Posts tagged Cabernet Sauvignon
Jordan Takes Another Step to Further Its French-Forward Identity

Jordan Winery has always embraced French wine principles, from its grape varieties and its terroir-led winemaking philosophy to its beautiful Sonoma County château. Just one factor in Jordan's red wine production that was distinctly different was its use of American oak…. After a four year ramp up that began in 2011, the 2015 is the first release of Cabernet Sauvignon aged entirely in French oak barrels. 

Read More
The Intersection of Wine and Spirits: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Red Wine

At a recent family wedding, an uncle-in-law was especially eager to chat with me. He, a life-long Scotch drinker, was excited about a wine. Not only was he excited internally, I could read it on his face and in his body language. He meant it! He told me that he and his wife were buying it by the case and telling all of their friends about it. 

Read More
Cliff Lede's Just-Released Pair

Cliff Lede 2018 Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley: This is a succulent and lush Sauvignon Blanc with gooseberry, papaya and nectarine heightened by a scintillating Calvados and Key lime edge…. The judicious use of 10% Sémillon and 3% Sauvignon Vert gives this wine just the verve it needs to set it part from most other Napa Sauvignons. Not only is this a delicious white wine value overall, it is astonishingly well-priced for Napa. 

Read More
Easy-Going Reds for a Sanssouci Summer

It's easy for reds to feel ponderously heavy in the summer, especially when they are concentrated, elevated in alcohol and lavished with new oak. But, we all still want to drink red wines from time to time during warm weather. Leave it to the out-of-the-box renegade - and seriously good palate and globe-trotting winemaker - Ernst Loosen to find not only a solution but also a very gently priced one. Moreover,  the wines come from France's Languedoc, a region formerly strapped with the reputation of producing clumsy, jammy wines. 

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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!

Read More
Barone Ricasoli – Castello di Brolio Duo

What a fascinating comparison of a Riserva and a Gran Selezione from the same cellar and vintage! There is a clear sibling resemblance via the fervent focus on savoriness. I would love to taste these again together in five then in ten years time to see how they evolve. I am confident that neither will disappoint.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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. 

Read More
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.)

Read More
Arínzano Wines – It’s All About the Pago

An arínzano is an agricultural estate that showcases unique vineyards, and this winery was the first estate in northern Spain to be endowed with the prestigious Vinos de Pago classification. The term pago is a nod to the Greek “pagus”, or property. The idea behind these wines is that they are entirely unique because of their provenance, or terroir, in wine geek speak. In sum, pago equals prestige, as the classification is set up.

Read More