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Second Opinions

Posted by Brian , November 12, 2009

It is always good to get a second opinion.  Whether to question a medical diagnosis or to confirm your worried belief that a pair of jeans makes your butt look too big, a second opinion can be very helpful.  The same is certainly true of wine and as we approach our intended release date for the 2008 Doctor’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, it’s been helpful to garner a second opinion on our inaugural vintage. 

In our blog post on opening the first bottle, we threw in an open invitation for anyone who wanted to come taste the wine to contact us.  To our surprise, only one of you did.  Fortunately, that one person actually has some legitimate wine credentials.

Brigade member Keith Hoffman is a published wine and lifestyles writer who has penned over 30 wine articles for U.K.-based Gambling Online Magazine, primarily about South American wines.  He’s also just launched a blog to record his extensive wine tasting notes at BrainWines.com.  Oh, and he also happens to have a Ph.D. in neuropharmacology and spends his days working with local biotech start-ups.

But all of that is beside the point.  You see, Kerith and I went to high school with Keith.  He was two years ahead of us, making him a senior when we were sophomores.  And so my earliest (and strongest) memories of Keith are of him pummeling me in football practice.  Keith, while certainly very nice off the field, was one of the guys that you really didn’t want to match up against in 1-on-1 drills.  Yet when it was the varsity’s turn to hit on the younger guys in practice, Keith and I seemed to be lumped together more times than mathematically possible.  Needless to say, the drills would universally end with me on my back trying to get my wind and wondering why in the world I ever signed up to play.

So, as you might imagine, it came as quite a surprise after twenty years to get an e-mail out of the blue from Keith who had heard about our wine venture somehow and was excited to learn more.  A few weeks after that initial flurry of e-mails, our invite to taste the wine went out and Keith gladly accepted.

A couple of Tuesdays ago, Keith came over to sample our wares.  We enjoyed an evening catching up and tasting the wine paired with Kerith’s pinot pizza.  Knowing that Keith had actually written about wines, we asked him to write up his tasting notes for us to put on the site.  Not a review, per se, but a qualified second opinion that we’re happy to share with you.  Best of all, the evening ended without me having to endure any sort of punishing physical violence.

Of course, the only opinion that matters is yours and we’re excited to have you all try your Bruliam wine in the near future.  In the interim, the original invite still stands – we could use a third, fourth, and even fifth opinion.

Keith’s notes on the Bruliam Wines 2008 Doctor’s Vineyard Pinot Noir:

Nose:   Crisp, plum-steeped, spring water. Elegant leathers. Light lavender. Violets. Candy.

Taste:  Clean, amazingly so. Smooth plum and light spice. Mature earth.  Mature cherry. Perfect structure and sexy mouthfeel.

Overall:  Astounding.

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