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Mar
23

Calera Mills Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009

In my life, the greatest pleasure of wine lies in cooking, experimentation, and pairing. The greatest wines in the world have so much to offer, but the height of intellectual

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Jan
20

Blankiet Estate Paradise Hills Vineyard 2012

My prediction: cult Napa wines, as a general category, will be increasingly irrelevant. However, there will always be a place for the very best of them. According to Rob McMillan’s

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Nov
4

Mount Eden Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Many hold the incorrect view that California produces similarly good wine year to year due to its interminable sun. This is incorrect. Vintage variation in California is as significant as

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Aug
23

Sandhi Chardonnay ‘Rita’s Crown’ Sta. Rita Hills 2012

What I dream of is an art of balance. This famous line of Henri Matisse emblazons each bottle of Raj Parr and Sashi Moorman’s Sandhi project. Sandhi revolutionized Chardonnay in

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May
12

Spotlight on Napa Valley: Cliff Lede Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Cult wines form an integral aspect of Napa Valley’s identity. They are not about the long history of the valley, its diversity, or its origin in and potential for classicism.

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May
6

Spotlight on Napa Valley: Stony Hill Vineyard

Long before the ‘new’ California took hold Stony Hill, nestled up on Spring Mountain, built its reputation on good-value, subtle, no-new-oak Chardonnay. It’s the ideal counter-narrative that demonstrates Napa is

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Apr
13

Spotlight on Napa Valley: Matthiasson Napa Valley Merlot “Red Hen Vineyard” 2012

Steve Matthiasson is decidedly re-inventing Napa. Making a name for himself at stalwart cellars like Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Spottswoode, David Arthur and Saintsbury. Matthiason’s background is in farming and

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Apr
10

Spotlight on Napa Valley: Larkmead

Of the hundreds of pre-prohibition wineries in Napa Valley, only 5 remained open during the period. Larkmead was one of those wineries. Selling wine for sacramental purposes comprised the above

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Mar
19

Spotlight on Napa Valley: Inglenook

The story of Inglenook is, in many ways, the story of Napa Valley. The winery’s journey through eras and ownership is both emblematic of the big changes California wine has

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Mar
16

Spotlight on Napa Valley: Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Napa is a challenging place for wine lovers today. The wines are almost inimitably expensive, save Bordeaux. The once storied valley is replete with overripe wines. But, times are changing.