Three Appellation Pinot Noirs from Siduri Wines

Sonoma-based Siduri Wines specializes in an array of single-vineyard pinot noirs from the range of West Coast regions. Winemaker and founder (in 1994) Adam Lee also produces pinot in broader appellation bottlings, which are the wines represented in today’s post, from Sta. Rita Hills (Santa Barbara County), Santa Lucia Highlands (Monterey County) and Yamhill-Carlton in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The wines are finished unfined and unfiltered and topped with screw-caps for ease of opening. Lee and his wife and fellow-winemaker Dianna Novy Lee sold the winery to Jackson Family Wines in January 2015, though he remains as winemaker. These wines, which I found extremely pleasurable, were samples for review.
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The Siduri Wines Pinot Noir 2015, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, derives from some of the appellation’s most distinguished vineyards, including Rosella’s, Garys’, Pisoni and Soberanes. The wine aged 15 months in French oak, 30 percent new barrels. The robe is ...
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Dog Friendly Wineries in California

So where are the top dog friendly wineries in California? On a recent trip to Napa I found myself charmed by all of the friendly faces in the tasting rooms – not just staff and visitors, but the pets that seem to feel as at home in a winery than at a dog park. It turns out that many California wineries are pet-friendly, making a wine tasting trip with your furry pal a reality.
Dog Friendly California Wineries include MUMM Napa
A pup enjoys a shopping break at MUMM Napa. Credit: Jill Barth
This story, published in my column over at California Winery Advisor, includes tips for your pup when she/he visits wineries and five suggested spots to visit.
Find the story here.

Weekend Wine Notes: Eight Delightful and Charming White Wines

What more is there to say after “delightful and charming”? These are wines designed to provide your weekend — or the whole week, for that matter — with pleasure, deliciousness and elegance. We range widely in this post: Greece, Germany, Oregon, California, Long Island, Mendoza and Chablis. All single-variety wines, their grapes include assyrtiko, indigenous to the island of Santinori; pinot gris, not that common in the Rhineland; riesling and sauvignon blanc; gruner veltliner and pinot blanc; semillon and chardonnay. As usual in these Weekend Wine Notes, I largely eschew technical, historical and geographical data for the sake of quick, incisive reviews meant to pique your interest and whet your palate. With one exception, the wines were samples for review. Enjoy! (In moderation, of course.)
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Estate Argyros Assyrtiko 2015, Santinori, Greece. 14% alc. This one will make you wish you were sitting in a little cafe looking out ...
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Cabernet Sauvignon, Not Napa Valley: Alexander Valley, Chile and Other Places, Mostly 2012 & ’13

I launched the “Whither Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon” series in October 2014 as a way of focusing on cabernet-based wines from one the the world’s best places for the grape’s production into fine wine. Or not so fine, depending on one’s point of view about over-strict oak regimen, super-ripe, jammy fruit and alcohol levels that soar to 15 percent and beyond, characteristics that occur too often. But cabernet-based wines are made not only in other regions of California but all around the world. We look today at a baker’s dozen — the superstitious way of saying “13” — of non-Napa Valley examples, mainly from Alexander Valley in Sonoma County and from various spots in Chile. Some of these wines stuck me as being classic in proportion and balance, while a few leaned toward exaggeration; none, however, seemed beyond the pale, and most of the ratings are Excellent. With one exception, ...
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Wine for a Summer Cookout

Many years ago I hosted a cookout party for family and friends to celebrate my sister’s achievement of earning her Masters degree in Early Childhood Education. I made, truly, the best pulled pork this side of the Mississippi and I thought to myself (as I often do): Rhône reds.  Turns out, I had a houseful of white wine drinkers, people that actually asked me specifically for a glass of white wine. I learned two things about cookouts that day: first, at parties go with variety…second, always have an over-sized bottle of white wine. Wine for a Summer Cookout, Grill or BBQ It sounds simple, but I don’t see any reason why a cookout shouldn’t be simple. Too much fuss turns a hostess into a stuffy, boring swirl of no-fun. In American we are in the heart of cookout season – grills are fired up from here to September and beyond and everyone needs a little something to drink. ...