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From Start to Finish: A Conversation with Thérèse Martin of Martin Ranch Winery

Martin Ranch Winery

The winding, tree cocooned Redwood Retreat Road in Gilroy, California, snakes its way alongside Little Arthur Creek and steadily climbs up 600 ft. toward Mount Madonna. Once home to the widow of famed writer Robert Louis Stevenson, this southern neck of the Santa Cruz Mountains continues to lure day trippers, adventurers and cyclists. For two weekends each month, wine enthusiasts heed the call to likewise abandon their GPS and take this less travelled path to experience the award-winning wines of Martin Ranch Winery.

Wine To Go Buy This Week - 2014 Byron Monument Pinot Noir – 93 Points

Santa Barbara’s Byron Winery started in 1984 located on the Santa Maria Valley Bench above the erratic Santa Maria River. Using diverse clones, this “cellar blend” as winemaker Jonathan Nagy calls it, utilizes clones 2A, Swan, Pommard, and Benedict Selection to create a vibrant expression of a multi-layered Pinot Noir. All the fruit comes from the Santa Maria Valley and in fact all Byron Pinot Noirs are now single Vineyard designates. This wine introduces plum, black cherry, boysenberry, blackberry and an intriguing rusticity with a subtle but present acidity.

Wine To Go Buy This Week - 2015 LaZarre Wines Albariño - 92 Points

Albariño is one of the those grapes that, in the right hands, presents not only an alternative to the typical Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc that is ubiquitous on the market, but takes the best of what you want in a food-oriented white wine, and elevates it in terms of a floral and zesty nose, and comprehensive fruit and acids.

Wine To Go Buy This Week - 2012 Duckhorn Vineyards Howell Mountain Napa Valley Red Wine – 93 Points

Duckhorn Vineyards has sourced grapes from Howell Mountain for more than a quarter century and has crafted a Howell Mountain bottling since 1989. Recognized as one of the Napa Valley’s best winegrowing regions, grapes from Howell Mountain are known for producing age-worthy red wines. The 2012, comprised of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot, offers soft but intense fruit, is stunningly viscous and smooth, and fills the palate with bing cherry, wild berries, red currant, dried herbs and graphite, cedar, and back notes of earthiness and minerality, stone, and hibiscus.

Wine To Go Buy This Week - 2013 Psagot Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – 89 Points

Though Israel is one of the cradles of the wine world historically speaking, most people aren’t aware that this region still produces wine. There are currently about 60 commercial wineries and about 300 boutiques wineries in Israel. Psagot started in 2003 and their 2013 Cabernet is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon harvested from vineyards in the Jerusalem Hills at about 900 meters (3,000 feet). This wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks with both pump-overs and punch-downs up to eight times a day. Following a full malolactic fermentation, the wine was aged in French and American oak barrels for 13 months. The result is a wine full of notes of ripe cherry, black berry, blueberry and pomegranate, along with brambleberry, black tea and muted sweet cedar. It offers moderate to tight tannins allowing the fruit to be center stage, a graceful acidity, and a medium finish, allowing for a diversity of food pairings.

Wine To Go Buy This Week - 2014 Pahlmeyer Chardonnay – 94 Points

Chardonnay is often seen as a dime a dozen, but when you find an iteration so c

Wine To Go Buy This Week - 2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Franc – 91 Points

Cabernet Franc in California typically is a different animal than Franc from its home in the Loire Valley in France. New World Francs tend to have hefty tannic structure, are overripe and too often resemble Cabernet Sauvignon, though they shouldn’t.

Girl Scout Cookie - Wine Pairing Recommendations

It’s that time of year again.  Girl Scout cookie time.  Of course, for some people, that is a chance to avoid making eye contact with the Moms and Dads who are co-workers of yours.  For others, it’s a chance to meet the neighbors as their girls’ tour door to door peddling the sugary wares.  And for even others, it’s a chance to go off their diets in the interest of supporting the greater good.

His & Hers: Mine Be Wine for Valentine

I cannot pretend to know what everyone prefers in terms of their wine choice. I can however use my own 18-year relationship with my wife to tell you what she prefers -  Sauvignon Blanc, and I prefer something red; Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Zin, Dolcetto and the list goes on.

Wine To Go Buy This Week – Valentine’s Edition - Moët & Chandon Rosé Imperial – 90 Points

As one of the largest landholders in Champagne and one of the oldest Champagne Houses dating from 1743, Moët & Chandon consistently turns out quality Champagne.

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