Category Archives: California

2016 Lucas & Lewellen Cabernet Sauvignon Valley View, Santa Ynez Valley. 14.5%, $25.

Fun fact: As long as a wine consists of at least 75% of a particular grape variety, the label may designate it as such with no further explanation. However, as a wine wonk, I delight in knowing if any other … Continue reading

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2014 Stellina Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi. 14.5% ABV, $32.

Looking for a Valentine’s Day wine? Oh, is THIS ever delicious. Every year, Lodi hosts its Wine & Chocolate Weekend. This year, their 22nd, the event is happening this weekend, Feb 9-10. I can’t attend, but the hosts sent me … Continue reading

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2016 Simi Chardonnay, Sonoma County. 13.5% ABV, $9

Sonoma County, adjacent to Napa Valley, is well known for its excellent wines. Simi Chardonnay is no exception; it’s a tremendous wine, particularly at its price point, just $9. We enjoyed its terrific flavors of apple, pear, light oak, vanilla, … Continue reading

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God with Skin On

You Just Never Know. Like the rest of the country, I’ve been watching the news in horror as fires consume parts of California wine country and thousands of people’s homes. And all this after the summer wildfires hit Oregon/Washington/Montana, Hurricane … Continue reading

Posted in California, Family | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Avalon 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, California. 13.8% ABV, $12

I haven’t blogged in a while. Yesterday, Tim Edison at WineTurtle.com sent me a link to his blog post about the 103 Best Wine Blogs. We’re on it. Smart guy—that’s a good lesson on how to get 103 top bloggers … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Music | 2 Comments

The Lodi Native™ Project—Great Idea, Great Wine

Some of the best ideas happen when kindred spirits gather together to enjoy wine. Lodi Native™ is one of them. The project was born two and a half years ago when Randy Caparoso, sommelier and blogger for the Lodi Winegrape Commission … Continue reading

Posted in California, Tastings, Zinfandel | 2 Comments

Summer sippers: Easy-to-find white blends

Earlier this week, I published a blog post about some outstanding white wines from Lodi. While they’re extraordinary, they aren’t easy to find, and most people will need to order them directly from the winemakers. This post will cover some … Continue reading

Posted in California, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Moscato/Muscat, Muscat Alexandria, Muscat Canelli, Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris), Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Viognier | 2 Comments

Five Outstanding White Wines from Lodi

Lodi, pronounced “LOW-dye,” has become a winemaker’s paradise, with 750 winegrowers farming nearly 100,000 acres of wine grapes. In 1998 Lodi had only 10 wineries, and today the number has increased to 77. With about the same number of different … Continue reading

Posted in Alberino, California, Garnacha Blanca, Gewurztraminer, Moscato/Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Musquee, Uncategorized, Viognier | 1 Comment

RECOMMENDED: More from Casey Flat Ranch.

2013 Viognier, 14.1% ABV, $20 SRP. This lovely light-straw-colored wine started out with canteloupe, a hint of citrus, and a delicate candy (circus peanuts!) flavor, which always delights the heck out of me on the rare occasions I encounter it … Continue reading

Posted in California, Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah/Shiraz, Viognier | Leave a comment

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Casey Flat Ranch “CFR” 2010 Estate Red Wine, Capay Valley, 14.8% ABV, $35 SRP.

WOW. This opaque, nearly-black wine was smooth yet charismatic from the get-go. Flavors of cassis and blackberries played nice with the pleasant but not-overbearing wood overlay of faint cedar. This was an extraordinarily rich potion that was balanced, impressive, and … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Mourvedre, Red Blend, Syrah/Shiraz | Leave a comment