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~ November 2013 Archives ~

 

11.30.2013

Vinography Unboxed: Week of November 24, 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 sample wine that have crossed my doorstep recently. Let's start this week with a truly stunning Chardonnay from what is quickly becoming the gold standard for Southern Hemisphere Chardonnay, the Limari Valley in Chile. This single vineyard bottling from Merino is outstanding, and at $30 puts many California Chardonnays that cost twice as much to shame. Chile makes up a good portion of this week's samples. From a lovely Sauvignon Blanc from one of the... continue reading

11.29.2013

Vinography Images: Down the Row

Down the Row LOWER LAKE, CA: The rolling hillside vineyards of Vigilance Winery, overlooking Clear Lake, near Lower Lake, California. Though much warmer and lesser-known than Napa or Sonoma, in recent years Lake County has become known as a producer of affordable quality Cabernet Sauvignon. 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... continue reading

11.27.2013

Pinot Days Southern California 2013: December 7, Los Angeles

Wine festivals in Southern California, and especially in Los Angeles, aren't particularly plentiful, for reasons I don't entirely understand. There are plenty of wine lovers in LA, but the large public wine events that make such frequent appearances in San Francisco, and increasingly in New York, just don't seem to make it down the West Coast. Four years ago, the Pinot Days Festival came to Los Angeles, and now every year SoCal Pinot lovers have a reason to celebrate. This year's Grand Tasting will offer the opportunity to taste more than 300 Pinot Noirs from about 100 different producers over... continue reading

11.26.2013

When Should You Not Be Allowed to Be Biodynamic?

Spraying biodynamic teas at Seresin Vineyards, Marlborough, NZ As the father of a kindergartener it will come as no surprise to you that of late I have been immersed in a world of debate and discussion around the many issues that shape educational, health, and social policy, at least as five-year-olds are concerned. Not only that, as a family we have been subject to any number of new restrictions and requirements that come from participating in the particular school system that we have chosen to patronize. One of those new requirements is as simple as it is blunt. In order... continue reading

11.23.2013

Vinography Unboxed: Week of November 17, 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 sample wine that have crossed my doorstep recently. Let's start this week with a couple of very unusual wines from Chile, that are both quite compelling in their own right. The first is a wine made from the Pedro Ximenez grape, a grape imported to Chile from Spain, that has historically been used to make Pisco, the distilled spirit quite popular in Chile and neighboring Peru. The high desert areas of Elqui have been growing... continue reading

11.22.2013

Vinography Images: Below the Clouds

Below the Clouds PHILO, CA: A thin layer of ground fog forms along the ridges and vineyards of the Anderson Valley near Philo, California. Located three hours north of San Francisco, Mendocino County has a rustic appeal for tourists who make the arduous drive through redwood forests and rolling hills of vineyards and oak trees. 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... continue reading

11.19.2013

Don't Ask a Dinosaur for Directions

Those of us who spend our days working if not in the vanguard, at least squarely in the mainstream of the internet technology revolution are at once both amused and infuriated by many wine writers' attempts to dismiss the relevance of social media in the wine world. Steve Heimoff, in particular continues to worry away at the subject, like a Chihuahua intent on bringing down the elephant it thinks it has cornered. But Steve's not the only member of the old guard who believes that because he knows about wine and the wine business therefore he has the tools to... continue reading

11.18.2013

California's Current Wine Revolution

What does the world look like to those in the midst of a quiet revolution? As with the frog in a pot of slowly heating water, sometimes change can be hard to see when it doesn't arrive with a clap of thunder, an overnight recession, or live narration from a serious-looking news reporter with a microphone. If you weren't paying particularly close attention, or your relationship to California wine consisted of what you might find on your supermarket shelves each week as you shopped for your dinner, things might not look all that different from a few years ago. But... continue reading

11.16.2013

Vinography Unboxed: Week of November 10, 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 sample wine that have crossed my doorstep recently. Let's start this week with two winners from the southern hemisphere. The first is one of the more exciting Chilean wines I've tasted in a long time, and just the sort of thing that Chile ought to be trying to do more of: an old vine blend of lots of different grapes from the Cauquenes Valley in the Maule region. The Clos des Fous "Cauquenina" is juicy... continue reading

11.15.2013

Vinography Images: Autumn Mist

Autumn Mist GEYSERVILLE, CA: Vineyards in Sonoma County's Alexander Valley begin to turn color near Geyserville, California. This is one of the most picturesque times to visit California wine country. Much of Sonoma and Napa are currently showing their 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,... continue reading

11.14.2013

Henschke Wines, Eden Valley, Australia: Some Current Releases

While many may argue about just which individual wine represents Australia's finest expression of Shiraz, few could argue that when considering top producers of Australian Shiraz, Henschke shouldn't be on the short list. For more than 140 years, across five generations, the Henschke family has been growing grapes and making wine in a little corner of the hills surrounding the Barossa Valley. For the last 30 years, the winery has been run by Stephen Henschke and his wife Prue, with increasing help from their children. The history of the Henschke family is in many ways the history of the... continue reading

11.13.2013

Finding Treasure in the Wine of Vienna

The streets of Vienna are like nowhere else in the world. Culture all but oozes out of the cracks between the cobblestones that fill in the quaint plazas beneath houses once occupied by the likes of Freud, Thomas Mann, Mozart, and Beethoven. But if music, literature, drama, and philosophy saturate the skin and flesh of the city, then it is wine that pumps through its veins. For Vienna is like no other major capital city in the world. The city limits themselves contain an entire appellation, so intimately nestled into the nooks and crannies of the city, that one... continue reading

11.09.2013

Vinography Unboxed: Week of November 3, 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 sample wine that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week included one of the better orange wines I've tasted from California. For those unfamiliar with this designation, an orange wine is a white wine made like a red wine -- namely with an extended contact between the juice and the skins of the grape, resulting in a wine the hue of slightly diluted orange soda. This lovely rendition from the Santa Cruz mountains was quite... continue reading

11.08.2013

Almost 70% of the Wine Sold in China is Fake, Says Expert

Who needs John Grisham when we've got real, live anti-counterfeit attorneys such as Nick Bartman running cloak-and-dagger operations in China to expose endemic levels of fraud in their domestic wine industry? Jancis Robinson has just published a lengthy, five-part essay by Mr. Bartman that offers an incredibly detailed insight into what is going on in the Chinese wine industry right now. The first two articles are free to the public, no doubt due to Jancis' desire for this information to be more widely known, and should be required reading for anyone in the wine industry. The tribulations of Bartman and... continue reading

11.08.2013

Vinography Images: The Delicate Spiral

The Delicate Spiral NAPA, CA: The interior of a winery destemming machine creates a series of interesting patterns in Napa, California. 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 art prints of this image... continue reading

11.06.2013

The Best of New Zealand Pinot Noir

Sometimes it almost seems possible to taste the beauty of a place when we're sipping a wine. If this were actually possible, instead of just being a compelling romantic metaphor that we like to invoke about wine, then without a doubt, the world's greatest wines would come from New Zealand. There's little to say about New Zealand's staggering beauty that hasn't been said in words well by others, and a million times over in photographs. It's one of the most unspoiled landscapes on the planet, and its diverse topography defies easy description. Not everyone can manage a visit to... continue reading

11.01.2013

Vinography Images: In the Shadow of the Volcano

In the Shadow of the Volcano HEALDSBURG, CA: The Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines in Knights Valley, located at the base of the ancient volcano of Mount St. Helena, are beginning to change color in the Autumn just before harvest. 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

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Most Recent Entries

Vinography Unboxed: Week of November 24, 2013 Vinography Images: Down the Row Pinot Days Southern California 2013: December 7, Los Angeles When Should You Not Be Allowed to Be Biodynamic? Vinography Unboxed: Week of November 17, 2013 Vinography Images: Below the Clouds Don't Ask a Dinosaur for Directions California's Current Wine Revolution Vinography Unboxed: Week of November 10, 2013 Vinography Images: Autumn Mist

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

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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.