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Megadeth's Dave Mustaine Sells Out … Cabernet

Plus, Washington's wine industry steps up for mudslide relief, a Burgundy vintner's sentence for refusing to use pesticides is reduced, and more

Posted: April 10, 2014

• The heavy metal wine label category's newest entrant took off like "a rocket" last month, according to Fallbrook Winery winemaker Vernon Kindred, who made Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine's new Mustaine Vineyards Cabernet. Mustaine and his wife, Pam, bought a house near Fallbrook in San Diego County, and a few months ago took a stroll up the winery's driveway to introduce themselves. What started out as a casual conversation quickly turned into a very real wine project, and Mustaine Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon California Symphony Interrupted Select 2012, priced at $40 a bottle, sold out all 59 cases made in less than 72 hours. "Both Dave and Pam were totally involved in picking the blend, and they chipped in and helped bottle it," Kindred told Unfiltered. "It turned out to be a really good wine—very drinkable." The wine was introduced as a "pairing" with Mustaine's upcoming Symphony Interrupted show with the San Diego Symphony on April 12 (also sold out). "They've gained a lot of knowledge [about winemaking]," Kindred said. "They came with a lot of knowledge, and I think they're going to continue on with more wine projects in the future." Unfiltered apologizes in advance to all readers in their 30s, who will no doubt have "Symphony of Destruction" stuck in their head for the rest of the week.

• The 17th annual Taste Washington wine-and-food extravaganza in Seattle tallied some impressive numbers last month: 60-plus restaurants, 200 Washington wineries and change, 4,000 attendees and—perhaps most important—nearly $10,000 raised for the American Red Cross, according to David Blandford of Visit Seattle. That money, generated from collection stations arrayed around the tasting, will go to the ongoing relief effort in Oso, Wash., which was hit March 22 by a 60 mph, 4,400-foot-wide, 40-foot-deep landslide, killing 36 people with 10 still missing as of April 10. "Each year our community comes together at this time for a great event, but this year there is a need and opportunity to join together and do all we can to support those affected by this tragedy," said Steve Warner, president and CEO of the Washington State Wine Commission in a statement. With homes leveled, victims still hospitalized and aid workers still searching through the wreckage, Oso needs as much money as it can get. Next up: a dinner and silent auction put together by chef Tom Douglas and winemaker Charles Smith, of his eponymous label and K Vintners. On April 22, diners will be able to sample 18 Washington wines, including Smith's and other hot names like Buty, Novelty Hill and Sparkman, and raise, hopefully, $30,000 more.

Emmanuel Giboulot, the Burgundy vintner facing jail time for his refusal to spray his father’s biodynamic vineyard with a state-ordered pesticide regime, has achieved a victory of sorts in his fight to maintain his 24-acre Côte de Beaune vineyard’s biodynamic status. His earlier sentence of six months in the slammer and a €30,000 fine, levied against him because he refused to spray a chemical pesticide for a pest that wasn't present in his vineyard, have been reduced—Giboulot is now free to go and will only face a €500 fine. However, Giboulot has said that he will appeal, and will continue to protect his right to operate his vineyard in a sustainable manner.

• Unfiltered also previously reported the pending availability of .wine and .vin Internet domains. ICANN has announced that it will postpone the offering of the hotly contested Internet domains for two months. The decision, which sprang from a March meeting of ICANN leaders in Singapore, will allow all parties involved to more precisely define the protective measures that will be in place prior to sale of said domains, specifically with the purpose of protecting unique Geographical Indicators such as Bordeaux, Champagne and Napa, as well as intellectual property belonging to specific regions and vineyards.

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