Cape Gazette
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Wine

Eric Asimov's Wines Under $20 is worth a read

By John McDonald | Aug 06, 2012

Recently, I named Tim Mondavi as the winemaker for the RM Oakville 2009; several readers and a fellow from San Fran immediately drubbed me verbally. You were correct, of course. Although Tim Mondavi is talented at extracting great wine from To Kalon vineyard, he had nothing to do with this 2009.

The Oakville 2009 was produced by Genevieve Jannsens, who has been at the winery since 2005 when Tim left to found Continuum.  Tip of the hat to Ms. Jannsens on the 2009. Although I was aware Tim was long gone, having written of his new wine and advised all to read of the split in the family in "House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty" back in 2009 or 10, I had a brain cramp. Mrs. Jannsens, a French woman with an awesome training pedigree, formerly with Opus One for about 10 years, moved to RM in 1997 and was named Wine Star Winemaker of the Year in 2010. Thank you all for informing me, but was it necessary to take such delight in catching me? LOL.

Eric Asimov, NYT, Wines Under $20 is worth reading when you have time. Courtesy of Gary's; see http://www.garyswine.com/fine_wine/NYT_20.html. Your local guy should be able to find most of them. Remember, it is illegal to buy from out of state thanks to Pete and his fellow Dems. If you have no computer, a visit to your local library will be well worth your time. Lovely people doing great work can be found there.

Chards under $15: Duboeuf Macon Villages 2011, Carmel Road Liberated 2010, Valley of the Moon 2010 (for unoaked fans) and Louis Jadot Macon Blanc Villages 2010 are wines rated in the mid- to upper 80s. The Jadot would be my pick because it is home run priced under $10. It spiked to $15 back in May 2011. Aromas of apple blossoms, apples and  plums, balance integrated acidity with apple fruit, slightly tart, very clean,  flavors of  green herbs, tarragon comes to fore but not vegetal; mineral aromatic finish is refreshing.

Paolo, the Antinori Tiganello Toscana IGT 2007 is nearly into its drinking window. I’d say next year, drink through 2020. Good news - after going through the roof on Galloni’s 95 in Wine Advocate, it is into a more reasonable range priced under $75. Lovely herb aromas, hint of mint and some ripe raspberries also. On the palate licorice, blackberries, oak, vanilla and a hint of tobacco ride proper acid frame through a long finish.

Buy soon. It is disappearing from offerings.

Just sampled Chateau Lalande Listrac 2009. First 2009 I have found unworthy of its price around $150/case. Parker gave it props but I don’t see it. Avoid.

Womenwinemakers.com, in a current study, to confirm previous research,  found  9.8 percent of Cali wineries employ women wine directors compared to previously reported 15-20 percent.  In Wines and Vines, Lucia Albino Gilbert said, "I had heard that there were so many women winemakers and that women had shattered the glass ceiling."

Gilbert's current research refutes the quantity argument for women winemakers but “makes a strong case for them leading the quality charge and chipping away at that glass ceiling,” claims the article. A final pattern investigated was the combination of winemakers/owners and how gender impacted the percentage of those included in Opus Vino. The data showed that 14.2 percent of women owners/winemakers were included in Opus Vino, but only 9.7 percent of men owners/winemakers were in the book. I found that curious.

I agree with Ms. Gilbert to some extent. However, I would enjoy her opinion as to whether  the women are more frequently written up because they try to charm (cultivate) the largely male critics' corps. Many of the male winemakers, especially those who don’t own their own wineries, can be quite brusque if you have taken one of their  "children" to the woodshed, in my opinion.

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