I came across Barton Family Wines during my most recent Paso Robles visit. It’s absolutely one of my top recommended wine stops when visiting the area. Winemaker and proprietor, Joe Barton, took me through a full line up of his current releases (including those in his Grey and Grey Wolf line). I loved that his Chenin Blanc had actual body and substance; appreciated that his rosé still had a bit of tannic red wine quality; and was impressed by his confidence to bottle a single-varietal (face-puckering) Tannat. But what truly turned me on, the wine I walked away with, was the Barton Family Wines Hot Blooded — a single-varietal bottling of 100% Counoise.
I don’t want to be Australian-ist (?), but when I saw that this Cabernet Sauvignon was an Australian Cabernet Sauvignon, I didn’t even take a first look at the vintage. I knew I was in for something bright, fun, and ready to drink now. Besides, what could go wrong with a bottle that says “smile” in such large font?
All of Workman/Ayer wines come out of the central coast, specifically Santa Barbara County. It’s an area I’m only beginning to familiarize myself with. While it’s not the “Rhone Ranger” station like Paso Robles, it seems Rhone varietals do thrive in the area — and winemakers are doing interesting things with those grapes. Just take a sip of Workman/Ayer 2014 Ipso Facto white wine…
A once tucked away, secret of Silicon Valley, Alexander’s Steakhouse is now one among many trendy spots along the new Main Street, Cupertino. Those familiar with the restaurant’s history may remember the days when it boasted a Michelin Star, from 2011 to 2013. The loss of that star, now almost four years ago, did little to mar the elegant dining standards and the upscale reputation Alexander’s Steakhouse worked so hard to achieve. But a change of venue, just within this past year, has meant a change in attitude. And one has to wonder if that change has affected restaurant experience for better or worse — if at all.
This is a continuation of a story. To understand the story behind Luna Vineyards Sangiovese Riserva, I recommend first taking a look at the story behind the Luna Vineyards Sangiovese Classico. Though the two wines celebrate the same vintage, they come from markedly different vineyards. While the Classico hails from Napa Valley’s Atlas Peak, Oak Knoll, Oakville, Calistoga, and Pope Valley vineyards, the Riserva is, well, more reserved. She’s a one-vineyard kind of lady and her exclusivity results in a graceful outward attitude.