Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
A scathing and hilarious evisceration of a Big Jay review of a Spanish 98 pointer.
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(ENOUGH FOR A MAGNUM XL?)
Best Of: Alban Lorraine 03, August West Graham PN 05, Casanova Di Neri Tenuta Nuova 01, Clos Erasmus 04, Clos Pepe VS 05, DRC Echezeaux 85, Loring Sharon's 99, Marcassin Three Sisters PN 02, Rieussec 89, Rieussec 01, Rochioli River Block Chard 06, Rochioli West Block PN 05, Saxum JBV 08, SQN Imposter McCoy 97, SQN Midnight Oil 01, Torii Mor Amelia Rose 98
Sort of seems like low-hanging fruit, if you ask me. Very expensive, low-hanging fruit, though.
"Bruce you are correct."--Andrew Kaufman, 3/24/13.
I'd seen this note too, and was trying to imagine the scene in the cellars, say, a year and a half and 3 (of the 4 it'd eventually see) new barrels in.
Picture it: the winemaker, domaine owner, consulting oenologist, perhaps a couple of friends or owners of neighboring estates all draw off the samples that have already been in 3 new oak barrels. They sniff, swirl, taste, ponder. Finally, one of them has the courage to speak up: "Well...it's *pretty* oaky..."
Craig Ganzer ITB
Have to say that was my take on it too. In five minutes, anyone could do the same with 90% of the tasting notes out there. Nothing in her remarks that targets much that's specific to the particular wine or review. I think she's capable of better writing but has settled for the easy pot-shots since people seem to like those.
ITB, Harrington Wines & Eno Wines, and Grape-Nutz.com
When short-selling is legal, it's amazing how wealthy you can become by trafficking in the barn-burning bidness.
The older and more cynical I become, the more I wonder whether Rome [or, say, the library at Alexandria] burned to the ground because someone had arranged for a short contract on it.
Gotta give her credit for finding the most ridiculously exaggerated wine imaginable. $750, 400% new oak, black in color, and so on. The original note is virtually a self parody (as its author). Ripe for mockery, and mock it she does!
Of course she can do better (I'm no fanboy though), but this one is impossible to pass up.
In that way, he is like co
Very low hanging fruit these days. At least she could have made it clever or funny. I don't see the value in that post other than to preach to the choir.
"Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true." - Francis Bacon
"I had taken two finger-bowls of champagne and the scene had changed before my eyes into something significant, elemental, and profound." - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
The sad thing about what she did is that the wine is actually amazing. I've been lucky enough to have tried it a couple of times, and I still have a couple of bottles in my cellar. Thankfully I didn't pay $700 - I got it direct at the winery (and one bottle was gifted to me by the winemaker). And yes it's expensive, but to me, it's one of the few wines I'd ever rate 100 points. And they only make 200 cases or so a year. Think of it as the Screaming Eagle of Spain. But it's not for everyone, since it is a monster. To put it in perspective, it made a bottle of SQN Midnight Oil on the same table one night seem boring.
And it doesn't get racked 3 times into new oak. That was an error on JM's part. It does get racked once into new oak (200% new oak), but the wine actually needs it given how much other stuff is there.
Making fun of RMP and JM is easy sport, but it's unfortunate when a great wine gets unfairly disparaged in the process.
Loring Wine Company
How dare you actually comment on the WINE here (-:
As Tom and others have said, much ado about nothing . . .
200% new oak, eh?!?!? Is THIS where those guys got the idea?!?!? Not that there's anything 'wrong' with that - and I'm sure they're not the only one doing it - maybe one of the few that is actually ADMITTING it!
Too bad the wine's so expensive - seems like it'd be an interesting wine to try . . .
I'm sure this is what gets her goat more than anything...
"Vina Sastre is a benchmark estate in Ribera del Duero. It is committed to organic farming and biodynamic principles with the wines naturally made"...
Very effective tasting note. It tells you alot about the wine.
Ripe for mockery as well.
The mockery isn't terribly well done though. And someone should tell Alice that there's a wine region out there where pencil lead has been used as a descriptor for a while now.
Why? While the "benchmark" comment is arguable (but I happen to agree), the rest is a statement of fact. I'm not a proponent of biodynamic farming, but it seems to works for Sastre and their Pesus. And just because a wine is big and bold, it doesn't mean that there was any "spoof". If someone wants to point at the 200% new oak as "un-natural", I disagree. It may be a bit extreme, but given that DRC uses 100% new oak on Pinot Noir, I don't see that 200% on incredibly (naturally) concentrated Tempranillo is that big a deal. And certainly within the bounds of natural winemaking (IMHO).
To me, it just seems that Alice doesn't like this style of wine. Nothing new there... she can get in line behind Eric Asimov, Matt Kramer, etc.
Loring Wine Company
Yup, Brian......it can be organic/bio/natural made...exactly the kind of wine Alice espouses. But if it's made in the (so-called) Parker style, she's a notta gonna like it.
Plus, I suspect that she's never even tasted the wine. Which is OK...she's mocking the TN...not the wine.
I wouldn't be losing any sleep over the fact Alice doesn't like a wine you happen to have in your cellar. There are worse things in life.
I won't speak for Alice, but the tone is that this level of concentration (plus gobs of 200% or 300% new oak) is unnatural (whether done "naturally" or not). This is clearly not her style, though I'd put her in the front of that line of people that don't like this style.
And yes, she is mocking the note and critic more than the wine....
It's awesome & perfect for Fest-tivities
ITB in Napa Valley where Wine is made & Cigars are smoked
She would have said if she'd tasted it.
Note that Josh Raynolds rated the 3 previous vintages 95 pts.
I've never read anything she's written that didn't take pot shots at Parker. She comes across as a whack job. In that LA Times ESJ article she wrote, she slammed Parker endlessly, contradicted herself, made ignorant blanket statements about CA wine, and promoted her book shamelessly (which I found unethical). (Oh, and since when is rating a wine 88 or 89 pts a "slam"?)
I share her wine preferences. It would be nice to see her drop her unhealthy Parker obsession and put some effort into seeking out the many many other CA wineries that she would like, and then actually talk about them.
Alice is gonna drop by here on Saturday. We've talked on the phone & exchanged a lot of e-mail but it will be fun to meet her....
É prohibido prohibir!
The LA Times article was an interesting response to something that shocked a lot of people. The ESJ spanking handed out by WA was really over the top (especially for the time). A lot of people saw it as a personal attack on ESJ, and It developed a lot of chatter on the other board-- I think she wrote about it very well, and defended a CA vintner and style she admires. Who else piped in on mainstream press?
Again- I'm a huge Alice fan, and have found her writing to have a lot more to offer than beating up the WA. Is she on the fringe? For sure, but that's part of what I like about reading her stuff.
I met her about 5 years ago, in Paso Robles just before HdR. Had no idea who she was and actually didn't remember meeting her at all until Eric Anderson (who was with me at the time) jogged my memory more recently. IIRC she was battling a cold or allergies at the time and didn't say much.
ITB, Harrington Wines & Eno Wines, and Grape-Nutz.com
+1, pretty funny. Tempranillo is not meant to be treated in this way, it has an inherent rusticity that just results in a vile concoction if one tries to make a fruit-bomb out of it; the same with Grenache.