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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Review: Aberfeldy Exceptional Cask Series 18, 19, and 24 Years Old (2019)

Recently, we covered two special, limited edition whiskies from Craigellachie called the Exceptional Cask Series. At the time, we promised coverage of three additional whiskies in this line from Aberfeldy would also be coming soon, and here they are. As a reminder, these are one-off releases each representing a few thousand bottles. Brand owner Bacardi…

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Review: Wines of La Valentina, 2019 Releases

La Valentina can be found in the Abruzzo region of Italy, where it produces a collection of affordable, endemic offerings. Some back story: Rugged and picturesque, the Abruzzo region is a national treasure known for its towering Appenine mountain peaks, lush valleys, and miles of breathtaking Adriatic coast. We are pleased to present new releases…

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Review: 2017 Chamisal Stainless Chardonnay Central Coast

Chamisal was the first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley on California’s Central Coast. Here we have Chamisal’s unoaked expression of Chardonnay, from the 2017 vintage. Mango notes pop immediately on the tongue on this wine, which showcases a much more tropical side of chardonnay than we’re used to. Creamy without being buttery, it features…

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