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Privacy, Copyright & Disclaimer's October 15, 2004 Monthly Newsletter

Greetings from, now 995 winery listings strong!

I took my fouth annual trip to Paso Robles and Santa Barbara wine region and had fun as always. Photos should be up by Sunday afternoon here.

And now, on to the show...

November 2004 Wine Releases's Winery Newsletters and Mailing Lists Sign Up Page: Click here.

The following 21 winery information pages have been updated since 9/15/2004:
  • Bell Wine Cellars; United States: California: Napa Valley
  • Caparone Winery; United States: California: Central Coast: Paso Robles
  • Chase Family Cellars; United States: California: Napa Valley
  • Clark-Claudon Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley
  • Core; United States: California: Santa Barbara County
  • D'Anbino Vineyards; United States: California: Central Coast: Paso Robles
  • Dunham Cellars; United States: Washington State
  • Esca Wines; United States: California: Napa Valley
  • Herb Lamb Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley: St. Helena
  • Jericho Canyon Vineyard; United States: California: Napa Valley
  • Medlock Ames; United States: California: Solano County: Alexander Valley
  • Monticello Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley
  • Paradigm Winery; United States: California: Napa Valley: Oakville
  • Quixote Winery; United States: California: Napa Valley
  • Radio-Coteau Wine Cellars; United States: California: Sonoma County
  • Redmon Family Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley
  • Ridge Vineyards; United States: California: Santa Cruz Mountains
  • Rocca Family Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley
  • Saviah Cellars; United States: Washington State
  • Velocity; United States: Oregon: Rogue Valley
  • Wilridge Winery; United States: Washington State

  • By The Barrel Winemaker profile with Brian Loring of Loring Wine Company

    Brian Loring is a new comer to the winemaking world and has already made a mark with his small production (110 to 340 case) Pinot Noirs. Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate gave five of his 2002 Pinot Noirs scores from 89 to 92+ and Jim Laube of Wine Spectator gave them scores from 90 to 95 recently. Not bad for a new comer... Brian is a software engineer by day and wine stained, forklift driving, winemaker by night (and weekends).

    Describe the pivotal point when you went from dreaming about making wine to actually doing it.
    I had met Norman Beko, the owner of Cottonwood Canyon Winery, at a tasting in Anaheim. We became friends, and after asking him about a million questions about winemaking, he offered to let me hang out during the 1997 harvest. I had such a great time that I went back for more in 1998. In 1999, Norman offered to sell me 3 tons Pinot, and I jumped at the chance.

    What was the first wine you remember tasting and where were you?
    It was probably some Andre "champagne" at Christmas when I was a kid. The first wine that made an impression was Chandon Brut. I got a job as a box boy at a wine shop when I was 16. The guys there were really into California wine, and I decided I needed to experiment a bit. My Mom would come buy stuff for me to try at home. Chandon was pretty new at the time, and was one of my early favorites. I followed that with the BV Private Reserves (�70, �72, �74) and then Chateau St. Jean Chardonnays. I was a wine geek by the time I was 18.

    Who has been the most influential in your wine making career?
    I guess Norman Beko because he gave me the opportunity. Josh Jensen (Calera) was the inspiration after reading the book The Heartbreak Grape. And Adam and Dianna Lee (Siduri) provided the road map of how to make Cali Pinot in a way that was new and exciting.

    What is your most memorable food and wine experience?
    A DRC dinner at La Toque in Hollywood in the mid 80�s. I was working at a wine shop in Hollywood, and they did an annual DRC dinner around Christmas. I don�t remember which vintage it was, but all the DRC wines were served. Amazing

    What is your favorite memory of creating wine?
    Probably my first pick at Garys� vineyard. In 2000, I stepped outside of the safety net of Cottonwood, and got fruit on my own. I rented a beat up flatbed truck and drove up to Soledad the night before the pick. That morning, armed with directions from Gary Franscioni, I headed out to find the vineyard, which I�d never been to before. It was before dawn (very dark) and there was dense fog. Gary said the vineyard was just past the cactus patch and had a green gate - you can�t miss it. Well, in the fog I couldn�t see much of anything, much less some cactus 30 feet off the road. And every single damn gate on River Road is green. I finally found the place, meet Gary Franscioni, and off loaded my bins. Just as I was about to head up with the crew to pick, a car comes roaring up the dirt road and skids to a stop. Out pops Gary Pisoni. It�s before 6AM and Gary is already wound up like a tornado. He comes over, starts shaking (pumping) my hand, and proceeds to tell me his whole grape growing / winemaking philosophy� in about 15 seconds. Then he was back in the car and off. Gary F had to do a slow motion replay for me.

    What food and wine paring is perfect?
    Champagne and BBQ�d ribs!

    What do you wish you could say on your wine label that you can�t?
    Nothing. I want people to make up their own minds about what�s inside. What I think doesn�t really matter.

    What is your opinion on alternative cork closures?
    I switched to synthetic corks (Neocork) for the 2002 vintage. I think they�re great for wines like mine that I don�t think will age for more than 5-6 years. If I was a Cab guy, I�d probably wait for more definitive results with regards to ageability. I�m seriously thinking of going to screwcaps soon, since I think that will be the ultimate winner in the battle of the closures.

    What is the funniest wine descriptor you have heard?
    "Tastes like the glue on a postage stamp". Rod Smith wrote that in one of his early articles in (I think) Wine and Spirits magazine. A lady walks into a wine shop and asks for the wine that tastes like the glue on a postage stamp. The clerk immediately says, oh you mean Pinot Noir. I still use that line sometimes. I also like to mess with people sometimes when they ask, "there�s something on the nose I can�t quite place. What is that?" I like to sniff, looked perplexed, then say, "Hamster?" Some people don�t get it.

    What do you want to tell the beer drinkers of America?
    Beer is a great beverage. If that�s what you like, drink away.

    If you weren�t a winemaker, what would your occupation be?
    What I do for my day job - software engineer

    Which words or phrases are overused in the wine world?
    Burgundian when describing Cali Pinot.

    What bits of advice do you have for an aspiring winemaker?
    Start now. Do whatever you can to start as soon as possible. Keep the day job as long as you can.

    What part of your job do you most enjoy? Least enjoy?
    I love just about everything except bottling. Bottling days suck. There are so many things that can go wrong and ruin a year�s worth of work. I don�t know any winemaker that likes bottling.

    How do you want to be remembered as a winemaker?
    That I made fun wine, and made wine fun.

    What is your greatest winemaking fear?
    I don�t know that I have any.

    What is your wine motto?
    Everything�s better with Pinot!

    For your last supper, what will be the food and wines?
    Champagne and BBQ�d ribs.

    First Crush New winery profile of AP Vin

    Andrew P. Vingiello (A.P.Vin) produces small batches of Pinot Noir from Garys� Vineyard in Santa Lucia Highlands. He got into the business after a lengthy phone call from Brian Loring. His inaugural release info his 2003 Pinot will be released this month.

    This issue's worthwhile wine site to visit is Wine-Searcher is the largest and most up-to-date resource for wine availability and pricing. The site scans prices from over 3,500 wine stores worldwide with over a million listings.

    Please forward this email to your wine friends so they can enjoy it as well.

    Till next month!

    Neil Monnens

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