Humbug Holidays, Basketball Wives & a Riesling Rescue

b-wives3WEBMaybe it’s just me but the 2012 happy holidays has just about run its course and we are still a week ahead of December 25. Call me Humbug. Izit the older we get? Perhaps. Do not misunderstand the point here. Life is good. Being alive is good. The terrible tragedy of Newtown CT does not choose the day of occurrence. I just get less tolerant each year with the entire holiday zeitgeist. It seems to get harder and harder to buy in. Dotoré says Dec 21 is his favorite day because that is when he can begin counting down the mental march towards June 21, the longest day of the year, when he finds himself squarely in summer.

I am ripping and playing the Complete Recordings of T Monk grateful for the opportunity to have the disc at my disposal and the option to listen while I rip. Downright Disney-like. What do the the holidays mean to us? Most political outcomes went our way. Watching the Tea Party squirm and twist like a gator on some cable channel beats watching the NFL. Of course, right now for “reality TV” nothing beats Basketball Wives LA. If you watch this contemporary classic series (it is a series, no?) you will appreciate so much more the following wines tasted recently. In the meantime, do have a happy holiday with all the necessary neutralities observed. Hang out with pals and family and drink some decent wines.

2010 Axis Mundi Windmill Vineyard $20: A blend of Santa Ynez Grenache (67%) and Syrah (33%). But it tastes like Pinot Noir! Wes Hagen of Clos Pepe made this wine and we are wondering why. Wes (we love Wes and the screwtop) says he was looking to approximate Chateauneuf du Pape in the blend. Wes is an educated man. The label notes explain that we are each at the center of our own universe without duality. A skilled writer, Wes accomplishes this very nicely in less than 200 words which is impressive. He is a very good writer and an excellent winemaker. The wine did not place us in the center of SRH Pinot Noir country. We are left wondering why he made this wine. If you know Laura on BWLA</span> this is her wine. Perplexing, promising but not fulfilling. 14.2%

2008 Terredavino Barbaresco DOCG $25?: Purchased at Wine Expo in Santa Monica where Robert Rogness specializes in precisely these kinds of lesser know Baroli and Spanish wines (as well as Champagnes you never saw or heard of that are always outstanding). Tannic, softer, classic nose and flavors. Lean-ish, subdued fruit. The best Baroli are often so coy. We put it thru the aerator which opens the bouquet and palate. Unmistakably Piemonte Nebbiolo. We are considering trading out the entire cellar in 2013 for Burgundy, Baroli and Riesling with a smattering of Orenellaia if we hit it big. If you watch the Hoops Wives this is Malaysia; solid, seductive, reliable. 13.5%

Switching out to a Riesling extravaganza that brought lots of holiday cheer and joy.

2009 Dr. F Weins-Prum Kabinett $25: Mosel petrol nose. Pears, acid, perfect. Keep It simply Holmes. Light it up! Making the kind of great entrance without the complication we expect from DRAYA. 9%

2009 Weiungut Summerer Langlois Riesling Urgestein $??: Austrian Riesling for the young tasters Sawa-M and PT8Y to get onto. They prefer the nose and they prefer the wine which is not to take anything away from the Weins-Prum. So much acid and such a long finish it’s like pop-rocks hit the back palate. Lots off lime flavors. Crash course on Mosel vs. Austrian styles. 12%

bambiWEB1998 Hoffmann-Simon Köwericher Laurentiuslay Riesling Spätlese $56: Golden canary color. Petrol nose is b-a-a-a-ck. It is Mosel! The goils go nuts with the flavor profile. We settle on Ranier cherries with the crisp acid and cherry flavors. They admit it is confusing to taste cherries in Riesling. Then comes the cumin, curry and dill flavors as they continue to taste. This is why we like great wines. Think BAMBI on BWLA without the gangster bullshit. You know Bambi is all huff ‘n puff but she has the tats and she got the goods. The Young Tasters will be here next holidays looking for more of this! 8.5%

2009 AJ Adam Hofberg Kabinett $30: High alcohol for German Riesling but this is an unusual and collectible producer. Especially acidic, at least up to snuff with the Austrian wines. Fresh and bright. Downright stimulating. I tell Adams he is a frontline new producer. What do I know? Kris-B tells me. I just work here. This IS great and exceptional wine that is redefining the Mosel mainstream. A more trim BROOKE ready to fly off the handle but somehow she stays in the bosom of civility. 8%!!!

PoggioB++Gazze092WEB2009 Poggio Alle Gazze Millevitti $47: The white wine from Orenallaia. Been waiting to taste this. Notable anise even eucalyptus on the nose and in the mouth. But not overbearing in any way. Exotic especially in the company of Le Bosch. Completely different but not exactly out of place. It is one of the more unusual Sauvignon Blancs in our memory. The longer you try the more interested you get. Oh yes. That would be Jackie Christie. She don’t cook and she don’t you-know. But she does TCB. 13%

OK. If you MUST have holiday cheer you might try Dino.


  1. Wavatar
    Dr. Dionysus says:

    I caught about ten minutes of BWLA yesterday. Sweet looking, but with a bitter petty aftertaste. Best to watch with the sound off where you get everything you want, nothing you don’t.

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      Bacchus says:

      10 minutes is about what it takes to finish a glass of good wine. BWLA is like wines we taste in that it is not always memorable but when it is it’s a gooder. Try the Nawlins episodes – the ones when they are doing “good works” painting a 9th District home followed by a night on Bourbon Street. Basketball berry berry good to dem.

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    Bacchus says:

    I can not help myself… pleased can you be watching the “Tea Party Squirm” while we add a trillion dollars of debt annually….and have no credible plan to reduce spending…or even really slow it down to any significant degree. Are you pleased your children and future grandchildren will be paying for this for the bulk of their working lifes. Are you pleased that the more money we give DC and Sacramento…the more they spend…How can anyone find pleasure in watching the fruits of hard work be wasted in such incredulous fashion. Hard to imagine …while I understand a left sided view of social issues…I continue to be baffled at how the lack of fiscal sanity is tolerable to anyone who wakes up and goes to work…I may need lots of over $20 wines to make that one even approach some degree of rationality.

    Dr. Hughes

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      Bacchus says:

      Hi Gary! Glad you are reading the blog. I guess I asked for this. If I insist on inserting the occasional left leaning political comment I should be ready to accept comments from the right. Although my comment about the tea party squirming was on my facebook page nut ball! However, since you did mention wine and sent it to thebestofwines I am giving myself permission to reply…in wine speak of course. I think of the Tea Party like the wine producers that cater to the trophy hunters. Overblown and overpriced. Lots of bluster and phrasing from the same folks that drove the run up in pricing for wines labeled “Napa Cab.” Now that the trophy market has dried up (i.e, the Bushies who made the top eensies weensies even richer while at the same growing a monster economic gap are now out of office and probably for another 12 years) the same folks who silently watched the housing market enrich themselves have found the courage to speak up about irresponsible spending, fiscal insanity (this better not be a swipe at Malibu Sanity) and incredible waste. I would rather watch BWLA.

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    katie stumpf says:

    What do I care how much it may storm, I got your love to keep me warm ;)

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    Kris-B says:

    I LOVE red fruits in whites wines. I am so excited about the bottle of 1998 Hoffman-Simon I have in my cellar!

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