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Category: Wine Review

Hawk and Horse Vineyards

Vineyards and wineries come in all shapes and sizes. Some wineries make a wide variety of wines, and some make just a few. Hawk & Horse Vineyards is one that makes a few and specializes in estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon.  I recently received a sample of two of their wines from Lake County, Red Hills AVA and I wanted to share their story and their wines with you. Where is Lake County and Red Hills AVA? Lake County is the next county north of Napa County. Where is Hawk and Horse within the Red Hills AVA? It’s at the southern edge.…

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Aridus Wine Company

When I close my eyes and think of Arizona, I think of many things. Wine and winemaking do not come to mind. Enter Aridus Wine Company and that all changes. Arizona Wine Industry, briefly The first commercially planted vineyards in Arizona began cropping up in the 1970s.  There are three wine growing regions in AZ: Verde Valley, Willcox AVA and Sonoita AVA. Of these three regions over 70% of all wine grapes grown in Arizona are sourced from the Willcox AVA. The industry is considered youthful and exuberant with wine quality being “all over the map” from amateurish to award-winning.…

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Salice Salentino & The Indigenous Negroamaro

Unless you are an Italophile, I am guessing that the title of this post has you a bit stumped. Don’t be too hard on yourself, when I was approached to try a couple of wines from Salice Salentino made from the Negroamaro grape, I was stumped as well. What? Where? Huh? Like most of you, when I think of Italy, I think of Rome, Venice, Florence/Tuscany. The Amalfi Coast, if you are a romantic, and perhaps Milan, if you a fashionista. Lately, you can add Calabria to the mix after being bombarded by the Kelly Ripa, Ancestry.com commercial that ran every five…

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Roundup – New Styles of Familiar Grapes

Fall Roundup – New Styles of Two Familiar Varieties This post is part two of my fall wine roundup. Different than the last post, you will undoubtedly recognize the two grapes referenced in the post, but you may not have tasted wine like these.  The grapes are Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir. These two cousins make incredible wine but depending on where the grapes grow and how the wine is made changes everything. And remember the comments will be short and to the point and end with a LOVE, LIKE, NMS (not my style), or GLove (Gary loves it) Pinot Grigio/Gris …

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Fall Roundup – New Kids, New Grapes

Time flies way too fast. As I look back at the various new wines I have tried, I can see empty bottles with handwritten notes overtook my desk and found their way onto the bookshelf. That’s not good. But what that means is that means it is time for the Fall Wine Roundup. A roundup means the comments will be short and to the point and end with a LOVE, LIKE, NMS (not my style), or GLove (Gary loves it, but it’s NMS) I am breaking this roundup into a couple different posts.  This is Roundup #1 which includes two…

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Ehlers Estate Tour and Tasting Part 1

Ehlers Estate Wine with a Purpose When on a wine tasting trip in Napa Valley, it is easy to get lost in the blur of so much wine. There are vineyards at every turn and tasting rooms for wineries dotting the valley from top to bottom. It is so easy for several wine tasting experiences to blend into a single event. That was not the case for the tasting we had Ehlers Estate. They knocked it out of the park. Our experience at Ehlers Estate was the first one of the day at ten o’clock in the morning. I am…

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Russian River Valley and Hanna Wines

The Russian River Valley is a designated AVA* that resides within the larger Northern Sonoma AVA. AVAs located with a larger AVA share the characteristics of that AVA but also have a more unique set of attributes that further define that specific smaller portion of the region. It could be the soil type, the weather patterns or any number of things. The AVA that appears on the bottle is always the one that represents where the vineyards are precisely located. As such, the smaller AVA will always trump the larger if the vines all reside within the smaller (or sub)…

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Kelly Fleming Wines * Our Tasting Experience

This post about Kelly Fleming Wines is a collaboration with my friend and fellow blogger Amber Burke of www.winetraveleats.com. She is based in Napa and well connected. Our friendship was online based for months before we actually met, but once we did at the Wine Writers Education Conference (WWET), we quickly went from online friends to family. Gary and I could not have had the magical experiences that we did without her, and we are forever grateful. Now we talk all the time, so it only made sense to share this experience jointly. Amber Comments: One of the things that…

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#WIYG – Rombauer, Luna, Allemand, & More

If you are a wine enthusiast (eh-hem Steven) and you are on Instagram, you will be very familiar with #wiyg. It stands for “what’s in your glass” which is frequently posited on that social media platform along with your post of a glass or bottle of wine.  Hopefully, your “peeps” will respond, and your Instagram engagement goes through the roof. So what’s in my glass?   I am so glad you asked. Luna Vineyards in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley Luna Vineyards was one of the wineries that Gary and I visited when we were in Napa last May. It…

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Rosé All Day, All Month, All Year

 “If drinking rosé is wrong, I don’t want to be right!” and you can quote me on that! Over the last several years I have turned a number of folks into rosé drinkers. Most will say when first offered, “no thanks, I do not like White Zinfandel” or “I do not like sweet wine.” I then pour them a small taste and faster than you can say “France” their arm is extended and they want more. There is always a look of surprise on their face and the next time we meet that is all they are drinking. The rosé trend in…

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