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.
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.