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~ January 2014 Archives ~

 

01.31.2014

Vinography Images: Wine Lake

Wine Lake The lake at Jordan Vineyards in Sonoma's Alexander Valley emerges from the morning mist. 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: If you are interested in owning an archive quality, limited edition... continue reading

01.30.2014

10 Years of Blogging About Wine

Too many things have been said about the fleeting passage of time to come up with a new way of expressing awe at the rate our past accumulates behind us. I can still remember thinking myself quite clever for coming up with a term that literally got zero google results in 2004 (Vinography!). I only wish I had taken a screen shot. I've been writing about wine for ten years now. Comparing the young man who naively began this journey back then and the unshaven hack on the fourth day of his latest press trip (typing away in a lonely... continue reading

01.27.2014

Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation

In a recent "Article of Merit" on his web site, wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. went on a tear against what he described as essentially one or many anti-consumer movements that fly in the face of what he believes is proper and right when it comes to the "truth" of quality wine. In this sweeping piece of highly-charged opinion, Parker manages to condemn the "natural wine movement," the "low alcohol wine movement," and a whole string of "obscure grape varieties." He ends his article with the following statement: "I desperately have tried to find merit in these movements, and... continue reading

01.25.2014

Organic Wines of the Languedoc: An Initial Taste

Hello from France. I'm over here in the Languedoc-Roussillon in advance of the Millesime Bio conference next week, an event which is billed as the world's largest organic and biodynamic wine fair. The organizers, who brought me over to the fair on a press trip, have organized a couple of days prior to the fair that involve some visits in the region and a little tasting here and there. Today we headed down to the little town of Rivesaltes for a tasting of a bunch of organic Languedoc wines. As France's largest wine region, and one that has historically... continue reading

01.24.2014

2014 World of Pinot Noir Tasting: Feb 28-Mar 1, Santa Barbara, CA

Everyone's definition of idyllic varies, but for many people it doesn't get much better than standing on the cliffs above the Pacific ocean on a warm evening, watching the sun go down with a glass of Pinot Noir in hand. If that sort of thing gives you the warm fuzzies inside, then you're a shoe-in for attending an event called the World of Pinot Noir, held every March in the little seaside town of Shell Beach. Over two days, Pinot Noir producers from all over the world, along with the people who like to drink what they make, descend on... continue reading

01.24.2014

Vinography Images: Grape Lantern

Grape Lantern The morning sun turns a cluster of grapes into a remarkable light source. 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: If you are interested in owning an archive quality, limited edition print... continue reading

01.23.2014

Sorry, We Own That Color

In the world of wine, trademarks are fiercely defended, usually in direct proportion to the net worth of the organization doing the defending. A friend who owned a vineyard known as Olivet Grange was sued by Australian Wine Giant Penfolds because of that word Grange that appeared on her bottles of Pinot Noir. E&J Gallo has sued a number of people for the use of the word Gallo, even in realms completely unrelated to wine. And speaking of Gallo, as in Gallo Nero ("black rooster"), the folks in Chianti don't take kindly to use of their favorite mascot. Most of... continue reading

01.18.2014

Rhone Rangers of Paso Tasting: February 16, Paso Robles

Many wine lovers have lamented the shuttering of the beloved Hospice du Rhone event held for many years in Paso Robles. Attracting vintners and wine lovers from all over the world, the multi-day get together was one of the best wine events on the West Coast. Both growers and lovers of Rhone-style wines are not the type to go gently into that good night however. And the organization known as Rhone Rangers has been happy to step up and offer more opportunities for wine lovers to get their Rhone on. To wit, the Rhone Rangers of Paso Robles are... continue reading

01.17.2014

Vinography Images: Bottled History

Bottled History The dusty cellar of a winery in Burgundy holds treasures from past centuries. 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: If you are interested in owning an archive quality, limited edition print... continue reading

01.16.2014

What Did Rudy Ruin?

Not since the Mondavi brothers faced each other in a San Francisco courtroom has there been so much drama in the world of fine wine. Like many of my fellow pundits, I followed the trial of Rudy Kurniawan and the events that led up to it closely. Being slightly more inquisitive than your average wine geek, but unable to put my life on hold by flying to New York to attend the trial, I also read many of the daily courtroom transcripts. The trial was possessed of a Hollywood feel even before Aubert de Villaine, Christophe Roumier and Laurent Ponsot... continue reading

01.11.2014

Slow Wine Tasting: January 27, San Francisco

Many people, especially anyone who considers themselves a foodie, have heard of Slow Food, the Italian organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating artisan food and food culture. But fewer have heard of Slow Wine, that same organization's push in recent years to celebrate wine. Just as for food, Slow Wine produces a guide to Italian wine that highlights producers who not only make excellent wine, but those who go further in adopting and promoting ecological approaches in their vineyards and cellars. What criteria the guide uses, I'm not sure. Nor do I know exactly which wines are recommended. But there's... continue reading

01.10.2014

Vinography Images: The Shady Lane

The Shady Lane The afternoon light strikes a row of vines along a shady lane in the backroads of Sonoma County. 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: If you are interested in owning... continue reading

01.09.2014

Friuli Meets California: The Wines of Arbe Garbe

You can take the boy out of Friuli, but you can't take the Friuli out of the boy. One quick flash of his boyish smile and it's easy to understand the bright conviviality that you taste in Enrico Bertoz and his wife Letizia's wines. Like the man, they are positively brimming with big love -- a zesty, sunny cheer that is, like his smile, quite infectious. Bertoz, 37, spends his days making wine for Flora Springs Winery in Napa (and as a brief aside, seems to have made a wonderful improvement to the wines in his recent years there). Look... continue reading

01.04.2014

Vinography Unboxed: First Week of 2014

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 I was stunned by the latest releases of Nickel & Nickel's single vineyard Cabernets. These are always well made wines, but usually with far too much oak influence for my taste. The 2010 vintage, however combines the leaner fruit of a cooler year with less new oak than usual for a dynamite showing. With great acidity and balance these wines will last for 20 or... continue reading

01.03.2014

Vinography Images: Sonoma Sunrise

Sonoma Sunrise The early morning light hits a patchwork of vineyards in Sonoma County. 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: If you are interested in owning an archive quality, limited edition print of... continue reading

01.02.2014

The Robotic Savior of Slate?

Every wine region has its picturesque charms, and a few of the world's wine landscapes rise to the level of grandeur. A special few combine stunning topography and an incredible history of human toil in a way that almost defies belief. Such is the feeling one gets staring down the steeply sloped vineyards of Germany's Mosel River Valley. The amount of effort (and more than a little bit of insanity) required to have planted vineyards on slopes approaching thirty degrees pitch seems mind-boggling. That's even before acknowledging the fact that many of these slopes consist of nothing more than a... 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

November 2014

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Most Recent Entries

Vinography Images: Wine Lake 10 Years of Blogging About Wine Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Organic Wines of the Languedoc: An Initial Taste 2014 World of Pinot Noir Tasting: Feb 28-Mar 1, Santa Barbara, CA Vinography Images: Grape Lantern Sorry, We Own That Color Rhone Rangers of Paso Tasting: February 16, Paso Robles Vinography Images: Bottled History What Did Rudy Ruin?

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.