Review: Madeira Wines of Miles – Rainwater, Dry 10 Years Old, and Rich 10 Years Old

We’ve covered Madeira wine extensively in past dispatches. Today we’re looking at three Madeira wines from Miles, which is part of the Blandy family’s Madeira Wine Company, a producer that has been producing wine on this Portuguese island since 1814. Thoughts follow on three different styles of Miles’ Madeiras, all nonvintage (and two with generalized…

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Review: BenRiach 25 Years Old (2019)

The latest release from BenRiach is this 25 year old expression, “a rare and balanced marriage of unpeated single malt Scotch whisky aged in a range of oak casks, including remade American oak Bourbon hogsheads and French Burgundy barriques.” Note that this is a new release and is quite different from the old BenRiach Authenticus…

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Review: 2017 Hahn SLH Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

We’ve been writing about the wines of SoCal’s Hahn for years, often with lackluster commentary. 2017 changes all that, proving that you can just never tell what might happen from vintage to vintage. 2017 Hahn SLH Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands – This initially understated chardonnay offers a delightfully creamy texture, with notes of guava, melon,…

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Tasting Report: 2017 Vintage Port

Vintage Port is on a roll. 2016 marked the first declaration for Vintage Port in five years, and now 2017 has been declared as well, the first back to back declaration for most Port producers in, well, forever. For Symington, which produces Graham’s, Dow’s, Warre’s, and Cockburn’s (among other brands), it’s the first back to…

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Review: 2017 Reata Chardonnay Sonoma Coast

This Sonoma Coast chardonnay is a big, meaty wine that’s almost funky at times, offering a palate that features notes that bounce around among crushed graham crackers, honeysuckle flowers, and bacon. Notes of red apples and a squeeze of lemon provide the backbone of the wine, but ultimately a rather intense vanilla character all but…

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Review: Roku Japanese Gin

Suntory gets into the gin world with the launch of Roku Japanese Gin, a spirit designed to “embody Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii’s philosophy of monozukuri craftsmanship: a relentless pursuit of perfection, meticulous attention to detail and commitment to quality.” Some details: Roku, which translates as “six” in Japanese, is made with six traditional Japanese botanicals that…

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Review: 2017 Lula Cellars Pinot Noir Peterson Vineyard

Anderson Valley-based Lula Cellars is out with its latest pinot noir, sourced from Mendocino’s Peterson Vineyard. For those clone-obsessed, it’s made from a blend of Pommard and Dijon clones 667, 777, and 115, aged in French oak. It’s another dazzler from Lula, showcasing bright, acidic, and fresh cherry fruit, with overtones of nutmeg and licorice candy.…

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Review: Compass Box Stranger & Stranger and Flaming Heart 2018

The blending wizards at Compass Box have recently turned out two new products, both wide-ranging blends with not insignificant price tags. Let’s dig in. Compass Box Stranger & Stranger – An especially kooky blend from Glaser and Co., the most bizarro component of this spirit is the use of a small amount of one-year-old grain…

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