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~ August 2013 Archives ~

 

08.30.2013

Vinography Images: Here Come The Birds

Here Come The Birds FREESTONE, CA: Bird netting is used in a pinot noir vineyard to keep out the flocks of starlings that live in the nearby trees in the Sonoma Coast region of California. Located two hours north of San Francisco, and west of Napa Valley, Sonoma County has become in recent years a popular global wine country destination. 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... continue reading

08.30.2013

When Place Name Protection Goes Too Far

Let's start off with the fact that I'm a big believer in protecting place names of origin in the world of wine. Brunello should only come from Montalcino. Napa Cabernet should only come from Napa. And yes, Champagne should only come from Champagne. But the folks in Champagne are frequently far too rabid about the usage of the word Champagne in the world, especially when it comes to usages completely outside the world of wine. The latest case in point: objections by the Interprofessional Committee for Champagne Wine over the possibility that Apple may name one of the new color... continue reading

08.27.2013

Vinography Unboxed: Week of August 25, 2013

Hello from the bottom of the samples pile. This is the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles of wine that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week included several wines from fairly stalwart producers. I tasted through a number of releases from Bonny Doon Vineyards, the star of which were his white Rhone blend that is aged in glass "bonbonnes" and the Cigare Volant red Rhone blend that happened to be aged in old oak foudres -- big casks that hold around 3,000 gallons. Dry Creek Vineyards sent me a library wine of... continue reading

08.23.2013

Vinography Images: Morning Vines

Morning Vines HEALDSBURG, CA: The early morning fog creeps up Dry Creek Valley on in October near Healdsburg, California. This summer has proven to be a relatively stellar growing season, and many vintners began harvest this week with high hopes. 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,... continue reading

08.23.2013

Should We Care What Winemakers Say?

Like many in the wine world, I was horrified to learn today of winemaker Fulvio Bressan's appalling rant on Facebook against Italy's first African-Italian government minister, Cécile Kyenge, in response to her suggestion that undocumented immigrants be given temporary housing under certain circumstances. His comments, as translated by Jeremy Parzen of Do Bianchi, from whom I learned of this (after a tweet from colleague Hande Leimar), are as follows: "hey, dirty Black MONKEY, I DON'T PAY TAXES to put your GORILLA friends up at a HOTEL. Please take them to your house where you can be the big shot... continue reading

08.22.2013

Schlossgut Diel, Nahe, Germany: Current Releases

When Caroline Diel was seven, she was old enough to wonder whether or not her father loved her as much as her older brother, Victor. After all, her father had been making a wine called Cuvee Victor for several years. The question was clearly too much for her father, who capitulated immediately and began to make a Riesling named Cuvee Caroline. "But then by 1990," she recalls, "there was such a huge demand for Cuvee Victor, that my parents told me, 'Unfortunately we don't have enough wine to make yours anymore. We have to put it all into Cuvee... continue reading

08.21.2013

From Blogger to Winemaker: The Wines of Two Shepherds

The longer I write about wine, the more roads to passion I discover. It was only a matter of time, then, before the ranks of successful winemakers became populated with wine bloggers. William Allen is one of several people I know of whose passion for wine led them first to blog about it, and then more recently to make it. Such a journey is not remarkable on its own -- more than a few wine writers have decided to try their hands at making the stuff they've spun yarns about for years. The fact that Allen happens to have been... continue reading

08.20.2013

The Illogic of the Ancients

Ah, I remember a time when wine blogging was new on the face of the earth, full of enthusiasm and the heady rush of youth. A time when it bore the full brunt of disdain and contempt from the so called "traditional" wine writers and journalists who looked at the blogosphere from their lofty perches of experience and saw only drivel. Dangerous drivel at that, for these blatherings of bloggers were free for the taking and inexplicably appealing to so many young wine drinkers. Luckily we've moved on from that era. Many of the most vocal opponents of the new... continue reading

08.20.2013

California Wine Month Tasting: September 21, San Francisco

If it has been decreed by governmental proclamation, it must be true, right? September is California Wine Month, didn't you know? Most things, like pirates, popcorn, or left-handed people just get a single day to call their own. But wine has become so vital to California, that it deserves a whole month. At least according to our Governor. So why is California Wine Month more than just another couple of words on some official calendar and the minutes of a legislative session? Because stuff actually happens during this month that is worth paying attention to. Chief among these are opportunities... continue reading

08.19.2013

The New Name in Cool for California Pinot Noir

The Tobacco and Trade Bureau, the latest incarnation of bureaucracy responsible for the US system of American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), is not particularly known for getting things right. That is, unless you happen to be one of its successful petitioners, having spent years (and a significant amount of cash) assembling the documentation to justify your request for a patch of ground with a governmentally sanctioned name. Thanks to our political machinery, those petitioners are most often big wine companies with the deep pockets required to produce the various studies required by the government as part of the process. As a... continue reading

08.16.2013

Vinography Images: Solar Vineyard

Solar Vineyard RUTHERFORD, CA: An array of solar panels at Honig Winery collects energy from the sun and is then converted to electricity in the Napa Valley. Many wineries are turning to solar power as a way of dramatically lowering their energy expense. Some have even managed to completely unplug from the grid. 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... continue reading

08.15.2013

Vinography Unboxed: Week of August 11, 2013

Hello from the bottom of the samples pile. This is the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles of wine that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week included a wonderful duo of Pinot Noirs from Foursight Wines in Anderson Valley. Wonderful not only because they were each an excellent wine, but for what they also had to teach. Both were made from the same fruit, from the same vineyard, but one was made in accordance with natural winemaking principles, with no added yeast, sulfur, or other common elements of winemaking technique. While both... continue reading

08.10.2013

Weingut Fritz Haag, Mosel, Germany: Current Releases

The Mosel River placidly winds its way from the heart of Germany to the northwest on its journey to join the Rhine. Its deeply carved and ancient course through blue Devonian slate long ago defined the hallowed hillsides that have grown the world's greatest Rieslings for centuries. It takes a personal visit to the Mosel to fully appreciate the logic of the region's terroir. As it journeys sinuously from the village of Ruwer to the village of Alf, some 35 miles to the northwest, the river's course is dotted with town after tiny town. Each of these towns either... continue reading

08.09.2013

Vinography Images: Mountain Vines

Mountain Vines NAPA, CA: Steep Mt. Veeder hillside Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, owned by The Hess Collection Winery. Though off the beaten track, The Hess Collection Winery, is home to one of Napa Valley's most important contemporary art collections. 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... continue reading

08.08.2013

The Essence of Wine: Oak

Image © 2013 Leigh Beisch Few have actually spent time gnawing on a piece of oak, but some know the scent well enough, having perused the selections at their local lumber yard. Some may have even tried their hand at drilling, cutting or planing in the service of one or another project. Many more know the flavor of oak, even if they never identify it as such, thanks to the popularity of whisky, rye, and bourbon, all of which usually taste of planks cut from American forests. The oak we find in wine, on the other hand, more often hails... continue reading

08.06.2013

Vinography Unboxed: Week of August 4, 2013

Hello from the bottom of the samples pile. This is the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles of wine that have crossed my doorstep recently. Let's begin this week with some continued impressive work from Thomas Fogarty winery. Winemaker Nathan Kandler has been doing some truly stellar work there, and these Pinots (and a Chardonnay) are showing extremely well in their youth. I've got another Chardonnay in the pile worth looking at from Oregon, as well as a lovely white Rhone blend from Mendocino county courtesy of the reliable Sonoma producer, Anaba. One... continue reading

08.02.2013

Vinography Images: Ripeness

Ripeness RUTHERFORD, CA: Cabernet Sauvignon ripens on the vine in the Napa Valley in the Rutherford American Viticultural Area. Rutherford has a reputation for producing refined, velvety wines that many believe owe their characteristics to the "Rutherford Dust," the name given to the fine alluvial soils of the region. 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... continue reading

08.01.2013

The Essence of Wine: Passionfruit

Image © 2013 Leigh Beisch The fruit takes its name from the vine on which it grows. But no matter how sensual the fruit or however beautiful its blossoms, the missionaries who named the vine had something else in mind entirely. The complicated flower's anatomy conveniently facilitated mneumonics for the Passion of Christ — 10 petals for faithful apostles (sorry Peter and Judas), three stigmas for three nails on the cross, five anthers for five wounds before death, and a halo of radial filaments to visualize the crown of thorns. The precious fruits of the vine, in purple and yellow,... continue reading

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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 Images: Here Come The Birds When Place Name Protection Goes Too Far Vinography Unboxed: Week of August 25, 2013 Vinography Images: Morning Vines Should We Care What Winemakers Say? Schlossgut Diel, Nahe, Germany: Current Releases From Blogger to Winemaker: The Wines of Two Shepherds The Illogic of the Ancients California Wine Month Tasting: September 21, San Francisco The New Name in Cool for California Pinot Noir

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.