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Friday, 11 November 2016 13:42

November 11, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

Jacobs Creek Two Lands Cab S

2013 Two Lands Cabernet Sauvignon


Jacob’s Creek


Alcohol: 13.9%

Suggested Retail: $10-11

Friday, 09 September 2016 18:48

September 9, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

2012 Endeavour bottle rgb Picmonkey2013 Endeavour Cabernet Sauvignon   Dry Creek Vineyard

Sonoma County

Alcohol: 14.5%

Suggested Retail: $70
Saturday, 20 August 2016 00:28

August 19, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

JLohe HilltopCabernetSauvignon Picmonkey


2013 Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon



Paso Robles

Alcohol: 14.5%

Suggested Retail: $35

Saturday, 02 July 2016 12:31

July 1, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

Wild Meadows Cab S Picmonkey


2013 Cabernet Sauvignon


Wild Meadows

Columbia Valley (Washington)

Alcohol: 13.5%

Suggested Retail: $14.99

Saturday, 13 February 2016 18:07

February 12, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

Ecluse 2 Picmonkey

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon


Écluse Wines & Lock Vineyard

Paso Robles

Alcohol: 14.9%

Suggested Retail: $40


“In spite of its French-sounding name, this week’s wine ‘Pick’ comes from some very good red wine country on California’s Central Coast. Écluse is actually the French equivalent of the surname of the owners of Écluse Wines & Lock Vineyard, Steve and Pam Lock.

Friday, 08 January 2016 18:35

January 8, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

Hall Cab S bottle 2 Picmonkey2004 Cabernet Sauvignon


HALL Wines

Napa Valley

Alcohol: 14.5%

Suggested Retail: $55 (current 2012 vintage)


“This week’s ‘Pick’ is a wine you’re not likely to find. Pictured is an etched bottle of a 2004 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon presented at the 2007 groundbreaking for the new HALL facility in St. Helena (the company spells its name in all caps). Many wineries have been built in California in the last couple of decades, and many have celebrated grand openings on their completion. Few of them have attracted media and friends of the owners to celebrate just the plan to build a winery, but it’s different when a world-renown architect is employed.

Friday, 09 October 2015 10:39

October 9, 2015 Wine Pick of the Month

Dry Creek Vnyd 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Picmonkey

2012 Cabernet Sauvignon


Dry Creek Vineyard

Dry Creek Valley

Alcohol: 14.5%

Suggested Retail: $25


Taste California Travel and its predecessor publications have been following the wines from Dry Creek Vineyard for a long time. We’ve appreciated their white wines made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape, whether they carried that varietal identity or the Fumé tag. And, of course, we’ve always been high on their Zinfandels (editor’s note: The Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County is a place name carrying an AVA designation. Within that Dry Creek Valley are many wineries, one of the most prominent being Dry Creek Vineyard).

Tom Kerry Eddy Picmonkey Kerry, Tom and Cooper 

TASTE News Service, October 4, 2015 -- Veteran winemaker Tom Eddy and his wife Kerry officially opened their new Calistoga winery just in time for the 2015 harvest. Fifteen years after moving up valley to Calistoga from Napa, the Eddys succeeded in completing the initial phase of the winery caves on the estate where they’ll now produce the eponymous Tom Eddy brand. “We’ve been persistent and committed to our life’s goal of having our own facility,” said Tom, “and now that this small cave and winery are a reality . . . we pinch ourselves at the cave entrance every morning.”

The winery site sits at the top of Napa valley on the Napa/Sonoma County line. “It’s incredible that we can live up here in the forest and make wine too!” commented Kerry, reminiscing about her 30 years in the wine business.

Saturday, 03 October 2015 11:24

October 2, 2015 Wine Pick of the Week

Wild Meadows Cab S Picmonkey2012 Cabernet Sauvignon


Wild Meadows

Columbia Valley (Washington)

Alcohol: 13.5%

Suggested Retail: $11


“Containing 76% of the grape, this wine qualifies to be labeled as Cabernet Sauvignon (75% or more is the legal requirement). It also contains Merlot (12%), Syrah (11%) and Tempranillo (1%). Nothing wrong with any of these grapes and, in fact, it’s not a bad bottle of wine, especially at the price (we found it on sale at a Rite-Aid drug for about $6.50). However, it doesn’t taste like Cabernet Sauvignon.

By Lisa Mattson

RobDavis portrait PicmonkeyRob Davis

Nothing in life is a coincidence. I couldn’t help but think of the power of fate on Monday, August 24, when thirty guests turned out to celebrate Winemaker Rob Davis’s 40th harvest at Jordan Winery. Three months in the making, the entire event was a surprise that involved juggling dates and schedules of friends and colleagues who have known Rob for many decades of his wine career–baseball legends, barrel makers, cork suppliers, journalists, sommeliers, friends, his family and fellow winemakers.

When we selected August 24 as our surprise party, we knew it was the only day the San Francisco Giants (Rob’s team) weren’t playing right before harvest, so Bruce Bochy, Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper could (hopefully) attend. Luckily, that date coincided with special guests already traveling to California from Portugal, France and New York. What we didn’t know is that this day would end up being the official start of harvest 2015 for Jordan. (Rob made his first picking decision about 72 hours before the start of the event.) The symbolism of the event–gathering thirty friends to toast to his 40th harvest a few hours after the first grapes arrived at the crush pad–made the celebration all the more memorable.

Jordan 1976 Cab S PicmonkeyRob's first vintage was pouredOver the course of two hours, coincidences soon became a common theme–the serendipity of it all unfolding as stories were told and storied bottles were poured–1977 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon in six-liter format, Rob’s inaugural 1976 Jordan, 1994 Petrus, a Graham’s 40 Year Old Tawny hand-carried from Portugal and more. Here’s just a few of the surprising tales told:

Bruce Bochy, general manager of the San Francisco Giants, who became friends with Rob due to their shared love of baseball and wine, toasted Rob during the main course. He surprised guests by revealing that 2015 was also a special 40 for him–his 40th anniversary since signing his first contract to play Major League Baseball.

Daniel Baron, long-time friend of Rob and winemaker at Silver Oak, brought a special bottle of 2005 Château Magdelaine as a gift. (Jean-Claude Berrouet, who made wine at Château Petrus and Magdelaine for many years and worked with Daniel at Dominus Estate, was also in attendance.) Daniel had asked his assistant to pull a bottle from his cellar in Oakville, and he didn’t look closely at the bottle until just before the event. The label was streaked with wine stains. It was among the bottles spared from Silver Oak’s cellars during the historic earthquake that had struck Napa Valley exactly one year before: August 24, 2014.

Bruce Bochy at Rob Davis 40th Ann PicmonkeyGiants Manager Bruce Bochy shares a story at lunchJean-Claude Berrouet, retired from Château Petrus and now consulting with Daniel at Twomey Cellars, shared the story of the first time he’d met Rob. It was 1981, and Rob had traveled to Bordeaux with Daniel, a fellow UC-Davis graduate. The three men had never met before, and as the story unfolded about the time they had spent together with Jean-Claude and Christian Moueix, the owner of Petrus, Jean-Claude realized that his wife had been pregnant during that trip with his son Jean-Francois–who was sitting across the Jordan dining room–and it was Jean-Francois’s first time to visit Rob at Jordan.

Mario Pinto of Corval Corks, who oversees cork sourcing for Jordan wines in Portugal, brought three very thoughtful wines to celebrate the occasion: the 40 Year Port to share with all the guests to commemorate Rob’s 40th harvest, a 1954 Colheita (Rob’s birth year–and a very rare wine since 1954 was not a declared year for Port) and a 1976 Graham’s Malvedos (Rob’s first vintage at Jordan). He also shared the story of the time he came to America to visit his winemaker-customers, and experienced his first Vineman triathlon–cheering on a bloody-kneed, sweaty Rob as he crossed the finish line.

Mario Pinto of Corval Corks PicmonkeyMario brought treats from Portugal The afternoon of laughter and tears culminated with Jean-Jacques Nadalie of Nadalie Cooperage in France, who crafts many barrels for Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon. He flew to California specifically for the celebration to present Rob with a one-of-a-kind, French oak barrel he personally made–a process that took more than two years, from tree harvesting, seasoning and milling to assembly and shipping. Stay tuned for behind-the-scenes video on the making of this wine barrel.

Forty years on the same job at the same winery–such a milestone is rare in California winemaking. Paul Draper at Ridge has Rob beat by six years, but as one journalist who attended reported, Paul has passed most of his winemaking reins to assistants. Anyone who knows Rob can attest to his boundless energy and drive to work as long as his mentor, André Tchelistcheff, who retired at age 91. Though Rob has said his full Vineman triathlon days are over, we know his best vintages still lie ahead–many, many more of them.

Editor’s note:  Above photos courtesy of Jordan Winery.  More of Lisa Mattson’s writing can be found at http://blog.jordanwinery.com/.

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