Monthly Archives: August 2012

Petite Sirah: Stealth Grape Approaching Its Moment?

I learned from this year’s Petite Sirah Symposium, the tenth year of this event, that the 2010 vintage, bottlings of which are just starting to hit the market, is probably the grape’s best vintage since Petite debuted as a “soloist.” Maybe this California heritage variety, which has for so long been in relative stealth mode, is finally poised for its breakout moment. Continue reading

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Fully Mature Reds at Reasonable Prices? Think Rioja

There is one last value area remaining for those of us looking for our aged red wine fix without having to pay exorbitant prices. A region that has long made high quality, ageworthy wines that, with a few decades on them, are very reminiscent of fine old Barolos and Bordeaux is Rioja—Spain’s illustrious red wine producing region. Continue reading

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Tempranillo in the U.S.: A Learning Curve

The problem with a great many of the Tempranillos produced in the U.S. thus far is that they are too low in acidity and often lacking many of the varietal characteristics that make Tempranillo grown at higher altitudes, in cooler climates, and at controlled yields so very appealing. Continue reading

Posted in California Wine, Oregon, Washington State | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Rioja Gems Part IV: Contrasting Modernists

In sum, there is much to be said for flavorful, complex, modern Riojas, especially if they have a sense of place and taste like spicy, delicious, Tempranillo-based wine. When their winemaker is also a delightful human being and his well made wines represent an excellent value, I can’t recommend them highly enough. Continue reading

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Rioja Gems Part III: Hugely Successful Innovator

This week, it’s my pleasure to relate the details of a visit to two of the winery properties owned by one of Rioja’s reigning winemaking families—the highly successful Egurens. Continue reading

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