Sunday, October 29, 2017

Wine Review: Matchbook The Arsonist 2015 Chardonnay

Matchbook The Arsonist 2015 Chardonnay

For information on Matchbook, you can read all about their great story in my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

The Arsonist is a subset of Matchbook Wine Company's Matchbook label. It's kinda like their higher tier of wines, and there's only two right now: Chardonnay and Red Blend. The labels feature Prometheus, the Titan from Greek mythology that stole fire from Zeus and gave it to us mortals. 

Back in 2015 I reviewed the 2012 Arsonist Red Blend and the 2013 Arsonist Chardonnay, and now in 2017 I'm reviewing the 2014 Arsonist Red Blend and the 2015 Arsonist Chardonnay.

The 2015 Chardonnay is 100% estate grown Chardonnay from Dunnigan Hills, California. It sees 16 months of barrel aging on the lees with frequent stirring. 7,193 cases were produced and it has a 14.2% ABV.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Wine Review: Matchbook The Arsonist 2014 Red Blend


For information on Matchbook, you can read all about their great story in my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

The Arsonist is a subset of Matchbook Wine Company's Matchbook label. It's kinda like their higher tier of wines, and there's only two right now: Chardonnay and Red Blend. The labels feature Prometheus, the Titan from Greek mythology that stole fire from Zeus and gave it to us mortals. 

Back in 2015 I reviewed the 2012 Arsonist Red Blend and the 2013 Arsonist Chardonnay, and now in 2017 I'm reviewing the 2014 Arsonist Red Blend and the 2015 Arsonist Chardonnay.

The 2014 Red Blend is 52% Petit Verdot, 25% Malbec, and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon out of Dunnigan Hills, California. It was aged for 26 months in European and American oak. 7,100 cases were produced and it has a final ABV of 14.3%.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Jack & Ice Wine


And here we see the majestic ice wine harvester in his natural environment. Such beauty and elegance.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Dueling Montepulcianos: Vino Nobile vs d'Abruzzo

The Dueling Montepulcianos: Vino Nobile vs d'Abruzzo

One thing that often follows the common "I was at a restaurant last night..." beginning of a sentence from a wine consumer to a wine professional is its completion with "and I had a Montepulciano." This is one of those I love my job moments because now I get to completely geek out with a customer so I can help them. Not only do I need to dig for clues to figure out what kind of Montepulciano they had and prevent them from purchasing the wrong kind, but more importantly I get to educate the public! "Come with me, citizen," I think to myself, "Step into my domain and we shall explore the world of Montepulciano!"  

Essentially there are two different Montepulcianos. There's wine from a Montepulciano region and then there's wine made from the Montepulciano grape varietal. Both are red. Have you seen Vino Nobile di Montepulciano or its little brother Rosso di Montepulicano? And have you seen Montepulciano d'Abruzzo? These two Montepulcianos share the love of confusing us Americans with fancy Italian words but they're drastically different. This is because at its very core Italy doesn't like to do anything if it's not complicated. But let's start with the basics:

So Vino Nobile di Montepulciano or Rosso di Montepulciano are mostly made from Sangiovese, which is the grape used in Chianti, from the village named Montepulciano in Tuscany. Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2010 was my wine pick of the month in September of 2016.

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is mostly made from the grape called Montepulciano in the more southern region of Abruzzi. Because the Montepulciano referred to here is a grape variety, this is the Montepulciano you'll see come from other places in Italy (without the d'Abruzzo part) and even across the world. Back in April of this year I reviewed THP Montepulciano 2014 by Llano Estacado out of Texas! That's right; TEXAS!

Now, that's a very simple explanation. Easy enough, right? But you know I'm not going to just leave it like that for this blog. Just like Italy, I don't like to do anything if it's not complicated. Alright, tell ya what, I'll go easy on this article and won't get too technical, okay? I need to ease my way back in to writing these monthly articles. Now let's go even further in to the dueling Montepulcianos. And let's drink them, too.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Wine Review: Oyster Bay Hawkes Bay Merlot 2014

Oyster Bay Merlot 2014

Oyster Bay is swooping in for a quickie on Thirsty Thursday! This spot was reserved for a really cool wine from a less traditional place, but it was unfortunately corked. I cried, as I always do with faulty bottles, and I went to the wine fridge to pick out an emergency bottle not already scheduled on my calendar. So here it is!

As you probably know, Oyster Bay's Sauvignon Blanc is a sales powerhouse and the favorite wine of little old ladies everywhere. But that's not all they make. I've always really liked their Merlot, and my grubby little hands received the 2014 as a gift about a month or so ago.

You may have noticed that this wine is from New Zealand's Hawkes Bay instead of Marlborough where their Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir is from. Both are on the east coast of New Zealand but Hawkes Bay is on the North Island while Marlborough is on the South Island. The first vines were planted in Hawkes Bay in 1851 by missionaries, so they've been doing this for awhile. It's mostly a red wine region and you'll find some really awesome Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah coming out of there.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Wine Review: Seven Hills Walla Walla Valley Red Wine 2014

Seven Hills Walla Walla Valley Red Wine 2014

This blend out of the Walla Walla Valley in Washington State is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec, and 5% Petit Verdot. It spent 23 months in French, American and European oak barrels (35% of which were new), and has an ABV of 14.7%. But you know what? This wine came with a really nice letter from Casey McClellan, the winemaker, so I'm going to post it here for you to learn more about this wine and the winery in his own words.

Dear Joey Casco,

My family first arrived in Eastern Washington in the 1880's, putting down roots while farming wheat in this fertile region. One hundred years later, my father and I worked side-by-side on the Walla Walla valley's first significant planting of Bordeaux varietals in what became the original blocks of Seven Hills Vineyard. My wife, Vicky, and I founded Seven Hills Winery in 1988, and I've been refining my craft as a winemaker over the past three decades.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Conglomerate Acquisition


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pennywise & Apothic


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Wine Review: Left Coast Cellars White Pinot Noir 2016

Left Coast Cellars White Pinot Noir 2016

Left Coast Cellars is back on the blog! It was just this past March that I reviewed their 2014 Cali's Cuvee Pinot Noir and their 2015 The Orchard Pinot Gris. Well, a new vintage of that Pinot Gris is out so a few days ago I reviewed their 2016 The Orchard Pinot Gris, and today I'm reviewing their their 2016 White Pinot Noir!

Left Coast Cellars of Willamette Valley, Oregon was founded in 2003. With 350 acres of land and 130 acres of vineyards, they use sustainable viticulture to produce only estate-grown wine. They're LIVE Certified Sustainable, Salmon Safe Certified, and are one of fourteen wineries to complete the Oregon Environmental Council's Carbon Reduction Challenge. All of the power for the guest cottages, the front gate, and the vineyard irrigation is run by solar power, and use a big chunk of their land for their Oak Savanna Restoration Project. They are very environmentally conscious.

By not allowing skin contact and treating Pinot Noir like a white grape, you can make some very cool white wine. Hell, it's one of the grapes used in Champagne and other sparkling wines. Non-sparkling White Pinot Noir's are also freakin' awesome! Willamette Valley is freakin' awesome! I'm really looking forward to this one.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Wine Review: Left Coast Cellars The Orchard Pinot Gris 2016

Left Coast Cellars The Orchard Pinot Gris 2016

Left Coast Cellars is back on the blog! It was just this past March that I reviewed their 2014 Cali's Cuvee Pinot Noir and their 2015 The Orchard Pinot Gris. Well, a new vintage of that Pinot Gris is out so now I'll be reviewing their 2016 The Orchard Pinot Gris, and also in a few days their 2016 White Pinot Noir!

Left Coast Cellars of Willamette Valley, Oregon was founded in 2003. With 350 acres of land and 130 acres of vineyards, they use sustainable viticulture to produce only estate-grown wine. They're LIVE Certified Sustainable, Salmon Safe Certified, and are one of fourteen wineries to complete the Oregon Environmental Council's Carbon Reduction Challenge. All of the power for the guest cottages, the front gate, and the vineyard irrigation is run by solar power, and use a big chunk of their land for their Oak Savanna Restoration Project. They are very environmentally conscious.

The vineyard block that this Pinot Gris is from is called The Orchards because of the history of its land being planted with apple, pear and cherry orchards. It spans 7.5 acres and since 2005 it's been home to Pinot Gris Clones 146 and 152. The wine that is produced here is fermented 100% in stainless steel. It has an ABV of 13.7%.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

My thoughts on Las Vegas


I refrained from posting on my Wine Stalker social media accounts since the Las Vegas massacre until tonight. I didn’t want to ignore that this happened but I also needed time to let the rage and sadness level out so when I did speak about it, it wouldn’t be a nonsensical rant.

You know I’m very liberal so you can imagine my feelings on this and where I stand on the politics of it. You’re probably aware that I’m not religious so you know that “sending thoughts and prayers” doesn’t cut it for me.

But we really do need these people in our thoughts. We need to honor the victims and give attention to who they were, feel the heartbreak that their families are going through, and fully understand the horror that the survivors experienced as if we were there. We need to put ourselves in their place with people dying all around us on a fun night out at a music festival.

And then we need to do something about it. Demand that some kind of action is taken. Because “sending thoughts and prayers” does nothing to prevent the next one.

Much love to you all, my fellow homo sapiens.

Joey

Sunday, October 1, 2017

October Wine Pick: Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

This WINE PICK of the month was written for the Luke's of Cape Cod website.


Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014


Legend has it that on one fateful day in 1965, two brothers fought their disagreements out at a family gathering. Yelling, punching, and even breaking furniture. The two brothers were Peter Mondavi and Robert Mondavi. This would be Robert’s exit from Charles Krug, the winery their father bought in 1943.

Both brothers would become icons in the California wine industry, but Robert was an expert marketer and optimistic visionary. Without his abilities, exuberance, belief in the land, and willingness to help and mentor other winemakers, Napa would not be what it is today. Robert died in 2008, but his legacy will live on for centuries.

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