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  • pinitbutton Champagne Devaux D 2002   Wine of the Week Review
devaux 2002 81x300 Champagne Devaux D 2002   Wine of the Week Review

Champagne Devaux D 2002

Price: $100

Rating: 15.5/20

Region: Champagne, France

Varietal: 50 percent Pinot Noir & 50 percent Chardonnay

Alcohol: 12 percent


Tasting Notes: Founded in 1846 by two brothers, Jules and Auguste Devaux, the brand remained in the family until 1987. At that time, Jean-Pol Auguste Devaux ensured that the brand would continue by giving it to the Union Auboise, a cooperative of Champagne growers located mostly in the Côtes des Bar. Devaux’s portfolio comprises a variety of Champagnes, including the Classiques, the Collection D and two made entirely from Pinot Noir. The house’s finest offering, the D Millésimé 2002 is composed of equal parts Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Aged seven to eight years on Continue reading “Champagne Devaux D 2002 – Wine of the Week Review” »



A True Library Wine

on December 16th, 2013
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16

Dec

  • pinitbutton A True Library Wine
library wine 375x500 A True Library Wine

Barney’s Backyard 2008 Napa Valley Petite Sirah, Library Vineyard


by Barnaby Hughes


The term “library wine” typically refers to a bottle that has been cellared, but I recently discovered a whole new kind of library wine. St. Helena Public Library (SHPL) in the Napa Valley has a small collection of 91 vines on its property. Planted in 2000, it is known as Barney’s Backyard, in honor of Bernard Rhodes, first President of the Wine Library Association. Barney’s Backyard complements the adjacent Library Vineyard, planted between 1880 and 1920. Turley Wine Cellars, which leases Library Vineyard, harvests and vinifies together the grapes from both vineyard plots. 

Continue reading “A True Library Wine” »



  • pinitbutton Altadonna Prosecco Superiore DOCG   Wine of the Week Review
altadonna prosecco 93x300 Altadonna Prosecco Superiore DOCG   Wine of the Week Review

Altadonna Prosecco Superior DOCG

Price: $27

Rating: 14/20

Region: Veneto, Italy

Varietal: 100 percent Glera

Alcohol: 11.5 percent


Tasting Notes: Named for Anna Altadonna, wife of winemaker Stefano Chioccioli and mother of his winemaker son Stefano, Altadonna sources grapes from top vineyards in Tuscany, Lombardy, Sicily and the Veneto. More specifically, the winery’s Prosecco Superiore DOCG comes from the prime growing region of Conegliano Valdobbiadene. Italy’s highest quality assurance label, DOCG translates as “Controlled Designation of Origin Guaranteed.” An extra dry sparkling wine, Altadonna Prosecco offers sweet lemon, apple and peach flavors with complex mineral notes Continue reading “Altadonna Prosecco Superiore DOCG – Wine of the Week Review” »



09

Dec

  • pinitbutton Extreme Wine   Book Review

Searching the World for the Best, the Worst, the Outrageously Cheap, the Insanely Overpriced, and the Undiscovered

By Mike Veseth

(Rowman & Littlefield, 2013)

buynow Extreme Wine   Book Review

extreme wine Extreme Wine   Book Review

Extreme Wine by Mike Veseth


Mike Veseth has quite a penchant for writing books with expansive subtitles, which is extreme in itself. (His 2011 book on globalization was titled Wine Wars: The Curse of the Blue Nun, the Miracle of Two Buck Chuck, and the Revenge of the Terroirists.) It should also caution the reader that Veseth, despite being a wine economist, is not writing for an academic audience. Extreme Wine is written in the same chatty, informative style that Veseth uses in his popular Wine Economist blog.

Continue reading “Extreme Wine – Book Review” »



  • pinitbutton J Vineyards 2007 Vintage Brut   Wine of the Week Review
j vintage brut 97x300 J Vineyards 2007 Vintage Brut   Wine of the Week Review

J Vineyards 2007 Vintage Brut

Price: $48

Rating: 14.5/20

Region: Russian River Valley, California

Varietals: 64 percent Chardonnay, 34 percent Pinot Noir, 2 percent Pinot Meunier

Production: 700 cases

Alcohol: 12.5 percent


Tasting Notes: Not one to live in the shadow of her father, who founded Jordan Winery, Judy Jordan struck out on her own as a specialist in sparkling wine. Her simply named J Vineyards and Winery makes fine bottles of bubbly using traditional Champagne varietals and winemaking techniques. The 2007 J Vintage Brut was aged on the lees for more than five years, giving it a soft, creamy mouthfeel. On the Continue reading “J Vineyards 2007 Vintage Brut – Wine of the Week Review” »



  • pinitbutton Farm to Tequila: A Visit to Casa Herradura

coleccion de la casa 2013 332x500 Farm to Tequila: A Visit to Casa Herradura

by Jeff Hoyt


There is some dispute as to who first said, “No one should see how laws or sausages are made.” But there’s no dispute that seeing how Tequila is made is a fascinating experience.


Vodka can be distilled from potatoes, wheat, grapes or other substances. But Tequila is only made from blue agave, one of the 200 known types of agave.  On a recent trip to Amatitán, Jalisco, Mexico, I got to visit the Herradura estate where blue agave is grown, harvested and transformed into Mexico’s finest export. 

Continue reading “Farm-to-Tequila: A Visit to Casa Herradura” »


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A Taste of Aquaoir

on December 04th, 2013
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04

Dec

  • pinitbutton A Taste of Aquaoir
aquaoir two pack 500x500 A Taste of Aquaoir

An “Aquaoir” box of Mira Winery 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon


by Barnaby Hughes


Mira Winery made headlines earlier this year when it aged four cases of its 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon underwater in Charleston Harbor for three months. When the wine was later brought to the surface and tasted, Mira winemaker Gustavo Gonzalez was quoted as saying, “It’s not better, it’s not worse and it is definitely different. The land wine is tighter versus Aquaoir-aged wine, which is more complex and broad, more open and relaxed. The result is proof certain that we have more to learn.”

Continue reading “A Taste of Aquaoir” »



  • pinitbutton Tuck Beckstoffer 2011 Melée   Wine of the Week Review
tuck beckstoffer 100x300 Tuck Beckstoffer 2011 Melée   Wine of the Week Review

Tuck Beckstoffer 2011 Melée

Price: $35

Rating: 15/20

Region: California

Varietals: 95 percent Grenache & 5 percent Syrah

Production: 2,200 cases

Alcohol: 14.5 percent


Tasting Notes: The son of renowned wine grower Andy Beckstoffer, who owns and farms some of the finest vineyards in Napa Valley, Tuck Beckstoffer has distinguished himself as a winemaker. His eponymous winery produces a variety of wines under five different labels: 75, Hogwash, Mockingbird, Semper and Melée. The 2011 Melée is a rich and expansive Rhône-style Grenache. It features luscious flavors of Continue reading “Tuck Beckstoffer 2011 Melée – Wine of the Week Review” »



  • pinitbutton Susana Balbo 2008 Brioso   Wine of the Week Review
susana balbo brioso 90x300 Susana Balbo 2008 Brioso   Wine of the Week Review

Susana Balbo 2008 Brioso

Price: $45

Rating: 15/20

Region: Mendoza, Argentina

Varietals: 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 15 percent Malbec, 10 percent Merlot, 10 percent Cabernet Franc & 5 percent Petit Verdot

Production: 600 cases

Alcohol: 14.5 percent


Tasting Notes: Having worked as a consultant winemaker for 20 years, Susana Balbo struck out on her own in 1999 by founding Dominio del Plata. The winery produces a variety of wines under four different labels: Benmarco, Crios, Nosotros and the eponymous Susana Balbo. The 2008 Brioso is a well-balanced Bordeaux-style blend. It offers earthy aromas Continue reading “Susana Balbo 2008 Brioso – Wine of the Week Review” »



  • pinitbutton Brooks 2011 Janus Pinot Noir   Wine of the Week Review
janus pinot noir 116x300 Brooks 2011 Janus Pinot Noir   Wine of the Week Review

Brooks 2011 Janus Pinot Noir

Price: $35

Rating: 14/20

Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon

Varietal: 100 percent Pinot Noir

Production: 2,014 cases

Alcohol: 12.3 percent


Tasting Notes: Although he’s not old enough to legally buy the wines he produces, 17-year-old Pascal Brooks is the sole owner of Brooks Winery. Together with his Aunt Janie, who acts as Managing Director, he continues his late father’s commitment to organic and biodynamic farming. The 2011 Janus Pinot Noir is appropriately named for the two-headed god of beginnings and transitions. Boasting earthy fruit flavors of black cherry and rhubarb with hints of Continue reading “Brooks 2011 Janus Pinot Noir – Wine of the Week Review” »



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