Tag: wine review

Left Coast Cellars 2017 Estate Rosé

I literally just read four separate articles in four separate (real) publications about rosé today. While some industry experts still call this pink wine thing a fad, others argue that it’s here to stay. The thing is, rosé is a style of winemaking — not a wine. And like all things, there is always a chance that it can go out of style. This may be true — eventually. Right now winemakers are doing interesting things with their grapes — varying skin contact time, using lesser-known varietals, creating some blends that are down right “old-world” and others that are undeniably “new-world.” There are so many styles, enough to suit all kinds of palates. So, whether or not the style stays popular in the mass market, rosé wine, itself, isn’t going anywhere. I think. I also think that this Left Coast Cellars 2017 Estate Rosé is worth a sip…so let’s dive in, shall we?

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Ferrari Carano 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

I’ve only had Ferrari Carano twice in my wine drinking life. No joke. So, even though I love the Chardonnay as a daily drinker, and their GSM proved a beautiful date night addition, I really had no idea how special Ferrari Carano is until a friend insisted we visit while at last year’s Wine Blogger’s Conference. (Cheers Lori!) Well we each did a tasting and the line up was fab. Some of us bought several bottles, some of us just one. And the one bottle we all had in hand when walking out the door? This Ferrari Carano 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

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Left Coast Cellars 2017 Estate White Pinot Noir

I first heard about white Pinot Noir from my friends and fellow writers who specialize in wines from the Northeast. Every picture I saw, every post I read, was about this “weird wine” made north of California. When I finally got my hands on one — Ghost Hill Cellars Pinot Noir Blanc — it was, indeed from the Willamette. And, lo, here we go again. I was excited to see this, to me, obscure expression of the varietal in my latest delivery from Left Coast — eager to taste another winery’s take on the theme. But now I have to wonder, is this exclusive to the Willamette? Or are there any California wineries producing this as well? Left Coast has done a good job of keeping my interest (and taste buds) piqued…

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Smith Madrone 2015 Riesling

So, not too long ago I voiced my frustration with California — or “new world” in general — Riesling. I feel like the majority of us have a stigma surrounding German Riesling, stereotyping it much like Gewürztraminer as a sweet wine. This is not without its merit, as the country is technically known for that style of white wine, but it’s because they were (originally) catering to the palate of the American demographic. And, so, I don’t know if it’s because of that Rhine region interpretation of our tastes, or our initial misunderstanding of our California terroir, but it seems like a lot of American Riesling were, up until a point, created with sweetness in mind.

Well thank goodness that this seems to be dissipating. California, even just within the last 10 to 20 years has seemed to develop a new understanding of terroir in regards to what grapes grow best in which areas. So, Riesling from Napa? I don’t believe I’ve had it before. And I, of course, had some doubts and hesitations. But that being said, Smith-Madrone has quality wines made by people who’ve been working to understand the land for decades. So, if Smith-Madrone says Napa Riesling, then I am, without a doubt, tasting Napa Riesling. Here we go…

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McKahn Family Cellars 2016 Viognier

I’m a Rhone girl. That’s a fact. I love Rhone-style wines and I think that winemakers who are truly focused on those varietals and understand where in California these grapes grow best, craft some of the most beautiful wines. California is no Rhone. Indeed, our West Coast, New World, expression is much more different than what you’ll taste from France. And I love that. I love that we have something that is simultaneously etched in wine history, but uniquely our own.

Charles McKahn, winemaker and co-owner of McKahn Family Cellars is one such winemaker whose passion is infectious. Though his family’s winery is based in Livermore, he’s used his years of experience working in wineries all over California to understand the variations of terroir and sources his Rhone grapes from regions that both grow quality fruit and showcase distinct character.

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