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Wine Tasting Notes Week of October 13, 2014

  Malbec is one of the hottest varieties around the world right now, yet there is “Malbec” and there is “Malbec.” The difference is not just the country (think Cahors, France vs. Mendoza, Argentina) yet also the type of wood and length of aging as well as the quality of the grapes themselves. Rutini Trumpeter […]


Anna de Codorniu #Cava … on “Sparkling Sunday”

Sundays are always a great time to break out the bubbly and enjoy the day (especially with delicious dessert). This past Sunday, we tried Anna de Codorniu Brut, NV and Brut Rose, NV, cava made in the traditional method in which the fermentation takes place in the bottle – similar to Champagne. First the bottle […]


Tasting the Wines of Rodney Strong Estate on the 25th Anniversary #RSV25

At the recent wine blogger’s conference in Santa Barbara I was able to hook up with the Rodney Strong Brothers folks, who are celebrating their 25th Anniversary. The story of this world class winery actually begins more than 50 years ago, when a celebrated American dancer named Rod Strong settled in Sonoma County to pursue […]


Wines of California: Book Review

Of course, Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen are the coolest guys. In this book the “World Wine Guys” take readers on a fab trip into California winemaking, history, and geography. You will also find some great recipes from local chefs, yet what I liked best of all are Mike’s and Jeff’s fun, easy “voice,” that […]


Tasting Notes Week of September 8th, 2014

Georges Duboeuf Beajolais Village 2013 This is a great food wine, especially in summer and early fall, with softer tannins and a fruit-led structure. It was fun to try it side by side with a “cru” the … George Duboeuf Julienas Chateau des Capitans 2013 … which had more structure, and more concentrated “types” of […]


Tasting Notes Week of July 29, 2014 2011 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet

  2011 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Very excited to try this new vintage from Faust, which is  the creation of Agustin Huneeus who created Quintessa, with Charles Thomas in charge of winemaking. The wine is rich, smooth, and     quite delicious with blackberry fruit and incredible elegance and finesse. Coombsville – where the winery is located […]


Martin Codax 2012 Albarino for Summer!

Of course you know Martin Codax Albarino — crisp dry finish with flavors if ripe peach, pear, and lemon zest. And you KNOW that bright minerality is meant for seafood. Yet here are some curious stats you may not know! First, the amount of seafood has doubled in America in the past forty years. What […]


Wines from Rias Baixas for Summer

Recently I received four very delicious – and very DIFFERENT  – styles of wine from Rias Baixas, the DO in Galicia (northwest Spain) established in 1988. It is the only exclusively white wine DO in Spain. Though I had been to seminars in the past, having the time to taste these four wines and see […]


Santa Ynez Inn Rocks

  Fab visit to the Santa Ynez Inn, a luxury hotel in the tiny (and I mean very small!) ‘old west’ town of Santa Ynez. Arriving here one drives through what can only be called a stage set at MGM studios where Westerns were filmed. In fact, there are even hitching posts in front of […]


Tasting Franciscan Estate Wines

Very interesting comparative tasting between two Franciscan Estate wines – just right for summer. Franciscan Estate 2013 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc Very crisp and refreshing with lime/lemon citrus fruit profile and bright acidity. Franciscan Estate 2013 Equilibrium Interesting style – Sauvignon Blanc (72%) with 17% Chardonnay and 11% Muscat. The style, while relatively dry, has […]


Tasting Notes week of June 23, 2014

Banfi 2011 Belnero Toscana Delicious well-balanced red blend with notes of blueberry and very subtle oak. Rich ripe fruit, grape for steak. Banfi 2012 Rosso di Montalchino Bright red cherry and tart plum with vibrant acidity and tame tannins. 18 months mix of French barrique and Slovenian oak after10 days fermentation. Assobio 2010 Table wine […]


Book Review: Tom Stevenson’s Buy the Right Wine Every Time

Ok, so we already know that Tom Stevenson is a genius, yes? His Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia is the standard reference for the Master of Wine and Master Sommelier examinations worldwide. This distinguished (though cool and low key) gentleman has also won many literary awards. Yet to be honest, carrying around all these reference books on […]


Finger Lakes Wines Rock #FLXwine

Did you know the Finger Lakes is considered a world class wine growing region? The Finger lakes were carved out by successive waves of glaciers. These large, deep fresh water lakes and the soil deposits surrounding them are the glaciers gifts to modern winemakers. I recently tasted three excellent samples of wine … 2011 Swedish […]


Tasting Notes Week of May 5, 2014

Michael David Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Very well balanced, food friendy wine that is more “old world” than new in its bright crisp flavor profile. Compared it blind to a Sancerre and similar except for a fresher, crisper profile with slightly more fruit led flavors. Delicious. Michael David Earthquake Zinfandel 2012 Wow so fab! Juicy concentrated […]


Book Review: Buy the Right Wine Every Time by Tom Stevenson

  Okay, so the sub-title to this book is: The No-Fuss No-Vintage Wine Guide.  It is designed for the consumer who “drinks wine” yet does not “think wine.” The above statement translates into a nicely packaged, informative book that is a guide to the most widely available wines found in restaurants and wine shops globally. […]

Tasting Note February 2, 2014

Vaza Rioja Cosecha 2012 Very fresh and vibrant wine with red cherries, oak, that pairs well with many different cuisine at an affordable price point.  This is actually the entry level wine of a top winery I visited in Rioja Solar Viejo Jose Montilla is the winemaker at Solar Viejo in Rioja, which was originally built […]

Tasting Notes January 27, 2014: Dama de Toro + Spanish Sons

Spanish Sons 2010 Tempranillo from Castilla Y Leon, Spain – very well made, easy drinking wine with gentle tannins and a pleasant smoky character.  Flavors of cherry and subtle tobacco and well balanced acidity and tannin. *** Tasted three wines from Dama de Toro, from the Douro Valley in Spain. Dama De Toro Malvasia 2012 […]

2005 Domaine Pierre Gelin Fixin

Drinking well this moment. Nose ripe with concentrated morello red cherry and earthy minerality, palate very structured with rich ripe red fruit and some blackcurrant in the background, acidity racy medium and tannin grippy and medium, very refined. finish long and mineral with a focus of red concentrated fruit.


eBook Review: The World Atlas of Wine, by Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson

Like many of you, I’ve been buying enormous, weighty wine books and atlases with each new edition, as there is always important and exciting information. As soon as the newest version of The World Atlas of Wine by Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson came out, I raved about it in a review, as the text […]

2008 Croft Vintage Port

Inky, jammy black fruit on the nose and palate, very well balanced with med+ racy acidity, muscular yet supple tannins, and a long finish of crushed blackberries and minerals. Aromas: violets,blackberries Other flavors: spice, black currant, cinnamon, nutmeg, loganberries, mission fig (fresh, ripe), black prune (moist, top quality), cassis How could I know it was […]