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Archive: November 13, 2010

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Stags' Leap

Saturday,  11/13/10  09:39 AM

1996 Stags' Leap Petite SyrahOf all the unappreciated grapes in wine, Petite Sirah is surely near the top of the list*.  It grows in the same climates and soils as Cabernet Sauvignon, and is invariably overshadowed.  And of all the unappreciated vintages, California's 1996 would rank right up there; the 1997 vintage was one of the best *ever*, eclipsing its inconsistent predecessor.  And of all the unappreciated wineries, perhaps Stags' Leap is the most underrated; often confused with Stag's Leap Wine Cellars whose Cask 23 is one of the best Napa wines bar none, it is easy to overlook.  (They are neighbors in the Stags Leap AVA, on the East side of Napa Valley, which also includes Clos du Val, Mondavi, Shafer, Silverado, Sinskey, Shafer...)   And yet, these three unappreciated entities came together for us last night in one of the finest wines I have ever had, a 1996 Stags' Leap Petite Syrah.  Big and bold, with bright blackberry fruit and a smoky, lingering finish, it was truly amazing.

We were headed out to dinner at our local favorite Tuscany (Westlake Village), with their usual perfect filet mignon in mind, and on a whim I poked my head into our wine room to see if there wasn't something that needed drinking.  I have our older stuff arranged by vintage, and sitting next to the once-big-but-now-diminishing block of 1997s I've hoarded was this little gem.  What the heck I thought and dragged it along.  On the first whiff I knew we were in for a treat; and on the first sip: Wow!  As it opened up it just got bigger and brighter and smoother and longer until it became entirely wonderful.

The best thing of all: I have one more just like it :)

* In the U.S. the grape Durif is called Petite Sirah, sometimes spelled Petite Syrah.  It is not to be confused - at all - with Syrah, aka Shiraz, an entirely different and unrelated grape.  Compared to Syrah, Petite Sirah is darker and more purplish in color, rounder and fuller in the mouth, and offers a brightness that Syrah lacks.


Saturday,  11/13/10  11:44 AM

blogger's block [+]Okay, okay, I know; I've been a bad blogger.  Not bad as in blogging crap - that would be *bad* - and not bad as in not-blogging-great-stuff - that would be not-so-bad - but bad as in not blogging at all. 

So why is this?  (I know, I'm falling into the naval-gazing pit which leads to blogging crap...)  Partly "priorities", and partly a realization that posting a bunch of links with pithy comments often falls into the not-blogging-great-stuff category of failure.  I am going to optimize for the blogging-great-stuff category of success :)

Let the beatings continue until the blogging improves.

9:39.  My post about a perfect 11 on 11-11 inspired some to email about 11:11, a time which apparently allows you to make a wish.  If you believe this, I suspect you will discover that 11:11 appears on clocks far more often than 1/720th of the time.  Way back in the dawn of time my girlfriend's sail number was 939*, and I found 9:39 appearing on clocks constantly.  It was remarkable, and even long after we broke up 9:39 got my attention, and even today I sometimes glance at the clock and think "wow, 9:39, again".  And so I just noticed that my Stags' Leap post this morning was made at... 9:39.  I wish for the moon Titan!

* Ancient history, virtually pre-historic.  Hi Terry.

Speaking of great blogging; check out what Steven Den Beste posted on election day 2008.  "I think Obama is going to turn out to be the worst president since Carter, and for the same reason: good intentions do not guarantee good results."  Was that a great call or what?

Blackbird landsailorCool: downwind faster than the wind, Blackbird sets record.  The physics of this are most interesting...

Healthy sex life makes men live longer.  Personally I intend to live as long as possible :)

Michael Rasmussen is clear to ride, will he be in the 2011 TDF?This is cool: ASO and UCI agree that Rasmussen is clear to ride in the Tour de France.  As you know, I am a huge fan of "the chicken", and I hope despite his 36-year age someone will pick him up for the next Tour.  He was awesome in 2005; don't forget, he blew Alberto Contador away on some of those climbs...

paper LED treeExcellent: mesmerizing paper LED exhibit illuminates Tokyo designer's week.  What will they think of next?

Eris: One weird little dwarf planet.  "Earlier this week, we learned that the dwarf planet Eris is probably smaller, in diameter, than Pluto, but is simultaneously 27% more massive. That's pretty nifty. But it's also pretty strange."  A planetary mystery, and in our own solar system!

steampunk town in NZFrom the "truth is stranger than Onion" files: Entire New Zealand town goes steampunk.  OMG how cool is that?  Check out the pictures, and then make your travel arrangements!

This actually works, I tried it: Export all your friends' private email addresses.  Do you have a bunch of Facebook friends, but don't know their email addresses?  Well now you do :)

I will comment that this doesn't surprise me, and doesn't scare me.  You have to figure anything you post on Facebook will become public knowledge, including your email address...

How Facebook could beat Google to win the 'Net.  If you say so.  Meanwhile Doc Searles celebrates the World Wide Library (courtesy of Google of course), and Saudi Arabia bans Facebook.  I was interested but not surprised when I found Facebook blocked in China.  All most interesting, let the games continue...

go outside!Okay, time to go outside!  A nice little three-hour tour of the local hills on my mountain bike seems indicated...


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this date in:
About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained