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2010 A.P. VIN Kanzler Vineyard Pinot Noir

Date: Wed, Aug 29, 2012 Wine Tasting


This wine is composed of grapes from the Kanzler vineyard which is located in the northern portion of the Sonoma Coast appellation. The Pinot clones used were 667 and Pommard Pinot Noir clones. The wine was aged for 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels and is a 200 case production.

On the nose I get incredibly expressive aromas of fresh candied blackberries, mixed berry preserves and/or syrup, sandalwood, sea salt mineral, and a touch of mocha.

On the palate I get a quite aggressive acidity and full flavored mixed berry medley, that expresses a ripeness and generous fruit forward palate, and a cedar and toasted oak finish. This wine is very young and powerful, and doesn't at all try to demonstrate the essence and subtlety of the varietal. However, it expresses the bold fruit flavors and ripeness that can only be found in California Pinot Noir.

I see this wine improving in the next couple of years and easily becoming more melded together and perhaps a tad less aggressive and brash. It's packed full of power, fruit, alcohol, and sheer deliciousness, but needs to calm down a bit. This is a Burgundy fan's nightmare, but a Sonoma hog's braggadocious indulgence. 91+ points

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Join DealDash for amazingly low prices!

Date: Fri, Jun 29, 2012 Wine Tasting

If you are looking for and amazing website that offers the opportunity to get incredible deals on all types of consumer goods, electronics, and luxury goods than look no further thanDealDash. This website is a wonderful penny auction site that allows it's users to bid on items and win auctions for things and get amazing deals. You pay for the bids and this is how the site can offer such wonderful deals. The members pay a nominal fee for each bid and this allows the company to pay for the items and then sell them at rock-bottom prices.

Bidding on DealDash is risk free thanks to the Buy it Now option. If you don't win the auction, you can buy the item for its regular price and get all the bids you used in that auction back for free. You can then use the bids again and try to win another auction. This website is fun and interesting and provides and innovative way to purchase things online for fractions of the actual retail prices. I highly recommend visiting DealDash.com and joining their website.

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2004 Tinto Pesquera Reserva

Date: Fri, May 11, 2012 Wine Tasting



On the nose I get a true sense of place and origin. This wine breaths the true essence of Spanish terroit. I get breathtaking aromas of dried black currant, pencil lead, sweet and sensual tobbaco leaf, plum, sage, cedar and leather, ripe black cherries. There is this earthiness and leather aroma that is completely distinct of any other wine in the whole universe. It speaks to the dry and arid vineyards of Ribera del Duero and is completely true to it's place of birth. This wine is a beauty that should be called the essence of Spanish wine and a true expression of Tempranillo.

On the palate the wine is equally as stunning and revealing; showing flavors of ripe black plum, black tea, tobacco, black cherries, blackberry, scorched earth, and leather. This wine is drinking in it's absolute prime and displays a remarkable range of flavor, balanced acidity, and complexity. The finish sails on for at least a few minutes and is a savory delight. Stunning wine.......98 points


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The Wine Region of Rioja by Ana Fabiano

Date: Wed, May 9, 2012 Wine Tasting






THE WINE REGION OF RIOJA By Ana Fabiano
“Finally, Ana Fabiano has given us the definitive book on Rioja, one of the world’s most exciting wine regions. Highly recommended.” --Robert M. Parker, Jr.

For immediate release (New York, NY) – Hailed as the wine region of 2011, Rioja is finally getting the credit itdeserves. Riojan wines, some of the world’s best, are now readily available in the United States and Americans are going crazy for them. In THE WINE REGION OF RIOJA (Sterling Epicure; June 5, 2012; $35.00/Hardcover), the first American-published book devoted exclusively to the region, noted Rioja scholar Ana Fabiano pays tribute to Spain’s most vibrant and prestigious wine region, one that is at once traditional and innovative.

In this beautifully illustrated volume, with more than one hundred color photographs and detailed maps, Fabiano takes readers on a journey through Rioja’s valleys, mountains, vineyards, and towns, providing a thorough overview of its bodegas (wine cellars), grape varietals, wines, and producers. With captivating descriptions of Riojan wine, history, and culture, backed by scholarly research never before published in English, The Wine Region of Rioja explores both the heritage and the future of an exceptional wine region.

In the chapter “La Rioja: A Magical Place,” Fabiano acquaints the reader with Riojan geography, detailing its valleys and mountains with transporting descriptions and enchanting full-page photographs. In the chapter “Monasteries, Mystics, and Mountains,” Fabiano traces the roots of Rioja to the 9th and 10th centuries, when monks planted and tended the region’s first vineyards.
The heart of The Wine Region of Rioja, however, covers the terroir, grape varieties, and producers in the region. Fabiano brings to life the winemakers of the region with profiles of Riojans like Jesus Martinez Bujanda, a fifth-generation winemaker, and Maria Martinez Sierra, who was inspired to start producing wine after uncorking a secret buried stash of still-delicious Tempranillo bottles a friend had buried years earlier.

Fabiano goes on in “Categories, Styles, and Regulation” to describe the different aging methods, types of oak barrels, and classifications of Rioja wine, explaining Cosecha, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva. Fabiano’s “How to Read a Rioja wine label” is particularly helpful for new Rioja drinkers and “The Grand Old Bodegas of Rioja” will help readers navigate Rioja’s oldest wineries and their wines of note.

“Rioja on the Modern Table” provides tips on pairing Rioja with food, and Fabiano offers wine suggestions for everything from cheese to Asian food, as well as recipes such as Pears Poached in Rioja and Tomato Tartare with Langoustine and White Garlic.

The Wine Region of Rioja is the most comprehensive book on Rioja wines to date – as well as a fascinating insider’s perspective on a magical and culturally-rich place. It is the first book to capture the spirit of this breathtaking, important and exciting wine region, as well as reveal two Riojas: one steeped in a grand past and the other undergoing a modern renaissance.


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2010 Loscano Private Reserve Torrontés

Date: Wed, May 9, 2012 Wine Tasting

This nice little Torrontés is made by Piattelli vineyards and is just one of many wines made with this spectacular varietal that I will review over the next few months. I love Torrontés for it's freshness and it's stunning aromatics, which I think totally eclipse the likes of other white grape varietals in the same price categories. It's like Sauvignon Blanc, but is always a bit more tropical and less acidic. Oh....it smoke Pinot Grigio so I won't even make the comparison.

On the nose this wine displays a beautiful and tropical fruit aroma profile consisting of lychee nut, blueberry guts, star acacia, orange blossom, and white chocolate.

On the palate the wine is crisp and refreshing and shows flavors of kumquat, meyer lemon, edible flowers, and mineral. The acidity is nice and zesty and the wine is as refreshing as could possibly be expected. It's quite honestly a wine that I'll be drinking throughout the hot summer here in the Arizona desert. 90 points


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French Blue To Open in Napa Valley on May 29th

Date: Wed, May 9, 2012 Wine Tasting

FRENCH BLUE RESTAURANT IN ST. HELENA, CA,
TO OPEN TUESDAY, MAY 29

New Restaurant from Architect Howard Backen, Interior Designer Lori Backen,
Winemaker Leslie Rudd; Stanley Morris to Serve as Managing Partner,
Philip Wang to Serve as Executive Chef/Partner


For Immediate Release - St. Helena, CA - French Blue, a beautiful and warm neighborhood restaurant located in the heart of Napa Valley from renowned architect Howard Backen, his wife interior designer Lori Backen and vintner Leslie Rudd (also owner of PRESS restaurant), will open on Tuesday, May 29th. Set in the old Vanderbilt building on the north end of downtown St. Helena, the restaurant’s name comes from the blue doors, which graced its entrance for over 50 years. The space will feature a large open kitchen with a wood burning oven and grill, two fireplaces, a communal table in the center and outdoor seating. The menu, from Executive Chef Philip Wang, features rustic, wood-fired Napa cooking, seasonally inspired from the local gardens of Rudd Farms, located on Mt. Veeder and at Edge Hill Vineyards – the best ingredients, simply prepared. The food is matched by a carefully edited selection of Northern California wines and handcrafted cocktails.

Upon opening, French Blue will serve dinner only, with opening hours from 5pm – 11pm, seven days a week. Beginning June 4th, the all-day restaurant will also offer lunch, with breakfast following on June 13th.

Bringing this restaurant to life is Managing Partner, Stanley Morris. Stanley brings 30 years of hospitality experience to French Blue. Most recently, he has acted as Managing Partner at the world-class dining and entertainment venue, Teatro ZinZanni in San Francisco, which he helped establish in 2001. Formerly, Stanley was Vice President of Operations for Stars Bar & Dining in Singapore, Seattle and San Francisco. His California restaurant career began with famed restaurateur, Larry Mindel, where he was General Manager of Prego on Union Street in San Francisco followed by the position of Director of Operations for the first five Il Fornaio restaurants along the West Coast. Joining Stanley from Teatro ZinZanni are Nicole Whitten and Adam LaCanigna, who will oversee front of house operations as Restaurant Manager/Partner and Beverage Director/Partner, respectively.

Serving as Executive Chef will be Philip Wang, formerly the Executive Chef of Merriman’s Kapalua in Maui, Mason’s in Sacramento, Napa Valley’s Carneros Inn, and Truc in Boston; Chef Phillip also worked in the kitchens of Blackbird in Chicago, Restaurant Daniel in New York, Jardinière in San Francisco, and several others.

French Blue’s menu by Chef Philip will showcase local food sourced largely from nearby Rudd Farms, located on Mt. Veeder and at Edge Hill Vineyards, with fresh baked goods crafted by Noe Valley Bakery Owner, Michael Gassen. The flavorful dishes will be simply prepared with excellence and care, using the best local ingredients. Nearly everything will be house-made from the bread to the honey and jams. The beverage program will feature wines from the growing regions of Northern California, local craft beers, and seasonal cocktails. French Blue’s retail market will offer house-made products and other specialty foods that highlight artisanal techniques.

Designed by Howard Backen with interiors by his wife, Lori Backen, French Blue captures the warmth and comfort of wine country living, re-imagined for its contemporary setting. Behind the restaurant will be Howard Backen’s newly designed office for his architecture firm, Backen, Gillam and Kroeger – making for an easy commute! One of California’s most renowned architects and recently named one of Architectural Digest’s 100 Designers, Howard Backen’s work includes wineries such as Harlan Estate, Ovid, Screaming Eagle, Rudd, Bond and Paul Hobbs; restaurants such as PRESS, Evvia, Kokkari and Il Fornaio; and hotels Meadowood Resort in Napa Valley, Esperanza in Cabo San Lucas, and Sundance in Utah.

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Restaurants to Get Own "LEED Certification"

Date: Wed, May 9, 2012 Wine Tasting

New Organization Launched to Increase Access to Healthful, Affordable Food and Beverage Options While Eating-Out

The United States Healthful Food Council Aims to Improve Americans’ Health by Offering Incentives and Assistance to Restaurants and Foodservice Providers

WASHINGTON, DC – With Americans now spending 50% of their food dollars, and consuming the majority of their calories, at restaurants and other foodservice establishments, a new non-profit, non-governmental organization called the United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC) was launched this week to help consumers make better informed decisions on where to eat. USHFC will work to improve the health of Americans by providing incentives, programs and tools to the foodservice industry to serve more fresh, minimally processed, local, and environmentally friendly options.

“Eating out has become a necessity for most Americans of all of ages and demographics, which means the restaurant and foodservice industry has unprecedented influence over the food choices and, consequently, the overall health of America,” says Lawrence Williams, USHFC President. “Unfortunately, the hyper-competitive nature of the restaurant business results in tremendous pressure to reduce costs, which typically comes at the price of consumers’ health.” Williams continued, “the USHFC intends to promote eating establishments that are doing the right things, and assist those that are not.”

The USHFC will help consumers distinguish restaurants and other foodservice providers that are utilizing nutrition best practices; such as the use of fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruits, whole grains, moderate portions sizes, and minimally processed food and beverages with higher nutritional qualities, while decreasing the use of additives such as industrial trans-fats, sugar, sodium and MSG. In addition, foodservice providers will be credited for their use of environmentally friendly and humanely raised foods, as well as special dietary offerings such as children’s menus, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, Paleolithic, and identification of common food allergens.

“As a restaurant owner and chef, I feed people for a living, so I believe I have a responsibility to do so well and sustainably,” said Chef Ris Lacoste, of RIS in Washington DC. “There are large variations in industry purchasing and preparation practices, and customers are increasingly looking for signs that indicate, ‘this house cares.’ We go to great lengths to find and use high-quality and healthful ingredients, so I enthusiastically support the efforts of the USHFC.”

The USHFC is developing programs to provide recognition, incentives and assistance to eating establishments across the entire spectrum of foodservice provision—from high-end restaurants, to fast-casual establishments and eventually school cafeterias, fast food chains, sporting complexes and military and other government foodservice providers. The USHFC initial programs are being modeled after other non-profit initiatives that have successfully incentivized corporations and independent businesses to align their practices with the interests of consumers, such as:

· The Environmental Working Group (EWG) Bottled Water Scorecard; and
· The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System®

Future programs of the USHFC include cost-effective nutritional analysis and menu labeling
(as required by the 2010 Affordable Care Act), advising on recipe reformulation and working with suppliers and restaurant purveyors to provide discounts on USHFC “certified” products.

“Successfully operating numerous fast-casual storefronts requires maintaining superior quality and customer satisfaction, while keeping operations and supply costs under control,” says Brian Scott, Director of Operations for Arlington, Virginia’s Rabbit Grill. “Expanding the accessibility of affordable, high-quality, healthful ingredients would be a profound contribution to both the industry and consumers.”

The USHFC is also working on a series of programs to assist customers and families eating away from home in making the right choices. The USHFC is interested in partnering with restaurant reservation and food review websites, as well as other environmental, nutrition and sustainable certification programs to help consumers make informed decisions on where to spend their food and beverage dollars, which are becoming increasingly individualized. Programs in development include a nationwide, universal mobile application that will allow consumers to find the food options to satisfy their personal needs.

“Thanks to innovative technologies like smart phones, tablets and social media apps, environmentally and health-conscious consumers are increasingly empowered to make well-informed decisions about where and what to eat,” said Destin Joy Layne, Director of the GRACE Communication Foundation's Eat Well Guide and Sustainable Table.

The USHFC is independently financed through tax-free donations from individuals and foundations and is planning partnerships with foodservice providers that share its goals and values. The USHFC is advised by a growing Panel of Experts including industry leaders, policy makers and other health specialists who believe in the value of increasing the accessibility of healthful food away from home.

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Napa Valley's Historic Oakville Grocery to Reopen May 22nd

Date: Wed, May 9, 2012 Wine Tasting

NAPA VALLEY’S HISTORIC OAKVILLE GROCERY TO REOPEN MAY 22nd;
RISING STAR CHEF JASON ROSE ON BOARD AS CULINARY DIRECTOR, LAUNCHES NEW MENU AND SELECTION OF GOURMET PRODUCTS


For Immediate Release, Oakville, CA – After undergoing a complete renovation, Napa Valley’s historic and beloved Oakville Grocery will re-open on Wednesday, May 22nd. Guests will experience a fresher, brighter and timeless design that mirrors the original, yet offers a complete redesign of the menu, a highly curated selection of the best locally sourced gourmet products, and a new line of Oakville Grocery private label foods (launching this fall). Everything will be sourced from California farmers, artisans, and purveyors, with a focus on Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Leading the kitchen and overseeing the market’s revamped culinary program is rising star Chef Jason Rose, formerly of Ram’s Gate Winery in Sonoma, as well as the Delfina Group and other renowned restaurants in the Bay Area and Wine Country. With the renovation, the 130-year-old Oakville Grocery is set to once again become the area’s premier gourmet market for locals and visitors alike.

“As anyone who lives in or loves Napa Valley knows, Oakville Grocery is a pioneer and a treasure,” said owner Leslie Rudd. “We are incredibly excited to preserve and relaunch this beloved spot as a real local food destination, a place where people come to gather and shop throughout the day. We want Oakville Grocery to be a center of the community, one that creates memories for anyone who visits here.”

The 130-year old Oakville Grocery is located in the heart of Napa Valley at the corner of Oakville Crossroad and Highway 29. Originally opened in 1881, Oakville Grocery began as a farmers’ store. It is the oldest continually operating grocery store in California and one of Napa Valley’s must-stop destinations for food on-the-go, picnics and gifts.

Chef Rose’s new menu will feature delicious and seasonal prepared foods, made-to-order sandwiches and salads, breads, cheeses, charcuterie, and baked goods. The best ingredients, simply prepared, all sourced from nearby farms, including Rudd Farm and Orchards on Mt. Veeder. The new market will also offer an espresso bar (with an option for ordering coffee from a take-out window at the front of the store) and the neighborhood’s only ice cream counter with cones and cups of much-loved Three Twins Organic Ice Cream from Napa. Set in the area’s most renowned appellation for wine, Oakville Grocery will offer a high quality yet accessible collection of its neighbors’ wines for purchase by the bottle and the glass. All of the food can be taken to-go or can be enjoyed on the property.

The menu is matched by an equally exciting new selection of gourmet food products curated by VP of Merchandising Kathryn Flouton, formerly the Director of Product Development for Trader Joe’s. Kathryn and her team scoured the state to find the best artisanally made products, including local olive oils and vinegars, mustards, handmade preserves, candies, and other unique specialty foods.

Guests can also purchase just-picked fruits and vegetables from the Oakville Grocery’s Farm Stand located just outside the market, all sourced from Rudd Farms. Farmer Omar Morgan oversees 13 acres set amidst vineyards, home to fruit and vegetable trees, olive groves, chickens, ducks, pigs, sheep, turkeys and bees. He is currently growing the summer harvest – tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, beats, eggplant and carrots, which Chef Rose plans to pickle and serve alongside Oakville Grocery’s sandwiches. The farm has over 100 fruit trees, which will soon yield summer’s delicious peaches, apples, pears, plums, nectarines and figs. Chef Jason has been working closely with Farmer Omar in order to harvest the best ingredients for the market’s menu.

Chef Rose has an extensive culinary background at some of the region’s most beloved restaurants, and has also helmed the food programs at a hotel, winery, catering company, non-profit, and market. Prior to his new role, Jason was the Executive Chef for Ram’s Gate Winery in Sonoma, which received as much recognition for its food as it did on its wine (and just received three-stars from the San Francisco Chronicle). Jason also held the position of Project Manager for The Delfina Restaurant Group, which includes the James Beard Award-winning Delfina, along with Pizzeria Delfina and Locanda Osteria and Bar. Previously, Jason served as the Corporate Culinary Director for the Tyler Florence Group and the Culinary Director for La Cocina, a non-profit, food-based business that helps low-income women launch food businesses. He debuted professionally in Napa as the Executive Sous Chef at The Carneros Inn.

“I’ve had a love affair with Oakville Grocery ever since I first arrived in Napa Valley in 2002. To have the opportunity to help reinvent one of the country’s most iconic and longstanding markets is incredibly exciting, and to work directly with local farmers and purveyors to inspire the menu is a dream,” said Jason Rose.

Architecture firm Avila Design in Berkeley oversaw the renovation of Oakville Grocery. Surrounded by white wainscoted walls and stunning rustic oak floors, the market now features original details and materials including a well discovered during the renovation, vintage oak refrigeration doors, and an iron rack repurposed as a coffee condiment bar. Wider aisles enable a better guest experience, all equipment has been updated, and new shelving has been installed for gourmet products and the new private label collection coming soon.

Next up for Oakville Grocery is its new/old neighbor. Adjacent to the market is a beautiful 100-year-old Victorian house that was originally built by the McQuaids, Oakville Grocery’s founding family. Today, the house is being transformed by renowned architect Howard Backen into a tasting room, to open Spring 2013.

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2010 Peachy Canyon Viognier "Concrete Blanc"

Date: Thu, May 3, 2012 Wine Tasting


As the title of the wine depicts, the 2010 Peachy Canyon Viognier "Concrete Blanc" is actually aged in concrete tanks. The wine has a beautiful golden straw color and is composed of 100% Viognier.

On the nose the wine shows generous aromas of white peach, orange blossom, acacia, vanilla, banana, and papaya. It's all that floral and tropical aroma that you would expect from the varietal.

On the palate the wine touches down with gorgeous flavors of orange marmalade, white peach, dried apricot, edible flowers, and honeysuckle. The wine holds just a slight bitterness too, like the tactile sensation of bitting into an orange peel. The texture is round and oily, but the finish has enough acidity to clean it up nicely. This is really great wine and a really fun one for Viognier buffs...... The perfect example of the variety (aromatic, textured, pungent). I've only ever tasted wines from Condrieu that showcase Viognier's like this. 94 points

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2007 DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc

Date: Wed, May 2, 2012 Wine Tasting


The 2007 DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc is a blend of 68% Sauvignon Blanc and 32% Semillon. It was aged sur lie in new barrels of 100% French oak. This has for quite some time been one of my favorite white wines because of it's stunning complexity and ability to age. It reminds me a lot of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte blanc because of it's incredible waxy texture and brilliant aromatics.

The color of the wine is the first thing to note with it's beautiful golden yellow shade which it of course indicative of the both the bottle age and the amount of Semillon in the blend. On the nose I get marvelous aromas of creme brulee, pineapple, toasted almonds, buffalo grass, and lemon curd.

On the palate the wine has an incredible round, waxy, and almost oily texture. I get flavors of lemon curd, French vanilla, papaya, creme brulee, and toasted oak. This wine is developing quite nicely in the bottle and it has the acidity and structure to still be cellared another five years and develop it's full complexity. 92 points


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2009 Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Pinot Noir

Date: Mon, Apr 30, 2012 Wine Tasting


The 2009 Gary Farrel Russian River Selection Pinot Noir was sourced from several premium vineyard sites in the Russian River Valley, including Rochiolo, Allen, and Hallberg. I'm excited to taste yet another Pinot from this amazing vintage, and it seems that every bottle I open from either the Sonoma Coast or Russian River Valley appellation is an absolute stunner.

On the nose I get generous amounts of black cherry, plum, cinnamon, clove, leather, and deep raspberry notes. There are also some earth and soil nuances that accompany the fruit characteristics and add just an extra layer of complexity.

On the palate the wine is brimming with bright red fruit flavors and secondary notes of baking spice, mineral, and leather. This wine is by no means earthy compared to almost anything from Burgundy, but there are some nice spicy and leathery notes that show up on the finish. By all accounts this is quintisential California Pinot Noir that has the clarity and ripeness that really can only be found in the exceptional vineyards is Sonoma's most revered AVA. 91 points

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2009 Alysian Russian River Selection Chardonnay

Date: Sat, Apr 28, 2012 Wine Tasting


The 2009 Alysian Russian River Selection Chardonnay is a blended wine from three different vineyard sources: the Floodgate Vineayard, Cresta Ridge, and Westside Farms. These three distinct vineyard properties all contribute to the complexity of the wine because of the multiple clones used and the obvious different micro-climates they are grown in. The wine is composed of 39% Floodgate Vineyard Dijon Clone 95, 34% Cresta Ridge Dijon Clones 76 and 95, and 27% Westside Farms Clone 4. The wine is aged in 100% French oak barrels (35% New and 65% one and two years old) for 9 months.

On the nose I get lovely aromas of baked yellow apple, ripe pear, melon, and subtle hints of vanilla and lime peel. There's also a slight touch of mineral/chalk underlining the fruit elements that adds to the complexity.

On the palate the wine shows flavors of caramel apple pie, soft citrus, and nectarine. It's soft and luxurious, but then finishes neatly with a nice dose of acidity. This wine completely exemplifies the style I think proprietor and winemaker Gary Farrell is searching for with Alysian.... that is superbly balanced wines that express the true character of the grape variety and vineyard location. This wine will please the classy connoisseur and grace the dinner table perfectly. What it's not.......is exactly what it's meant to be. 92 points

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2010 Antica Terra Botanica Pinot Noir

Date: Sat, Apr 21, 2012 Wine Tasting


This is part of Maggie Harrison's project in Oregon and I can honestly say that these are some of the most exciting wines in the market right now. Maggie worked under Manfred Krankl at Sine Qua Non for nine vintages and now she has her own project in Willamette called Antica Terra.

This particular Pinot Noir is built around fruit from Shea Vineyards in Yamhill, where they work with 8 acres of Pinot Noir split between the East and West hill.

On the nose I get brilliant aromas of bing cherry, smoked meat, teriyaki, mineral, wet forest floor, and red raspberry. It's a bouquet that displays the best of Oregon terroir, but still exudes a great fruit-opulence and breadth of complexity that combines the best of a cool weather climate and the sunshine that can always be found in the more southerly regions of the Pacific coast.

On the palate I get flavors of bing cherry, tangy red raspbery, ripe cranberry, wet stone/mineral, and hints of smoke. The wine is a full-bodied Pinot Noir that has balance acidity and shows a beautiful youthful exuberance that should help it age gracefully for the next 5-8 years. 93 points


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Krug Grande Cuvée Brut

Date: Tue, Apr 17, 2012 Wine Tasting


It's been quite awhile since I've popped a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée which just happens to be one of my favorite wines in the world. No other Champagne house can capture this type of brilliance in their non-vintage wines. Krug is just simply on a pedestal of their own.....

On the nose of this particular bottle I get beautiful bread pudding, creme brulee, nutmeg, and lemon curd aromas. It's beautifully aromatic, with all the yeast and fresh bread notes you would expect from a Grande Cuvée.

On the palate the wine is jam packed with bread pudding, creme brulee, lemon-lime, bread dough, caramel, crushed stone, dry apricot, and honey suckle. The wine is of course brut dry, however there is a fruitiness and also some really nice caramel/creme that really makes this wine delicious and desirable. The finish sails on and on and there is a creaminess and tart key lime pie note that lingers on the palate for quite some time. Brilliant as always.....95 points

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