This French Crémant (crim-AUNT) hails from the Alsace region of France, where they aren’t allowed to call their sparkling wines Champagne. This is kind of a good thing. Like Pinot Noir drinkers before Sideways released, people “in the know” can enjoy great Champagne-esque wine at lower prices.
Read more: Sparkling wine review: Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut
As the American outpost of the famed French Champagne house Taittinger, vintage after vintage, Domaine Carneros the best way to drink Champagne-ish on a craft beer budget. Great value for the money.
Read more: Sparkling wine review: Domaine Carneros 2006 Brut Cuvee
I’m not ashamed to admit that I respect and admire Paul Dolan, his biodynamic and organic farming philosophies and his vision for the future. The hard work shows up in the glass bottle after bottle, including this one.
Read more: Wine review: Paul Dolan 2008 Sauvignon Blanc Mendocino
Heron Winery out of San Francisco might be what you’d call an “alternative” winery. They don’t own vineyards, don’t have a tasting room and make wines from grapes sourced from all over the world. Really tasty wines like this $15 Pinot Noir.
Read more: Wine review: Heron 2009 Pinot Noir California
Jay McInerney, a wine writer for The Wall Street Journal, wrote an interesting piece last week on the validity of biodynamic grapegrowing. The story — as well as the comments — bring up solid questions. Every winemaker I interview gets the “what do you think about organic and biodynamic farming” question, and it’s met each time with a different set of praises, skepticisms and even jokes.
Read more: Is biodynamic and organic grapegrowing flim flam or fab?
A few months ago, Villa Maria Estate got a Vitamin B-12 shot in their marketing. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates — the sales and marketing powerhouse behind Ste. Michelle Winery, Columbia Crest and Erath — began importing and marketing New Zealand’s “biggest boutique winery.” Gwyneth Olsen, Villa Maria’s Operations Winemaker, came through town this week and blew me away with the quality level of the juice. And now they’re even better priced, thanks to their new friends. The Cellar Selection wines especially.
Read more: Wine reviews: Villa Maria 2009 Cellar Selection Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc
It’s rare that I review expensive wines. But occasionally one runs across my tongue that sends tingles through my nervous system that channel through my fingers. Happened recently when I popped open a Sea Smoke, a cult winery from the Santa Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County in southern California.
Read more: Wine review: Sea Smoke 2007 “Ten” Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills
I suppose it was bound to happen. That partytrain known as wine sales had to arrive in Generica, stopping at the Sam’s Club station. Like the last guy at a party to realize his fly is open, Sam Walton’s masterminding crew has released its own private wine retail label. I should’ve expected it… I should’ve sensed it in the air. But the moment the press release entered my inbox offering up a sample of this new Spanish red blend, I HAD to try it.
Read more: Sam’s Club releases its own wine label: Infinite 2008 Spanish Red
Chile is just now getting to the point where they produce good cabernets. I’ve enjoyed their white wines for as long as I can remember but their reds always wallowed in green pepper and asparagus… and not in a good way with dollop of hollandaise. Errazuriz, a winery founded in 1870 by Don Maximiano Errazuriz, has established themselves internationally as a quality-driven business. They also farm their vineyards sustainably, taking care of the soil for the coming generations.
Read more: Wine review: Errazuriz 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Aconcagua Valley
Spring has sprung. The newly back-from-vacation birds are chirping… the honeybees are busy, and all the animals are horny. Makes me want a drink… or a cigarette, but I don’t smoke. Then, naturally, my mind turns to wine, my favorite beverage. This time of year, as warmth slowly creeps back into the days, I can’t help but shun the heavy reds and pair the weather with something a little more refreshing… mostly rich whites and light-bodied reds.
Read more: Spring has sprung: Wines reviews to get you drinking