Category Archives: California

TASTING: Wente Vineyards, Wine and Music

On Thursday, August 1st, Karl Wente hosted an interesting Wine and Music tasting, with his friend Shannon Koehler. Besides being a fifth-generation winemaker, Karl is an avid musician. Karl started on saxophone, gravitated to electric guitar, and plays acoustic guitar … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Music, California, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Tastings | 1 Comment

RECOMMENDED: Primal Roots 2011 White Blend, California. 13% ABV, around $10.

Primal Roots has made a tasty white blend consisting of 50% Viognier, 20% French Colombard, 15% Riesling, and 15% Gewürztraminer. We enjoyed the contrast of its Sauvignon Blanc-like acidity, and its somewhat sweet, Moscato-like floral notes. A hint of cinnamon … Continue reading

Posted in California, Colombard, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Viognier | Leave a comment

RECOMMENDED SUMMER WINES: The White Knight

A division of The Other Guys wine group (Sebastiani family), The White Knight brand’s motto is “Saving the world from the tyranny of Chardonnay!” Cute. After their initial offering of an impressive Viognier, the Knights have expanded into Riesling, Moscato, … Continue reading

Posted in California, Chardonnay, Moscato/Muscat, Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris), Riesling, Viognier | Leave a comment

RECOMMENDED/HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Madroña Riesling

2010 Madroña Riesling. El Dorado. 13.5% ABV. About $14. Pretty color; soft gold. Gentle nose; green apple and citrus. Honeysuckle, “petrol,” a hint of yeast, and minerals on the palate. Soft, round, and slightly creamy; gentle acidity. I would pair … Continue reading

Posted in California, Riesling | 1 Comment

New Branding: Pennywise (and an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon)

I don’t normally pay much attention to labels. (Kind of a contradiction, as I’m an artist and publication designer/editor.) However, the Pennywise redesign caught my attention in a big way. The previous Pennywise label was okay. Reminiscent of a postage … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Merlot, News, Syrah/Shiraz | 2 Comments

Mother’s Day, Wine, Joy, Life and Death

Happy Mother’s Day. Random thoughts: Why do I always weep when my college-age children leave to go back to college? I’m turning into my mother! My Mom died on 3/3/07. In a strange synchronicity, 3307 was the house number of … Continue reading

Posted in California, Family | Leave a comment

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Matthew Iaconis 2011 Moscato, Lodi. 11.6% ABV. $11.99.

MAN. This will have to be one of my Wines of the Year. Absolutely fantastic. Roses, roses, and linden — perhaps the most aromatic wine I’ve enjoyed all year, with a taste that lives up to the aroma. A touch … Continue reading

Posted in California, Moscato/Muscat, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

RECOMMENDED: 2010 Cryptic, California red blend. 14.5% ABV, $18 SRT; available for less.

If you haven’t decided on your Halloween wine yet, here’s a quick recommendation: the 2010 Cryptic red blend. It is delicious, inexpensive, and fun, with backwards lettering and scramble puzzles on the label that you must decipher in order to … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Petite Sirah, Red Blend, Zinfandel | 2 Comments

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Klinker Brick 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi. 15.8%, $13.95 and up.

My favorite way to try new wines is to go to a wine bar. Generally these are boutique yet friendly establishments that have wines on pour-it-yourself systems (you buy a card and dispense your own samples), as well as a … Continue reading

Posted in California, Restaurants, Tastings, Tips, Zinfandel | 7 Comments

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: 2009 Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve “Summation” red blend (43% Zinfandel, 24% Syrah, 21% Merlot, 5% Grenache, 4% Petite Sirah, 3% Other varietals), California. 13.5% ABV. $17 SRP, usually $13, available for as little as $8.99.

Late last year, I reviewed the 2009 K-J “Summation” white blend and highly recommended it (see http://www.thefrugalwinesnob.com/?p=670). We’ve also enjoyed several bottles of the 2008 “Summation” red blend, which was a “special occasion” everyday house wine for us, if that … Continue reading

Posted in California, Grenache/Garnacha, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Red Blend, Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel | 3 Comments