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USA, White Blend, The Whip, Murrieta's Well, Livermore Valley, California, 2013White blend of 28% Sémillon, 24% Chardonnay, 14% Sauvignon Blanc, 11% Orange Muscat,11% Viognier, 11% Gewürztraminer and 1% White Riesling.

N/ Gardenias, honeysuckle, white and yellow flowers, marine/beach and salt, fresh hay, honey and light confection. Complex and alluring.

T/ Medium full mouthfeel. Lightly sweetened honeysuckle, pear, limes, tropical fruits and melons. Some creamy butter comes through from the chardonnay, but that is well balanced with all the other grape influences.

Interesting and complex. A party crowd-pleaser to be sure.

http://www.murrietaswell.com/

Alcohol = 13.0%

Price = $22

N = A / A-

T = B+ / A-

I = B+

Overall = B+ / A-

This wine was a media sample kindly provided by the winery.

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USA, Riesling (Semi-Sweet), McGregor, Finger Lakes, New York, 2013N/ Pleasant florals, peaches, apricots, balsa wood, yellow grasses, and light vaseline.

T/ Coating full mouthfeel. A fair amount of acid still shines thorough a full payload of sweet peach and pear juice, triggering a nice mouth water.

Too sweet for me, but certainly not cloying, and many will enjoy the levels here. Simple but complete.

A crowd-pleasing first wine for your next party I’d imagine.

http://www.mcgregorwinery.com/

Alcohol = 10.5%

Price = $18

N = B+

T = B-

I = B

Overall = B

This wine was a media sample kindly provided by the winery and was part of a #FLXwine Twitter tasting event. Please also visit http://www.fingerlakeswinealliance.com/

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, 14 Hands, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington, 2010Recommend decanting. This can be easily accomplished by pouring into a clean glass pitcher, if you do not have a “proper” decanter. Wait at least 30 minutes, preferably one hour before enjoying this.

N/ Deep notes of slightly smoked plums skins dominate her nose. Ripe currant. Crushed fall leaves. Forest floor. Taffy. Suntan lotion.

T/ Medium mouthfeel. Very ripe, coating, currant. Plum and black cherries. Her weight and acid work are well-balanced with the fruits, and lend to a seamless drinking experience.

Defined layers, rare this price point.

The only detraction is that her finish is a tad bit flabby, and even after an hour of decanting she still had a bit of a cranberry pucker bite.

A year or two more in bottle should solve the latter issues.

https://www.14hands.com

Winemaker =  Keith Kenison

Alcohol: 13.5%

Price = $12

N = A-

T = B+

I = A-

Overall = A-

This wine was a media sample kindly provided by the winery.

From the winery:

“WINEMAKING
• Grapes were sourced from vineyards throughout the Columbia Valley, including the Horse Heaven Hills.
• The fruit was de-stemmed and gently crushed to either upright stainless steel tanks or rotary fermenters.
• Crushed grapes were typically “cold-soaked” for 24-48 hours then warmed and inoculated with a number of yeasts, including Premier Cuvee, Prise de Mousse, ICV-D21 & ICV-D254, to initiate 7-10 day fermentations.
• The wine was aged for several months in a combination of American and French oak barrels to soften and round the blend.”

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Jamieson Ranch, Double Lariat, Napa Valley, 2011N/ Plum skins and black, brooding fruits dominate. Cassis, black cherry, pine needles, wild herbals, and brick dust as well. Barbecue. Cedar. Robust and complex.

T/ Medium full to full mouthfeel. Massive black fruits, cassis, and black cherry. Ample acid work, with some nice defined layers of flavor intermixed with the more amorphus big fruit delivery. Only detraction is a slight chalkiness.

http://www.jamiesonranchvineyards.com/

Price = $60

N = A-

T = B

I = B

Overall = B / B+

This wine was a media sample kindly provided by the winery.

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Parducci, True Grit, Reserve, Mendocino, California, 2012Red blend of 80% cabernet sauvignon, 15% merlot, and 5% syrah.

N/ Dusty plums, boysenberries, rhubarb, paprika, redwood sawdust, and slate.

T/ Medium mouthfeel. She starts with a tart pucker leading to clean lines of black fruits, ripe cranberry, and red berries. Nice mineral notes, light tobacco flavors, and some sandy tannins close her out.

Big potential at a reasonable price, however, I recommend cellaring her for another two years or so and hopefully she’ll be even more balanced. I think the wait will be well worth it.

Alcohol = 13.5%

http://www.parducci.com/

Price = $30

N = A-

T = B

I = A-

Overall = B+

This wine was a media sample kindly provided by the winery.

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USA, Pinot Noir, Bruliam Wines, Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, California, 2010

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N/ Deep black cherries and plums. Musky spices, clean oak, and perfumed lavender delight. Pine needles stored in a cigar box. T/ Full mouthfeel. Acids are still dancing after a fair amount of bottle rest. Herbed, complex cherry and soft plum skin flavors. Elegant. Clean. Rich. Two years ago this wine was absolutely delicious… and she […]

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Australia, Shiraz and Viognier Blend, Terlato & Chapoutier, Victoria, 2013

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Blend:  95% shiraz and 5% viognier N/ Countryside sage and soil, a virtual walk amongst wild sagebrush and lavender. Black cherry, taffy, fresh rain, and wet cement. Wonderful. Her only distraction is a hint of rubber. T/ Medium full mouth feel. Dusty, black cherry and cassis with a slightly disjointed cranberry pucker. Woody flavors and a […]

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Italy, Red Blend (Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese), Liberta, Collazzi Vineyards, Toscana, 2012

Uncategorized

N/ Cellar room, sage, crushed rose petals, cassis, light confection, sweet woods, forest floor, and rhubarb. Complex and delightful. T/ Light to medium mouth feel. Silky but bouncing with acidity. Clean, mineral driven cassis and red berries, with a cranberry tartness that tamed with time in the glass. A perfect food wine that worked seamlessly with […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Faust, Napa Valley, California, 2011

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N/ Right after opening she had some smoldering campfire aromas that I typically associate with carmenere rather than cabernet, but, as I thought, these dissipated over the next 20 to 30 minutes. In short, open up well before you intend to enjoy this bottle – she needs some airtime in order to blossom. Her nose is […]

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New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc, Dashwood, Marlborough, 2013

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N/ 5 out of 10 on my cat aroma scale. Which would be nice for a whole lot of folks, but just a bit high for my personal preference. Gooseberries, honeysuckle, and sun bleached rocks are nice though. T/ Medium mouthfeel. She starts with a nice lime and honeysuckle tartness, then proceeds into some light yellow […]

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USA, Moscato, 14 Hands, Columbia Valley, Washington, 2013

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N/ She is a wonderful gardenia and white flower explosion. Soft honeysuckle, sandalwood, and rock notes play second fiddle to the flower power. T/ Medium to full mouth feel. Round and coating. She’s dominating by a white flower reduction, that is delicious, but accounts for almost all of the show. Her close, however, saves the performance […]

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Winery & Vineyard Visits / Winemaker Focus / Cornerstone Cellars / Jeff Keene / Napa Valley, California & Oregon

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I had the privilege of sitting with winemaker Jeff Keene for an extended tasting of Cornerstone wines. The offerings were delicious, impressive, and showed a broad range of styles. The wine also importantly showed restraint in all the right places. Jeff was 100% delightful and explained his winemaking philosophy beautifully. Passion is an over-used word in the […]

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New Zealand, Pinot Noir, Goldwater, Wairau Valley, Marlborough, 2012

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N/ Spice, nutmeg, BBQ smoke, and rock dust hover over cherry and black cherry notes. Hint of forest floor. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Medium acid work… was hoping for just a bit more dance. Warm cherry and black cherry notes. Smoked meats and wood. Mouthwatering, extended mineral and cherry finish. http://www.pasternakwine.com/ Alcohol = 13.5% Price = […]

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Italy, Garganega, Soave, Rocca Sveva, Classico, 2013

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N/ Yellow flowers, honeysuckle, melon, sun bleached rocks, with hints of resin and spice. T/ Medium full mouth feel. Nice introduction of melon and tropical fruit notes. She is more rounded and has a higher mouth weight then would be expected from her nose. Some mouthwatering action on the close. Her only fault is that I […]

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France, Rosé, Bila-Haut, Michel Chapoutier, Pays d’Oc, Roussillon, 2013

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Red blend of cinsault and grenache. C/ Beautiful salmon and amber / pink. N/ Delightful rosé signatures of strawberries, raspberries, and sun bleached rocks, but also with hints of peach and melon. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. A nice lively acid introduction complete with raspberry and jolly rancher flavors but she is more complex than that… […]

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France, White Blend, Bila-Haut, Michel Chapoutier, Côtes Du Roussillon, 2013

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White blend of: grenache gris, greanche blanc, macabeo, and vermentino. N/ Vanilla taffy, sea spray, marine wafts, melon, hay, cedar, and dry river rocks. T/ Medium mouthfeel. A lime and honeysuckle tart starts thing off, leading to some softer honeysuckle, tropical fruit, and green apple notes. A touch of slate closes her. Highly gulpable. This […]

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Italy, Glera, Prosecco, “Extra Dry,” Sparkling Wine, Spumante, Prosecco DOC Treviso, Mionetto, Brut, Organically Grown Grapes, Valdobbiadene, Veneto

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Note: this is one of the first wines where I’ve enjoyed (very much) the non-organic variety of the same brand and then actually enjoyed the wine made with organic grapes even better. This is a quality to price champion. N/ One of the purest expressions of green apple aroma that I’ve ever encountered outside of an […]

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USA, Gewürztraminer, Snoqualmie, ECO, Columbia Valley, Washington State, 2012

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N/ Pine needles, lime zest, and light wafts of vaseline. The latter being a bit surprising as one typically finds those in riesling, not gewürztraminer.   She also has an interesting herbal and spice note that I frankly cannot quite put my finger on, my best guess is some mashup of tarragon and nutmeg, but it […]

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Beer, Active Fermentation, Homebrewing

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For my friends who have never seen active fermentation in process, this video shows some yeast going to town. (Para os meus amigos que nunca viram o processo de fermentação, este vídeo mostra algumas leveduras tendo muita diversão). Homebrew Four Active Fermentation 07JULY2014 Please Share & Enjoy:

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USA, Sauvignon Blanc, Snoqualmie, Columbia Valley, Washington, 2013

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N/ Sun-bleached rocks, green apple skins, light yellow fruits, lime zest, and sunshine. Cat aroma scale 1 out 10, which is the absolute perfect amount to let you know that it is sauvignon blanc, but without the offensive aromas that sometimes plague greener versions of this grape. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Lean, mineral driven green apples […]

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