Lies on Your Bottles

Was it White Zinfandel? Decades ago, a wine came into the United States that sold well. It was putatively a White Zin. It was from Brazil and it was suspect. It was sweet (nothing wrong there), but did not smell like Zin or taste like it. The U.S. government usually accepts the certification of other countries … Continue reading “Lies on Your Bottles”

Red Blends

What once was the least pricey “fine” wine in California, the former red Burgundy of old (1970s), today has come full circle. And at ludicrously high prices for wines that typically aren’t worth a fraction of what we’re being asked to pay. Over the last five years or so, the amorphous, usually overripe red blends … Continue reading “Red Blends”

Tasting Notes – XIX 42

Exceptional 2014 Sebastian Dampt Chablis Premier Cru, “Les Vaillons” ($30): Chablis may be out of favor on the West Coast, but one sniff and one sip of this all-Chardonnay wine speaks volumes, especially to those who prefer classic, subtle French White Burgundy. The faint slate/mineral notes, dried lime peel, and hint of fresh anise lead … Continue reading “Tasting Notes – XIX 42”

Unsolicited Samples

I was once told by an editor that journalists do not talk about how they do their work. “Just do the reporting and leave the ‘how’ out of the story,” he said. This case is a bit different: It’s about how difficult, time-consuming and aggravating it is to find wines to write about in our … Continue reading “Unsolicited Samples”

Wine Terms

Dennis Groth began planning a career in wine by planting grapes in Napa Valley’s Oakville, a prestige area. His first Cabernet off his property was harvested in 1983, and the grapes were taken a short distance to The Christian Brothers’ crushing facility. Once the grapes were converted to juice, Groth brought the liquid back to … Continue reading “Wine Terms”