Author Archives: mike

Smith-Madrone: Superb New Releases from Napa Valley

Smith-Madrone is a small family-owned and operated  artisanal winery in St. Helena.  It was founded in 1971 by Stuart Smith on a 200-acre ranch, partly planted as a vineyard over a century ago.  The Smith-Madrone estate vineyards sit on Spring … Continue reading

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Napa’s August Briggs Wines: New Releases 2014

   Located in downtown Calistoga, Napa Valley, August Briggs Winery produces small quantities of handcrafted premium wines.  Founded in 1995 by August “Joe”  Briggs,  a consulting winemaker, and wife Sally, the winery is managed today by their nephew Jess Inman … Continue reading

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Sonoma’s Spann Vineyards: New Releases from the 2013-14 Vintages

Spann Vineyards is a small artisanal winery owned and operated by Peter and Betsy Spann.  Their vineyards are located in the Mayacamas Mountains on a steeply terraced mountainside in Glen Ellen. They dry farm their vineyards and strive for low … Continue reading

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More Premium Wines from Bulgaria: Quality Meets Value Part II

  This is the second part of a two-part review of Bulgarian wines.   In our first article in mid-November,   we  focused on the premium wines of  Bulgariana, one of Bulgaria’s largest producers in the Thracian Valley.   Here we turn … Continue reading

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The Exciting Wines of Northern Greece: Macedonia REPRINT

Introduction Greece is producing exciting wines that are little known outside its borders and Macedonia is one of its most important wine producing regions. In this report, we alert our readers to some of the leading wineries and wines of … Continue reading

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Schug Winery: New Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon Releases from Los Carneros

In our Report #48 The Wines of Los Carneros we identified several  wineries crafting  outstanding Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and other varieties   One of these wineries was the Schug Carneros Estate Winery, the family operation of Walter and Gertrud Schug, originally … Continue reading

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New Releases from California’s Blue Rock Vineyard 2015-2016

These three new releases from Blue Rock Vineyard include their Baby Blue White, a delicious Bordeaux blend, a  barrel fermented Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast, and  Baby Blue, a delicious and easy drinking red blend, one of Blue Rock’ s … Continue reading

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The Farm Winery: 2014 New Releases from Paso Robles

The Farm Winery is one of a growing number of  new boutique wineries  in the Paso Robles AVA  that are producing limited quantities of outstanding handcrafted wines.  The winery is owned and operated by old friends and Stanford Business School … Continue reading

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New Releases from Francis Coppola, Bee’s Box and Virginia Dare

We have been reviewing Francis Coppola’s wines for several years now and are pleased to report steady improvements in the quality of winemaking under Corey Beck.  The improvements have been the result of better sourcing of grapes from Russian River … Continue reading

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Bulgariana: Attractive Premium Wines from Bulgaria

Although Bulgaria has been making wine for thousands of years,  the wines of Bulgaria are not widely known in the US—but they should be.  The post-Soviet era has given rise to a growing number of excellent wineries which are producing … Continue reading

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