Posts tagged Cabernet Franc
Flung Across the Bordeaux Region, The "Côtes" de Bordeaux

Five communes comprise the Côtes de Bordeaux, and they're a curious bunch, geographically speaking. While technically all on Bordeaux's Right Bank, they don't sit together, save Francs and Castillon. 

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Rodney Strong Over-Delivers on This Quintet

This array of Rodney Strong wines over-delivers for its price points. Per my previous post, this isn’t surprising. They have a smartly balanced oak influence, meaning that any new oak flavors present are well-integrated and don’t over take the fresh fruit nuances. They also do a terrific job of showing regional and varietal typicity. I’ll gladly endorse these, especially the Chardonnay Chalk Hill and the Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley.

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What Happened? Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia 2015

Those who follow wine closely know that it is a living drink. Like people, wine has good and bad days. 

I deeply hoped this 2015 Le Serre Nuove was having a bad day when I first tasted it professionally then drank it over several hours with dinner. It was astonishingly disappointing. A second bottle was modestly more satisfying but effectively identical. It certainly did not live up to my standard for Le Serre Nuove, a wine that I have tasted in its various phases – different winemakers, blends, vintages and so forth – for almost two decades.

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The Gamble of Generations: Investing in a Napa Valley Vineyard & Winery

The French have a saying that it takes three generations to see the cycle of a family business: one to build it, one to grow it then one to destroy it. I don’t know what the rest of the Gamble family farming business looks like today, but I can say that the “Gamble” of generations has paid off on the wine front. It seems Tom has started a new cycle, without finishing the first one!

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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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BenMarco 2016: Yes, Please!

I am loving the lower alcohols coming out of all peaks and crevices of Mendoza today. The wines were always delicious to taste, and now they are becoming more and more drinkable. This trio from Dominio del Plata’s BenMarco line provides a good set of examples. No wine exceeds 13.5% abv, and their freshness levels are exhilarating.

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Susana Balbo’s Latest, Classy Releases from Dominio del Plata

Signature Brioso White Blend Valle de Uco 2017: This dazzlingly fragrant white from Susana Balbo is a new release from Valle de Uco’s Altamira. This is a dynamic and unusual white from Argentina. It is super fun to sip and very easy on the wallet, too.

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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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New Releases from Marco Felluga & Russiz Superiore

Marco Felluga 2014 Bianco Collio Molamatta: Named for its physical location, this is a true Super Friulian blend composed of 40% Pinot Bianco, 40% Tocai Friulano and 20% Ribolla Gialla. This striking blend delivers great harmony, not speaking of a particular grape variety but nodding toward fine terroir and good craftsmanship.

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A Tour of Bulgaria in a Glass

Having visited Bulgaria twice for the Balkans International Wine Competition and having visited several wineries, I was thrilled when I was contacted to taste through a large number of Bulgarian wines coming into the US market.

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Paolo e Noemia d’Amico

Hailing from a corner of Lazio that overlaps Umbria – almost smack in the center of Italy, this family-run estate makes wines primarily from international grape varieties. Whereas most Italian wines made from “outsider” grapes tend to be rich and boisterous, these are all incredibly graceful.


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Bordeaux’s 2016 Vintage – An En Primeur That At Last Is (Mostly) A Pleasure To Taste

Bordeaux En Primeur 2016 was my first, verging-on-excellence En Primeur campaign. The top end turned out wines that were easy to be choosy about. So much the better when you’re forking over big digits two years before you receive the wines. The vintage also allowed for plenty of charming wines that will be pleasant to drink as well as ones that are overly ambitious. Regardless the appellation, it was exciting to see who teased out just a bit more of everything in their expressions of the vintage through their terroir.

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Hungarian Wines Today – It’s Hard to Know Where to Home In

With many reviving sectors of the lesser-known or somewhat forgotten corners of the wine world, it is easy to think there is just one region, one style or one grape. It happens often elsewhere. Just think of the US, California, Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon. There’s a lot more to California wine than this one hallmark. So, it is no surprise that in a less well-known region like Hungary, stereotypes and simplifications happen all the time.

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New Prestige Releases from Trinchero

Trinchero 2012 Forte Napa Valley: This estate-grown wine boasts exceptional concentration. In fact, it’s a bit of a monster! It is inky black in color, bold in its full body and strident in grainy tannins. Alas, this is a classic case of a high-end wine seeing a retail shelf or restaurant wine list far before its time, even if it is now four years post-vintage.

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Thoughts & Scores from 2015 Bordeaux En Primeur

Another year, another en primeur campaign. How long this system can sustain itself? It seems every year the fuse gets shorter. What 2015 offers is a highly mixed bag. There’s something for everyone, but without careful research, everyone may not love what he or she purchases.

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Mullan Road Cellars 2013 Red Blend Columbia Valley

Winemakers often feel the need to stretch their boundaries. While I’ve heard of a number of Sonoma Pinot Noir makers heading to Oregon for fruit, I’ve not heard similar stories about Napa-ites reaching north. Until now. It turns out that in 2012, Dennis Cakebread ushured in a new era for his wildly successful family business.

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Bordeaux Supérieur Truly Is Superior…Especially These Days

Wine folks – myself included – often look skeptically upon Bordeaux Supérieur. What’s so superior about a few extra years of vine age in a region that actually keeps its vines quite young? Sure, Supérieur wines age at least nine months before release as well, often in some sort of barrel…but, they don’t have to. At least Supérieur doesn't refer to a half percent of extra alcohol here.

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