Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select

Hidden Gem of the Month: 2002 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Won’t Go Out of Style

  Backlash has been brewing over jammy, bold California Cabernet. Critics of wine “Parkerization” (named after wine critic Robert Parker) claim that these big Cabernets are the epitome of what’s wrong with the modern wine market; namely, that subtle flavors are being sacrificed for bold, rich notes that fade quickly. Winemaker Bill Dyer adds, “Colors…

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best winery tasting rooms

The Best Winery Tasting Rooms That Every Collector Needs to See in Their Lifetime

Wall Street Journal wine columnist Lettie Teague says that Joan Fennell runs Washington’s Chateau Ste. Michelle with an iron fist. Fennell requires every staff member in her tasting room to be knowledgeable about the wines and provide every guest with the best winery tasting room experience possible. At one point, Teague was watched Fennell critique…

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managing your wine allocations mailing list

Stay on Your Favorite Winery’s Mailing List: Keeping and Managing Your Wine Allocations

So you finally get on allocations lists for two of your favorite California wineries, but when your wine options arrive, you discover that you don’t love every wine on the list. What do you do? This exact situation happened to a Chowhound forum writer, who says that he signed up for Rhys’ and Dirty &…

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evening land la source

Hidden Gem of the Month: Choose 2010 Evening Land La Source for a Versatile, On-Trend Pinot Noir

  Every month, we’ll highlight one wine that is highly underrated for its supreme quality and projected market worth. March’s Hidden Gem of the Month focuses on Pinot Noir, but before you invest in your next bottle, you might want to think about skipping Burgundy in favor of Oregon. Pinot Noir from Oregon is steadily…

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dry farming wine

Winemakers Return to Dry Farming Wine to Make Great Wines in Dry Climates

  When regions like Oregon and California are crippled with drought, it seems counterintuitive to withhold water from vines. Yet more winemakers in these regions are turning to dry farming practices as a way to make better tasting wine; so far, the change is working. Dry farming has been around for centuries, long before humans…

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sine qua non wine

Sine Qua Non Wine Is More Than Just Syrah: Why You Should Consider the Lighter Side of This Estate

  From its birth in 1994, Sine Qua Non has been a must-try cult winery. Robert Parker gave the young winery a boost when he awarded Krankl’s first-ever Sine Qua Non release a score of 95. At the time, this was the highest score any American Rhône blend had ever received. The estate’s immense popularity…

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1855 classification

What Mouton Rothschild’s 1855 Classification Snub Teaches Us About Classification

Today, wine collectors consider Mouton Rothschild synonymous with premium Bordeaux, but this wasn’t always the case. The 1855 Classification in France passed over the estate in its first round of surveys, refusing it the title of Grand Cru. Despite the estate’s centuries-long history of viticulture, and its growing reputation as a role model for fine…

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napa valley wine

Want to Know What the Next “It” Napa Valley Wine Will Be? Watch the Auction

  Once upon a time, snapping up Bordeaux futures and cases of esteemed Burgundies like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti was all the strategy a wine collector needed. But times have changed. For the past few seasons, buying Bordeaux en primeur hasn’t paid off for many investors. Great Burgundies with impeccable pedigree — like DRC —…

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A close-up of damaged grape vines in Michael Vandborg’s drought stricken vineyard in the Lamont farming community in southeastern Joaquin Valley in Kern County, CA on Feb. 26, 2014. USDA photo by David Kosling.

California’s Drought & Wine Country

It’s the middle of March, and Californians from San Francisco to San Diego are enjoying glorious amounts of weather worthy of a coastline cruise in a convertible.  Rosé weather during Thanksgiving weekend?  Yes!  Beach day in December?  That’s right.  Our warm weather induces eye-rolls from our friends out East, who have been literally buried under record-breaking amounts…

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Geeking Out On DRC

Most serious wine collectors have a pretty decent working knowledge of DRC and its famous wines. However, sometimes it’s fun just to revisit all the little things that you thought you already knew. Wine Searcher has a great article worth reading on random DRC knowledge this week. Here’s a great example from the article:

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