Retrospective: Handley Cellars Pinot Noir, 1993 to 2009 Vintages

Here’s a rarity: One producer offering a vertical retrospective of 13 wines (same varietal and appellation) from 16 years’ worth of production. Handley recently brought its winemaking team from Mendocino’s Anderson Valley to San Francisco to show off its deep library and give a bunch of us a rare look at how Pinot Noir develops…

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Review: Scottish Spirits Single Grain “Scotch in a Can”

Your eyes do not deceive you. That is a 12-ounce aluminum can and yes it is filled with Scotch whisky. This is a new frontier for hard spirits, the first time whisky (or any spirit) has been approved in the U.S. for sale in a can format. In addition to the presentation questions, the public…

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Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling: 3 Varieties Reviewed, 2012 Releases

One of the most versatile grapes of the wine world, Riesling can be used to create everything from dry table wines to deeply sweet dessert wines that are some of the biggest cult darlings of the vino world. If you need proof, check out the bulk of Germany, where many producers offer a half dozen…

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Tasting Report: 2011 California Cabernet Sauvignon

This year’s California Cabernet Society barrel tasting event was considerably smaller than in previous years (many producers are probably skipping it outright), though this at least gave me a little more time to spend with each winery on hand, all pouring barrel samples of their 2011 vintage bottlings (plus a number of older wines on…

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Review: Col. E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof Bourbon

This fourth entry into Buffalo Trace’s Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr., Bourbon series is notable primarily because it is an uncut and unfiltered Bourbon, weighing in at a whopping 134.5 proof. At seven years old, it’s a youthful bruiser in comparison to its senior brethren in this line up. It tastes young: Quite sweet, it has…

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Review: Purus Vodka

Organic vodka from Piedmont, Italy? An oddity, for sure, but this wheat-based vodka is expanding into its eighth state in the U.S. this year, so growth is in the works. Made in Lagnasco, Italy, Purus (also written in all caps) is quintuple distilled in column stills and bottled in a decanter that “pays tribute to…

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Review: 2010 Archery Summit Pinot Noir Premier Cuvee Wilamette Valley

A classic Oregon Pinot, with bright cherry fruit, a hint of fizziness when freshly poured, and the suggestion of damp earth on the nose as it opens up in the glass. As Pinot Noir goes, this is a truly lovely expression of the grape: Lush, fruity, with a dash of herbs and a crisp and…

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Review: Cardinal American Dry Gin

Cardinal Gin. Get it? Sure ya do. This American gin hails from Kings Mountain, North Carolina. The 11 (organic and wild) botanicals used in this gin don’t get enumerated, so we have to guess at them instead. Modestly juniper-infused and intensely floral, this is a gin with a different and unique style to it. Let’s…

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