Seasonal Spirit(s) Finally Arrive

U thought hanging lights on the house was hard

U thought hanging lights on the house was hard

Being Scrooge-like is fun a for awhile. With so many tasters [ed. he means Dotore & IGTY] taking it over the top, a backlash stance seems inevitable. We were at risk of going over the humbug cliff! With encouragement and cooperation from both sides of the cama Christmas Day can once again be the day for pals and family, eating tamales and ham and busting corks. Good cheer comes with good feelings just like like champagne comes with bubbles. Christmas becomes New Years Eve and the next day we start anew. All so much seems the same. One thing is always the same at the holidays. We have an opportunity to taste some interesting wines with the tBoW team tasters. But we have to wait to see what got opened on Christmas Day. In the meantime here is how we have been passing the time.

palminadolc10WEB2010 Palmina Dolcetto $20: The Field Mouse has been touting this wine for years. Santa Barbara grapes made by one of the aging newcomers. Are there are any other Dolcetto wines coming out of this region? Is Dolcetto – normally a drier and most humble red out of Piemonte – an ideal varietal for Santa Barbara vineyards? The vineyards are in Santa Ynez. The winemaker is the Steve Clifton half of Clifton-Brewer. This wine is delicious. To call it simple would be inadequate. It has more character than that but it is easy to approach and enjoy. And it does not taste overripe or overblown. Look at the alcohol level? Clifton also makes an Arneis which is ALSO characteristic of Piemonte examples. Hooray for the folks that planted these varietals and sold them to someone who seems to know what to do with them. 13%

Ott_AM_Berg09WEB2009 Bernhard Ott Grüner Veltliner Am Berg $16: Deliciously severe. So much acid right up front it can stand in for brushing your teeth. The wine is still exotic. The flavors creep around behind the acid bombardment. If the Velvet Underground made a wine this would be in their portfolio. Of course, this ain’t Riesling either. However, it makes a great contrast to the Mösel nectar. Like Lou Reed sings in Venus in Furs “shiny shiny boots of leather…different colors made of tears.” 11.5%

2010 Aquinas Napa Valley Pinot Noir $16: Another big WHY? Easier to answer this question.NZ_Xmas_eveWEB2 When you are a mega winery seeking a sweet spot you want to produce an inoffensvie Pinot Noir at this price point. Tastes like Pinot Noir, costs less than a sawbuck, forgotten in less time than it takes to listen to Mingus’ “Take the A Train.” Congratulations. Mission accomplished. Available everywhere plonk is sold. 14%

bouchardrsrvbourg09WEB2009 Bouchard Pere & Files Bourgogne Reserve Pinot Noir $18: What we need is a tasting of 09 Bourgognes. This would be in the mix along with Ann Gros, Guyot and a couple others. Maybe throw in a new world ringer like Aquinas. Price range from $15 to $30. This wine needed a day in the open bottle to open. Came out kind of hard and dry with detectable fruit. Next day the bouquet opened and the flavors emerged. Almost justifies the “reserve” designation. Like a private party in dance club. A good intro Burg for the money. Purchased at local haunt Woodland Hills Wine Co. I think the price to value ratio would be perfectly aligned. 13%

Here is a rare video of the Velvets singing a most severe track> Perfect for New Years.


  1. Wavatar
    igty says:

    new years day is bowl games and exceptional value showcase. this doesn’t mean only inexpensive plonk…it means good value at any level. as you typically write subjective drivel about what you taste this may be an epiphany for you. we will compare different wines and prices and see what best flavors the gullet for the least impact on the pocket. bring some good VALUES.

    • Wavatar
      Bacchus says:

      If there is one thing tBoW is all about it is V-A-L-U-E. We are thinking 09 intro Burgs $20-$30. Respectfully recommend trying to stay in flights so you can make sensible comps.

  2. Wavatar
    Nina says:

    Happy New Year Steve and thanks for sharing all this with us. I love the lights in the vineyard, too!

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