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’07 Juno Cape Maidens Shiraz

Date: Tue, Sep 21, 2010

This wine turned out to be a very solid effort even though I was prone not to purchase it from the label art. A bad habit because I know good wine actually does come from bottles with nice art on the front every now and then. I have since found out the label was produced [...]

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Pinot Worth Celebrating or Forgetting

Date: Fri, Sep 17, 2010

IPNC has come and gone and McMinnville survived another year of this raucous debauchery. Between this event, Jerry Murray’s pre-harvest parties and Pinot Camp it’s a wonder that this town is still standing. Well maybe it’s not supposed to be that kind of celebration. I doubt it will ever reach the legendary status of Madi [...]

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An Impressive Lineup from the Dundee Hills AVA

Date: Tue, Sep 14, 2010

Members of the Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association recently hosted a wine tasting event to showcase the wineries of the Dundee Hills AVA. It was quite an impressive lineup of some of the best growers from this region. After tasting though 30+ wines, I found consistency in the terroir; great clarity, brightness, and spices. What made [...]

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AVA, DO, AOC, DOCG Birthday Celebrations

Date: Sat, Sep 11, 2010

Today in wine history for September 11: 1936: Barsac AOC was created. 1936: Chénas AOC was created. 1936: Moulin-à-vent AOC was created. 1995: California, St. Helena AVA was designated. 1996: Vermentino di Gallura DOCG was established. 1997: Spain, Rias Baixas DO was created.

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A Balanced Bruiser, the Heavyweight of Cage-Fighters

Date: Fri, Sep 10, 2010

It’s a balanced bruiser, the heavyweight of cage-fighters. You can say what you will about so-called corporate wines but when Mondavi say’s it’s the best they have to offer they mean it. Every detail in this wines flavor profile exudes luxury. No expense was spared to produce the wonderful nectar of fermented grape juice I [...]

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’07 Arborbrook Vintner’s Select Pinot Noir

Date: Tue, Sep 7, 2010

I sometimes do not get to review the wines the moment we receive them and this one after I tasted it I saw on the bottle only a 100 cases were made. I then went to the wineries website only to find this wine was sold out and for good reason — it is pretty [...]

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Behind the Scenes with Richard Arrowood

Date: Tue, Aug 31, 2010

I’m guilty of reminiscing. I admit it. But I think anyone that has tasted wine for a few decades is as guilty as I for recollecting greatness. We all have those memories where certain decades, regions or producers simply blow our minds. Maybe it’s simply a green drinker finally grasping greatness in a glass. I [...]

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Behind the Scenes at the 2010 Oregon Wine Competition

Date: Thu, Aug 26, 2010

Having recently judged the Oregon Wine Competition, I had an opportunity to survey the Oregon landscape. As it turned out, we had many good Pinot noirs and Rieslings for the ’08 and ’09 vintage. Some of the standouts , which I sometimes refer to as ‘diamonds in the rough’, include a handful of gems. Zerba [...]

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’06 Four Vines “Old Vine Cuvee” Zinfandel

Date: Tue, Aug 24, 2010

Exciting stuff from a great winery that dares to be different while keeping some of the old time nostalgia some of us dinosaur zinfandel heads long for. The fruit for this one contains a pedigree of several vineyard locations all of which have been known to produce some of the best Zinfandel wines ever made. [...]

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’08 Fulcrum On Point Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, CA

Date: Fri, Aug 20, 2010

The fruit from this AVA just keeps getting better especially the Pinot Noir. I remember driving back and forth from hwy 101 and Pacific Coast One looking at property in this area in 1998 and back then, there were very few grape growers in this remote location.  It has of late become a source for [...]

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Wine Competitions and Exploration

Date: Wed, Aug 18, 2010

I selfishly admit I enjoy competitions. Why? Because I can use the information to gauge a region, a year, a variety – information that’s useful to update our vintage charts. That, and it gives me the opportunity to tell you about some of the new diamonds in the rough before anyone knows about them, and [...]

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The Ojai Vineyard Opens New Tasting Room in Downtown Ojai

Date: Mon, Aug 16, 2010

The story goes like this: Once upon a time, in the northwest corner of Ventura County, California in a town called Ojai, wine grapes thrived. As early as 1889, people began planting vineyards and extracting from them velvety, premium wines. The hot days and cool nights with enough cold in the wintertime to allow for [...]

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‘02 Vino El Vinculo Gran Reserva ‘Paraje La Golosa’

Date: Fri, Aug 13, 2010

A big winner right out of the gate. Like a race horse this wine takes off and shows concentration and balance while still remaining exciting. From what I saw at the winery there was enough of this wine in their cellar for it to be around for a while. Things going the way they are [...]

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’09 Passaggio New Generation Pinot Grigio

Date: Tue, Aug 10, 2010

Nice enclosure — that’s usually a good sign.  This one is a plastic peel away with a reusable cork; a very efficient way of sealing a bottle. The official jury is still out on whether these actually work better than real cork that fails more than 10% of the time. What does it really matter. [...]

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