Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Best New Wineries of 2010

My mailbox is overflowing with press releases from new and interesting wine projects. This is what happens when you become one of the top wine bloggers in America. It becomes your duty to spread the information as widely as possible, as if you're the prison wife of wine marketing departments everywhere. So, as an obedient wine blogger, I'm going to share some of the latest news about up-and-coming wineries to watch for in the next few months.


The goal of Self-Loathing Winery and Vineyards is to inject a little bit of self-hatred in every
bottle we produce. We start with our estate grapes, which are handled as well as we can handle them, but, really, we're not that good at it. During the growing season, and as close to harvest as possible, our winemaker and his team carefully walk each vineyard row. He stops every now and then to criticize the grapes. "You look awful. You call those clusters? Gladys Knight has better pips." Soon the grapes arrive in the winery for their transformation into mediocre wine at vastly inflated prices, but what can we do? We're underwater at Self-Loathing Winery and Vineyards, and we don't just mean the way we make Pinot Noir. Frankly, we're not sure why anyone wants our wine, but if you do, please go to our website-- if we had a website, but what would be the point? Who would buy this handmade, artisan crap?
Self Loathing Spokesmodel Lindsay Lohan

We recently sat down and blind tasted our 2007 "Denigration Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon alongside Harlan Estate, Sloan, Screaming Eagle, Scarecrow and Far Niente. It pretty much sucked. Really. It was kind of embarrassing. The Harlan was in another league, the Scarecrow was way better, Screaming Eagle rocked, and Far Niente--come on, we're better than Far Niente, for God's sake. We didn't do so well in our blind tasting, but, in our defense. we're about the same price as the others.

When you open a bottle of Self-Loathing, we hope that you feel the way we feel when we make the wines. Angry at yourself for being so stupid.


A trip to wine country is never complete until you've paid a visit to Domaine Asperger. When you and your guests arrive you'll be greeted with a limp handshake and a reminder to remember Domaine Asperger's motto, "Please No Eye Contact." You'll be given a brief tour of the vineyards if your guide can focus for a minute and stop staring at the hummingbird feeder. Don't try to distract him, he loves his hummingbirds and generally eats two or three before lunch. After your tour, during which you'll see our winemaking facility and realize that asking relevant questions is pretty much a waste of everyone's time, as it is at most wineries, you'll be escorted to the tasting room. Well, your guide may just point to it and grunt, but you'll feel welcome! In the tasting room you'll be able to experience our award-winning wines and experience the hospitality Domaine Asperger is famous for. Please refrain from making jokes or exchanging pleasantries with our tasting room staff. They simply won't understand and may wander off and then we have to send someone to try and find them. Simply taste our fine wines and place an order. Idle chitchat won't get you anywhere and, frankly, every tasting room is sick of you and your self-obsessed babble. We hope you enjoy your visit to Domaine Asperger and if you plan on returning, please reconsider. And stop making faces. Who are you anyway?


Isn't it about time someone produced wines for life's awkward silences? Well, that's exactly what we've done at Awkward Silence wines. Now after you've told your husband you're two months pregnant before remembering he's been out of town for the past ten weeks, you can open a bottle of Awkward Silence 2009 "Busted!," our award-winning blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and a pinch of Summer's Eve. It's crisp and oh-so cleansing. Let's say your wife discovers that pair of Victoria's Secret panties in your lunch pail. Before you try to explain what they're doing there, open a bottle of Awkward Silence 2007 "Sick Bastard," a soothing red blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, with a dash of Y Chromosome. It's rich and satisfying, and will eventually give your bride a mustache. There's a perfect bottle of Awkward Silence wine for every intimate occasion. Just had lousy sex? Six pumps and a squirt? Reach for a bottle of Awkward Silence 2007 "Never Happened Before" Pinot Noir. You and your unfortunate partner will be able to fill that awkward silence with the silky richness of Pinot Noir that's fortified with just the right amount of Rohipnol, so she'll forget what happened each and every time you fail to satisfy her. That's what we do here at Awkward Silence wines. We're your proud accomplice in life's little failures.


John M. Kelly said...

"We here at Clos de Schadenfreude could not be happier for our friends over at Self Loathing. Congratulations on closing that deal with LiLo as your spokesmodel! We are sure that she is going to help you guys 'seal the deal' with Millennials, E! viewers, and readers of HuffingtonPost. It's just too bad the Court wouldn't allow her to show up for that prestigious tasting at P..... last week - honestly it seemed like she was the only celebrity NOT in attendance. Well, we're sure you will eventually get your money's worth. Also, righteous kudos on making the HoseMaster's top wineries of 2010! You guys have a bright future."

PaulG said...

Chateau Cache-Fleau is pleased to announce that the premier tranche pricing for our 2013 vintage has just been set, and it is a steady-state 1500 Euros/bottle. That's 20% LOWER than the pricing for our 2012's! We feel it is our obligation to our customers to stop the insane price spiraling being practiced by the so-called "First Growths". And in still more good news, we anticipate planting our vineyard sometime later this year, so there is a very good chance that our 2013's will be estate-grown! But don't delay, because they are clamoring for these wines in China, and we can't promise how long this offer will last.

Ron Washam said...


I loved the Clos de Schadenfreude 2007 Merlot. Used to be such a cult wine, allocated and very expensive, now it's cheap and available at BevMo. Every time I drink it I feel a luscious twinge of satisfaction at how much people used to pay for it.


Ooooooh, how do I get some? Must be mighty good wine if the CHINESE want it all! They know value and quality and the value of boys.

Pig Stai said...

Well hell, you boys oughta check out Wallowing Pig Cellars. We got yer terror-wah right cheer!

And the secret woid is "wiffs" so you know it be right!

Thomas said...

At Winning Wine, all you have to do to secure a bottle of our famous crap is spin the wheel, bypass the little magnet that thwarts all but the number 100 (because no wine gets a 100), hit the number you selected (but never below 85), and we will send you six allocated bottles at no cost to us.

If you lose, just send us the money and we'll come up with a reason to refuse your order because, well, this crap is allocated, you idiot.

Ernst Loosen's Daddy said...

Sometimes you simply miss the obvious. For example, Groaning Gruner Vineyards up in Woodinville, just around the corner from Ch. Ste. Michelle and about fifty pretenders flooding into the area, has the largest single acreage block of that offensive variety in the United States. But, word has it that it snuck in via Mexico and the INS, or whatever they are called today, is tracking them down.

Of course, had you attended the Riesling Rendezvous at the aforementioned Ch. Ste. M., you would have also been able to taste Cheap Riesling And Pinot Wine Cellars from Oregon. CRAP WC specializes in these two varieties. Or, to be more precise, it will once it can find some cheap Oregon Pinot. But, to their credit, they did find some underripe Oregon Riesling, bottled it at 9.5% ABV and .090 TA, totally dry. The MS candidatess in the crowd swooned. The rest of us groaned that it smelled just like Gruner.

It's good to be back--not that I did not love Seattle--if we had only been able to go there instead of taking a boat ride past Bill Gates house.

At least, the Rieslings were good--when they did not taste like Gruner on Petroleum fumes.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

I had this weird concept piece in my head that involved wineries with emotional problems, or that tried to solve emotional problems. Don't ask me where that came from. It obviously struck zero chords, though John clearly "got it."

I actually love Domaine Asperger. So reminiscent of countless tasting rooms I've been to.

I'm just here to amuse myself.

abc said...

I like Awkward Silence a lot. I could make great use of it in my own life.

The Asperger one, not so much. But I have an autistic niece and may be a bit overly sensitive.

More importantly, K and I have our Red Sox hats ready for the game next week.

"Little Jimmy" Suckling said...

me too
me too
me too

Arthur Esteban Franciso Maria Conchita Alonzo Conception de Corazon de Jesus de la Vina Przebinda, MD, PhD, PDQ, ret. said...


I'm just impressed that you were able to embody the clinical features of Asperger's in a winery brand and staff "culture".

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Little Jimmy Suckling,

Thanks for stopping by. You must have a lot of free time on your hands after leaving Marvelous Marv and the Wine Tater behind--time you can apparently afford to waste on my crap. I guess I'm flattered.


Is that sarcasm? I often can't tell.

Arthur said...


Along with sarcasm, physicians have their sense of humor excised in the third year of medical school.

I was giving you a deserved (and apparently needed) pat on the back.

:) :) :) :)

Marcia Macomber said...

Needed the smile today. :-) Thank you.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Marcia Darling,

You're welcome. Glad I could provide a smile or two. Laughter is often all we've got.

Bill Smart said...

Ron - there's no way you are my prison bitch - you're more just like my bitch. So buy me a beer you bitch.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


You're about as intimidating as a Mexican Hairless, and I don't mean the dog.

But I'll gladly buy you a beer anyway.

Morton said...

I would like to nominate one of my consulting clients, Chateau Banal as one of this year's top wineries. Forward thinking, atuned to the environment, and creative Chateau Banal is one of the few adherents to Hyper-dynamicism which I am introducing.

Hyper-dynamics (or sometimes referred to as wahabi bio-dynamics) is a life force centered phenomenological approach to agriculture that takes up where Rudolf Steiner left off. It integrates Steinerian, Freudian, Reichian, Humanistic and Spiritual theories into its own unique organic model for winegrowing. Hyper-dynamic farming unleashes the latent potential in every grape enabling the underlying character to move more easily towards its natural state. Hyper-dynamicism was founded in Europe, but is rapidly moving to the New World. It has been introduced at Ch. Banal.

Unlike scientists who claim they know everything, we hyper-dynamicists maintain an open mind to unseen forces that have alluded, sterile, conventional thinking. Hyper-dynamic research has proven there are eight basic, significant stages of a vine’s or any plant’s development. These are, in order of evolution: sub-terrainian, oral, anal, phallic, territorial, genital, social and spiritual. The progression through these stages hinges on the successful manipulation of Reich's libidinal and vegetative streamings; regulating the fluid build-ups in the xylem tissue and isolating tense, dry areas of the phloem.

Hyper-dynamic viticulturists are trained to work with the whole vine using chants, imagery, non-verbal expression and touch, to work with sensitivity at the vine’s own pace, to create a safe environment in which the vine feels able to deal with its life processes. In hyper-dynamic science the viticulturist must constantly insure that they are non-judgmental and non-interventional in their approach to farming else the vine may fall short of its potential. Hyper-dynamics insures the vine is more centered.

Like the biodynamicist, we hyper-dynamicists aligns our actions with the natural cycles of the Earth and the Sun. The Sun’s movement around the Earth, which being the center of the Universe, establishes the primary natural cycles with which we’re most familiar. But in hyperdynamics the secondary cycles are of equal importance.

My clients at Chateau Banal recognized that it is Man who has been given the unique insight into what is natural and good and, of course, what is artificial and bad; the hyper-dynamicist prefers to keep all vineyard inputs restricted to human sources. This includes composted human fertilizer, urine dowsings and aged bath water spray solutions to which I personally contribute.

At various times, the practice, the trainings, the various university level courses in hyper-dynamics throughout Europe, have varied in their content and their emphasis. At times there has been more emphasis on publicizing the practice than actually practicing the practice. This is to be understood and Chateau Banal and I proudly follow in that tradition.

Thomas said...


Is there ever a time when the anal and phallic stages overlap? If so, I am sure that Chauncey Washam wants to be there to watch.

Bill Smart said...


Well played.

Charlie Olken said...


I subscribe to a similar theory. It is called wasabi bio-dynamics. I sprinkle wasabi on everything and watch it take off. Much simpler and much cheaper than wahabi bio-d.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


I haven't tasted the wines of Chateau Banal (that's anal with a B), but I hear that hyper-dynamics is already so yesterday. The most progressive wineries are now into homo-dynamics. Good taste keeps me from elaborating.

However, your contribution to HoseMaster is above and beyond the call of duty, and I thank you for it.

Robert and Rebecca Banal said...

It was exciting to find our vineyard being discussed as one of the year’s best. As we have told our neighbors in the Hamptons and golfing partners in Sun Valley and Naples our idea is to make a great Cabernet. It is a pleasure to finally be recognized. While being successful in mortgage backed securities and credit default swaps gives one insight into most endeavors, we are thankful to have an experienced wine consultant to confirm the originality of our winemaking concepts.

We have great hope in our non-interventional grape growing and winemaking. The fact that our consultant has not felt it necessary to visit the vineyard or taste the wines for 18 months, instead remaining on his Caribbean Island, is a testament to the success of our vision. We were able to get to the Napa a couple months ago and we were excited to find numerous small brown moths thriving amongst our vines. A true testament to the balanced natural state attained by our non-interventional and natural approach to grape growing.

Bob and Becky Banal
Chateau Banal

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Bob and Becky,

Everyone Banal is welcome here at HoseMaster of Wine!