Tag Archives: california wine

Wine-timidation

18 Apr

Oh no so there is that friend. She has her shit together. She is smarter, cooler, more–I dunno everything-er–than you, and you love her but worry about saying the wrong thing around her until the night gets going and you realize really her presence is actually calming.

She looks super deep, and also somehow pulls off the paisley/plaid/denim look like a boss. Like this wine pulls off combining varietals from Spain (the Tempranillo), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon) and Northern Rhone (Syrah). And then this wine sports the one wacky grape like she rocks the random nonsensical jacket patches and it works! The grape in this oh-so-super metaphor is the Petit Verdot. Who the F grows that? It is a finicky and needs extra-special heat and is hardcore and normally used in tiny amounts except here where it is a full 25% of the beverage but hey! This wine has it! And makes it wicked awesome! Why does she have a wombat patch? That’s so odd! And cool now you wanna get to know some wombats even though she probably forgot she ever got that patch.

Oh right and before I forget there is hip minimalist intervention in the making of this vineyard to boot. So cool.

Also a friend of mine in the wine community sent this to me because he rocks and I do my best to give him educated wine feedback…

Here is the thing. This girl (wine) is good. And quality. And worth keeping in your wheelhouse. I might eat it with migas but don’t tell.

So this intimidating friend/wine…although at first glance too hip n cool for school, once you get to chatting (sipping) she is relatable. Do-able. Maybe even basic. Simpler than you surmised but still…upscale shall we say. Delectable.

And now I shall like a WSET advanced certified person I’ll judge for you this wine:

2012 Booker Vineyard “Remnant” 

35% Tempranillo, 25 % Petite Verdot, 23 % Syrah, 17 % Cabernet Sauvignon

Aged 24 months in French oak barrels. From Paso Robles (so near yet so far!).

Lemme give those of you who want a soundbite tasting note my thoughts: This is plush but has a bite. Fruity in a way some peeps will call sweet but really just fruity. With some spice. Balanced perfectly. If you want to know what to pair it with I would say walnuts. That’s my gut feeling. But you are not ordering that for dinner so I’d say anything with nuts. Oooooh a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich would be flippin’ wicked with this. Now I need a sandwich. Oh my.

All of which to say this is an approachable wine with an attitude. Like that girl who is so cool you hope she likes you too. She probably will.

Details, WSET-style:

To the eye: DARK!!! Which I love. Dark ruby/purple. Opaque even poured in small amounts. Medium thick slow tears gliding down the wineglass sides.

Nose: All sorts of blackberries, plums, allspice, red pears,and ginger.

Tongue: Dry but so fruit-forward you almost wanna call it sweet. Acid is medium. Tannins medium and may be from the petit verdot but clearly there is some influence from the oak. Sorta plush yet textured like that. Alcohol is medium (13.8% abv which technically is .3 over medium but what the heck evs). Body is for a red medium…almost plus> Strawberries blackberries cherries all the -ies, allspice as heck, a hint of that sorta sweet baby spinach…rightttt? Right. Flavor intensity is medium, Finish is medium plus. There is a moment you think “this is short-ish or maybe medium” then something spicy kicks you. In a Pleasant Kicking Way. Someone is into that right??

Okay. Thank you Paul for sending this my way. It is truly a delight.

Oh heck realized I have some peanut butter cup ice cream and a cherry ice cream and that may be the ideal pairing for this wine. Test it and tell me?

WINE OF THE YEAR

12 Oct

The salinity in this wine is the taste of inhaling deeply on the shore the Pacific in Oregon near Haystock Rock. So go there. And see if the shack selling hot dogs and soft serve (in the 90s) is still around.

Oh my this wine is my Wine of The Year.

It is the brainchild of a Californian so mayhaps the Oregon reference is a wee bit northerly but what the hey. I love that memory. I love this wine.

And I am not sure what I could love more than acting, cats, and French fries.

Few things.

Yet this rosé falls into the “one of my top loves”.

O my flip god.

2015 Rhythm Wine Company “The Meadow” Rosé” Terra Alta Vineyard, Lodi

The mystical grape? Graciano.

I. Know. What? Yeah Graciano go with it. They use it in Spain dudes.

This wine is magical.

Can something that you sniff and think “has notes of cat pee?” Be so perfect? Because it is. Tis fun and refined but with just the rough edges you think it is good for you.

Scroll down past my metaphorical bullshit if you just want analytical notes.

My metaphor was to say it is the guy Marion Cotillard’s character in Rust and Bone goes for. Like…it is unlikely. Unlooked for and unexpected. Hard to pin down and buy, sadly for me. Hard to get even at Covell my favorite wine bar–when they are running low they save it for special fans. Like me. I am a special fan. I also dream of playing all the roles Marion Cotillard gets but that is another story to be saved for when you ask me what I’m acting in these days. Please ask. Ahem.

“Being saved for people I like” is least this is what I told by a few people. That is a fact which I believe as it sells the hell out. Special peeps save it for special peeps. Like most unavailable men/wines you will fall in love esp when you lost both your legs in a killer whale snafu.

Shit not the whale snafu part. That’s a film. Based on real events but still.

Oh hell. I wrote Jasper Dickson, the dude behind the wine and he himself said “Sorry, all out but the 2016 vintage…just you wait”. He didn’t phrase it like that but goddamn I am anxiously awaiting.

To the eye: clear, medium plus intensity pink, thin tears

To your nasal receptors: clean,medium intensity, grapefruit, unripe white peach (trust me it is different than other peaches–and in my opinion better) and white nectarine (also superior), apricot, salinity…seashore in the glass and youthful as hell. Like there is some seaweed essence to it.

Oh.

And pipi de chat. Look it up. It works here just go with me on it. Polite phraseology? Asparagus.

On thar taste buds: Dry, medium acid, medium body, medium plus flavor intensity, and that flavor? The one that is medium plus? Let’s go:

Stone fruit that is not terrifically ripe: white peaches people for real. And white nectarines. Please be advised that white nectarines are really the only stone fruit I like (regular peaches? meh) besides cherries. But hell if I don’t enjoy a white nectarine so the fact I love this is sensible. Some citrus. Honeysuckle, wet stones, you guys, some goddamn soggy rocks, giving salinity. I LOVE this kind o’ salinity.  Friggin why cannot “mineral water served on marble” be a legit tasting note? I say it can. So that and so there.

Finish is medium plus. It takes a smooth meandering journey down your esaphagus that changes little but mellows into slightly more slightly more…sweet feeling than you got at first. But maybe that is the salty nature making you thirsty. Making you crave another quaff of that saline goodness.

Conclusions are good. I say very good. I say my fave of the year so there.

Big. Ass. Mine Yours Which What-evs

30 Aug


So Milano Family Wines is up to putting out some hot ass. So what. The. Hey. Okay.

I wanted to be opposed to this based on name but for some everyday drinking in, I could be into this shiz-nit.

Ass! Mine…yours..whoevers…I would never in a mil and yon years have purchased this but this is what online contests are for, to expose more people to wine they might not select otherwise.

Psssssst! I got this from a giveaway on the venerable Bri’s Glass of Wine site. Bri knows some good stuff so… I figured if I won the results would be dandy. 

I am confused that Milano Family Winery is, oh say, family? I mean, my fam is open. Mom explained sex, at least the mechanics as they apply to baby-making when I was maybe 7 and my father advised me in family therapy as an adult that I should consider pre-marital sex (I took that up it was a good idea) and yes I’m writing a memoir of my fuck-uped-ness but Big Ass family wine? Okay sure. But really.

How. Does. It. Taste.

That is what matters.

Wait, first! A PSA:

TEMPERATURE IS IMPORTANT! WHEN PEOPLE SAY SERVE RED WINE AT ROOM TEMP THAT SHOULD BE BETWEEN 55 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit!!!! NOT THE USA “72 is perfect” ROOM TEMP! THAT IS TOO FUCKING WARM!

If only I could go to every bar in the USA and help them with wine temperature. EVERYONE would appreciate wine more.

This Big Ass red ain’t bad. I shall endeavor to assess with a bit of the WSET 3 criteria. But first the tech info:

This is a Merlot/Zinfandel/Cabernet/Carignan blend aged in 20% French Oak. I am assuming the Cab is Sauvignon, not Cabernet Franc because most people, if they say Cab. mean the Sauv.  

But let us not dwell on tech, let us dwell on experience.

Okay now the WSET drill:

Appearance: Clear, deep purple.

Nose: Clean, medium (+), dark red cherries and currants, white pepper and cinnamon, fully developed.

Palate: Dry, medium acid, medium (+) alcohol (apparently it is 14.5 abv), medium (-) body, blackcurrant and red currant jam (what the what?! red and black true!) cinnamon, white pepper, black pepper, allspice and cinnamon and some sage. A whiff of tobacco and vanilla but I do not think aging would accentuate it therefore ergo—-

Drink now, little reason to age. Flavor intensity was medium (+) and

Finish: medium (-) it does not totally drop off but then it does not evolve and move me. Which is fine anything over low is helpful to making me wanna have some more.

Quality? According to the WSET probably somewhere around good. Maybe between acceptable and good (closer to good but good for WSET is better than most people’s “good”)which for this price is super. Like, I would sip this freely and happily. And be like, “Hey dudes, check this BIG ASS WINE!”. It is big. And look at my ass. Hint I do have a sweet ass.

I mean in general this is good, but there is not a thing I would call special or idiosyncratic to a grape, or region but..this delight would pair up with a snack or  a dessert or even it would just pair well with a…drinking vessel?  Wine is really good when you pair it with a wine glass.

There ya go.

Wisdom for the ages.