Monthly Archives: May 2008

Beyond the Pinot in the Russian River

Over the past few weekends I’ve had the opportunity to visit some of the wineries in Sonoma’s famed Russian River Valley. This region is rightfully known for its Pinot Noir, a red wine of suppleness coupled the food-friendly charm of … Continue reading

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Throwing strikes on the hill

Stryker Sonoma sits on a little hill with a broad view of the Alexander Valley. We recently visited with Jen Berman on the winemaking team and the Bordeaux varietals were top-notch. I thoroughly enjoyed the chocolaty Merlot and the supple … Continue reading

Posted in Alexander Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Sonoma County | Leave a comment

A look at Italian Primitivo

A Mano Puglia Primitivo IGT 2005 Fine for the price – it shows some Zin-like jammy fruit and complexity probably from a bit of brett. The latest bottle sample in April ’08 was especially supple and Zin-like. Bot for Amano … Continue reading

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Summer dessert with a sparkle

Michele Chiarlo Moscato d’Asti DOCG 2007 Perfect White Muscat smells of orange blossoms and a multitude of other flowers. In the mouth one feels like you’ve just popped a handful of flowers passed your lips, with sweetness and delicacy. P&B … Continue reading

Posted in Italy, Moscato d'Asti, Muscat, Piemonte, Sweet Sparkling | Leave a comment

Hello mumm

Mumm Napa Napa Valley Grande Annee 2001 Lots of citrus fruit in the sparkler of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. A lighter-bodied sparkling that is fruit driven, rounded and possessing some floral/minty characteristics. P&B in Rutherford 12.5% $30 at the winery … Continue reading

Posted in California, Chardonnay, Napa Valley, Pinot Noir, Sparkling Dry | Leave a comment

Sparkling brut

We’ve looked at different styles of brut sparkling before. This flight illustrates some more contrast in what this word can mean. Roederer Estate, Anderson Valley, Estate Bottled, Brut nv This wine is consistently the personification of green apples – lip … Continue reading

Posted in Anderson Valley, California, Champagne, France, Mendocino County, Sparkling Dry | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Cava cava

Codorniu Cava Reserva Raventos Brut nv Intense gunflint in the nose along with some mustiness. There’s some grippy astringency in the mouth. Let’s give it the benefit of the doubt and say it has a low level of cork taint. … Continue reading

Posted in Cava, Chardonnay, Penedes, Spain | Leave a comment

Korbel Extra Dry

Extra dry has always been the most confusing phrase on bottles of bubbly. Of course it is not really extra dry as the name implies. Rather it is drier than the sweetest styles of bubbly. Korbel California Champagne Extra Dry … Continue reading

Posted in California, Sparkling Lightly Sweet | Tagged | Leave a comment

Night o’ pink sparkling

Tonight we taste 8 different bubblies on the pink side, from Spain, north to Burgundy and Champagne and finally back home to California. Codorniu Cava Pinot Noir Brut nv Earthy and coarse – a real disappointment. All Pinot Noir fermented … Continue reading

Posted in Blanc de Noirs, Burgundy, California, Carneros, Cava, Champagne, Chardonnay, Cremant de Bourgogne, France, Napa Valley, Penedes, Pinot Noir, Rosé, Sonoma County, Spain, Sparkling Dry | Leave a comment

Back to the land down under

d’Arenberg McLaren Vale The Custodian Grenache 2005 Juicy warm fruit and earthy notes in a supple package. Grown, produced and bottled in McLaren Vale 14.5% $14.79 at Bottle Barn d’Arenberg Torbreck Barossa Valley Woodcutter’s Shiraz 2006 The reductive notes of … Continue reading

Posted in Australia, Barossa Valley, Grenache, South Australia, Syrah | Leave a comment