Review: 2017 Appassionata Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Andante

2017 is the current vintage for this pinot noir from Oregon’s Appassionata, which is curiously made by the same winemaker as Germany’s Dr. Loosen. Light on its feet and filled with floral elements, this doesn’t immediately evoke Oregon’s typically more brooding style. Fresh raspberry melds with black tea, offering a mix of lively fruit and…

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Review: Hendrick’s Grand Cabaret Gin

Hendrick’s Gin and its Cabinet of Curiosities line of special editions continues with this fifth release, Grand Cabaret, the first wandering of master distiller Lesley Gracie into the world of stone fruits as botanical ingredients. Lesley Gracie has long been tantalized by the notion of experimenting with unusual combinations of botanicals, though as the fifth…

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Review: Brugal Maestro Reserva Rum

The Dominican Republic’s Brugal continues to pump out high-grade, high-class rums with the launch of this new release, Maestro Reserva, Brugal’s “first ever permanent edition prestige sipping rum.” Emphasis on permanent. Previous high-end rums from Brugal, such as Papa Andres, have all been limited editions. The rum making process for Maestro Reserva utilizes an innovative…

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Review: Por la Gente Tequila, Complete Lineup

Made at Hacienda la Capilla — best known for its production of Cuestion tequilas — Por la Gente (“for the people”) is another 100% agave tequila available in the classic three expressions. There’s rather little information about the tequilas available aside from the aging, though Cuestion is made from Highlands agave, as are other Capilla…

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The Top 10 Wines for Summer 2024

Ready for warmer weather? Well, it’s coming like it or not, and even if you’re not a fan of hotter days and nights, summertime does mean we’ll get a chance to break out some more seasonally appropriate whites and reds that pair well with the warmer months of the year. Drop the parka and dive…

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Review: Krol Vodka (2024)

In the 16 years since our first review, Poland’s Kröl has lost an umlaut and gained an acute accent. The new Król has also had a recipe change. Once made from rye, it’s now distilled from potatoes. So: Totally different product, it seems. Nonetheless, 2024 Krol offers a pretty familiar package, Old World vodka at…

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Review: Tequila Don Julio Alma Miel

Ready for another innovation from the lately-on-fire Don Julio? Alma Miel is a blend of blanco tequila distilled with oven-roasted agave honey plus añejo tequila that has been aged for at least 14 months and finished in Crémant du Limoux (sparkling) wine casks from the Limoux region of France. Officially billed as a Tequila Joven,…

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Review: Baldacci 2021 Proprietary Red Blend and 2022 Chardonnay Carneros

Thomas and Brenda Baldacci certainly have much for which they could give thanks and celebrate. Last year marked 25 years since purchasing their Stags Leap Estate and next year will mark 25 years since their first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon. 2023 also marked 20 years since the opening of their tasting room and as of…

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