Shiraz Week: Sat. Feb. 21 – March 1, 2015

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I guess one day isn’t enough for a wine this big…

That must be why Shiraz will be celebrated for a week –from Saturday February 21st – Sunday March 1st, 2015– instead of just one day like Cabernet Sauvignon (last Thursday in August–the Thursday before Labor Day), Chardonnay (last Thursday in May before Memorial Day), and other days set aside to take note of various varietals.

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WBW #55 syrah/shiraz showdown: CA Vino V 05 & AUS hazyblur 03

wbw-newI’m fortunate to live in the prime grape growing and wine producing region of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties–and, until just recently, just a few miles away from the Grateful Palate warehouse facility in Oxnard (it’s now in Fairfield near Napa).

I’ve long been a fan of Adam Tolmach’s Ojai Vineyard from back in the day when I had a print column “The Art Predator” for a weekly where I reviewed art shows, restaurants and whatever took my fancy, and was paid primarily in trade, mostly food and drink  (I could never say I was a starving artist.)

We had lots of trade at an Ojai restaurant which carried Adam Tolmach’s wines and I was thrilled to get to know many of them by the glass. It seemed that wine maker Tolmach often dropped off the odd bottle or two of wine that wouldn’t find its way onto a typical list or store. In particular, I remember being floored by one of his syrahs back in 1998.

So when I learned that Michael Meagher was a disciple of Adam Tolmach and was making his own wines under the Vino V label (V as in Ventura), that his limited edition wines (600 cases) are carried by restaurants like Campanile, and that his daughter was in my son’s kindergarten class, I wanted to get my hands on some and try it!tn

With this Wine Blogging Wednesday hosted by Remy Charest, pitting north vs south, here was a perfect opportunity to put a tasting together using a Vino V wine. Continue reading

WBW #55: Vino V CA Syrah vs which AUS Syrah?

wbw-new1Two questions: Where do you cellar your wine? And what should I drink from mine?

in the late 1950s,  my grandfather built a wine cellar into the hillside of his house, the floor made from water-washed Japanese stones used as ballast in a ship almost a hundred years ago.

He enjoyed his wine, but it didn’t take anything too exotic to please him–he drank chianti by the jug, the more unusual or interesting wines in the cellar supplied by friends. One day I will inventory what’s there and see if any of it is drinkable, much less valuable for more than a conversation or two.

Conveniently for me, my grandfather’s nearly empty wine cellar is less than a mile from my house as the crow flies, right up the hill from where we live near the beach. It’s just far enough away to keep me from ransacking it regularly, and it allows me to forget exactly what’s in there allowing the wine to age well past what it would if it was underneath our house which also maintains cellar like temperatures most of the year.tn1 Vino V syrah

For this Remy Charest’s Wine Blogging Wednesday, I decided to do syrahs (no surprise to anyone who knows my fondness for them!), and to compare Vino V’s White Hawk syrah with something from Down Under. So yesterday I headed up to the cellar to see what I had stored that would be a worthy competitor to Michael Meagher’s wine. Continue reading