Time was, Rosemount and Lindemans were near-iconic names. Their wines introduced a great many Americans to how good Australia can be. They offered modestly priced wines that sang a lilting tune of fresh fruit, with a smooch of sweet oak.
Oregon's potential for Pinot Noir has long attracted winemakers from elsewhere. The earliest guys, including David Lett, Dick Erath and Dick Ponzi, came from California in the 1970s. Robert Drouhin from Burgundy made his first vintage at Domaine Drouhin Oregon in 1988.
While Joël Robuchon is shaking up New York with his new Atelier there, my wife and I stopped by his Las Vegas version earlier this week. We were driving back to California from Colorado. Las Vegas, with so many dining options, makes a welcome stopover midway through the two-day drive.
Len Evans died on Aug. 17 at the age of 75. The Australian commentator, winemaker, wine judge, raconteur and consummate host left a big footprint in the wine world. Read my obituary of him here. When I first met Len Evans, he was spitting.
We were dining at Montagna at the Little Nell, the A-list restaurant in the A-list hotel in Aspen, Colo. If you want to see celebrities and rich people, this is the place. It has a Wine Spectator Grand Award for its cellar and a new chef, Ryan Hardy, who came to the Nell from another enclave of the rich, Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.
A lot of people translate terroir to mean "soil," especially those who first encountered the term in Burgundy. There, you can find many instances of vineyards growing side by side with the same altitude, the same aspect, the same inclination to the sun.
To most of the world, Aspen is a luxurious mountain town with a reputation for being a snobby collection of rich people. Take it from someone who has spent parts of 13 summers here, locals don't see it that way.
Somebody asked Vinny the other day how to open a screwcapped wine bottle when the screwcap won't loosen easily. Dr. Vinifera , the ever helpful super mouse, or whatever he is, suggested a device that functions like one of those jar-lid removers.
I pulled the bag off an Australian Chardonnay I had just tasted and a sea horse was looking at me. This, I thought, is one critter I never thought I would see on a bottle of wine. But there it was on the bottle of Promised Land Chardonnay.
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