Vinography Images: Here Come The Birds


Here Come The Birds
FREESTONE, CA: Bird netting is used in a pinot noir vineyard to keep out the flocks of starlings that live in the nearby trees in the Sonoma Coast region of California. Located two hours north of San Francisco, and west of Napa Valley, Sonoma County has become in recent years a popular global wine country destination.

Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting “save link as” or “save target as” and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops.

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Fine art prints of this image and others are available at George Rose’s web site:

To purchase copies of George’s photos for editorial, web, or advertising use, please contact Getty Images.

Vinography regularly features images by photographer George Rose for readers’ personal use as desktop backgrounds or screen savers. We hope you enjoy them. Please respect the copyright on these images. These images are not to be reposted on any web site or blog without the express permission of the photographer.

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Credit: Vinography: A Wine Blog


Grilling Skewers

Hosting a party is a double edged sword. On the one hand you get to control everything, the guest list, the date and time, and of course the menu, but on the other hand you have to actually produce the party, which means you might very well be stuck in the kitchen, or manning the grill, for the duration. Now that doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?

There’s no doubt that this upcoming weekend is going to be rife with parties, thought whether or not it will be rife with happy hosts is open to debate. Do yourself a favor if you’re hosting friends this weekend, give yourself the freedom to enjoy your own party. Consider letting your guests cook what they want when they want it but throwing a smorgasbord of skewered delights. No more worrying about who like their meat rare or well, or who prefers red meat to seafood. Simple prepare an assortment of skewered meats, a fiery hot grill, and then stand back with glass of wine in hand as you spend more time with your friends and less time catering to your friends, though that may very well be why they’re your friends in the first place! Let the skewering begin!

Via: Snooth – Articles

Vinography Unboxed: Week of August 25, 2013

box_o_wine.jpgHello from the bottom of the samples pile. This is the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles of wine that have crossed my doorstep recently.

This week included several wines from fairly stalwart producers.

I tasted through a number of releases from Bonny Doon Vineyards, the star of which were his white Rhone blend that is aged in glass “bonbonnes” and the Cigare Volant red Rhone blend that happened to be aged in old oak foudres — big casks that hold around 3,000 gallons.

Dry Creek Vineyards sent me a library wine of their 2007 Old Vine Zinfandel that was quite pretty at this stage of its evolution, as well as several of their more current releases. I happened to like their less expensive Fumé Blanc version of Sauvignon Blanc better than their standard bottling.

A nice Cabernet from Jordan snuck into the mix, as well as a nice Merlot from Ridge Vineyards.

Look for all these and more below.

2010 Bonny Doon Vineyard “Le Cigare Blanc en bonbonne Reserve” White Blend, Arroyo Seco, Central Coast
Light gold in the glass, this wine smells of wet stones, bee pollen, and wet stones. In the mouth wonderfully exotic bee pollen, citrus oils, and guava notes meld with a gorgeous underlying minerality and a hint of waxy flavor (and texture). Quite unusual and compelling, with nice balance, and good acidity. 12.4% alcohol. Score: around 9. Cost: $42. click to buy.

2007 Dry Creek Vineyard “Old Vine” Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Dark ruby in color, this wine smells of forest floor, dried berries, and well-oiled leather. In the mouth, licorice, leather, chocolate, and raisins have a wonderful earthy quality to them, and not a hint of sweetness. Thick but pliable tannins wrap the edges of the mouth, while good acidity keeps everything in balance. 14.5% alcohol. Score: around 9. Cost: $30. click to buy.

2008 Bonny Doon Vineyard “Le Cigare Volant en foudre” Red Blend, Central Coast
Medium garnet in color, this wine smells of dried mixed berries. In the mouth, bright mixed berries, cedar, and forest floor combine amidst a bright acidity that will dimple the edges of the mouth and bring a smile to the lips. Suede-like tannins rim the tongue. A blend of 45% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 13% Mourvedre, 7% Cinsault, and 5% Carignan aged in large, old oak foudres. 14.2% alcohol. Score: around 9. Cost: $45. click to buy.

2010 Ridge Vineyards Estate Merlot, Santa Cruz Mountains
Medium garnet in color, this wine smells of bright cherry and plum aromas mixed with a hint of the floral. In the mouth juicy, tangy plum and cherry flavors dance across the palate thanks to excellent acidity. Plum skin sourness has the salivary glands working overtime in the long finish, even as earthy, leathery notes rumble a bass note underneath this melody. Lovely. 13.2% alcohol. Score: around 9. Cost: $45. click to buy.

2012 Dry Creek Vineyard Fumé Blanc Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County
Palest gold in color, this wine smells of lemon curd, vanilla pastry cream, and wet stones. In the mouth lemon zest, pink grapefruit, and citrus pith have a nice zip to them thanks to bright acidity. Good length, with an expansive finish. 13.5% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $12. click to buy.

2012 Cartograph “Floodgate Vineyard” Gewürztraminer, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
Pale greenish gold in color, this wine smells of incredibly ripe, fresh lychee fruit. In the mouth, lychee and pink grapefruit flavors are lithe on the tongue thanks to bright acidity. The wine finishes with a hint of woody bitterness, not unlike the taste of the skin and seed inside a lychee. Nice. 13.8% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $24. click to buy.

2010 Bonny Doon Vineyard “Le Pousseur” Syrah, Central Coast, Central Coast
Light to medium purple in color, this wine smells of blackberry, blueberry skin, and white pepper. In the mouth, white pepper and blackberry flavors mix with a briary, earthy underbelly that heads towards wet chalkboard in quality even as muscular tannins grip the palate. Excellent acidity and a nice floral note linger in the finish.12.8% alcohol Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $25. click to buy.

2011 Pfendler Vineyards Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County
Light to medium garnet in color, this wine smells of a hint of manure and raspberries. In the mouth, deep and earthy raspberry and wet forest floor flavors mix amidst powdery, velvety tannins. Dark and brooding, and quite distinctive. Good balance and acidity. 13.7% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $45. click to buy.

2008 Bonny Doon Vineyard “Le Cigare Volant en demi-muid” Red Blend, Central Coast
Medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of mulberry and river mud. In the mouth, flavors of mulberry, dried cherries, and hints of raisin mix with brown sugar notes as the wine finishes. Wet earth and leather emerge, along with leathery tannins in the long finish. Good acidity. 14.2% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $45. click to buy.

2009 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of cherry and tobacco with hints of wet earth and nut skin. In the mouth smooth, taut tannins wrap around a core of cherry and tobacco tinged with the earthiness of unsweetened cocoa powder. Excellent acidity and a very nice balance. 13.5% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $45. click to buy.

2010 Anaba “Sun Chase Vineyard” Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County
Light greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of honeycomb, golden apples, and toasted bread. In the mouth bright and juicy flavors of lemon rind, pink grapefruit, and orange rind mix with some unfortunate alcoholic heat. Good acidity, however, and a nice flavor profile. 14.3% alcohol. Score: around 8.5. Cost: $??.

2012 Dry Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Palest gold in the glass, this wine smells of bright lemon pastry cream, a hint of vanilla, and golden apples. In the mouth lemon pastry cream and vanilla are the dominant flavors and a hint of lemon zest creeps into the finish. Decent acidity. 13.5% alcohol. Score: around 8.5. Cost: $15. click to buy.

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Source: Vinography: A Wine Blog

You Spin My Head

Right round, right round, like a record baby, round, round, round, round. Only wish it were a wine. No, this time I am being spun by a pretty severe case of vertigo. Sucks far more than I can tell you….mostly because sitting here looking at this screen, all bright with letters darting across it, well it just adds to shit that is already whizzing by my head.  So please forgive me if I am silent for a bit…..and wish me luck, got not one but two nights of sold out fried chicken and Champagne tasting to not only speak in front of, but pour for….whimper. Send all the good vibes you can folks, I’m gonna need it. Spinny McBlonde Girl.

Source: Samantha Sans Dosage

Vintage Watch VII

As we pass into these last weeks of August we find ourselves facing the start of harvest throughout the northern hemisphere. While we tend to think of September and October as the months of harvest, in many regions early varieties, particular whites and grapes destined for sparkling wine production, typically start coming in during the coming two weeks.

This year is in a way a tale of two stories. In Europe the season got off to a late start and the early months of summer did little to speed things up. Many regions are facing late harvests this year with even the earliest ripening varieties still weeks away from being ready. In contrast the west coast of the USA has had a fine growing season that set the stage for an early harvest, with grapes for sparkling and rose production already having been harvested as early as the first week of August. While the early summer months are vital for the proper development of the flavor and aromatic precursors that make wine so delicious, these coming week during harvest will ultimately determine who will be making good wine and who will have the chance to make great wine!

Hat Tip To: Snooth – Articles

Gruner Schmooner

Once again my lack of appointment book, and desire to actually get one, found me cringing when a supplier stood in all his tall, and quite handsome, glory in front of me, big, not too shinny grin on his olive colored face, young man at his side with his arm extended in my direction, tight fitting clothing and firm confidence assuring me he wasn’t from around these parts. I heard my coworker Andy ask, “You here to see me?” while scrolling through the appointment book he has on his iphone, (now there’s an idea….one that I shan’t use) slightly panicked and embarrassed look on his face. “Nope, we’re here to see Sam” Oh goddamn it. “It’s nice to meet you and yes, I am just 21 years old” the first words I heard from the slightly freckle-faced and virile young man that was shaking my hand fairly aggressively. His name Alexander Sattler, his age as he pointed out, (and yes, I would have asked as he looked like a baby) merely 21 years but he had been involved with winemaking at his family’s estate since he was 14. I made my way to the tasting room, shuffling behind my sales rep…

Source: Samantha Sans Dosage

Murcia, Spain

I was one of eight lucky wine writers chosen to explore three of Murcia, Spain’s incredibly unique Denomination of Origins (DOs): Yecla, Jumilla and Bullas.  More impressive than I could have ever imagined, this area has outstanding wine, unmatched beauty in both the city and rural areas, seriously savory foods and welcoming, friendly people.  It was truly the trip of a lifetime, spent exploring a region and its wines that I previously had very little knowledge about.

The deservedly prized wine grape of all three DOs is the hearty Monastrell. Comprised of small, dense clusters, the red wine grape Monastrell thrives in the semi-arid Mediterranean climate of the Murcia region.  With hot summers and mild, short winters, the average annual temperature is 65 degrees.  The sun shines in the cerulean blue skies about 320 days out of the year and with just the right amount of rainfall, about 12 inches total per year (mainly during the winter months), Monastrell flourishes.

Source: Snooth – Articles

Lombard Park District, 20 West Wine and Spirits to host wine tasting event – Suburban Life Publications

Lombard Park District, 20 West Wine and Spirits to host wine tasting event
Suburban Life Publications
can sample wine and beers while playing nine holes of golf. 20 West Wine and Spirits is coordinating tastings that feature Illinois Sparkling Company, Flesk Brewing Company, August Hill Winery and Ludwig Farmstead Creamery. Registration is required

Source: wine tasting – Google News


Can you imagine being able to enjoy a glass of wine from any bottle in your cellar, without pulling the cork, or starting that bottle on a path to oxidation and deterioration?

Over the years, we wine lovers have all been inundated with pitch after pitch from companies trying to sell us wine preservation systems.  Some use pumps, some use gas and one even encases your entire bottle in a wine coffin, along with tubes reaching into your bottle like something out of Frankenstein’s lab.  In the end, no one seems to have been able to pull it off without a hitch.  Suction doesn’t last, inert gas isn’t perfect in an open bottle and not everyone can afford an Enomatic tasting machine.  After all the hype and sales pitches, I’ve resorted to decanting into a half bottle, corking it and keeping that half bottle in the fridge; but still, half the wines don’t last past 24 hours without degradation—until now, because we now have Coravin.

Credit: Snooth – Articles