The most recent insights I have:
Alkoomi have the worst Web site I have ever seen (in the wine biz). It's all Flash, they can't spell riesling, and the E-mail address they give does not work. ***LOSERS***
Stopped by Howard Park today. I don't know why, but I really didn't want to like these people. Snooty midrange labeling (cf. Madfish) aside, they had that kind of snooty big swoopy driveway thing going on up to their stylish tasting room. But... they were charming. The woman running the tasting room was friendly, knowledgeable, and just plain cool. I only tried the riesling, and it was not pretty: a 2001 release, too warm, and completely disjointed... but oh, the potential. I think I'm starting to get a feel for what's just bad and what hasn't come together yet. I bought a bottle; I'll hope to get it home this year. Dan tried the Madfish pinot noir: it was not so great.
Bonny Doon have published their Fall 2002 newsletter online. There's a hilarious comparison between syrah and Aussie shiraz. And guess what? Madfish gets dissed by name. Good on ya Randall; I couldn't agree with him more. Bad news: there's more stuff I have to go buy now, like the new 2001 Pacific Rim riesling, and the 2000 madiran (madiran being quite possibly my favorite wine, after maybe a Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Goldloch riesling spaetlese trocken... mmmm....)
I also pulled in to some podunk winery on the way out of town this morning, just east of the tingle trees (which, incidentally, are very cool). They sucked. Gardens were pretty, but fuck, talk about distant staff, a bad musty smell, and the sheer balls of asking $150 for a bottle of pinot noir from some crap winery you never heard of. Word to little hippie wineries with attitude: blow me. Thank you.
Cracked open the Lindemans Celebration Spirit - the official port of the Sydney Olympics! - to celebrate my birthday last night. Bad move. Poured the bottle out after the first glass. Bleah. Like Karo syrup, really.
OK, that's it for now. I'll stop by Alkoomi tomorrow, and Plantegenet this weekend. Will scour books for more riesling advice this week. Looking forward to the Clare Valley; must get to Grosset before they sell out of the Polish Hill riesling.
BTW: LiveJournal™ wouldn't let me put the following bit in the Subject: line:
Guess LJ has a problem with the boners? ***HUGALUGLUGUGLUG***