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  • pinitbutton Badia a Coltibuono 2009 Sangioveto di Toscana   Wine of the Week Review
badia a coltibuono 74x300 Badia a Coltibuono 2009 Sangioveto di Toscana   Wine of the Week Review

Badia a Coltibuono 2009 Sangioveto di Toscana

Price: $60

Rating: 15.5/20

Region: Tuscany, Italy

Varietal: 100 percent Sangiovese

Production: 666 cases

Alcohol: 14 percent


Tasting Notes: Originally founded as a monastery in 1051, Badia a Coltibuono (Abbey of the Good Harvest) has been owned and managed by the Stucchi-Prinetti family since 1846. The historic property includes a hotel, restaurant, cooking school and more than 170 acres of organically farmed estate vineyards. Produced since 1980 only during the best vintage years, the Sangioveto di Toscana is made from organic grapes grown in the Monti in Chianti appellation. An elegant red wine, it exhibits fragrant aromas of red fruits, violet, vanilla and clove. Medium- to full-bodied in the Continue reading “Badia a Coltibuono 2009 Sangioveto di Toscana – Wine of the Week Review” »



  • pinitbutton Chateau Margene 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon   Wine of the Week Review
chateau margene 101x300 Chateau Margene 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon   Wine of the Week Review

Chateau Margene 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $76

Rating: 14.5/20

Region: Paso Robles, California

Varietals: 86 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 9 percent Cabernet Franc & 5 percent Merlot

Production: 326 cases

Alcohol: 14.9 percent


Tasting Notes: Michael and Margene Mooney founded Chateau Margene in 1997. They planted their six-acre Paso Robles estate vineyard in 1998 and built a winery in 2001. Chateau Margene produces about 3,000 cases annually, devoted exclusively to Cabernet Sauvignon and other red Bordeaux varietals. The 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a well-liked, sophisticated offering for the region. Elegant and balanced, it boasts concentrated, ripe black fruit Continue reading “Chateau Margene 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – Wine of the Week Review” »



  • pinitbutton Chacewater 2011 Sierra Foothills Merlot   Wine of the Week Review
chacewater merlot1 100x300 Chacewater 2011 Sierra Foothills Merlot   Wine of the Week Review

Chacewater 2011 Sierra Foothills Merlot

Price: $20

Rating: 13/20

Region: Sierra Foothills, California

Varietals: 91 percent Merlot, 6 percent Cabernet Sauvignon & 3 percent Cabernet Franc

Production: 672 cases

Alcohol: 13.9 percent


Tasting Notes: Chacewater is named for the village in Cornwall, England, where Paul Manuel’s ancestors lived. He started Chacewater in 1988 by planting a vineyard in the Sierra Foothills and selling his grapes to Fetzer. In 2004, he bought an olive mill and built a winery in Lake County. Today, Chacewater makes dozens of red and white varietal wines, olive oils and handmade soaps. The winery, olive mill, vineyards, and olives are certified organic by California Certified Continue reading “Chacewater 2011 Sierra Foothills Merlot – Wine of the Week Review” »



  • pinitbutton La Rochelle 2012 Saralees Vineyard Pinot Meunier   Wine of the Week Review
la rochelle pinot meunier 112x300 La Rochelle 2012 Saralees Vineyard Pinot Meunier   Wine of the Week Review

La Rochelle 2012 Saralee’s Vineyard Pinot Meunier

Price: $38

Rating: 15/20

Region: Russian River Valley, California

Varietal: 100 percent Pinot Meunier

Production: 866 cases

Alcohol: 13.9 percent


Tasting Notes: La Rochelle Winery is named after a town in France which Pierre Pellier sailed from in 1854 on his way to California. The founder of Mirassou Winery is known for introducing Pinot Noir to the Golden State. Fast-forward to the 2000s. Mirassou was sold to the Gallo family in 2002, and shortly after, sixth-generation descendants Daniel and Peter Mirassou started La Rochelle. In 2005, the brothers sold the brand to their cousin, Steven Kent Mirassou, who produces Continue reading “La Rochelle 2012 Saralee’s Vineyard Pinot Meunier – Wine of the Week Review” »



  • pinitbutton Prats & Symington 2011 Post Scriptum de Chryseia   Wine of the Week Review
post scriptum 117x300 Prats & Symington 2011 Post Scriptum de Chryseia   Wine of the Week Review

Prats & Symington 2011 Post Scriptum de Chryseia

Price: $22

Rating: 14.5/20

Region: Douro, Portugal

Varietals: 56 percent Touriga Nacional, 30 percent Touriga Franca, 7 percent Tinta Barroca & 7 percent Tinta Roriz

Production: 6,000 cases

Alcohol: 13.9 percent


Tasting Notes: Although the dramatic, hilly landscape of Portugal’s Douro Valley is best known for its Port, the region produces just as much table wine as it does fortified wine. In 1999, the Symington family (owners of many Port brands, including Warre’s, Dow’s and Graham’s) partnered with Bordeaux winemaker Bruno Prats (formerly of Château Cos d’Estournel) in order to improve the quality of their table wines. They launched the flagship Chryseia label with the 2000 Continue reading “Prats & Symington 2011 Post Scriptum de Chryseia – Wine of the Week Review” »



  • pinitbutton Champagne Cattier Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Roses   Wine of the Week Review
cattier blanc de blancs 120x300 Champagne Cattier Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Roses   Wine of the Week Review

Champagne Cattier Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Roses

Price: $105

Rating: 16/20

Region: Champagne, France

Varietal: 100 percent Chardonnay

Alcohol: 12.5 percent


Tasting Notes: The Cattier family have owned vineyards in Champagne since 1763, but it was not until 1918 that they began producing sparkling wines under their own name. (Since 2006, they have also produced the premium Armand de Brignac brand.) Designed as a tribute to the village of Chigny-les-Roses, where Maison Cattier is located, the Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Roses is a non-vintage offering packaged in a colorful floral bottle. On the nose, it boasts fragrant lemon and honeysuckle aromas. Dry and Continue reading “Champagne Cattier Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Roses – Wine of the Week Review” »



  • 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” »



  • 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” »



  • 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 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” »



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