Bargain of the Week

2014 Monte Antico (Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon), Toscana, IGT ($10): This is basically, a medium-weight Chianti in which the 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot are somewhat incidental to the Sangiovese flavors. Excellent lighter wei… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login here. If you aren’t a subscriber, … Continue reading “Bargain of the Week”

The Best Blend?

By Dan Berger I never thought I’d ever recant a favorite mantra of the 1980s and ’90s: The best red wine blends in the world are those that start with Cabernet Sauvignon and include varying percentages of the other red Bordeaux varietals. Lord… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you … Continue reading “The Best Blend?”

Misunderstanding Meritage (Postscript to Rhône Blends)

Meritage is that class of Cabernet Sauvignon-family-based red wines (there are white Meritages, too) that are supposedly top-of-the-line wines with less than 75% of a particular varietal. For some strange reason, many Americans who buy Meritage w… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login here. If you aren’t a … Continue reading “Misunderstanding Meritage (Postscript to Rhône Blends)”

Homage to the Gap

California’s coldest wine-friendly regions once were considered far too arctic in nature to accommodate much in the way of wine grapes to make fine wines with personality. In fact, the very character trait “personality” is what cold climate wine is … Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login … Continue reading “Homage to the Gap”

Putting Your Money Where Your PR is

One of my biggest aggravations has been underrated wine regions bleating that they offer good value and then doing nothing to alert American consumers to the facts of their regions. In all the years I have been writing about wine (about 45), I ha… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – … Continue reading “Putting Your Money Where Your PR is”

Tasting Notes

Exceptional 2018 Pfendler Chardonnay, Petaluma Gap ($45): The first whiff of this superb wine gives you an indication of high-caliber Burgundy, though the oak is more prominent than I typically prefer. What makes the wine so personable is its won… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login here. If … Continue reading “Tasting Notes”

Wine of the Week

2014 WineSmith Meritage, Humboldt County, “Roman Reserve” ($60): There is an unusual purity to the aroma of this wine that I lovingly referred to as rustic, old-world, and almost feral. There is also a wild forest-y note that’s fascinating in the ar… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may … Continue reading “Wine of the Week”

Wine News Notes

Glut: Rumor has it that the unbelievable glut of wine in this country (and worldwide) has prompted the Trader Joe’s chain to lower the former Two-Buck Chuck back to $1.99 a bottle. A few years ago, because of various market pressures, Two-Buck Chuck… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you … Continue reading “Wine News Notes”

Auction Issues: Where Has this Wine Been?

Three decades ago, at a Napa Valley wine auction, two giants of the Southern California retail wine trade became locked in a battle to acquire a large bottle of a Chappellet Cabernet. The bottle was a major prize. And the two men basically didn’t… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – … Continue reading “Auction Issues: Where Has this Wine Been?”