For the last six years, October has been designated as (hashtag) MerlotMe, a month long campaign to get people to drink more Merlot. Don’t people already drink Merlot? Well, yes, it’s the second most planted red grape behind Cabernet Sauvignon. Here in the US there’s still residual Sideways Merlot...
The misunderstanding of Port is that it is either for the winter months, or merely an after dinner drink. Yet neither is exclusive. Graham’s 20-Year-Old Tawny bridges all the gaps. Using a variety of Ports from five different vineyard sites, this 20-Year-Old is drinking extremely well right now...
One of the beautiful things about Pinot Noir is that with so many different clones that can go into making it, Pinot provides diverse expressions. In the case of The Famous Gate, a wine Domaine Carneros has made for 25 years, the composition is 87% Swan, 9% Dijon 115 and 4% Pommard UCD-5.
Albarino is one of Spain and Portugal’s signature grapes, but Albarino from California is another matter altogether. Typically forgettable when grown in California, Gallica has found the secret to Albariño’s success by finding the correct vineyard - this one from Calaveras County - a plot at 2,100 feet elevation, and treating it with enough love that, though it stylistically differs from its Spanish brethren, it is successful in its own right.
The Chilean wine industry dates back to the mid 1500s with the arrival of the Spanish missionaries who brought grapevine cuttings with them to plant for sacramental wine. 500 years later and Chilean wine is booming with quality wines ranging from inexpensive to high-end.
Cabernet Franc is not a calling card for Napa Valley. The cousin to Cabernet Sauvignon, Franc is often used as a blending partner, and occasionally as a stand-alone wine. But at Ehlers Estate in St. Helena, Cabernet Franc has always been part of the portfolio and was planted prior to the Ehlers securing the property.
P ét-nat’s have become something of a fad lately and many of them, though meant to be lighter in style, are merely a flash in the palate. Pétillant Naturel, known more commonly as pét-nat is, in essence, wine that hasn’t finished fermenting before it’s bottled.
Zinfandel is one of the oldest continuously planted grapes in California, arriving with the influx of immigrants during the California Gold Rush. The Zinfandel vines used in the Tizona stretch back nearly as far, 99 year-old vines to be precise, and like many truly “old vines” in Lodi are own rooted and dry farmed.
Paraduxx started in 2004 with an express purpose to achieve uniform and consistent success with blended wines over stand-alone wines, all made from Napa Valley fruit. Comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Zinfandel, this is that rare two-grape blend that allows both grapes to shine in equal measure.
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.