Review: Ferrand S.D.A. Cognac (2021)

Maison Ferrand’s S.D.A. — Selection des Anges, the angels’ selection — is not a new expression, but the brand has recently retooled it, creating new packaging and upping the proof slightly from 80 to 83.6. We never reviewed the expression in its pre-Covid incarnation, but we’re digging in to a 2021 bottling all the same. It’s…

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Review: 2015 Tenuta di Arceno Valadorna Toscana IGT

This Tuscan blend of 65% merlot, 19% cabernet sauvignon, 11% cabernet franc, and 5% petit verdot is a brooding bruiser, punctuated with notes of licorice, dark chocolate, and orange peel on its expressive but quite dry nose. The still fairly tannic wine needs some time to open up, its graphite notes slowly giving way to…

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Review: Tequila Partida Cristalino Anejo

Partida keeps cranking out new luxe, high-end tequilas, but today we’re getting a look at a new entry into its standard lineup, a long-awaited cristalino expression. This expression takes an 18-months-aged anejo tequila then, as all cristalinos do, filters out the color, leaving it perfectly clear. There’s big agave on the nose here — more…

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Review: Jim Beam Lineage

Jim Beam’s latest release is an ultra-luxe bottling that will be exclusive to travel retail. It’s also the first collaboration between father and son Fred and Freddie Noe, a 15 year old bourbon distilled in 2004 that is the first bourbon in the Jim Beam portfolio to bear Freddie’s name. Bottles are packaged inside a…

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Review: Wines of Los Vascos, 2021 Releases

Los Vascos means “The Basques,” a reference to the legacy of Basque settlers who first planted vineyards in this region in the north of Chile hundreds of years ago. Here in the Colchagua Valley the Rothschild family planted their foothold in South America, and now the Los Vascos brand is the centerpiece for its high-quality,…

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Review: Sokol Blosser 2018 Pinot Noir Dundee Hills and 2020 Rose

Two new wines from our friends at Oregon’s Sokol Blosser. 2018 Sokol Blosser Estate Pinot Noir Dundee Hills – This is a rich and immersive pinot noir, sultry with its initial notes of black cherry, tea leaf, and a gentle hint of cloves, but invariably perky with acidity and plenty of spicy, almost peppery character…

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Beer, Wine, and Sunshine in California’s Tri-Valley Region, 2021

I can offer no good excuse for never having visited the Tri-Valley region in northern California. The area, which includes the towns of Danville, Livermore, Pleasanton, and Dublin, is a whopping 45 minute drive from San Francisco. There’s even BART train service, at least nearby. The region serves primarily as a bedroom community for people…

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Review: Blue Note Bourbon 9 Years Old

Memphis, Tennessee is world renowned for its own distinct brand of the blues. And Blue Note Bourbon, a distillery based in Memphis, made its debut with its 9 year old small batch in 2018 with a mission statement to capture that Memphis vibe in a bottle.  In their own words: “Like the blues, the bourbon…

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