March 26th - This Date in Wine History


Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature This Date In Wine History, we share an event of critical importance in wine history.


  • The Gambellara DOC designation was established in 1970.
  • The San Martino della Battaglia DOC designation was established in 1970.
  • The Taurasi DOCG designation was established in 1970. The grapes used to produce this wine were previously called hellenico because of their Greek origin.
  • Noël Coward who wrote: The air is like a draught of wine. The undertaker cleans his sign, The Hull express goes off the line, When it's raspberry time in Runcorn. in On With the Dance, 'Poor Little Rich Girl’ died in 1973.
  • The Cheverny AOC was created in 1973.
  • The AOC Aloxe-Corton was designated in 1986.

March 25th - This Date in Wine History


Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature This Date In Wine History, we share an event of critical importance in wine history.


  • Greece declared its independence from Turkey in 1821 freeing wine production from the onerous taxes of the Ottoman Turks .
  • French winemaker, Jean-Michel Cazes was born in 1935.
  • New York's Cayuga Lake AVA was designated in 1988.
  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Clare Valley" was registered in 1999.
  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Perricoota" was registered in 1999.
  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Adelaide Plains" was registered in 2002.

 

2011 Sabina Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - Wine of the Day

 2011 Sabina Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

$125


This Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and concentrated with well-defined acidity and lush tannins. Dark cherry, currant, and blackberry abound in the aroma, followed by a chocolate, herbal flavor profile wrapped in cassis and black cherry. The blend of vibrant fruit and earthy notes are made complete with a long finish and smooth, lingering tannins. This wine is amazingly approachable now and will age gracefully for a solid 10+ years.

Just like other growers in the Napa Valley during the 2011 harvest season, Sabina Vineyards also had to wait out the rains and time out the grape picking dates just right. The Estate Vineyard was harvested on 2 separate days allowing both lots to have slightly different flavor profiles which was an advantage when making the final blend.

Solado Creek - Wine Region of the Day


Salado Creek received its designation as an AVA in 2004. Situated on 2,940 acres, the region is located in northern Stanislaus County, California, near the town of Patterson. The creek as well as many other geographic features in the area were named by Spanish explorer, Gabriel Moraga who explored the San Joaquin Valley from 1806-1811.

The wine region lies at the eastern base of the Diablo Mountains at the western edge of the valley.  Salado Creeks flows from the mountains and crosses the California Aqueduct and the Delta-Mendota Canal eventually ending in the San Joaquin River. The viticultural area is part of the flat, flood plain from Salado Creek and its tributaries and is made of the heavier alluvium.

The soil in the region is an alluvial fan of clay and sandy loam which come from shale and sandstone parent materials. These Ensalado soils are well draining and deep which forces the vines to dig deep, strong roots in search of water. This process forces the vines to concentrate their efforts into the fruit, making a deep, robust flavor.

The region is protected from marine air by the Diablo Mountains and exist in a “thermal belt” at the edge of the larger San Joaquin Valley making this belt zone the only places where citrus grows in the San Joaquin Valley. The climate of Salado Creek has warmer cool season temperatures but consistent cooling breezes do flow from the north making its warm season cooler than the rest of the valley. Salado Creek is known for its production of Cabernet SauvignonSauvignon BlancSyrah, and Viognier.

March 24th - This Date in Wine History


Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature This Date In Wine History, we share an event of critical importance in wine history.


  • James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England upon the death of Elizabeth I.  In the last years of his life he suffered from gout and kidney stones and described his urine as having the "dark red colour of Alicante wine". Ew.
  • The Coteaux-Varois AOC was created in 1993.  The primary grapes are Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsaut, Mourvédre, Syrah and Carignan.
  • The Cour-Cheverny AOC was created in 1993.  The primary grapes are Sauvignon Blanc (blended with Arbois), Chardonnay and Pineau Blanc de la Loire for white wines, Gamay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Côt for Reds and Pineau d’aunis for Rosé.
  • Happy Agriculture Week.  Remember, without agriculture there is no wine!

2009 Petrified Forest Vineyards Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc

 2009 Petrified Forest Vineyards Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc

$39


"Wonderful floral aromas give way to flavors of pineapple, apricots, and citrus.  Its clean, crisp finish and just the right amount of sweetness make this wine the perfect accompaniment to both sweet and savory food pairings."  Baci Cafe & Wine Bar (2012).

Late harvest wines have always captivated our imagination. When we purchased our property in Knights Valley in 1987, the existing Sauvignon blanc vineyard surprised us with an area that provided the necessary conditions for botrytis cinerea each harvest. This “noble rot” has allowed us to coax an amazingly complex wine from our tiny hillside vineyard. Once only produced for family and close friends, we can now share the fruit of our passion with you.

Guenoc Valley - Wine Region of the Day


The Guenoc Valley AVA is in Lake County, California, north of the town of Calistoga. The AVA sits on 23,000 acres, and its grapes are grown at an elevation of 400 ft. It is name for the Mexican Land Grant, Rancho Guenoc that was given to George Rock in 1845.  Viticulture began in the valley in 1887 when Lily Langtry, mistress of the future Edward VII purchased part of the original Rancho to raise racehorses and make wine.

The Guenoc Valley is small and comprised of a mix of Arroyo Seco and Conejo Loam soils deposited by former rivers to make the region one large alluvial fan. The Guenoc Valley is isolated from surrounding areas by rocky ridges, creating a small valley. Compared to surrounding areas, the Guenoc Valley receives less rainfall per year, but greater temperature variance throughout the year. The region is known for its Syrah production, but also produces Petit VerdotMalbecSemillonChardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.

March 23rd - This Date in Wine History


Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature This Date In Wine History, we share an event of critical importance in wine history.


  • Charles II issued a warrant to the Farmers of Customs for unlading 120 pipes of Canary wine for the Spanish ambassadors in 1667.
  • Hubert de Castella arrived in Melbourne, from Switzerland in 1854 and began a winery in the Yarra Valley
  • The Journal of the Society of Chemical Industry listed that W.P. Thompson received a patent for a method and apparatus for manufacturing beer, ale, wine, cider or the like in 1892.
  • Happy Agriculture Week.  Remember, without ag, there isno wine!

Paicines - Wine Region of the Day


Paicines received its designation as an AVA in 1982. Sitting on 42,882 acres, Paicines is a sub-appellation of the San Benito AVA. The proposal for this appellation came from the Almaden winery which operates in the area.  The name Paicines was well documented as having been in use, including the name of the town in the center of the region. Confusingly enough, the original name of the unincorporated town was Tres Pinos which switched names with the original town of Paicines located further south down Airline Highway.

The Paicines that we are discussing is located east of Pinnacles National Park and takes its name originally from the Rancho Cienega de los Paicines (still in operation today as Paicines Ranch) a land that was granted in the 1840s.  Reports indicate that viticulture in the area began as early as the mid-1850s.

The soil of the region consists of a sandy loam which include alluvial deposits and feature fanned materials and benches which may act as natural terraces. The temperature is akin to that of the high desert and often will see daily temperatures north of 100 degrees in the peak of the growing season. As the sun sets, the temperature will drop dramatically, sometimes by as much as 40 degrees as cool Pacific air sweeps into the region.  The Paicines region tends not to feature fogs associated with that marine air.  Though on days that are particularly foggy some will move into the valley and will linger longer that surrounds regions.  Without this swing in temperatures, the region would be too hot to produce vines. The diurnal shift and fogallows the grapes will cool off and extend its growing season. Grapes will stay on the vine longer than in neighboring AVAs. The region is known for producing Arneis, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon,  ChardonnayMalbecMerlotPetit Verdot, and Syrah.

March 22nd - This Date in Wine History


Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature This Date In Wine History, we share an event of critical importance in wine history.


  • The Illinois General Assembly created rules requiring every county to regulate weights and measures including for a wine measure.
  • George W. Roosevelt, the US Ambassador to France reports on new French laws about the adulteration of wines in 1883.
  • Viticulture Committee of the Region of Vinho Verde was created in 1929
  • Happy Ag week!  There is no wine without agriculture!

2011 Oak Cliff Cellars Sonoma Chardonnay (Unoaked) - Wine of the Day

 2011 Oak Cliff Cellars Sonoma Chardonnay (Unoaked)

$24


Because this wine is made and aged in stainless tanks, the fruit is crisp and clean: initially notes of Green Apple and Pear are predominant when served chilled properly, and give way to Melon notes with a hint of Citrus as the wine warms in the glass. The mouthfeel is especially creamy due to the fact that it has undergone 100% malolactic fermentation, converting harsh malic acids to softer, milky ones.

Grapes from this wine come from two Sonoma vineyards: one from southern Sonoma County in Carneros and the other from the Russian River area. Carneros is the cooler climate, with wind and fog prevalent conditions, meaning longer growing time, higher acidity and leaner fruit, while Russian River fruit tends to be riper and fatter in style. By blending fruit from the two distinctive areas, this wine results in high acidity and clean, crisp fruit leaning toward green apple and citrus, but with a nice, plump mid-palate of pear and melon.

March 21st - This Date in Wine History


Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature This Date In Wine History, we share an event of critical importance in wine history.


  • Julio Gallo was born in 1910.
  • The AOC Alsace Grand Cru Zotzenberg and Alsace Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim were allowed to use Sylvaner grapes  in 2005.
  • Wine Road of The Samurai, a documentary about 34 Samurai (who were also known as The Last Samurais) delegation sent by the Japanese government to France at the end of Edo era was released in 2006.

2013 Essere Franco Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Essere Franco Cabernet Sauvignon

$110


This wine hails from a single vineyard, the Reverence Vineyard in the Coombsville AVA of Napa Valley.  Aged 18 months in 80% new French Oak. With aromatics of black cherry and dried tobacco leaf, this wine will jump out of the glass as you taste its complexity with firm and silky tannins. A big bodied Napa Valley Cabernet with an elegant finish.

Clements Hills - Wine Region of the Day


Clements Hills received its designation as an AVA in 2006. Situated on 85,400 acres, Clements Hills is a sub-appellation of the Lodi AVA in the southeast portion located in San Joaquin County.  It is nearly 40 miles from Sacramento and more than 10 from the city of Lodi.  The viticultural area is located in the northeastern portion of San Joaquin county south of the Borden Ranch appellation.  Nestled between the Calavaras River to the south, Liberty Road to the north, the eastern boundary of San Joaquin County and Elliott and Jack Tone Roads to the west, the region is a transition from the valleys to the west and the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

It is centered around the town of Clements which was settled in 1857 by Thomas Clements.  Clements later donated 25 acres to establish the town as a railroad stop on the San Joaquin and Sierra Nevada Railroad which was ideal for the agricultural community that was growing.  The name Clements Hills has been in use since that time.

The soils in the appellation are varied but are alike in that they have low fertility and are a mixture of clays and loams.  The presence of the clays are sufficient to hold moisture in the soil. The region features an alluvial topsoil with varying lower levels comprised of granite and volcanic soils. 

The climate is hot and muggy but gets some relief from coastal breezes that make their way through the hills. The climate of the area is generally warmer and wetter than the average in the Lodi region.  The increase in elevation to the east creates more precipitation and air drainage that moves away morning fogs and frost that would be caused by cool Pacific air coming up the Sacramento-San Joaquin river delta.  The lack of fog also leads to more hours of sunshine to help the grapes achieve their maximum flavor.

This climate makes the region perfect for growing Italian and Spanish grape varieties such as Albarino, Grenache, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, and Grenache.

2014 Calstar Alta Zinfandel - Wine of the Day

2014 Calstar Alta Zinfandel

$25


Clear, deep ruby crimson color with violet glints.  A complex, meaty and multifaceted Zinfandel with all the power and fruit of an old vine vineyard.  Blackberry, au jus, toasty sweet oak and black pepper aromas are supported by hints of mushroom and dried thyme.  The palette follows with juicy berry acidity and velvety chewy tannins.  Flavors of black plum skin, fig compote, dried herbs and roast beef with concentrated fruit and a dark, brooding finish. 

As a true Zinfandel lover, Proprietor and Winemaker, Rick Davis, wanted a vineyard that balanced the big, jammy notes of classic Zin with the minerality, lean tannins and age-ability of a cooler climate.  In the hills of El Dorado County, vineyards range from 1,200 to 3,500 feet in elevation, exposing Zinfandel to hot, sultry days and very chilly nights during the summer season.  In addition, the growing season is longer than most appellations, with slow, gradual ripening creating balanced, food-friendly Zinfandels worthy of cellar time.

March 20th - This Date in Wine History


Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature This Date In Wine History, we share an event of critical importance in wine history.


  • Friedrich Hölderlin, German lyric poet was born in 1770 He is known for the poem, "Brod und Wein" (Bread and Wine).
  • James Christie imported 621 1/2 of port wine and 600lbs of Jesuits bark (cinchona bark, the source of quinine) in 1776.
  • Spain's Pla i Llevant DO was created in 2001.
  • Happy Ag week.

Russian River Valley - Wine Region of the Day


The Russian River Valley AVA is located on 155,000 acres in Sonoma County, California. Situated on the Russian River, the appellation was granted AVA status in 1983 and has over 10,000 acres currently under vine. The soil of the Russian River Valley varies by region. Layers of volcanic ash and eroded bedrock have created a sandstone that cover most of the region. Near the Russian River itself, there is alluvial soil, and in the northern most region, clay soil is abundant. The variety of soils gives the Russian River Valley a great range in the profiles of its varietals. The Russian River Valley's feature characteristic is its cool climate, generated by fog and coastal breezes due to the valley's proximity to the Pacific Ocean. The area features varietals known to grow well in cool climates. The region is best known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay production.

March 19th - This Date in Wine History


Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature This Date In Wine History, we share an event of critical importance in wine history.


  • Pennsylvania and New Jersey's Central Delaware Valley AVA was designated in 1984.
  • California's Yountville AVA was designated in 1999.
  • Today is the feast of St. Joseph who is honored with a table of meatless foods (as it is lent) and wine offered to the poor.  St.  Joseph is the patron Saint of the working man.

March 18th - This Date in Wine History


Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature This Date In Wine History, we share an event of critical importance in wine history.


  • Ernest Gallo was born in 1909.
  • George I, King of the Hellenes was assassinated in Thessaloniki in 1913.  The king grew his own grapes for wine, Chateau Décélie.
  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Mount Benson" was registered in 1997.
  • Fess Parker, film and tv actor and winemaker died in 2010.

2013 Agnitio Chardonnay Durell Vineyard - Wine of the Day

2013 Agnitio Chardonnay Durell Vineyard

$60


Rich gold color in the glass, with aromas of green Anjou pear, guava, and white peach blossom, this wine offers an aromatic complexity that can only come from the unique site of Durell Vineyard. The depth of the minerality in the mouthfeel is juxtaposed with a creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Hints of French pastry and spicy oak highlight the long, luscious finish.

Our grapes were gently whole-cluster pressed for over four hours (Press cycle used in Champagne). The juice was racked off its lies after it had a chance to settle down in a tank for at least 24 hours at 50°F. It was 50% fermented in a concrete egg and 50% in barrels, with a blend of 50% new French oak and 50% neutral oak. Only 25% of the wine was allowed to go through malolactic fermentation in order to preserve the brightness of the wine and gain just enough roundness on the palate. Aged "sur lies fines" for 12 months, this wine will cellar for years.