Friday, May 16, 2008

Robert Mondavi passed away today.

Robert Mondavi died today. He was 94 years old.

At 22 years old, I visited my first winery: Robert Mondavi. The tour guide was knowledgeable about his company, and delivered a very finely crafted shtick which ended in the winery's tasting bar/sales room.

Mondavi worked hard to personally market his wines nationally and abroad. Hardly a day passes without a Japanese customer requesting Opus One where I work.

Estate grown and bottled wine, boutique labels, and what is known in the industry as 'premium' or 'ultra-premium' wines continue to be where all of the sales growth is in the wine business. Basically, Robert Mondavi foresaw all of this when he split with his brother to form his own winery over 40 years ago.

All of the above is just a small part of Mondavi's legacy and lasting imprint on the American wine industry as well as the modern history of wine. Here is the AP obituary


If you ask me, reggae should be enjoyed year 'round, not just in the summer. But since it's another scorcher here, I thought I'd post some live reggae from one of the genre's finest: Anthony B. At around 3.50 he goes into his version of the Tamlins song - and one of my favorites, versioned by Everton Blender and many others - 'Baltimore.' So for many reasons here it looks like I found myself an ideal clip for OWOS. Yes, I! Enjoy the music.

A few short write-ups

Yesterday I had a glass of the '07 Francois Chidaine Touraine and it is crisp, punchy, bright, very clean Touraine. No Touraine greenness (not that this would have necessarily been a bad thing).

Bought a bottle of 2006 Palmina Dolcetto. It is very rare that I buy a current release bottle of California wine so allow me to explain myself. Palmina is a project (I know, I know, in the wine world it's always a 'project,') of the folks behind Brewer-Clifton. They make wine made from Italian varietals in Santa Barbara - Pinot Grigio, Barbera, Traminer, Malvasia, and others. Their 2005 Mattia (Refosco, cab franc, Merlot) is a wonderfully balanced, lively wine that I enjoyed with my family at Maverick, a popular restaurant/wine bar in the Mission, last year. Expecting something similar from their Dolcetto, I instead got a super heavy, CA ripe (bordering on sweet) version of the Piedmontese specialty. Dolcetto means 'little sweet one' but it is something of a misnomer as the wines are usually very dry. Not so with this wine. It was sweet and undrinkable.

To end on a positive note, I had the opportunity to drink (in moderate moderation, of course) a healthy amount of sherry, cava and champagne this week, so I'm a happy camper. You see, it's not all tough criticism and snarky attitude here.