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  1. Here's a description, at least from three years ago. I would say that space camp sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime thrill, while winemaking is likely the start of something very time consuming and expensive.
  2. Could this be more contradictory? The rich former airline pilot (?) vs. the "mom and pop" winery ... And "passion" is as much a cliché as the "adversity" rich athletes face when the ball bounces the other way. 3. Love a good tale. These consumers like wines that are made with "passion" and have a "story." The story often goes something like this: "Former airline pilot/teacher/CEO starts his or her winery on a patch of land like no other in search of the perfect bottle." This generation likes to know who's making their wine and its members often favor mom and pop wineries. This allows them
  3. Andy Myers of CityZen, and Jarad Slipp of RdV Vineyards, ex-of CityZen, became Master Sommeliers today. This is a remarkable achievement that both have worked for over many years, and well deserved for both. They join Kathy Morgan and Keith Goldston, both of Range, as DC's Master Sommeliers. (Fran Kysela, now a wine importer based in Winchester, is also a Master Sommelier.) Last year, Carlton McCoy of The Little Nell in Aspen became an MS - and he had worked at CityZen, with Andy as his mentor. Eric Ziebold and the folks at CityZen should be proud to have had three Master Sommeliers emerge fr
  4. I'm sure glad you two weren't pissing at each other over the table during lunch!
  5. Gerry - We met several years ago at a wine dinner at the late, lamented (by me, at least) Café Atlantico. I've enjoyed this thread and am eager to taste your wines when they become available in the DC area. If you pass through, please let me know. Your discussion above on Rioja and the earlier quotes from Josh Raynolds bring to mind Paul Lukacs's new book, "Inventing Wine." The last few chapters sum up the evolution of wine's modern "invention," as he fancies it, into an international style characterized by flamboyance, fruitiness over earthiness, and potent alcohol. I'm simplifying here, of
  6. I don't really, and now I think advancing age may have tripped me up when I wrote that - I believe the Old House was a vidal blanc (dry and quite good). Linden and Breaux still make nice seyval, as does Boordy in MD. Leesburg Vintner might have some, I suspect.
  7. Well, I AM aging, which of course .... beats the alternative ... (rimshot) ... though I'm actually more and more appreciative of nuance in wines. What I was responding to in that Norton piece was the plain fact that the winemakers are getting better at what they're doing. I'm intrigued by Alan Kinne's idea that using gentler techniques more common to pinot noir (from his experience in Oregon) might produce Norton wines that are less ....well, let's just say less over the top and more nuanced. At the risk of getting wonky, which I don't like to do in my columns, the problem with Norton is the c
  8. Look for soon-to-be-released estate wines from Granite Heights (Opal, VA, b/w Warrenton and Culpeper - not a stunning view, but very nice wines, jams and honeys!). Also, in Maryland Boordy should soon be releasing their 2010 Landmark reds from their newly replanted vineyards. Also, the 2010 Syrah from Elk Run in MD is quite good.
  9. Your words, not mine. It could also be that they taste a wide variety of wines and are having their first real exposure to VA in that context (which is what the organizers wanted), while some of us who drink the wines more often can relate to the wines more closely. For example, those wines that I gave my highest scores to - to be honest, I'm responding in part because they did seem to set themselves apart from the crowd as Virginia wines. The MWs on the panel might have been comparing them to first growth Bordeaux, something I don't taste often enough.
  10. Impossible to say. Remember, there were 15 judges, so 15 disparate scores to average. Some of these judges had had little or no exposure to Virginia wine before; this MAY have prompted them to score more cautiously, but that's simply speculation. I know I gave more than 13 gold medal scores, and most of those were in the 90-92 range, with a few that really excited me going over the 94-point threshold. But I hate point scores, so whaddo I know? The judges were not informed afterwards as to which wines were which, so I don't know what wines I would have included in the Governor's Case. But I thi
  11. Some interesting things to note here: The prevalence (5 of 12) of Bordeaux blends, including the Glen Manor, Delfosse, Potomac Point and Veritas. No petit verdot or viognier (though the Tarara is apparently 40% viognier) Most are from the Charlottesville area The new format will not only allow the industry to spot its star wineries, but also which vineyards produce the top wines, as many of the medal winners may purchase grapes from the same sources - that way the growers will get recognition too. In all, 13 golds, 137 Silvers, and about 215 bronze medals, from about 400+ wines entered
  12. Congratulations, Jeff! Well done! The Governor's Cup was revamped this year to give it more credibility, by bringing in some top judges (two MWs - with a third, DC's own Jay Youmans, organizing the competition - and an MS (Kathy Morgan) among the judges. Most of all, a requirement that the wines be made 100% from Virginia grapes.
  13. Justin - I was impressed with their rosê and some of their reds they were pouring at the Silver Spring Eat-Drink-Local event last month. They are an estate winery with a large vineyard, so they could have some real potential. I mentioned them in my Maryland feature last month as well. Dave Mc
  14. I'm not sure about the original Long Bomb, but Jordan Harris, the engaging young Canadian winemaker who joined Tarara in 2007, has insisted that the winery use only Virginia fruit. His other changes include screwcaps for all wines and vineyard-designated blends instead of labeling by grape variety. Thus he has the Neveah White or Neveah Red blends (the vineyard name following in the winery tradition of spelling things backwards).
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