Visiting and Tasting the Wines of Chalk Hill, 2021

We review pretty much everything Chalk Hill puts out, so it may seem redundant to take a visit to this prized winemaker in person. But on a warm summer day before Covid mask requirements were about to begin again, I couldn’t imagine a more bucolic and pleasant way to spend a couple of hours than…

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Review: Mathilde Poire, Framboise, and Cassis Liqueurs (2021)

It’s been almost a decade since we last reviewed several of Mathilde’s liqueurs — and at the time our thoughts weren’t overwhelmingly favorable. The situation appears to have been improving based on Mathilde’s showing in our peach liqueur roundup, so we figured it was time to check out some of the other entries in the…

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Review: 2017 Les Cadrans de Lassegue Saint-Emilion Grand Cru

The 2017 of this affordable Bordeaux is a dramatic step up from the 2012 vintage, the last expression we saw of this wine. The second label of Lassegue, its damp, earthy character remains intense, but it finds balance in notes of brambly blackberry, semi-sweet licorice candy, and milk chocolate notes on the finish. The vegetal…

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Review: Armagnacs of Castarede, 2021 Releases

Castarede isn’t a household name in the U.S., but it actually lays claim to being the oldest Armagnac in existence, dating back to 1832. The house makes the full range of standard expressions, from blanche to XO, as well as various reserve bottlings and single vintage expressions of its spirits — the oldest dating back…

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Review: Wines of Famiglia Pasqua, 2021 Releases

We’ve spent time with the Veneto-based Famiglia Pasqua in the past, and for 2021 we have a lineup of four new releases, representing a range of varietals and styles. Let’s dig in. 2020 Famiglia Pasqua Prosecco Rose Extra Dry DOC – The only miss in this collection, and it’s a minor one. A rather doughy,…

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Review: Dry Gin XII

Distilled in Provence, France, Dry Gin XII is the latest addition to the portfolio of Distilleries et Domaines de Provence, reputable for its absinthes, liqueurs, and a pretty tasty peach wine (Rinquinquin). Twelve (hence the Roman numeration) plants and spices are used: juniper, coriander, sweet almond, thyme, angelica, grains of paradise, iris, cardamom, basil, rosemary,…

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Review: Bushwick Kitchen Trees Knees Bourbon Maple

Bushwick Kitchen can be found not in New York but in Washington, D.C. The company’s maple tree farm can be found in the Catskill Mountains of upstate NY, however. For this release, its syrup is aged in charred American oak bourbon barrels before bottling. It’s a dense and cola-colored product, toasty on the nose with…

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Review: Michter’s Single Barrel Straight Bourbon 10 Years Old and US-1 Barrel Strength Straight Rye 2021

Michter’s releases have been few and far between since the pandemic began, but now we’ve finally got our mitts on a pair of new releases, including Michter’s highly prized 10 year old single barrel bourbon and the 2021 release of its US-1 barrel strength rye. Looks like you’re getting into a lot of overproof whiskey…

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