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USA, Syrah, Acorn, Axiom, Alegria Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California, 2013

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N/ Deep, sweet oak and barrel room wafts. Sage and wild herbs do play. Plum skin reduction sauce. Amazing. Crushed granite. Wet black soil. T/ Plum, plum skins, complex earth and organic notes, and Maduro tobacco leaf notes. Another complex and fulfilling wine from the “field blend masters” at Acorn. 321 cases made 14.2% booze […]

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New Zealand, Pinot Gris, villa Maria, East Coast, Private Bin, 2015

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N/ Green apples, steamed hay, sun bleached river rocks, beach sand, fresh rain, wet cement. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Tart honeysuckle and crisp apple flavors dominate but light citrus, pear, and gooseberry flavors do play. Quite an unexpected complexity in the fruit profile compared with typical pinot gris. Soft mineral notes and another bite […]

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France, Champagne, Sparkling Wine, Bruno Paillard, Première Cuvée, Reims

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N/ Salted green apple slices Crushed granite. Chalk. Delicate marine wafts. Quite inviting. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Crisp green and yellow apples. Clean lines of mineral, flint and granite. Elegant. Price = $50 http://www.champagnebrunopaillard.com/en/champagnes/premiere-cuvee/ N = A- T = A I = A Overall = A This wine was a media sample kindly provided […]

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Spain, Garnacha, Particular, Bodegas San Valero, Cariñena, 2013

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N/ The first thing that hits you is a blast of wild country herbs, light mint, and Eucalyptus wafts. Ripe red and black berries delight. Split flint, black soil, brick dust, and hardwoods bring the earth notes and round out a wonderful and complex nose. T/ Medium mouthfeel with clean and elegant lines of red, […]

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France, Red blend, Michel Chapoutier, Cotes du Roussillon Villages, Bila-Haut, 2014

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Red blend of syrah, grenache and carignan. N/ Black cherry, plum skins, compote, multiple aromatic herbs like sage and rosemary, and tobacco leaf. The smell of a walk in wild country. Outstanding. T/ Medium mouthfeel. A large payload of black cherry, black berry, and savory notes all with a nicely balanced gentle sweetness. Her close […]

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USA, Chardonnay, La Rocca, Castello di Amorosa, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Barbara, Napa Valley, California, 2013

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N/ Tropical fruits, green apples, seaspray, and fresh canvas. Incense and chamomile. Fresh rain with a hint of flint. 2-3 out of 10 on the butterscotch scale, which is perfect. Beautiful and complex. T/ Medium mouth feel. Delicious green and yellow apples with some light tropical fruits and lime notes as well.  Lasting mineral close. […]

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Argentina and Chile, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, Amancaya, Gran Reserva, Bodegas Caro, Les Domaines Barons De Rothschild (Lafite) (Chile) & Catena (Argentina), Mendoza, 2012

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Red blend of: 60-70% Malbec and 30-40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Rated two hours after decanting. N/ Plum skins, complex spices, red berries, wet rocks, gunpowder, forest floor, warm cherry pie, wild herbs and lavender. Wow! T/ Medium full to full mouth feel. Deep flavors of liquid plum skins, black fruits, blackberries, and blueberries. Matured and solid […]

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New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc, Jackson Estate, Stich, Marlborough, Wairau Valley, 2013

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N/ Gooseberry, light cat, honeysuckle, bright citrus zest, fresh rain, green herbs, oyster shells, wet rocks. Oh my. Very nice. T/ Medium full mouth feel. Delightful lime and lemon zest flavors dance on mouthwatering acids. Clean. Alive. Herbal notes and minerals abound on her close. A job well done. This is how I want my New […]

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Italy, Sparkling Wine, Franciacorta, Brut, Lo Sparviere, Agricole Gussalli Beretta, Cuvee Number Seven

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N/ One of my favorite aromas in the entire world is saffron. This is the first wine I’ve ever smelled that had some of the characteristic aromas of saffron. Simply blew me away, and admittedly biased me to loving this wine even before I sipped it. Her other aroma attributes include light citrus, pears, green […]

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Chile, Carmenere, Montes Alpha, Colchagua Valley, 2012

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Red blend of: 90% carmenere and 10% cabernet sauvignon. Color/ Simply amazing. Almost black. Squid ink pomegranate juice and black soil came together as one deep, dark, brooding color. N/ Wonderfully void of some of the reduced aromas that are unfortunately associated with some low priced Chilean wines – especially upon first opening. Deep notes of ripe […]

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Chile, Chardonnay, Ventisquero, Kalfu, Kuda, Leyda Valley, 2013

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An un-oaked chardonnay whole cluster fermented in stainless steel tanks. N/ Very agreeable dried hay, honeysuckle, sun-bleached rocks, crisp green apple, and pears. Rose petals. Also has a hint of gooseberry more commonly associated with sauvignon blanc. Love this nose. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel, which is a bit of a surprise as  I was expecting a lighter […]

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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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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, 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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USA, Chardonnay, Wente, Riva Ranch, Heritage Block, Arroyo Seco, Monterey, California, 2012

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N/ Rich and full. Wonderful butterscotch and oil waft well for the fans of such, but restrained in such a manner that even those of us who are not partial that profile can really enjoy this nose. Luscious yellow fruits, clean notes of oak, and slate. T/ Full mouthfeel. Wow, this one is huge. In […]

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Winery Visit / Winemaker Focus / Abiouness Wines / Nicole Abiouness

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I was at a fab party in Sonoma a few months back that was bursting at the gills with great, and varied, wines and local winemaker royalty.  Admission price to the party was an interesting bottle of wine. Aside from two that were clearly jokes, there were approximately 40 other fascinating offerings. I was, predictably, like […]

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Portugal, Vinho Verde, White Blend, Aveleda, Casal Garcia (Em Português tambem)

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Note: this is a non-vintage, highly-affordable wine that way over delivers…. This wine was made for spring and summer, I suggest stocking up on it. White blend of: trajadura, loureiro, arinto, and azul. N/ Dried hay, sea salt, sun-baked slate, rain, and wet cement in the most agreeable way possible. T/ Medium-full mouth feel which […]

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Italy, Sparkling, Brut Rosé, Franciacorta, Contadi Castaldi, Lombardia

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65% chardonnay, and 35% pinot nero C/ Gorgeous cantaloupe / copper and light pink coloration. N/ Strawberries, rose petals, light bread, and stone fruits. Hint of lime zest. Lovely. T/ Creamy, medium-full mouthfeel.  Wow, the acid work gets one’s mouth watering right away. Delicious layers of raspberry and strawberry flavors are refined yet power packed. Clean, […]

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USA, Sauvignon Blanc, Gallegos, St. Helena, Somerston Estate, Napa Valley, California, 2012

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N/ Thankfully, no cat aromas whatsoever. Fresh rain, pears, wet concrete and crisp, dried hay. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Clean, acid dancing, layers of light yellow fruits, soft hay notes, and hints of pineapple. An extended lime juice and light mineral close. Very impressive, this would be absolutely perfect on a warm sunny day, […]

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Italy, Sparkling, Brut, Franciacorta, Antica Fratta, Lombardia

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N/ Clean marine wafts, oyster shells, dried beach. Hay and yellow grasses. T/ Light mouthfeel. Bottle of sunshine with a spritz of salt and lime zest. Steamed hay. Extended steel, flint, and green apple skins on her close. Absolutely delightful. http://www.anticafratta.com/en/ Also, a well-translated and information packed descriptor here… http://www.anticafratta.com/pdf-eng/brut.pdf Alcohol = 12.5% Price = […]

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