Treana Winery 2010 Red, Paso Robles (California)

Posted in American Wine Reviews

An enduring mystery in the American wine market is why Paso Robles is still undiscovered wine country. After all, it’s one of the best spots in Cali for both both good value and luxury wines. Any place that supplies me with good $8 bottles and awesome $80 bottles is my kind of wine region. Still, very few consumers are in on the secret. Wineries are reacting to this lack of exposure by trying something new. Instead of branding their winery as a single entity with...

Read More

Tamarack Cellars 2011 Firehouse Red, Columbia Valley

Posted in American Wine Reviews

A winery town where hard work is valued, winemakers are trained like apprentices, and everyone is a bit rough around the edges. That’s a unique place. That’s Walla Walla, and it doesn’t hurt that they make awesome wines. This place first got my attention when a friend started distributing L’Ecole No 41 wine in Delaware. The winemaker, Marty Clubb was the first self-taught winemaker I had ever met. I was used to the Napa standard: Davis-trained...

Read More

Chateau Moulin de Clotte 2010 Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

Posted in French Wine Reviews

Hmm. Seems like the chateau owner may be in a financial pickle. First, her bottlings from Chateau Ambe Tour Pourret showed up in the PLCB system at stark discounts. That was some great Bordeaux for the money, and was featured here a while ago. Now, this bottling from another of their properties pops up as a Chairman’s Selection in PA. This type of inventory dumping doesn’t happen unless someone in the distribution chain needs some quick money. I did a bit of...

Read More

Roth Estate 2011 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast (California)

Posted in American Wine Reviews

Ever wonder how empires start? Keep an eye on Bill Foley. Last I checked in with him,  he was running Foley Estates. I was drinking with his assistant winemaker in the wine cellar when he walked in. Nice guy, but I really hadn’t thought about that moment until I started writing this review. I was a bit surprised when I discovered he had purchased the Roth winery, along with Lancaster Estate, in 2012. Then I pulled up his bio. He now owns Chalk Hill Winery, Altvs, EOS...

Read More

La Follette 2009 Chardonnay Manchester Ridge Vineyard, Mendocino Ridge (California)

Posted in American Wine Reviews

Greg La Follette is not someone who would name a winery after himself. The winery was named Tandem until he sold to Quivira Winery. The purchase agreement allowed him to keep running the winery with one small change: he had to put his name on the label. Greg isn’t a well-known winemaker outside of the tight-nit community of Cali winemakers. He never was a superstar at a boutique winery. He is a quiet man who opted for positions outside the lime light. He was a...

Read More

Clos de los Siete 2009, Mendoza (Argentina)

Posted in South American Wine Reviews

Clos de los Siete is a spectacle at the edge of the world. It consists of five great chateaus on the edge of Argentina, close against the Andes Mountains. Each of these estates is run by a one of the leading families of Bordeaux: Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere, Chateau Leoville-Poyferre, Chateau Montviel, Château Clarke, and Château le Bon Pasteur each have their counterpart located here in the Uco Valley. Each of these wineries sources wine from the same three square mile...

Read More