Category Archives: California

Dutton Goldfield Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Excellent 2018 Vintage

Northern California’s 2018 vintage was typical of vintages two decades ago. Summer temperatures were moderate, and harvest was 2-3 weeks later than recent years with long, slow maturation.  As a result, the 2018 vintage wines are phenolically ripe and superbly … Continue reading

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Paul Lato Wines: Artisanal Winemaking at its Best

Paul Lato is one of Santa Barbara’s finest artisanal winemakers.  Since 2002, he has been crafting outstanding wines from grapes sourced from some of the finest vineyards in Santa Barbara County.  To his good fortune, Paul was discovered early in … Continue reading

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The Organic Wines of BARRA of Mendocino

The son of grape growing, Italian immigrants from the Piedmont, Charlie Barra purchased 175 acres of vineyard land in Redwood Valley at the headwaters of the Russian River in the rolling foothills of Mendocino County [see map below] in 1955.  … Continue reading

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Gary Farrell Vineyard: Outstanding New Releases from Winemaker Theresa Heredia

We’ve been tasting and reviewing Gary Farrell Vineyard wines since before Theresa Heredia joined as winemaker in 2012, and we’ve been tasting Theresa’s wines since her time at Joseph Phelps’ Freestone Vineyards on the Sonoma Coast.  We’ve consistently admired Theresa’s … Continue reading

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Drew Winery:  Brilliant Winemaking in the Mendocino Ridge and Anderson Valley

Drew Winery is the leading producer of Pinot Noir in the Mendocino Ridge AVA, a unique elevation-based coastal growing area in California’s far northern coast.  The winery is owned and operated by Jason and Molly Drew who founded their winery … Continue reading

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The Farm Winery: 2016 Releases from Paso Robles

The Farm Winery is one of our favorite wineries in the Paso Robles AVA.   It’s owned and operated by old friends and Stanford Business School alumni Jim Madsen and veteran Argentine winemaker, Santiago Achaval.  Launched in 2009,  it produces … Continue reading

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Beau Marchais: New Expressions of California Pinot Noir

We recently had the opportunity to taste three outstanding Pinot Noirs released by Beau Marchais, a new project launched in 2019 by two seasoned winemakers, Adam Lee of California and Philippe Cambie of France.  Their joint venture brought together the … Continue reading

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Vermouth’s Resurgence as Aperitif: Dry and White Vermouths from Europe and America

Vermouth is enjoying growing popularity, including a number of American producers of attractively packaged, premium bottlings.  As shown in the graph below, sales in the US are on a strong upward trend (a 21% increase in US Vermouth imports in 2018 … Continue reading

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Wines to Brighten Up Your Thanksgiving

For most of us 2020’s Thanksgiving will be different.    Because of the COVID pandemic,  family and friends will not be gathering in  large numbers to celebrate.   Instead,  we’ll keep it smaller for the sake of everyone’s heath. Although we’ll … Continue reading

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Battuello Vineyards: A Napa Grower’s New Wines

In 1906 Italian immigrant Matteo Battuello arrived in America by steamship docking at Ellis Island.  Relatives in Napa Valley encouraged him to come to California, which he did, and in 1909 he purchased property in Saint Helena and founded Battuello Vineyards. … Continue reading

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