Posts belonging to Category Wine Styles



Outta Gas. Pandemic Fatigue. Only Wine Can Save Us Now.

HOW MUCH PANDEMIC CAN A PERSON TAKE?

EXCUSE ME IF I AM THINKING OF ONLY MYSELF…WHO AM I THE PRESIDENT?

Let’s get political. Trump is a M-O-R-O-N. It is truly amazing that such a dummy could end up the LEADER of a nation…any nation. But the USA? His stupidity is boundless. His narcissism is so transparent it is “beautiful.” Glad I got that out. Let’s talk about wines. I reserve the right to return to this topic.

Mrs tBoW advised I have to slow down with the online wine purchases. There are several plum choices: Woodland Hills Wine is my local go-to. They have pickup out back. I’ve been in that store so often I could walk in blindfolded – with mask and gloves of course – and find my way to their best buys. Besides David Russell is the Burg Whisperer. Quality is his middle name. I bought some Huet sparkling wine from David in the past 6 weeks. Huet is a major Alsatian producer which means this is made with Chenin Blanc. Yeh. No chard or pinot.

2016 Huet Petillant Brut $28: 14% Golden color, thick on sight. Ripe green apples (yes you can have ripe green apples!), clove, viscous. Masculine wine. If Brad Pitt was a sparkling wine…Robert Mitchum for the TMC fans. David Russel of WHW pushed out it out near $20.

2017 Domaine Audebert et fils Bourgeil $20: 100% Cab Franc rose! Yummmeeee. You might think lotta body. Nope. You might think lotta flavors. Nope. Delicate in a masculine way. 12.5%. OMG. Jeff Welburn imported this wine. Hi Jeff!! Jeff is a very decent person who knows his wines and can be trusted. Nuff said. Congrats to Jeff and Wine Agencies Inc.

2018 Ginglinger-Fix Riesling Vielles Vignes 12.5%. $20. The Krisses love Riesling wines including those from Alsace which is the center of every war between Le Bosch and Les Francais. None of which is apparent in the wines. Alsatian Rieslings do seem different than German or Austrian. For tBoW it is about the delicacy. Maybe Viennese (and near regional) Rieslings are operatic even stuffy, while German Rieslings show power and finesse. Or maybe that is too much stereotyping. This wine is delicious, a titanic food wine and a repeat buy.

2012 Il Chiosse Gattinara Terre Vulcaniche 14%. Mrs. tBoW upbraided tBoW with the latest credit card statement. Slow down pal. This Fass selection is another example of what happens when tBoW encounters an importer who is 75% matched in palate. Same is true for Desert Wine Shop…Fass is a direct importer and we like what he likes. This is Alto Piemonte – a region which tBoW personally discovered and uncovered to the world for value and quality. AltoP [ed. cognoscenti wine speak] blends Nebbiolo with native varietals unlike Baroli wines which went to single varietals to sell into the USA market [ed. undrinkable since 2000]. This wine is a monster. Deep and impenetrable [ed. but not like VP Pence cannot be penetrated or would not ever be penetrated – never mind]. Hmmm. I wonder what “vulcaniche” means? Maybe grown in volcanic soil? Ya think? Needs minimum 3 years to round out. Even longer. Hell we cannot wait. That is why we must buy wines that drink on a more human SARS2 timetable. I left this bottle open overnight and it was still brawny and stout. Yeh. Gone now.

Feeling better now. I feel like I can take off my mask and gloves. Be careful and stay healthy. Please.

Bet you haven’t seen this Corona parody song.

PASS THE TORCH! WINE REVIEWS FROM THE OLD NEW CREW

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME RIESLING?

THE KRISSES ARE NOTHING IF NOT COMMITTED TO THE GRAPE AND THE BEST OF WINES!

This post features the Krisses. If you search for Kris A and KrisB on tBoW you will find them loping up and down the steeps of the Mosel. They learned to l-o-v-e German wines. In fact, they love all German beverages including BEER of which tBoW and kindt also are quite fond. In fact, you may quote KrisB in confirming that German beverages are pretty much tops all round.

Then they dropped out of sight like a hailstorm in September [ed. metaphor does not really work but what the hey.]…like a vineyard in February. Like a plate of cheese on a Spring afternoon with a delightful bottle of Burgundy.

They produced their own special blends – two bebes – and now the Krisses are back to share their favorite post partum wines with all of us.

2013 Weingut Beurer Riesling trocken: Really delicious estate trocken. All the cut you want. Reminds me of the beginning of a wine tasting in Germany. Tastes like Germany? Very good. Honestly maybe didn’t know a basic estate could be this good.

2010 Renato Motalli Valtellina Superiore – Valgella NEBBIOLO Very nice. Had this tinny thing that took a while to blow off, but really deepened and fleshed out the next day. Great wine. Here are cellar tracker notes. [ed. hmmm..posting cellar tracker notes.]

2018 Azienda Agricola Platinetti Guido Colline Novaresi Guido. Super tasty. Tastes like Italy. Classic northern Piemontese blend. Super delicious. Cellar tracker notes. [ed. he did it again. Once more and it’s a trend.]

NV Coessens Champagne Brut Nature Largillier Definitely very mineral with not a lot of red/blue fruits (surprisingly, because it is 100% Pinot), instead yellow fruits abound with a stony edge. Very very good. Cellar tracker [ed. crime-in-italy!]

2016 Enderle & Moll Pinot Noir Basis KrisA’s [ed.that be the missus] first Pinot after Beckett was born. Amazing nose off the bat. Very rangy at first with super high acids. Deepened further by the hour. Really good. And the price! Super value. Cellar tracker. [OK. Since this wine helped tBoW turn a corner on German pinots I had to see what CT said. “Decanted but was open from first pour. Beautiful just ripe cherry fruit with minerals, herbs, and some bark. Mild tannins were barely noticeable. Elegant but with excellent concentration of flavors. Excellent and great QPR. If this is the base wine, really looking forward to the Liaison and single vineyard wines.” tBoW rebuttal: No need to decant. Flavors are dependent on one’s palate. I will say this: based on QPR – quality-price-ratio – I bought summore!]

2010 Weingut Günther Steinmetz Wintricher Geierslay Riesling Spatlese sur lie: This was killer First wine after Beckett was born. [ed. the Enderle & Moll was 1st for Kris A. This must be for KrisB, no?] Nearly ten years old, yet still super electric and pithy, but also with delicate kabinett fruit flavors. Tastes mostly dry despite 28g RS. 11g of acid will do that! Super fresh too. https://www.cellartracker.com/w?1338552

Lets also welcome the Field Maus [ed. he’s still around? been ages since he posted!] who would like to share something warm and touching about dogs and wine. We can all use some of that. https://www.oregonwinepress.com/wine-countrys-best-friend

Here’s something unusual. Dance competition for cowboys and polka.

Forced and Unforced Wine Errors.

 

Making Sense of Chaos.

Lettie Teague recently wrote what she really loves about wine 7 Reasons We Love Wine. tBoW loves Lettie Teague…and wine. Much to love when it comes to wine. However, there is a lot of dopey stuff as well. And since tBoW does not write for a living (at least not about wine) we can poke fun at all the silliness involved.

Take Wallys Wine and Spirits. For more than four decades Wallys was the trendsetter in how to market fine wine. Steve Wallace and Gary Fishman [ed. call me Gary, Matt’s Dad wants to interview you] ran the best WINE shop on the Westside. The only competition was the Wine House which became the SUPER market for wines ’round the world. However, Wallys was the top dog with the Hollywood client list. Ran into Danny Kay there. Had him sign the birthday card I happened to be carrying with me. Now Wallys is a laff riot of misguided pretension. Glamour and importance. Cater your next awards season party. Affect your glamorous lifestyle. Forced error – misguided hubris.

The aging wine thing is D-U-M-B. Archaic. Silly. Producing wine to be aged is bull pucky; a fashion foisted on the innocenti who believe wine is better with age. The only thing better with age is adolescence. In fact aging wine is a gamble…a poor one. Odds are stacked against those who love wine when the wine needs to “lay down.” This is doublespeak for heavy oak and tannins more commonly found in wood sealers. Those phonies who would write a wine review suggesting “lay down this beauty for a decade” are lost in the “fog of wine.” Lettie Teague would never suggest laying down a wine. At least we believe that is true.

Ever freeze a bottle of wine? You now…put it in the freezer to cool and discover a few days later you actually put in the cooler to freeze? Unforced DUMB error.

tBoW recommends wines that can be opened and consumed right now. Sometimes it is necessary to lay the wine down in the cellar. This is usually the case when wine is shipped. Wait 2 weeks if you can stand it. Sometimes it is necessary to allow a wine to settle down if the bottle has been cooled in the freezer on a bed of ice…and forgotten. That wine should be defrosted at room temp before pulling the cork in another week…if the cork has not forced its own exit from the bottle. Barring unforced errors like freezing wine for good cause there is no excuse for buying wine that needs to be aged for a decade or more. There are two exceptions to this rule: ports and sauternes.

Here are two wine paragons that can please greatly when opened “before their time;” and one wine that missed its “open by” date.

2016 Boxler Gewurtztraminer $35: Floral nose, a flower bouquet, honey suckle. Flavors of hay and mint. Say what? Over the top AND balanced. Honey. A knockout. Can it age. Certainly. However, if we bought more it would be like trying to keep my hands off my baby granddaughter. Oh sure. Wait until she’s five years old and more ambulatory. Looks like this gewurtz baby is still available at Kermit Lynch, Flatiron and Vintage Wine Merchants in San Jose. Lucky buy! Thank you Kermit.

NV Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut 13.5% $39 at Costco. May seem pricey however for champagne of this pedigree it is the go-to choice for tBoW on Valentines Day. Fruity, marzipan like. Break out the nice flutes. Dependable selection for the special occasion. The right question is whether the tBoW reviewed Cava sparkler Ravenots at 40% the cost, is good enough? We would say not quite…but close.

2011 Domaine Joseph Roty Marsannay 13%. $40ish. Tough to find. Because it is old now. Generally the vineyard designations age longer and are more interesting than this village bottling. The pedigree – Roty – is top notch. The wine is exotic but on its way to the Assisted Living Facility. tBoW finds that Burgs are generally better when consumed “before their time.” We missed here by a couple years. Forced PEDIGREE error. Fuggedaboudid. It’s Burg Town..

Making the right choices when buying wines is important to our list of reasons to love wine. As Chuck D and Public Enemy put it don’t believe the hype. However we find Bob McNamara in all his confidence and technicalities the more appropos analogue when it comes to figuring out how to enjoy wine by accepting the Fog of Wine.

It’s Safe to Come Out Munchkins! The Next – I mean New – Year has Begun!

The holiday season can be taxing. But now that its O-V-E-R we can only say don’t let the door

hit you on the way OUT DUDE!

Image result for Santa wrecks sled

The celebration gauntlet was especially long in the tBoW household oin 2019 with endless events to attend and host. There were highlights marked by memories [ed. all good] and in some cases there were memorable wines.

The BIG EVENT was the Friday the 13th Holiday Wine Tasting at RiTA House hosted by “Stacie’s Wine Cellar.” Stacie’s collection is legendary. The lineup created a locust-like buzz (ed. cue Exorcist II locusts clip) given it was an all star, all desirable lineup of labels and vintages. The RiTA House venue is excellent – a 100 year old 3 story “townhouse” in mid Wilshire with no parking. Stacie hosts the “Share A Glass” wine tastings at RiTA House which are open to members.

The lineup included top labels from Burgundy, Chianti (early 90s Biondi Santi) and Bordeaux (1988 Pichon Lalande): “Classic Vintages and Magnums of Champagne, Barolo, Barbaresco, Burgundy, Bord

eaux, Tuscan, Napa, Paso Robles.” The evening became a lesson in the perils of holding on too long to our most precious bottles. Too many wines were tired and simply over the hill. tBoW covered this phenomenon from his own supply mid-year with his “How To Tell When a Wine is Bad” tasting. Of course that tasting included judgment errors! Stacie did hit the gong with several outstanding wines. Dotore – who attended – captured the holiday message succinctly. Be careful to not hold onto your favorite wines too long. Suivez vos conseils mon ami!

2000 Billecart Salmon Amreuil-sur-Ay. $?? Priceless. The R-A-R-E single vineyard triple mag was served chilled. Came off like a kiwi lemon fruit bowl on ice. With ~20 plus guests the bottle was finished…but it took a few hours! If we had to pick one wine for a second round it would clearly be the Billecart! tBoW probably stuck his glass in front Gianfranco the distracted somm at least 6 times. Speaking of sparkling wines…we ope

ned several between Christmas and New Years. Here is one we really loved that can be found and bought for a fair price.

Laghibellina Gavi Metodo Classico $28: “on the lees 24 months” with 13% alcohol. This was the sparkler of the holidays (excepting the Billecart of course). Easy quaffer. Full flavored fruity and tart. Th grape is Cortese di Gavi which tBoW would usually avoid. Not in this case!  Imported by Oliver McCrumm Wines [ed. who’s he? say Broon fans] which is also worth remembering. We will probably have a post coming that reviews the new importers – succeeding Kermit and Rosenthal and more who are reshaping the wine import industry with direct to seller – themselves.

The early 90s Biondi Santi [ed. apologies; failed to note vintage] had survived almost 3 decades with great panache. Pulled this cork just in time.

Finally, the 1994 Quinta de Eira Velha Noval Single Quinta [ed. quinta means single vineyard] Port was served last after many tasters were fatigado. Flavors of maple and chocolate. This was the last of a case tBoW acquired on futures way back when on release. F-U-T-U-R-E-S was a commercial scam dricen by the 1980s and 90s wine fever that excited middle-aged men who just had to have that vintage from that producer. Martinez and port wines generally are an interesting story for anyone who likes wine. A single vineyard is unusual and certainly an attempt to get with the hot sales tip that continues to thrive today.

Come Out! Come Out! Wherever you are!!

 

the Glass Jar Looks Back on 2019 and Foresees 2020: from Mindless to Winedless

The Glass Jar has returned to The Best of Wines bearing words of wisdom learned from the past while also casting an eye to 2020. For this we are grateful. Amen. Let us read..

ancient winemaker with fuzzy revus

modern winemaker seeking comeback

GJ: When is it a good time to take a break from the blog? This a trick question. People often live in states of uncertainty demonstrating little remains constant in life. Except the blog. For years now, the Glass Jar has considered the blog to be somewhat of a second tier Thanksgiving relative. Maybe I am not always in touch with the blog as much as I should be and perhaps I struggle to understand everything the blog says but I will always know the blog is there. I mean would you rather be talking about your life plans with some dull relative or would you rather be in the company of the greatest wine blog ever to exist? The choice is yours. So make it wisely and don’t look back. 

The Glass Jar has been making a lot of phone calls lately as he is spending this chapter of my life in a “sales type” role. [ed. he is selling stuff on cold calls]. My employer will not be named to protect its questionable reputation. The Director of Sales asked a co-worker why he wanted the job. He responded he was driven to leave a prior job of great intensity. He wanted to simplify his life by doing something mindless. He got the job. The Sales Director fired this go-getter. Last month the Sales Manager was fired.

I did make some friends, for example a man who taught me some basic archery. He got fired. My other friend has not been fired and is one of the better salesmen at the company. But he has kept a box under his desk for years for when the day comes.

Darwinism in cubicles? The Glass Jar walks in the building with no fear as he learned a tender lesson in his pizza employment [ed. read about giving back to the pizza here]. He has bounced back through unimaginable hardships.

So what is my word for 2020? You may have guessed: Mindlessness. The word captures giving time and energy towards an endeavor that doesn’t really mean anything. Those in search of mindlessness will likely find some form of it nearer than realized. Which leaves me wondering…is wine mindless? Is there no point regarding wines celebrated by blogs such as The Best of Wines? Or is there a truer meaning in wine which must be discovered?

I remember in my younger years, watching people sit around tables sipping wine and talking about the flavors. I remember wondering if there was really a point to this. It seemed pretty mindless but the drinkers enjoyed it. Maybe mindlessness is an excuse to enjoy life. Why else would salespeople putt golf balls on the rug? Is wine mindless or not? Why not be a little mindless? Word for 2020 – Winedless!!

bombast sells in politix!

tBoW: Oh my. The Glass Jar uncovers yet another corner of cognitive dissonance; an experience omnipresent in life. Mindlessness runs the gamut from the current President and his moronic cabinet, to the endless news cycle which runs the idiocy like a broken bicycle, to annual wine holiday catalogs for the oenologically challenged. Wallys Wine used to be a terrific wine shop in West Los Angeles. tBoW found purpose every time in the Westwood Boulevard store owned by Steve Wallace and managed by Gary Fishman. Steve had been buying great wines for so long his backroom was littered with bottles. Wallys backroom was like the storerooms with Euro antiquities purchased mindlessly by Charles Foster Kane [ed. cue Citizen Kane]. It was well known in the 40s that the controversial movie was inspired by the ultra wealthy protagonist newspaper publisher Charles Foster Kane who was William Randolph Hearst. tBoW’s purpose was to locate and capture the fab bottles lost to time In Wally’s backroom. tBow even placed his own son as curator of Wally’s backroom.

Steve Wallace sold out at least a decade ago. Wally’s today is a mindless wine store that caters to mindless “wine collectors.” WINEDLESSNESS applies! The holiday catalog is a monument to mindlessness. tBoW was so appaled wth the tastelessness of the premier post sale catalog we featured it here.

Is the Glass Jar presaging the greatest events of 2020…the national and key state elections? Stay tuned. And pop a great Cava sparkler during the holidays…something like Raventos i Blanc Blanc de Blancs U20 at ~$20: YUMMY JUMMY NUMMY NUM NUMS! Cava sparkler perfectly balanced, good weight golden apples sez Mrs tBoW. We could say poor mans Krug but that would be quite a stretch. Or would it? Great backstory here worth reading how this Penedes winery stepped it up champagne style in 2012. Sold to tBoW by Katie of Desert Wine Shop [ed. now there’s a surprise.]

HAPPY NEW YEAR.