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”

Robert Lawrence Balzer Memoir

My First Professional Wine Judging Another chapter in the 99-year life of the Los Angeles Times wine writer. My First Wine Competition, 1947 It was the first year, post-WW II, for the now famous Los Angeles County Fair Wine Judging in Pomon… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may … Continue reading “Robert Lawrence Balzer Memoir”

Bargain of the Week

2017 Franz Etz Grüner Veltliner, Austria ($13/1 liter): Grüner (as this wine’s front label calls itself, without the Veltliner) is a minerally grape that can make a very dry white wine. From its native Austria, it seems to be prized when it is richly… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – … Continue reading “Bargain of the Week”

That Old Black Pepper Has Me in its Spell

By Dan Berger Rotundone is the somewhat esoteric chemical that certain varieties of grapes develop, notably Syrah and especially in very cool climates or in very cool vintages, and particularly in both. We have written about Rotundone since 200… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login here. If you … Continue reading “That Old Black Pepper Has Me in its Spell”

Tasting Notes: Anecdotal Format

Note: All wines below are available, either directly from the producer or online. Additionally, all imports and many domestics are nationally distributed. Exceptional 2015 Latah Creek Carmenere, Wahluke Slope ($18; absolute bargain!) Chile i… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login here. If you aren’t a subscriber, sign up here to … Continue reading “Tasting Notes: Anecdotal Format”