Bargain of the Week

2017 La Pepie Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie ($15): For those of us who simply adore completely dry white wine (not to mention the driest of rosés), Muscadet has been a relative refuge for us. Once upon a time all Muscadets were completely dry,… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back … Continue reading “Bargain of the Week”

Wine of the Week

2013 M. Chapoutier Domaine Tournon Shiraz, Mathilda, Victoria ($15): Cool climate Shiraz can be a delightful alternative to the higher-climate Shiraz (Barossa Valley?) and in Australia, there is no better district then northern Victoria to find clas… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login here. If you aren’t a … Continue reading “Wine of the Week”

From the Unpublished Memoirs of Robert Lawrence Balzer

From 1961 Once in a blue moon, one encounters a golden wine from California that approaches the pulse-quickening majesty of the great French Montrachet. Ken Hansen, the taciturn Boniface of the famed Scandia Restaurant in Los Angeles, approached m… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login here. If you … Continue reading “From the Unpublished Memoirs of Robert Lawrence Balzer”

Argyle on the Rise

Oregon’s Argyle Vineyards has been one of the state’s best with winemaker Rollin Soles as its style-setter and craftsman. In the last year, several new releases have begun to show how Soles’ vision is being carried out by his hand-picked successor… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login … Continue reading “Argyle on the Rise”

Wine ‘Analysis’

 “We like best that to which we have become accustomed.” — Louis M. Martini This is one of the key points to keep in mind when looking at any story about the overwhelmingly complicated subject of wine quality (or is it style?) as it … Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back … Continue reading “Wine ‘Analysis’”

A Special Tasting

An open tasting with Theresa Heredia, winemaker for Gary Farrell Vineyards in the Russian River Valley. Evaluation was done several weeks ago with the winemaker. All wines are from the 2015 vintage (still available at the winery, a few at better wine… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may … Continue reading “A Special Tasting”

Yet Another Fraudulent Wine Gadget?

I have no scientific proof that the latest wine gadget on the market doesn’t do what its backers say it does – and in glowing terms. However, neither do those backers have any proof that it does what they say it does. At least, the way they talk abou… Want to read more? If you’re … Continue reading “Yet Another Fraudulent Wine Gadget?”

Tasting Notes

Exceptional 2014 Halleck Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, “The Farm” ($75): As most readers know, we only write about relatively expensive wines when there is a truly exceptional effort made to capture unique qualities. In this particular case, … Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login here. If you aren’t … Continue reading “Tasting Notes”

Grocery Outlet Sale: Issue 14 Addendum

Quick Update: The Santa Rosa store of Grocery Outlet is offering the 2016 Orleans Hill Syrah for about half its suggested retail price of $11. Very good value. The wine: Lighter weight in both color. But the entry and mid-palate fruit are charmin… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login here. If you aren’t a … Continue reading “Grocery Outlet Sale: Issue 14 Addendum”

Wine of the Week

2015 Hexamer Grauburgunder “Vom Porphyr,” Trocken, Nahe ($19): If you ever wanted to embarrass a wine expert you know (especially those who often are pathetically egotistic about their wine knowledge), this is the perfect wine and you need not do any… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login … Continue reading “Wine of the Week”