Review: Cardhu 14 Years Old Limited Edition 2019

It’s time to get started with an annual treat: Diageo’s Special Releases, a collection of limited release cask strength Scotch whiskies, each representing a one-off bottling. This year’s releases are a bit unusual: Only eight whiskies are being released, and of those eight, only three are being sold in the U.S. (No unpeated Caol Ila…

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Review: 2018 Terre di Giumara Nero d’Avola Sicilia DOC

Produced by Caruso & Minini, this bottling is a surprise from the beginning. Aggressively sweet from start to finish, this doesn’t immediately come across as nero d’avola but lands more like an ultra-fruited zinfandel, bold with strawberry and blueberry notes — and impossibly, uncharacteristically sweet throughout. I never made it past more than a few sips,…

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Review: Canadian Club Chronicles Edition 2 42 Years Old

Do you like old whisky? Like, really old whisky? Canadian Club has launched its oldest expression ever, Canadian Club Chronicles Edition 2, which clocks in at 42 years old. The expression, also known as Issue No. 2: The Dock Man, is the follow up to last year’s Chronicles Edition 1, a 41 year old bottling.…

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Review: Wines of J Vineyards, 2019 Releases

Here’s a quartet of new releases from the iconic Russian River Valley winery, J Vineyards — three pinots and one sparkler. NV J Vineyards Brut Rose (2019) – We’ve seen this sparkler a few times over the years, and the experience feels quite familiar in comparison at least to 2018. Boldly creamy with notes of…

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Review: Argonaut Speculator and Fat Thumb Brandy, plus Amarena Cherries

Not even the fine print of the old-timey Argonaut Brandy bottles will clue you in to who actually makes it, but it’s not a massive secret. Argonaut is a new brand produced by none other than Ernest & Julio Gallo, made in California from its own excess wine production. For decades Gallo has been distilling…

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Review: 2017 Donnata Nero D’Avola Sicilia DOC

Alessandro di Camporeale is the producer of this budget bottling, which fights dramatically above its weight class. A succulent and intense nero d’avola, this wine is initially a touch closed off but soon showcases a lively flavor profile, opening with blackberry and plum notes and moving into elements of licorice, plum, and black cherry. Lengthy…

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Review: Ardbeg Supernova SN2019

Four years Ardbeg released its fourth and final expression of Supernova, dubbed SN2015, a single malt designed to push the boundaries of how much peat you can shove into a whisky. What then are we to make of SN2019, which arrives four years after the Supernova experiment was laid to rest? Well, there’s only one…

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Book Review: Passion for Wine

Jean-Charles Boisset is an almost ludicrously charming bon vivant whose winery holdings include Buena Vista, Raymond, JCB, and more. In Passion For Wine: The French Ideal and the American Dream, Boisset joins forces with writer and Boisset ambassador Marnie Old to produce a coffee table-styled tome designed to offer a somewhat unique perspective on the world…

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