Wine Producers, Growers, & Labels

Wine of The Week - 2014 Olema Cabernet Sauvignon - 90 Points

Sonoma has carved out its own reputation for Cabernet Sauvignon in spite of the shadow that Napa casts across its border. Surprising to many is that Cabernet in Sonoma was planted as far back as the mid 1880s. Fortunately given the quality of Sonoma fruit, there are a diversity of wines at various price points. Comprised of 97% Cabernet and 3% Petite Sirah the 2014 Olema Cabernet is that wine made of quality fruit that allows a lower cost while maintaining Cabernet’s caliber. Farmed from mostly Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Valley grapes, with a small amount of Knight's Valley in the mix, the grapes were crushed, then stainless steel fermented, allowing for the vibrant fruit to remain intact.

Wine of The Week – Frank Family Vineyards 2015 Carneros Pinot Noir - 92 Points

Napa’s Frank Family Vineyards is better known for Cabernet Sauvignon than Pinot Noir, which might be exactly why this Pinot stands out. The grapes are sourced form Carneros, both from their own Lewis Vineyard and other Carneros sites, and were harvested between September and October. Grape clusters were de-stemmed, and the berries were cold soaked for four days in stainless steel open top fermenters, with daily punch downs.

The West Coast’s 20 Most Under-Appreciated Wine Regions

We all know Willamette (rhymes with dammit), Napa gets plenty of nods, Paso is the pet of the press, and Santa Barbara and Sonoma shine, while Walla Walla is working wonders. But lurking in the shadows of notable wine regions on West Coast places like Mendocino and Malibu, Umpqua and Puget Sound all suffer the same fate, namely, that bigger wine regions nearby get all the attention.

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.

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