Archive for the ‘Wine Reviews’ Category

Tasting Notes: 2011 Paul Mathew Valdiguié Turner Vineyard

Valdiguié is a red wine grape grown primarily in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. In California it had been known as Napa Gamay and until 1980 Napa Gamay was believed to be the Gamay  grape of Beaujolais.

After DNA  anal

ysis the name ‘Napa Gamay’ has been banned from U.S. wine labels since January 1999. (Confusingly both the Pinot Noir clone Gamay Beaujolais and ‘Napa Gamay’ could be labelled ‘Gamay Beaujolais’, a name banned on labels from April 2007.) Guess the TTB is useful after all!

This wonderful bottle of Valdiguié is sourced from a what may be the oldest Valdiguie vineyard planted in the Knight’s Valley AVA. Fortunately it hasn’t been ripped out and re-planted to Cabernet Sauvignon which would be much more profitable. The vineyard is 60+ years old and produces a low yield 2 tons per acre. The vines are head pruned and dry farmed.

Vinification: Harvested October 28th & 29th

2011. 100% carbonic maceration

with 100% whole cluster fermentation and 100% ML secondary fermentation. Aged in neutral oak for four months, sterile filtered and bottled.

12.5%  alcohol

Review: 2011 Paul Mathew Valdiguié Turner Vineyard

  • To The Eye: A pale red, pomegranate color



  • In The Mouth: An easy drinking, not complex, fun wine, if you like softer lighter reds. Likely not appreciated by some red blooded males who aren’t wine geeks or fans of Gamay (Beaujolais.)

Not structured like a Brouilly, but at this price point ($20) a fun summer wine. I’d be curious to see what this wine was like unfiltered. (Given 2011 challenges, not surprised it was though.)

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  • Recommendation. 89 Points. Buy a few bottles to drink this summer. Can serve lightly (lightly!) chilled even, Enjoy with grilled veggies, chicken. Or drinks quite nicely on its own, on the patio or watching live music in the Park.

Buy online for $20. Only Two hundred cases produced. Media Sample.

Tasting Notes: 2010 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Azaya Ranch, Marin County

Dutton-Goldfield continues to climb

as a personal local favorite – not just for Pinot Noir, their specialty, but other interesting small lot wines as well. Tonight we taste anoth

er small lot, well made Pinot from Dutton-Goldfield.

Despite its youthful age, its showing wonderfully already, although I think a few more bottles to lay down for a few years are in order.
I always wonder why we don't see more wine grown in Marin County (perhaps save the price of land) and this wine serves to ponder it again.

Tasting Notes: 2010 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Azaya Ranch, Marin County

  • To The Eye:A slightly darker buy viagra 50mg ruby red, although clearly still Pinot by its color.

  • On The Nose: Strawberries leap out of the glass, with undertones of spice and bramble.
  • In The Mouth: Bright cranberry, cherry notes with lively acidity dance on the tongue. If you are looking for a Pinot fruit bomb, move on.

(Or buy a bottle, drink it and evolve your palate.) There is plenty of fruit, but it's vibrant and fresh not big and jammy, with a lingering finish.

I enjoyed it more after being open for 15-30 minutes. Decanting not required, but allows it to show even better.

Recommendation: 91 points. Buy. Drink and enjoy now. Or buy 3-6 bottles and try them over time. The acidity will preserve the fresh vibrant fruit for years.
Unlike those hot jammy fruit bombs in your


$58 at the winery. Media Sample

Wine Geek Info:

  • ph: 3.60
  • TA: .62
  • Alcohol: 13.8%
  • Cases Made: 190
  • Barrel Program: 11 Months in French oak, 50% new

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Tasting Notes: 2011 Curtis Heritage Rosé – Santa Barbara

It’s been a fun month of Rosé tasting, as part of my Rosé Panel/Series (see: A Call For Rosé – May Panel Rev

iew (Drink Pink!)) I am about half way through 60 or so samples, which means I need to crank up the pace! Rather than sit down and do 10-20 at once, and risk palate fatigue, and insufficient attention, I have been tasting in small batches. You can see results, so far, on my Cellartracker event. By early June, I will release a series of summary articles and standouts, take a quick break, and then dive into a special Sauvignon Blanc themed series I will announce shortly.

My apologies for less writing this month – it’s a perfect storm of many things; end of the quarter for my new day job, viagra gel online lots of travel, the winery project, the vineyard and more. June promised a bit more normalcy.

Now, onto the business at hand.

Santa Barbara County and Rhone Wines

estate vineyard

Santa Barbara county is a Rhone destination, I am long overdue to tour. (I make a quick in/out trip each year tSanta Ynez to pick up Grenache Blanc grapes.) While Paso Robles is considered the motherlode of Central Coast, and indeed California Rhones, Santa Barbara county is not far behind, and with its cooler climate and nights, typically produces wines well balanced wines of lower alcohol.

I am hoping sometime this summer or fall, to make an 2-3 media tour and visit wineries, whom many I have tried, but never visited. Curtis is one of these, especially after tasting this Rosé, one of the standouts in my panel so far.


2011 Curtis Heritage Rosé – Santa Barbara

Curtis Winery and winemaker Chuck Carlson, have been dedicated to Rhone wines since its inception. In fact they state:

..we put down roots as one of California’s first wineries dedicated exclusively to Rhône-style wines. Since then, nothing has changed. We still live for Rhônes.

The 2011 blend has changed cheap viagra from the 2010 to be Mourvedre, not Grenache based. (54% Mourvedre, 25% Syrah, 21% Grenache.)

To The Eye: The color is a light pale pink.

On The

Nose: A Fresh fruit bowl of wild strawberry. rose hips, and watermelon

In The Mouth: The wine is a delight; bright, lively, with very quaff-able flavors of strawberry, watermelon Jolly Ranger, citrus and raspberry, The acidity is bright and pleasing, and the alcohol, while not high at 14.3, is a reminder that numbers are numbers, and a wine, including Rosé can taste balanced in a wide range of empirical values. The finish is long, lingering, and mouth watering….making you want another sip.

Recommendation: A must buy, if you like Rosé. 92 points.

At $18 online, stock up for the summer while some is left. Media Sample. Call 805.686.8999 or to find out if distributed near you, or have them ship 6 bottles, it won’t last long.




Rosé has Legs! Report from Pink Out! SF

by Katherine Parker

I attended PINK OUT! SF this week, an event eagerly anticipated and long-awaited by me. PINK OUT! is an annual wine tasting and food-pairing celebration focused entire

ly on Rosé wines. It’s hosted by Chef Robert Lam at the San Francisco waterfront location of his Butterfly Restaurant. PINK OUT! SF, in its 8th year, is organized by the Rosé Avengers and Producers (RAP).

Getting Sassy at Pink Out! SF

Rosé came onto my radar when I moved to Sonoma in 2009 and started classes in the wine studies program at Santa Rosa JC. Instructors like Bob Frazer, Ray Johnson and others opened my palate to a broad spectrum of wine varietals and winemaking styles I had never considered drinking. Rosé was one of those.

Living on the border of Carneros, Sonoma Valley and Sonoma Coast, I was soon smitten. My piece “Romance with Rosé,” became one of Simple Hedonisms’ most popular. When I found out there would be a tasting of 30+ Rosé wines in one place, I was excited. The wines, the Butterfly waterfront venue and food, and the sassy spirit of PINK OUT! SF lived up to my expectations and more.

The Wines

Rosé is so versatile. Think of the many ways you can use and enjoy it: As a low(er) alcohol purchase cheap levitra wine for a business or vacation lunch (Envolve or Korbin Kameron); as a mouth-cleansing refresher with spicy Asian or BBQ food (Lasseter Family); as an appetite-stimulant with a plate of fabulous cheeses (Dunstan or Kokomo); as a celebration wine, when you want a Pink Champagne with (Gloria Ferrer) or without the bubbles (Chateau D’Esclans) as an aperitif for a festive occasion. Also, a very good Rosé can be had for a great price. Of 40 or so wines, most are priced under $25 with several good value Rosés at $14-18. These were just a few faces of Rosé at PINK OUT! SF.

Roses of all shapes and colors

I found Rosés of all origins, varietals and colors at PINK OUT! SF: France, Spain and Australia; Sonoma and Napa; Yolo and Lake county grapes are represented. There are Rosés made from Grenache, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Syrah, Sangiovese, Vermentino, Zinfandel … to name a few. And at least one (MidSummer Cellars) co-fermented with Viognier (Like!).

The Colors

Straw. Pale Gold. Silver. Platinum. Peach. Salmon. Pink-Pink.Foamy Pink. Licorice Red Candy. Clear Ruby. Hot-Pink! Deep-Pink. Take your pick of pink.

As a whole I found the wines well made. I had a few favorites, which are influenced by my personal preferences (running to dry, low-alcohol Rosé, particularly of Pinot Noir, a varietal I favor).

Top Picks

Top Pick: Kokomo 2011 Grenache Rose

Kokomo Grenache Rosé 2011. Grapes from Pauline’s Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma CA. This wine is elegant in every dimension: Crystal clear pale platinum in color, dry berry bramble nose, round and mouth-filling on the palette. Drinks well by itself and would pair excellently with an aged Spanish Manchego cheese, shellfish or naturally seasoned grilled pork. It was the perfect accompaniment to Chef Lam’s spicy paella. 13% Alcohol, $22.

Dunstan Rosé, 2011. Signature salmon color,

light fragrant nose, dry and cleansing on the palette. Balanced and satisfying. From Sonoma’s famed Durrell Vineyard Pinot Noir grapes.

VML 2011, Rosé of Pinot Noir. Winemaker Virginia (Ginny) Lambrix (Truett-Hurst and VML labels) made this lovely Rosé of Pinot, which retails for $19.

Many other wines here were also worthy of mention:

Chateau D’Esclans, Whispering Angel Rosé 2011, and Rosé 2011 from Cotes de Provence, France. Whispering Angel seems to create a category all it’s own. Made from a blend of 7 varietals – predominantly Grenache and Rolle – it is silvery pink in color, soft and round, and so light it seems to evaporate pleasantly in the mouth. Almost like champagne without the bubbles. 14% alcohol, $19. I liked the Rosé 2011 for its direct and structured approach – Grenache and Rolle with 20% oak. 14% alcohol, $35.

Gloria Ferrer was memorable for sparklers. They I tasted a couple of interesting and well-priced Spanish pink wines, Segura Viudas NV Brut Rosé ($8) and Freixenet NV Rosado Brut ($13). These were great paired with the oyster appetizers.

DEFINE Wines 2011 Syrah/Grenache Rosé. A new entrant with a finely-tuned, bold and fruity 13.5% alcohol Rosé. $38.

Carneros Wine Co., 2011 Fleur de California Rosé of Pinot Noir. Made from grapes from Carneros and Suisun Valley, this is a straightforward refreshing Rosé. Perfect for lunch at 12.5% alcohol and $14 retail.

Butterfly Restaurant

Chef Lam put together a menu of spicy paella, grilled-cheese burgers and salad that paired so well with the Rosé tasting it was a hard act to follow. Then it was followed by platters of cheeses with cornbread triangles that made me realize how much the cheese and the Rosé wanted to be together. The waterfront location is ideal with its floor to ceiling windows and open kitchen. I will be back soon to discover the menu and waterfront vistas.

Pink Out! SF Crew

The Bling

At the same time my interest in Rosé developed, Rosé winemaking styles have been rapidly evolving from a “what shall we do with the leftovers?” into an art and craft of Rosé. This event expresses the accessibility, diversity and enthusiasm of today’s Rosé. It’s on my calendar for next year on the second Tuesday of May. That should give me enough time to shop for something pink and sassy to wear in 2013.


Related Articles

A Call For Rosé – May Panel Review (Drink Pink!)

Tasting Notes: Envolve Winery 2011 Rosé, Sonoma Mountain

Tasting Notes: Envolve Winery 2011 Rosé, Sonoma Mountain

You will be reading a LOT more about pink, or Rosé wines here this month. As I have shared a few times, I am passionate about (properly made) Rosé wines. This month, I am tasting through about 60 for my Rosé panel. (See cialis online purchase

Call For Rosé – May Panel Review (Drink Pink!)” href=”″ rel=”bookmark”>A Call For Rosé – May Panel Review (Drink Pink!)

I am well into the tasting and will release some of these notes separately, all will have notes released on my CellarTracker notes.


About EnvolveSource: Sonoma Index Tribune

This is an interesting new brand, for sure. The heritage is unmistakable – Benziger family. But if this Rosé is any example, a fresh new direction from the classic, consumer grade wines Benziger produces. I won’t know until I taste them all , but am interested to try.

Their website is well done, with a good vibe and energy. Off to a good start it generic viagra without prescription seems.

Kudos for having tech sheet on your website. As I taste through dozens of Rosé right now, its annoying how many don’t. What caught my eye first on this, was a vineyard with a large planting of Rhone grapes, I had not heard of before, Dragonsleaf Vineyard. Per their notes “There are 50 acres, planted predominantly to Rhone varietals (Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault). ” Sonoma County is still playing catchup with Rhone plantings, and Cinsault can be very hard to find. As a Rhone Ranger board member, and President of our North Coast chapter, Bravo!


Wine Review: 2011 Envolve Sonoma Mountain Rosé

This rosé is a blend of 92% Syrah, 8% Grenache. 2011 was considered one of the most challenging vintages in decades for much of the county, and this seems no exception as they note: “The 2011 vintage in Sonoma Mountain and Bennett Valley AVAs was a challenging one. We never received our usual August heat spell, and it prevented a lot of the fruit in these AVAs to struggle reaching optimal ripeness. We were quite lucky, however,

and picked around 21.5 brix to lock in the acidity and still have enough sweetness to add the necessary phenolic complexity.”

Bravo – in my opinion the acid and alcohol are where they should be. One of my biggest disappointments as I taste through this panel are rosé of 14%+ alcohol, that have drifted closer to being a red wine than

a rosé. Not that its impossible to make a great balanced rosé thats not the classic 12-13% alcohol, but in my experience its the exception not the rule.

To The Eye: Medium Pink color

On The Nose: Expressive red fruit, strawberry and raspberry. Subtle hint of earthiness.

In The Mouth: In The Mouth: A wonderful expression of Rosé; cherry, strawberry, watermelon in the mouth. Its bright and fun on the front palate, it gains complexity and some wet stone minerality mid palate, and finishes nicely with juicy acidity. A wine that makes you smile, sip, and reach for a refill. There is a tiny bit of RS sweetness. I don’t think it adds to the wine personally, and would have fermented it dry, or I’d rated it a tad higher, but its a stylistic choice, and others may actually prefer it.

Recommendation: Worth grabbing a bottle for your summer fare, or an aperitif, if you see it. Or buy it online $24. 89 Points. Media Sample received for Pink Out Tastelive.

Wine Geek Info:

  • Harvest Date: September 17th 2011
  • Bottling Date: January 18th 2011
  • Release Date: February 1st 2012
  • pH: 3.34
  • Total Acid: .68
  • Alcohol: 12.7%
  • Residual Sugar: .50
  • Production: 536 Cases


Related Articles:

Rosé has Legs! Report from Pink Out! SF

A Call For Rosé – May Panel Review (Drink Pink!)

Rhône Rosé Panel: Quivira, Mounts, and Skinner Vineyards.

Tasting Notes: 2009 Sainte Leocadie Minervois Rosé

Wine of the Week – Foppiano Vineyards 2010 Estate Rosé

Tasting Notes: Ortman 02 Series Grenache Rosé – Paso Robles

Wine of the Week – Carol Shelton 2010 Rendezvous Rosé (Mendocino Carignane)

Wine of the Week – Bonny Doon Vineyard Vin Gris De Cigare, Rosé

Tasting Notes: 2010 Maison Richard Côtes du Rhône La Petite Fontaine

It’s now less than a week until the International Hospice du Rhone. To celebrate, I am diving into a few imported French Rhones.

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This wine is imported into the US by Pasternak, a high quality importer whose media shipments are always a pleasure to receive. This wine is no exception.

Wine Review: 2010 Maison Richard Côtes du Rhône La Petite Fontaine

A blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Cinsault and 5% Carignan.
To The Eye: Dark red, to purple color.

On The Nose: Raspberry, graphite, smoked meat

In The Mouth: Mostly red price on viagra fruit, blackberry, with a nice note of


Recommendation: A keeper wine for the price, and a wonderful example of what red wine can be without oak. Grab a few bottles if you see them around.

89 Points. Media Sample

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Countdown To The 20th Anniversary of Hospice du Rhône #HdR2012

A Rhone Event Like No Other – Hospice du Rhone April 29-30 Paso Robles (OR – The French are Coming!)

Tasting Notes – 2010 Martin Weyrich Moscato Allegro

I have to admit, I didn’t want to like this wine. I am not a big fan of the idea of feeding Millennials slightly sweet wine as a ‘transition wine. Nor am I a fan of the current wave of Muscat as ‘the next big thing’ – repeatedly this leads to lower q

uality wine, in a varietal that will be easy to abuse. This is

not an industry to trend chase.

BUT I actually see a scrap of validity of the transition wine

philosophy with this Moscato, and frankly its a decently made wine. They also ‘get’ marketing, and have a well designed website.

Review: Martin Weyrich 2010 Moscato Allegro

What distinguishes this wine is the acidity and low alcohol. Cold slower fermentation helps add nice aromatics.

To The Eye: Medium yellow straw, clear except for tiny hints of bubbles

On The Nose: Honeysuckle, ripe melon, ripe pear.

In The Mouth: Lush, and just slightly effervescent. The acidity combines with the relatively high RS (10%) for a well done combination that never comes across as sugary or cloying.
Whether it was luck or design, the result is solid nonetheless.
Do NOT drink overchilled, you will lose the subtleties.

Recommendation: At $12 and 7.5% alcohol, its a great aperitif or would go very well with spicy food. If you see viagra en gel a bottle, grab it for your next picnic or Thai dinner.

Available at various retail as well as online.

88 Points. Media Sample.

Wine Geek Info:

  • Fermentation: Three weeks in stainless at 52 degrees
  • CO2: 2000 mg/l
  • Alcohol: 7.5%
  • ph: 3.36
  • Residual Sugar: 10.35%
  • Total Acid: .8 g/100 ml
  • Production: 40,000 cases

Wine of The Week: 2009 Petrichor Les Trois Syrah (or Wow!)

Syrah is an interesting varietal that I believe is emerging from

its dark period. Darwinistically most of the “weak” or buying real viagra without prescription the trend chasers who followed the inane idea that Syrah was the next craze have gone on to do other things, and serious growers a

nd producers are now left.

So much Syrah has been replanted or budded over, I expect over the next few years we will see a shortage, and Syrah prices regain lost price footing. This is not an industry to chase trends, especially for red wines, I wonder how many learned their lesson?

At the end of April is the unparalleled Rhone immersion, in Paso Robles: Hospice du Rhone, “the World’s Largest International Celebration of Rhone Variety Wines.” Syrah of this caliber and profile will be one of the wine styles I will be seeking out and reporting back on.

Cool Climate vs Warm Syrah

As I have written before, one of Syrah’s “problems” with consumer identity is that it produces two very different wines, when grown in warm climates like Dry Creek Valley, versus cool climates like Russian River or Sonoma Coast.

Warm climate Syrah has more lush fruit, berry flavors, is usually higher in alcohol and tends to be popular with the average wine consumer. Cool climate Syrah is leaner, lower in alcohol, with notes of white pepper, olive, minerality – and is generally more appreciated by the more serious aficionados. Many wine consumers and even wine makers will observe their palate change and evolve over years, often to the leaner cool climate style. There is nothing wrong with either of course, but consumers buying Syrah should pay close attention to where its from.

Certainly in France, the focus for the most lauded Syrah comes from Northern Rhone, cooler Côte-Rôtie region, where most Syrah is under 14% alcohol and balanced. I was quite amazed and pleased to hear from several vintners in Châteauneuf-du-Pape during my recent trip there, that they don’t like a lot of Syrah in their blends as they don’t like what it does

in the Southern Rhone, and were slowly supplanting Mourvedre, which does very well in the heat there and ripens more slowly.


Petrichor Vineyards

Thank heavens for the big Rhone Rangers tasting last Sunday (and Social Media). It’s ironic that Petrichor is quite nearby, and that Margaret Foley and I are Facebook friends, but had never met. She was kind enough to give me a bottle.

Courtesy of Petrichor Vineyards Website

When I went to the website and learned their winemaker was Duncan Meyers of cult producer Arnot Roberts, I knew I was in trouble.

Arnot Roberts produces wines of amazing balance and restraint, that I wish I could afford to consume daily.


Wine Review: 2009 Petrichor Les Trois Syrah, Sonoma County

2009 Petrichor Estate Les Trois

I will cut to the chase and say this is simply a stunning Syrah, one of my new favorites. There wasn’t a lot of vinifcation information on the website, but I could glean that only a 140 cases of this gem produced, a blend of 86% syrah, 14% Grenache.

I feel confident much if not all of the fruit is cool climate, but since it says “Sonoma County” that means its been sourced from a variety of places that don’t have enough percentage to name an AVA, like Russian River Valley, or Sonoma Coast. Or perhaps they just preferred not too. They do have their own vineyard of 8,000 Syrah and Grenache vines, but its unclear when it was planted or what percent is in the wine. Any use of oak in this beyond neutral, seems minimal, and certainly complimentary.

To The Eye: The color is a deep purple, impenetrable to light, without tech sheets, I feel comfortable guessing unfined and unfiltered knowing the heritage of the winemaker .

One The Nose: A wonderful blend of earth, smokey meat, olive brine, red fruit and raspberry, hint of ocean salinity.

In the Mouth: Incredible. The aroma profile carries with saline and mineral notes that dance intermingled with white pepper, red & black fruit. Great supple structure that is elegant and soft, not over bearing, jammy, or puckering. Acidity that lingers and lifts up the wine. I’ll trade acid for tannins any day.

This wine proves again the benefits of cool climate, acidity, minimal-no new oak, in making wines that express themselves naturally.

Recommendation: I don’t lightly recommend a wine that approaches $50 but this is the real McCoy. Break open the piggy bank.

If you want to impress a true wine aficionado (and I don’t mean some Parker/Spectator score chaser who thinks Oak is the bomb) – buy this for a gift or bring to a dinner.

94 points. $48 – online.


Related Articles

Rhône Rosé Panel: Quivira, Mounts, and Skinner Vineyards

March 24-25th in SF: “A Weekend Celebration of American Rhônes” or “Palate Enlightenment”

Wine of the Week: Baxter Winery 2006 Carignan – And the Rhone Countdown Begins

Tasting Notes: Wesley Ashley Wines 2009 Intelligent Design Cuvée – And Why Rhone Blends Rock

Wine of The Week: David Girard 2009 Mourvèdre – A Pinot Lovers Mourvèdre

Tuesday Mar 20th – Join The Rhone Rangers and “SonomaWilliam’ for a Live Rhone Twitter Tasting 530-700 pm

Tasting Notes: 2010 Gallegas Albariño Rías Baixas Miudino

Albariño – a Spanish white wine popular with wine aficionados  who look for leaner white wines, higher in acidity.

The Rías Baixas region of Spain (which I have not visited yet unfortunately) is renowned for the Albariño grown here, so I was delighted when asked if I wanted to receive a sampler pack. (More reviews to come.)

Albariño is one of my Spanish white loves, and growing to be one of my preferred varietals. It reminds me somewhat of Grenache Blanc, in that its high in acidity, and responds to vinification techniques, and can gain some complexity if something besides stainless is done with it: neutral oak, concrete etc. (lees aging anyone?)

US production is slowly increasing, but is still hard to find, and generally I have been more pleased with the the Albariño imported from Spain. Which by the way you won’t find on most Safeway shelves, but your local wine shop should carry a bottle. 

Review: 2010 Gallegas Albariño Rías Baixas Miudino

To The Eye: Medium yellow

One The Nose:  A pleasant nose of grapefruit & white peach.

In The Mouth: Bright and lively lime, wet stone, some stone fruit, good mouth feel, and a touch of minerality combined with lingering finish. 12% alcohol.

Recommendation: A very enjoyable white thats great as an aperitif, but would sing viagra pills australia when paired with shellfish, especially oysters. A solid white,  under $20. If you see any,  grab a bottle. 89 Points.

Where To Buy:


Miudiño – available to order online at


Also fun – sign up for information on the new Albariño Explorers Club website:



Wine of the Week: Baxter Winery 2006 Carignan – And the Rhone Countdown Begins

Carignan – the grape growers in Mendocino can’t pronounce (they say it ‘kerrigan – like Nancy”, the French have forgot, and that got a bad rap during the jug wine days.

As I have order cheap cialis online

k”>written previously, it can be a difficult grape to work with, but small winemakers are discovering how wonderful this varietal can be if treated with care, and some old vine head trained, dry farmed vineyards can still be found.

Countdown to Rhone

If you are a Rhone style wine aficionado, March and April are your months.

March 24-25 is the Rhone Rangers “Weekend Celebration of American Rhones.”

Over 100 domestic Producers from California, Washington, Oregon, and even Virginia assemble in Ft Mason, San Francisco for two days of seminars, winemakers dinner, auctions, and tastings.


April 26-28th Rhone lovers head to Paso Robles for Hospice du Rhone, “the World’s Largest International Celebration of Rhone Variety Wines.”

This years event is even more special in that its the 20th anniversary. This event is a stunning immersion of seminars, lunches, dinners, & tastings.


In honor of these two do not miss events, I will be featuring a Rhone wine review each week.


Baxter Winery – Known For Pinot, Skilled At Everything

The Baxters, a small winery family in Anderson Valley, are renowned for their Pinot Noir. They clearly demonstrated this when they won my greenhouse Pinot Smackdown, by a large margin.

Winemaker Phil Baxter renewed my faith in the minimalistic, ‘natural’ style wine making approach, showing what skill, attention, and patience can do.

In addition to Pinot Noir, which they are most known for, Baxter producers many other, very small lot, viagra super active generic all equally stunning wines, including Syrah, Cabernet,

and yes, even Merlot (that will change your opinion of the poor grape.)

I will review a Pinot Noir soon, and they are about to release a new Rose’ that is one of the best I have tasted in awhile, and look forward to reviewing (and buying more) when released.


Wine Review: Baxter Winery 2006 Carignan – Mendocino

I have had the pleasure to barrel taste and geek out with Phil Baxter several times, and its always an honor and a pleasure. Phil is humble, passionate, and entertains all questions with grace, never condescending or arrogant. I have to admire his patience – I’d be tempted to release many of his wines in barrel much earlier, and consumers would buy them, but Phil waits until he believes the wine is the best it can be, rather than going for the cash. That means dollars are tied up longer. Baxter wines can cost a few dollars more, but this is why, and they are worth it.

On the Nose: Complex Nose of spice, cocoa, black fruit, slight hint of leather.

In The Mouth: Layered flavors of bright red and black fruits, with soft tannins and nice acidity. A great wine that goes down well solo, but the acidity makes it perfect for food.

Recommendation: Highly Recommend. 92 Points. Only 150 cases made.

Where to Buy: Online at the Baxter website. $32

Take the time to make an appointment to visit Phil & Claire Baxter the next time you are near Anderson Valley. It’s a beat off the beaten path, but worth it. And then sign up for their wine club to keep the bottles in supply.


Related Articles:

Wine of The Week – Ranchero Cellars 2008 Carignan, Old Vines, Mendocino County

Why Rhone Wines & Wine Review: Wesley Ashley Wines – Intelligent Design Cuvee – #WBW71

A Rhone Event Like No Other – Hospice du Rhone April 29-30 Paso Robles (OR – The French are Coming!)

Rhone Rangers San Francisco Grand Tasting – A Complete Rhone Weekend, not just a Tasting. Learn More & Win Tickets

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