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Montsecano · 2012 · Pinot Noir · Casablanca Valley, Chile

I like forward thinking in winemaking. I like winemakers that separate themselves from the pack on just the hope that maybe somebody will understand and appreciate what they’re trying to do. And I believe that’s exactly what André Ostertag is doing here. So here’s the breakdown… André’s family domaine and roots are in Alsace, he trained in […]

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Domaine Rolet · 2011 · Côtes du Jura Rouge · Les Grandvaux · Jura, France

From a geographical standpoint, the Jura is not all that complicated. Just four regional appellations comprise this north/south swath east of Burgundy: Arbois, Côtes du Jura, Château-Chalon, and L’Etoile. Straight forward enough, but that is about where the simplicity ends. The wines, on the other hand, can be confusing. All in one breath, they can be trendy and unknown, […]

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Jérémie Huchet & Jérémie Mourat · 2004 · Muscadet Sevre et Maine · ‘Gorges’ · Loire Valley, France

This wine has been my imaginary summer jam. I picture rolling it out at just about every occasion, for no reason other than we should all be drinking more good, decade-old Muscadet. Unfortunately, at around 30 bucks, it’s a bit too pricey to pour with Vinho Verde-like irreverence. On the other hand, though, it’s a hand-crafted, 10-year-old […]

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Cameron · 2011 · “Clos Electrique” · Pinot Noir · Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon

2011, in Oregon, was one of those years that was basically declared a disaster before fruit even started rolling in. Oh, but what a mistake it was if you were one of the defeatists. Sugar levels were low and botrytis was an issue, but after a lifesaving Indian summer and super long fruit hang times, […]

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François Carillon · 2011 · Bourgogne Blanc · Burgundy, France

This is good wine. This is a great value. Domaine François Carillon is a new endeavor with old roots, launched in 2010 with the split of Domaine Louis Carillon by his sons Jacques and François. Jacques continued the longstanding relationship with importer Neal Rosenthal, and François went with Danny Haas of Vineyard Brands. Or at least that’s the […]

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I was just going to buy strawberries.

This is a first for me. A wall of Kermit Lynch wine at a grocery store. If I turned 180 degrees and took another picture, I think it would be of the Flip Flop wall of wine. For those of you who are not familiar with Kermit Lynch, he is a wine importer based in […]

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Oregon Harvest 2013: Photo Journal Part I

I finally unloaded a harvest’s worth of pictures from my phone this morning. It’s hard to imagine a better working adventure than harvest in Oregon, so here it is, round 1 of my favorite photos. [Paella dinner in the Dundee Hills with the Walnut City crew.] [A view from Belle Pente Winery at their estate […]

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Rob’s Harvest Journal: the 2013 Riesling pick.

Harvest 2013 is over and I’ve been back in Virginia for a few weeks transitioning back into the other side of the business. Only time will reveal how 2013 in the Willamette Valley is packaged and branded as a whole, but I can guarantee, for the people that were in the mix making it happen, […]

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Randall Grahm at the Barrel Thief!

  It’s gonna be a hell of a night! We sat down today, tasted through a bunch of Bonny Doon wines, found our lineup and brought them to the chef. We re-tasted, hashed out flavors and combinations, and Chef Sam did what he does best. The pairings will be sensational, and if you live in […]

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Wine Review: Domaine Vincent Dampt · 2011 · Chablis · Burgundy, France

Real, high-quality Chablis is a balm to the soul…unadorned, unbejewelled, in a white wine world where alcohol and oak are too much ascendant…Chablis prides itself on minerality. This wine demonstrates what the word means. -Oz Clark on the 2011 Domaine VD Premier Cru ‘Côte de Léchet Man, I love that quote. And more so, in […]

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Wine Review: 2011 · Folk Machine · Three Ceremonies · Mendocino, CA

It’s an exciting time for wine in the New World. I’m not going say a revolution is in the works, but we are seeing some encouraging signs. Enough winemakers are willing to make wines a little differently and enough people are willing to buy those wines—and that’s all it takes. A new generation of winemakers […]

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Wine Review: Alain Roy · 2009 · Givry ‘En Vauvry’ · Burgundy, France

Burgundy is complicated: the wine, the geography, the influence of vintage. Thankfully, there are some basic guidelines to follow. Burgundy is divided into a north, and a south; Pinot Noir is the heartbeat of the reds, Chardonnay of the whites. The most sought-after Pinot Noir is considered to be a product of  the north, or […]

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