Category Archives: California

UPDATE: 2010 Plungerhead Zinfandel.

Late last year I enjoyed (understatement) the 2009 Plungerhead Zin (review here). The 2010 is a little different, of course: 94% Zinfandel, 4% Merlot, and 2% Petite Sirah. It started out jammy but settled down very quickly as it opened. … Continue reading

Posted in California, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel | Leave a comment

RECOMMENDED: Two from Murrieta’s Well. The Whip, 2011 white blend; The Spur, 2009 red blend. Around $15.

The Murrieta’s Well winery name is based on Old West history: Joaquin Murrieta, a.k.a. “Zorro,” would steal horses from northern California and run them down into Sonoma or Mexico, watering them from the artesian well on the property en route. … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Chardonnay, Food, Gewurztraminer, Malbec, Merlot, Orange Muscat, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Red Blend, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Tastings, Viognier, White Blend | 1 Comment

RECOMMENDED: Two off-dry summer white wines: The White Knight 2010 Moscato (50% Muscat of Alexandria, 27% Muscat Canelli, 20% Pinot Grigio, 3% Orange Muscat), California, 11.5% ABV, $9.89 ($12.99 SRP). AND The White Knight 2010 Riesling, Lake County, 13.3% ABV, $12.99 SRP

Life is cyclical. Back in 1977 the talk of the day was the coming Ice Age. Today, it’s global warming. Here’s another cycle: dry and sweet wines in America. Prohibition ended in 1933, after a 14-year dry spell that extinguished … Continue reading

Posted in California, Moscato/Muscat, News, Riesling | Leave a comment

A flight of Chamisal wines: “A Taste of Summer” new releases. Online with the winemakers, TasteLive.com, May 24, 2012.

The soft, lovely name Chamisal, pronounced “Shah-mih-sahl,” comes from the ubiquitous shrub, chamise chapparal (chamisal), that grows prolifically and up to 12-feet tall in their area. The first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley appellation (between San Francisco and Los … Continue reading

Posted in California, Chardonnay, Grenache/Garnacha, Pinot Noir, Tastings | Leave a comment

A bounty of 2011 rosé: The San Francisco Chronicle recommends

This is an interesting shopping list/summer project!Out of 100 roses tried, 30 made their “Recommended” list. Most cost less than $20. The San Francisco Chronicle’s list of 2011 rosés. Written by Jon Bonné. Panelists: Jon Bonné, Chronicle wine editor; Wayne … Continue reading

Posted in Austria, California, France, Italy, News, Rosé, South Africa, South Australia, Spain | Leave a comment

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

WINE-TASTING: Double Decker brand launch event Monday, April 23. 2010 Pinot Grigio, 2009 Red Blend, 2010 Zinfandel, $9.99 each.

Another online tasting this week … (See the previous post for my write-up of my first experience of this apparent oxymoron.) Monday’s tasting featured a flight of Double Decker wines. For the past 25 years or so, the Wente family … Continue reading

Posted in Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, News, Petite Sirah, Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris), Riesling, Tastings, Viognier, Zinfandel | 2 Comments