One of the coolest things about the enoblogosphere this year is the number of European wineries who are posting dispatches from the harvest. I loved the above photo of grapes for Vin Santo posted by my friend Ale at Montalcino Report (he’s been posting regularly about weather conditions and harvest progress).
My friend Laura, also in Montalcino, posted this brutally honest report about the recent heat spike there, entitled “Can someone please turn the hairdryer off?” Not everyone in Montalcino has embraced transparency but a few brave souls like Ale and Laura have.
It’s been a few weeks since he’s posted, but my buddy Wayne in Colli Orientali del Friuli has posted some great photos of harvest (like the one above), including some shots of the young Ethan Bastianich!
Back in July, Wayne did this amazing however sad post of images documenting hail damage in Collio.
Today at the Boutari blog, we posted some images and a report from the harvest in Naoussa by enologist Vasilis Georgiou. Those are Xinomavro grapes, above, waiting to be picked.
Although he doesn’t have a blog, my good friend and Pasolinian comrade Giampaolo Venica has been using social media to document the harvest in Collio. He sent me the gorgeous photo of dawn (above) to illustrate the time of day that they begin picking the grapes, when temperatures are coolest. Beautiful, no?
There’s no doubt in my mind that the 2011 harvest in Europe has been documented like no other before it… all thanks to the internets and a growing number of forward-thinking winemakers.
Know a winery that’s posting about harvest this year? Please share a URL in a comment and let’s a list going! Buona vendemmia yall!
was this 1998 Venica & Venica Collio Sauvignon, shared with us yesterday over lunch by our good friend Giampaolo Venica…
Gently oxidative nose, ripe and deliciously overripe stone fruit flavors, and rich texture in this nearly 13-year-old bottling of Sauvignon. Paired with this wine, paper-thin slices of D’Osvaldo guanciale and crusty bread bordered on the oneiric…
Steve and I agreed that the best wine we tasted yesterday was the 1991 Rosso del Gnemiz by Ronco del Gnemiz, one of my favorite wineries in the world.
I was so utterly psyched to get to meet the family, taste and talk with them. That’s son Iacopo and winemakers Christian Patat and Serena Palazzolo below.
I’m looking forward to posting my notes on what Serena, Christian, and Bobby had to say about this amazing property and the wines it delivers… Stay tuned…
Above: They crowd last night was like putty in our jazz hands.
It’s still not clear to me why our manager booked us at an all-ages show at a video arcade in San Jose but he did. The other one of life’s little ironies last night was the fact that technically we were in “wine country” California (a stone’s throw from Santa Clara and Santa Cruz) and despite the abundance of wine bars revealed in a google maps search, there was very little wine I could find to drink. The venues closest to the video arcade where we played (who knew video arcades still existed?) were Barra di Vino (a would-be Italianate temple of Cabernet Sauvignon) and UnWined, a cleverly if perhaps inaptly named but clean and smart operation nonetheless.
Above: The domestic charcuterie plate at UnWined wasn’t bad and the very reasonably priced Vocoret 2006 Forêt really hit the spot.
Somehow we ended up at UnWined (don’t trust Google maps to get you there, btw) where I found an impressive list of big, bold barriqued California wines and two bottlings I could actually drink: the Vocoret 2006 Forêt Premier Cru and the Venica 2006 Collio. We opted for the former because it was already chilled since they are also currently serving it by the glass. (Check out Eric’s article on Chablis. I wish Raul at UnWined would take Eric’s advice: “Because good Chablis is subtle, it is crucial not to serve it too cold, which will mask the flavors. Barely cool is just about right.”)
Feeling compelled to drink something local, I also asked for the “least barriqued” Pinot Noir by the glass on the list and was served a Candela 2006. The staff at UnWined was very friendly and knowledgeable about the list (they told me they decant nearly every red wine served by the bottle, the “Cabs” and “Zins” needing extra time to open up, said our server).
Above: Céline Dijon (aka Verena Wiesendanger) did the dance of the Momie last night. For a change, I played Jean-Luc Retard’s (aka Dan Crane’s aka Björn Türoque’s) killer 70s-era SG instead of my John Carruthers custom Sunburst Tele with mint-green pickguard.
It was just one of those nights: the gig was strange but fun and we ended up back at the hotel drinking beers and laughing too loudly. I’m lucky to be in a band with folks whose company I really enjoy sharing. Ryan (aka Morris “Mars” Chevrolet) reminded me that — on stage and off — the music is ALWAYS fun.
You might have heard I run with a dangerous crowd
We ain’t too pretty we ain’t too proud
We might be laughing a bit too loud
But that never hurt no one
Tonight at Spaceland in LA is sure to be a fun one, too. I can’t wait to see all my old friends and be reunited with that gorgeous lady of mine.