2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 10 Years After (part 1)

WineSnark 2006 Napa Cab ShowdownNapa Valley has proven time and again that when it comes to Cabernet Sauvignon (and its half-sibling Meritage), it is capable of producing some of the world’s most jaw-dropping, heart-thumping, and awe-inspiring interpretations of this celebrated variety. Napa Valley Cabernet’s most provincial quality, some might argue its finest quality, is its graceful power. Not its significant weight and texture- which can present itself like a sumo wrestler in a silk robe, nor its lumbering relationship with oak – which has been known to make termites weep with joy, not even its bold concentration, although it can offer palette-crushing substance. No, the reason we celebrate Napa Valley Cabernet is the same reason we embrace Olympic Rugby but not Olympic Badminton. It’s the reason we love Star Wars, Stephen King, NASCAR, and ribeye with the bone in.

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The Most Interesting Man in the World is Banished to Mars!

Most Interesting Man goes to Mars

His waterbed is filled with 1945 Chateau Pétrus.

When he buys a bottle of wine, The Wine Advocate automatically gives it 100 points.

He once created the Wine of the Year with Popeil’s Veg-O-Matic and some Tupperware. 

He is … “The Most Interesting Man in the World”.

At least he was until Dos Equis, the beer brand he helped turn into a popular internet meme, announced he was being replaced by a younger actor. Jonathan Goldsmith, the 77 year-old star who has WineSnark Don Carter Don't Drink and Danceplayed the role since the ad campaign’s inception in 2006, is much more than an old guy with a smarmy Fernando Lamas accent and a bad spray-on tan. He is the life of parties he has never attended. When he drives a new car off the lot, it increases in value. He was last seen entering a rocket ship headed for outer space where he is destined to become “The Most Interesting Man on Mars”.

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Forget The Oscars, Emmys & Grammys. It’s The Yeasties!

The 87th Academy Awards are tonight and filmmakers and actors will soon know if they won an Oscar (the metaphorical equivalent of a 100 point score) or came in second place (equal to 89 points and a one way ticket to the close-out bin). Since a wine awards show is long overdue I’m reposting my ideas for the Academy Awards of Wine.

Chapter Five, Part Two.
The Wine Trophy CupHumans are a competitive lot. We’ve created entire industries that do nothing more than grade, score, award, and rate everything from our kids to our eggs. Does it bother you that your kids go off to school and the best they can rate is an A, but your eggs are graded AAA before they’ve even crossed the road?

Speaking of eggs, if you feel the need to put wines into a pecking order, evaluation systems have been developed to help objectively rate and record your observations. There are systems based on pure science (one short-lived magazine based their ratings on chemical analysis without ever tasting any wine) and systems cloaked in pretense (for just $499 you can own The Connoisseurs Master 60 Aromas Kit in a beautiful wooden display box!).

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The Future’s Not Ours To See. Que Syrah, Syrah.

Ballard Canyon Syrah grapes hangin' around in July.

Ballard Canyon Syrah grapes hangin’ around in July.

When attending wine tasting seminars, proper etiquette requires you comport yourself with professionalism, propriety, and dignity. You will learn, as I have, that if you conduct yourself with all due decorum, chances are you’ll end up face down under a table.

Earlier this year I attended a seminar in Santa Barbara featuring several winemakers from Ballard Canyon, one of California’s newest A.V.A.s located in the Santa Ynez Valley.  The seminar was followed by a tasting of impressive wines from the appellation. After listening to speaker after speaker, the moment that the audience had been waiting for finally arrived – the bathroom break.

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Become A Wine Critic Superhero.

Chapter Four, Part Two.
Wine critic super heroWine critic Robert M. Parker Jr. sets the standard when it comes to sniffing out and describing the aromas found in wine. He has a unique gift for making aromatic associations and it’s not unlikely that he possesses the greatest olfactory memory banks in the wine trade. This might explain why he has become the most respected wine critic on Earth (and possibly on Krypton).  What I’m trying to say is Robert Parker has memories like Wonder Woman has mammaries.

The Los Angeles Times summed it up best when they called Parker, “the most powerful critic of any kind, anywhere.” Wow! That really does makes him like, a wine critic super hero.

Faster than a speeding simile! More powerful than a loco-metaphor! Able to leap tall bibliographies that are single bound!

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