Wine Producers, Growers, & Labels

Wine of The Week – Cliff Lede Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard- 95 Points

Beckstoffer is a name synonymous with exceptional Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The fruit is always highly sought-out and few producers are lucky enough to get some. Cliff Lede makes terrific Cabernet and so they know intrinsically how to treat highly prized To Kalon fruit. And this is clearly evidenced in their 2014 Cabernet.

Who Moved My Champagne? Bollinger’s Bragging Rights

In 2010 an intern at Champagne Bollinger, located in Aÿ, France, was tasked with cataloging some of the three-quarters of a million bottles housed in their underground cellars. What he stumbled upon was nothing short of staggering.

Wine of The Week – Vina Robles 2016 Rosé - 90 Points

A rosé by any other name is merely a pink wine. Rosé is not an easy thing to make in spite of the abundance of them that clutter store shelves. Frankly, most of them are generic and tedious. But hailing from Paso Robles, a location known for big extracted wines, come a lithe yet deftly bold rosé.

Wine of The Week – Left Coast Cellars 2016 White Pinot Noir - 90 Points

Oregon is known for Pinot Noir. The Van Duzer Corridor it is the only break in Oregon’s Coastal Range that borders the western side of the Willamette Valley. This gap allows Pacific Ocean air to flow eastward into the Willamette, moderating the summer heat.

Top Ten Live Albums and their Wine Pairings

Lately I have been enjoying my wine listening to “Live” music albums.  As it often happens, it became a thing for me to rank the best “Live” albums.  Of course, this is just as controversial as ranking wines, but for me anyway, this is my list.  

Wine of The Week – 2015 Landmark Overlook Chardonnay - 91 Points

For 25 years Landmark Vineyards has produced what has become a signature wine,

Wine of The Week – Millennial 2015 Pinot Noir - 93 Points

Santa Barbara has earned a just reputation as a solid Pinot Noir producer. There are many notable well-known Pinot’s here, but what is happening under the radar in the County is also just as impressive. Millennial Wines, a very small producer based in Lompoc, has turned out a stellar Pinot Noir that can rival some of the bigger producers.

Cultivating the Good Life: Q&A with Lorenza Wine Co’s Melinda Kearney

 

When mother/daughter duo Melinda Kearney and Michele Ouellet set out to craft a subtle yet sexy French-style Rosé using California grapes in 2008, they were nothing short of mavericks in an American wine landscape dominated by the big reds.

Wine of The Week - Taylor Fladgate 325th Anniversary Reserve Tawny Port - 93 Points

To celebrate their astonishing 325 years in the wine business, Taylor Fladgate has released a special Port in a unique bottle, reflecting their history and heritage. Made of traditional Portuguese varieties - Toiriga Nacional, Toiriga Francesa, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Cão, and Tinta Amarela, various blends were pulled from their 10, 20, 30 and 40 year old Tawnies to create this celebratory anniversary blend. You’ll find sweet plum, black cherry, fig, roasted nuts, notes of apricot, spicy hints of black pepper, and mocha. There are more subtle notes of licorice, nutmeg, prune and butterscotch. Dense and velvety on the palate, a solid acidity supports the viscosity, making this an ideal Port with food. The bottle itself, a squat bulbous dark glass bottle, is based on a design from 1692, and considered the first British shipment of Port to England in that particular bottle shape. Not only is this a superb Port but it offers superb and unique packaging.

Wine of The Week – 2014 Addendum Cabernet Sauvignon, Skellenger Lane – 93 Points

Actor turned vintner Fess Parker formed his eponymous winery in Santa Barbara in 1989. Though Mr. Parker passed away in 2010 his family has continued his aspirations by adding to the winery’s offerings from outside of Santa Barbara. From Rutherford, one of Napa’s best Cabernet Sauvignon regions, their new venture, Addendum, fresh out of the gate shows immense promise. Addendum is a line of Napa Cabernet Sauvignons and their Skellenger Lane is a ripe opulent, rich and concentrated wine. Spending 28 months exclusively in new French oak there is an obviousness to that decision however the oak, while pronounced, is also well integrated into the structure of the wine, so as to allow the fruit to co-star. The nose is lush, rich, resonant with sweet berry and vanilla oak. There is a wonderful viscosity with this wine; a velvet liquidity. The 2014 offers notes of plum, black cherry, black berry, blue berry, slightly sweet menthol and camphor. It is big and bold but gracious and harmonious, much like Mr. Parker was.

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