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WineSpeed with Karen MacNeil | Diatom

Veteran wine writer Karen MacNeil shares insights with subscribers in her weekly newsletter, WineSpeed. Read excerpts from this week’s edition below.

BY Karen Macneil | Life | Apr 17, 2017

DIATOM | “MACHADO” CHARDONNAY 2016

(Sta. Rita Hills, California) $42 (750ml)

I love it when wines made near the cold Pacific Ocean taste like it. Diatom is a great example. Indeed diatoms are marine fossils. Fantastically minerally and pure, the wine is one gigantic wave of fresh lemonness waiting to engulf you. This is one of four Diatom chardonnays made by the well-known winemaker Greg Brewer, who also makes chardonnay and pinot noir under the Brewer-Clifton label. Brewer says he is motivated by a reverence for raw materials, precision, negative space and restraint. For California chardonnay, it’s a magical, delicious (and rare) combination. (14.5% abv)

92 points KM

Available at Brewer-Clifton

In honor of International Malbec Day on April 17th, a quick quiz: Which of the following is closely related to malbec?

  • A. Pressac
  • B. Côt
  • C. Cahors
  • D. All three above are related to malbec

Scroll down for the answer!

Mommy’s Time Out—a line of wines being promoted for Mother’s Day—has been invented because, as the website points out, “being a Mommy is a difficult job.” Apparently created for pretty mommies with an itsy-bitsy sweet-tooth, the four wines are “Delicious Red,” “Delicious Pink,” “Moscato” and “Garganega Pinot Grigio.” We hope the mommies can pronounce that oh-so-big word that starts with a G! Wait. Maybe the poor mommies really are in a time-out and are being made to drink this condescending innocuous plonk by the daddies. Baaaaad daddies!

BOTTLES YOU COULD BENCH PRESS

Maybe you’ve noticed—wine bottles continue to bulk up. A standard high shouldered wine bottle weighs, on average, 2.75 pounds, but some wine bottles today weigh as much as 3.8 pounds. Several studies suggest that for everyday wine buyers, heavy wine bottles signify high-quality wine inside. In fact, for average consumers, the heavier the bottle, the better. (Collectors and pros aren’t as likely to be swayed. And for sommeliers, trying to pouring a leviathan bottle while precariously reaching over someone’s shoulder is nerve wracking to say the least.) Still, many of us apply a weight-quality correlation to a range of products, from remote controls to car keys. Fascinatingly (and despite our tendency to equate weight and quality), while wine bottles have gotten heavier, glassware has gotten lighter. What’s the heaviest wine bottle you know of? Tell us at www.winespeed.com.

ROTTEN EGG

The term most often used to describe a wine that exhibits the fault of having excessive hydrogen sulfide.

D.Malbec is known as pressac on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. In southwest France, the grape is called côt (pronounced co), and in Cahors, an appellation in southwest France, wines must be made up of 70% malbec minimum. Malbec has been enormously successful in Argentina where more than 76,500 acres are planted with the grape. Bordeaux, by comparison has about 2,500 acres.

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