Posts in USA
Troon Vineyard 2017 Riesling Whole Grape Ferment Kubli Bench

I couldn’t help but smile when I read that the team at Troon decided to forgo the industry lingo of “skin fermented” on this label as they think it sounds “kind of yucky”. When it comes to human skin, I get it. The idea of sticky toes treading grapes never sounds appealing to me. However, this is different.

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The Latest Releases of FEL and Cliff Lede

One of the most impressive attributes of the FEL wines is their consistency at a high quality level. The Pinot Noir and the Chardonnay are especially notable. I always appreciate the FEL wines’ terrific balance and clearly defined varietal character. Year over year, I am entirely confident of what I will get in a bottle of wine from FEL. So, I was excited to taste the Pinot Gris for the first time.

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A Surprise Arrival from Rodney Strong Vineyards

I was surprised and delighted to see a set of wines from Rodney Strong arrive the other day. I used to buy this family-owned winery’s juice in considerable volumes as the National Wine Director of Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, and I have always felt the wines represented good value for the money.

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Joseph Wagner’s New Projects: Böen and Elouan

Joseph Wagner grew up in a Napa Valley family legend in-the-making, Caymus Vineyards. In establishing his own brands, he has impressively translated his understanding of “what the consumer wants” into a series of “must haves” that have largely been based on Pinot Noir rather than Caymus’ Cabernet Sauvignon. Staking out on his own, Joseph previously created the much-loved Belle Glos Pinot Noir line-up as well as Meiomi, the latter now under the ownership of Constellation Brands.)

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sidebar: David Ramey Navigates a New Course

David Ramey launched sidebar Cellars in 2014 to push boundaries. He and the next generation of Rameys, Claire and Alan, are exploring new grape varieties and wine styles. They are making not only Sauvignon Blanc but also Zinfandel, rosé and…Kerner! From the taste of things, sidebar will be much more than its diminuitive name suggests.

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Troon Vineyard 2016 Releases

G*S*M 2015 Rogue Valley: This wine is noted to be an astonishingly precise 39.66% Syrah, 31.61% Mourvèdre, 16.06% Grenache and 12.67% Sangiovese! It is a pale-colored and youthful blend bursting with rose petals and spice box aromatics that eagerly show off its Grenache and Sangiovese portions.

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A Trip Down Memory (Star) Lane

I recall putting the 2006 Star Lane Sauvignon Blanc Dierberg on the wine list at JG Steakhouse in Scottsdale, Arizona, when I was the Director of Culinary Concepts by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. I had tasted the Sauvignon Blancs of Star Lane plenty of times, so I can’t fathom today why I have no recollection of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

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