Stadt Krems: New Releases of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling

Grillenparz Vineyard on the Danube

Stadt Krems is one of Europe’s oldest wineries. We first tasted its wines for our Report # 25 The Wines of Austria. We recently met with Franz-Josef “Goose” Gansberger, who manages both Stadt Krems and Weingut Stift Göttweig, and eagerly accepted his offer to again taste his wines. The wines are from the very good 2015 and very challenging 2016 vintages. Continue reading

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Pellegrini Wine Company: Russian River Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

This is our first acquaintance with the wines of Pellegrini, a family owned and operated wine company which began operations in Sonoma County after Prohibition.  In 1973 the family purchased a 70 acre plum and apple orchard on West Olivet Road in Russian River Valley that became the estate’s Olivet Lane Vineyard.  Olivet Lane has been the source of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes for some of Russian River Valley’s finest wineries and for its own label. Continue reading

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75th Anniversary of La Rioja Alta’s Viña Ardanza: 1989-2008 Vertical

Original 1890 Oak Vats

In 1942, Leandro Ardanza Angulo, President of La Rioja Alta, released the first vintage of the iconic wine, Viña Ardanza. His goal was to make a Rioja wine in the style of Burgundy and for that reason chose a Burgundy-style bottle. This year, Viña Ardanza celebrates its 75th anniversary with winemaker Julio Sáenz at the helm. We recently sat down with Julio and with Guillermo de Aranzabal, President of La Rioja Alta, to celebrate this anniversary by tasting a vertical of Viña Ardanza from 1989 to 2008.  Continue reading

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Sonoma County’s Patz & Hall: New Releases from the 2015 Vintage

This winery, founded in 1988, is the product of a successful partnership of Donald Patz, James Hall, Anne Moses and Heather Patz. Over the past 25 years Patz & Hall has produced small lot and single vineyard wines focusing on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, sourcing grapes from more than 30 of the finest vineyards within Russian River Valley, the Sonoma Coast and elsewhere in California.

The winery has had an outstanding track record producing some of the finest Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in Sonoma County as revealed in our tastings of new releases from the 2014 and 2015 vintages. We also visited Patz & Hall and did a comprehensive tasting at their lovely new facility outside the center of the town of Sonoma when preparing our Report #44: The Wines of Sonoma County.

Patz & Hall was purchased by Washington’s Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in early 2016; the founding partners, Donald Patz. James Hall, Anne Moses, and Heather Patz, remain with the winery. The winemaker is UC Davis grad James Hall (shown here). Continue reading

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Oregon Wine Continues its Growth Path in 2016

The Oregon Wine Board just published its annual vineyard and winery census, and it reveals continue growth in vineyard plantings, wine sales and economic impact of wine in Oregon. Compared to 2015, vineyard plantings grew by 2401 acres, or 8.6 percent. Wine sales increased by almost 300 thousand cases, or 9.5 percent. And sales increased by $58 million, or 12.3 percent, reflecting increased demand for, and prices of, Oregon wine. The number of wineries also grew, to 725. Continue reading

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Rombauer Vineyards: Noteworthy Single Vineyard Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons

Related imageRombauer Vineyards has been making wine in Napa Valley for more than 35 years. Established in 1980, it is owned and operated by the Koerner  family. Beginning operations  at Shafer Vineyards and other wineries, they later constructed their own winery in St. Helena in 1982.   They also  provided custom crush facilities to many of Napa Valley’s finest wineries such as Dominus, Etude and Spottswoode. We review Rombauer’s new releases below. Continue reading

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The Wines of Anton Bauer

Anton Bauer, is a highly successful Austrian family winery in Wagram.  It is managed by 4th generation winemaker Anton Bauer who is a graduate of the School of Wine and Fruit Growing in Krems, Lower Austira, and has spent four years training in Burgundy. He took over the winery in 1982 from his parents. We review his wines from the 2015 and 2016 vintages below. Continue reading

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Edi Keber’s Collio Bianco from Friuli: 2013-2015

Kristian Keber

We recently visited Edi Keber and his son Kristian at their winery and vineyard in the small village of Zegla, located just a stone’s throw away from the Slovenian border. Edi Keber has always been on the cutting edge of winemaking in the Collio area of Friuli, and Kristian now follows in his footsteps. Kristian showed us their Collio Bianco blend from three very different vintages. Continue reading

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Selections from Sarah’s Vineyard, Santa Clara Valley , 2013-2015

 Sarah’s Vineyard was founded in  1978.  It is tucked away in the southwestern part of the Santa Clara Valley where a coastal micro climate provides ideal growing conditions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  The vineyard is situated on a south-facing slope with different elevations and is planted with several clonal selections of Pinot Noir including a Proprietary clone.  These selections are exemplary bottlings of Santa Clara Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Tim Slater, a successful Silicon Valley engineer,  purchased Sarah’s Vineyard in 2001.  He has a winemaker’s certificate from UC Davis, and serves as winemaker with a winemaking assistant. Continue reading

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Vie di Romans’ Exciting Friuli White Wines: 2014-15

vie de romansGianfranco Gallo crafts some of Friuli’s most impressive white wines at his 53 hectare estate in the commune of Mariano del Friuli in the Isonzo Valley, just south of the Collio DOCG. His vineyards are located in the best part of the valley, in the northeast near Cormons. They have well-drained stony, calcium-rich clay soils created by glacial erosion and sit at about 31 meters above sea level. Continue reading

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