The Top 10 Tequilas and Mezcals of 2022

2022 has been another big year for tequila, with extra-old expressions coming from every corner – and spending time in all manner of barrels – as well as cristalino bottlings becoming suddenly, incredibly popular. Mezcal continues its rise in popularity, with celebrity mezcal now becoming a thing. We drank a lot of tequila and mezcal…

Read More about The Top 10 Tequilas and Mezcals of 2022

Review: 2019 Sonoma-Cutrer Grand Brut Rose Russian River Valley

This new sparkler is part of Sonoma-Cutrer’s Winemaker’s Release line and is composed of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. There’s nothing not to like here, kicking off with a pretty and vibrant attack that bursts with floral notes, backed by hints of strawberry. Rose-infused vanilla notes linger on the finish, along with a touch of…

Read More about Review: 2019 Sonoma-Cutrer Grand Brut Rose Russian River Valley

Review: Contraluz Mezcal Cristalino

Aged mezcal is hard enough to find. Now Contraluz has dropped a first for us: cristalino mezcal (in this case a reposado that’s been filtered to clear). The innocuous looking spirit — which is not quite clear but rather a very pale yellow — offers plenty of surprises in the glass. The nose sees plenty…

Read More about Review: Contraluz Mezcal Cristalino

Review: Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Unforgotten

Twelve years ago (though I thought it was in 2013, 9 years back), Wild Turkey put out a whiskey that was pretty groundbreaking at the time, blending bourbon and rye and claiming it was all the result of a happy mistake. Forgiven has never been my favorite whiskey, but it did spur a whole lot…

Read More about Review: Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Unforgotten

Review: 2021 Tangent Albarino Edna Valley

No longer a single-vineyard wine since our last review, Tangent’s Edna Valley-sourced albarino remains on par with the 2018 release we covered a few years back. Specifically, it’s quite mild and gently sweet, offering notes of sesame oil paired with white flowers. Quiet throughout, with notes of guava on more white flowers on the finish.…

Read More about Review: 2021 Tangent Albarino Edna Valley

Review: Namazake Paul Sake Advent Calendar 2022

You know whiskey advent calendars and wine advent calendars and beer advent calendars. Now sake gets its due, courtesy of Namazake Paul, perhaps the most noteworthy online seller of sake in the U.S. Namazake Paul’s advent calendar — the only one of its kind — is quite the production, featuring 23 180ml cups of sake…

Read More about Review: Namazake Paul Sake Advent Calendar 2022

Review: Pendleton Directors’ Reserve Canadian Whisky 20 Years Old

Hood River Spirits, based in Oregon, has been slowly moving upmarket with its Pendleton Canadian Whisky brand, which we’ve covered at length. Recently it dropped its oldest expression ever, a blended whisky carrying the name of Directors’ Reserve and a 20 year old age statement. (The directors in question are the heads of Oregon’s annual…

Read More about Review: Pendleton Directors’ Reserve Canadian Whisky 20 Years Old

Review: Ancient Peaks 2020 Merlot and 2019 Oyster Ridge

Paso Robles-based Ancient Peaks recently dropped two new reds for wintertime sipping. Let’s give them a try as the temperature starts to dip. 2020 Ancient Peaks Merlot Santa Margarita Ranch – Surprisingly pruny for merlot, with notes of blackberry jam and well-steeped tea informing a dusky, licorice-fueled body. Far more extracted than expected for a…

Read More about Review: Ancient Peaks 2020 Merlot and 2019 Oyster Ridge