2010 Hoddles Creek 1er Yarra Valley Chardonnay, Victoria, Australia

Wine making is as much a philosophical endeavour as any, probably more than most; for liquids capture the life force— the essential Prana or Chi— as well as the essence of intention. Therefore, the glass contains not only the wine, but the winemaker’s intent and to a certain extent, his or her …

2011 Tomero Torrontés, Mendoza, Argentina

2011 Tomero Torrontés “Wisps of perfume, lilac, verbena, jasmine…finishing dry on notes of clove and chestnut.” I try —though not always successfully—to avoid the curlicued, quasi-baroque descriptives when commenting on wine. Still, far too many reviewers—myself included, no doubt— fall over themselves reaching for the lofty oenological bon mot, one …

2006 Cigare Volant, Bonny Doon Vineyards, Santa Cruz, California

In Victoria Finlay’s fine book, ‘Colour’, she devotes several pages to the story of the “first” pigment used for painting, Ochre.  Along the way, Finlay relates Ochre’s importance to Australian Aboriginal culture; entire thousand-mile round-trip peregrinations devoted to obtaining and bringing back the red clay. Considered most sacred was the …

Auxey Duresses ‘Les Crais’ 2009, Jean-Claude Boisset, Côte-d’Or, Nuits Saint Georges, France

Have you ever had a long conversation with someone you just met, and weeks later the conversation still resonates, pinging around in your head at unexpected moments? Well, that’s what running into this wine was. ( I didn’t exactly run into it.  See ‘The Back Story’ below.) Yes, this is …

Ten Minutes by Tractor 2010 Estate Pinot Noir, Victoria, Australia

We live in a shallow culture enamoured with big things, e.g., BIG scores, BIG money, BIG houses…the “McMansions” built with the vulgar, coarse mortar drawn from a pit called Ostentation.  And of course, much ado is made about big wines. The “Big Guns”. The “Power-House” reds.  The “Mo-Fo” wines…  Along …

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