Louis Jadot Chablis 2014

Let’s talk Chablis! Chablis (a Chardonnay dominant wine region) is the most northern part of France’s famed Burgundy region. Although summers in this area can be hot, winters are long, harsh, and often bring frost well into the month of May — something vineyard workers often have to battle. But, because of these cool climates, the Chardonnay grapes yield more acidity and less fruit-forward characteristics.

Chablis is on the east edge of the Paris Basin, where soil dates back over180 million years ago to the Upper Jurassic period. The vineyard soil type is predominantly calcareous (chalky and clay-like), giving the wine a very distinct minerality — what is often called “goût de pierre à fusil” (tasting of gunflint).

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Oso Libre Osezno Zinfandel 2012

After trying Oso Libre 2012 Carnal, a Rhone style red blend, I was over eager to see what Oso Libre could do with a single varietal. Lucky for me the boys over at Oso, Chris and Jeff, sent me their 2012 Zinfandel as well. And I’ll just say straight away here that this second offering from Oso Libre didn’t disappoint — not only did it further my fascination with Zinfandel, but it fueled the fire I call my Passion for Paso.

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Charles Smith Wines Kung Fu Girl Riesling

You know Charles Smith wines by the flamboyant pop-art style labels that adorn each bottle. They’re eye-catching, yes, so those wandering the wine aisles at a loss are sure to pick up one or two for — if nothing else — amusement. I’ve tried every one of these under the Charles Smith Wines label and have found that the only one (to my palate) that lives up to its exterior is the Kung Fu Girl Riesling — this wine kicks ass…

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Landmark Vineyards Overlook Pinot Noir 2014

I was so overtly impressed with Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay, I was thrilled to find their Pinot Noir amongst the wines at Safeway. I’ve always had a fondness for Pinot Noir — it’s lackadaisical, easy drinking on the palate despite the high-maintenance, somewhat fiddle-y nature of the delicate grape. Like a ballet dancer that makes dance moves look so effortless when, in fact, every muscle in her body is working overtime. So I already have an appreciation for winemakers who work with Pinot. But what I particularly love about Landmark is that, even with their, shall we say, average-consumer-grade wines, they put in the time and effort to hand harvest, hand sort, and barrel age until native yeast takes effect during fermentation. And it’s that time and effort that raise their wines’ taste, texture, and overall quality, making a wine that’s not just fun and easy to drink, but a true testament to the craft of winemaking and to the joy of wine appreciation.

landmark-vineyards-overlook-pinot-noir

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