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Skinny
Aug 15, 2015


To be fair, I'd rather drink something neutral & generic like most Italian Pinot Grigio than something outright offensive like most Argentinian Torrontés.

I agree that overly-oaked, overly-alcoholic wines (both new world and old world) are the wine world's equivalent of overly-hopped beer. On the bright side, in both markets the pendulum is starting to swing away from the extreme and we're seeing more nuanced use of oak/hops.

It starts & ends with the consumer, like Kasumeat said.

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PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



I've come to the conclusion that consulting CellarTracker, on wines with a small sample size, is far worse than just picking a new wine at random from the area/varietal you're looking for. I got all worried because I noticed a wine I picked up had 82/100 on CellarTracker, and... it's a good wine for the price, almost exactly what I would expect from the region and (lack of) aging statement (Ribera del Dueros aren't meant to drink like Napa Cabs!). It won't set the world on fire, but I'd say it deserves at least an 87.

Who are some reviewers that people around here trust? I usually search for wines based on varietal and origin, but I like to be able to narrow it down a bit further. So far, I seem to have had the most agreement with Jancis Robinson (and she's a tough judge, so if something gets a 17/20 or higher, it's bound to be impressive) and James Suckling (although he's unusually generous with his scores -- I wouldn't drink a wine that he rated it under 90 points).

pork never goes bad
May 16, 2008

gin&milk!!!


I trust Eric Asimov perhaps more than I should. I like Chris Kissack for the Loire, not that I entirely agree with him, but I can generally interpret the note and his write-ups are good. At this point I normally look for descriptions more than notes or points - if it's relatively more restrained, has less hang time than is typical, resists the "international" style and parkerization, i'll probably like it just fine. Especially so if it's high acid.

himajinga
Mar 19, 2003

Und wenn du lange in einen Schuh blickst, blickt der Schuh auch in dich hinein.


If you like Washington wine and are able to access a decent selection I think Jeb Dunnuck does a pretty good job within that space, I've not greatly disagreed with him that I can remember. I've had my fair share of (sometimes serious) disagreement with stuff from other parts of the world in Advocate but I think he and I are mostly on the same page in WA. I assume it's because he cut his teeth reviewing Rhone wine which is my favorite stylistically.

Though I'm still annoyed at Eric Asimov and Florence Fabricant for their recent article about Washington Syrah. They do admit at the end of the article that they had a hard time finding anything resembling a decent variety in NY but didn't let their "luck of the draw" tasting selection deter them from making sweeping generalizations about the entire category :/

himajinga fucked around with this message at Apr 26, 2016 around 22:18

Stringent
Dec 22, 2004

The internet is the universal sewer.


I just had a Beaujolais from Thibault Liger-Belair for the first time and was really impressed. Gonna grab a couple more and some of their Burgundy as well, hope they're all as good as that last one.

Murgos
Oct 21, 2010


pork never goes bad posted:

- if it's relatively more restrained, has less hang time than is typical, resists the "international" style and parkerization.

Eh, Parker is completely trustworthy. If he rates a wine highly you know exactly what you will get. That may not be what you want, but that's not a failing of the reviewer.

pork never goes bad
May 16, 2008

gin&milk!!!


Murgos posted:

Eh, Parker is completely trustworthy. If he rates a wine highly you know exactly what you will get. That may not be what you want, but that's not a failing of the reviewer.

Again, if it resists parkerization I know I'll like it. Parkerization being the tendency to favor ripeness over restraint and all that. AFWE 4 lyfe.

And, just because I know what his high ratings are for (usually - he has rated some lighter wines highly), it's not like I can go look for low Parker scores and know that. Parker doesn't ever help me buy wine I like.

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



I'm in the one, the only, Jerez de la Frontera. It's just so great so far... Between this and last year's adventure to Logroño and Haro, I think I going to wine region capitals, especially when they're sort of out of the way, is like a cheat code to have a wicked inexpensive time (and drink the best wines)!

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


PT6A posted:

I'm in the one, the only, Jerez de la Frontera. It's just so great so far... Between this and last year's adventure to Logroño and Haro, I think I going to wine region capitals, especially when they're sort of out of the way, is like a cheat code to have a wicked inexpensive time (and drink the best wines)!

Sounds pretty awesome. With as much as I've come to love Sherry over the past few years, Jerez has become like the place in Spain I want to visit. Got any pictures?

Kasumeat
Nov 18, 2004


Go to Urium. Tiny producer who's still quite unknown but crazy good juice. Lots of old stock despite them being new.

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



Overwined posted:

Sounds pretty awesome. With as much as I've come to love Sherry over the past few years, Jerez has become like the place in Spain I want to visit. Got any pictures?

No, it's been rainy and not particularly photogenic, and I rarely take pictures anyway, but I could try to change that if there's something you're curious about. I'm touring Bodegas Lustau tomorrow, I can try to take some photos there.


Kasumeat posted:

Go to Urium. Tiny producer who's still quite unknown but crazy good juice. Lots of old stock despite them being new.

I'll check that out, thanks for the recommendation!

Edit: I sent them an email but unfortunately I don't have much time before I go back to Madrid so I don't know if it will be possible. I hope it will be, I might walk over tomorrow afternoon or on the 11th if I don't hear back.

Holy poo poo, this place makes the rest of Spain look expemsive. Great sherry (from a co-operative, not a major producer where I'm drinking right now) for €1/glass and very commendable food as well for similarly agreeable prices. Make the pilgrimage if you like sherry! I'm already thinking about changing my hotel and train reservations to stay a bit longer.

PT6A fucked around with this message at May 9, 2016 around 12:40

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



I just want to add, to any readers of the thread: there was a time I literally hated sherry. Like, I couldn't finish a single glass. Let it be proof of my own personal rule, which I recommend to everyone: you must try anything, even things you don't like, a minimum of three times. By the third time, something you couldn't stand may well be something you travel across an ocean to experience fully. I'm very glad I persevered.

By the same token, I can now eat beets and Brussels sprouts, but that experience has been much less rewarding in comparison.

Jorge Von Bacon
Nov 1, 2010


To all the talk about sherry - what are the best options available in the US, specifically NYC?

I've tried a few finos (Lustau and Hidalgo I think?) as well as an amontillado or two and really love them, but it's just hard to know what wine shops/liquor stores will have a selection that isn't just for cooking.

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



Jorge Von Bacon posted:

To all the talk about sherry - what are the best options available in the US, specifically NYC?

I've tried a few finos (Lustau and Hidalgo I think?) as well as an amontillado or two and really love them, but it's just hard to know what wine shops/liquor stores will have a selection that isn't just for cooking.

I'm going to assume that if we can get it in Canada, you can probably find it in NYC, so here are some that I like:

Valdespino Tio Diego (Amontillado)
La Gitana Mazanilla
El Maestro Sierra Oloroso

As well as a few products from Lustau, which have all been very good in my experience. The one advantage in the sherry market is that most major sherry producers do export to North America, so it's really just a matter of tracking down their best products. Consider Gonzales Byass, producers of Tio Pepe. That's a fairly forgettable (but still decent enough) fino sherry, but I've also had their NOE, which is a VORS Pedro Ximenez sherry with 30 years of age.

Lustau's Peninsula Palo Cortado is one of my favourites personally, just because it's the one that finally got me over the hump into actually enjoying sherry. They also make a wicked Gran Reserva brandy, if you're into that kind of thing. Very, very cool stuff, although completely different from French brandies in character.

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


Until recently, Sherry was forgotten for decades. Long-standing houses have shitloads of old stuff lying around just getting more and more awesome and not really going up in price that much.

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



Overwined posted:

Until recently, Sherry was forgotten for decades. Long-standing houses have shitloads of old stuff lying around just getting more and more awesome and not really going up in price that much.

You could arguably remove "until recently" from that sentence. It's picking up a bit now, but it's still very difficult to find any place with a reasonable (or any) selection of sherry. I think I've seen it on a wine list outside of Spain nearly... once. And ultimately you don't want that sherry because chances are it's been open for loving ever (see also: port).

I've seen some places that are using it for cocktails now, but even though the main place I've seen that treats their wines and spirits with respect in general, they still don't list their sherries on their menu, or really know what they're serving (and they serve it in an old-fashioned glass, which makes baby Jesus cry).

I agree 100% with your conclusion, though. Awesome, isn't it?

Kasumeat
Nov 18, 2004


Jorge Von Bacon posted:

To all the talk about sherry - what are the best options available in the US, specifically NYC?

I've tried a few finos (Lustau and Hidalgo I think?) as well as an amontillado or two and really love them, but it's just hard to know what wine shops/liquor stores will have a selection that isn't just for cooking.

In NYC you should be able to get pretty much everything that's exported. All highly recommended, but in approximate order of preference:

Equipo Navazos
Bodegas Tradicion (only very old and expensive, but very good)
Urium
Fernando de Castilla
Valdespino
Orleans
Hidalgo
Tio Pepe's and Lustau's premium wines are good too, though not quite up there with the smaller guys. Tio Pepe's VORS stuff even five years ago used to be like $20 and excellent, but have doubled in price and they're leaving significantly more RS in them here in Canada than the domestic product. Not sure about the US but I assume it's the same as us. Their Palmas series is great though.

skooma512
Feb 8, 2012

You couldn't grok my race car, but you dug the roadside blur.

Oh my god I never thought Trader Joe's wine could be so good.

I'm having Grifone Sangiovese. For the low price of 4 dollars you could have a very very drinkable red that pairs well with a sense of despair, frustration, and chinese food. I could seriously drink the whole bottle and not regret it for at least 2 hours.

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



Kasumeat posted:

In NYC you should be able to get pretty much everything that's exported. All highly recommended, but in approximate order of preference:

Equipo Navazos
Bodegas Tradicion (only very old and expensive, but very good)
Urium
Fernando de Castilla
Valdespino
Orleans
Hidalgo
Tio Pepe's and Lustau's premium wines are good too, though not quite up there with the smaller guys. Tio Pepe's VORS stuff even five years ago used to be like $20 and excellent, but have doubled in price and they're leaving significantly more RS in them here in Canada than the domestic product. Not sure about the US but I assume it's the same as us. Their Palmas series is great though.

Thanks for the recommendation on Urium, I'm headed over there tomorrow for an impromptu tour. Apparently they don't do organized tours but they said they'd be happy to show me around and let me taste some wines. I like them already!

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



Urium was fantastic! Great wine and amazing people, I bought a bottle each of the fino en rama and amontillado.

And now I'm on my way back and I look like a drowned cat because I am a loving idiot who left his umbrella in the hotel, and the most amazing thunderstorm decided to roll through.

I have photos of the bodega and also the river/street outside the bar where I'm currently sheltering, which I'll post later.

PT6A fucked around with this message at May 11, 2016 around 12:45

Kasumeat
Nov 18, 2004


Awesome, glad to hear.

SniperWoreConverse
Mar 20, 2010

Shamanistic Tendencies


I missed the arguments about cork, but my input is that I often end up opening corked bottles with my shoe. Thank you for your time.

Kasumeat
Nov 18, 2004


I'm visiting Tuscany soon. Anybody have any producer recs to visit other than the obvious ones?

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


Kasumeat posted:

I'm visiting Tuscany soon. Anybody have any producer recs to visit other than the obvious ones?

I guess that depends on what's obvious to you. First to mind comes wineries like Felsina, Fontodi, and Castello di Ama. These are to me big names as I assume they are to you. Do you want more or less well-known than these or are these on the money?

I would go to Felsina anyway because of its proximity to Siena. Il Palio runs on July 2nd if you're in the area around that time.

EDIT: I don't know the Maremma that well, but even given some of the towering wineries there, I'd visit for the scenery alone.

Kasumeat
Nov 18, 2004


Thanks for the rec on Felsina, nobody imports them here so I'd forgotten about them. The other two are already on my list! Those are definitely good recs, but if you have any pet wineries that are lesser-known, I often enjoy the visiting aspect of those better than the big guys, the latter of which can be pretty jaded, even to industry. Unfortunately I'll be gone by July.

I'm not that into Maremma either, but I'll be staying there so I'll definitely pay a visit to the big guys.

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


One small guy I do know and can recommend in the Maremma is Giuseppe Brancatelli. I used to represent his wines when I was in distributing and I like him a lot. He does a magnificent Syrah that hold like 13.5% alcohol. His Cabernet Franc that he puts into his blends really shines through. As well he does two funky almost unheard of varietals. One is an almost extinct white varietal native to the region called Ansonica. He lives about 12 miles from the coast and this really feels like Tuscan Muscadet. It's light, racy, and a little briney. He told me that it used to travel very poorly, but now that it can be vinified with minimal oxygen contact it does quite well. The other rare varietal he does is called Aleatico. This is a red grape that he twists the stalks of late in harvest and leaves them hanging on the vine for a couple more weeks to dry out. He then puts it into very small (chestnut?) barrels with a bubbler and lets it naturally ferment. Most ferments take more than a year. He told me that he just walks by those barrels every day and listens to the bubbler. When it's quiet, he knows it's time to bottle. It's technically a dessert wine, but fermented to almost dry. It's really nice.

Obviously I've met him a couple times. He's extremely nice and he and his family are quite charming. He was born in Sicily but then moved to the Netherlands where he became a very successful Italian restaurateur. He met an Irish woman while there and they married. He got bought out and decided to use the money to buy a piece of land in the Maremma, just outside of the border for Bolghieri. His kids speak English fluently as does he. When his kids talk half the words have an Irish accent and the other half an Italian accent.

He also runs an Agritoursima out of his house, which is a large Etruscan villa dating back to god knows when. You can stay there if you like. Some of the wines are great, most are at least good and you'd get a chance to meet the family if you go.

If you're interested let me know and I can give you my information via PMs so you can namedrop me.

Crimson
Nov 6, 2002


If you like opulent, richer styles with new oak you can head to Tolaini. The wines are well done for that particular style. If you go through Montalcino the Colombini Brunello wines are loving rad. The winery is run by all women, and the wines reflect a super elegant, pretty style. Let me know if you do plan to head to either one, would be cool to have you say hello for me.

Ola
Jul 19, 2004



Anyone experienced with osso bucco? There was a sale on veal shank so I decided now was time to try it. Following this recipe more or less so no tomato and with risotto alla milanese. Reading the wine pairings left me confused as it did not strike me as a red wine match at all. Perhaps more so with beef stock and tomato, but apparently this upsets the milanese. So we're trying with some Crémant, the leftover Soave from cooking and perhaps, if all else fails, some Savennières which I happend to buy out of curiosity.

How do you cook it and how do you pair it?

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


Yeah, I think you could totally pair it with a medium-bodied white wine. Go for it!

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



The richness of the osso buco makes for a good red wine pairing even if the flavours aren't quite as traditional a match. You want a wine with decent tannin, but which won't overpower the more delicate flavours. A well-structured red burgundy is generally my preferred pairing, but that's just personal taste. Rosso di Montalcino can also work nicely.

White wine, especially medium- or full-bodied, also pairs nicely with the richness. A light bodied white might not stand up as well.

Stitecin
Feb 6, 2004
Mayor of Stitecinopolis

I quit my Assistant Winemaker job at a high end winery making Russian River Pinot & Chard and Napa Cab and am starting next week as Winemaker for a little producer of Zin, and Rhone varietals just south of Healdsburg. I'm going from managing a crew and crushing ~475 tons to being the crew and crushing ~90 tons.

I'm so loving glad to be done making cougar juice Chardonnay.

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


Speaking of RRV, what the hell happened there? Maybe this is me with rose colored glasses here, but I remember a decade ago or more my impression of RRV as a whole was very positive. I think it was much less developed than it is now and I seem to recall a lot of small wineries. Have these wineries vanished? I looked at a map of RRV wineries and half the names I didn't recognize and the other half I could recognize but wished I couldn't.

Also, congrats on getting out from under the thumb of the Cougar Juice Cabal.

Stitecin
Feb 6, 2004
Mayor of Stitecinopolis

Overwined posted:

Speaking of RRV, what the hell happened there?...

Wine Spectator in 2009 posted:

New Owners for California Pinot Noir Star Kosta Browne

Main players remain, new partners cash out original investors for estimated $40 million

then...

Wine Spectator in 2015 posted:

...None of the parties involved in the new deal would talk numbers, but industry sources said the price tag is substantially more than what Vincraft paid five years ago.

Scrape together some cash, make some Pinot, get bought out, be rich and famous. Easy as that.

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


Yeah, it's so common and sad. I think just about every small winery owner/winemaker I've ever met says something like "We're committed to small production, high quality wines and that's not going to change." Then some huge interest drops shitloads of cash in their lap and they say, "Oh we're rich now but that doesn't change our philosophy. We're just as much committed to quality as we've always been." Copain is here right now. Then 3-5 years down the line when their production has gone up 15-fold they're like "I'm rich bitch!!!" and then they spray Champagne in my face and speed away in their top end Mercedes.

I think there are lots of small family-run estates that believe what they say. And some of them stick to it, though rarely more than 1 or 2 generations. But some of them you can tell they're saying it out of the sides of their mouths and they're just waiting for that fat check to arrive.

Ola
Jul 19, 2004



The crémant worked quite well with the osso bucco, the Soave was just a bit on the weak side, acid-wise. Since my girlfriend prefers whites over reds, I'll do the same next time, just need something with a bit more body and acidity. It was a delicious dish, pretty easy to make as well!

e: I think the gremolata topping would have crashed with a red (in my opinion), but works very well with a white or sparkling

Ola fucked around with this message at Jun 6, 2016 around 20:30

pork never goes bad
May 16, 2008

gin&milk!!!


Frankly I'm pretty terrible at pairing. My thought process usually runs like this... Is it spicy? Yes - drink lager. No - drink Beaujolais. I've had plenty of thoughtfully paired dishes and wines at restaurants, and I've put the time in myself, and other than some very specific and near perfect examples I've always found that drinking the wine I love with the food I love works better than worrying about perfect pairing. Not to say one should feel free to pair Miscarry with osso bucco, but I'll always advise not over thinking.

Edit - I'm going to leave that amazing autocorrect there. I meant Muscadet.

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


Just pair basics like structure, acid, and body rather than trying to pair specific flavors. Makes the decision-making way easier and it generally works out pretty well.

Also congrats, Stitecin! Now AP that poo poo! I'm making a huge leap in production this year; from 6 tons last year to 10 this year... I'll be making wine at a microscopic level rather than an incredibly microscopic level. Also going to make my first white (going to be a barrel-fermented Sauv blanc/Semillion) and my first rose (garnacha + maybe syrah) so we'll see how it goes.

idiotsavant fucked around with this message at Jun 7, 2016 around 03:29

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


I really like Grenache Blanc and feel like it's woefully underutilized outside of Rhone Valley.

That's not really germane to anything we're discussing, but I thought I'd say it anyway.

pork never goes bad
May 16, 2008

gin&milk!!!


idiotsavant posted:

Just pair basics like structure, acid, and body rather than trying to pair specific flavors. Makes the decision-making way easier and it generally works out pretty well.

Also congrats, Stitecin! Now AP that poo poo! I'm making a huge leap in production this year; from 6 tons last year to 10 this year... I'll be making wine at a microscopic level rather than an incredibly microscopic level. Also going to make my first white (going to be a barrel-fermented Sauv blanc/Semillion) and my first rose (garnacha + maybe syrah) so we'll see how it goes.

Re: winemaking, very cool - where do you sell to in the city and environs these days?

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idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


pork never goes bad posted:

Re: winemaking, very cool - where do you sell to in the city and environs these days?

SF-wise Bi-Rite should have it right now and Ruby carries it most of the time. Terroir has had it but I don't know that they have any right now. Bay Grape carries it in Oakland, and so does Ordinaire. I just started working with a distributor in CA, so there should be a few more places on the list soon. If you're drinking lots of Beaujolais right now you'll probably like it. It's pretty juicy but in that lighter Bojo way, with a little bit of green in back.

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