What's great in wine, beer, fine dining,
places to stay, & places to visit
in California State

Sunday, 03 April 2016 19:21

April 1, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

Opus bottle and glass Picmonkey

1998 Opus One

 

Opus One

Napa Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Suggested Retail: $265 for the current release (2012). An internet search shows prices around $320 for the 1998.

Friday, 25 March 2016 15:22

March 25, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

Cakebread SB 2 Picmonkey

2014 Sauvignon Blanc

 

Cakebread Cellars

Napa Valley

Alcohol: 13.9%

Suggested Retail: $25

 

“Sauvignon Blanc sometimes seems like the forgotten varietal. It’s not as pervasive as the ubiquitous Chardonnay, nor as trendy as Grüner Veltliner was a few years ago or as Albariño might be today. What a shame. It’s too good to miss.

Monday, 22 February 2016 12:52

Peter Mondavi, Sr. Dies

MondaviMen 500 236 PicmonkeyPeter Mondavi flanked by sons Marc and Peter Jr.By Dan Clarke

February 22, 2016 - This morning brought the news that Peter Mondavi died on Saturday. The patriarch of Charles Krug Winery and CK Mondavi wines was 101 years old at the time of his passing.

I had met him a couple of times, but knew him more by reputation than personal contact. When you work around the wine business for any length of time, you get some sense of who the giants of the industry are.

Thursday, 18 February 2016 22:44

February 19, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

Robt Mondavi 2014 fumeBlanc napaValley Picmonkey

2014 Fumé Blanc

 

Robert Mondavi Winery

Napa Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Suggested Retail: $20

 

"The Robert Mondavi Winery has made a lot of their 2014 Napa Valley Fumé Blanc (54,528 cases). That’s a good thing because it tastes great and will expose many consumers to this style of wine.

Raymond Blending Seminar Chris Sawyer PicmoneySommelier Christopher Sawyer (left) and his teammate work on their blends of the 2012 vintage two years ago

TASTE News Service, February 14, 2016 - Raymond Vineyards Proprietor, Jean-Charles Boisset, Director of Winemaking, Stephanie Putnam and Thane Knutson, Assistant Winemaker, recently hosted 10 hand-selected sommeliers from across the country to participate in the seventh annual Sommelier Selection Blending Session. The sommeliers were selected for their depth of knowledge and experience, and together they represent some of the best and brightest sommelier talent in the nation.

Thursday, 28 January 2016 11:09

Chefs Come to Napa for 2016 Truffle Festival

Ken Frank and Truffle Chefs at La Toque PicmonkeyDr. Paul Thomas and Robert Chang of the American Truffle Co. are flanked by Chefs David Barzelay, Frank Tramonto, Ken Frank, and Stefano Ciotti 

 

By Betty Teller

January 28, 2016 - What do a former lawyer turned chef of an underground restaurant, an Italian chef who began his career as a teenager, and a well-known restaurateur have in common? They were the exciting guest chefs for the 2016 Truffle Festival.

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, 25 December 2015 18:28

December 25, 2015 Wine Pick of the Week

Domaine Carneros Brut Rose withshadow Picmonkey2012 Brut Rosé

 

Domaine Carneros

By Taittinger

Carneros

Alcohol: 12.3%

Suggested Retail: $37

 

“Good sparkling wine is appropriate for celebrating the new year. It’s also appropriate for just celebrating life in general and is a treat too frequently thought of as only for special occasions.

Sparkling wine is the generally accepted term that encompasses all wines containing bubbles, from pricey top-of-the-line imports through the cheap stuff served at all-you-can-eat Sunday brunches. Most California producers have agreed that the word Champagne refers to products that come from a particular part of France and should no longer be appropriated by wineries outside that region. Wonderful as wines from Champagne are, they’re no longer necessarily superior to their California counterparts.

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.

Mike Grgich and Robert Kamen PicmonkeyMike and Robert on the setTASTE News Service September 14, 2015 - Hollywood screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen came to the Napa Valley last week. His visit turned Grgich Hills Estate’s tasting room in Rutherford into a movie set to film Miljenko "Mike" Grgich for Robert's upcoming movie "Judgment of Paris." Mike was reportedly thrilled to be the subject of the very first shoot of the movie.

The well-known Kamen has been a writer and producer of acclaimed films like "The Karate Kid", "Fifth Element", "Taken", "The Transporter 2", and "A Walk in the Clouds". He is also the proprietor of Kamen Estate Wines.

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