Rated B

Reviews of spirits, wine, and beer (and various errata like mixers and garnishes) comprise more than 80% of the content at Drinkhacker, and the B rating is used for products that are good but which we don’t exactly love — and which we can provide with a qualified recommendation. On a five-star scale, these products would score 3 stars. On the traditional 100-point scale popular with many wine and spirits graders, these products would merit scores of 83 to 86 points.

Review: Wines of Zenato, 2022 Releases

By Christopher Null | January 25, 2022 |

Zenato can be found in the region of Lugana in northern Italy, a fairly obscure wine region on the shore of Italy’s largest lake, Lake Garda, as well as nearby Valpolicella. In fact, the Zenato family was one of the first to plant in Lugana, and the rich history of the company is in clear…

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Review: Wines of Davis Bynum, 2022 Releases

By Christopher Null | January 24, 2022 |

Davis Bynum is part of the Rodney Strong empire, producing wines primarily grown in the Russian River Valley, with pinot noir a specific focus. We received four wines from the operation for review, two whites and two from its pinot collection. 2018 Davis Bynum Chardonnay River West Vineyard – I won’t pull punches. This Russian…

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Review: Wines of Jules Taylor, 2022 Releases

By Christopher Null | January 20, 2022 |

Jules Taylor is based in New Zealand’s Marlborough region, where the winemaker produces a series of eponymous, affordable bottlings. She was named New Zealand Winemaker of the Year for 2021. Let’s dig in to this trio of bottlings, all newly released. 2021 Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough – Sauvignon blanc is Taylor’s specialty, and with…

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Review: Wines of Salentein and Pyros, 2022 Releases

By Robert Lublin | January 19, 2022 |

Salentein has just released new vintages of its wines grown in the Uco Valley of Mendoza, Argentina. Today we get to try them alongside two wines from the Pyros label, which are also produced by Salentein but are made with Malbec grapes grown in the Pedernal Valley in San Juan. Let’s give them a try.…

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Review: 2019 Metz Road Pinot Noir Riverview Vineyard Monterey

By Christopher Null | January 16, 2022 |

Metz Road is another label from Scheid Family Wines, a prolific producer in California. This pinot bottling hails from the sustainably farmed Riverview Vineyard in Monterey. This pinot noir could easily be mistaken for a Russian River bottling, thicker with black fruit than red, a bit gummy with notes of rhubarb and some licorice in…

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Review: Wines of Alamitos, 2021 Releases

By Christopher Null | January 15, 2022 |

Alamitos is a Portuguese-influenced winery located at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains in the Bay Area’s Santa Clara Valley. It’s a relatively obscure AVA, although considering its best-known resident is Ridge, there’s clearly some exceptional quality to be had here. Alamitos sent us three of its recent releases for consideration. Thoughts follow. 2020…

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Review: Hunt & Gather Lot #2 Canadian Whisky 15 Years Old

By Christopher Null | January 14, 2022 |

During our inaugural coverage of Hunt & Gather I had been unaware that the “lot #1” indication on the label was more than just fanciful marketing. Hunt & Gather is indeed part of a series — and if lot #2 is any guide, they’re going to vary quite a bit, driven entirely by sourcing unique barrels.…

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Review: Severo Tequila, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | January 12, 2022 |

Severo is a new tequila brand from Tequilera Don Roberto, imported by San Francisco’s Hotaling & Co. It’s made from seven year old agave plants, growing region unstated. A little backstory on Don Roberto: Established in 1924, Tequilera Don Roberto is one of two remaining Mexican-owned heritage tequila businesses and is still owned and operated…

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Review: 2019 Scheid Family Wines VDR

By Christopher Null | January 10, 2022 |

This is our second vintage of VDR — Very Dark Red — to review, the first being 2018’s release of this Monterey County blend, predominantly petite sirah and petit verdot — designed to give this an intensity of color that merits its name. To that end, VDR gets things right, its bold notes of extracted…

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Review: Bladnoch Pure Scot Signature, Samsara, and Adela

By Christopher Null | January 10, 2022 |

Now more than 200 years old, the Lowlands-located Bladnoch recently revamped its core range, adding a variety of new spirits to its permanent catalog along with numerous special editions. Today we’re looking at a trio of these whiskies, including one of the distillery’s two new mass-market blends, bottled under the Pure Scot label. Bladnoch Pure Scot…

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