Cellar Note: Classic Rioja – 1998 La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Crianza

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One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to wine hunt. I thoroughly enjoy finding cool, unique, and obscure wine shops around the world - especially when my hunting manages to reward me with old, special bottles. While on a recent trip to Madrid, I found a few awesome shops that contained … Continue reading Cellar Note: Classic Rioja – 1998 La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Crianza

Tasting Note: 2016 Roserock Chardonnay

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A few months ago, a rep from Domaine Drouhin Oregon led a side-by-side tasting of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay bottlings from Drouhin Oregon, and the latest Willamette acquisition by the family, Roserock. The Roserock winery is located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, and the wines poured from Roserock were already beautiful. For me, they … Continue reading Tasting Note: 2016 Roserock Chardonnay

Domaine Pierre Gonon: 2017 Vintage Report

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Last September, I visited Domaine Pierre Gonon as part of a trip through the Rhone Valley. The Gonon brothers are not flashy or hubristic, despite their acclaim. Throughout the visit, Jean made clear that their aim is to make honest, traditional wine. In fact, the first few steps into the winery, your eyes are drawn … Continue reading Domaine Pierre Gonon: 2017 Vintage Report

Domaine Nicolas-Jay: Spirited Mix of Oregon and Burgundy

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On a recent trip to the Willamette Valley, the first visit I scheduled was Domaine Nicolas-Jay. I was initially interested in tasting at Nicolas-Jay because I had heard wonderful things about the quality of the wines, but as a young winery, I haven’t seen many bottles on this side of the U.S. The winery is … Continue reading Domaine Nicolas-Jay: Spirited Mix of Oregon and Burgundy

Tasting Note: 2015 Hirsch Vineyards Pinot Noir Raschen Ridge

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Sometimes, you just have to be honest that a wine doesn't live up to its price tag. It's always especially deflating to remember how much one shelled out at a winery's tasting room in fees, plus the cost of the wine that you purchased during the visit. To a large degree, I feel that way … Continue reading Tasting Note: 2015 Hirsch Vineyards Pinot Noir Raschen Ridge

The Not-So Lesser Wines of Great Winemakers

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The world’s best wineries and winemakers often make several different cuvees, and more often than not, produce different wines using different grapes from their top bottlings. Sometimes we are lucky enough that those winemakers also produce wines from the same varietals as their top cuvees, but at a more wallet-friendly price point. There are also … Continue reading The Not-So Lesser Wines of Great Winemakers

Modern Wines of Place?

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A common criticism of “modern” wines is that they are over extracted, oaky and jammy. We also hear that modern wines don’t express terroir, they are an expression of the winemaker’s hands in the cellar. I’ve always felt that I have a more classically leaning palate, that I prefer wines that are not too big … Continue reading Modern Wines of Place?

Paying Homage to My Personal Favorite Female Winemakers

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I have always felt that wine is an illuminating lens into the history of a place and a people. Similarly, wine is in many ways a social commentary. There is certainly class stratification within wine, whether those “in the business” actually acknowledge it or not. Within the world of wine, there are also issues of … Continue reading Paying Homage to My Personal Favorite Female Winemakers

Some Ugly Truths About Wine Travel

I have been fortunate enough to visit a number of wine regions in the U.S. and Europe. Those experiences were incredibly instructive and memorable, but there have been instances where I have left a winery or a region and felt disappointed. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is far more the exception than a rule … Continue reading Some Ugly Truths About Wine Travel