Reviews

Laurel Glen, Sonoma 1981-2017

Patrick Campbell’s iconic Sonoma estate is now under new management. Has it changed?  Sonoma County receives far less attention for its Cabernet Sauvignon than for its Pinot Noir but the county includes several sites that produce distinctive examples worthy of attention. One of the earliest examples, Laurel Glen Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain (pictured here, overlooked by Mayacamas mountain, by Patrick …

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Spanish Wines of Value and Quality

Grapes of Spain has been importing wines from Spain since 2002 and currently has a portfolio of some 36 producers and 90+ wines from all parts of the country. Located just outside Washington DC, the company is owned and operated by Aurelio Cabestrero who is originally from Madrid. Before becoming an importer, Aurelio worked as a sommelier in Spain’s Café …

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Long-haired Hippy Good Guy (Spicewood Vineyards Recent Releases)

Long-haired hippy Texan Ron Yates holds court at Spicewood’s tasting room “It only took me… eleven years!” remarked Ron Yates, owner of the family-run Spicewood Vineyards, which produces about three thousand cases from about forty acres in the about-as-unlikely-as-they-come-at-first-but-upon-further-review-kind-of-inevitable fine wine region of Texas Hill Country. Yates was speaking about the fact that he and Texas-native winemaker Todd Crowell can …

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Boxer Gin Review. Punchy or Paunchy?

I bought Boxer Gin because it was the gin of choice at Poco Tapas Bar, the excellent Bristolian tapas restaurant at which I first discovered the Negroni Manzanilla. And given my predilection for punchy gins and stooping to lowest-common-denominator wordplay, what could be more auspicious than a gin that is literally punchy? You know how this works by now, right? …

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2017 Firesteed Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

Finding a good, dependable and affordable every day Pinot Noir is a serious challenge. Whether you go to France, New Zealand, or the US, good luck finding one that’s fun to drink and under $15. This Firesteed bottle just might be the one though. Thank you Costco. Retail price is around $16, but Costco is delivering this one for the …

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For June 17, 2019

I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes in a “mini-review” format.  They are meant to be quirky, fun, and (mostly) easily-digestible reviews of (mostly) currently available wines (click here for the skinny on how to read them), and are presented …

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