August has come and gone and with it is the summer that never happened. Weather has been unseasonably cool across the northwest and the brief glimpse of warm weather in late July and early August seems to be left as a teaser for summers gone by. The weather is affecting the vineyards too, leaving them 10-12 days behind. At this pace we could be harvesting the grapes with the Mayflower pilgrims. The cool weather certainly didn’t cool things down across the bloggersphere or here on DrinkNectar.
August ended with my streak of daily posts (weekday) stretching on to seven consecutive months now and with readership hitting an all time high, 25% higher than last month. I have to give major thanks to Ben Simons and Sean Sullivan for holding the fort down while I was on vacation in New York. I made the commitment to leave my laptop at home but thank goodness for smart phones and good friends!!
The list of wines reviewed here on the site has passed 200 but this month only saw 16 formal reviews. Choosing the best of the best was fairly difficult. Below are the best value wines under $15, best wines, and my Nectar Monthly Honors of my favorite articles served up on the twitter machine in August. It’s not quite as cool as winning an Emmy but the after party rocks! Cheers and Drink Happy!
To view previous monthly honors posts, click here!
WINES OF THE MONTH
Best Value Under $15
2008 Caterina Chardonnay $12 (REVIEWED HERE)
- The Stuff: 100% Chardonnay from Preston Vineyards. The wine was fermented in stainless steel and stored in 50% oak for 6 months. 13.5%ABV, 500 cases produced
- The Swirl: Lighter straw color reminiscent of wheat. In the glass the wine gives off a thicker viscosity
- The Sniff: Subtle nose (as typical of Chardonnay) with hints of toasted almond, honey, and cinnamon.
- The Sip: Very impressive with thick juicy flavors. A subtle effervescence greats the tip of your tongue and then gives way to an abundance of fruit. Lots of subtle layers in this full bodied white wine with honey, crisp pear, vanilla, and peaches. The finish on the wine has moderate acid and dissipates quickly.
- The Score: At only $12 this wine outperforms many at twice the price. This is a strong recommend and a definite re-buy for any food appropriate dinner or Chardonnay lover. 4/5
90pts Wine Enthusiast; Paul Gregutt
No runner up selected for August
Recently, I spent a weekend with Sean Sullivan of Washington Wine Report. Our agenda was world wine blogging domination but we did manage to get out and about in the town of Yakima for a few hours of wine tasting. One of our stops was the highly recommended Gilbert Cellars. The stop did not disappoint.
The Rhone inspired Allobroges is Gilbert’s flagship wine. At only $20 the Syrah focused blend of 55% Syrah, 31% Mourvedre, and 14% Grenache is a wonderful blend of smooth spice, dried fruit, and earth driven structure. As we tasted through the selection of wine, the Allobroges stood out as being balanced and intriguing. I expected it to be at the top of their price tier, not the lower end. With a 700 case production, winemaker Justin Neufeld fermented the grapes in small one ton bins before moving the juice to age for 22 months in 17% new French and American oak barrels. 14.7%ABV. 4/5
Runner Up – William Church Winery 2009 Viognier $21 (REVIEWED HERE)
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS FROM AUGUST
The Best Social Media Advice
Most Interesting Movie and Wine Tie In
Marketing Post Worthy of a Bookmark
Favorite New Blogger Feature
365 Days With Champagne by Dale Cruse of DrinksAreOnMe.net – Follow Dale’s journey as he celebrates every day of life with a glass of sparkling wine (or two…or three). Dale is super talented, creative and a great conversationalist on Twitter! Follow him @dalecruse
Friends Pursuing a Dream
In August I watched two good friends demonstrate their bravery by leaving the comfort of their normal routines to pursue their dreams in the wine business. Ed Thralls from WineTonite.com trekked across the country to be a cellar rat at Holdredge Winery. Ed, good luck my friend, here is to your future! Washington is calling!
Also throwing caution to the wind is fellow amigo Ben Simons from Vinotology. For the last week, Ben has been pimping, schlepping, demonstrating his mad skills across the great state of California in search of a gig in marketing at a winery. Ben is a talented project manager, writer, and understands the relationship marketing world we are now in. ANY winery would be smart to hire him…hellooooo…Washington!
A Revolution Begins
A lot of debate occurs about the place of the 100 point scale in the wine world. Vintank, and several influential bloggers, are looking to unseat the balance of power by introducing a “BADGE” method of rating. Check out all the great posts here. Lots of amazing conversation and debate.
- Vintank – Why We Think the Badge Concept Will Work
- VinTuba – It’s Time for a Wine Democracy
- Vinotology – Maybe We Do Need Stinking Badges
- DrinkNectar (that’s me) – Changing the Wine World One Badge At A Time
Most Creative Use of Video
suburbanwino very clever concept from @SipWithMe http://bit.ly/c2UuR5 – Wine is Truth and Everything Is Not As it Appears To Be. If you haven’t seen this video it is quite creative. In fact, I think Tamara holds the record for most mentions in these “monthly honors” posts now!
Posts That Made Me Spit Wine Out of My Mouth
DrinkNectar Most Read Post
Relationships Sell Products – Spawned from the tweet “So far, there has been very little proof that social networking sells wine,” I talk about measuring ROI (Return on Investment) for a social media strategy. My favorite part about this post is the comments. Several intelligent, well thought out responses helped add to the overall value of the post! http://drinknectar.com/2010/08/17/relationships-sell-products/