Cellar Notes

Vivanco: A Taste of Rioja

When you think of wine from Rioja you probably think primarily of Tempranillo. Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan) are the usual blending partners for Tempranillo in the region and these wines are great partners for roasted or braised meat. I love them with lamb. Red wine production predominates in this region of northern Spain that straddles the Ebro River, but […]

Locations wines beginning with C

Locations Wines That Begin With C

Dave Phinney is a worldly winemaker. His Locations range, known for their distinctive labeling that identifies the country of origin, includes wine from Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Argentina, California, Oregon, Washington, Texas and Corsica. Whew. That’s a lot to keep track of, and a lot of airline miles accumulated in a year. We have tasted most of these wines and […]

Backyard party wines

Everyday Reds for a Backyard Party

As the weather warms and summer approaches I admit I’m thinking more about drinking chilled white wines than red wines. But, there are those occasions when I do look for a delicious red wine. I’m thinking about backyard parties held in the cool of the evening that include grilled tri-tip, lamb chops, skirt steak or sausages. Add a tomato-based barbecue […]

Cecchi La Mora Vermentino featured

Cecchi La Mora 2014 Vermentino

This wine was received as a tasting sample. Vermentino is a white grape variety that is grown in northwestern Italy, France, Sardinia and Corsica. It is known by several names: Rolle in southern France where it may be a component in rosé, Pigato in Liguria, Favorita in Piedmont and Vermentinu in Corsica. The variety is native to Italy and produces […]

Aridus Malbec featured photo

2014 ARIDUS Malbec

This wine was received as a tasting sample.2014 ARIDUS Malbec — dark ruby in the glass with generous vanilla, caramel and ripe blackberry aromas. Rich flavors of ripe blueberries, plums and blackberries combine with hints of dusty earth, smooth tannins and a lingering finish. This wine is bright, fruit-forward and warming. 15.2% abv. $35 Red meat is the perfect pairing […]