Wagner Family Whites

It is rare that you taste through a lineup of wine where every wine showcases quality and stunning depth. This is my second run through of wines from the Wagner family, makers of Mer Soleil, Conundrum, Meiomi, Belle Glos and Caymus. For the second time, I am blown away. Previous scores for these wines ranged from 3+ to 4+. The 2008 Belle Glos Pinot Noir was my #2 wine of 2010 and my bench mark for Pinot. For this review, I’m embarrassed to share that I drank SIX bottles of Wagner wines…all by myself. Before you schedule an intervention, let […]

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Chardonnay Day with Spokane Washington Wine

Chardonnay is one of the world’s most planted wine grapes (second to Spanish grape Airen). A major component in Champagne (and other sparkling wine), Chardonnay is known as a winemakers grape because of the ability for the winemaker to impart their stamp on the overall outcome. Chardonnay is crisp and clean in Chablis and has a reputation for being thick and buttery in California, although many wineries are moving away from this trend. In Washington, Chardonnay is still king with nearly 6,000 planted acres (Cabernet Sauvignon is a very close second). While producing predominately red wine, a handful of Spokane […]

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Have You Ever Gone Gamay? Beaujolais Gamay

“Once you go Gamay you’ll want it no other way.” This might be a good slogan for the Beaujolais region of France (www.discoverbeaujolais.com).  Or, “Beaujolais, a little fruity, but there is nothing wrong with that.” Beaujolais is in the east central area of France and predominately produces wine from the grape Gamay Noir. Chardonnay and Alitoge make up the bulk of the remaining 2%. Many of you may be familiar with Beaujolais Nouveau which is a wine released shortly after harvest in conjunction with Thanksgiving. Beaujolais Nouveau tend to be very light, grapy, and tart; showing their obvious lack of […]

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Beyond Biodynamics Smith Madrone Wines in the Spotlight

Smith-Madrone winery has been making estate grown and bottled wine for 40 years! Founded in 1971 by brothers Stu and Charles Smith, Smith-Madrone makes about 4000 cases per year farmed from their 200 acre ranch in St Helena California. A visit to the winery will always be accompanied by a tour from one of the Smith brothers. In 2010, Stu Smith became somewhat of a wine world personality with the launching of his www.biodynamicsisahoax.com web site. From the opening paragraph of the web site: “I challenge any Biodynamic farmer or supporter to defend the writings of Rudolf Steiner.  I submit […]

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Folie a Deux A Shared Fantasy of Wine

Folie à Deux, French for shared fantasies; I can think of a few shared fantasies I’d like to have, but they may be a little more than PG-13 for this blog. Folie à Deux is an Oakville California winery focused on creating wines that deliver a memorable shared experience. Many know Folie à Deux from their racier little sister label, Ménage à Trois (lower cost red and white blends). The Folie à Deux label offers varietal focused wines at a good price point. The NectarView 2009 Folie à Deux Chardonnay The Stuff: 100% Chardonnay from Napa Valley vineyards in Oak […]

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