Category Archives: Sonoma Coast

New Project Yields Profound Wine

It’s not often a wine made in California strikes me as “profound.” Don’t get me wrong, the Golden State makes delicious wines. The usually reliable climate in most of California’s winemaking regions leads to steady ripening and big, full-bodied, fruit forward wines. But for a young California wine to remind me of experiences I’ve occasionally had with old Barolo or mature white Burgundy? Those rare moments of awe when you sit in silence with a wine, sensing secrets and mysteries embedded there along with the sublime pleasure one is experiencing. That, for me, is an encounter with something profound.
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RJ Selection of the Day: Delicious, Mature, Cool Climate Syrah

Today’s offer is an incredible buy on a mature, savory, cool climate Syrah–the 2009 Clary Ranch. This delicious, complex bottling is available for only $22, and drinks like mature Syrahs from the Northern Rhone selling for two or three times that.
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Select Recommended Wines to be Available thru The Redd Collection

When I come across a characterful, well priced wine that is available in the marketplace, The Redd Collection will add it to inventory so that a link can be included in my tasting note. For this project, I will be specifically focused on identifying wines that drink well above their price point that aren’t widely available.
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Grand Daddy of California Wine Events: Family Winemakers San Francisco

The major stars of the tasting for me, with strong lineups overall and one or more wines rating 93 points or higher, were Bien Nacido, Benovia, Chateau Montelena, Grgich Hills, Herb Lamb, Kaena, Keenan, Ladera, Lagier Meredith, Lamborn Family, L’Aventure, Ottimino, Paloma, Saxon Brown, Seavey, Thomas Fogarty and Vino Noceto. Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California Wine, Chardonnay, Napa, Paso Robles, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Rosé, Russian River, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, Sonoma Coast, Syrah, Zinfandel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

California Wines Showing More Balance: SF Family Winemakers Tasting

What was noteworthy for me among the wines I tasted was a decline in the overripe versions of these wines that had come to dominate production over the last two decades. Due, I’m sure, to the relative coolness of the last few vintages in California, as well as to a conscious aim for higher acid, more balanced wines by an increasing number of winemakers here, I tasted many more balanced, lower alcohol Cabernets this year. Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California Wine, Chardonnay, Napa, Paso Robles, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Russian River, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz Mountains, Sonoma, Sonoma Coast, Syrah, Zinfandel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

San Francisco Pinot Days: Pinot from All Over

The eighth annual Pinot Days grand tasting visited San Francisco’s Fort Mason Festival Pavilion this past Saturday. This was my sixth year attending the event, and I’ve seen it shrink, particularly over the past couple years, from a two-day-plus extravaganza, featuring several seminars with winemakers in addition to the Sunday grand tasting, to now a single, half-day event on Saturday, without the winemaker seminars. Pinot Days claims to still be the biggest Pinot Noir festival in the world, with over 200 producers and around 500 wines. Nonetheless, this is not the three-day-weekend, wall-to-wall Pinot fest it used to be. Continue reading

Posted in California Wine, New Zealand Wine, Pinot Noir, Russian River, Santa Barbara, Sonoma Coast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Many Moods of Pinot Noir

So what are the different styles of Pinot Noir? Since so many growers and winemakers refer to it as a “fickle” grape, explaining that it is both hard to grow and often tricky to make wine out of, perhaps we should refer to the “moods” of Pinot rather than styles. Continue reading

Posted in Pinot Noir, Russian River, Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Lucia Highlands, Sonoma Coast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments