December 8, 2012 |
Always on the lookout for a juicy California Pinot, one with some character and grit, I think I've found it in the 2011 from August West. The label is a collaboration between Ed Kurtzman and growers Howard Graham and Gary Franscioni. The grapes - a tiny crop this year - came from the vineyards Rosella's, Sierra Mar and Sberanes. Tasting of black cherry, plums and earth, this latest vintage of Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands, their fourth, has gorgeous fruit and ripe tannins.
December 1, 2012 |
In Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc plays second fiddle, adding a touch of spice to Cabernet Sauvignon blends. But in the Loire Valley, it shines on its own in Chinon and Bourgueil. Here's a lovely Chinon from Château de Coulaine, an estate that dates to 1300. Etienne de Bonnaventure farms his Chinon vineyards organically and vinifies his wines simply and naturally using indigenous yeasts. The wine is a rich ruby red, its intense dark berry flavor laced with Chinon's characteristic spice and pepper.
November 30, 2012 |
Two longtime veterans of Wine Exchange in Orange, Kyle Meyer and Tristen Beamon, have just opened an online wine shop based in Santa Ana called Best Wines Online . The two have been working for months to streamline the concept: “We want you to feel as psyched about that next bottle of wine you buy from us as we were when we discovered it. Wine is fun, it's relaxing, its sharing … and it is for drinking.” The website is clean...
November 24, 2012 |
Pigato is one of the little-known Italian wines sommeliers love to surprise guests with. This one is terrific - lithe and minerally, with an earthiness that plays well against an ever-so-slight sweetness. In short, this lovely white wine from Liguria has a presence. La Ginestraia is a new venture for Marco Brangero of Brangero in Diano d'Alba in Piedmont, already well known for his Dolcetto d'Alba. The grapes for La Ginestraia come from a vineyard in Ortovero, seven miles inland from the Mediterranean, that dates from the 1700s.
November 17, 2012 |
Here's the nitty gritty on the wines I've suggested for Thanksgiving. Don't make yourself crazy tracking these exact wines down, though. Any good wine retailer should be able to recommend an alternative for any and all of the wines listed below. Whites 2009 J.L. Bonaccorsi White [Santa Barbara County]. From $16 to $20. Available from San Diego Wine Co. in San Diego, (858) 586-9463, http://www.sandiegowine.net ; Topline Wine & Spirits in Glendale, (818) 500-9670, http://www.toplinewine.com ; Wade's Wines in Westlake Village, (818)
October 27, 2012 |
A good, earthy Burgundy for less than $20? I couldn't believe it. And not some plonk from a shady négociant but a lovely expression of Pinot Noir from the respected house of Louis Jadot. Named for the 15th century convent where Jadot used to make its wines until the 1970s, the grapes for this wine come from the Côte Chalonnaise and Côte de Beaune, plus a little from the Côtes de Nuits. Gentle, yet full of Burgundy character, this is the perfect medium-weight wine for a buttery roast chicken, a plate of sautéed chanterelles, a cheese soufflé or a chicken pot pie. Region: Burgundy Price: About $17 Style: Earthy and gentle What it goes with: Chicken pot pie, turkey, sautéed mushrooms, cheese soufflé Where to find it: Topline Wine & Spirits in Glendale, (818)
October 13, 2012 |
This is the latest from the oldest estate on Mont Brouilly in Beaujolais built in the 15th century. But that wouldn't mean anything if the wine weren't so well made and delicious. Château Thivin, still run by the Geoffray family, who purchased the estate at the end of the 19th century, has vineyards planted with mostly 50-year-old Gamay vines, one reason these wines have such character. Pop the cork on the 2011 and it's guaranteed the bottle will be finished in a flash. With its bright fruit, luscious texture and all-around geniality, Thivin's Côte de Brouilly goes down very easy.
October 6, 2012 |
This is a beauty of a Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, elegant and minerally, with some sass to it and a bright acidity that sends you back to the glass for another sip. It's brilliant as an apéritif but ready to escort grilled swordfish, steamed shellfish or even a chicken fricassee to the table. I might try it with fried chicken or sweetbreads too. And certainly with sushi. Region: Central Coast Price: About $25 Style: Elegant and focused What It goes with: Grilled fish, steamed shellfish, chicken fricassee, sushi Where to find it: Amazing Grapes Wine Store in Rancho Santa Margarita, (949)
August 18, 2012 |
2011 Ameztoi Rosé Getariako Txakolina "Rubentis" This rosé from the Spanish Basque country is something different. Grown on the hillside vineyards above the small fishing town of Getaria, the Ameztoi "Rubentis" is essentially a pink Txakolina made with a blend of white and red grapes. Ever so slightly pétillant , it has the minerality and a bright citrusy quality that makes it ideal with spicy foods. Open a bottle with fiery Thai or Indian dishes. I love it with ceviche, anything with anchovies or sardines.