Nectar Monthly Honors for September

September news has been dominated by the 2010 harvest.  Heavy rains in the Northeast, high heat in the Southeast, record lows then record heat in California and record cool temps in Washington have made this year’s grape growers and wine makers very nervous. Quality journalism and news continues to make its mark within the wine blogging community. The ability for bloggers to create quality content shows the future of wine news.

The month began with the massively successful world-wide Cabernet day. September ended with two sensational and unbelievable stories in Washington State with the great grape caper (thieves steal one tone of Mourvedre in the night) and K-Vintners contentious charge against anonymous bloggers.  This is a look at my favorite stories and wines for the month of September.

Check out previous Nectar Monthly Honors recipients:

WINES OF THE MONTH

Best Value Under $15

September didn’t see too many formal reviews of wine under $15, but the wine below certainly earned top nod. Too bad summer is over, or I could see myself enjoying quite a bit of Albariño.

2009 Martin Codax Albariño  (Reviewed Here)

  • The Stuff: 100% Albariño from Rias Baixas, Spain; Whole berry crushed and fermented in stainless steel; 40% malolactic fermentation; 12.8%ABV
  • The Swirl: A nice crisp and clean straw color in the glass.
  • The Sniff: During a blind tasting I could potentially mistake this for a Riesling with the petrol, citrus and apple aromas. The fragrant aromas help drive the point home on the palate
  • The Sip: Slightly tart, slightly crisp and slightly tropical describes the flavor profile on this wine. A very enjoyable flavor that has a slight steely minerality on the finish. A nice full mouth feel is present from the malolactic fermentation.
  • The Score: At $12-15, this is a nice wine that leaves a feel good flavor in the mouth. Not a sipper for me, but definitely a fun wine to pair with light summer food and seafood. 3+/5 Recommend

No runner up selected:

Best Wine

With 17 formal wine reviews for this category, the selection was tough. There were several wines that earned 4/5 and 4+/5 ratings.

2009 Mollydooker Carnival of Love (Reviewed Here)

  • The Stuff: 100% Shiraz from the Gateway vineyard in McLaren Vale; 97% new and 3% used American oak for 12 months. 3.8% RS; 16%ABV, screw cap enclosure – 90% Fruit Weight
  • The Swirl: As with all the MD Shiraz this wine is pure purple passion. Very thick and pure like liquid glass. The Enchanted love is one of the darker wines I can recall seeing.
  • The Sniff: Beautiful scents of violets, sweet sugar, bright blueberries, rich plums and spice. I think about 10 minutes went by before I quit smelling this wine. An enjoyable experience even before the sip.
  • The Sip: A wonderful evolution of flavor happens on this wine. Tasting the wine gives you an understanding of what “fruit weight” is. The flavor seems to wrap every square inch of your mouth. Not a single taste bud is left out of this experience. Great presentations of fruit, spice, and even some dried tomato and coffee components.
  • The Score: The Carnival of Love is a sensory experience not to be missed. This is truly a wine event, if ever I’ve had one. A huge step above in balance over the previous vintage and crafted with subtle intricacies that keep you wanting another sip. Keep in mind this is not a subtle experience of strolling through a park enjoying the serene waterfalls and flowers, this is a high octane double loop roller coaster at 70MPH! At $90, a challenge for most but if you want to really impress a wine lover (especially one who enjoys Aussie Shiraz), you’ll score big points here! 4+/5

Runner Up: 2008 Maison Bleue Roussanne “La Vie Douce” 12.7%ABV (reviewed here)

Other Highlights from September

Creative Writing:

@tarynmiller I woke up this morning feeling creative. <New Blog Post> “Twas the Day of #cabernet“: http://bit.ly/cqCVh2

Best Video:

The best video comes to us courtesy of Wine Spectator’s annual video contest. The winning entry, “Wine Is…” from Joel Peterson

GramercyCellars Huge Award – F&W Best New Winery 2010! So we had to do a video. http://tiny.cc/vkj5r

Post that Made Me Spit Wine Out My Nose:

@dirtysouthwine A whole lotta’ Cornhole just may save the day for Wine Country http://bit.ly/9E748l

 Best Social Media Post:

@RickBakas Santa Claus, Loch Ness Monster & Social Media Experts – http://bit.ly/cVtglM

Most Insane Story:

From @vinography the story of how thieves managed to steal a ton of Syncline Winery Mourvedre grapes…right off the vine! The Wine Super Villain Strikes

Washington Wins Two Free Agency Bloggers:

In the highly competitive world of wine blogging, Washington won the rights to two talented blogging free agents. The acquisitions should help in Washington’s efforts to dethrone California as the wine capital of the US. We’re excited to welcome Ben Simons of @vinotology and Suzie Curnutte of @wineragazza.

DrinkNectar Top Post of the Month:

I managed to extend my streak of a new post every non-holiday weekday to eight months and just barely established a new monthly high in traffic. The most read (and most commented post) was about the use of iPads in tasting rooms and as wine menus.

A Blend of Apples and Grapes – iPads in the Tasting Room

drinknectar

Owner of Nectar Tasting Room in Spokane, WA. (@nectarwine) Publisher of Spokane Wine Magazine (@spowinemag), author, speaker, consultant and internet marketer with Nectar Media (@nectarmedia)

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