March came in like a lion and went out like a lion. An all time high of 30 posts with 28 formal wine reviews made for a busy month. Aside from the ‘formal reviews’ I bet I tasted close to 100 different wines at Taste Washington, at restaurants, and ‘relaxing’ at home.
With amazing online wine activities like #SauvBlanc on March 4 and #WAMerlot and Taste Washington 3/25-28 the wino activities were never ending. It’s pretty inspiring to think that the two main Twitter events for March could have driven sales upwards of 350 cases of wine and millions of brand impressions, engaging thousands of consumers world-wide. Sit back and think about that for a second.
The Nectar Monthly Honors is a recap of the BEST the Month had to offer.
Wine of the Month
Best Value Under $15
2007 Desert Wind Winery Sauvignon Blanc [reviewed here] $15
- The Stuff: 100% Wahluke Slope Sauvignon Blanc, Stainless Steel fermentation; 432 cases made
- The Sniff: Wholly tropical fruit Batman. This wine instantly transported my nose to Hawaii with Guava, Peach, and Pineapple aroma. I instantly fell in love with the nose and wished it could be bottled as a summer body spray for my wife.
- The Sip: Less dynamic on the flavor profile. The guava was mellow on the front and earthy herbs presented themselves on the mid-palate. The finish was lemon/lime tart but washed away nicely after a few seconds.
- The Score: At just $15, I score this a 4 (out of 5). This is a great value and is a wine that will impress at parties and provide a fantastic drinking experience in the summer months.
*Runner Up: NV Segura Viudas ARIA Estate Brut – Spain [reviewed here] $8
The best wine I had all month actually came from Taste Washington and was the Cote Bonneville 06 from Yakima Valley. Since I didn’t do a formal review, it doesn’t qualify.
2006 Fielding Hills Merlot [reviewed here] $36
Yes, I drank a ton of Merlot this month (8 to be exact) – what do you expect with March being #WAMerlot?
- The Stuff: Single vineyard Wahluke Slope AVA, 80% Merlot 11% Cab 9% Syrah, aged 19 months in 77% new oak, 14.3%abv, 163 cases
- The Swirl: Dark plum with beautiful jewel tones toward the edges. Mostly opaque
- The Sniff: Overwhelming aromas of cherry, smoke, and hints of spicy bacon. Amazed at how aroma profile changes as it comes through the nose.
- The Sip: A mouthful of joy! The black cherry fruit skips across your tongue and then transforms into undertones of smooth violet perfume, that then release themselves to cocoa flavors. The acidic finish brings a nice wash across the back of the mouth as the finish lingers for eternity.
- The Score: At $36, I score this wine a 4+ (out of 5) and would easily buy it again and again. The balance between complexity, flavor, and drinkability are impeccable.
Cellar Tracker Score 93pts (1 score); Wine Spectator Score 93pts
*Runner Up: 07 Longshadows Pedestal Merlot $55
Random Favorite Highlights from March
The post that made me spit wine out of my nose – Sommelier Starts a Winery: Originally seen on Wino Magazine, the credit for the humorous video goes to Greg from Gramercy Cellars. “Campy and rough, it still demonstrates the ridiculous misconception of what being a winemaker (or owning a winery) is all about. Winemakers watching this will snicker if not guffaw.”
Best Wine Quote: From Rudy @merlove during the #WAMerlot Twitter Tasting
”#wamerlot our most expensive Merlot smells of Gasoline and unshaven armpit and tastes like wooden strawberries”
Best Wine Post (sensual) – This goes to none other than my good friend and stellar writer Tamara at Sip With Me. My Date With Pinot Noir (warning either have a cold shower running or your significant other nearby)
Best Wine Image – This month’s award goes to the amazing Andy Katz whose image “The Golden Oak” was featured on Vinography, March 12.
Best Social Media Post – I recently discovered super tweeter @sung_h_lee. It seems that every tweet he provides becomes a favorite. Of the amazing articles on Social Media I read this month, my favorite was, “Thirty Best Ways to Build Blog Traffic”
DrinkNectar Most Viewed Post – “How do you define a bargain” (50+ comments) The post really struck a chord with people looking for value wine. While the post and videos that followed were birthed from a Grocery Outlet promotional campaign, visitors resonated with the message. My favorite part about this post was the fact that actual consumers, and not other bloggers, were the ones that read it and made comments.
Best New Blog Series – United Slurps of America; This incredibly creative concept is the brain child of the he said / she said blog at www.swirlsmellslurp.com. The premise, drink wine with another blogger in all 50 states. The challenge, damn distribution laws. The results, so far Pennsylvania, Washington (with yours truly) Michigan and Texas. This is a MUST bookmark just see if they can make it through with their livers in tact!
Lastly, I’d like for all of us to pause for a moment of silence in remembrance of two dear blog brothers who are no longer with us. March 2010 saw the loss of two of the most entertaining blogs related to wine.
Hosemaster of Wine; RIP
On March 17, Ron Washam, Hosemaster of Wine announced a hiatus from his controversial, humorous and satirical blog. He leaves us with these words.
“First of all, thank you to everyone who took time out of their lives to read my crap. I sincerely appreciate it. Secondly, to anyone I genuinely offended, I humbly apologize.”
Dale Cruse Drinks are On Me; RIP
March 30 was a dark day in the wine world. Wine bloggers around the world lost a trusted friend, good resource and visual inspiration. Dale Cruse announced he was shutting down his site in pursuit of new explorations. Personally I will miss Dale’s brand of wine humor. Good luck Dale!
*Just an observation, but could Dale and Ron be the same person? Maybe this is an elaborate scheme to break through with some super uber new sexy snarky blog that will blow the world away… #justsayin*