Oregon Chardonnay is not a calling card. Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris rank above Chardonnay in terms of wines produced in this state, but nonetheless Oregon Chardonnay does offer diverse expressions and none quite like the Dancin label from Southern Oregon’s Medford region.
Like the talented child who has been overshadowed by his elder bother, Merlot is finally beginning to regain its birthright. The self-proclaimed Merlot Month of October is as good a time as any to celebrate this grape. IntoWine hand selected four Merlots to help you rediscover why Merlot is so good.
Shafer Vineyards in Napa’s Stags Leap District has always been known for Cabernet, to no surprise, as this is stalwart Cabernet country. But they also have championed one of Napa’s most under appreciated grapes, Syrah.
The Santa Lucia Mountain Range in Monterey County separates the Salinas Valley from the Pacific Ocean and Carmel. This is the home of the Santa Lucia Highlands (SLH) AVA and “The Bench” – a literal shelf of land from the foothills, which extends out towards the Salinas Valley, then dramatically drops off.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A rosé by any other name is merely a pink wine. R osé 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 .
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.