While wine can be made from many types of fruits and flowers, it is iconically produced from fermented grapes. Wine production dates back at least 8000 years, and today it is produced in quantity in more than 70 countries, with Italy, Spain, France, and the United States the largest producers of wine today. The world of wine is vast and complex, with more than 10,000 grape varietals in existence. This is largely due to experimental cross-breeding and grafting that has taken place for millennia, and such experiments have led to some of today’s most popular grape varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The primary styles of wine today include red, white, and rose. While almost all grape juice itself is white, red wine is made by allowing the juice from black (aka red) grapes to ferment in contact with its skins, while white wine is usually (but not always) made from white grapes. Rose wine is made from black grapes with limited skin contact, which provides the pinkish color.

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Review: 2015 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Seleccion Especial

By Christopher Null | September 13, 2023 |

The first ever Seleccion Especial — generally used as a top-tier designate above Rioja’s Gran Reserva classification — from La Rioja Alta has arrived. Produced in 2015, the operation felt that 2023 was finally the time for this wine to be released, marking a first in the 120 years of the winery’s history. Crafted from…

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Review: 2022 Lagar de Cervera Albarino

By Christopher Null | September 11, 2023 |

Lagar de Cervera is part of a La Rioja Alta operation that produces white wines — particularly albarino. This wine is sourced from plots in the O Rosal and O Salnés sub-zones, which are part of Rias Baixas, the premiere albarino-producing region in Spain. It’s a slightly sweeter style of albarino than is typical from…

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Review: 2021 Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti DOCG

By Christopher Null | September 10, 2023 |

If you can find a better value in Chianti than this, particularly a DOCG expression, I’d love to hear about it. Tart with notes of cherry and a light layer of rhubarb, this wine exudes the most iconic essence of sangiovese, lightly herbal with a slightly balsamic edge that gives the wine a bracing, mouth-puckering…

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Review: 2019 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

By Robert Lublin | September 8, 2023 |

Louis M. Martini produces a number of excellent Cabernet Sauvignons from a variety of California regions and at various price points, and every year we’re delighted to see a new vintage of their Napa Valley offering. The 2019 vintage displays much of the character that we enjoy and have come to expect. It pours dark…

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Review: Wines of Justin, 2023 Releases

By Christopher Null | September 7, 2023 |

Three new releases from Paso Robles-based Justin — at least two of which are summer-friendly. 2022 Justin Rose Central Coast – Made from mostly syrah. Fresh with strawberry notes and doughy, sweet cream, this is as agreeable a summer rose as you’re likely to find anywhere, though there’s not a whole lot of complexity to…

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Review: 2021 Sebastiani Pinot Grigio and Rose

By Christopher Null | September 6, 2023 |

I always associate Sebastiani with hearty reds, but here’s proof that you can find summery whites in its lineup too. Digging in to two fresher, paler offerings: 2021 Sebastiani Pinot Grigio Russian River Valley – A classic blend of peach and apple notes, melded with aromatic florals and a bracing minerality. Pinot grigio always brings…

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Review: 2019 DeLille Cellars Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon

By Robert Lublin | September 5, 2023 |

DeLille Cellars primarily produces Bordeaux style blends, but today we are trying one of their 100% cabernet sauvignon wines, and it’s an exciting one. The grapes for Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon are drawn from four vineyards in the Red Mountains region in southeastern Washington state. If you haven’t heard of the Red Mountains wine region…

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Review: 2022 Kenefick Ranch Sauvignon Blanc Calistoga

By Christopher Null | September 2, 2023 |

Sauvignon blanc can be ultra-grassy, ultra-fruity, or ultra-ammonia-driven, but Kenefick Ranch’s Calistoga-grown release manages to be none of the three. Moderated pineapple and mango lead the way to notes of baking spice and white flowers, evoking a traipse through wildflowers — all without ever coming across as overly acidic or grassy. Well balanced amongst its…

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Review: Famiglia Pasqua Mai Dire Mai 2015 Valpolicella and 2013 Amarone

By Christopher Null | August 31, 2023 |

We’ve been covering the wines of Famiglia Pasqua for years now, and are excited to dig into its latest Mai Dire Mai Valpolicella bottling (at the bottom of the quality pyramid) as well as its Amarone (near the top). Both are worth your attention 2015 Famiglia Pasqua Mai Dire Mai Valpolicella DOC Superiore – Bright…

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Tasting the Wines of the Rhone Valley, 2023

By Christopher Null | August 29, 2023 |

With 31 appellations, 34 grape varieties planted, and 1592 independent wineries, France’s Rhone Valley is a complex and varied region that can challenge even the most seasoned of wine enthusiasts. Stretching 150 miles along the Lyon river, the terrain goes from rocky and mountainous to coastal as it abuts the Mediterranean Sea, the weather changing…

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