Archive for October, 2009

Blog Watch: An Interesting Solution for Slow-to-Ripen Grapes @ Tablas Creek

One of my go-to wine blogs is the Tablas Creek Vineyard Blog.  I’ve been a fan of Tablas Creek since 2006, when I had the chance to meet  TC General Manager Jason Haas and taste through several of their excellent wines with him.  The Tablas Creek story in itself is a fascinating one, and if you’re not familiar with how the Haas family (Jason’s father is wine importer and Vineyard Brands founder Robert Haas) and the Perrin family of Chateau Beaucastel joined forces to create the winery, it’s worth reading through my transcription of Jason’s account on that subject.  Read the rest of this entry »

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4 New Wines from Cornerstone Cellars

2005 Cornerstone Cellars Howell Mountain Cabernet SauvignonNapa Valley’s Cornerstone Cellars sent out their samples packages to select reviewers last week, and we are fortunate enough to be on that list. We received four new releases, two each from their moderately priced Stepping Stone program and the prestige Cornerstone label. We published reviews of the previous vintages of the two Cornerstone Cabernet Sauvignons last May, and readers looking for further background information on this producer can refer both to that report and to Cornerstone’s own web site. Suffice it to say here that this is a well run, well-heeled operation that cuts no corners in producing the very best wines they possibly can, no pun intended. Read the rest of this entry »

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2008 Domaine La Garrigue Côtes-du-Rhône Cuvée Romaine

2008 Domaine La Garrigue Cotes du Rh0ne Cuvee RomaineWe kicked off our 12th season of Red Wings and Red Rhônes this past Saturday night with somewhat mixed results.  The Detroit Red Wings played hard and for the most part, played well, deserving a better fate than a 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, while the wine, a 2008 Domaine La Garrigue Côtes-du-Rhône Cuvée Romaine, was a solid performer in every way.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Welcome to the new Gang of Pour Blogs

It’s been a long time coming and finally, we’re as pleased as we can be to launch our brand new Gang of Pour Blogs. It’s a move we’ve been wanting to make for a while, and now the time is right. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tasting with Jarred Gild

2007 Eric Montintin Sauvignon Vin de Pays de Val du LoireAs previously reported, we’ve become fans of the wine department that Jarred Gild has put together at Ferndale’s Western Market, and as is often the case, a friendly relationship has developed out of that admiration.  We invited Jarred over a few nights ago and proceeded to spend a most enjoyable evening of good food (burgers grilled slightly past medium rare), fine wine and rambling conversation that covered a variety of topics.  Not shy in the least about expressing his opinions, he also has some interesting and ambitious ideas about where he’d like to take his career, but, for now, those are best left for another report.  For now, we’ll focus on the representative selection of wines that he brought along to taste from his retail shelves.  We started with two very nice whites. Read the rest of this entry »

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Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s October 24th Release – Tasting Notes

What’s new at Vintages on October 24th? The focus is on wines from both the land of Oz and port from the Douro Valley. Here are a few notes on the wines from the release. (Click to enlarge images)

Pirathon Shiraz130278 PIRATHON SHIRAZ 2005, Barossa Valley, South Australia $38.95
Lots of toasty oak, cedar, smoked meat, dried herbs, forest floor and briar. There is fabulous structure on the palate, showing pure blueberry fruit essence, lively acids and a super long finish. Find this wine

10223 TORBRECK OLD VINES GRENACHE/SHIRAZ/MOURVÈDRE 2006 Barossa Valley, South Australia $20.95
A brawny wine that displays a dusty robe of dried mushrooms, blackberry, black raspberry, Szechwan pepper and coffee grounds. Powerful and spicy on the palate, it has good acidity and a long creamy finish.  Find this wine Read the rest of this entry »

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Wines of Distinction from J et R & Hand Picked Selections

4 crisp, tasty whitesOur friends at Wines of Distinction held their annual Fall Trade Tasting at The Franklin Grill in Franklin, Michigan recently, and as we’re such fans of their portfolio, we were not about to miss it. Our plan was to focus on two specific tables, those of J et R Selections and Hand Picked Selections; anything beyond those two very fine importers would be bonus coverage.

We started with some whites, first those being poured by our good friends Gary and Georgine Kahle of Hand Picked Selections.  Here are my snapshot impressions of what we tasted. Read the rest of this entry »

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Alan’s October 10th, 2009 Vintages Release Tasting Notes

Not a lot of wines to review for this release as the board was rather stingy with the amount of wines it shipped to preview. Featured wines this time around are from Italy’s big three, Tuscany, Veneto and Piedmont. Few wines wowed me, but as always, there are one or two bottles that are worth seeking out. Read the rest of this entry »

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Brad Baker sabers 2 magnums of Jean Laurent in 42 seconds!

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Neil Gaiman in Toledo~Sorta Wine-Related

Autographed bookplateIt was pure serendipity that took me back to neilgaiman.com a few weeks ago to see what was happening lately with my favorite author. (The uninitiated can learn more about Neil Gaiman here.)  There was a time when I was an almost daily visitor to the site and especially the Journal (pretty much a daily blog, only you can’t comment directly), but haven’t spent nearly as much time there lately.  It was there that I found to my great delight than Mr. Gaiman would be making appearances in Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio on October 4th and 5th respectively.  I would have traveled to Cleveland with no problem if necessary, since he has never come that close to us that I knew of since I’ve been following him for more than20 years, but Toledo is an hour down I-75 from Detroit, so it was a no-brainer. Read the rest of this entry »

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