Review: 2016 Sweetzer Cellars Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Hollywood expats Michael Fogelman and Lisa Liberati departed for the Santa Barbara area some years ago to make winemaking a full-time job. Here’s a look at two of Sweetzer’s current releases, both (surprisingly) from the 2016 vintage. 2016 Sweetzer Cellars Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley – This chardonnay is lively and vibrant on the whole, but…

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Review: 2018 Robert Mondavi Chardonnay Napa Valley

It doesn’t get much more iconic than this, one of the wines that put California on the map: Napa Valley chardonnay from Robert Mondavi. Things have changed a lot since Mondavi started his winery in 1966, and today this chardonnay checks a lot of the boxes expected of a California “chardy.” That said, it has…

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Review: Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum (2020) and Cantinero Coffee Bitters

Santa Teresa 1796 has been a top shelf rum for years. Produced in Venezuela and aged, solera-style, in bourbon and Cognac casks, it’s a well-aged rum that contains trace amounts of rums that, by this point, are upwards of 60 years old. (Most of the rum in the solera, of course, will be considerably more…

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Review: Wines of The Prisoner Wine Co – Blindfold, Eternally Silenced, and Saldo, 2020 Releases

The Prisoner Wine Company is widely known for its eponymous wine, but it has lately expanded — a lot — into a wide range of additional bottlings. Here we look at a trio of new releases from the brand, which is known for its unusual, evocative labels. 2019 Blindfold White Blend California – Chardonnay, roussanne,…

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Review: Regal Rogue Vermouth, Complete Lineup

Regal Rogue Vermouth (aka RR Vermouth) hails from, of all places, Australia. These are organic products, made from Australian wine and Aboriginal herbs and spices, sourced directly from Aboriginal farmers. Four varieties are on offer, a lot of them flavored with stuff I’ve never heard of. Let’s try them all. Regal Rogue Vermouth Lively White…

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Review: Blue Run Bourbon 13 Years Old

Jim Rutledge, the former master distiller of Four Roses, has treated the concept of “retirement” awfully loosely. In 2016 he attempted to crowdfund a new distillery, a campaign that flopped spectacularly in less than a week. At some point Jim got his hands on some old Kentucky bourbon and acquired a long-defunct brand called Cream…

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Review: 2019 Sosie White Blend Rossi Ranch

Sosie Wines is back with another new white, its inaugural Rhône-style White Blend, a blend of roussanne (52 percent), grenache blanc (27 percent), and marsanne (21 percent) from Rossi Ranch in Sonoma Valley, California. This is an exotic, lovely, and perfumed wine that offers immediate notes of white flowers, jasmine, and honeysuckle, all layered atop…

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Review: Tempus Fugit Gran Classico (2020)

It’s been 9 years since we last took a look at Tempus Fugit Gran Classico. At the time we put it up (perhaps naively) in an impromptu amaro battle against Campari, a spirit with which it doesn’t share much DNA. A better analogy would be Cynar, as the two spirits have a lot closer resemblance…

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