From my tasting notebook: Intensely colored, smartly polished. Toasty oak? Yes, but expect more—something herbal, something minty, and something sooty. In the nose resides an intense deliciousness. Explosive berries, brown sugar, and chocolate. Despite my persistent Merlot advocacy, I have scared up some sweet, rotund dogs lately. If this was one of those stinkers, it [...]
What a difference a year makes. The last time I tasted the ’06 Howell Mountain, it was beside one of my all-time favorite Blocks, the 345 Rutherford. Both these wines were exceptional, far exceeding any expectations of what I would expect from a $20 Napa Valley Cabernet. But these weren’t just Napa reds; these were [...]
Not a week goes by where I am not dropping by Purdy’s at least twice. Combing over the racks, waiting for something to catch my eye that I may have missed. This past week I noticed an Oakville district Merlot from one of the original Silver Oak founders, Ray Duncan. The bottle that caught my [...]
A $45-$60 bottle for $24.99? Yup. From Silver Oak’s founder Ray Duncan, Twomey Cellars has been producing acclaimed Merlot since 1999. 5 cases of the 2004 are available at Purdy’s in Saratoga Springs for a shocking closeout price of $24.99/bottle. Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV reviewed the ’04 vintage in 2008—he scored it 92+ [...]
Groth’s consummate workhorse, their Sauvignon Blanc—the only white wine Carey and I brought home from our Napa honeymoon. I was only going to be purchasing 2 cases—one to be mailed and the other to ride home with us under the plane. So I even surprised myself when I dedicated 3 precious slots in my stable [...]
I managed to get past the inconsequential water-stain on the label of an HDV Carneros Syrah thus securing, as the lone bidder, a wine that is still selling in some locales for over $60 a bottle. Just $20—a wine with a 92 Spectator rating. I have to be honest, though—the label did look odious while [...]
Wine Review: 2002 · St. Clement · Progeny Vineyard · Cuvée Rev. Pott · Syrah · Mt. Veeder · Napa Valley, CA
The Progeny Vineyard Syrah was almost the Syrah that never happened. It arrived last fall once the weather cooled along with a shipment of bottles I picked off of WineBid.com during the summer months. At $20, I got a great deal, approximately a third of what the current vintage Progeny sells for.
Until tonight, the first and last time I tasted Frank Family’s Sangiovese was on location in Napa Valley in Dennis Zablosky’s office. Frank Family was not on our original honeymoon itinerary, but we had a hot buzz and plenty of time between Cuvaison and Joseph Phelps, so off we went. After tossing a stick for [...]
Carey and I have always had a fondness for Tres Sabores. A couple weeks before we were due in Napa for our honeymoon, two of our close family friends enjoyed their first visit to the Tres Sabores. It left such an impression that when we arrived at our hotel St. Helena, a bottle of their [...]
Wine Review: Vineyard Block Estates · Block 106 · Meritage · Napa Valley & Block 625 · Meritage · Yountville
Cat vs. dachshund (1-0). Block 106 vs. Block 629 (0-1). Sunday night was wonderfully chaotic in the Burden house. My parents are in town for Christmas, so we were all together for dinner. We also introduced Eli to my sister and brother-in-law’s new dachshund, Walter—it didn’t go as well I as I was hoping, but [...]
I have no idea how many Block wines have actually been released, or at what volume. I do know that I plan to track them all down and bring them to you. My last four Block reviews continue to churn impressive numbers—every day in contention for the top spot in the Corks category.
Wine Review: 2007 · Vineyard Block Estate · Block 613 · Cabernet Sauvignon · Yountville · Napa Valley, CA
The next Block is in—and it may be the strongest. The response from the first three Block reviews (512 Sonoma Coast, 925 Howell Mountain, and 345 Rutherford) has been amazing. People try these wines—not knowing much about them—and realize they’ve stumbled upon something special and want to find out more. The same thing happened to me, and [...]