Tasting Notes for the Sommelier Selections 6.01.14


Aurora Reserva Tannat Serra Guacha, Brazil 2010

  Black berry, black cherry fruit, soft tannins, note of herbs with some minerals and pepper on the finish.


Marchesi di Barolo Barolo Piedmont, Italy 2009

  Scents of roses, vanilla, roasted hazelnuts, licorice and spices. Pleasant touch of tar and oaky notes in perfect equilibrium. Full-bodied & elegant.


Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir California 2011

  Dark and rich, showing toasty mocha oak flavors, with a beam of wild berry, raspberry, cola, vanilla and spice.


Blackbird Vineyards Arise Merlot Blend Napa 2010

  Cherry, blackberry, tobacco, and vanilla. Upon entry, the soft mouth feel reveals flavors of black cherry, truffle, and subtle black olive with a long finish.


Cherry Pie Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir Carneros 2011

  Spicy red berry, cherry and plum notes. Smooth-textured and graceful, this ends with a dash of loamy earth and spice. Made by Jayson Woodbridge of Hundred Acre fame.


Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore 2007

  Rich and smoky in flavor, yet graceful in form, with supple tannins and muscle structuring the flavors of dried cherry, marjoram, date and smoke, followed by a long, chewy finish.


Faust Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2011

  Blackberry, black cherry, ripe raspberry and tea leaf. Impressive mouth feel and notes of cassis, dark chocolate and ripe berries. The layers continue to unfold throughout a long finish.


Flowers Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2011

  Dark berry fruit, black tea, and dried cranberry with earthy nuances of oregano, spice and sweet tobacco. Delivering flavors of ripe plum, fig, orange and licorice this wine is bold; yet, graceful on the palate with supple tannins and a lingering minerality on the finish.


Roots Run Deep Hypothesis Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2010

  Blackberry and currant flavors, while preserving vital acidity and brisk tannins. Oak adds the perfect touch of smoky-wood sweetness.


Pahlmeyer Jayson Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2011

  Ripe cherries, and cracked pepper. The silky smooth entry evokes juicy red plums and rich Swiss chocolate; handsomely framed with notes of river stone, fennel and black tea, finishing with elegant, fine-grained tannins.


Juan Gil Silver Label Monastrell (Mourvèdre) Jumilla, Spain 2011

  Blackberry, cherry cola and smoked meat, with suave floral and spice qualities that gain strength with aeration. Juicy and nicely focused, with precise dark berry flavors and silken texture lingers on a long finish.


Leviathan Red Blend California 2010 (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc)

  Dark cherry, blueberry and blackberry exude from the glass. Brambly fruits combine with hints of chocolate, crème brûlée, cigar box, dried herbs and espresso.


Etude Lyric Pinot Noir Santa Barbara 2011

  Ripe cherry, raspberry and cranberry, showcases notes of baking spice and toasted almond enhanced by silky tannins.


The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel California 2011

  Aromas of dark berry fruit, blueberry pie, cardamom and baking spice backed by lively acidity. The texture is soft and velvety, with polished tannins. The finish is long with notes of chocolate, roasted coffee bean and vanilla spice.


Raymond Vineyards Primal Cut Cabernet Sauvignon North Coast 2011

  Aromas of cherry and red plum accented with notes of rhubarb and pepper; flavors of Bing cherry, raspberry, current and cocoa intermingle seamlessly and lead to a long, smooth finish.


Swanson La Ti Da Red Blend Napa 2011 (Merlot, Cabernet, Petit Verdot)

  A Bordeaux-style blend – an inky, complex wine with dense black cherry and blackberry flavors and a lingering finish. The wine was crafted by winemaker Chris Phelps, who perfected his craft at big name wineries such as Chateau Petrus, Dominus, and Caymus before taking over the reins at Swanson.



Argyle Brut Rose Willamette Valley, Oregon 2009 (blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay) 

Aromas of rose petals, strawberries, cherry blossoms, and just a hint of hay; complex and elegant palate of red berries with licorice, guava, and filo pastry, good acidity and a delicate mousse.


Hanzell Vineyards Sebella Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley 2012

  A Chablis style white made from younger vines, fermented in stainless steel and aged in neutral oak; crisp citrus, minerality, medium-bodied.


Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc South Africa 2011

  Nose of guava, lime zest and ripe pear braced by honeysuckle and orange blossoms; hint of spice on the finish.


King Estate Pinot Gris Oregon 2012

  Aromas of honeysuckle, apple, orange, pineapple, and grapefruit. It tastes like apricot, apple, mango, pineapple, grapefruit, and peach; medium body.

Glossary of Wine Tasting Terms

Glossary of Wine Tasting Terms

acetic: Wines, no matter how well made, contain quantities of acetic acidity that have a vinegary smell. If there is an excessive amount of acetic acidity, the wine will have a vinegary smell and be a flawed, acetic wine.

acidic: Wines need natural acidity to taste fresh and lively, but an excess of acidity results in an acidic wine that is tart and sour.

acidity: The acidity level in a wine is critical to its enjoyment and livelihood. The natural acids that appear in wine are citric, tartaric, malic, and lactic. Wines from hot years tend to be lower in acidity, whereas wines from cool, rainy years tend to be high in acidity. Acidity in a wine can preserve the wine’s freshness and keep the wine lively, but too much acidity, which masks the wines flavors and compresses its texture, is a flaw.

aftertaste: As the term suggests, the taste left in the mouth when one swallows is the aftertaste. This word is a synonym for length or finish. The longer the aftertaste lingers in the mouth (assuming it is a pleasant taste), the finer the quality of the wine.

aggressive: Aggressive is usually applied to wines that are either high in acidity or have harsh tannins, or both.

angular: Angular wines are wines that lack roundness, generosity, and depth. Wine from poor vintages or wines that are too acidic are often described as being angular.

aroma: Aroma is the smell of a young wine before it has had sufficient time to develop nuances of smell that are then called its bouquet. The word aroma is commonly used to mean the smell of a relatively young, unevolved wine.

astringent: Wines that are astringent are not necessarily bad or good wines. Astringent wines are harsh and coarse to taste, either because they are too young and tannic and just need time to develop, or because they are not well made. The level of tannins (if it is harsh) in a wine contributes to its degree of astringency.

austere: Wines that are austere are generally not terribly pleasant wines to drink. An austere wine is a hard, rather dry wine that lacks richness and generosity. However, young Rhônes are not as austere as young Bordeaux.

backward: An adjective used to describe (1) a young largely unevolved, closed, and undrinkable wine, (2) a wine that is not ready to drink, or (3) a wine that simply refuses to release its charms and personality.

balance: One of the most desired traits in a wine is good balance, where the concentration of fruit, level of tannins, and acidity are in total harmony. Balanced wines are symmetrical and tend to age gracefully.

barnyard: An unclean, farmyard, fecal aroma that is imparted to a wine because of unclean barrels or unsanitary winemaking facilities.

berrylike: As this descriptive term implies, most red wines have an intense berry fruit character that can suggest blackberries, raspberries, black cherries, mulberries, or even strawberries and cranberries.

big: A big wine is a large-framed, full-bodied wine with an intense and concentrated feel on the palate. Most red Rhône wines are big wines.

blackcurrant: A pronounced smell of blackcurrant fruit is commonly associated with certain Rhône wines. It can vary in intensity from faint to very deep and rich.

body: Body is the weight and fullness of a wine that can be sensed as it crosses the palate. full-bodied wines tend to have a lot of alcohol, concentration, and glycerin.

Botrytis cinerea: The fungus that attacks the grape skins under specific climatic conditions (usually alternating periods of moisture and sunny weather). It causes the grape to become superconcentrated because it causes a natural dehydration. Botrytis cinerea is essential for the great sweet white wines of Barsac and Sauternes. It rarely occurs in the Rhône Valley because of the dry, constant sunshine and gusty winds.

bouquet: As a wine’s aroma becomes more developed from bottle aging, the aroma is transformed into a bouquet that is hopefully more than just the smell of the grape.

brawny: A hefty, muscular, full-bodied wine with plenty of weight and flavor, although not always the most elegant or refined sort of wine.

briery: I think of California Zinfandel when the term briery comes into play, denoting that the wine is aggressive and rather spicy.

brilliant: Brilliant relates to the color of the wine. A brilliant wine is one that s clear, with no haze or cloudiness to the color.

browning: As red wines age, their color changes from ruby/purple to dark ruby, to medium ruby, to ruby with an amber edge, to ruby with a brown edge. When a wine is browning it is usually fully mature and not likely to get better.

carbonic maceration: This vinification method is used to make soft, fruity, very accessible wines. Whole clusters of grapes are put into a vat that is then filled with carbonic gas. This system is used when fruit is to be emphasized in the final wine in contrast to structure and tannin.

cedar: Rhône reds can have a bouquet that suggests either faintly or overtly the smell of cedarwood. It is a complex aspect of the bouquet.

chewy: If a wine has a rather dense, viscous texture from a high glycerin content, it is often referred to as being chewy. High-extract wines from great vintages can often be chewy, largely because they have higher alcohol hence high levels of glycerin, which imparts a fleshy mouthfeel.

closed: The term closed is used to denote that the wine is not showing its potential, which remains locked in because it is too young. Young wines often close up about 12-18 months after bottling, and depending on the vintage and storage conditions, remain in such a state for several years to more than a decade.

complex: One of the most subjective descriptive terms used, a complex wine is a wine that the taster never gets bored with and finds interesting to drink. Complex wines tend to have a variety of subtle scents and flavors that hold one’s interest in the wine.

concentrated: Fine wines, whether they are light-, medium-, or full-bodied, should have concentrated flavors. Concentrated denotes that the wine has a depth and richness of fruit that gives it appeal and interest. Deep is a synonym for concentrated.

corked: A corked wine is a flawed wine that has taken on the smell of cork as a result of an unclean or faulty cork. It is perceptible in a bouquet that shows no fruit, only the smell of musty cork, which reminds me of wet cardboard.

cuvée: Many producers in the Rhône Valley produce special, deluxe lots of wine or a lot of wine from a specific grape variety that they bottle separately. These lots are often referred to as cuvées.

decadent: If you are an ice cream and chocolate lover, you know the feeling of eating a huge sundae of rich vanilla ice cream lavished with hot fudge and real whipped cream. If you are a wine enthusiast, a wine loaded with opulent, even unctuous layers of fruit, with a huge bouquet, and a plump, luxurious texture can be said to be decadent.

deep: Essentially the same as concentrated, expressing the fact that the wine is rich, full of extract, and mouth filling.

delicate: As this word implies, delicate wines are light, subtle, understated wines that are prized for their shyness rather than for an extroverted, robust character. White wines are usually more delicate than red wines. Few Rhône red wines can correctly be called delicate.

demi-muid: 650-liter Burgundy barrels which are essentially the equivalent of three regular barrels.

diffuse: Wines that smell and taste unstructured and unfocused are said to be diffuse. When red wines are served at too warm a temperature they often become diffuse.

double decanting: This is done by first decanting the wine into a decanter and then rinsing the original bottle out with non-chlorinated water and then immediately repouring the wine from the decanter back into the bottle. It varies with the wine as to how long you cork it.

dumb: A dumb wine is also a closed wine, but the term dumb is used more pejoratively. Closed wines may need only time to reveal their richness and intensity. Dumb wines may never get any better.

earthy: May be used in both a negative and a positive sense; however, I prefer to use earthy to denote a positive aroma of fresh, rich, clean soil. Earthy is a more intense smell than woody or truffle scents.

elegant: Although more white wines than red are described as being elegant, lighter-styled, graceful, balance red wines can be elegant.

extract: This is everything in a wine besides water, sugar, alcohol, and acidity.

exuberant: Like extroverted, somewhat hyper people, wines too can be gushing with fruit and seem nervous and intensely vigorous.

fat: When the Rhône has an exceptionally hot year for its crop and the wines attain a super sort of maturity, they are often quite rich and concentrated, with low to average acidity. Often such wines are said to be fat, which is a prized commodity. If they become too fat, that is a flaw and they are then called flabby.

flabby: A wine that is too fat or obese is a flabby wine. Flabby wines lack structure and are heavy to taste.

fleshy: Fleshy is a synonym for chewy, meaty, or beefy. It denotes that the wine has a lot of body, alcohol, and extract, and usually a high glycerin content. Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Hermitage are particularly fleshy wines.

floral: Wines made from the Muscat or Viognier grape have a flowery component, and occasionally a red wine will have a floral scent.

focused: Both a fine wine’s bouquet and flavor should be focused. Focused simply means that the scents, aromas, and flavors are precise and clearly delineated. If they are not, the wine is like an out-of-focus picture-diffuse, hazy, and possibly problematic.

forward: An adjective used to describe wines that are (1) delicious, evolved, and close to maturity, (2) wines that border on being flamboyant or ostentatious, or (3) unusually evolved and/or quickly maturing wines.

foudre: Large oak barrels that vary enormously in size but are significantly larger than the normal oak barrel used in Bordeaux or the piece used in Burgundy. They are widely used in the Rhône Valley.

fresh: Freshness in both young and old wines is a welcome and pleasing component. A wine is said to be fresh when it is lively and cleanly made. The opposite of fresh is stale. fruity: A very good wine should have enough concentration of fruit so that it can be said to be fruity. Fortunately, the best wines will have more than just a fruity personality.

full-bodied: Wines rich in extract, alcohol, and glycerin are full-bodied wines. Most Rhône wines are full-bodied.

garrigue: In the southern Rhône Valley and Provence, this is the landscape of small slopes and plateaus. This Provençal word applies to these windswept hilltops/slopes inhabited by scrub-brush and Provençal herb outcroppings. The smell of garrigue is often attributed to southern Rhône Valley wines. Suggesting more than the smell of herbes de Provence, it encompasses an earthy/herbal concoction of varying degrees of intensity.

green: Green wines are wines made from underripe grapes; they lack richness and generosity as well as having a vegetal character. Green wines are infrequently made in the Rhone, although vintages such as 1977 were characterized by a lack of ripening.

hard: Wines with abrasive, astringent tannins or high acidity are said to be hard. Young vintages of Rhône wines can be hard, but they should never be harsh.

harsh: If a wine is too hard it is said to be harsh. Harshness in a wine, young or old, is a flaw.

hedonistic: Certain styles of wine are meant to be inspected; they are introspective and intellectual wines. Others are designed to provide sheer delight, joy, and euphoria. Hedonistic wines can be criticized because in one sense they provide so much ecstasy that they can be called obvious, but in essence, they are totally gratifying wines meant to fascinate and enthrall-pleasure at its best.

herbaceous: Many wines have a distinctive herbal smell that is generally said to be herbaceous. Specific herbal smells can be of thyme, lavender, rosemary, oregano, fennel, or basil and are common in Rhône wines.

herbes de Provence: Provence is known for the wild herbs that grow prolifically through- out the region. These include lavender, thyme, sage, rosemary, and oregano. It is not just an olfactory fancy to smell many of these herbs in Rhône Valley wines, particularly those made in the south.

hollow: Also known as shallow, hollow wines are diluted and lack depth and concentration.

honeyed: A common personality trait of specific white Rhône wines, a honeyed wine is one that has the smell and taste of bee’s honey.

hot: Rather than meaning that the temperature of the wine is too warm to drink, hot denotes that the wine is too high in alcohol and therefore leaves a burning sensation in the back of the throat when swallowed. Wines with alcohol levels in excess of 14.5% often taste hot if the requisite depth of fruit is not present.

inox vats: This is the French term for stainless steel vats that are used for both fermentation and storage of wine.

intensity: Intensity is one of the most desirable traits of a high-quality wine. Wines of great intensity must also have balance. They should never be heavy or cloying. Intensely concentrated great wines are alive, vibrant, aromatic, layered, and texturally compelling. Their intensity adds to their character, rather than detracting from it.

jammy: When wines have a great intensity of fruit from excellent ripeness they can be jammy, which is a very concentrated, flavorful wine with superb extract. In great vintages such as 1961, 1978, 1985, 1989, 1990, and 1995, some of the wines are so concentrated that they are said to be jammy.

Kisselguhr filtration system: This is a filtration system using diatomaceous earth as the filtering material, rather than cellulose, or in the past, before it was banned, asbestos.

leafy: A leafy character in a wine is similar to a herbaceous character only in that it refers to the smell of leaves rather than herbs. A wine that is too leafy is a vegetal or green wine.

lean: Lean wines are slim, rather streamlined wines that lack generosity and fatness but can still be enjoyable and pleasant.

lively: A synonym for fresh or exuberant, a lively wine is usually young wine with good acidity and a thirst-quenching personality.

long: A very desirable trait in any fine wine is that it be long in the mouth. Long (or length) relates to a wine’s finish, meaning that after you swallow the wine, you sense its presence for a long time. (Thirty seconds to several minutes is great length.) In a young wine, the difference between something good and something great is the length of the wine.

lush: Lush wines are velvety, soft, richly fruity wines that are both concentrated and fat. A lush wine can never be an astringent or hard wine.

massive: In great vintages where there is a high degree of ripeness and superb concentration, some wines can turn out to be so big, full-bodied, and rich that they are called massive. A great wine such as the 1961 or 1990 Hermitage La Chapelle is a textbook example of a massive wine.

meaty: A chewy, fleshy wine is also said to be meaty.

monocepage: This term describes a wine made totally of one specific varietal.

monopole: Used to denote a vineyard owned exclusively by one proprietor, the word monopole appears on the label of a wine made from such a vineyard.

morsellated: Many vineyards are fragmented, with multiple growers owning a portion of the same vineyard. Such a vineyard is often referred to as a morsellated vineyard.

mouth-filling: Big, rich, concentrated wines that are filled with fruit extract and are high in alcohol and glycerin are wines that tend to texturally fill the mouth. A mouth-filling wine is also a chewy, fleshy, fat wine.

musty: Wines aged in dirty barrels or unkept cellars or exposed to a bad cork take on a damp, musty character that is a flaw.

nose: The general smell and aroma of a wine as sensed through one’s nose and olfactory senses is often called the wine’s nose.

oaky: Many red Rhône wines are aged from 6 months to 30 months in various sizes of oak barrels. At some properties, a percentage of the oak barrels may be new, and these barrels impart a toasty, vanillin flavor and smell to the wine. If the wine is not rich and concentrated, the barrels can overwhelm the wine, making it taste overly oaky. Where the wine is rich and concentrated and the winemaker has made a judicious use of barrels, however, the results are a wonderful marriage of fruit and oak.

off: If a wine is not showing its true character, or is flawed or spoiled in some way, it is said to be “off.”

overripe: An undesirable characteristic; grapes left too long on the vine become too ripe, lose their acidity, and produce wines that are heavy and balance. This can happen frequently in the hot viticultural areas of the Rhône Valley if the growers harvest too late.

oxidized: If a wine has been excessively exposed to air during either its making or aging, the wine loses freshness and takes on a stale, old smell and taste. Such a wine is said to be oxidized.

peppery: A peppery quality to a wine is usually noticeable in many Rhône wines that have an aroma of black or white pepper and a pungent flavor.

perfumed: This term usually is more applicable to fragrant, aromatic white wines than to red wines. However, some of the dry white wines (particularly Condrieu) and sweet white wines can have a strong perfumed smell.

pigéage: A winemaking technique of punching down the cap of grape skins that forms during the beginning of the wine’s fermentation. This is done several times a day, occasionally more frequently, to extract color, flavor, and tannin from the fermenting juice.

plummy: Rich, concentrated wines can often have the smell and taste of ripe plums. When they do, the term plummy is applicable.

ponderous: Ponderous is often used as a synonym for massive, but in my usage a massive wine is simply a big, rich, very concentrated wine with balance, whereas a ponderous wine is a wine that has become heavy and tiring to drink.

precocious: Wines that mature quickly are precocious. However the term also applies to wines that may last and evolve gracefully over a long period of time, but taste as if they are aging quickly because of their tastiness and soft, early charms.

pruney: Wines produced from grapes that are overripe take on the character of prunes. Pruney wines are flawed wines.

raisiny: Late-harvest wines that are meant to be drunk at the end of a meal can often be slightly raisiny, which in some ports and sherries is desirable. However, a raisiny quality is a major flaw in a dinner wine.

rich: Wines that are high in extract, flavor, and intensity of fruit.

ripe: A wine is ripe when its grapes have reached the optimum level of maturity. Less than fully mature grapes produce wines that are underripe, and overly mature grapes produce wines that are overripe.

round: A very desirable character of wines, roundness occurs in fully mature wines that have lost their youthful, astringent tannins, and also in young wines that have soft tannins and low acidity.

savory: A general descriptive term that denotes that the wine is round, flavorful, and interesting to drink.

shallow: A weak, feeble, watery or diluted wine lacking concentration is said to be shallow.

sharp: An undesirable trait, sharp wines are bitter and unpleasant with hard, pointed edges.

silky: A synonym for velvety or lush, silky wines are soft, sometimes fat, but never hard or angular.

smoky: Some wines, either because of the soil or because of the barrels used to age the wine, have a distinctive smoky character. Côte Rôtie and Hermitage often have a roasted or smoky quality.

soft: A soft wine is one that is round and fruity, low in acidity, and has an absence of aggressive, hard tannins.

spicy: Wines often smell quite spicy with aromas of pepper, cinnamon, and other well-known spices. These pungent aromas are usually lumped together and called spicy.

stale: Dull, heavy wines that are oxidized or lack balancing acidity for freshness are called stale.

stalky: A synonym for vegetal, but used more frequently to denote that the wine has probably had too much contact with the stems, resulting in a green, vegetal, or stalky character to the wine.

supple: A supple wine is one that is soft, lush, velvety, and very attractively round and tasty. It is a highly desirable characteristic because it suggests that the wine is harmonious.

tannic: The tannins of a wine, which are extracted from the grape skins and stems, are, along with a wine’s acidity and alcohol, its lifeline. Tannins give a wine firmness and some roughness when young, but gradually fall away and dissipate. A tannic wine is one that is young and unready to drink.

tart: Sharp, acidic, lean, unripe wines are called tart. In general, a wine that is tart is not pleasurable.

thick: Rich, ripe, concentrated wines that are low in acidity are often said to be thick.

thin: A synonym for shallow; it is an undesirable characteristic for a wine to be thin, meaning that it is watery, lacking in body, and just diluted.

tightly knit: Young wines that have good acidity levels, good tannin levels, and are well made are called tightly knit, meaning they have yet to open up and develop.

toasty: A smell of grilled toast can often be found in wines because the barrels the wines are aged in are charred or toasted on the inside.

tobacco: Some red wines have the scent of fresh tobacco. It is a distinctive and wonderful smell in wine.

troncais oak: This type of oak comes from the forest of Troncais in central France.

unctuous: Rich, lush, intense wines with layers of concentrated, soft, velvety fruit are said to be unctuous.

vegetal: An undesirable characteristic, wines that smell and taste vegetal are usually made from unripe grapes. In some wines, a subtle vegetable garden smell is pleasant and adds complexity, but if it is the predominant character, it is a major flaw.

velvety: A textural description and synonym for lush or silky, a velvety wine is a rich, soft, smooth wine to taste. It is a very desirable characteristic.

viscous: Viscous wines tend to be relatively concentrated, fat, almost thick wines with a great density of fruit extract, plenty of glycerin, and high alcohol content. If they have balancing acidity, they can be tremendously flavorful and exciting wines. If they lack acidity, they are often flabby and heavy.

volatile: A volatile wine is one that smells of vinegar as a result of an excessive amount of acetic bacteria present. It is a seriously flawed wine.

woody: When a wine is overly oaky it is often said to be woody. Oakiness in a wine’s bouquet and taste is good up to a point. Once past that point, the wine is woody and its fruity qualities are masked by excessive oak aging.

— Robert Parker

2009 Keenan Winery Merlot, Napa Valley

2009 Keenan Merlot Napa Valley, 750mL

2009 Keenan Winery Merlot, Napa Valley


Keenan Winery is located in Spring Mountain District, high in the Mayacamas mountain range above the town of Saint Helena. Fifteen acres of Merlot vines have been planted in the rocky soils surrounding the winery, and it is these vines that produce some of the finest Merlot in Napa. The vineyards are situated above the dense layer of fog that creeps up the Napa Valley most evenings. Consequently the vines warm up earlier in the morning and stay warm through the night. The combination of warm temperatures, steep hillside vine rows and gravelly soils promotes more stress on the vines leading to increased intensity in the finished wine.
The 2009 Keenan Merlot is composed of seventy seven percent Keenan Estate Merlot. Twenty three percent of the wine is Merlot fruit harvested from the Napa Carneros region. After hand harvesting, the grapes were destemmed, then inoculated with Montrachet yeast. Fermentation ranged from ten to fourteen days.
The ‘09 Merlot has been aged in thirty-three percent new French and American oak barrels for eighteen months. The resulting wine shows intense aromas of black cherry, blackberry, and cassis. Complex nuances of cocoa and coffee bean emerge as the wine opens up. This is a “big” Merlot that will age for many years to come.


Robert M. Parker, Jr.’s, The Wine Advocate, Issue # 204 December 2012
91 Points “The 2009 Merlot is a bigger, richer wine than the 2010, but it doesn’t have that wine’s finesse or vibrancy. Still, there is an immediacy and a juiciness in the 2009 that is highly appealing. Hints of sweet tobacco, crushed flowers and incense are layered into the expressive finish. The tannins remain a bit rough and polished within the context of the estate’s finest wines. The Merlot is made from a combination of Spring Mountain and Carneros Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.”

Wine & Spirits Magazine, December 2012
90 Points “Dark in tone, this is a plump, juicy merlot, its texture enriched by oak. A supple wine with a gamey, green-herb element in the background, this leaves a clean impression at the end. Built for a steak.”

Paradigm Winery

Paradigm Winery

Paradigm Winery  

(par’ – a – dime) noun. An example that serves as a pattern or model. A pattern for perfection…

Paradigm Winery, located in the Oakville appellation of Napa Valley, handcrafts small quantities of estate-bottled red wine. We’re known for our Merlot and our Cabernet Sauvignon, though we also produce a tiny amount of Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc. Regardless of the varietal, our wines are a rich expression of the vineyard we’ve been farming now for twenty-nine years.

Paradigm Winery is owned and managed by Ren and Marilyn Harris, two winegrowers with extraordinarily deep roots in Napa Valley. Marilyn’s grandparents immigrated from Italy to Napa Valley in 1890, while Ren’s family came to California in 1769. Marilyn and Ren purchased Paradigm Vineyards in 1976, and began producing wine with the 1991 vintage. Since that first vintage, the wines have been made by renowned winemaker, Heidi Peterson Barrett. Heidi’s father, Dick Peterson, was instrumental in laying out and designing the winery.


paradigm cabernet

The highly touted 2009 vintage produced big, lush, fully ripe wines that are well balanced and worthy of aging. Our ’09 Paradigm Cab has dark garnet color with a black cherry, berry, and cedar aroma. While big, ripe and rich, the wine shows power and a silky, smooth texture. Tannins are structural and should help this wine last several decades. Flavors are layered from this Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Verdot blend. Explosive, ripe fruit flavors marry with toasty French oak, moderate textural tannins, and good length. It is destined to be a classic vintage.

Cobb 2008 Rice-Spivak & 2006 Emmaline Vineyard Pinot Noirs


Cobb Pinot Noir Rice-Spivak Vineyard 2008

The Vineyard

This 6-acre vineyard is owned by Russell Rice and his wife, Dr. Helene Spivak. It is a few miles further inland than Cobb Wines’ other vineyards, but still influenced by the Pacific Ocean to the west. The soil is the Goldridge sandy loam found around much of this part of Sebastopol, California. However, extensive volcanic activity in the region’s past has laced the soil with an unusual amount of ash. This unique soil composition, together with a northern exposure, and the distinct varieties of Dijon and Swan pinot noir planted here, produce a characteristically aromatic, complex wine. Rice-Spivak is farmed by Cobb Wines’ longtime vineyard crew, and is the source for the Rice-Spivak Vineyard Pinot Noir. These distinctive clones are planted in an unusual mix of sandy loam and volcanic ash. 450 cases made.

Tasting Notes

Winemaker’s notes: Aromas and flavors of high-toned fruit including raspberries, Bing and Rainer cherry, stone fruits, bergamot, orange melon; minerals and earth. Crisp, yet creamy mouth-feel; bright acidity on palate.

Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar. Josh Raynolds. “Bright red. Sexy aromas of candied red berries, cherry-cola, anise and fresh bay, with a hint of potpourri that gains strength with air. Juicy, penetrating raspberry and cherry flavors show increasing spiciness and weight as the wine opens in the glass. The finish strongly echoes the raspberry note and lingers with impressive clarity and persistence. This is balanced to age.” 92 Points

Harvest Notes

The 2008 growing season for the 2008 wines at our vineyards was another near-perfect event. The early season was mild. The pesky spring drizzle and fog that can reduce a crop – or if severe, eliminate it entirely – was minimal for a change. The coastal locations of our vineyards helped us avoid the hottest weather that arrived just prior to harvest, and the wildfire smoke that threatened all of us on the coast in late summer never reached our vineyards. Three bullets dodged. Not bad for farming

Technical Notes

450 cases produced
alcohol: 13.5%
3.31 pH
17 months in barrel
35% new French oak


Cobb Pinot Noir Emmeline Vineyard 2006

The Vineyard

Emmaline Vineyard (“-line” rhymes with “vine”) is at the western margin of Sebastopol, California, very much influenced by the Pacific Ocean further to the west. The two Dijon varieties planted there are growing in Goldridge sandy loam, and like our other vineyards, produce about two tons per acre. However, the combination of the pinot noir varieties and the terroir of this small vineyard result in pinot noir wines that are characteristically delicate, beautifully complex, and with relatively low levels of alcohol.

Tasting Notes

Winemaker’s notes: Dark ruby color. Flavors and aromas of cherry-plum, raspberry, citrus, cranberry, and truffle; minerals and traces of clove, chocolate, and hazelnut. Has lovely finesse with clear acidity. A very complex and age-worthy wine.

Dan Berger’s Vintage Experiences
Issue 23, July 16, 2009
“Faintly earthy notes add depth to cherry, dried roses, and a note of spice. Silky yet still crisp. A subtler wine with only 12.8% alcohol and a 3.3 pH. Limited amounts left of [this] extraordinary wine.”

Harvest Notes

Not only was the fruit quality in 2006 nearly perfect, all components of ripeness and flavor came together at a relatively low sugar level. This resulted in a lower alcohol pinot noir with complexity and finesse.

Technical Notes

166 cases produced. 16 months in barrel. 30% new French oak. 12.8% alcohol.

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Some Japanese Whisky Tasting Notes

Suntory Yamazaki Single Malt

The Yamazaki distillery was Japan’s first distillery—the birthplace of Japanese whisky. Centrally located near the confluence of three rivers outside of Kyoto, it’s Suntory’s flagship in many ways, so it’s only fitting that their 12 year expression was the first Japanese whisky available in the US.

A lovely single malt in the style of a Speyside Scotch, the Yamazaki 12 starts out light and fruity up front with the scent of apples and honey, transitioning into deeper malt flavor and a hint of barrel spices appear on tasting. With a light mouthfeel and finish fading from sweetness to spice, it’s devastatingly drinkable at 86 proof—a perfect entry point into the world of Japanese whisky, and the cheapest entry point at around $40 a bottle.

The Yamazaki 18 is also available at a more pricey $135 or so, as well as a limited-release expression of the Yamazaki 1984 (largely sold out even at a MSRP of $600). They are both exceptional whiskies, so if you’re looking to take the next step in your journey, these are the bottles for you.

Suntory Hakushu Single Malt 12

Further north, Suntory’s Hakushu distillery is located outside Hokuto in the Yamanashi prefecture. Nestled in Japan’s Southern Alps, it’s one of the highest single malt distilleries in the world, though its nickname is “the forest distillery.” A lightly peated whisky, the Hakushu 12 smells similar to the Yamazaki—sweet and fruity—but the delicate smoke adds a very lively contrast. On tasting, citrus and ginger start to emerge with a bit of pepper and heat. Once again, the mouthfeel is luscious but light, and the finish lingers briefly with a touch of dry smoke. It’s incredibly fresh and crisp for a peated whisky. Hakushu 12 is 86 proof and listing at around $55 a bottle.

Suntory Hibiki 12

A blended whisky made from malt and grain whiskies from Suntory’s distilleries aged in a range of barrels (including plum wine barrels) the 12 year expression is the sweetest of the Suntory whiskies. Honeyed and floral, with desert flavors of vanilla, clove, and almond, it’s rounded out by a substantial grain presence and enough wood to keep the sweetness in balance. The Hibiki 12 is 86 proof and lists around $60 a bottle. (Bonus: Bill Murray is selling the Hibiki 17 in Lost in Translation, but the bottle has the same appearance, so you can play the part at home!)

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 12

Nikka’s blended whisky offering to the US is not a blend of grain and malt whiskies, like the Hibiki, bur rather a blend of only malt whiskies (hence ‘pure malt’). Drawing on stocks from the Yoichi and Miyagijyo distilleries, it’s fruity and round. Apples, barley, and sweet grain transition to honey and wood spices, with just a trace of smokiness to pull it all together. With a heftier body than the Hibiki, it’s a more muscular blend without sacrificing balance. A wonderful pure malt that stands on its own at 80 proof, it’s priced at $70 a bottle.

Nikka Yoichi Single Malt 15

The Yoichi distillery is on the island of Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japans four major islands. Situated on a coastal perch that’s partially surrounded by mountains, it’s Nikka’s oldest distillery. The Yoichi 15 is Nikka’s marquee offering stateside, and it’s the boldest whisky of the day. Sweet, nutty, and sherried on the nose, the malt transforms on tasting. Evolving very dramatically from a mild oakiness to intense spices and ginger to mild sweetness, it finishes with all of the flavors commingling and drifting off on a wisp of smoke. Full bodied and rich, it’s a journey in a glass. The Yoichi 15 is bottled at 90 proof and lists for $130 a bottle.

Japanese Whisky: General Knowledge

Whisky production in Japan began around 1870, but the first commercial production was in 1924 upon the opening of the country’s first distilleryYamazaki. Broadly speaking the style of Japanese whisky is more similar to that of Scotch whisky than IrishAmerican, or Canadian styles of whiskey, and thus the spelling typically follows the Scottish convention (omitting the letter “e”).

There are several companies producing whisky in Japan. Perhaps the two most well known are Suntory and Nikka. Both of these produce blended as well as single malt whiskies.

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Tasting Notes for the Current Wines by the Glass 4/11/13

Thanks to Cathy for putting this together for us!


Drusian, Prosecco di Valdobbiadene N.V., Italy     $11

Extra Dry Prosecco opens with frothy cream and floral tones of jasmine and honeysuckle. It tastes lively and fresh in the mouth thanks to its well-integrated acidity and its piquant effervescence.

Extra Dry, granny Smith apple and white flowers that turn creamy on the mid-palate and finish crisp and clean.

Scharffenberger Brut Rose, Anderson Valley 2009    $14

Sleek, with pinpoint focus, this offers raspberry and butter cookie aromas, with crisp, elegant citrus and cherry flavors marked by ginger and spice.”

Crisp, elegant citrus and cherry flavors marked by ginger and spice

Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs Brut Napa Valley     $22

Made from 100% Chardonnay rich, clean and elegant

A profile of green apple and tropical fruits are rounded out by flavors of brioche and stone fruit. Creamy minerality and mouthwatering acid drive the finish.

“The Davies family has long had a particular fondness for its Blanc de Blancs, ever since Nixon brought it to China in 1972 at the historic “Toast to Peace” in Beijing, China.

Blanc de Blancs (white from white) made from Chardonnay is the counterpart to the Blanc de Noirs (white from black), made from Pinot Noir. Blanc de Blancs was the first wine Schramsberg produced in 1965 and was America’s first commercially produced Chardonnay-based brut sparkling wine. Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs gained international recognition in 1972 when then President Nixon served the wine

While this wine can be enjoyed by itself as an apéritif, it is also perfect with fresh oysters and other shellfish, crab cakes, ceviche and grilled sea bass. It is also delicious with lemon chicken and Thai curries. Serve with aged Gouda or other hard cheeses and as a counterpoint to soft triple creams.

Flavors of brioche and stone fruit, creamy minerality and mouthwatering acid drive the finish

Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne  $25

Brut Premier is the embodiment of Louis Roederer style, combining all the fruitiness and freshness of youth with the vinosity of a fully mature wine. This is a structured and elegantly mature wine, with a lively attack and a smooth palate.

Grape: 56% Pinot Noir, 34% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Meunier, including 10% of reserve wines from three former harvests, aged in oak casks for 2-6 years.
Tasting notes: a golden colour with fine bubbles and a nose of fresh fruit and hawthorn. Smooth, complex palate mingling flavours of white-fleshed fruit (apple and pear) with red berries (blackberries, raspberries, cherries) and notes of toast and almonds. A pleasurable wine, deliciously smooth and mature

Choice of food: Brut Premier is excellent as an aperitif but also readily accompanies light entrées based on fish or shellfish.

Smooth, complex palate mingling flavours of white-fleshed fruit (apple and pear) with red berries (blackberries, raspberries, cherries) and notes of toast and almonds.

Niepoort Docil Loureiro, Vinho Verde 2011, Portugal    $9

Pale straw, fresh, ripe nose of peach, apricot and a hint of fresh herb

Bright and minerally in the mouth – flavors of ripe apple, lemon zest and ripe peach – as odd as that amalgam might seem. Really acid-driven and yet has a textural sweetness too.

Grape: Loureiro Portuguese white variety. Vinho Verde is produced from grapes which do not reach great doses of sugar. Vinho Verde does not require an aging process. Vinho Verde wines are now largely exported, and are the most exported Portuguese wines after the Port Wine.

Bright and minerally in the mouth – flavors of ripe apple, lemon zest and ripe peach. Acid-driven and yet has a textural sweetness too

Marisa Cuomo, Furore Bianco, Campania 2011, Italy $15

Hand-picked grapes are gently pressed and a cold maceration is used to obtain the finest fragrance of the fruit. Temperature controlled fermentation takes place in stainless steel for about 20/30 days.

Aging: 4 months in stainless steel

Tasting Notes: Bouquet: delicate, fruity nose, unmistakable perfumes of the Mediterranean coast

Taste: broad and balanced with light acidity that supports the freshness of the aromas

Grape: 60% Falanghina and 40% Biancolella

Falanghina is an ancient Italian white wine grape.

Costa D’Amalfi Furore Bianco DOC 2010 is a broad and balanced white wine with a slight dominance of acidic note in support of the freshness of the aromas. It’s ideal served with seafood pasta.

The grapes are harvested manually, arrive intact in the winery, and after de-stemming and crushing are subjected to pressing. The juice is fermented at a controlled temperature for about 20 days.

Tasting Notes: Intense yellow color, aroma of fruit and especially citrus fruits. The flavor is complex and balanced with a slight predominance of freshness.

Complex, balanced, citrus fruits with a slight acidity

Domaine du Margalleau Vouvray Sec Vouvray, France 2011  $13

The Domaine du Margalleau 2011 sec has a beautiful perfume of honey and fresh, juicy lemon which lifts from the glass. The palate is rich, fresh, textured and has concentrated lemon and honey flavors with a stony edge. The finish is very long and perfumed.

Vouvray is a region in the Loire valley not far from Tours. This region is famous for it’s Chenin Blanc wines

Grape: Chenin Blanc

Palate is rich, fresh, textured and has concentrated lemon and honey flavors with a stony edge. The finish is very long and perfumed.

Craggy Range Te Muna Vineyard Martinborough 2011   $15

Our single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc wines provide a fascinating insight into these site derived differences. From Te Muna Road in Martinborough, the unique limestone soils produce wines that show a distinctive fine soft chalky texture and great elegance.

And in Marlborough, our Avery Vineyard yields grapes with great complexity in the lime, citrus blossom and passion fruit spectrum rather than the distinctive herbaceous and grapefruit notes typical of many Marlborough wines.

This smooth, silky white delivers pretty Key lime, Meyer lemon, passion fruit and melon notes that are elegant, balanced and delightfully tangy. all leading to the juicy finish. Grape: Sauvignon Blanc

Smooth, silky white delivers pretty Key lime, Meyer lemon, passion fruit and melon notes that are elegant, balanced and delightfully tangy

J.J. Christoffel, Riesling, Ürziger Würtzgarten, Kabinett Feinherb Mosel, Germany         2011 $15

How’s that for a tongue twister? Phonetically it’s ERTS-ih-ger VERTS-gar-ten.

Ripe sweet peach and crisp pear. Mineral backbone. Very flavorful, well balanced and not too sweet.

Ripe sweet peach and crisp pear. Nice mineral backbone and well balanced.

Grape: Riesling

Merryvale Chardonnay Carneros, 2010 (Oaky, buttery)     $18

Tasting Notes: Our 2010 Chardonnay Carneros displays expressive aromas of pear, papaya, citrus, nectarine, pineapple, toasty oak and spice.

The wine is medium weight with a round fleshy texture and a crisp sweet finish.

Production Notes: Hand sorted, whole-cluster pressed; 100% barrel fermented; with native yeast and malolactic fermentation; Barrel fermented and aged 11 months in French Oak (43% new)

Aromas: mineral/wet stone, tangerine, orange blossom, mango, papaya, fresh pineapple, baked apple and pear, vanilla

Great fruit concentration with tropical and hazelnut notes, lively acidity, crisp sweet refreshing long finish.

By the Sea, Monterey County, 2010    $20

Aging: 9 months in French Oak. 20% New

On the nose, tropical notes, hints of spearmint, white peach, and lychee.

On the palate ripened white peach, green apple, mango, and melon with a mineral accent on the finish.

2010 Chanin Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley             $24

ELEGANT: Vibrant, Citrus, Honey, Sea Salt

Chanin Wine Co. is dedicated to crafting wines from Santa Barbara County that reflect the individual vineyard in which they are grown — with a focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  Gavin Chanin, who was named one of FORBES’ “30 under 30” in food and wine and a “winemaker to watch” by SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, began his winemaking career as a harvest intern at Au Bon Climat and Qupé, under the tutelage of winemakers Jim Clendenen and Bob Lindquist, working his way up to assistant winemaker at both labels.

The Bien Nacido Vineyard is one of the best in California and Chanin’s Chardonnay comes from vines dating back to the original 1973 plantings.  These old vines give the wine a unique mineral and nutty note. We were blown away by these wines from the Pursuit of Balance tasting in NYC.

The nose is dominated by classic chardonnay characteristics of citrus, very present stone fruit, honey blossom, and lemon rind. On the palate the fruit is reminiscent of citrus, baking spice, toasted almonds and ripe green apple.  This wine was aged for 16 months in barrel, giving it texture and natural richness. I use this traditional technique to make a lush and generous wine while keeping a high acidity and low alcohol. This makes it enjoyable on its own but also very food friendly.

The finish is long, and with intense minerality and refreshing acidity.

 Grape: Chardonnay

On the palate the fruit is reminiscent of citrus, baking spice, toasted almonds and ripe green apple.  Long finish with a refreshing acidity.


Domaine Charles Audoin, Marsannay, 2011                                    $13

Style: Rose

Grape Type: Pinot Noir

Origin: France

Region: Burgundy

Appellation: Cote de Nuits

Musky cherry and floral aromas, with notes of anise and candied orange in the background.  Fleshy and a touch warm, offering pungent red fruit flavors and showing an open-knit character.  Closes with good punch and breadth and a hint of smokiness.

Pungent red fruit flavors, balanced with a hint of smokiness.

Red Wine

Potel-Aviron Moulin-à-Vent Vieilles Vignes, France  2010    $15

91 points Wine Spectator

Well-knit, with a core of mineral and spice, and notes of blackberry, grilled plum, tar, dried floral and herb. Fine-grained tannins show on the fresh, fine-grained tannins graphite-tinged finish.

Grape: Gamay grape is largely confined to Beaujolais

Mineral and spice, and notes of blackberry, grilled plum, tar, dried floral and herb

Oakwild Ranch Toboni Vineyard Russian River Valley 2010               $17

An inviting Pinot that opens with aromas of cinnamon, cloves and wild cherry. The delicate balance of red cherry and plum flavors, soft tannins and a bright acidity create a wine that is both complex and pleasantly smooth.

Grape: Pinot Noir

Delicate balance of red cherry and plum flavors, soft tannins and a bright acidity

Domaine Michel Sarrazin, La Perrière Mercurey, Burgundy, Côte Chalonnaise 2010                    $23

A stunning, lush and very tempting Burgundy with plenty of character and charm. Long, sweet and lush, with good spice and body.

Grape: Pinot Noir

Long, sweet and lush, with good spice and body.

Domaine la Millière Tres Vieilles Vignes Côtes du Rhône-Villages 2011 Châteauneuf du Pape                          $13

It exhibits a dark ruby/purple color as well as a surprisingly supple style, full body, and pure cassis and black cherry fruit intermixed with hints of Provencal herbs/garrigue, lavender and dusty, loamy soil note

Grape: 90% very-old-vine Grenache, 5% Syrah and 5% Cinsault; 100% tank-made.

Full body, and pure cassis and black cherry fruit intermixed with hints of Provencal herbs

Keenan Winery, Merlot, Napa Valley 2009     $17

Keenan has purchased Merlot grapes from the Napa Carneros district for many years. The “Carneros” is the southern region of Napa closest to the San Pablo Bay and is known for producing high quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Merlot. Merlot grown in the Carneros tends to be very fruity and soft with distinctive spicy nuances.

Keenan began purchasing Merlot from the Carneros to blend with the estate Merlot grown on Spring Mountain. The two wines are a great match; the Carneros Merlot softens the dense, powerful wines produced from the estate grown fruit. But, in 1999 we were so happy with the quality and distinctiveness of our Carneros Merlot, we decided to bottle a small amount on its own. We continue to bottle a few hundred cases of Carneros Merlot most years.

The 2009 Carneros Merlot shows jammy blackberry and raspberry aromas. Nuances of spice and cocoa emerge as the wine opens up. Silky mouth-feel and well-balanced structure allow it to show wonderfully with a variety of well seasoned dishes.

Big Merlot. Dark, plummy, with a silky mouth-feel, well balanced and structured

Lang & Reed 2010 Cabernet Franc North Coast, Saint Helena, CA   $15

The 2010 North Coast Cabernet Franc has a bright, clear violet blue color. The aromas display firm red berry, gentle lavender and licorice overtones. The palate provides a supple counter to the bright aromas yet shows a slightly huskier structure than most recent past vintages. firm tannins

Palate provides a supple counter to the bright aromas of red berry, gentle lavender and licorice, yet shows a slightly huskier structure than most recent past vintages. firm tannins

2009 Justin Vineyards & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles     $18

The JUSTIN Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles in California is a delicious cabernet with a nice, rounded finish.

It is smooth and supple, making this an excellent cabernet wine to pair with food.

The Paso Robles region is land locked, creating a hot climate suitable for Cabernet Sauvignon.

The JUSTIN cabernet has loads of ripe black and red fruits on both the nose and the palate. I love the hints of vanilla on the nose and the kick of herbs and spices on the finish. There is a nice balance of acidity and structure, making this is an easy drinking cabernet. It is a perfect wine for a nice dinner at home or for your spring and summer time barbecues.

The JUSTIN Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with the following foods:

~ Juicy Hamburger ~ Stews ~ Braised Meats ~ Grilled Steak ~Roasted Eggplant
~ Barbecue Ribs

Tasting Notes

Aroma:Bold black fruit – cassis nose, sweet vanilla note from American oak

Palate: Dry and mouth filling, raspberry and blackberry flavors. Plush, round and dense, with modest tannins and a long, generous finish

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Old Vine, Napa Valley                                    $12

Winemaker Notes: If there is any wine of the 2011 releases that accurately demonstrates the poised, claret-like, character of the 2011 vintage it is the 2011 Sonoma Valley Old-Vine.

The late ripening Stellwagen Vineyard once again was included into this cuvee to lend its dark fruit, and Casa Santinamaria, another vineyard originally slated for vineyard designation, was included for its beautiful spice. The remainder of the wine is composed of Zinfandel from the terraced Los Chamizal Vineyard, some younger vine fruit from Rossi Ranch in Kenwood, a few barrels of Monte Rosso Zinfandel, and a dollop of old-vine Carignane and Mourvedre from my Bedrock Vineyard. This is old-school Zin- bright, focused, and energetic. Like previous releases of this wine, I would expect it will reward a year or so of short-term aging.

Black cherries and some earthiness on the nose. Bright red fruit on the palate, finishes crisply

Sake: General Knowledge


This article is about the beverage. For other uses, see Sake (disambiguation).

Sake (/ˈsɑːk/ or /ˈsɑːki/)[1][2] is an alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin that is made from fermented rice. It may also be spelled saké.

In the Japanese language, the word sake refers to Japanese liquor, while the beverage called sake in English is termed nihonshu (日本酒, “Japanese liquor”).

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