Category Archives: Uncategorized

More Opera in Italia

The Brunello Consortium’s credibility has just flown out the window. One day after they make a grand announcement, revealing a new, unprecedented Guarantee Board, supposedly in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, when said Minister, Lucca Zaia, repudiated the new … Continue reading

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Brunello di Merlocino

Montalcino is in crisis. An investigation, made public in late March, raised suspicions that international grape varieties like Merlot, Cabernet and Petit Verdot, have been added to some wines sold as 2003 Brunello. Brunello must be 100% Sangiovese, so the … Continue reading

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What is a Bordeaux Blend?

In Bordeaux, the original wines made before the 19th century were basically field blends. That is, they harvested all the grapes together without sorting by varietal and vinified the lot together. Sometimes it would result in a pale red called … Continue reading

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Burgundy price trends

Price and availability trends in Burgundy are of great concern. Prices of everything European have been climbing rapidly, in great part due to the falling dollar. As consumers, we face tough decisions trying to seek out top producers whose price … Continue reading

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Useful links

Below are some links I find very useful. I’d love your comments on your favorite sites or your thoughts on the sites below. Helpful Links: Seattle Wine Events CellarTracker Wine Dictionary Wine Grape Glossary Italian Wines French appellations Wine-Searcher (wine … Continue reading

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Syrah or Shiraz – what is the difference?

Many people ask me about the difference between Shiraz and Syrah. Are they different grapes? Shiraz and Syrah are exactly the same grape. The stories about the grape’s origins are fascinating: – that the grape’s origins are from the city … Continue reading

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Killer red value

Below is an outstanding value in a Bordeaux red blend which I’ve tasted over the last two days. Vignalta Rosso Riserva 2004 Colli Eugani $19.99/bottle or $227.89/case 92 Arnie points Wow. This wine has been open nearly 24 hours and … Continue reading

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98 point Syrah Hermitage from Chapoutier

“Year in and year out, one of the three greatest Hermitages made is Chapoutier’s Le Pavillon.” – Robert Parker We just made a terrific ‘opportunity buy” of two great vintages of Michel Chapoutier’s Ermitage “Le Pavillon” single-vineyard Syrah from Hermitage. … Continue reading

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Classic, fine affordable red Burgundy

According to Allen Meadows of Burghound, Paul Jacqueson, “runs one of the finest domaines in all of the C’te Chalonnaise.” I came upon this wine at a trade tasting recently. There were approximately 70 wines tasted. I liked this Burgundy … Continue reading

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Big, lush Oregon Pinot

Last night, a trio of Esquinites (Jeff, Scott, me) attended a trade-only tasting at a distributor’s South-end warehouse. The were some outstanding wines most of which I’ll write up soon (1994 Chateau Musar, 2003 Jacqueson Mercurey 1er cru Naugues, etc.). … Continue reading

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