Monthly Archives: May 2012

From Opus One: grape flower buds

Bloom has begun in the malbec and cabernet franc. The cluster pictured is just beginning to flower. Those are not tiny grape berries, they have not flowered yet. They look like miniature bell peppers, having calytrae or “caps” to protect … Continue reading

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RECOMMENDED: The Crusher, 2011 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Merwin Vineyard, Clarksburg (Napa). 13.6% ABV. $10.99.

Winemakers seem to be having a lot of fun these days when it comes to naming their wines. Plungerhead, Pinot Evil, and Horse’s Ass are a few that come to mind. Fortunately, The Crusher’s name has nothing to do with … Continue reading

Posted in California, Pinot Noir, Rosé | 2 Comments

RECOMMENDED: Wente Vineyards Estate Grown, 2010 “Louis Mel” Sauvignon Blanc, Livermore Valley. 13% ABV. $11.99, available for as little as $8.43 online.

APPEARANCE: Very pale golden, clear. NOSE: Pear, melon, green apple, honey, a little lemon bar. TASTE/MOUTHFEEL: A paradox: A biting mineral first impression, yet a kindler gentler Sauvignon very quickly. No asparagus, grass, or cat pee to this one! Only … Continue reading

Posted in California, Sauvignon Blanc | Leave a comment

RECOMMENDED: Wente Vineyards Estate Grown, 2009 “Riverbank” Riesling, Arroyo Seco / Monterey. 13% ABV. $11.99, available for as little as $8.95 online.

APPEARANCE: Pale golden, clear. Still. NOSE: Mild. Melon, a hint of ginger! Later, huge apple aromas. TASTE/MOUTHFEEL: Lychee, melons, slightly sweet. A thread of ale. Oval at first, more vertical later, but beautifully balanced. Honey. Later, more stone—funny! Usually we … Continue reading

Posted in California, Riesling | 2 Comments

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. 2009 Gen5 Cabernet Sauvignon (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec), Lodi, CA. 13.9%, $12.

If you’re looking for a big, opaque, nearly-purple California Cab with big bubbles and the heady aroma of oak, cola, and deep dark fruits, this isn’t it. The Gen5 isn’t a typical Cab at all. That said, every once in … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot | 4 Comments

[July update: DON’T] Make your own wine at Crushpad

The following post appeared in May 9, 2012. However, it seems that the business has ceased operations. I’ve heard that they aren’t answering the phone, returning emails or calls, or opening their doors. So until we learn more, we recommend … Continue reading

Posted in News, Technical Stuff | 2 Comments