Review: Wines of Frank Family Vineyards, 2016 Releases

  Three new reds from Frank Family, vying for a spot on your winter table. 2014 Frank Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Carneros – A darker and denser pinot than we’ve come to expect from Carneros, complete with notes of bittersweet chocolate, licorice root, and gritty charcoal. Good thing there’s ample fruit to keep all of…

Read More about Review: Wines of Frank Family Vineyards, 2016 Releases

Review: Mannochmore 25 Years Old Limited Edition 2016

This unusual whisky in the Diageo Special Release series hails from a young Speyside distillery (established in 1971) that is largely unknown for single malt production, at least under its own name. While most Mannochmore produced ends up in Johnnie Walker, the distillery is probably best known for producing Loch Dhu, widely regarded as the…

Read More about Review: Mannochmore 25 Years Old Limited Edition 2016

Review: Stone Enjoy By 12.25.16 Unfiltered IPA and Xocoveza

More new stuff from Stone, just in time for Christmas. Stone Enjoy By 12.25.16 Unfiltered IPA – Like Stone’s other “Enjoy By” IPAs, this beer has a limited shelf life of a matter of weeks. For Christmas, Stone’s limited edition bottling is stuffed full of a whopping 12 different varieties of hops and is bottled…

Read More about Review: Stone Enjoy By 12.25.16 Unfiltered IPA and Xocoveza

Review: Glenkinchie 24 Years Old Limited Edition 2016

A rarity in the Diageo Special Release series, Glenkinchie is a Lowland distillery that has appeared only three times in the lineup. This expression was distilled in 1991 and aged in refill European oak butts. The nose is darker than your typical Speyside whisky, showing notes of oily walnut, furniture polish, pumpkin, and dried fruits.…

Read More about Review: Glenkinchie 24 Years Old Limited Edition 2016

Review: 2014 Quilt Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Quilt is the first cabernet from Copper Cane Wines company, founded by Joseph Wagner (son of Chuck Wagner of Caymus fame; Joe launched and sold the unfathomably successful Meiomi). Given Wagner’s depth of experience with cab, a lot of eyes are on Quilt’s inaugural release to see if lightning can strike yet again. Let’s see!…

Read More about Review: 2014 Quilt Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Review: Caol Ila Unpeated 15 Years Old Limited Edition 2016

In recent years Diageo has been experimenting with unusual, unpeated expressions of Caol Ila — typically 14 to 17 years old — for its Special Release series. 2016 marks a another stab at the style, Caol Ila, breaking from tradition. Unpeated or no, there’s still a hint of smoke here — giving the whisky a decidedly Highland…

Read More about Review: Caol Ila Unpeated 15 Years Old Limited Edition 2016

Review: 2013 Lander-Jenkins Pinot Noir California

Budget pinot noir is never my (or anyone’s) go-to beverage, but this California bottling from Lander-Jenkins, part of the Rutherford Wine Company, actually does a respectable level of service to a $15 bottle of vino. Primary tasting notes include classically-pinot cherry and tea leaf, though there’s a bit of brown sugar sweetness, almost molasses-like at times,…

Read More about Review: 2013 Lander-Jenkins Pinot Noir California

Review: Lagavulin 12 Years Old Limited Edition 2016

Lagavulin 12 appears in the Diageo Special Releases nearly every year — but this year it has the luxury of appearing as part of Lagavulin’s 200th anniversary celebratory releases (see also its 8 year old and 25 year old). This year’s Lag 12, aged in refill American oak hogsheads, is particularly worthwhile, rounded and balanced…

Read More about Review: Lagavulin 12 Years Old Limited Edition 2016