Of all the famous wineries in Walla Walla, Wash.—among names that include Leonetti, Woodward Canyon and Pepper Bridge—Walla Walla Vintners may not come to mind first. But Gary Figgins of Leonetti, Rick Small of Woodward Canyon and Jean-François Pellet of Pepper Bridge all showed up last week to join me and a half-dozen other people to taste through a vertical of all the Merlots that WWV has made.
Oregon insiders have been buzzing over Evening Land, a new project involving star Burgundy winemaker Dominique Lafon and Hollywood producer and wine entrepreneur Mark Tarlov (who has two other projects revving up in California).
Note: Back when I reviewed them, I set aside a few wines to taste when they are more mature. In this occasional series I report on what they’re like now. I could hear my friend Mike salivating over the telephone.
Australian Cabernet Sauvignon can taste green and herbal to American consumers attuned to California Cabernets. On the other hand, wine drinkers who like a little savory flavor because they’re accustomed to European wines can find the Aussie versions too rich.
A box arrived a few weeks ago from Michael Twelftree, the proprietor of Two Hands winery in Australia. Michael and his winemaker, Matt Wenk, not only bottle a raft of outstanding Shiraz wines, they experiment restlessly with other grape varieties.
I noticed it in all the 2006 wines I tasted recently from Cayuse. Scattered through two days of extensive blind tastings of Washington wines, I found a distinctive aroma and taste, lurking in the background in some of the wines, front and center in others.
I admire a good wine label, and for me, the more fun it is, the better. Nothing wrong with a classic graphic label, but anything that takes the starch out of wine appreciation and gets me in a good mood is just fine.
It’s been open for a couple of years but I had not been to Ubuntu, the vegetarian restaurant in the town of Napa started by Jeremy Fox, a former chef at Manresa, one of the best restaurants in the Bay Area.
Having at last encountered an unambiguously corky bottle in one of my blind wine tastings, and a sound replacement bottle to compare with it, I finally had a chance to put the plastic wrap theory to the test.
The sommelier who oversees all of Michael Mina ’s restaurants, including the Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning Michael Mina in San Francisco, has a new project all his own. Rajat Parr opens RN74 in late April as a sort of homage to Burgundy, but a lot more.
In a handsome new book, wine writer Jordan Mackay covers everything about Oregon and California Pinot Noir except for which ones to look for. The book, Passion for Pinot: A Journey Through America’s Pinot Noir Country (Ten Speed Press, $30, 160 pages) comes out this week.
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