Monthly Archives: February 2014

Lion in Winter: Robert Parker Addresses Wine Writers

As to Parker’s continued diatribe against orange, “natural” and low alcohol wines, I could go on at length, and other of my esteemed wine writer colleagues already have (e.g., Alder Yarrow and Eric Asimov). In sum, though, for Parker to follow his broad over generalizations and unfair blasts at producers and writers with a call for greater collegiality on the part of wine writers struck me as more than a little disingenuous. If that’s what Parker wants to see on the part of the wine writing community, I think he needs to learn to practice a little more thoughtful moderation of his own comments. Continue reading

Posted in Wine Critic | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Ballard Canyon: Santa Barbara’s Newest, Rhone-Variety Focused AVA

The aromatic, flavorful, structured Syrahs from this small area southwest of Los Olivos invite comparisons to wines of France’s Northern Rhone. The aromatics, firm tannins and good balancing acidities particularly remind me of the wines of Rhone’s tiny Cornas appellation. Continue reading

Posted in Santa Barbara, Syrah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Plea for Authenticity: No Bogus Wine for Your Valentine

What all the top domestic sparkling wines have in common is that they are not misleading about where they are made. The ones on the market that abuse the loophole and prominently display the word “Champagne” on their labels, websites and retail store signage are the ones you should avoid. Not only are they committing a fraud on unsuspecting consumers; the wine inside also tends to be of inferior quality to accurately labeled domestic sparklers on the market. Continue reading

Posted in Champagne, Sparkling Wine | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sta. Rita Hills: Top Choices from One of California’s Greatest Sites

The cool climate, super long growing season and largely poor soils here facilitate the production of wines that potentially “have it all”: weight, body, richness, minerality and scintillating acidity. Winemakers elsewhere around the world would kill to have this combination of favorable conditions, making it possible to produce fine wines in just about any style a winemaker wants. Continue reading

Posted in California Wine, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, Syrah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments