Monthly Archives: August 2013

Scarecrow: Extraordinary Cabernet From Napa’s Oldest Vines

While Scarecrow is undoubtedly a cult Cab, albeit one selling for a fraction of the price of Screaming Eagle, it is also based on grapes with an unusually distinguished pedigree. Add to that Ms. Welch’s thoughtful and sensitive decisions and the result is, I believe, one of the great achievements of California winemaking over the past decade. Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California Wine, Cult Cabs | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

West Sonoma Coast: Distinctive, Cool Climate Pinot, Chardonnay & Syrah

West of West is the early August weekend wine festival devoted to wines made from grapes farmed on the far western coastline of Sonoma County. This year was the event’s third outing, and it was based in an ideal new location: Sebastopol’s spacious Barlow Event Center. All in all, it was one of the most enjoyable and well organized regionally focused wine events I’ve ever attended. Continue reading

Posted in California Wine, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Russian River, Sonoma, Syrah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Concentration & Complexity: Four Historic California Vineyards

I find it especially delightful to visit a very old vineyard. The gnarly old vines in these vineyards, which can live to be well over 100 years old, often develop large weathered holes in the middle of the trunk that make you wonder how the vine still produces fruit given that it appears to be hollow. These kinds of vineyards have special stories to tell. They also produce incredible wine. Continue reading

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Character and Value: Italian Volcanic Wines

I had the opportunity last week to taste wines from five producers whose vineyards are all located in volcanic regions of Italy. I was impressed by the quality, characterfulness and relative value of most of those wines. Rather than their primary connection being their volcanic soils, however, I suspect what caused these wines to be so intriguing and of such high quality is that they are all represented by the same California importer. Continue reading

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