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In This Issue
 Porn star's wine earns Parker 90 Seeking a second career, a porn star launches a pricey Italian wine ... and the über-critic loves it!
 Verget du Sud 2004 Côtes du Luberon ($8.99) This inexpensive, fruity little item from Provence is no cheap tart. Final 2 Days to Save Extra $15 on Winebuys' everyday low prices!
 This week on Our man in Santa Barbara visits Byron Kent Brown, and the WineLovers Community discusses Decanter's poll on promoting one Bordeaux property to First Growth.
Last Week's Wine Advisor Index The Wine Advisor archives.
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Porn star's wine earns Parker 90

In a stunningly unlikely celebrity entry into the world of wine, porn star Savanna Samson, who's reportedly best-known for her gyrations in the X-rated "New Devil in Miss Jones," has launched a signature brand of Italian wine labeled Sogno Uno ("Dream One")

That's the setup; here's the punch line: Iconic wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr. loves it! The wine, that is. In a story headlined "Naked Came the Vintner" in today's New York Times, writer Warren St. John reports, "After tasting a young bottle of Sogno Uno at a Paris bistro last fall, Mr. Parker gave Ms. Oliveros's wine a rating of 90 to 91 or outstanding, a judgment that quickly became the talk of the wine world. 'It's a very fine wine - awfully good,' Mr. Parker said by telephone. 'It was really opulent and luscious and it had a personality.'"

The Times declared Samson, whose real name is Natalie Oliveros, "a porn celebrity," noting that she has starred in more than two dozen sexually explicit films and has twice won the Adult Video News Award for best actress.

Sogno Uno, a Northern Italian blend of Cesanese, Sangiovese and Montepulciano grapes from Lazio and Tuscany, made for Samson by the wine maker Roberto Cipresso, goes on the market this week at wine stores and restaurants in Manhattan. Just 409 cases were made, and the slinky celeb hopes to sell it for $38 a bottle. It was not immediately known whether one opens the wine by pulling a cork or unscrewing a ... aw, I just can't say it.

Will the Parker rating make this offbeat wine fly off the shelves? Or will other factors drive sales? What do you think? Would you try it? The wine, I mean. Drop by our online WineLovers Community and tell us what you think.

Here's a link to St. John's story in The New York Times:
Free registration is required to access Times articles online, but it's a small price to pay for access to most of the content of the U.S. newspaper of record.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment in more detail on today's topic (or any other wine-related subject), you'll find a round-table online discussion in our interactive WineLovers Community, where you're always welcome to join in the conversations about wine.

If you prefer to comment privately, feel free to send me E-mail at I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.

Here's a simply formatted copy of today's Wine Advisor, designed to be printed out for your scrapbook or file or downloaded to your PDA or other wireless device.

Speaking of sultry Latin beauties, here's an inexpensive, fruity little item from Provence that's no cheap tart.

Verget du Sud Verget du Sud 2004 Côtes du Luberon ($8.99)

This is a dark-garnet wine with a clear edge. It offers fresh, attractive aromas of red and black plums with just a hint of earthy "barnyard" scent in the background, not at all "dirty" but evocative of country lanes on summer nights. Mouth-filling, juicy and tart, plums and a touch of spice on the palate, good acidity and a soft back note of tannic astringency; a touch of fragrant black pepper lingers in the finish. Good wine at a good price, and unexpectedly "Old World" for a wine from Jean-Marie Guffens' Verget, a label usually associated with modern, international-style wines. U.S. importer: Vintner Select, Cincinnati, and other regional importers. (Feb. 19, 2006)

FOOD MATCH: Served well enough in an experimental tasting with fiery Western Chinese fare, but really better suited with red meat or grilled/roast poultry.

VALUE: You won't find much better value than this at the under-$10 price point.

WHEN TO DRINK: Not meant for long-term cellaring, but there's no hurry to drink it ... it should keep on the wine rack for at least a couple of years.

Surprisingly for such a widely exported label, I can find a winery Website only in French:
For a change of pace, you might enjoy a feature story about Vintner Select, a small but respected Cincinnati-based importer, that appeared in Sunday's Cincinnati Enquirer:

(If your E-mail software breaks this long link in half, you may need to paste it back together to make it work.)

Look up prices and locate sources for Verget du Sud Côtes du Luberon on

Looking for something a little more substantial from the Southern Rhone and Provence? Our friends at, who've extended their $15-off sale through midweek, suggest these two outstanding buys among their broad inventory of excellent wines at excellent value. Final 2 Days to Save Extra $15 on Winebuys' everyday low prices!

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La Monardiere 2003 Vacqueyras "Les Calades"
Retail $10
The Southern Rhone rides again with this tasty, charming little number. It's loaded with sweet, thick black fruits, herbs and a touch of oak. One could easily drink this wine every night - with or without food. But if you must, try it with an herbed roast beef.
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Retail $18

Domaine du Pere Pape 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape
A medium-bodied wonder loaded with sweet black cherry and spicy aromas that'll make you weak in the knees. If the aromas don't do the trick, slide into the smooth-as-silk flavors of plum, cherries and figs.
Winebuys $18.99 (save 41%)
Retail $32

See all Wine from France

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This week on

Some highlights of recent articles on that I hope you'll enjoy:

Schaefer on Wine: Getting down with (downtown) Byron Kent Brown
Byron Kent Brown has been making wine for 30 years in Santa Barbara. Two years ago, he parted ways with the now corporate-owned winery that bears his first name, and became an independent producer at Ken Brown Wines. Correspondent Dennis Schaefer caught up with Ken and files this interview and tasting report.

Hot topics in our WineLovers' Community
Our WineLovers' Discussion Groups, the Internet's first wine forums, are the No. 1 place online to ask wine questions and participate in the civil and intelligent discussion of good things to eat and drink. Drop by today!

Which Bordeaux producer should be promoted?
If just one estate in Bordeaux could be promoted to First Growth, which should it be? Palmer? Leoville Las Cases? Or another favorite? Tell us your opinion in our WineLovers Community, where you'll also find a link to Decanter's poll on this topic.

Last Week's Wine Advisor Index

The Wine Advisor's daily edition is usually distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (and, for those who subscribe, the FoodLetter on Thursdays). Here's the index to last week's columns:

 Stopper topper (Feb. 24, 2006)

 Offbeat grapes - Malvasia (Feb. 22, 2006)

 Douro reds revisited (Feb. 20, 2006)

 Complete 30 Second Wine Advisor archive:

 Wine Advisor FoodLetter: Beef pot roast (Feb. 23, 2006)

 Wine Advisor Foodletter archive:

 30 Second Wine Advisor, daily or weekly (free)
 Wine Advisor FoodLetter, Thursdays (free)
 Wine Advisor Premium Edition, alternate Tuesdays ($24/year)

For all past editions, click here


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Monday, Feb. 27, 2006
Copyright 2006 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

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