentle swells of the bay. New Zealand's... continue reading

02.15.2013

Vinography Images: Pattern In the Vines

Pattern In the Vines HEALDSBURG, CA: The popular grape-growing region of Alexander Valley (near Sausal Winery) is viewed from the air near Healdsburg, California in autumn colors. INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. PRINTS:... continue reading

02.14.2013

2013 New York Wine Expo: March 1-2, New York City

OK New Yorkers, listen up. Most of the time, America looks your way with envy. You've got the best restaurants, the best films, the best theater, the best art scene, it goes on and on. But one thing you ain't got so much of is good public wine tasting events. Which is why there's always a bit of jealousy in the voices of my friends in New York when we talk about the wine events that happen every month or so here in San Francisco. So here's your chance to fix that in a big way: The New York Wine... continue reading

02.13.2013

A Trans-pacific View of Kiwi Wine

You can never revisit the past, but sometimes all you have to do is travel a little bit to be reminded of where you've been. I've just spent the past three weeks in New Zealand attending three of the country's major wine conferences, the Hawke's Bay Symposium, the New Zealand Pinot Noir conference in Wellington, and the Nelson Aromatics Symposium. These events were opportunities to check in on the state of Kiwi wine and how it might have changed in the eight years since I last visited, but they also provided cause for some reflection on how wine industries evolve... continue reading

02.12.2013

New Zealand and a Tale of Two Grapes

When you don't have two thousand years of history proving which grapes grow best in your soils, how do you decide what to grow, and how do you learn how to grow it well? And perhaps even trickier, once you've planted something, how do you decide whether you made the right decision? These were some of the questions that went through my mind as I tasted some of the first Grüner Veltliners produced in New Zealand. Along with a few dozen other journalists and members of the wine trade, I attended the 2013 Nelson International Aromatics Symposium a few weeks... continue reading

02.09.2013

Man O'War Vineyards, Waiheke Island, New Zealand: Current Releases

Under painfully blue skies and across the turquoise waters of the Hauraki Gulf on a 40-minute ferry ride from Auckland, it's hard to believe you're approaching wine country as the rolling hills of Waiheke Island fill your view. But climb off the ferry in the small cove dotted with lolling sailboats, and wind your way over the hill through the little village with no stoplights, and soon enough, you'll see a vineyard. Continue down the road a ways after a left hand turn and past the place where the pavement runs out permanently, and other than sheep paddocks, stands of... continue reading

02.08.2013

Vinography Images: Morning Vine

Morning Vine LODI, CA: Merlot vines provide a backdrop to a gorgeous October sunrise. Warm, sunny skies have helped California vintners realize one of the best premium wine vintages in decades, and the largest in recorded history. INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should... continue reading

02.07.2013

2013 VinOlivo Celebration: February 15-16, Sonoma

Most people, when they come visit me in San Francisco and ask to be taken to wine country, assume that they're going to Napa. But at least half the time, that's definitely not where we end up. My well-meaning friends aren't the only ones who seem to forget that Northern California has many different "wine countries." Napa casts a long shadow, as it were. I've got a bit of love for every piece of wine country we've got here in California, but there's a special place in my heart for Sonoma County, both because it is the place of my... continue reading

02.05.2013

Book Review: The Latest in Wine and Food Pairing

Review by Tim Patterson. If you find the subject of food and wine pairing confusing, intimidating or irritating, read Francois Chartier's Taste Buds and Molecules and then Tim Hanni's Why You Like the Wines You Like in quick succession, and wait for your head to explode. These two highly opinionated volumes have only one thing in common: they both argue that just about everything you ever thought about wine and food pairing (including, by implication, anything in the other book) is wrong. Beyond that, there is some overlap on topics, but precious little agreement about what you should put in... continue reading

02.02.2013

Finding Terroir in New Zealand: A Presentation by Emmanuel Bourguignon

I'm keenly aware of how much I don't know about making wine. I try to learn as much as I can from the very talented people I have the privilege of meeting and speaking with in the course of my journalistic adventures. But I've still got lots of gaps. Once of the biggest has to do with the really down and dirty aspects of viticulture. That's why I was quite impressed and engaged by a presentation at the recent New Zealand Pinot Noir 2013 conference by Dr. Emmanuel Bourguignon. Bourguignon is the son of arguably the two most famous viticultural... continue reading

02.01.2013

Vinography Images: The Long Row

The Long Row SONOMA, CA: Chardonnay vineyards in the Carneros region are viewed at sunrise, with the tiniest wisps of fog still hanging in the hills. INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. PRINTS: Fine... continue reading

But Wait, There's More!

This page only has the last sixty entries in this category. If you're interested in digging farther into my archives, you'll want to use the complete list of archives to access my articles by month.

Calendar of Postings

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Most Recent Entries

Vinography Unboxed: Week of February 24, 2013 The Best of Napa's 2011 Cabernets: Tasting at Premiere Napa Valley Great Dirt is Not Sentimental: Ted Lemon on Terroir Vinography Images: Vineyard Bowl 11th Annual Pinot Noir Summit: March 16th, San Francisco Robert Parker and Cesar Chavez Inducted into Vintners Hall of Fame Hawke's Bay Wines With Some Age On Them Vinography Images: Pattern In the Vines 2013 New York Wine Expo: March 1-2, New York City A Trans-pacific View of Kiwi Wine

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month

 

Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.