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Category: Wine Review

Smith Madrone Vineyards and Winery

Legendary Boutique Napa Valley Winery I first met Stuart Smith, Founder and Managing Partner of Smith-Madrone Winery at WWET 2018 in Napa Valley. He was a presenting winemaker at a couple of seminars sharing his POV, his wines, and his history in the Valley. If you are from Napa, I will venture that you know Stu, as he is known. After the conference, Gary and I stuck around for a couple more days. We intended to make our way up Spring Mountain, where the winery resides. But the road can be treacherous during inclement weather, and the clouds were not…

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Brooks Winery: The Passion of Wine…

… Especially Riesling About one month ago in the post In These Times of Covid, I highlighted several of the wines we had been drinking so far during the lockdown. I also asked if there were any that you’d be interested in learning more.  A reader commented and asked about the Brooks Winery 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir.  Brooks Winery has such a compelling history. So, in addition to sharing my notes of their rosé, I thought there might also be interest in the winery. So without further adieu, this is Brooks Winery… “I’m not afraid to die, but I’m…

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Drinkable Pink This Autumn

Yes, Gary and I are still drinking rosé this fall, and we will continue to do so through the winter.  Our journey of drinkable pink wines has been a blast, and I want to share some of the bottles that we have sampled and loved.  Some of these new wines we now buy by the case as they are that good. Drinkable pink – two different tastings. First, I taught a rosé class at Edison James Island as part of my educational wine tasting series. (Sign up here) A second tasting then happened a couple of days later when we…

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Ehlers Estate 2018 Sylviane Rosé

A Horse of a Different Color When the Ehlers Estate 2018 Sylviane Rosé was released last Spring, I was super stoked. The 2017 vintage was my #1 favorite wine last year. Everyone I knew that tried this vintage swooned over it. It was a 100% Cabernet Franc rosé that really knocked it out of the park. So with the 2018 vintage released, I was ordering my first case, no problem, with more to follow I was sure. Now I knew that there was a new winemaker at Ehlers. After all, I did run a Q&A with her last fall. (You…

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Edison James Island Wine Dinner

Edison James Island Klinker Brick Wine Dinner You all know by now that I am a huge fan of wine dinners. The ones I attend tend to cost in the $90 to $125 range including tax and gratuity, although I have seen some advertised for as much as $200 to $300 per person. This occasion was my first wine dinner at Edison James Island. In my experience, wine dinners always sell out, and that makes me very happy. What made this wine dinner so interesting to me is the quality to price ratio (QPR) of the Klinker Brick wines and…

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Laherte Frères Champagne Wine Dinner

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of attending the Laherte Frères Champagne Dinner at Edmund’s Oast. All of the wine dinners I have gone to at Edmund’s Oast have been a lot of fun as well as great learning experiences. But I was super excited about this one because I have a significant knowledge deficit when it comes to the art of champagne. Since this is one of Sarah O’Kelley’s (the sommelier at Edmund’s Oast), favorite producers, I knew I was in for a treat. Side note: All Champagne is sparkling wine. But all sparkling wine is NOT…

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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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