Irregular reflections of a wine lover – #64


Rising from the grave, my once weekly mumbo-jumbo newsletter has returned. Mostly about wine, or wine related stuff, I still allow myself to here express my thoughts in a more relaxed (some would probably say unconsidered) way. Comments are more than welcome, wanted actually!


Just turned 40. On my birthday, Francisco de Albuquerque and Filipe Azevedo, winemakers at Blandy’s in Madeira, poured me a Sercial from my birthyear 1972. Great wine from a great vintage. Still in cask. Thankfully I’m not. Amongst other amazing wines, I also tasted the 1870 Verdelho Solera which is such an elegant glass!

Then later on the same day, Luís d’Oliveira spoiled me with a glass of his divine 1850 Verdelho Vintage from the founding year of their house. In the evening, me and my girls (1 wife + 2 daughters so no-one gets confused) had pizza. Now, that’s what I call a day of contrasts. And a great way to celebrate 40.


A bit sad that the old school style of Rioja nowadays receives so little attention. When my personal opinion is that many of the modern wineries in Rioja are searching for an identity and quite often feels a bit dull and anonymous, we have the likes of La Rioja Alta, CVNE, Marques de Vargas, R. Lopez de Heredia, Beronia and to some extent, Muga, that delivers traditional wines.

But is it just me, having a weak spot for nostalgia or do I prefer old school Rioja to the new movements? I tasted the 2001 Reserva Especial from La Rioja Alta recently and the wine truly showed what Rioja still is  all about for me; integrated oak, plenty of it yes, but well handled, elegance, red berries and humus. Just loved it. This is a wine to own by the case and pop when you get nostalgic and need a reminder that everything doesn’t have to be new and modern.


Me and István Szepsy. Still moved by his generosity and amazing Tokaj wines. Uragya or Szent Tamás? Perhaps the Szepsy Szepsy? Can’t really chose the best single vineyard wine. Do I have to by the way; all had such unique personal styles. Dry Tokaj are close to world class when it comes from the master himself.

Furthermore; can’t stop thinking of my new love; high quality Hárslevelű. Szepsy’s version from the Király site might be one of the best I’ve had. That together with the awesome Betsek/Mézes-Mály from István Balassa. Time for an international recognition?


Biodynamic, natural wines, organic or sprayed to death; the debate seems a neverending story. It obviously stirs up emotions but personally I have long ago decided there’s no need to chose side, simply because I don’t care. If I like a wine I’m doing it because of the wine itself, not the production methods or philosophy of the winemaker. This black or white world just makes me think of Citizen Ruth and how unwilling many people are to accept a differing point of view. And yes, I love the Foillard 2010 Morgon. Try it with Grunge!


I’m on Klout, trying to understand what the fuzz is all about. Having an opinion about something needs investigation and giving it a serious try. I’ve done that now for quite some time and I must confess I’m not really getting it. Would love to hear from people who do, because at the moment it feels like Klout is not about measuring a specific person’s influence but instead only the person’s social media activity. It feels like the winners (if there are any), are those who participate in the social network race; updating statuses constantly, getting likes on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, +1s on G+, Linkedin….well, you name it.

So, should an impressive Klout score only be interpreted as one is spending too much time on Twitter, or for being famous for one’s knowledge on specific subjects – and not just famous for being famous? Checking the subject I mostly followy (wine), there are some names at the top which I fully agree are highly influential in the topic, yes. But there are also several names I’ve never heard of. I have checked them up and a lot of these are in the top because of an intense social media activity, not (my entirely own point of view) because they are producing a lot of quality materiel within the field – or have done so for a longer period of time.

Would you still call these influential? Are they contributing because of their social media activity which is priority to the subject being handled, and priority to knowledge accumulated over decades? This is not an attack on any individuals at all; I am simply trying to understand Klout. Please help me!


Silver Oak from the great 2007 vintage. The Napa Valley and Alexander Valley versions are both impressive wines that will reward the patient consumers. I’m still remembering the 1985 tasted blind earlier this year. A great drink and although fully mature, not falling apart at all.

Stop drinking your Californian wines too early. Just as with Bordeaux, patience is needed; actually I think the 1985 Silver Oak have outlived several Bordeaux wines from the same vintage.


I don’t get it. People go and buy an expensive fillet of beef, that’s ok. But with that they serve a wine from a bag-in box? I don’t get Swedes sometimes – we claim to love and cherish quality food but then why the love for dull mainstream wines that comes in a three liters box?


When’s the last time you had a pure Canaiolo? Never? Thought so, because few exists. But if you really want to get to know the grape, hidden in the Chianti blends, the L’Imbrunire from Villa Petriolo should be your choice. Only 1,200 bottles of this Canaiolo from the San Martino Vineyard, planted in 1970. No oak, the wine has aged in cement tanks, so you really feel the grape’s perfume, undervegetation and fruitiness.

Winemaker? Federico Curtaz who also makes the wine at Tenuta di Fessina in Etna. Federico worked for several years with Angelo Gaja and there’s a reason for that; the man knows what he’s doing. Find the wine here.


Thanks for visiting Wine Virtuosity. You’re just as welcome to like or hate the site’s FB page, tweet with me, read about my Madeira impressions, like or hate the Mad about Madeira FB page or simply do nothing at all.


  • What will happen if I comment on a post at Wine Virtuosity? Will my laptop explode? No. Will the site plant Trojan horses on my laptop? No. Will I add value to the site and give hope to the owner that somebody do care? YES!

  • patrickdh

    Happy belated birthday


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