Browsing Tag

Oakville

John Turi - Wine, Red Wine

Screaming Eagle, Second Flight, 2008

Wine Rating: 95

I have waited a long time to bring you this review, to celebrate both wine and winemaker. There is much I wish to tell you about both, and at the risk of seeming overly enthused (which I am), I’m keeping this usual narrative and personal intro a bit more succinct. But know this: this wine, by far, is one you must try.

It is the best of wines. It is the worst of wines. The year was 1992 in Oakville, California. A real estate broker planted a small 54 acre vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon with the help of a well-respected and very well-known winemaker. Three years later, history was made when a mere 200 cases were bottled and Napa Valley would never be the same again. It was then that a wine legend was born, and it’s also considered to be when one of California’s first cult wines was discovered. The term “cult wine” started in the mid-‘90s and refers to highly rated wines, usually a 96 point or above, by the likes of Robert Parker and Wine Spectator, and which are limited in production to 600 – 1000 cases a year or less.

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Maybach Wine
John Turi - Wine, Red Wine

Maybach, Materium, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005

Wine Rating: 95

“But everybody’s like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece…” – Lorde from the song ‘Royals’

Summer is over, put the white wine away for a few months and enjoy the rich robustness of red grape varietals like Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel to name a few. The holiday season is here and spending quality time with family and friends while enjoying a powerful red is something I look forward to as soon Labor Day ends and the beach chairs are put in the shed for the next 9 months.

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John Turi - Wine, Red Wine

Harlan Estates, The Maiden, 1997

Wine Rating: 93

Some people know the stats for their favorite baseball players since ’59. I have a co-worker who, as a hobby, is a historian on all things Napoléon. Nearly everyone has their thing. Wine is mine. On Facebook, I post photos of my wine allocations and bottles I’m having at dinner. I read wine books about historic wineries and all sorts of varietals. I spend many hours online searching wine auctions, seeing what hidden gems I can find. I do about two weeks of research for every article I write. At every restaurant I go to, I find myself redoing their wine list in my head and I share, with whomever I’m dining with, what I believe they should be selling. All my friends refer to me as the Wine Geek. They ask me “What should I bring to a dinner party I’m attending?”

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Far Niente Wine Review
John Turi - Wine, Red Wine

Far Niente, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2003

Wine Rating: 93

December is my favorite month – for drinking. This time of year I tend to acquiesce to over-indulgence; eating too much, buying to many gifts, feeling more melancholy than usual and more often than not… drinking too much during family gatherings or office parties. Yes, this festive time is about going over-the-top and dealing with it all in January with a ‘New’ attitude. Nevertheless, this month’s columns focus is all about the grape. A faultless time of year for wine lovers… or is it? My wife, my family and my good friends know one thing when it comes to me and gift giving: “do not buy me wine.” It’s that simple. So if you know someone who is any kind of aficionado, an enthusiast, a devotee of any sort, nine times out of ten you will end up getting them something they already have or something they find second-rate. I don’t want to appear crass or unappreciative, but rather save you money and disappointment when the intended recipient meets your gift with a less than overwhelming reception or you learn later that they gave it away at the ‘white elephant’ party or worse… they just pitched it. It has happened time and time again.

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