What does “sustainable” mean? Can you taste it in wine? When I picked up a bottle of Cline Family Cellars’ 2018 Sonoma County Syrah the other day, I chose it mostly for its $15 price tag, frankly. But a simple line of small print across the front label caught my attention and promptly sent me down a fascinating rabbit hole.
Cline’s dark-purple Syrah offers black plums, black cherries, and a whiff of tobacco leaf on the nose, leading into a mouth-filling black-fruit and black coffee flavor framed by fresh acidity. Its drying tannins and fragrant black pepper aftertaste are typical of Syrah. Interesting wine. Its origin in Sonoma County’s cool-climate Diamond Pile Estate vineyard and its subtle French oak imparts a surprisingly Rhône-like character for a California Syrah.
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Check prices and find vendors for Cline Sonoma Coast Syrah on Wine-Searcher.com.
When I read about the death of Georges Duboeuf earlier this month, I realized that it had been a long time since I had tasted one of the Beaujolais wines that this iconic producer made famous. I didn’t realize quite how long, though.
Georges Duboeuf’s 2017 Beaujolais-Villages shows blackberry and raspberry aromas with focus on the black fruit, but red fruit, raspberries and blackberries, becomes more prominent on the palate. Abundant, juicy fruit is well structured with fresh-fruit acidity, a whiff of stony minerality, and a surprising levels of firm but palatable tannins. A good, balanced Beaujolais and a versatile food wine.
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Check prices and find vendors for Georges Duboeuf 2017 Beaujolais-Villages on Wine-Searcher.com.
How bad are President Trump’s proposed 100 percent tariffs on French wines, cheeses, and other luxury products going to be? It depends on who you ask. As you can imagine, the wailing and gnashing of teeth from U.S. importers, distributors, retailers and wine consumers is approaching the apocalyptic.
There are many excellent wines in Tuscany, including those from the small family-run winery Fattoria Uccelliera, near Pisa, where a restored farmhouse offers a vacation destination. Recently Neil Duarte had an opportunity to taste some of them. Read article.
Holiday time is here! Hanukkah begins Sunday evening. The Twelve Days of Christmas begin on Wednesday. Kwanzaa starts next week, and Festivus, if that’s your pleasure, brings the Airing of Grievances and Feats of Strength around the Festivus Pole on Monday.
So! What shall we eat and drink for the holidays?
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Today I review two special, reasonably affordable wines for the holidays: De Chanceny Crémant de la Loire Brut, a typical Loire Valley Méthode Traditionelle sparkling wine made in the Champagne style from a Chenin Blanc blend; and Broadbent Madeira Reserve, a delicious Madeira, rich and sweet, an excellent value.
FIND THESE WINES ONLINE:
Check prices and find vendors for Broadbent Madeira Reserve on Wine-Searcher.com.
Thanksgiving is past, the winter holidays lie ahead, and visions of Burgundy are dancing through my head. But a quick trip to the wine shop for a wine-price reality check soon turned my thoughts from Bourgogne to reflections on Karl Marx or maybe Jesus, whoever first said “go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor.”
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