Posts tagged Sonoma
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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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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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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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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Under $25 Pinot Noir Values from Sonoma

Pinot Noir isn’t an easy grape to grow and it isn’t an easy grape to vinify either. Combine those two points with low yields and you have a wine style that tends to be pricey, wherever it hails from. Plus, Sonoma isn’t an appellation known for its bargains, whatever the grape variety may be. So, when I recently purchased a dozen Sonoma Pinot Noirs under $40, I was particularly pleased to find these three bottlings under $25.

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Pinot Noir: The Gypsy

Last week I met Davis Bynum. Davis was one of the modern pioneers of Russian River Valley. (The Russians who settled there in the early 1800s planted vines before the Gold Rush of 1849.) In fact, Davis was the first to produce a single vineyard Pinot Noir from the area AND indicate its origins on the label.

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Cross-Comparison of Pinot Noir Clones

Figuring out where these clones come from is a bit like researching a family tree before the internet. There’s a fair bit of uncertainty amongst the researchers themselves, so where does that leave the rest of us? Luckily, the chart makes it pretty easy to cross-reference with its column titled “Also Known As”, in which almost every clone other than the Dijon clones show at least one other name. From the US Perspective, the source of Martini 58 is Louis Martini in the USA. From the New Zealand Perspective, the source of Clone 13 is UC Davis, USA. The Australians indicate two origins for their G8V3: UC Davis, USA and Switzerland. Now that we’ve figured that one out, let’s look at the David Bruce Clone. Apparently it was cultivated first by Paul Masson and then by Martin Ray in the US…but way back when, it immigrated from somewhere in the Côte d’Or.

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