The monthly Wine Focus discussions are now held in the main Wine Forum (above). The forum remains open as an archive, but please post comments and questions in the Wine Forum.
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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How about nominations for September!!

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:37 pm

Not quite sure where everybody is but we should get going on September eh. Ian Sutton has a good list going somewhere, have to repost here. I think Merlot should be in the running for consideration also Languedoc though I suspect availability could be an issue?

Edit, OK, Ian`s list.....>

- Sangiovese based wines
- wines with cheese, experimenting with combinations
- Classic wine/food pairings ... does the combination work, if so why?
- Mature wine from Bordeaux grapes (always a danger of pricing people out, but probably easy enough to find a mature (non-classed growth) or local blend.
- Southern France (Languedoc/Roussillon/Provence)
- Southern Italy
- Merlot (Life after Miles)
- Branded wine - does it have soul? (For this we're mainly looking at corporates and especially wines blended across sites)

As an addition.....I think an organic wine theme might be of interest?
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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by Sue Courtney » Sun Aug 30, 2009 6:12 pm

Organic - plus Biodynamic could be good.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by David M. Bueker » Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:00 pm

I like the organic/biodynamic idea. Let's just not get to pedantic about it (as many "true" organic wines are rather unstable due to very low/no sulfur).
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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by Salil » Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:24 pm

I would love to do an Austrian focus at some point soon.

Organic sounds very cool... have a great wine in that theme I'm dying to open soon as well. :D
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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:05 am

I think organic might work too!! There is quite a selection out there and I feel sure some forumites will turn up some lesser-known names when they scout out the local shelves. Plus excuse to buy Alsace, some true organic winemakers there eh!
Who can come up with the utlimate definition of "organic"!!
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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by Tim York » Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:31 am

Organic/biodynamic is a good idea though most of the latter tend to come from expensive producers, e.g. Dom.Leflaive, Zind-Humbrecht. I also like the ideas of Langudoc and Merlot. Is availability really an issue with Languedoc in the USA and Canada?
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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by Sue Courtney » Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:02 am

Tim, maybe a challenge would be searching out organic / biodynamic wines from lesser known producers. I sure they all can't be expensive - I mean they are not forking out a fortune in chemicals, are they. :wink:

Also, I would have thought wines from the big Lanquedoc lake would be available pretty much anywhere. Some may even be organic!!!!
There's a few at this link - www.organicwinepure.com

Cheers,
Sue
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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by David M. Bueker » Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:20 am

Very limited Languedoc availability in my area. There used to be more but they were a tough sell, so in these difficult times my local shops have stopped stocking them.
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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:50 pm

Tim York wrote:Organic/biodynamic is a good idea though most of the latter tend to come from expensive producers, e.g. Dom.Leflaive, Zind-Humbrecht. I also like the ideas of Langudoc and Merlot. Is availability really an issue with Languedoc in the USA and Canada?


Had not thought about the expense thing Tim. I would like to go with some of the organic wines from Bonterra, about $22 here.
Languedoc. Great availability for me here in Edmonton as you know! David has said before about lack of interest in his area but feel sure other cities might have a better selection? There are some terrific wines for those in the know eh.
Merlot. Much neglected but good selection around. There are some interesting wines from regions one would not normally connect with this varietal.

****There have been some great reports from the S Rhone of late. Cotes du Rhone should be up for consideration sometime soon.
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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by Ian Sutton » Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:23 pm

Bob
I wonder whether Languedoc might be an option for open mike (both here and elsewhere) - perhaps as an alternative to Priorat (and with the threat of offering much better VFM). Maybe picking out one or two appellations for specific focus. Obviously more potential on one of the other forums, but I suspect enough for an open mike here?

For September, whilst merlot/merlot dominant is certainly one that has great merit, I fear we couldn't run this close to my favoured option of Bordeaux (grape) blends with some age on them. For personal preference, I'd prefer either to run the Merlot this month or next (and if we're to make a play on the Miles factor, time is running out somewhat), then aged bdx grape blends in (say) March/April of next year OR line the aged bdx grape blends up for Sept, Oct or Nov

p.s. Are we going for Champagne/sparkling wine + Port/Fortified double header for December. I seem to recall discussing it, but my memory is like one of those kitchen implement, you know, with the holes in it, used for sifting stuff...

Other thoughts - just to cloud our thinking :twisted:
- Emerging classics? Picking on (at times) trendy but serious attempts at establishing a new classic e.g. NZ Syrah, Cali / Aussie / Israeli Nebbiolo, English sparkling wines ( :shock: :oops: ), Priorat & other emerging areas of Spain, Languedoc. Best perhaps to limit to (say 8-10) suggested options so we run the risk of more than one note from each region? The aim being to throw some data points as to whether we feel the potential is bigger than the hype. Might be a chance to focus on smaller areas that wouldn't normally get a look in, other than open mike.

- sale wines - bargain or not. Focused not on the wine regions, but only on wines which were obtained either in a sale, or at a notionally bargain price. Do they offer good value or were they cheap for a reason?

- Cali vs. Rest of the States. Although perhaps difficult for the rest of us, far from impossible. The idea being to highlight and showcase wine from other states (perhaps better to just make it USA but not California?) as against the historical Calif/Napa focus us lot tend to see / hear

regards

Ian
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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by Ian Sutton » Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:28 pm

Bob
It must be a while since we did Rhone blends?
I reckon we could widen the focus subtly to include all wines using a blend (i.e. discouraging varietal wines) of Rhone grapes e.g. Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussane, etc. Plenty of Rhone rangers in Aus, US and of course France (but also taking in some of the South of France producers using those grapes).

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Sue Courtney

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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by Sue Courtney » Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:40 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:Bob
It must be a while since we did Rhone blends?
I reckon we could widen the focus subtly to include all wines using a blend (i.e. discouraging varietal wines) of Rhone grapes e.g. Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussane, etc. Plenty of Rhone rangers in Aus, US and of course France (but also taking in some of the South of France producers using those grapes).

regards

Ian


I've bumped up the Wine Focus topic summary to help the discussions.

We did Syrah and Syrah blends in Feb 09 - so that's pretty close to Rhone blends.
I see we also did Languedoc a couple of years ago.

I'd still vote for organic / biodynamic - they are an increasing commodity and available everywhere.
Merlot would be probably heaps more accessible, though - I could join in that one too.
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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by Shaji M » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:04 pm

I am with the organic/biodynamic crowd as well.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by David M. Bueker » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:10 pm

Due to the shortage of time I am going to go with our limited consensus & post "Organic/Biodynamic" later this evening.
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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by Ian Sutton » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:31 pm

Another '*bright/Rad/daft' idea from me.... Desert Island wines. Picking up on the desert island discs concept (I'm guessing this is known internationally), each person selects 12 wines to drink in the month, that would offer them variety and interest - the sort of wines where if pushed, you could make do with a limitless supply of just those dozen wines. We could make life easier and drop this to 10 bottles, maybe even just a half dozen?

The thinking behind this is:
a) An excuse to rollout some old favourites, wines you keep returning to.
b) To explore what a 'balanced collection' means to folk here.
c) To get an insight into each other's core tastes (I wonder how many german rieslings David B would include ...?)
d) An excuse to pull out one or two treasured bottles, which might be waiting for a suitable excuse!
e) By setting a 12 (or 10 or 6) bottle limit, we're encouraging people to post throughout the month (often focus loses a little steam after a week or two). Hopefully this would keep everyone going strong until the end of the month.

regards
Ian

* delete as appropriate
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Robin Garr

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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by Robin Garr » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:32 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Due to the shortage of time I am going to go with our limited consensus & post "Organic/Biodynamic" later this evening.

Excellent! Thanks for reaching this conclusion in my benign absense, folks. Organic/Biodynamic is a fine idea, and I really don't think expense or availability is going to be a huge problem. Bonterra in the US, for instance. Mas de Gourgonnier in France. There's bound to be a few Down Under. This opens all sorts of intriguing options, too, for side-by-side tastings between organic or bio and "industrial" wines of similar variety, vintage and price. Is there a difference in the glass? I have my doubts, but there's no better way to find out than by tasting.

Lots of other great ideas for future months here, too, remembering that even as we move gradually toward re-merging forum sections, the monthly Wine Focus principle will remain very much alive.
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:43 pm

Think we should acknowledge the fine points mentioned by Ian, who is always keen to help us with his suggestions. More ideas to savour here, think Open Mike might be busy this upcoming winter.
What do others think/
Happy with the Sept subject too! Whose idea was that?
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Sue Courtney

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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by Sue Courtney » Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:38 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Happy with the Sept subject too! Whose idea was that?

Um, think you can pat yourself on the back for that one Bob. :P
Well done!
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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by Robin Garr » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:14 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Think we should acknowledge the fine points mentioned by Ian, who is always keen to help us with his suggestions. More ideas to savour here, think Open Mike might be busy this upcoming winter.
What do others think/
Happy with the Sept subject too! Whose idea was that?

Yes, Ian's ideas are great! I wish we could implement them all, all at the same time! :) But we can certainly keep them live for future Wine Focus and/or Open Mike discussions.
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Ian Sutton

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Re: How about nominations for September!!

by Ian Sutton » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:02 am

No pressure from me to implement any of them 8) - I quite enjoy coming up with the ideas :oops:
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