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WBW 47: Brought To You By The Letter “S”

by Tim Elliott on July 9, 2008

For Wine Blogging Wednesday this month, our hosts Erin and Michelle from Grape Juice have presented us with a theme inspired by television series Sesame Street: Today’s Wine Brought To You By The Letter “S”. For those not familiar with the show, Sesame Street presented the alphabet to pre-school children one letter at a time with the help of Muppet characters. Erin and Michelle have asked wine bloggers to pick a wine with a connection with the letter “S” and post our notes.

The first wine to come to mind was made by Steve Matthiasson (the first “S”) from Sauvignon Blanc, Ribolla Gialla and Semillon (two more “S” connections) grown in Napa Valley. I have long thought the most complex wines are made from a blend of varieties and was intrigued to taste such a blend when the winery send me samples (one more “S”) earlier this year.

Steve’s day job is as a vineyard consultant so he tends his own vines in his spare time on Sunday’s (another “S”). Matthiasson works with clients using both organic and biodynamic methods so I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Rudolf Steiner (yet another “S”), the father of biodynamic farming. Matthiasson’s total production is only a few hundred cases and his entire family is involved in the operation. This hands-on, natural approach and attention to detail really shows in the glass with this stunning white blend (my last “S”).

Tasting Notes:

Matthiasson, White Wine, Napa Valley 2006 ($35/sample) – Straw in color with very aromatic pineapple, lychee, fig, almond and spice on the nose. Fresh green apple, citrus and mineral flavors finishing quite long with bracing acidity. A delicious and unique wine that pairs well with food but makes a statement on it’s own.

13.6% ABV
Natural cork closure
Score: 92
Rating: ★★★★☆

So I have seven “S” connections in this post and will now send a shout-out to Erin and Michelle for their great theme. Stay tuned for more Wine Blogging Wednesday news and links to the round-up when it’s posted.

Photo by the Corkdork

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Winecast 69 – Semillon

by Tim Elliott on November 14, 2006

I return to try to answer a listener question from 2005 and talk about Semillon, the great grape of Bordeaux. I also review three wines from the New World.

00:21 – Welcome and show theme
00:32 – Listener question
02:11 – Semillon background
04:56 – Tasting Notes
05:04 – Kaesler, Semillon, “Old Vines”, Barossa Valley 2004 ($14) * +
05:41 – Chateau Ste. Michelle, Semillon, Columbia Valley 2003 ($9)
06:33 – Stormhoek, “The Sixteen Barrel”, Semillon 2004 ($20/sample)
07:50 – Best of tasting * and best value +
08:23 – Contact Details
08:43 – Next Show Theme

Feedback: winecast@gmail.com
Copyright 2006 Acan Media, Inc. Licensed to the public under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Direct mp3 Download
Direct aac Download


Winecast 67 – Stormhoek

by Tim Elliott on August 1, 2006

Today’s podcast is a return to my vintner profile format with an interview with Jason Korman and Hugh Macleod of the Stormhoek Winery.

Show Notes:
00:22 – Welcome
01:07 – Introduction of Stormhoek Winery
02:32 – Interview with Hugh Macleod and Jason Korman
29:16 – Tasting Notes
29:28 – Stormhoek, Pinot Grigio 2005 ($10)
29:46 – Stormhoek, Semillon, “The Sixteen Barrel” 2004 ($20) *
30:26 – Stormhoek, Pinotage 2005 ($10) +
30:51 – Best of Tasting *
30:56 – Best Value +
31:06 – Contact Details
31:45 – Next show theme

Feedback: winecast@gmail.com
Copyright 2006 Acan Media, Inc. Licensed to the public under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Direct mp3 Download
Direct aac Download (enhanced for iPod) – to be posted soon


Stormhoek Twin Cities Geek Dinner

by Tim Elliott on May 24, 2006

Last evening, sixteen Twin Cities bloggers, podcasters and wine lovers were introduced to the wines of Stormhoek at Zander Cafe in St. Paul. Luckily, thirteen bottles were ready to be consumed, so I thought we had more than enough. By evenings end almost 3 hours later, only two bottles of Pinot Grigio were still sealed.

The wine of the night was the stunning “The Sixteen Barrel” Semillon 2004; pear, fig, herbs, smoke and caramel in a very round, creamy package. We only had one bottle of this and my pours were too generous so we ran out before everyone had a chance to taste (including me; thanks to Garrick for allowing me to try some of his). The most popular wine of the evening was the 2005 Pinotage. As I said when I presented this wine, most Pinotage is very earthy and somewhat green in character (“weedy” is a term that comes to mind) and sometimes produces wines that are quite unpleasant to drink. It’s also a binary wine with people either loving or hating it. This was the first Pinotage I have tried with a large group where everyone enjoyed the wine. I think this is because Stormhoek has made this in a bold, jammy style featuring forward boysenberry and blackberry fruit with the earthy character of this varietal in the background. This tasted almost like a Shiraz, making me wonder how they do with that grape. We started the evening with the 2005 Pinot Grigio that was a quaffable citrus and green apple with a touch of minerality; good, but not close to the Pinotage or the delicious Semillon.

All in all, we were impressed with all three wines but wish we had some of the other varietals to try. Sixteen new Stormhoek customers here in Minnesota are now ready to pay for our further exploration 😉

Thanks to Jason and Samantha from Stormhoek for sending two parcels from the winery and Hugh for the great prints and brochure. I’ll be collecting my notes and audio from the evening and combining it with an interview with Jason and Hugh recorded at the beginning of the month for a podcast later in the week.

I expect to see some other impressions of the evening to be posted shortly and will collect them here:

– Garrick Van Burren has already posted his (nice Treo pic, Garrick!)
Dan and Lynn Hook’s podcast (he recorded part of the evening)