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2005 Auteur Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir

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The 2005 Auteur Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir is a fantastic wine. Probably the best wine I have drank all year. Shea Vineyard is one of the most prestigious vineyards in New World Pinot Noir, placing it squarely among the elite terroirs. Shea Vineyards consists of 140 dry farmed hillside acres located in Oregon’s sub-appellation, Yamhill-Carlton. Yamhill-Carlton is situated in a rainshadow where storms often miss, leaving excellent dry conditions for Pinot Noir. Our Shea is harvested from the fabled Back Block of Shea Vineyard, the only other producer to get this fruit is Dick Shea, the owner of the vineyard. The soil is characterized by shallow sedimentary Willakenzie topsoil over fractured sandstone subsoil. Willakenzie soils tend to display darker fruit with concentrated blackberry and plum highlighted with notes of earth, pepper and minerals.

Dark crimson in color, perfumed with lavender, slate, and marionberry cut with mineral, anise, almond, sassafras and graphite. The explosive, weighty palate is layered with bright red berry fruit beneath delicate layers of floral, carbon and mineral. Structured with generous and supple tannins, the finish is infinite.

You can buy it online from the Auteur website

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Nightlife Napa Valley ~ San Francisco

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The Napa Valley Vintners are coming to San Francisco for one night only. Join them for a wine tasting with a nightclub vibe: try wines from big bottles from more than 60 Napa Valley wineries, meet the people behind these incredible wines, enjoy hors d'oeuvres, and listen to the DJ spin while you sip, savor and mingle.

Tickets are $25 per person. If you pay with your American Express card, you will receive a $5 discount for each ticket. Tickets will only be sold online - no tickets available at the door.

Nightlife Napa Valley
LIMN Gallery in San Francisco
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
8:00 - 10:00 pm
292 Townsend St
San Francisco, CA 94107

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Yield Wine Bar ~ San Francisco

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Yield Wine Bar is a small, intimate wine bar located in the heart of San Francisco's historic Dog Patch Neighborhood. Yield is such a welcome addition to my tiny growing Dogpatch Neighborhood. Owner Chris Tavelli was the former sommelier  at Millennium Restaurant and brings a great knowledge of organic, bio-dynamic and sustainable wines. They are committed to supporting sustainable winemaking and agriculture, as well as family owned and operated wineries.  As such, all of the wines featured on their wine list are environmentally friendly — they are made by wineries that are wholly committed to the practice of organic, biodynamic or sustainable agriculture.  Most do not use any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides throughout the wine-making process, and some have even taken it a step further and received certification for these practices.  All of them are as focused on making the best wine possible as they are on making it in the most environmentally conscious way.

Yield Wine Bar is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. until 12 a.m., and Sundays from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. 

2490 3rd St San Francisco, CA 94107  (415) 401-8984

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Kermit Lynch ~ Provence in Berkeley

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On September 23rd Kermit Lynch will throw his yearly “Provence in Berkeley Festival”. On Provence Day they recreate some of the gastronomic pleasures of Provence. They close the parking lot to cars, set up tents and tables, peel a ton of garlic, fire up a big bed of coals, and uncork a medley of delicious provencal wines.

Provence in Berkeley Saturday, September 23rd, 2006
11:00 AM to 4:00 PM 1605 San Pablo Avenue (at Cedar St.) Berkeley, CA 94702

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Bourbon & Branch ~ San Francisco

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Those of you familiar with Milk & Honey, the private and reservations-only bar in NYC are going to be excited to hear about Bourbon & Branch, in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. Dahi Donnelly and Brian Sheehy from Swig and Anu have brought on Todd Smith, the former and longtime bar manager of Cortez, and are opening a reservations-only bar in the old 501 Club space on the corner of O’Farrell and Jones. The vibe will be 1920s-inspired, offering a relaxed environment for those who want to avoid the crowds and mayhem that crowd most city bars, especially Thu-Sat.

Bourbon & Branch
Corner of O’Farrell and Jones
San Francisco, CA

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Navarro Vineyards Pinot Noir Grape Juice

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Navarro is a family winery which takes pride in making products that every member of your family can enjoy. They first started making varietal grape juice in the early eighties when their children were small and they wanted them to share the good tastes from their vineyards. It was about the same time that they opened their tasting room and realized that there were lots of adults, as well as children, who wanted to experience the fresh taste of Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay without the alcohol. Of course there are other grape juices on the market but they are generally made from Concord grapes whose foxy strong flavors are an acquired taste for wine lovers. You can buy their grape juice online or at the tasting room

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Kosta Browne Winery

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Visiting the Kosta Browne webpage today to purchase my fall allotment of wine I noticed that they have redesigned the website and started a weblog. Dan Kosta will be discussing News & Events related to Kosta Browne and the Wine industry and Michael Browne discusses Winemaking and Vineyards. Kosta Browne has always made some of my favorite single vineyard Pinot Noirs. Give them a shot if you can find them.

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Family Winemakers of California Tasting ~ San Francisco

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Family Winemakers of California
Sunday August 20th 12:00 - 4:00 PM
Fort Mason Center
San Francisco, CA

Tickets for the general public are $35 in advance; $45 day of event. They are on sale at Fort Mason Box Office, (415) 345-7575, or via Ticket Web.

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Vinfolio Wine Management

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Vinfolio is the indispensable resource for serious wine collectors. We offer a membership-based service designed to support wine collectors in all aspects of managing their collections, including on-site inventorying services, a Web-based cellar management software application, personalized buying and selling services, and a state-of the-art storage facility in San Francisco.

What makes Vinfolio truly unique is the seamless integration of these services, providing the ultimate in efficiency and convenience. Everything you need to buy, sell, manage, and store your wine is available from one source. Our services are available on an á la carte basis, giving our customers the flexibility to choose only the services they need.

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Casa Lapostolle ~ Chile

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Back in 2001, Alexandra Marnier-Lapostolle decided to giver her award winning wind, Clos Apalta, its own facility in Chile. Now her $9 million cream winery is up and running. Go for a tour and luch or better yet snag on eof the four chich bungalows overlooking the vineyards. Reserve now for a weekend during spring harvest. Two-night stay for two, $1500 all inclusive.

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Walter Hansel Vineyards

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Walter Hansel was a lifelong wine enthusiast who had the vision to plant the original 250 vines in 1978. Today, Stephen, Walter's son, pursues that vision of producing world class Burgundy-style Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Hansel Family Vineyards currently consists of 75 acres of grapes from ten different French and domestic clones ranging in age from 23 to 3 years. At Walter Hansel Winery, the emphasis is on low yields (a miniscule range from 1.5 to 2.7 tons/acre) for greater complexity. Since all their grapes are grown on their own property, they can exercise strict control in the vineyards, which are planted with 5 Pinot and 5 Chardonnay clones. Each clone was chosen for its specific acid and flavor variations.

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L'Atelier du Vin

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Since 1926, L’Atelier du Vin has specialised in oenological euqipment and more specifically, has been an innovator in the development of bottling and cellar storage equipment. These days they are creating well designed and well made wine glasses, decanters, and openeners. Take a look at the complete collection, they definitely have something for everyone, with such a clean french twist.

 

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Hotel Biron Wine Bar ~ San Francisco

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Hotel Biron is not an official hotel per se, but after perusing its wine list and sinking into one of the comfy sofas, folks might not want to check out. A handful of copper tables, wrought-iron bistro chairs and zinc-green walls decked with a revolving exhibition of local art further the Left Bank mood. The low lighting and high spirits form the perfect setting for an after-work get-together or romantic rendezvous.

Hotel Biron is located in Hayes Valley, at 45 Rose Street, behind the Zuni Cafe, between Market and Gough.

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Peay Vineyards

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Peay Vineyards is located in the far northwestern corner of Sonoma County approximately 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean near Sea Ranch. The vineyard is situated along the coast, but not on the very first ridge. We have a partially obstructed avenue formed by the Wheatfield Fork of the Gualala River that allows for some fog and copious cool air penetration. The vineyard sits on a hilltop that is not way up in the air, but just at the top of the fog level, low enough to be very cool, but high enough not to be too cool and wet to grow grapes. You can buy their wines online from their website or sign up for their mailing list to notified of new releases.

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Kwarx Unbreakable Wine Glass

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An 'unbreakable' wine glass made of a new material called Kwarx has been launched at Vinexpo in Hong Kong.The makers claim it is the most important revolution in glass since automated lead crystal production. Philippe Durand, Chairman of ARC International, the company which developed the process, would only say 'Kwarx is a new material' but jealously guarded the actual formula. Kwarx glass is handblown crystal and is supposed to retain lustre and transparency as well as being unbreakable.

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Cork'd.com

Illu-mascotCork’d is a free service for wine aficionados. You can use Cork’d to catalog, rate and review wines you’ve tasted. You can also keep track of wines you’d like to try and buy as well as subscribe to what your buddies have reviewed. It’s a new way to discover and share wine

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Chateau Figeac

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Chateau Figeac is a large 40–ha property at the Pomerol end of St. Emilion, just across the road from Cehval Blanc. As with Chateau Cheval Blanc, La Dominique and the Corbin properties, there is a significant continuation of the Pomerol gravel plateau. Vintages like the 1982, 1990, and the 1998 prove that Figeac’s potential is magnificent; the fact that it is planted with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc compared with just 30% Merlot never makes it wholly typical St. Emilion or Pomerol, however. Consistency is a problem here, and barrell samples from Figeac are harder than most to judge, but at its best these are masterful wines.

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Paso Robles Grand Tasting ~ San Francisco

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Discover Paso Robles Wine Country, centrally located between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Paso Robles is California’s fastest growing wine region encompassing nearly 25,000 vineyard acres and 90 wineries within a 40-mile territory. On May 2nd take part in the 2006 Grand Tasting event in San Francisco. You will be able to taste more than 100 wines from Paso Robles wineries. Learn how the diverse soils combined with warm days and cool nights make Paso Robles the optimal area for producing more than 16 wine varieties.Meet the producers of Paso Robles Wine Country and taste what makes Paso Robles wines distinctly different.

May 2, 2006 San Francisco @ Crushpad

Trade and Media Events                                                                                                                               Tutored Tasting  and Seminar 1 - 2 p.m. Walk-Around Tasting 2 - 5 p.m.

Consumer Event for Paso Robles Wine Enthusiasts 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. $40 for unlimited food and wine tasting

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2005 Hecht & Bannier VdP Cotes de Thau Rosé Syrah

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2005 Hecht & Bannier VdP Cotes de Thau Rosé Syrah  - Over the past couple years, rosé wines have grown from being trendy to a much more noticeably popular wine. Because of the stigma surrounding white zin and other blush wines, it has taken longer for quality rosé to catch on here in the US. Here's a wine that will change your mind if you haven't already caught the bug. It is a Syrah from Gregory Hecht and Francois Bannier... consider it your super fresh, funky and FUN rose to officially kick off the 2005 rose season! From the south of France, it has strawberry, watermelon, and pomegranate nuances and will pair with just about anything! H&B's 2004 rose was named #1 rose in last summer's La Revue du Vins de France.

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2003 Almaviva (Chile)

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95 points and a Highly Recommended from The Wine Spectator! They say, "Very dense, with loads of raspberry ganache, black currant and fig fruit layered with loam, tobacco, mineral and cedar notes. Lots of grip on the finish, with impressive balance between tannins, acidity and oak. Built like a Pauillac. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2007 through 2015. -J.M. May 15, 2006" According to Robert Parker: "...one of the great wines I tasted in Bordeaux [on my last visit] was from Chile....the 2003 Almaviva tasted last week at Mouton (it is in the bottle and in the market) is the finest cabernet-based wine I have ever had from Chile....pretty special stuff..." (Mark Squires Bulletin Board, posted 1-13-2006) K&L's notes - Big, rich cabernet with a long focused finish, the 2003 Almaviva is tough to beat. The ripe fruit is beautifully balanced with oak and spice notes. I tried it with the 2001 and 2002, the '03 was clearly the class of the bunch.

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Hartford Winery 2004 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

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The 2004  Hartford Winery Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is composed of exceptional, small block Pinot Noir vineyards located in the Sonoma Coast AVA. Estate vineyards are the primary sources for this cepage, which is comprised of selected blocks from our Ross Road Vineyard (Green Valley), our Seascape and Annapolis Vineyards (Sonoma Coast) and a handful of growers within the Russian River Valley. Rose petal, boysenberry, candied cherry and roasted allspice aromas capture the essence of this perennial contender for Pinot Noir Best Buy from the Sonoma Coast. Aromas of blackberries, boysenberry, nutmeg and smoke are followed by flavors of Bing cherries, roasted plum, cinnamon and allspice. The complex aromas and dense, sweet and juicy mouthfeel are supported by centered acidity, fine grain tannins and an intensely, complex finish.

Buy it online @ wine.comicon

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Merry Edwards Wines

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In 1997 Merry Edwards and her partners launched Merry Edwards wines, allowing her to focus her winemaking on Russian River Valley Pinot Noir while planting her own vineyard with this seductive grape. Since the beginning of her career in 1973, Merry has longed to plant her own vineyard. She has a passion for growing things, for working the soil. “The finest wines are crafted from the ground up,” Merry says. “Meticulous and timely viticultural practices are critical when making Pinot Noir.” In 1996 she purchased twenty-four acres of sloping hillside on the southern border of Russian River Valley, intent on growing luscious Pinot Noir on this promising site. Early in 1997, Merry met entrepreneur Bill Bourke, a founding investor in Chalone and Ravenswood wineries; they formed a partnership to develop Meredith Estate vineyard and Merry Edwards wines. Bill and Merry presented their plans to a small group of founding shareholders; the business was incorporated in August of 1997, shortly before Merry began harvesting the inaugural vintage.

Merry Edwards wines can be bought from the vineyard website 

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Flowers Vineyard & Winery

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The goal Flowers Vineyard & Winery  is to bring forth in bottle the uniqueness of vines planted to ancient marine and volcanic soils bathed in coastal mountain sun and tempered with cool ocean breezes. Our task as winemakers is to listen to the grapes and give them what they need: gentle handling, the use of age-old Burgundian techniques and attention to detail. Their hope as fellow wine lovers is that you will enjoy tasting their wines as much as they enjoy creating them.

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Cheap Fun Wines . Com

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How many times have you shelled out ten bucks for a bottle of wine only to have your hopes dashed when you poured the first glass? The staff at www.CheapFunWines.com is here to help. They're goal is to find the most
luscious bottles of affordable wine on the planet for under $20.

Kim and the staff at CheapFunWines.com love wine. There is little in life that¹s more fun for them than pouring a new wine or revisiting an old favorite. What they don¹t love is wine snobbery. At www.CheapFunWines they'll promise
to write about wine in plain English and make fun of people who don¹t. That said, they don't profess to be a wine experts. They're totally wine beginners - each with a keen sense of smell, a decent palate, a passion to
learn, and a sense of humor.

 

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Dominus 2001 Estate

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The ' target=_blank>Dominus 2001 Estate has a deep ruby color with a complex nose of cloves, blackberries, and dark chocolate. The structured tannins are enrobed with an enticing aroma. This wine explodes in the mid-palate, with essences of spices and worn leather. The long, lingering finish displays a harmony of tobacco, coffee and fruit.

This wine is a blend comprised of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving to allow it to develop its full potential.

From the Wine Spectator: “The impeccably made 2001 Dominus boasts a dense plum/purple color in addition to a fragrant, promising perfume of cocoa, cedar, coffee, roasted herbs, and copious quantities of black fruits. There are 7,000 cases of this 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot blend. Rich and medium to full-bodied, with sweet but noticeable tannin, a layered mid-palate, and a long finish with obvious tannin, it will require 3-4 years of cellaring. It should last for two decades.”

Buy it online @ ' target=_blank>Wine.com

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18 Bottle Wine Rack by Anders Noergaard

RosendahlIf you have a wine collection worth showing off, there is no better to display it than on this beauty of a rack designed by Anders Noergaard for Rosendahl. It is made from brushed aluminum, holds 18 bottles of your best vintages, and looks both sculptural and functional. Minimalistic in its design, the wine bottles themselves form part of the design. 35.5" height, 9.5" deep.

Buy it online at Unicahome.com

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Iron Horse 2000 Russian Cuvee

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The Iron Horse 2000 Russian Cuvee is the same base wine as Classic Vintage Brut, but with a richer dosage, which makes it more opulent, slightly sweeter and heightens the fruit. Originally designed for the historic Reagan-Gorbachev Summit Meetings ending the Cold War. According to USA Today, "an intertwining of the arts of diplomacy and gastronomy".

Delicious before, during or even as dessert. Especially fun with a handful of pomegranate seeds bobbing in the glass

Buy it online @ Wine.com icon

 

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Provenance Vineyards 2002 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

80231lCovering only six square miles, the Provenance Vineyards unique soil, sun exposure and climate make it the ideal site for great Cabernet Sauvignon. Andy Beckstoffer grows our grapes in deep alluvial fans washed down over the ages from near by Mount St. John in the Mayacamas Mountains. The vines are all 10 years old or more, grown on the historic vineyard once owned by George Yount (the first person to grow winegrapes in the valley) and later Thomas Rutherford.

The richly structured Provenance Vineyards 2002 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon icon spent 17 months in the barrels—the 15 percent American Oak at work here are most likely responsible for its charming woody element. It's rich but not abrasive with a nice, full plum and sweet raisin finish. Give it a some years or, if you want it now, enjoy with cheese or a serious meat dish.

Buy it online @ Wine.com icon

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Mount Maude Vineyard ~ Central Otago, New Zealand

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Sited further north than any other wine producer in CEntral Otago, Mount Maude lies in the Maungawera Valley between Lakes Wanaka and Hawea. Its dry, taughtly structered Riesling and weighty, deeply flavored Pinot Noir are both rewarding. The 3.5ha vineyard is draped across a steep, terraced, north facing slope, looking towards Mount Maude. In gravelly soils with seams of clay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay are the key varieties, with a smaller plot of Gewurztraminer. The first wine flowed in 1999. At 600 cases in 2001, Mount Maude’s output is still tiny; some of the grapes are sold to a much bigger winery. THe Riesling is lemony and minerally, tight and dry with crisp, strong flavours. The Pinot Noir is full-bodied and ripely flavoured with oak complexity and very satisfy depth of plummy, spicy flavour.

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AngelShare Wine Cellar

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The AngelShare wine cellar is a single bottle wine cellar for your 1996 Château La Mondotte Saint-Emilion 1996 or if you have a small apartment. Ths sleek pod preserves one bottle at serving temperature and at the right humidity to keep the cork from drying out. There’s even a tinted window that lets connoisseurs ogle their treasured vinetage while it blocks UV rays from ruining the wines flavor. The manufacturer, Device Style says there isn’t adequate demand for for it in the U.S ( its made and sold in Japan) but Compact Impact will import one for you.

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Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe

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Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe is one of the Rhone’s greates estates. It is run by Frederic and Daniel Brunier, the great-grandsons of the founder Hippolyte Brunier. Vieux Telegraphe itself occupies 70 ha entirely sited on the hot and stony plateau of La Crau. The soils are covered by the galets roules, the large rounded stones which are classically associated with the vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape, although they can also be found in other areas across the south of France. Beneath these stones there is more organic soil, and then red clay. The vines average an impressive 40 years of age, with a significant proportion old enough to draw their pension at 65 years. The oldest vines are Grenache, which account for 70% of the vineyard area. There is also Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsaut and some white varieties including Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne and BourboulenThe Bruniers also now own the 28–ha estate of La Roquette and are part owners, with Kermit Lynch, of the 25–ha Domaine les Pallieres in Gigondas.

The leading wine here is the red Vieux Télégraphe, a classic Chateauneuf blend. The wines declare "La Crau" on the label but this is not a special bottling, all the wines come from this plateau. The Brunier brothers do not intend to produce a premium cuvée as many other local producers have done. Rather they have introduced a second wine which helps to keep the quality of the grand vin high. This is called Vieux Mas des Papes. Neither wine sees any new oak, with old foudres being the most the wines will see in the way of wood. The white Chateauneuf can see some oak, with some varieties vinified en barrique.

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2003 Pazzo Bacio Divino

Pazzo_BottleAlder over at Vinography has a great review of Pazzo, one of my favorite California Sangioveses. I fell in love with this wine after talking to the wine makers and giving it a taste at VinoVenue in San Francisco. I also like that I can buy it in a half bottle at my local Whole Foods. Anyway, here are Alders’ tasting notes.

“Medium ruby in the glass with hints of bronze, this wine has a soft nose of dried cherries, vanilla, cedar and the barest hint of dried strawberries. In the mouth it is medium-bodied, with dusty dry tannins which envelop flavors of cherry, raspberry, cranberry, and redcurrants threaded with a slight hint of sweet oak and bittersweet chocolate which fades nicely in the moderate finish.”

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Domaine Berthoumieu

DomaineberthoumieuDidier Barré’s 26–ha domain is well up to the generally high standards of the Madiran appelation. The Cuvee Tradition contains 55% Tannat, though you migh guess there is more by its substance and depth. The Cuvee Charles de Batz, with 90% Tannat is a typical Madiran powerhouse needing at leaste five years before it begins to open up. Its ample tannins are impressively fat and unctuous, rather than hard and dry. Barré has 3.5 ha of white varities for an old vine Pacherenc Sec and the sweet, lucious, oaked Symphonie d’automne.

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ZAP Zinfandel Festival

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ZAP's Zinfandel Festival is an internationally recognized series of tastings which are the premier single-varietal events in the world. With an estimated 300 wineries and over 10,000 attendees over four days, held exclusively in San Francisco, ZAP's Festival is traditionally a sell-out.

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Williams Selyem Winery

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Williams Selyem Winery began as a simple dream between two friends, Ed Selyem and Burt Williams, who pursued weekend winemaking as a hobby in 1979 in a garage in Forestville, California, and made their first commercial vintage in 1981. In less than two decades, Burt & Ed created a cult status winery of international acclaim. Together they set a new standard for Pinot Noir winemaking in the United States, aligning Sonoma County's Russian River Valley in the firmament of the best winegrowing regions of the world. Today John and Kathe Dyson, who purchased the winery from Burt and Ed in 1998, carry on the passion for Pinot Noir winemaking without compromise.

Burt and Ed were neighbors in the Russian River Valley, living across the river from one another. They both held down full time jobs, but were restless to delve further into the object of their mutual passion—wine.  Burt was a 26-year veteran pressman for the San Francisco Newspaper Agency, publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner, and Ed worked as the accountant and wine buyer at Speer's market in Forestville, in addition to making his own label called Hacienda del Rio. Burt had begun home winemaking on the weekends, and Ed had traveled the world without leaving Sonoma County by tasting and buying wines for the store.

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Local Wine Events . Com

LocalwineventsLocalWineEvents.com does not organize or hold events. Instead it points to them, acting as a portal that links consumers with business and charitable interests holding wine and food events. Everyone benefits: consumers learn and have fun; businesses bring their products and services to the public's attention; and non-profit groups raise money and public awareness of their cause. Five years after its launch, LocalWineEvents.com surpassed 50,000 posted events from around the world and has 600,000 unique visitors per month.

Wineries, restaurants, bars, retailers, hotels, businesses, organizations and charities may use LocalWineEvents.com to post event information (date, time, place, cost, etc.) directly onto the Internet at no charge.

Postings also include a map to the event location and a web link to the event-holder's own website. Event information can then be viewed by visiting LocalWineEvents.com, or by subscribing to “The Juice,” a free e-mail newsletter that lists upcoming events for whatever city/region the subscriber chooses. Site users may also choose to receive event listings via RSS and MyYahoo feeds.

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Fort Ross 2002 Pinot Noir

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Fort Ross Vineyard is primarily a Pinot Noir vineyard in an area that many believe will ultimately shine as brightly as Burgundy. Our Pinot Noir plantings include field selections of Calera, Pommard, and Swan as well as Dijon clones 115 and 777. The vines are planted on a variety of rootstocks, depending on soil types, grafting requirements and rootstock-scion compatibility. During harvest, grapes are handpicked in the cool early morning hours, hand sorted, destemmed, cold soaked for several days and fermented in simple open top fermenters and manually punched down. Shortly after pressing, the wines are aged in 100% French oak barrels, both new and used. Throughout destemming, fermentation and barreling, clones are kept separate to maintain their distinct flavor profiles and structural components. Blending trials determine how to combine the different clones into distinct wines that best reflect their component flavor profiles. The objective is always to create wines that reveal their fruit with structure, balance and finesse. The wine is unfined and with rare exceptions unfiltered

The 2002 Pinot Noir reflects the vintage, which is considered to be the finest ever for California Pinot Noir. It tempts with a bouquet of roses, mesmerizes with its gorgeous deep purple color and fills your palate with ripe red and black berries enlivened by East Indian spices. This well structured wine with supple tannins gains depth and complexity through the lingering finish.

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Wine Collector : IntelliScanner

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Wine Collector gives you the tools you need to automatically manage your wine -- an award-winning IntelliScanner handheld barcode scanner, premium wine tracking software, and pre-printed asset tags all packed in a custom wine crate package from IntelliScanner.

It's everything you need to keep track of wine collections of any size, from a small home collection to an extensive wine cellar or restaurant collection. So throw away that spreadsheet or complicated software where you're typing and sorting and not getting very far, and take a look at Wine Collector. You'll love the flexibility, and you'll never miss a peak year again.

Wine Collector makes it easy to...

• Manage wine collections with ease
• Scan wines in and out of inventory
• Track bottle locations and racks
• Scan anywhere, then download the
   barcodes to your PC or Mac
• Store ratings and tasting notes
• Keep tabs on wine maturity
• Keep a permanent tasting history
• Find wines based on any criteria
• Share wine information with others
• Print and save customized reports

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Domaine Cotat

Domaine Cotat is a small 9–ha domain producing sancerre Chavignol La Grande Cote and Sancerre Les Monts Damnes by fastidiously non-interventionist methods which, because of the presence of residual sugars after particularly sunny years have cost the COtats the appellation on ocassion. These are the Sancerres to get hold of if you wish to see what age can bring indeed in youth their quiet unshowiness can often leave drinkers nonplussed.

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Domaine Huet l'Echansonne

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This historic domaine has bee run for over a decade along biodynamic lines by the son-in-law of war hero Gstaon Huet, Noel Pinguet. The three vineyard sites are Clos de Bourg, Haut Lieu, and Le Mont, and as well as Sec, Demi-sec, and Moelleux verisons, there are also distinctions among the latter according to trie. The Demi-Sec and Moelleux wines are exemplary and often brilliant, with fine acid balances and classic flavours of buttered walnuts and autumn leaves. Some of the sec wines, by contrast, can provide difficult drinking for all but the most committed Chenin Blanc aficionados. In 2000 Pinguet bought the Domaine de Vodanis in Vouvray a 5–ha estate being converted to biodynaimcs at present.

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2003 Radio Coteau Savoy Pinot Noir

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Radio-Coteau is a tribute to wine as a natural expression of a vineyard and a vintage, and the people who bring it into being. Our partners—passionate growers dedicated to sustainable farming and the dynamic connection between land and wine—play as important a role as the soil and climate in developing the identity of our wines. Working with select vineyard sites, Radio-Coteau focuses on Pinot Noir grown in northern California’s western Sonoma County, within the neighborhoods of Occidental, Bodega, Sebastopol, and Cazadero. An old-vine, dry-farmed Zinfandel parcel in Occidental; a steep hillside Russian River Syrah planting; and a highly regarded Pinot Noir vineyard just northwest of Philo in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley round out our portfolio.

On a stunning hillside vineyard located northwest of Philo, Richard Savoy’s Pinot Noir grapes develop intense flavor over a season lengthened by the cooling maritime influence which funnels through the Anderson Valley.

In 2003, no fewer than four separate passes allowed us to capture the optimal maturity of each vineyard block. Savoy’s unique character sings with a sense of place. Intense crimson in color, the 2003 Savoy projects dense notes of dark fruit and potpourri highlighted by an essence of clementine. In a balance of power and elegance, the round entry frames complex fruit flavors that continue to develop with time and aeration. Expect a long finish. Cellared properly, this wine can be set aside for years of continued enjoyment.

You buy Radio Coteau wines On-line but I do know the 2003’s are old sold out. Ive got my 5 bottles in the cellar. I am waiting for the right moment.

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Champagne Jacquesson Cuvée n°728

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Jacquesson was founded in 1798 by Memmie Jacquesson and today stakes a claim as the oldest independent Champagne house. Early vintages were very successful and the house quickly established a good reputation, and the wines are said to have found favour even with Napoleon. Like any good general Napoleon never campaigned with a case or two of good Champagne!

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Paloma Wineyard

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In the late 1970s, Barbara and Jim Richards started to visit the Napa Valley frequently and fell in love with the area and its people. They have always had an interest in wine, both in its making and its consumption, in food and gardening. In 1980, they  were living in Midland, Texas, and began thinking about a second home; we decided to start looking for a small property in the Napa Valley were they could build a home and plant a small vineyard. This dream was realized in 1983 when a friend of theirs, Dan Duckhorn, called and told them about the property they now call Paloma Vineyard.

The property is located five miles west of St. Helena at the top of Spring Mountain. In the last half of the 19th century it was a vineyard, but was allowed to return forest about the turn of the century. They still find old redwood grape stakes and even a few old zinfandel vines that survive under the large Douglas fir trees that surround their home. Their vine near the house produces one or two clusters of grapes a year that are put into our Merlot blend for good luck. The purchase of this raw land was the beginning of an odyssey that is ongoing, ever changing, but with one goal to grow the best grapes possible and make  wine that reflects the terroir of their vineyard.

For those interested in such things: the elevation of Paloma Vineyard is 2060 feet above sea level at the bottom of our property and 2240 at the top, exposure is generally east with many variations, and the soils are derived from the Sonoma volcanics and from Franciscan sandstone. Total acreage is 20 acres with 15 acres planted.

 

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Dom Perignon - how a wine becomes an icon

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Even though he didn't really "invent" Champagne, Dom Perignon was the first to make white wine from black grapes, essential for the Champagne of today. But most importantly, he initiated the art of blending -- then a novel idea.

It was said of Dom Perignon that so fine was his palate that he could taste grapes brought in from individual vineyards and identify their source. Instead of making single-vineyard wines, as was the norm, Dom Perignon used grapes from different parcels owned by the abbey or coming from farmers as tithes to create wines of consistent quality, which enhanced the abbey's reputation. So highly esteemed were the wines of Hautvillers that they fetched twice the price of wines of other villages.

| Via SF Chronicle |

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Rees Miller Estate

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Reese Miller Estate is  small vineyard of 18ac at Yea, just north of the Yarra Valley in Victoria, Australia. It is in a new wine region called Upper Goulburn. They specialize in high quality red wines, and have an annual production of 3,000 cases per year. They firmly believe that wine is made in the vineyard and concentrate our efforts there, limiting crops to about 2.0t/ac. The site is excellent for flavour, and vineyard management is designed to maximise this. They are also converting to organic/biodynamic management, to make sure their vineyard and in fact the whole property is kept in the best possible condition.They produce pinot noir, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. They use traditional winemaking techniques - open fermenters, hand plunging and pumping over, and basket pressing. They often use wild yeast and allow the wines to complete their MLF naturally.

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2002 Iron Horse Pinot Noir

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The most distinctive character of  Iron Horse Pinot Noir icon is that it goes beyond the bright fruit character typical of the Russian River area, showing deeper, more earthy flavors that are special to Green Valley. This is a very expressive, stylish wine. It has extraordinary depth of character and yet the weight and texture of the wine are so light and silky, it just glides across the palette.

The Estate Pinot Noir is made from six distinct sites on their Green Valley vineyard, harvested over a period of several days, resulting in ten different lots of wine, blended together to make a very expressive, stylish wine. Smoky oak intermingled with dark, ripe cherries, wild berries, clove, vanilla and woodsy, leathery scent offer the first heady sensation. The mouth feel is rich and supple. The bright, Green Valley acidity carries the flavors to a full, long finish.

Accolades: The 2002 received a 90-point rating in Wine Spectator. The prior vintage was described in the Dallas Morning News by wine writer Diane Teitlebaum as "jaw-dropping." It received a 90-point rating in Wine Enthusiast. San Francisco radio personality Narsai David praised it as "most elegant" on the KCBS Kitchen and it was listed as an excellent all around favorite for Thanksgiving in USA Today.

Buy it online at Wine.com icon

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Quality Price Ratio Wines: Vintage and Non-Vintage Champagne

At the high end, the 1990 Piper-Heidsieck, Rare Cuvée Réservee averages 93 points, and at $70, it is 38 percent of the average $186 price for a similarly scoring Champagne. At $31, the NV Duval-Leroy, Brut Paris Label averages 92 points and earns a 28 percent QPR. At $27, the NV Jacquart, Brut Mosaïque averages 91 points; with the average price of $109 for similar scoring-wines, it earns a 25 percent Outstanding Value QPR. At the value end of $22, the NV Piper-Heidsieck, Brut averages 89 and earns a 49 percent QPR. You will find these four wines and 234 more profiled in the QPRwines Vintage and Non-Vintage Champagne Issue.

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Wine Spectator top 100 wines 2005

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This year, Wine Spectator editors tasted more than 12,400 wines. Of these, more than 2,500 rated outstanding (90 points or higher on their 100-point scale). These were the initial candidates for the Top 100. They apply four criteria to determine the final selections: quality (as represented by score); value (as reflected by release price); availability (measured by case production, or for international wines, the number of cases imported); and an X-factor we call excitement. This years #1 was is the 2002 Joesph Phelps Insignia which we previoulsy reviewed. Go check out the other 99 on their list.

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Joseph Phelps 2002 Insignia

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Just Awarded Wine Spectator's #1 Wine of 2005! The 2002 Joseph Phelps Insignia icon is full of black cherry jam and allspice aromas, with luscious notes of boysenberry, ripe plums, toasted oak and tobacco. The exceptionally elegant mouthfeel coats the palate with layer after layer of tannin, followed by a lengthy, textured finish containing sweet oak notes and a hint of blackberry.

78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 7% Petite Verdot and 1% Malbec primarily from estate-owned vineyards in Stag's Leap and Rutherford, with additional fruit coming from independent growers.

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Iron Wine

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In Buenos Aires, Iron wine is the new name to drop in oenophile circles. The metal is said to protect the wine from the sun’s rays and create none of the side effects that a cork often produces. I am not sure where you can buy it but I would be curious to try it. Anyone who knows please email me.

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Paris Wine Bars

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The wine bars I most enjoy are those that open early in the morning, have an unpretentious neighborhood atmosphere, and feature good food, friendly people and reasonable prices. Most of the wines offered at these places sell for anywhere from 5 -10 Euro per glass and one can easily dine at most of these places for under 12 Euro. I especially those wine bars whose owners re- cognize that wine is meant to be drunk with food, and whose specialties are simple, bistro style dishes that can range from cold plates of cheese or charcuterie especially designed to match the wines that are being offered. My true favorites have no printed menus, and both the wines and the daily culinary offerings are hand-written on blackboards that are hung behind the bar.

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Argyle 2000 Brut Sparkling Wine Willamette Valley

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Perhaps the most exciting vintage for sparkling wine yet from Argyle! The aromas are a wonderful ebb and flow of fruit and mineral. Look for an immediate hit of peach with apricot fruit that flows into double baked wheat cracker yeast, then on into pear tart—vanilla crème. The flavor is multi-tiered and extraordinarily long. Apricot and pear fruit with a toasted yeast edge are balanced atop a crisp, mineral structure. It’s this marriage of fruit, bottle age, and mineral, which lend this Brut its creamy texture (especially with food!).

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Thanksgiving Wine Pairing

Choosing wines to enjoy with Thanksgiving dinner is easy. Why? Because it's hard to make a bad choice. Simply picking your favorite wines to share with your guests on this special day will make them thankful.

Or, let us give you some ideas. Because your guest list is as diverse as the dishes you plan on serving, we have supplied you with advice for red wines, white wines, rosés and sparkling wines to serve. You may prefer to serve all whites or all reds, or a few selections of each. You may want to start the evening with a sparkling wine and carry it all the way through the meal. And, don't forget how delicious rosés can be. Continue reading the extended entry for this years Thanksgiving wine selections.

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2002 - Vincent Girardin Chambertin Clos de Beze

The 2002 - Vincent Girardin Chambertin Clos de Beze  was just ranked number 1 by QPR.com. If you are unfamiliar with, QPRWines is a wine buying guide that groups wines by the major critics' average wine scores, then lists them by price and ranks them by value. They typically will review one region or varietal per month and send you a report via email.

Alas, the 2002 Vincent Girardin Chambertin Clos de Beze was ranked at the top Burgandy in the 2001, 2002 and 2003 Red Burgundy class. The 2002 Vincent Girardin, Chambertin Clos de Beze averaged 95 points, and at $136 it is 30 percent of the average $447 price for a similar-scoring wine. It ranked as the highest scoring wine with a list price of $136, but with a little searching on the internet you can find this wine for under $100 giving it an even higher QPR. Premiercru.net has it for sale for $99.

Tasting Notes: 98 points Spectator: "A brilliant red. Wild and feral yet refined, combining cherry, mineral, licorice, animal and underbrush notes with sweet, concentrated fruit and ripe, vibrant tannins. Shows an underlying energy, with a long, long finish. Best from 2012 through 2025. 45 cases imported.

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Jesus Juice

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In a full-bodied blend of blasphemy and ingenuity, a Los Angeles couple is seeking to market a wine called "Jesus Juice" that bears a label showing a Michael Jackson-like figure appearing to be crucified. "Jesus Juice" merlot, the label for which you'll find above, is the brainchild of actress Dawn Westlake and Bruce Rheins, a veteran CBS Evening News producer who headed the network's coverage of the Jackson child molestation case.

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Reidel 'O' Wine Glasses

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Maximilian Riedel (11th generation) presents his first glass series. The Riedel connoisseur will be surprised to find that this new glass series has something missing – there is no stem or base. So what is “O”? Riedel “O” is the new innovative take on the wine tumbler. In short: “O” is the ideal glass for every day use and for every occasion. It is fun, feels good to hold, looks trendy and it works!

The designs of “O” are based on the benchmark shapes of Riedel Vinum. For the first time in glass history the design parameters such as shape of tumbler, size and diameter of rim, have been fine turned to enhance the world’s most important grape varietals. “O” is available as: Cabernet/ Merlot, Pinot/Nebbiolo, Syrah/Shiraz, Chardonnay, Viognier/Chardonnay, Riesling/Sauvignon.

Buy them online @ Wine.com or Amazon.com

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The New France

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The New France. This groundbreaking book not only covers all of France's fourteen wine regions, but also includes full-color maps for each one, with unrivaled cartographic detail. Andrew Jefford has traveled extensively in each of France's fourteen wine regions to enable him to write the most exhaustive and authoritative book on French wine to date. Producer listings are a significant and important feature of the book, with up-to-the-minute research on terroir and its effect on the wines of each region, and how accurately it is reflected by the infamous appellation controle system. At the core of the book are the full-color maps of the key wine regions and how they look right now. Vintage information is available in chart form at the back of the book, and over 150 specially commissioned color and black-and-white photographs illustrate the secrets and inspiration of France's wine landscapes and its personalities.

Buy it On-Line at Amazon.com

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Beyong the Pour: Pairing Art and Wine Label Design

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BEYOND THE POUR: Pairing Art and Wine Label Design

October 21, 2005 to January 29, 2006

San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design

If wine is a delight to the nose and palate, it is our eyes that are rewarded in the art of label design. For a label is like an invitation: a beckoning—offering visual clues to the personality of the wine even before the bottle is corked. For this unique exhibition, Bob Nugent, independent curator and curator for Imagery Winery, has chosen six Bay Area designers and eight artists for whom the art of labelmaking is celebrated.

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Cloud Nine Composition

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Cloud Nine Composition contains five varieties: Tempranillo, Syrah, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot. The founders of Cloud 9 sought out vineyard sources throughout California that best captured the old-world flavors of Rioja, Rhone, Piemonte, and Bordeaux. Each varietal component was then blended together in such a way as to not blend out the individual flavors, but rather to intensify and complement one another. By strictly tasting the wine on its own, it is very hard to identify the varietal components due to the blend. However, it does contain a typicity of Composition itself, which is recreated with each vintage.

Plush and nicely focused, with modest tannic grip to ripe plum, cherry, floral and red currant flavors underscored by generous vanilla and coconut notes. I intially tasted and smlled the caberenet but after collecting my thoughts could pick out no particualr varietal.

I bought mine at KLwines in San francisco but it can also be bought online at Bevmo.com

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Verite 2001 Le Desir

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French for 'desire', Le Désir captures the grace and opulence of the best St. Emilion-styled wines. A Cabernet Franc and Merlot blend, with some Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine expresses extreme power, finesse and elegance. 2000 was the first vintage of Le Désir.

A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec, Le Désir represents the grace and opulence of the best St. Emilion-style wines. A deep claret color is followed by a sweet, black fruit nose. Le Désir’s complex character continues with ripe blackberry flavors that are surprisingly soft given the intensity of the fruit. This wine embodies a truly remarkable integration of wood, acidity, alcohol and tannin

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Sofia Mini Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine

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The Sofia Mini Blanc de Blancs is a sparkling wine with a distinctive blend as unconventional as the woman who inspired it and admittedly, it appears to be a wine more to be seen drinking with.

Comes in a beautiful six-sided box containing 4 mini cans, the packaging can pass off as a designer perfume box and the glittery rose red colour almost makes you think of Christmas.

The Sofia Blanc de Blancs bursts with rich pear, honeysuckle, and exotic passion fruit aromas. Crisp apple, melon, and juicy tangerine flavors fill the palate, with notes of bright lemon and honey evident on the refreshing, mouth-tingling finish.

The grapes for the Sofia, mainly Pinot Blanc, are grown in northern Montery County. Containing 11% alcohol content, the Sofia Blanc de Blancs bursts with rich pear, honeysuckle and exotic passion fruit aromas. Crisp apple, melon and juicy tangerine flavours fill the palate, with notes of bright lemon and honey evident on the refreshing, mouth-tingling finish.

It is best served ice-cold, out of the freezer, if possible. But seriously, drinking out of the can may be a little too gassy and dry for some. But for others it might be just right.

Buy it from Wine.com

$19.99 For the 4 Pack.

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Wine Aging Machine

 Hiroshi Tanaka has spent 15 years developing an electrolysis device that simulates, he claims, the effect of aging in wines. In 15 seconds it can transform the cheapest, youngest plonks into fine old draughts as fruit flavours are enhanced and rough edges are mellowed, he says.Without diluting the wine, the electrolysis causes a rapid rearrangement of the hydrogen and oxygen atoms around the alcohol molecules, which would normally take place over years if the wine were aging naturally.

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Appellation Wine and Spirits

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Now that wine is the alcoholic drink of choice  for people of the United States combined with the rapid growth of organic foods, an organic wine store was bound to spring up sometime and it has. Appellation Wine and Spirits has opened at 156 10th Avenue (19th Street) in Chelsea New York City. The store will focus on small producers and organic/biodynamic/natural wines. Started by former accountant, Scott Pactor organizes his selection by flavor – light to full – rather than by geography.  To further encourage the budding oenophile, he’s placed description cards in front of each bottle, offering a profile of the winemaker, flavor and aroma, as well as pairing and drinking suggestions. Every one knows what organic is, but what exactly is Biodynamic. According to the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association of America: "Biodynamics is a method of agriculture which seeks to actively work with the health-giving forces of nature.” An increasing number of winemakers are now switching over to organic and biodynamic methods of farming including Benzinger, Fetzer and Frog’s Leap. I don’t live in New York but if you do stop by and drink a bottle for me.

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2003 Amisfield Pinot Noir Central Otago

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The 14th installment of Wine Bogging Wednesday is my first. This months event was hosted by Jens at Cincinnati Wine Garage and he chose new new world pinot noirs. Jens definition of a new new world pinot noir is one that does not come from the old world nor the west coast of the United States. With that in mind I chose a fantastic pinot from Central Otago in New Zealand

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Acacia Pinot Noir 2004

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Region: Napa Valley- Carneros
Varietal: Pino Noir
Year: 2004
Price $23
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The deep, ruby-red color is an initial clue as to the intensity of this wine. The nose combines roasted coffee, Satsuma plum and allspice, with more subtle notes of red currant, licorice and wet earth. Concentrated flavors of plum, coffee and cola complement the textural finesse of the silky mid-palate. Muscular but fine tannins define the long, broad finish while vanilla, bittersweet chocolate and cherry complete the experience.

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Wine Blogging Wednesday #14

The next installment of the monthly virtual wine tasting event known as Wine Blogging Wednesday has been announced. It is being hosted this month by Jens of Cincinnati Wine Garage, and he has chosen New World Pinot Noir as the theme.

For this wine tasting new world pinots will encompass everything except for France and the west coast. I think I might try a pinot from the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, but we will see. Check back here for my review and visit Cincinnati Wine Garage if you want to see what everyone else drank

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