Review: Wines of Liberated, 2015 Releases

I’m not sold on the Hitchcock-meets-James Bond labels (or the name), but the prices of Liberated’s wines are hard to beat. One doesn’t often find wines of this quality at the $20 or lower level, but these guys are putting together a solid product. Thoughts follow. 2014 Liberated Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County – Lightly tropical,…

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Review: Cognac Paul Giraud – VSOP, Napoleon, and Tres Rare

Paul Giraud is a small Cognac producer that has been harvesting its own vineyards to make brandy since the 17th century. While not commonly available in the U.S., you can find a bottle or two of the eight expressions the company makes if you look hard enough. Today we take a spin through three expressions,…

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Review: 2014 Septima Malbec Mendoza

This ultra-affordable malbec from Mendoza’s Bodega Septima offers notes of grilled mushroom, licorice, and bitter root, but over time dark fruits — blackberry and currant — rise to the fore. Somewhat dusky all around, with a balsamic edge on the finish. Best with food. B / $11 Related Stories: Review: 2016 Forever Young Malbec Reserva…

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Review: Deanston Highland Single Malt 18 Years Old Bourbon Cask Finish

New to the distillery’s permanent lineup in 2015, Deanston’s 18 year old expression has more going on than the relatively light and straightforward 12 year old. Note that this is the bourbon cask finished expression — which is finished in first-fill bourbon barrels — and not the more expensive/exotic Cognac cask finished expression. Here, we find…

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Review: 2013 Madrona Chardonnay and Zinfandel

El Dorado County, just southwest of Lake Tahoe, is home to Madroña Vineyards (mind the tilde), a boutique winery with a wide range of offerings. Zinfandel, of course, is a focus, and today we look at its 2013 zin as well as its chardonnay. Madroña is brought to us today by Gold Medal Wine Club, which…

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Review: RedTerra Vodka

Quick: What’s a spirit made from agave? Tequila? Yes. Mezcal? Yes. Vodka? Yes! RedTerra is an agave-based vodka, which is made especially discordant due to the heavy Russian imagery — red, black, and an eagle — used on the bottle label. But RedTerra starts with 100% real blue agave harvested in the Jalisco Highlands. It’s then…

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Review: Wines of Fathers & Daughters, 2015 Releases

Fathers & Daughters is a brand new winery operating out of Anderson Valley. Its first two wines, a sauvignon blanc and a pinot noir, come from the Ferrington Vineyard. Thoughts follow. 2013 Fathers & Daughters Sauvignon Blanc Anderson Valley Ferrington Vineyard – Minerally and herbal, this grassy sauvignon blanc offers a restrained edge of coconut…

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Review: The Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish

Glenlivet’s third Nadurra (Gaelic for “natural”) expression is here (released yesterday) — and it’s Glenlivet’s first peated whisky in over 100 years. For those unfamiliar with this line — which now includes three Nadurra bottlings, all permanent extensions to the Glenlivet stable — the goal is to bring whisky back to its roots, through cask…

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