2015 Markham Sauvignon Blanc

I love Markham Vineyards wine. They have some pretty schmancy stuff that can cost a good dollar (well worth it in my book, though), but then they have stuff for everyday consumers like myself. And, what I like, is that I don’t feel like they skimp on the affordable wines. When I taste a $10 dollar wine from Markham, I still feel like I’m sipping something special. And so it is with Markham’s 2015 Sauvignon Blanc.

(more…)

Rhone Style Red: 2014 Leverage Acceleration

I’m beginning to have a new appreciation for the Paso Robles AVA and that may be because I’ve found a new wine love: Rhone-style wines. I went to this year’s Rhone Ranger seminar and tasting, as well as the Paso Robles seminar and tasting, and what I’ve learned is that the Paso Robles AVA most mimics the terroir and climate of the French AVAs known to produce Bordeaux and Rhone.

Well, it was at the Rhone Rangers seminar where I first met Jason DiFrancesco of Leverage Wines who introduced me to a great line-up of his productions — everything from a “Big Boy” Rose to a soft and supple Grenache. So when he kindly gifted me some of his newest releases for sampling and reviewing, I knew I was in for a treat.

(more…)

Ancient Oak Cellars 2013 Chardonnay

I’m walking down the wine aisle of my local Safeway, filling up that six-pack wine crate so I can get my awesome bulk-buy discount. Who do I run in to? Ken Moholt-Siebert — owner of Ancient Oak Cellars. I originally met Ken at SF Pinot Days where I tasted two very different Pinots, both of which were noteworthy (in fact, I encourage you to read my notes).

So knowing the love they put into their Pinots, I was quite curious to try Ancient Oak’s Chardonnay. Ok, this wine is so special, even those lame Safeway-provided dixie cups couldn’t hide the depth and complexity of flavors. I had to buy a bottle — and I’m not going to lie, I drank it that night…

(more…)

Testarossa 2013 Brosseau Vineyard Pinot Noir

Testarossa wines have a special place in my heart. Not just because I was married at their beautiful Los Gatos winery (although…that doesn’t hurt…) but also because their wines are just…so…good. In fact, one of the main reasons I chose to get married at Testarossa was because I fell in love with their wines. And what better way to celebrate love than with love?

Their wines are friendly and approachable and yet have such depth and complexity — casual and serious drinkers alike are bound to enjoy.

I’ve been a wine club member off and on for several years, so I’ve got a good few bottles of Testarossa’s finest in my cellar. And any time a birthday, anniversary, or I just feel like an occasion calls for something nice, I pull out a Testarossa and try to accompany it with a complimentary meal.

Today, let’s celebrate with a bottle of Testarossa’s 2013 Brosseau Vineyard Pinot Noir.

(more…)

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Indian Wells Chardonnay – A Cellar Keeper

Casual wine drinkers — let me know if you can relate. You’re in your local, where? I dunno — BevMo and they’re having that awesome 5 cent sale. Or Safeway/Vons and you grab one of those 6-pack cardboard crates so you can get an awesome discount on your liquor needs (yes needs). Or Costco because, let’s not lie to ourselves, their wine section is legit. Ok, wherever you are, you’re there buying somewhat in bulk because that’s how the discount works. But, like, what do you stock up on that you won’t regret later?

If you’re like me, you’ve found yourself in the predicament more often than not. And, again if you’re like me, you probably have your own list of wine staples. Well here’s mine: Chateau Ste. Michelle…umm…almost anything! My local Safeway almost always has the basics: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Reisling, and Pinot Noir. All good quality wines under $20. But the absolute standout is the Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Chardonnay.

Now, my Safeway doesn’t always have it. So when I find it, I basically load that 6-pack crate full of it. It’s something I always want in my cellar. It’s…a Cellar Keeper…

(more…)