Set The Wayback Machine For… Next Month? (Highlighting Tuscany’s Terre di Pisa At Palate Press)

I recently visited an area of Tuscany that is, ironically, probably better known for old school Vespa production than for wine, despite being in a prime tourist location between some of the region’s most popular northern cities: Terre di Pisa. It’s an area with a tight-knit, talented group of producers, and some of the more fascinating vineyard soils that you’ll ever see (and believe me, I’ve seen a lot of them).

I wrote about the experience for Palate Press, which you can check out via the link below:

Forward to the Past: the wines of Terre di Pisa

Set The Wayback Machine For… Next Month? (Highlighting Tuscany’s Terre di Pisa At Palate Press)

TdP views from Beconcini

I’m not going to give away the wine geekiness goodies from the article here (c’mon, you’re not really that lazy, are you?) but I thought that I’d at least list and link the wines highlighted in the piece:

Check out the article for the details, and, of course, the wines themselves (for a taste of what Tuscany is like from an area not dominated by the dueling monocultures of grapes and olives…).

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Set The Wayback Machine For… Next Month? (Highlighting Tuscany’s Terre di Pisa At Palate Press) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Low Alcohol? B*tch, Please! (Perspectives On Paso Robles For Palate Press)

Last week, Palate Press published my take on the current state of the Paso Robles wine scene (based on a recent media tour of the region), titled Paso Robles: Sorry, not sorry.

That title seemed more publication-appropriate than “Bitch, please!” or “I heard what you said, I just don’t give a f*ck.”

You see, a funny thing happened on the way to producing the fine wines with lower alcohol levels that are supposed to represent the changing tastes and preferences of the American consumer: Paso Robles largely stopped giving a sh*t.

Low Alcohol? B*tch, Please! (Perspectives On Paso Robles For Palate Press)

image: Palate Press

By largely ignoring said trend and focusing on what the region naturally provides, Paso Robles’ finest are arguably making some of their best wines yet, to the benefit of those who favor big, bold, but ultimately well-balanced vino.

Check out the full story for the details; below are the wines highlighted in the piece (in case you’re the impatient type):

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Low Alcohol? B*tch, Please! (Perspectives On Paso Robles For Palate Press) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Puny Mortal! (Madeira Wine, 1976 To 1850 For Palate Press)

image: Madeira Wine Institute

I think I’m still a bit in shock.

In a good way.

My recent press trip to Madeira was an amazing experience; pretty much exactly what a long-time Madeira wine geek (remember, I once compared Madeira to Iron Man) would have hoped it would be. And while my palate, brain, and soul are all still trying to wrap that jaunt up into something that puny morals like me can understand, I did manage to get it together juuuuuust enough to pen an introductory piece on the experience for Palate Press.

The premise for the feature, titled Tasting immortality, was to begin the article ‘s tasting notes with offerings that are at an age where most normal wines would be long dead (30 years). We would then travel back in time, via the older blends and vintage Madeira wines that I tasted on that trip, eventually working our way through all six of the island’s producers who currently export to the U.S.

Oh, yeah; and working our way through the 1950s, 1940s, 1920s… ending up at 1850. Without any hesitation or hyperbole, I can tell you that among those wines were some of the finest that I have ever tasted, of any style of fine wine, anywhere.

F*cking surreal (for more background on what makes Madeira special, beyond the near-constant influx of senior citizen tourists from much of Western Europe, see the previous post “The Worst Place in the World to Make Wine”). I’m pretty sure that I lost more than a few friends after posting envy-inducing images during my visit…

Anyway…

Puny Mortal! (Madeira Wine, 1976 To 1850 For Palate Press)

image: PalatePress.com

I’m hoping to collect myself sufficiently to provide additional coverage and thoughts on some of the producers I visited on that trip, but you can get a virtual taste for the experience now at http://palatepress.com/2016/03/wine/tasting-immortality/.

Here’s the run-down of the wines highlighted in the article (head over to PalatePress.com for the tasting notes); try not to cry when looking at the current selling prices for most of these:

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2015. Originally at Puny Mortal! (Madeira Wine, 1976 To 1850 For Palate Press) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Face The Faces Of Ruche (At Palate Press)

image: PalatePress.com

Just in case you’re not quite totally sick of me yet, my latest feature for Palate Press was recently published, with the focus (words and photos) on the unsung red grape variety of Piedmont: Ruchè (I traveled the area last year as a media guest).

Actually, it’s more correct to state that my article (one of two at Palate Press that highlight Ruchè) focuses on the people behind the resurgence of that once-all-but-lost grape variety.

Face The Faces Of Ruche (At Palate Press)

Bricco views of Ruchè country. I get this kind of stuff all of the time. Yet another reason to hate me!

And a colorful cast of characters those people are; not surprising, I suppose, given the nature and the story of the variety itself. The Palate Press feature profiles the main vintners behind four of the driving Ruchè forces in the region: Crivelli, Ferraris, Pierfrancesco Gatto, and Garrone.

So… go over and read it, already!

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2015. Originally at Face The Faces Of Ruche (At Palate Press) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Mama Don’t Take No Mess (Livermore Valley, Reconsidered at Palate Press)

Mama Don’t Take No Mess (Livermore Valley, Reconsidered at Palate Press)

image: Palate Press

Mama Don’t Take No Mess (Livermore Valley, Reconsidered at Palate Press)

Steve Mirassou, pretending to take a photo (or, sharing his opinions on the state of Livermore Valley juice)

One of my media tours this year had me returning to California’s perennially underrated Livermore Valley, where I’d not been for a few years, and reconnecting with the likes of local vintners Karl Wente and Steve Mirassou, neither of whom I’d seen (or, more importantly, tasted with) lately.

The tour was very well executed, with comprehensive tastings dedicated mostly to varietal wines from Cabernet, Petite Sirah, and Chardonnay. Generally, I remain impressed with the combination of gumption, quality, history, and irony coming out of the region.

It’s the latter two aspects that really got my pseudo-journalistic juices flowing, and they’re the focus of a feature I penned about the trip (titled The Mother Vine: Livermore Reconsidered) that’s now available over at Palate Press. Both words and pics are by me, so you can come back here and flame me if you hate either. Lots of vino was tasted that didn’t make it into the final article, much of which I’ll be trickling out in the form of mini-reviews in the coming weeks.

So… this is the part where you go on over there and read it.

Mama Don’t Take No Mess (Livermore Valley, Reconsidered at Palate Press)

Unless you don’t like irony, history (and this one is about as deep into the history of California winemaking as one can get, as the area is home to the mother vine clones of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon that now dominate the state’s plantings), or exciting developments in U.S. wine… in which case, I’m not sure that I can help you… hell, I’m not sure that anyone can help you… have you sought out the assistance of a professional for that condition? Because, seriously, I am starting to worry about you. Just sayin’…

Cheers!

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They Can Be Heroes (Ben Rye Retrospective At Palate Press)

They Can Be Heroes (Ben Rye Retrospective At Palate Press)

image: Palate Press

Continuing the coverage from my Sicily jaunt earlier this year, if you head on over to Palate Press you can now view my take on a bit of a vinous historic first (“Heroic Viticulture on the island of Pantelleria”).

While in Sicily, I was lucky enough to have a chance to visit both the wind-swept isle of Pantelleria (or, as I will now refer to it, “The Wind-Swept Isle of Pantalleria,” properly capitalized, since that seems to be the most common way it’s referenced across all of wine media, and it sounds kick-ass), and to meet at length with the Rallo clan, the family who head up iconic Sicilian producer Donnafugata (or, “Iconic Sicilian Producer Donnafugata”).

For their sense of hospitality, I would call the Rallos impeccable hosts, but they get the fully capitalized “Impeccable Hosts” title for inviting me to the first ever retrospective tasting of every available vintage of Ben Ryé, their celebrated Passito di Pantelleria dessert wine (“Celebrated Pa…” ok, you’re right, enough already)….

The Palate Press piece describes the challenges of Pantelleria viticulture, and offers my take on the highlights from that amazing tasting opportunity, so go ahead and check it out if you haven’t yet reached your raging jealousy quotient for the day. If it’s any consolation, I think that my teeth still hurt from that tasting (in a good way). If you were here with me, I’d offer you a glass, but for now you’ll have to settle for some images below that I took during the tasting in Marsala, and the visit to the Wind-Swept Isle.

They Can Be Heroes (Ben Rye Retrospective At Palate Press)

Ben Ryé retrospective

 

They Can Be Heroes (Ben Rye Retrospective At Palate Press)

Pantelleria farming

 

They Can Be Heroes (Ben Rye Retrospective At Palate Press)

Wind-swept Zibibbo on Pantelleria

They Can Be Heroes (Ben Rye Retrospective At Palate Press)

They Can Be Heroes (Ben Rye Retrospective At Palate Press)

Martian terraforming?

They Can Be Heroes (Ben Rye Retrospective At Palate Press)

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2015. Originally at They Can Be Heroes (Ben Rye Retrospective At Palate Press) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!