Message in the Bottle

By Dan Berger I could make a pretty strong argument that there is no great wine, only wines that achieve excellence by adhering to some basic truths involving the varietal(s) used, the soil, the vintage, and other essential parameters. This is th… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may … Continue reading “Message in the Bottle”

Bargain of the Week

2018 Blason Cabernet Franc, Friuli Isonzo ($14): When you see the word Cabernet on a label, you typically think that somewhere oak will play a role. But not always, and especially with Cabernet Franc that’s made in some of the world’s cooler wine re… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – … Continue reading “Bargain of the Week”

Wine of the Week

2019 Ridgecrest Dry Riesling, Willamette Valley ($24): There is a superb story about this “new” brand that is essentially a 40-year-old project, which we’ll explain in a follow-up column. The old vines here up on Ribbon Ridge (1982) have provided so… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login … Continue reading “Wine of the Week”

Tasting Notes

Exceptional 2016 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Kronos Vineyard ($195): It never ceases to amaze me what Cathy Corison has done with Cabernet Sauvignon in her small corner of the Napa Valley, sticking to a style that has become almost ob… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login … Continue reading “Tasting Notes”

Lost: Restaurant Wine Sales

One of the worst situations that the sheltering in place edicts have created is the impact on restaurant wine lists. Diners have been asked to avoid dining out (since all restaurants are pretty much closed, except for takeout), which has ruined most… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may … Continue reading “Lost: Restaurant Wine Sales”

Structure and Balance

Rating wine without using numbers has forced us to provide some basis on which to justify why we rate a wine as Exceptional, which clearly goes well beyond fruit, character, complexity, enjoyability, and potential. And even though we take price i… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login … Continue reading “Structure and Balance”

What’s Exceptional?

You may wonder if there is a specific set of rules for justifying what I rate as Exceptional and why we also have a category called Highly Recommended. As we have regularly mentioned, the second category is for a different sort of excellence bas… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – … Continue reading “What’s Exceptional?”

Wine of the Week

2017 Black Kite Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, “Gap’s Crown Vineyard” ($62): To say that a Chardonnay is Burgundian can almost be a knee-jerk reaction by some American wine critics for wines that are expansive not to mention expensive. Part of the mystiq… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login … Continue reading “Wine of the Week”