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Preview: Gang of Pour On Wine

Gang of Pour On Wine

Non snobby wine tasting notes, wine-maker and winery profiles, wine adventures, commentary and more.

Published: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 16:30:30 ESTFri, 23 Oct 2009 16:30:30 ESTFri, 23 Oct 2009 16:30:30 ESTFri, 23 Oct 2009 16:30:30 ESTFri, 09 Oct 2009 13:05:30 ESTMon, 05 Oct 2009 11:39:30 ESTMon, 05 Oct 2009 11:00:30 ESTThu, 24 Sep 2009 17:55:30 ESTTue, 22 Sep 2009 09:15:30 ESTThu, 17 Sep 2009 16:25:30 ESTWed, 16 Sep 2009 16:39:30 ESTFri, 11 Sep 2009 09:45:30 ESTTue, 08 Sep 2009 13:57:30 ESTFri, 28 Aug 2009 17:10:30 ESTFri, 28 Aug 2009 09:45:30 ESTTue, 11 Aug 2009 13:05:30 ESTFri, 31 Jul 2009 09:45:30 ESTTue, 28 Jul 2009 12:45:30 ESTMon, 20 Jul 2009 10:45:30 ESTThu, 16 Jul 2009 11:05:30 ESTSun, 28 Jun 2009 10:05:30 ESTFri, 26 Jun 2009 18:15:30 ESTFri, 26 Jun 2009 18:15:30 ESTFri, 19 Jun 2009 16:20:30 ESTFri, 19 Jun 2009 12:20:30 ESTThu, 18 Jun 2009 08:20:30 ESTMon, 15 Jun 2009 12:45:30 ESTSat, 13 Jun 2009 14:25:30 ESTSat, 13 Jun 2009 14:25:30 ESTThu, 11 Jun 2009 13:45:30 ESTTue, 09 Jun 2009 10:10:30 ESTWed, 03 Jun 2009 17:55:30 ESTThu, 28 May 2009 15:05:30 ESTWed, 27 May 2009 15:10:30 ESTFri, 22 May 2009 11:10:30 ESTThu, 21 May 2009 17:54:30 ESTTue, 19 May 2009 08:54:30 ESTTue, 19 May 2009 08:55:30 ESTSat, 09 May 2009 16:55:30 ESTThu, 07 May 2009 20:35:30 ESTThu, 07 May 2009 17:36:30 ESTWed, 06 May 2009 14:20:30 ESTSat, 02 May 2009 15:05:30 ESTWed, 29 Apr 2009 10:15:30 ESTWed, 29 Apr 2009 10:15:30 ESTThu, 23 Apr 2009 18:05:30 ESTTue, 21 Apr 2009 08:55:30 ESTTue, 14 Apr 2009 15:48:30 ESTMon, 06 Apr 2009 12:25:30 ESTMon, 30 Mar 2009 09:07:30 ESTWed, 25 Mar 2009 10:30:30 ESTThu, 19 Mar 2009 08:10:30 ESTFri, 13 Mar 2009 17:05:30 ESTTue, 10 Mar 2009 18:00:30 ESTTue, 03 Mar 2009 15:45:30 ESTTue, 03 Mar 2009 15:45:30 ESTFri, 20 Feb 2009 09:30:30 ESTWed, 11 Feb 2009 09:30:30 ESTFri, 06 Feb 2009 10:25:30 ESTMon, 02 Feb 2009 19:35:30 ESTMon, 26 Jan 2009 15:42:30 ESTMon, 19 Jan 2009 12:20:30 ESTWed, 14 Jan 2009 12:45:30 ESTTues, 06 Jan 2009 07:15:30 EST


Alan Kerr's Vintage's October 24th Release - Tasting Notes

Fri, 23 Oct 2009 16:30:30 EST

What’s new at Vintages on October 24th? The focus is on wines from both the land of Oz and port from the Douro Valley. Here are a few notes on the wines from the release

Wines of Distinction from J et R and Hand Picked Selections

Fri, 23 Oct 2009 16:30:30 EST

Our friends at Wines of Distinction held their annual Fall Trade Tasting at The Franklin Grill in Franklin, Michigan recently, and as we’re such fans of their portfolio, we were not about to miss it. Our plan was to focus on two specific tables, those of J et R Selections and Hand Picked Selections; anything beyond those two very fine importers would be bonus coverage.

Tasting With Jarred Gild

Fri, 23 Oct 2009 16:30:30 EST

We’ve become fans of the wine department that Jarred Gild has put together at Ferndale’s Western Market, and as is often the case, a friendly relationship has developed out of that admiration. We invited Jarred over a few nights ago and proceeded to spend a most enjoyable evening of good food (burgers grilled slightly past medium rare), fine wine and rambling conversation

Welcome to the new Gang of Pour Blogs

Fri, 23 Oct 2009 16:30:30 EST

It’s been a long time coming and finally, we’re as pleased as we can be to launch our brand new Gang of Pour Blogs. It’s a move we’ve been wanting to make for a while, and now the time is right.

Alan Kerr's Vintage's October 10th Release - Tasting Notes

Fri, 09 Oct 2009 13:05:30 EST

Not a lot of wines to review for this release as the board was rather stingy with the amount of wines it shipped to preview. Featured wines this time around are from Italy’s big three, Tuscany, Veneto and Piedmont. Few wines wowed me, but as always, there are one or two bottles that are worth seeking out.

Available at Your Friendly Neighborhood Retailer

Mon, 05 Oct 2009 11:39:30 EST

Kim and I have been shopping at Ferndale's Western Market for more than 20 years now. The produce, meats and prices have always been good, but we had wished that they sold beer and wine. Well, that changed about 3 years ago, when they got their license to do just that. At first, their offerings were of the mundane, usual suspect varieties. Enter Jared Gild...

Tasting Tablas Creek in Charlottesville

Mon, 05 Oct 2009 11:00:30 EST

The beauty of living so close to the DC area is that every once in a while it creates an opportunity for the local wine market. Occasionally, some of the bigger names in the wine industry or some of the more cutting edge players in the wine industry find their way south of The Beltway and to the southern edge of horse country into the wine boonies of Charlottesville and one of the independent wine stores.

Alan Kerr's Vintage's September 26th Release - Tasting Notes

Thu, 24 Sep 2009 17:55:30 EST

The release for September 26th features wines of the Napa valley. Some are good and some are excellent. Only way you will find out is to read on…

New wines from Wyncroft and more

Tue, 22 Sep 2009 09:15:30 EST

Jim Lester came to town last week with a batch of his current Wyncroft releases for an informal tasting hosted by Errol Kovitch. Errol always likes tasting Jim's wines compared to some other quality wines as a benchmark, and while we did just that, there was no actually “judging” to speak of. Wines were simply opened and enjoyed with a variety of cheeses, breads and other delectables for what they are, and by and large, most were very tasty indeed.

Hail, Hail, The Gang's All Here

Thu, 17 Sep 2009 16:25:30 EST

Ten Years After: Reunions are always happy events, and even happier so after 6 years of absence. We'd last broken bread and shared wine with Allan Bree aka califusa in 2003, so when it was announced that he would be assisting Alan Kerr aka Canadian Zinfan in the kitchen at this year's MoCool festivities, we extended to him the use of our spare bedroom during his stay.

Northern Rhones, Young and Old

Wed, 16 Sep 2009 16:39:30 EST

I love Northern Rhônes, particularly the reds made from the great Syrah grape. Although great Syrahs are now made in lots of places, there’s nothing quite like a great Cote Rotie or Hermitage, especially ones that have been given a respectful sleep in a cool cellar for a decade or two. So I was pretty jazzed when my wine group, the X-pensive Winos, dedicated the tasting this month to Northern Rhones, Young and Old.

Alan Kerr's Vintage's September 12th Release - Tasting Notes

Fri, 11 Sep 2009 09:45:30 EST

On September 12th, Vintages will focus on the highly touted wines from Ontario’s 2007 vintage. There has been much written about the potential greatness of these wines that some claim to be the best on record. For those of us lucky enough to live in the Niagara region, 2007 was a summer of intense sunshine, prolonged heat and minimal precipitation. The lack of rainfall was a concern for the high production producers, but those that generally focus on low quantity were able to produce legendary wines as the heat remained until October allowing perfect ripeness.

Some Bubbles and 2 Roses

Tue, 08 Sep 2009 13:57:30 EST

For years now, we've been telling people that Wine Probation doesn't have to suck. Just because you're on a tight budget, that doesn't mean you can't find good wines at reasonable prices. For the most part, we've been drinking some of the QPR All Stars detailed in a couple of recent Trade Tasting reports we've filed (Rosé Olé and Wines of Distinction from Madiran, Bordeaux and more), but a couple of times in the last month or so, I just had to say screw it and pony up for some things that needed tasting.

Hangin' with the Gang: Black Bags and Bloody Brill

Fri, 28 Aug 2009 17:10:30 EST

Of all the activities we report on here in the Gang of Pour pages, our favorites are often those times when we can get together with our fellow “Gangsters” and share good wine and food together. Don't get me wrong, we love covering the trade tastings, visiting the wineries and interviewing the winemakers, but nothing quite beats hanging out with our compadres, who've become like family to us.

Alan Kerr's Vintage's August 29th Release - Tasting Notes

Fri, 28 Aug 2009 09:45:30 EST

August 29th’s release showcases wines from the Rhone Valley and several Zinfandels from California. Unfortunately, due to the lack of excellence, the latter struck little interest with me, but the Rhone wines, for the most part, are stellar and well worth seeking out.

Alan Kerr's Vintage's August 15th Release - Tasting Notes

Tue, 11 Aug 2009 13:05:30 EST

Having missed the last Vintage’s tasting due to a busy summer schedule, I am happy to report that I was able to get up to London to sample some of the wines being released on August 15th.

Santa Cruzin'... Four Days - Six Parts

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 09:45:30 EST

The Santa Cruz Mountains may be the most poorly recognized and underappreciated AVA in California. There’s just no buzz.

Recent Rhones and Rhone Rangers

Tue, 28 Jul 2009 12:45:30 EST

We continued our tradition of enjoying some very fine red Rhones during Rounds 3 and 4 of The Stanley Cup, and as was the case in earlier rounds, we also indulged in some non-French selections and a few whites as well. Here's the Rhone-down on what we drank.

Tasting the Wares of U.S. Wine Imports

Mon, 20 Jul 2009 10:45:30 EST

A few years back, a gentleman by the name of Jon Bullock stopped by to check out the wine department I was managing at that time, and during our conversation, he informed me that he was starting up an import business called U.S. Wine Imports in Ann Arbor. Fast forward to earlier this year: I was reconnecting with my friend and colleague Chaad Thomas on Facebook and he told me he was now a partner with Bullock.  This could only be a plus for U.S. Wine Imports, because Chaad is one of the most knowledgeable wine guys that I know.

The Gang Gets Down At Rothbury Packin' Wine in a Box

Thu, 16 Jul 2009 11:05:30 EST

The Gang (aka, The Traveling Rothburys) attends the 2009 Rothbury Music Festival packing wine in a box.

More Wine with Friends

Sun, 28 Jun 2009 10:05:30 EST

All kinds of stuff...

Hiking the Appellation Trail

Fri, 26 Jun 2009 18:15:30 EST

And no, I wasn't in Argentina tasting Malbec.

Flora Springs Winery and Vineyards

Fri, 26 Jun 2009 18:15:30 EST

As many of you know, I’m a card carrying member of the National Cynical Party, a distinction I wear rather proudly. I have, however, been completely won over by the wines, the people and the story of Flora Springs.

Domaine du Vissoux Beaujolais Cuvee Traditionnelle - A Survey of Recent Vintages

Fri, 19 Jun 2009 16:20:30 EST

I am back with a survey of recent vintages of Domaine du Vissoux Beaujolais Vieilles Vignes Cuvee Traditionnelle -- a perennially satisfying wine, that has been a cellar and table staple at our house over the past six or seven vintages. Pierre Chermette produces a number of wines from his older vine holdings in Fleurie and Moulin a Vent, but the Cuvee Traditionnelle always strikes me as the most harmonious offering from year to year.

Alan Kerr's Vintage's June 20th Release - Tasting Notes

Fri, 19 Jun 2009 12:20:30 EST

Summertime is here. The latest release of juice onto Vintages shelving is reflective of this, as it features barbeque friendly Malbecs from Argentina. Tasting them was a hoot until the similarity syndrome kicked in. However, there are a few good wines to be found especially those at the lower end of the price scale. Happy grilling.

Six New Wines By Bonny Doon

Thu, 18 Jun 2009 08:20:30 EST

Hello fellow terroirists, I am writing to say how much we enjoy your inspired ravings here at Bonny Doon. How can we participate in the glorious fun that is Gang of Pour? Please illuminate me as to appropriate protocols and points of entry. Best,Burke

A Carlisle Tasting - Long Gone, Dead and Resurrected

Mon, 15 Jun 2009 12:45:30 EST

I'd better disclose my preconceptions right from the start—I’m a big fan of the wines from Carlisle Winery, and have been from their first vintage in 1998. Although I’m not generally a fan of big, ripe-style, high alcohol wines there’s something about the wines of Carlisle that’s different.

Building a Better Wine List - Part 1

Sat, 13 Jun 2009 14:25:30 EST

Have you ever wondered how restaurant wine lists are put together? To tell the truth, I never gave it that much thought.

Building a Better Wine List - Part 2

Sat, 13 Jun 2009 14:25:30 EST

Our quest to update the Slows Bar-B-Q wine list continued with a visit from Elisa Weber-Saintin of Little Guy Wine Company, out of Ann Arbor.

Pinot Noir Review

Thu, 11 Jun 2009 13:45:30 EST

A review of 6 pairs of Pinot Noir with each one representing a particular style or region and designed to illustrate the range and variety of flavors and textures that American Pinot Noir offers today. Big fun, here, and certainly a good indicator of just how good pinot noir has become in recent years.  

Hospice du Rhone - Sour Notes But No Sour Wine

Tue, 09 Jun 2009 10:10:30 EST

With the help of no less than Georg Riedel, Hospice du Rhone pulls out of a tail spin to produce as lively an event as ever. 

Alan Kerr's Vintage's June 6th Release - Tasting Notes

Wed, 03 Jun 2009 17:55:30 EST


Red Wings and Red Rhones Playoff Diary 2009-Round 2

Thu, 28 May 2009 15:05:30 EST

Whilst perusing the wine selection in our friendly neighborhood Costco, I came upon the following item. Noting that I was: A. at present an unsigned free agent, and B. in need of some red Rhones for Red Wings mojo, I asked myself once again, “How bad can it be?” I was reminded of Miles words of wisdom in the movie Risky, Business, and took the plunge. I mean really, sometimes, you just gotta say what the f-ck.

Ten Years After - The Continuing Adventures of Russell Bevan

Wed, 27 May 2009 15:10:30 EST

As Russell Bevan continues to garner 90 plus scores from both Parker and Laube, there is no shortage of growers hoping to sign on with this young rising star. His first vintage for John Westerhold is in bottle, as are two bottling of Syrah under the Sanglier label, grown by Glenn Alexander. This fall, he will begin another new project – perhaps the most exciting. He will begin making Pinot Noir for Wren Hop Vineyards, a highly regarded Russian River grower. Yet with all this, Russell’s winemaking adventures are only beginning.

Alan Kerr's Vintage's May 23rd Release - Tasting Notes

Fri, 22 May 2009 11:10:30 EST

It has been a while since I had the chance to drive to London, taste the new release and put pen to paper. Having a full time job can be disadvantageous to ones outside ventures at times. However, summer school is less demanding and I was able to hit the road and taste some of the wines slotted for the May and early June releases and here are some of my observations.

Wines With Malware

Thu, 21 May 2009 17:54:30 EST

The last time I saw Kim slugging wine straight from a bottle was in 2003. I came home from work to find her and Allan Bree sitting in her car listening to the radio in the hope of finding out why there was no electricity anywhere within 500 miles of Detroit. The electrical grid had a meltdown and 50 million people lost access to their computers that day. Last week, Kim's computer had a meltdown of its own

Rose Ole

Tue, 19 May 2009 08:54:30 EST

As I was driving to the rose tasting being presented by our friends at Wines of Distinction - J et J Imports last week, I was contemplating how to approach noting so many variations of this particular theme.

Going to the Wells - Gutherie, That Is, And The New Copain

Tue, 19 May 2009 08:55:30 EST

Since his first vintage in 1999, Wells Guthrie's Copain wines have represented both quality and consistency in the traditional school, one that looks to Burgundy and the Rhone for inspiration, not imitation, with an emphasis on balance and elegance over power and richness.

Bittersweet - Donn Reisen's Memorial Service

Sat, 09 May 2009 16:55:30 EST

Three months ago, to the shock and dismay of everybody who knew and cared about him, Donn Reisen, President of Ridge Vineyards, took his own life. This morning, on a bright spring day under a cloudless blue sky, hundreds of friends and colleagues met on Monte Bello Ridge to celebrate his life.

A Bennion Retrospective - Early Monte Bellos

Thu, 07 May 2009 20:35:30 EST

Over the years, Paul Draper’s name has become synonymous with Ridge Vineyards - and deservedly so. Only a very few California winemakers have created a track record as impressive with not only Cabernet Sauvignon, but Zinfandel blends and to a lesser extent, Chardonnay. While Mr. Draper is more than deserving of all the accolades, from time to time I reflect on the fact that Dave Bennion, Ridge Vineyards’ first winemaker, and one of the original partners, built the foundation upon which Mr. Draper has created his impressive legacy.

Red Wings and Red Rhones Playoff Diary 2009-Round 1

Thu, 07 May 2009 17:36:30 EST

We've had a steady diet of red Rhone wines over the last several months, what with our Red Wings and Rednecks doings. Hopefully, that won’t be changing any time soon, now that we’re into the NHL playoffs. Our Detroit Red Wings charged through Round 1 with a resounding sweep of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and we were right there with our Vacqueyras, Chateauneuf du Pape and more.

Rednecks and Red Rhones - Edwards Got Wrecked and So Did I

Wed, 06 May 2009 14:20:30 EST

Rednecks and Red Rhones 2009 was a little different this time around. Oh sure, it still made for yet another day and two nights of the most unlikely of pairings – fine wines from France’s Rhone Valley and Nascar racing.

Reminiscing With Remoissenet and Rovani

Sat, 02 May 2009 15:05:30 EST

Remoissenet Burgundy tasting conducted by Pierre Antoine Rovani

A Week In Wine - Part III SoCal Grape and Gripe Group

Wed, 29 Apr 2009 10:15:30 EST

The third Friday night of the month is the occasion for my oldest wine group to meet. Known as the Southern California Grape and Gripe Group (SCGGG), this group has been meeting regularly since the mid-1980’s. Although the membership has varied somewhat as some people dropped out or moved, and others took their place, the core group has kept the faith and tasted wines together for a long, long time. The theme this week was current release Zinfandels.

A Week In Wine - Part II

Wed, 29 Apr 2009 10:15:30 EST

The dinner with Al Stewart really got the week off with a bang, but the remainder of the week’s wines turned out to be pretty good, too, although perhaps not quite as rarified as the old Burgundies.

A Week In Wine - Part I - Dinner With Al Stewart

Thu, 23 Apr 2009 18:05:30 EST

While his contemporaries in the music world were smoking, snorting or shooting their brains out, Al was getting high the old-fashioned way, by drinking First Growth Claret, Grand Cru Burgundy, and the best wines he could find from France and elsewhere.

More Holiday Hijinx With Mr. Ridge (and Ravenswood too!)

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 08:55:30 EST

It all started with two bottles of then unreleased Ridge wines

More Red Wings and Red Rhones 2009

Tue, 14 Apr 2009 15:48:30 EST

We started our Red Wings and Red Rhones features back in 1997 as a lark, and with tongues planted firmly in cheeks, so I can’t help but shake my head a little in wonder when I stop to consider that we’ve continued them for 12 years now. Opening and enjoying a good red Rhone with a Detroit Red Wings hockey game has become standard practice here at Gang Central, and as we transition from the 2008-09 NHL regular season into the playoffs, it’s time to take a look at what we’ve tried since our last report

Kermit Lynch's Traveling Roadshow

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 12:25:30 EST

The Kermit Lynch Roadshow blew into Detroit in the waning days of March to complete a whirlwind 3-city tour of the east coast and Midwest. Here's what we tasted.

Two Late Model Cornerstone Cabs

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 09:07:30 EST

Napa Valley’s Cornerstone Cellars has never been a big blip on our wine radar, but then, they’re not exactly a large operation or a household name. They ARE highly regarded, however, generally recognized as one of the elite in Napa Valley/Howell Mountain boutique/cult producers.

Cono Sur 2008

Wed, 25 Mar 2009 10:30:30 EST

Since first trying the wines of the Chilean producer Cono Sur, we’ve found much to like about this operation. Not only do they employ sustainable agricultural and organic farming practices, in July 2007 they became the first winery in the world to obtain CarbonNeutral delivery status. Green is great in our book. The wines themselves have been mostly very good, with the exceptions being some of the red varieties, which have been uneven and over-oaked.

A QPR Rave Up

Thu, 19 Mar 2009 08:10:30 EST

One of the mid-size wine distributors in southeastern Michigan whose book I really like is Rave Associates out of Ann Arbor. They carry a solid core of quality wines from importers such as Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd. and Rudi Wiest Selections.

Francophilia 2009

Fri, 13 Mar 2009 17:05:30 EST

Small batch artisanal wines from France

We Will Always Have Toledo - Year 10

Tue, 10 Mar 2009 18:00:30 EST

We present Team coverage for our report on Toledo 10, with a bevy of impressions of a remarkable collection of wines from France, Italy, California and more

The Wines of Charles Hendricks - The Tasting

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 15:45:30 EST

It’s tempting to characterize Charles Hendricks as a rising star in Napa Valley, and one wouldn’t necessarily be wrong in doing so.

The Wines of Charles Hendricks - The Interview

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 15:45:30 EST

A morning interview with Charles Hendricks of hope and grace Wines, in which he talks about yeast selection, wood chips and the hose treatment.

Wines of Distinction from Madiran, Bordeaux and more

Fri, 20 Feb 2009 09:30:30 EST

Some of our favorite wine distributors in the Detroit area are the small to medium sized operations that handle wines from high quality, small to medium sized producers that you’d never find from the mega-houses. One such company is Wines of Distinction – J et J Importers out of Bloomfield Hills, who last week held a trade tasting featuring wines from Alain Brumont of Madiran and selections from Maison Sichel’s Bordeaux portfolio

The Wines of Terra Andina

Wed, 11 Feb 2009 09:30:30 EST

Our good friend Judie Murdoch from the southeastern Michigan distributor Wines of Distinction stopped by a few weeks ago with some samples from a relatively new and little known Chilean winery known as Terra Andina.

Wine With Friends

Fri, 06 Feb 2009 10:25:30 EST

Since the earliest days of Gang of Pour (12 years ago now!), we’ve celebrated sharing wine with our online friends, both new and old. It’s quite incredible when we stop to consider just how many lasting friendships we’ve made with people around the country, and indeed, around the world, over the Internet. This past weekend, we closed out the month of January by spending three consecutive evenings renewing acquaintances with some of said friends while eating good food and drinking fine wine. Here are snapshot impressions of what we did and what we tasted:

Recent Wines From California

Mon, 02 Feb 2009 19:35:30 EST

While we tend to gravitate towards earthy Euro-trash wines, lately, we’ve had occasion to sample a number of Californians, thanks to both professional and private connections, and most of them have been pretty darned good

Mostly Masi Redux

Mon, 26 Jan 2009 15:42:30 EST

It doesn’t feel like it’s been over four years since I attended a most interesting and informative mini-seminar on the wines of the Italian producer, Masi.

Red Wings and Red Rhones: Cotes du Rhone-down

Mon, 19 Jan 2009 12:20:30 EST

It’s halfway through the 2008-09 NHL season as of this writing; my Detroit Red Wings are playing well, and we continue to explore and enjoy fine red wines from France’s Rhone Valley whilst watching the games. In this report, we note not only selections from producers we’ve come to admire over time, but also some that are new to us as well.

Champagne Warrior

Wed, 14 Jan 2009 12:45:30 EST

Champagne and sparkling wine lovers rejoice! If you’ve been looking for a one-stop resource for all things bubbly, look no further than our own Brad Baker’s online publication, Champagne Warrior

Holiday Hi-jinx with Mr. Ridge and More

Tues, 06 Jan 2009 07:15:30 EST

After tasting through some older wines from Ridge in October, I got a hankering to see what was new from one of our longtime favorite producers.