April 8, 2013 |
So Wine Spectator has determined there are good value wines made in California in regions other than the Napa Valley. Sorry, but Napa Valley would be the last California wine region I'd expect to supply bargains unless we're talking Cabernet priced at $50 instead of the $75 the vintner feels is deserved. Okay, maybe Im being a little unfair. Of course you have to look to other regions for good value! Wine just costs too much to produce in Napa Valley. And so the venerable wine mag has ventured into Mendocino County, Sonoma County, the Sierra Foothills and closer to home, Paso Robles and Santa Barbara County to ferret out “top-notch California wines under $25.” And by top-notch, they mean wines that have scored 85 points or higher on the Wine Spectator 100-point scale.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2013 |
James L. Barrett, a pioneering Napa Valley vintner who stepped onto the world stage in a big way in 1976 when his Chateau Montelena Chardonnay won a prestigious Paris tasting, has died. He was 86. Barrett died Thursday in San Francisco, according to family spokeswoman Kristen Reitzell. The cause was not given. An attorney and senior partner at a Torrance law firm, Barrett decided to leave his practice, move to Napa Valley and devote himself full time to Chateau Montelena, the historic estate he and a group of investors had bought in 1972.
March 15, 2013 |
Napa Valley has lost a pioneer. Chateau Montelena released a statement today announcing the death of the winery's founder James L. Barrett at 86 on Thursday. Born in 1926, Barrett graduated from UCLA in 1946 and earned a law degree from Loyola Marymount University in 1950. After serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, Barrett became a senior partner is his firm Barrett, Stearns, Collins, Gleason and Kinney. In 1972, he went to Napa Valley with the idea of starting a winery.
February 23, 2013 |
Ha! I was just starting to write a post about Mira Winery in Napa Valley experimenting with aging wine in the ocean - yes, it's true! - when a video showing just what they're up to popped in my in-box. According to the winery, divers have placed four cases of the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon in specially designed cages in Charleston Harbor. Why? Mira Winery president Jim "Bear" Dyke Jr. has Charleston, S.C., roots. "The South is beginning to really distinguish itself as a food and wine destination," he says on the two-minute YouTube video . Okay, but why put wines in the ocean?
February 20, 2013 |
A California winery is conducting an aquatic experiment: Napa Valley-based Mira Winery is aging 48 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Atlantic Ocean. The winery said bottles of wine recovered from shipwrecks have a remarkable and unique flavor. Thus, the winemaker believes aging the 2009 Cabernet in South Carolina's Charleston Harbor will affect the red wine's taste. “The ocean has similar ideal elements that impact aging - temperature, pressure, humidity, pressure motion, light - or lack thereof - and oxygen,” said Gustavo Gonzalez, a Mira Winery winemaker, in a statement.
February 2, 2013 |
Come spring, Napa Valley is overrun with visitors and if you're planning a visit in the coming months, time to start planning now. If you're an app addict, you might be tempted by the iPhone and iPad app Wine Spectator's Guide to Napa Valley 2012 edition . Readers, I bought it and downloaded it, and there's just not very much there for $6.99. It's basically an address book with no particular critical voice to direct you toward this or another restaurant, this or another winery visit.