SabbRADical Planning

The sun, it burns!

Hello loyal Vinopanions! A brief update is probably in store: the Lady, Piper Roja and I are doing quite well here in Yountville. I just finished my first IRONMAN 70.3 (Santa Rosa) and I’m coming up on my second sabbatical at work. There…update done. 😛

In all seriousness, a lot of things have happened this year to our little fur family and fortunately, much of it has been good. Living in Yountville has pretty much been the foodie-wine dream for which we’d hoped.  Strangely, while I’m even FURTHER surrounded by wine, I’ve had less of a chance to do things WITH wine, besides drinking it, of course. 😉

As fortune (and years of hard work) will have it, that’s about to change again.  Longtime readers will recall my Man Falls in the Vine#MFITV series back during #Harvest2011, when I was able to take a sabbatical from the day job for 6 weeks. During that break, I detailed in a social meeds campaign and 5 part article series, the joys and challenges of harvest at Chimney Rock Winery in Stags Leap District, Napa Valley. The series culminated in a feature story in Mutineer Magazine.

Now, admittedly 2 years late, I feel very fortunate to be planning my next sabbRADical wine adventure (work has been rather busy).  I don’t have it all planned out quite yet, but there are really three options on the table:

  1. Triathlon training really sucks around here. #Yountville

    Work harvest again in a different appellation (preferably in California to be close to Pipey and the Lady).
  2. Cram as much structured wine education and testing into 6 weeks to cram for those vinous letters after my name and get legit (NVWA, anyone!?).
  3. Mashup of the day job and wine life: next gen sequencing survey of local vineyard(s). Keeping the rest of this one under wraps for possible tapping down the road, as well. 😉

I most likely will start after #SCtri at the end of September (the end of my #triathlon season), so I am actively planning out the possibilities with work, wine and of course, the Lady and lil Piperade.  Stay tuned for more updates!

In the meantime, here are some of the recent awesome vinous highlights from my Vivino Featured User reviews.  Cheers!

2014 Mercer Estates Horse Heaven Hills Malbec 


C: Very deep and dark purple and violet, with violet edges.
N: Great black fruit here, alternating deep and ripe and yet clean and bright. Light violet florals, along with balanced toast and some wet earth. Good.
P: Full and bold here, with great mouthfeel and dusty tannin, that surround deep/ripe/bright blackberry and later, black cherry fruit. Great balanced acidity and toasted oak, wet earth & flint into the great lip-smacking finish. HHH wins & will age! #KeeperWK, #QPRWK

2013 Résonance Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Pinot Noir


C: Lightly-toned ruby colors here, almost clear edges, as one might expect of an OR Pinot with some age.
N: Gorgeous perfume of dried violets, light, healthy earth, then bright and clean raspberry, tarter cherry and stone.
P: Also gorgeous here, with that same red fruit from above, a line of flint, lightest oak and earth, and just incredible satiny mouthfeel. Long, refreshing finish. #AwesomeWK

2006 Parsonage Wine Carmel Valley Bixby Reserve Petit Verdot


C: Opaque purple here, barely any brick at all on the edges.
N: Gorgeous here, with initial violet florals, then darkest black cherry, integrated wet earth and toast, a little bit of meat.
P: Outstanding here as well. Medium-full, not a beast as expected. Fine tannin is perfectly mature now, great mouthfeel. Dark berry medley here as well, out to earthier finish with good acid. Nice! #AwesomeWK

Vinopanion: Ward Kadel - @drXeNo

View posts by Vinopanion: Ward Kadel - @drXeNo
Ward Kadel - @drXeNo is the founder of Vinopanion wine blog, former West Coast Ambassador & Staff Blogger for and former Le Wine Buff for (CIVB). He will try any and all wines and tends to write about the parts of his life that include virtually all of it! He and his wife grew up in Napa and Sonoma and they still live in the Napa Valley. Check out the wines he's recommended with his WKBadges. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Like #Vinopanion on Facebook. Contact him: "Ward at". Ward happily accepts samples but does not guarantee a review, positive or negative.

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