Wine Time

Tasting Notes: This Week in Wine Blogs

Vintage Texas: Top Texas wine authority Russ Kane chronicles the bankruptcy filing and botched sale of one of the state's leading wineries, CapRock, in Lubbock. According to his report, New Mexico winery Gruet has been ordered to pay $4 million for a breach of contract after bidding in a bankruptcy auction but then not following through on the sale.

"For those of you that don't know what this is all about," he writes, "it all started in mid-2010 with an aborted bankruptcy auction for the CapRock Winery in Lubbock, Texas. Laurent Gruet, owner of Albuquerque's Winery and noted Champagne maker, Chateau Gruet, gave the high bid of $6.5 million for CapRock, but failed to consummate the sale (Round 1)."

Click here for details on the CapRock Caper.

Wine Thoughts: The Houston wine community is so lucky to have wine educator Sandra Crittenden, author of Wine Thoughts.

This week, her march through the appellations of Europe heads north to Germany and the white wines of the Mosel River Valley.

Her overview includes notes for ten wines, all available in the Houston market, ranging in price from $7-30.

As always, her tasting notes are solid and her writing concise and informed. (Does it show that we LOVE her blog?)

Wine Skinny: And on the subject of solid tasting notes, Houston publicist Robyn Tinsley delivers yet another set of her impressions of wines ranging from $9-70, including the coveted Robert Craig Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the most famous expressions of "mountain Cabernet Sauvignon" from the Napa Valley.

"Supple, silky," she writes, "ripe flavors of blackberry and blueberry, with an array of heady notes that include licorice, sweet brown spices, vanilla and toast. Tannins are in the background but definitely there. Appealing now, but should develop additional complexity with age."

A little pricey for our pocket books but hey, in the words of Mel Brooks, if you've got it, baby, flaunt it!

Check out the other nine wines she reviews here.

VineSleuth Uncorked: Wine and mommy blogger Amy Gross is a little bit more price-conscious. And she weighs in this week with a review of an under-$15 wine from Corbières in the Languedoc, France -- a great region for Q[aulity] P[rice] R[atio].

"I was very curious," writes Amy, "about this one as it is a blend of 60% Grenache Blanc, 20% Marsanne and 20% Roussanne. I am not sure that I have ever had any of those grapes before, so I just had to know how they would taste. And, seeing as the grapes were grown along the Mediterranean coast of France, oh-la-la, they were even more alluring. And they did not disappoint."

Oh-la-la, indeed!

Click here to read more about the Les Deux Rives Corbières Blanc and Amy's pairings.

On the Wine Trail in Italy: And beyond the Lone Star state, Dallas-based wine blogger and wine trade veteran Alfonso Cevola offers this insightful however poignant "state of the industry" essay in the wake of his visit to the annual Italian wine industry trade fair and his visit to myriad producers in Italy and then Bordeaux.

Italy is one giant vineyard and the Italians live in this melting pot of grapes. Wines are still relatively inexpensive. But there are shortcuts being taken, from the lowest level of industrial production to the highest appellations. No one is 100% pure in the wine business in Italy these days, if only by association. The yeast a winemaker uses might be sourced from China by way of New Zealand. Genetically modified so that any number of grapes come out tasting the same. Science for the masses developed out of rice famine mentality. Necessary for 1.2 billion Chinese but appropriate for the 300+ grapes in Italy?

If you're ready for the truth, click here to read the rest of this thoughtful piece.

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Jeremy Parzen writes about wine and modern civilization for the Houston Press. A wine trade marketing consultant by day, he is also an adjunct professor at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont, Italy. He spends his free time writing and recording music with his daughters and wife in Houston.
Contact: Jeremy Parzen