Tasting the Pinots of Emeritus Vineyards, 2013 Vintage

Emeritus began in 1999 when the irascible Brice Cutrer Jones, founder of Sonoma-Cutrer, bought a coveted 115-acre apple orchard in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley. Apples went out. Pinot noir grapes went in. The goal: Craft an all-estate-grown Burgundy-style wine “from scratch,” its grapes carefully dry-farmed for maximum flavor extraction — and to actually showcase the…

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Review: 2014 Treana Blanc

  Treana, from Hope Family Wines, is an iconic California red blend. Now comes Treana Blanc, a white blend to follow in its footsteps. Made from 45% viognier, 45% marsanne, and 10% roussanne, it carries a Central Coast appellation. This is the second vintage for the wine, which offers a slightly different blend than the…

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Review: Templeton Rye 6 Years Old (2016)

It’s hard to believe that Templeton Rye first arrived on the scene 10 years ago (to generally wide acclaim, including from yours truly) — and it’s taken 10 years for the company to release its second expression, Templeton Rye 6 Years Old. Templeton has been in the news of late, caught up in the backlash…

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Review: Creyente Mezcal Joven

This new joven mezcal is a blend of two 100% Espadin agave mezcals from different regions of Oaxaca (Tlacolula and Yautepec). It’s fitting, because the product is a parternship of two longtime mezcaleros – Pedro Mateo and Mijail Zarate – who have tinkered with classical distillation processes to come up with Creyente (Spanish for “believer”). Per…

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Review: Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2016

It’s round five for Kilchoman’s Loch Gorm (somehow a fourth release seems to have snuck in between the 2015 and 2016 releases), which continues to show itself as a hit and miss whiskey. This year’s edition has spent six years in Oloroso sherry butts. 2016’s release is not my favorite of the bunch, by a long…

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A Visit to Anchor Distilling’s New Tasting Room

Anchor Brewing is icon of San Francisco, dating back to 1896. Of more recent advent is Anchor’s distilling arm, which got going only in 1993. A funny thing, though: Anchor Distilling is on pace next year to match Anchor Brewing on a revenue basis, the new kid done good in the end. The brainchild of…

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Review: Ron Zacapa 23 (2016)

It’s been eight years since we formally reviewed Ron Zacapa’s “23” expression, a Guatemala-born rum made from the first pressing of sugar cane juice (not the more typical molasses) and aged in solera style. (Zacapa 23 is not 23 years old but is rather blended from various rums aged 6 years old and up.) Recently…

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Review: Bet Vodka

Bet, long E. Rhymes with “beet.” In fact, it sounds exactly like “beet.” And that is all because this new vodka is made with beets as its base. Made in partnership with the distiller 45th Parallel, Bet Vodka is a Minnesota-born spirit that uses only locally grown sugar beets in its mash. The results are perfectly fine, if…

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