Category Archives: Pinot Noir

Tongue Dancer: Exciting New Releases from Sonoma & Mendocino

James Mac Phail, one of California’s most accomplished winemakers, is with his wife and partner Kerry crafting some superb wines under his Tongue Dancer label.  The wines are reasonably priced in view of their high quality and the small volume … Continue reading

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Alma Rosa: Small is Beautiful in the Sta Rita Hills

This small winery was started in 2005 by Richard Sanford and his wife Thekla to produce high quality wines following organic and sustainable agricultural methods. In 2014, the estate and winery were sold to Bob and Barb Zorich, both graduates … Continue reading

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More Interesting Grapes and Wines from Italy

Italy has a mind-boggling number of indigenous and international grape varieties and wine appellations. In this article, we review some of the more interesting ones recently sent to us for review.  They include well-known indigenous varieties like Grillo and Nero … Continue reading

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Tyler Winery: Growing Fast in the Sta Rita Hills

Justin Tyler Willett began the Tyler Winery in 2005 at age 24 after working with winemaker Joe Davis at Arcadian.  His wine trajectory since that time has been steep.  In 2011 He established the Lieu Dit label with sommelier Eric … Continue reading

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The Hilt: Cool Climate Wines from the Radian and Bentrock Vineyards

In 1844, the Mexican governor of California granted Rancho Cañada de Salsipuedes (“leave if you can”) to Pedro Regalado Cordero.  Fast forward 178 years, and Rancho Salsipuedes is home to two of California’s top vineyards for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir … Continue reading

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Dutton Goldfield New Releases: Chardonnay & Pinot Noir from the 2019 Vintage

This article reviews the new, 2019 releases of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Dutton Goldfield winery near Sebastopol. The 2019 vintage in Northern California was cool, reminiscent of vintages two or three decades ago.  At least until the Kincade … Continue reading

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South Africa’s Cool Climate Wines from Richard Kershaw

Although the Western Cape’s closest southern neighbor is Antarctica, it’s not usually thought of as being a cool climate wine region. Enter Richard Kershaw MW, who established his eponymous winery in Elgin in 2012 with the goal of creating site-specific, … Continue reading

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Santa Barbara’s SAMsARA Winery: Current Releases

Located in Goleta, home to UC Santa Barbara, the SAMsARA winery is owned by Joan and Dave Szkutak who purchased it in 2017 from Chad Melville.  SAMsARA sources grapes from some of Santa Barbara’s best vineyards in the Sta. Rita … Continue reading

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Liquid Farm: In Search of Burgundy in the Sta Rita Hills

The Sta Rita Hills is a collegial place where vineyards share fruit and winemakers share their knowledge and experience. Inspired by the wines of Burgundy, Jeff Nelson started Liquid Farm in 2009 with assistance from Brandon Sparks-Gillis, winemaker at Dragonette. … Continue reading

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Peake Ranch: New Releases from the Sta. Rita Hills

Founded in 2012 by John and Gillian Wagner of Los Angeles, Peake Ranch occupies 105 acres (50 planted) on the southeastern end of the Santa Rita Hills on Santa Rosa Road.  The plantings at the ranch include seven different clones … Continue reading

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