SUMMER WINE PICK: Cass Winery | Viognier | Paso Robles | San Luis Obispo County | California | 2013 | $24 | 88 pts

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Cass Winery, located just east of the town of Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo County, specializes in 100% estate grown Rhone varieties.  Winemaker  Lood Kotze, who grew up near Cape Town, South Africa, and studied at the University of Stellenbosch, is an advocate … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment

WEEKEND WINE PICK: Sebastiani | Cabernet Sauvignon | Sonoma County | California | 2012 | $15 (Avg) | 87 pts

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Sonoma County’s historic Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery, now owned by Bill Foley, consistently impresses us with varietal wines that are personable, affordable, and well-crafted.  A fitting example is their 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, which offers equal doses of sophistication and drinkability.  On the nose are notes of blueberry … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment

PICK of the RACK: Bodegas Santa Ana | Unánime | Gran Vino Tinto | Mendoza | Argentina | 2009 | $25 | 88 pts

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Here’s a robust red for your next outdoor barbeque, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Malbec (25%), and Cabernet Franc (15%) sourced from high-elevation vineyards in San Carlos on the southern end of Mendoza’s Uco Valley.  It’s  full-bodied and fleshy, with aromas of cherry … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment

EVERYDAY WINE PICK: Columbia Crest | Grand Estates | Cabernet Sauvignon | Columbia Valley | Washington | 2011 | $12

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Here’s another winning everyday red from the folks at Columbia Crest that’s widely available, value-priced, and perfect for sultry summer sipping.  It’s a casual and relaxed Cab, with aromas and flavors that touch on some of the savory hallmarks of the variety:  blackcurrant, … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment

PICK of the RACK: Martin Ray Winery | Chardonnay | Santa Cruz Mountains AVA | California | 2012 | $25 | 91 pts

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Rounding out our Chardonnay recommendations for the onset of summer is this graceful rendition of the variety from Martin Ray Winery in Sonoma County. The winemaking team sourced the grapes from two high elevation vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment

PICK of the RACK: Antonin Rodet | Château de Rully | Premeir Cru | Rully AOC | Burgundy | France | 2011 | $30 | 90 pts

This gallery contains 1 photo.

From the Rully AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) in Burgundy comes this elegant Chardonnay, offering aromas of white peach, orange blossom, and wet stone followed by flavors of nectarine, banana, and marzipan, with hints of tarragon and dried pineapple on the long, luscious finish.  The wine is Medium-bodied … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment

PICK of the RACK: Jenner Vineyards | Chardonnay | Sonoma Coast AVA | Sonoma County | California | 2010 | $18 | 90 pts

This gallery contains 1 photo.

This Chardonnay is vivid and pure, with aromas of lemon meringue pie, lime zest, and lemongrass followed by flavors of green apple, orange marmalade, and baked peach.  It’s medium-bodied with acids that are crisp and tangy, and there’s just enough oak to leave a creamy (though … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment

PICK of the RACK: Vina Robles | Petite Sirah | Paso Robles | San Luis Obispo County | California | 2010 | $26 | 90 pts

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Vina Robles founder/proprietor Hans Nef and Managing Partner Hans – R. Michel, both natives of Switzerland, operate their Paso Robles winery according to one essential maxim:  “European Inspiration — California Character.”  The winery’s 2010 Petite Sirah gave us a little taste of how … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment

PICK of the RACK: Cochon Wines | Syrah | Phoenix Ranch | Napa Valley | California | 2010 | $30 | 91 pts

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Aromas: boysenberry & black cherry; cured tobacco; smoke; hint of lime zest Character: dry; full-bodied; savory & layered; fruit-earth-and spice balance; moderate tannins; zesty acidity; moderate oak Flavors: blackberry & black cherry; Nicoise olive; clove; black pepper; iron; touches of bitters and lime zest Food … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment

PICK of VIRGINIA WINE COUNTRY: Early Mountain Vineyards

This gallery contains 10 photos.

The rolling hills around Charlottesville, Virginia, are glorious this time of year.  It is springtime in the Virginia Piedmont – Jefferson’s beloved countryside and home to many of the state’s 250 wineries that endeavor to fulfill the founder’s vision.  Among these is Early … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment