Posts in USA
385 Notes & 501 Scores on Sonoma Pinot Noir & Chardonnay

These Pinot Noir and Chardonnay tastings were primarily conducted in Sonoma over the course of two visits (one for ten days, one for three days). My ten-day visit was thorough, covering eight hundred and four miles (1,294 km) and 39 winery appointments.

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Faust 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon: Worth a Pact with Mephistopheles

Faust 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley: This is quintessential Napa Cabernet – in taste and in sourcing. It has a tantalizing succulence corralled by vivacious structure. The tannins are hedonistically velvety and the refreshment is almost electric – perfect for harnessing the richness of the densely textured and generously full-bodied palate.

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An Intro to Intrinsic Wine Company

Washington winemaker Juan Muñoz-Oca takes wine craftsmanship to a zany new place with these two wines under the premise that the environment affects winemaking like it does street art. As it is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it is also in the glass of the imbiber.

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Joel Gott: 20 Years Under $20

This was Joel Gott’s 20th vintage, after having started his business when he saw the demand for wines under $20 back in 1996. This is a blend not only of grapes (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Malbec and Cabernet Franc), but also of regions (Lake County, Monterey and Lodi) with the aim of making a wine of harmony.

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Harmony, Grace & Thoughtfulness - Man & Bottle

I often think can find the winemaker in the wine, and yet again, that is the case with David Ramey’s 2016 Claret. On paper this bottling looks like a precise, acrobatic exercise in blending…. Yet from the first to the last drop, this fusion radiates harmony, grace and thoughtfulness, just like the man behind the juice. 

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Troon Vineyard 2016s & 2017s

My latest series of sturdy young white and red bottlings from Troon needed aeration like never before. If you can spare the time, two or more hours would be ideal. Where I kept the bottle overnight, the wines always were more forthcoming the second day. They are usually worth the wait.

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A New Set of Gloria Ferrer Bubblies for the Holidays

Gloria Ferrer is one Sonoma’s most consistent producers of finessed bubbles. That’s not just due to its 35-plus years in California and steady application of know-how and TLC to its 340 acres of estate-grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Ferrer family has been growing grapes in Catalonia for over 600 years and launched its first Cava under the Freixenet label in 1914!

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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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