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06.04.2019

Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 6/2/19

Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on on Flipboard, but for those of you who aren't Flipboard inclined, here's everything I've strained out of the wine-related muck for the week. Outstanding in Her Field Lady vineyard managers rule. Why Californian wine will soon cost more in Beijing Because... Trump. It's time to re-think single origin wines Robert Joseph is good at radical thinking. The Beginning of the End of the Old World Appellation System? Mike Veseth has an interesting point of view.... continue reading

06.01.2019

Vinography Unboxed: Week of 5/26/19

Hello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I'm pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week included a number of decent white wines from near and far. Let's start with the more familiar -- a Chardonnay from one of the top growers in the state, Dutton Ranch. I tend to review a lot of the Dutton Goldfield wines, but this is the wine from the other brother, Joe Dutton. It's named after Joe's oldest daughter who is carrying... continue reading

05.31.2019

Vinography Images: The Infinite Curve

The Infinite Curve SAINT-ÉMILION, FRANCE: The alluring curve of the roof designed by Christian de Portzamparc peeks above the vineyard beneath dramatic skies at Chateau Cheval Blanc in Bordeaux. Cheval Blanc, which means "white horse" in French, is one of only four estates elevated to the rank of Premier Grand Cru Classé in the classification of Saint-Émilion wine. INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open... continue reading

05.28.2019

Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 5/26/19

Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on on Flipboard, but for those of you who aren't Flipboard inclined, here's everything I've strained out of the wine-related muck for the week. The Pay It Forward Philosophy of Laura Maniec Fiorvanti The most gracious lady. New Innovations in White Wine Production Many of which are very old techniques. Wine's Salon des Refusés Bucking the system. Napa grape growers say the late rain should not be a major problem Not too much flowering yet. What's... continue reading

05.25.2019

Vinography Unboxed: Week of 5/19/19

Hello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I'm pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week continued the rosé onslaught that marks spring wine releases everywhere. For starters, I've got a somewhat unusual pink from Laurel Glen vineyards, which has three rows of old-vine "mixed blacks" that they harvest every year and blend with Cabernet to make this rosé. Randall Grahm sent along his consistently crisp Vin Gris de Cigare, which is done in the Rhône style and... continue reading

05.24.2019

Vinography Images: The Fine Fields

The Fine Fields PAUILLAC, FRANCE: Storm light dapples the gently rolling vineyards surrounding Château Lafite Rothschild, which has been owned by the Rothschild family since the 19th Century. Lafite, as it is affectionately known, is one of four First Growths established by the 1855 Classification in Bordeaux. INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To... continue reading

05.24.2019

Chile Continues to Punch Above Its Weight

Amidst all the romance and storytelling in the wine world, it's easy to lose sight of one of the most important aspects of wine: value for money. I'm certainly guilty of overemphasizing the latest tiny producer making wines in minute quantities that are difficult to obtain. While such wines are fascinating and exciting and often have great stories behind them, they don't relate much to the everyday drinking goals of many people who enjoy wine. Sometimes you don't need a wine with an incredible story behind it. Sometimes you just want a $20 wine that tastes like a $50... continue reading

05.22.2019

Seven Percent Solution Tasting: June 2, Los Angeles

There comes a point in every intrepid wine lover's life when the well-traveled road must be left behind. One can only drink so much Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc. But finding one's way out of the multitudes of these bottles to something more exotic and interesting takes some effort. Which is where the folks behind the Seven Percent Solution come in. These fine folks have organized themselves behind the fact that 93% of Northern California's vineyard acreage is planted to eight major grape varieties, leaving a mere seven percent for all the others. Of course, since... continue reading

05.21.2019

Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 5/19/19

Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on on Flipboard, but for those of you who aren't Flipboard inclined, here's everything I've strained out of the wine-related muck for the week. Agustin Huneeus Jr. to plead guilty Tuesday to college admission scandal charges The question is: will he do time? Inside Wine: Keep it Clean Laura Ness looks for neat freaks. Rain and windy weather causing problems for North Coast wine grape growers 2019 is going to be a smaller crop. Understanding Biodynamic... continue reading

05.18.2019

Vinography Unboxed: Week of 5/12/19

Hello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I'm pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week included all sorts of interesting stuff. Lets start with a shockingly good and quite unusual wine. Pepe Raventos is a name known to wine geeks. He started the now quite well-known Raventos i Blanc project, which is making some of the highest quality and stunningly terroir-driven Sparkling wines in the traditional Cava region. Except they're not Cava. Raventos decided to leave the... continue reading

05.18.2019

Vinography Images: Mists of Margaux

Mists of Margaux MARGAUX, FRANCE: The silhouettes of trees show dull colors in the morning mists along a canal on the grounds of Chateau Margaux. Margaux is one of four original Premier Grand Cru classé wines according to the famous 1855 Bordeaux Classification. The estate is located in the commune of Margaux on the left bank of the Garonne estuary in the Médoc region, in the department of Gironde. INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the... continue reading

05.16.2019

Wine Critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. Officially Retires

It's the end of an era. Today, wine critic and founder of the Wine Advocate, Robert M. Parker, Jr announced his retirement. Of course, to anyone paying attention, the end of his reign as tastemaker and singular force in the wine world happened when he sold a majority stake in the Wine Advocate to a Singapore-based investment group in 2012. As in many such corporate acquisitions, especially when the founder is inextricably linked to the brand, Parker stuck around and did his part to provide the impression that the status was quo while attending expensive wine dinners and speaking... continue reading

05.14.2019

California is Fizzing Again

I've been having something of an unnerving experience of late. Receiving unsolicited wine samples from all over the world is a regular 'hazard' of my wine-writing life. A majority, as you might expect, are California wines, more often than not from producers of whom I know or have heard. Opening a box to find wines from an unknown California producer is always a treat, especially when the wines are worth writing about. Recently, however, I've been opening the constant barrage of boxes to discover an increasing number of bottles of unknown-to-me California sparkling wine. While many are not spectacular,... continue reading

05.14.2019

Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 5/12/19

Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on on Flipboard, but for those of you who aren't Flipboard inclined, here's everything I've strained out of the wine-related muck for the week. France's Orphan Wine Region Grows Up The oldest orphan there is. Matt Stamp: We're In a New Era of Napa Cabernet The pendulum keeps swinging. How Women's Sexuality Is Used to Sell Wine The ladies of wine reflect. The State of Discrimination in Wine Tom Wark continues the good fight. North Coast... continue reading

05.11.2019

Vinography Images: Bent to the Task

Bent to the Task PAUILLAC, FRANCE: An old hand bends to the task during harvest at Château Lafite Rothschild, which has been owned by the Rothschild family since the 19th Century. Lafite, as it is affectionately known, is one of four First Growths established by the 1855 Classification in Bordeaux. INSTRUCTIONS: Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to... continue reading

05.07.2019

Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 5/5/19

Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on on Flipboard, but for those of you who aren't Flipboard inclined, here's everything I've strained out of the wine-related muck for the week. Meet the New Wine Evangelists Evangelistas, as the case may be. There's a Congressional Wine Caucus. And it does a lot more than drink Every member of congress represents wine. Because they rep consumers. Wine Drinking Should Be Pointless: Why It's Time to Stop Scoring Wine Says a Master Sommelier. A Wine... continue reading

05.07.2019

Episode 466 of I'll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Joe Rochioli, Jr. of J. Rochioli Vineyards and Winery in the Russian River Valley of California. Joe Rochioli, Jr. begins this interview talking about how his family grew hops, and ends it by expressing astonishment at the sheer number of vineyards that have been planted in the area around his home. In between is the story of California wine in the second half of the twentieth century, as family farms dedicated to cash crops like beans, apples, and hops were replanted to vines. While that march... continue reading

05.06.2019

Vinography Unboxed: Week of 5/5/19

Hello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I'm pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week included a couple of interesting white wines from the Central Coast. The first, the Estate Chardonnay from Calera, needs little introduction for long-time California wine lovers, though arguably Josh Jensen's Pinot Noirs (see below) are more famous than his Chardonnays, but both benefit from the unique limestone outcrop that is his Mount Harlan estate. Even farther south, Chalone vineyards has been making... continue reading

05.03.2019

Vinography Images: The Wide Sky

The Wide Sky POMEROL, FRANCE: The sky spreads wide over vineyards just as expansive at Chateau Pétrus in Pomerol, on Bordeaux's Right Bank. Pétrus became famous in the late 1800s after winning a gold medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition, beating out many more famous estates. One of the most expensive and sought-after wines in the world, Pétrus is widely regarded as the single best bottling of Merlot to be found, and remains the shining star of the Pomerol apellation, which has never been classified. Consequently it cannot truly be called a First Growth, though it clearly ranks among... continue reading

05.01.2019

Signature Sonoma Valley Icon Tasting: May 17, 2019, Sonoma

Most people, when they come visit me in San Francisco and ask to be taken to wine country, assume that they're going to Napa. But at least half the time, that's definitely not where we end up. My well meaning friends aren't the only ones who seem to forget that Northern California has many different "wine countries." Napa casts a long shadow, as it were. I've got a bit of love for every piece of wine country we've got here in California, but there's a special place in my heart for Sonoma County, both because it is the place... continue reading

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Most Recent Entries

Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 6/2/19 Vinography Unboxed: Week of 5/26/19 Vinography Images: The Infinite Curve Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 5/26/19 Vinography Unboxed: Week of 5/19/19 Vinography Images: The Fine Fields Chile Continues to Punch Above Its Weight Seven Percent Solution Tasting: June 2, Los Angeles Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 5/19/19 Vinography Unboxed: Week of 5/12/19

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune

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Wine Blogs I've Newly Discovered

California Wines and Wineries A Must Read Blog The Story of My Wine Bottledaux The Glorious Grape Meg & Merlot Exploring Wine Marius Aasly

Want more? Check out blogs and podcasts from around the world on the complete list of wine blogs.

Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud