Ruston Cabernet Sauvignon | A Cabernet for Pinot Lovers?

 Ruston Cabernet Sauvignon Valley 2010 | A Cabernet for Pinot Lovers?

Ruston Cabernet

When I received an e-mail offering from Last Bottle Wines touting a hyper-limited Napa Cabernet from the stellar 2010 vintage at 50% off, I began clicking away feverishly. I discovered that the wine on offer was the 2010 Ruston Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon produced 100% from notoriously expensive and character-laden Rutherford fruit.

As is often the case with any great wine region, many of the best wines – the hidden gems, rarely leave the region. They are enjoyed without abandon by in-the-know locals, who don’t subscribe to clever marketing prowess and highly-commercialized wines. I love finding these local favorites, and I just had to see for myself if the Ruston Cabernet Sauvignon itself is worth seeking out.

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Protocolo Wine Review | Do Affordability & Drinkability Mix?

Protocolo Wine Review | Do Affordability & Drinkability Mix?

Protocolo Wine

So let’s say you’re heading to the Wal-Mart of wine stores, Total Wine, to search for some reasonably priced wine, say under $8. After splurging at Ovid recently myself, that’s exactly what I found myself doing!

Maybe you’re throwing a party or maybe you’re just looking for something decent to pour at home without having to worry about when to drink it, how long to decant it or how you’re going to pay off your hefty credit card bill after drinking it.

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Ovid Winery | More Than Just A Stunning View?

Ovid Winery | More Than Just A Stunning View?

Ovid Winery

If you’re quest for exquisite wines has brought you to Napa Valley – you’re in luck. There are so many great wines coming out of Napa that it can be distracting. But if you prefer to make your discoveries in a stylishly appointed tasting room benefiting from one of the most stunning views in Napa Valley, Ovid Winery makes quite the argument to ditch Highway 29.

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Arsenic in Wine | Trader Joe’s Wine a Possible Culprit

Arsenic in Wine | Trader Joe’s Wine a Possible Culprit

Arsenic in Wine

Photo Credit: www.gigmasters.com

You Might Be Getting More Than You Bargained For in that Bargain Wine | Arsenic in Wine

Some pretty unfortunate allegations were brought by a seemingly credible source yesterday when a class action lawsuit was filed against 28 California wineries including: Sutter Home, Cupcake, Franzia, Beringer, and the ubiquitous poster child for cheap Trader Joe’s wine – Charles Shaw (aka Two Buck Chuck). The lawsuit claims that these wineries knowingly sold wines that contain up to 500% more arsenic than is legally permissible.

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Frisson Cabernet Sauvignon Review | Frisson Wines

Frisson Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Review | Frisson Wines

Frisson Wines

One night at a garden dinner party Houston businessman and wine-lover Terry Davis met veteran winemaker Wayne Donaldson and the two hit it off and became quick friends. A serendipitous meeting, the pair would soon be united by their mutual passion for Napa Valley and their love of wine.

After learning of Terry’s desire to make his own Napa Valley wine, Wayne contacted him shortly after their meeting with an opportunity to purchase three tons of Diamond Mountain fruit. For Terry, the moment was surely a ‘Frisson’ – the French description for a moment of intense excitement or thrill. With Wayne’s partnership and 25 years of wine-making expertise, Frisson Wines was born.

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Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Review | Elyse Winery

Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Review | Elyse Winery

Elyse Winery

A few months ago I picked up Elyse Winery’s Morisoli Vineyard Zinfandel from Last Bottle Wines and it was excellent – rich, pure and balanced with great Zin character. It was also a really great value at $16 shipped, so when I received another e-mail from Last Bottle offering Elyse Winery’s Napa Valley Cabernet I jumped at the opportunity to give it a try.

It’s tougher and tougher to find good Napa Cabernet without draining the checking account, and Elyse Winery is a respected, somewhat under-the-radar producer who sources their fruit from top vineyard sites throughout Napa Valley.

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Chateau Cantenac Brown | Making It’s Mark in Margaux

Chateau Cantenac Brown | Making It’s Mark in Margaux

Cantenac Brown

A Grand Tasting in The Big Apple

Recently I had the incredible honor of being invited to attend the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux 2012 vintage release tasting at Cipriani’s in New York. The weather outside was frightful – they were calling for 3 feet of snow on that 26th day of January, and it was quickly accumulating outside.

But inside members of the wine media, restauranteurs and wine buyers from all over were warm with excitement. Why? Over 100 of the most prestigious Chateau in Bordeaux were on site to showcase their newly released 2012 vintage wines, either represented by their Chateau owners themselves or their representatives. Amongst the representatives in attendance was Mr. Jose Sanfins, the accomplished and passionate Technical Director of Chateau Cantenac Brown.

A Successful Vintage and a Great Find

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Best Champagne for Mimosas | The Perfect Ingredient

Best Champagne for Mimosas | The Perfect Ingredient

Best Champagne for Mimosas

Just this past weekend I was enjoying a mimosa (okay, several mimosas) with my family at brunch when someone observed that the inexpensive sparkling wine the restaurant was using still made a pretty tasty mimosa. Then the thought occurred to me that this was likely a dilemma for many mimosa lovers: What exactly is the Best Champagne for Mimosas?

The Best Champagne for Mimosas Isn’t Actually Champagne!

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Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut | Not Cheap, But Inexpensive

Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava | Trader Joe’s Wine

Jaume Serra Cristalino

The Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava has become a perennial favorite amongst those looking for a nice bargain bubbly. Is it’s success due to the clean and elegant label? Or possibly because the catchy name sounds an awful lot like the awfully expensive Cristal Champagne?

Or is it fittingly because the Jaume Serra Cristalino is simple a great sparkling wine for the money? I spotted the Cristalino Brut while browsing my local Trader Joe’s Wine Section and decided to answer those questions for myself. I mean it can’t be all that bad if Wine & Spirits Magazine has rather impressively named the Jaume Serra Cristalino the ‘Value Brand of the Year’ for three consecutive years!

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Fattoria Casabianca | A Taste of Fattoria Casabianca’s Wine

Fattoria Casabianca | A Taste of Fattoria Casabianca’s Wine

Fattoria Casabianca

A few weeks ago the friendly folks at Fattoria Casabianca reached out to me and asked if I might be interested in tasting their wines. It seemed like a serendipitous coincidence as I have really been enjoying Italian wines lately, like the Amarone I recently discovered in the Trader Joe’s Wine Section. They were kind enough to send over some samples of their wines for me to taste.

The Fattoria Casabianca resort is located in Murlo, Italy, approximately two hours south of Tuscany. They offer nightly accommodations (converted from a farmhouse), tennis, swimming, dining as well as wine tastings to showcase their wines produced under their Fattoria Casabianca label.

If the Trip Advisor reviews are any indication then whatever this ostensibly charming and quaint resort lacks in flash it more than makes up for in soul. Many described it as an excellent, laid-back getaway just far enough outside of all of the hustle and bustle. Now I hope that soul translates to Fattoria Casabianca’s wines!

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