In a tasting of six big-name Bordeaux and six New Zealand reds from the promising Gimblett Gravels district, I surprised myself by rating two of the Kiwi reds ahead of Bordeaux.
Some vintners look at old wine barrels, sigh over how much they cost, and send them to the chipper. Quintin Quider sees barbecued oysters and smoked abalone. He has invented a barrel smoker that recycles the old containers for good use.
Two new full-scale hotels are welcoming guests in Willamette Valley, bringing a new level of accommodations to a wine region that sorely needed it. Here are some hints on why it took so long, and a first look.
Too many single-vineyard wines aren’t nearly as good as the same winery’s less-expensive blend. Single-vineyard wines give us a great way to learn what a particular site can do. I enjoy those different personalities. I would have no problem with the idea if they cost the same as, or less than, the same winery’s ace blend. But why should they cost more?
The Carnelian Room in San Francisco, one of the original Grand Award winners, is closing its doors in December and needs to sell off its wine list. Anyone can pick up some rare, difficult-to-find wines, impeccably stored, and all prices are negotiable.
Once the winemaker and viticulturist for Cloudy Bay, Dog Point's owners, James Healy and Ivan Sutherland, aim for more refinement and subtlety with their Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. How do they age and pair with food? A tasting over dinner at Michael Mina suggests some answers.
Untimely rain made the vintage difficult for Pinot Noir in Oregon. It produced mostly light wines. The good reds are delicate, refined and charming. Too many, however, are weak, insipid, lacking in character and short on the finish.
Phil Sexton, who planted both the Devil's Lair vineyard in Margaret River and the Sexton Vineyard in Yarra Valley, contrasts the Chardonnays from them in a vertical tasting to prove how distinctive and different Aussie Chardonnays can be.
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