People’s Voice Wine Awards are Back!

We had a fabulous inaugural People’s Voice Wine Awards in 2012 and are back for our second round! In case you missed it last year, this is the chance for your favorite wines to be nominated and included in this year's voting. With almost 100,000 votes cast last year, and looking forward to more this year, the People’s Voice Wine Awards are a great way to gain exposure for your wines, and the results really reflect what the marketplace thinks. These are not simply the critic’s darlings, but rather represent a broad spectrum of wines in the marketplace. Nominate your wines today!

Pinot Grisio?

To kick things off, Pinot Grigio/Gris continues to be a big thing, and becoming bigger in California. Just last week as I was visiting, I saw several producers rolling out new or improved versions, and heard of a few additional examples coming down the pike. Interestingly, at least to me, is the new use of nomenclature here. While I've always gotten by under the assumption that domestic producers use Pinot Gris to identify Alsatian-styled wines, and Pinot Grigio to identify the brighter, lighter Italian style wines, that may no longer be the case. I have a feeling that some producers just feel that Pinot Gris is more prestigious, and opt to use this language even if the wines fall outside what one might expect from Alsace, or even Oregon for that matter. Will consumers be confused?

Low down on Lodi

In case you missed it, I was in California to visit Lodi and host a virtual tasting from the visitors center/ tasting room where the Lodi Grape Grower's Commission has their offices. I know that Lodi gets a bum rap in many circles, but the wines are absolutely worth checking out. Great values in Petite Sirah, and of course Old Vine Zinfandel, but producers like Harney Lane with their Chardonnay, Bokisch with their Albarino and Spanish varietals, Silvaspoons' Portuguese varietals, and Fields Family's excellent Syrah and Tempranillo all point towards great things to come. Seriously, the Fields Family Syrah is a total eye opener, try it if you can.

Piedmont to Come

I'll be traveling through Piedmont over the next two weeks on my annual tasting adventure. I'll be posting some sneak peeks on Facebook in case you want an early take on the 2009 vintage in Barolo and the 2010 vintage in Barbaresco. You've probably already heard great things about both, but my money is on the 2010. From the barrel the wines have been very special, with the perfume and clarity of the 2008s, and the structure and weight of the 2006s. It'll also be interesting to see just how much more rain the region will be getting in an already wet Spring. I've also just retested a selection of the 2008 Barolos and they reinforce my original impressions, a vintage to buy if you love the classic style.

New features

I'll be adding in additional pieces featuring both wines from the cellar -- this week I featured some old and older Zins -- as well as a monthly focus, by region, suggesting wines for the cellar that don't cost an arm and a leg. Perfect for all audiences, but targeting those who are just getting into wine collecting a la Bedrock. I've got several California Cabernet verticals lined up already, Caymus from the 1970s, the Joseph Phelps and Diamond Creek Cabernets from the mid-1980s, but would love to hear what you guys might be interested in learning more about and what suggestions you may have for value wines for the cellar, which I'm arbitrarily going to cap at $50 a bottle.

Wine Bottle image via Shutterstock