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~ February 2014 Archives ~

 

02.28.2014

Vinography Images: Electric Vineyard

Electric Vineyard The mustard and the new growths of spring show electric in a hypercolor view of a Napa vineyard. 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... continue reading

02.27.2014

Premiere Napa Valley and 2012 Cabernet

This past Saturday, The Napa Valley Vintners association held its annual Premiere Napa Valley barrel auction. Held each February as a fundraiser for the Vintners' operations, this auction, and the various associated parties and tastings that turn a sleepy February into a buzzing maelstrom for a few days, are 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 haul of of $5.9 million, which obliterated the... continue reading

02.24.2014

Robert Parker Addresses Wine Writers

As some of you know, I spent the last week at the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers in Napa. This event offers an unparalleled opportunity to spend time hanging out with people who make their living (in part or in full) from writing about wine, as well as to learn and practice the craft itself. I've been attending this event for nine years and it is one of the most enjoyable weeks I spend all year. The event draws talent small and large, but this year's lineup proved particularly excellent, beginning with the keynote speech, delivered by none other... continue reading

02.23.2014

12th Annual Pinot Noir Summit: March 9, 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

02.21.2014

Vinography Images: Sunset Oak

Sunset Oak A lone California Live Oak catches the sunset light 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

02.18.2014

The Worst Drought in Five Centuries

As I write these words, the usually sunny state of Georgia has been brought to a standstill thanks to more than six inches of snow and freezing rain. A weather front that has been dubbed a 'polar vortex' has caused one of the greatest travel disruptions in American history, cancelling tens of thousands of flights over the course of several successive storms. On St Valentine's Day, while the President of the United States flew to Fresno, California, to bestow more than $100 million US in emergency aid for drought-hit farmers in the Central Valley, members of Congress were wrangling with... continue reading

02.17.2014

Journalists Banned from Tasting Domaine Huet Wines

I was surprised to learn this morning that a Loire Valley winery refused to let two journalists taste their wines at the recent Salon des Vins de Loire trade show. And not just any winery, but the venerable Domaine Huet, widely regarded as one of the world's great wine estates. Huet has been going through something of a transition since the abrupt resignation of winemaker Noel Pinguet from the domaine in 2012, where he had been in charge of winemaking since 1976. Upon his resignation, Sarah Hwang, daughter of owner Anthony Hwang, who purchased the domaine in 2003, was put... continue reading

02.15.2014

2008 Rivers-Marie "Summa Old Vines" Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

We hear a lot (and I certainly write a lot) about wineries or wine labels that represent the realization of a lifelong dream. Or equally as often they are the expression of someone's ultimate vision, usually something like: "I want to make the most awesome [fill in the blank with varietal or appellation] ever." These wineries and wines begin with a story already formed within them -- a story of the life and trials and tribulations involved in getting the opportunity to pursue the dream or that vision, and the wines are the first chapters of its completion. But there... continue reading

02.14.2014

Vinography Images: Long Shadows

Long Shadows Long shadows stretch across the Wiley vineyard in Anderson Valley as the sun sets into the Pacific. 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... continue reading

02.13.2014

La Paulee de San Francisco: March 12-15, San Francisco

Every budding wine lover faces what can often seem like a daunting mountain to climb. There are so many wines in the world to learn about and experience, it's not hard to feel overwhelmed. It's also quite common to feel a certain sense of frustration, the kind characterized by an ambition that far outstrips our own means to fulfill it. Many of the wines that passionate wine lovers wish they could taste are simply out of reach -- too rare, too popular, and too expensive. When I was first starting out in my journey down the roads of wine,... continue reading

02.07.2014

Vinography Images: First Light

First Light The sun rises over Gainey vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley, 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: If you are interested in owning an archive quality, limited edition print of... continue reading

02.05.2014

Vinography Unboxed: Week of February 2, 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. There are some gems from Greece this week, including two of the top wines from Domaine Skouras, one of the better producers making wine in the Nemea region of Greece. If you've not tried Agiorgitiko, you're missing out. A bottle of Ridge Vineyards' Lytton Springs was also in the pile this week, and it, true to form, didn't disappoint. This wine is one of California's best interpretations... continue reading

02.01.2014

Tasting Organic Rosé Wines from the South of France

Early this week I spent a few days wandering around the Millesime Bio fair in France. Billed as the world's largest biodynamic and organic wine fair, it was definitely a sight to behold. Lest anyone think that organic and biodynamic wine were a fringe movement, there were more than 800 vintners from dozens of countries showing their wares to tens of thousands of attendees. I explored a number of things at the fair, but by far my most pleasurable tasting experience was the couple of hours I spent tasting organic rosés from the Languedoc and Provence. Whereas in other areas... continue reading

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Calendar of Postings

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Most Recent Entries

Vinography Images: Electric Vineyard Premiere Napa Valley and 2012 Cabernet Robert Parker Addresses Wine Writers 12th Annual Pinot Noir Summit: March 9, San Francisco Vinography Images: Sunset Oak The Worst Drought in Five Centuries Journalists Banned from Tasting Domaine Huet Wines 2008 Rivers-Marie "Summa Old Vines" Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast Vinography Images: Long Shadows La Paulee de San Francisco: March 12-15, San Francisco

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.