Cellar Notes

Notes about the wines we have tried recently.

Photo of a bottle of French Sparkling Cider and Crémant de Bourgogne on a table with lemon tree in the background

Sipping French Bubbles, But It’s Not Champagne

Today we are sipping French bubbles that are not champagne — one is a crémant and the other a non-alcoholic sparkling cider made in Normandy. We have tasted Crémant de Bourgogne before, but sparkling apple cider from Normandy is new to us. We received both as tasting samples. Cider has been made in France, primarily in Normandy and Brittany, since […]

Gurrieri Frappato bottle and glass of wine on a table with lemon tree in the background

A Taste of Sicily: Gurrieri Frappato

Unless you are familiar with Sicilian wines you might not be acquainted with the Frappato grape variety. It is indigenous to the southeastern corner of Sicily near Siracusa and Vittoria where it is mainly used as a blending partner for Nero d’Avola in Cerasuolo di Vittoria — Sicily’s only DOCG wine. But Frappato can also stand on its own as […]

Featured photo Geisen 0% Sparkling Brut bottles, glass and cork on a table

A Tasting of New Zealand’s Giesen 0% Sparkling Brut

No and low-alcohol wines are having something of a moment. There are more options than ever for those looking to eliminate or significantly reduce their alcohol consumption without completely abstaining from wine. Giesen 0% Sparkling Brut is one such wine. We received this wine as a tasting sample. Giesen Wines was founded by three brothers who immigrated to New Zealand […]

Photo of Presqu'ile Winery Estate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wine bottles on table with garden in background

A Tasting of Presqu’ile Winery Estate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Presqu’ile is a French Creole word meaning almost an island and is the name given to the Murphy family compound on Henderson Point along the Mississippi Gulf Coast that had been a gathering place for several generations. In 2005 that idyllic place was forever changed by hurricane Katrina, but the fond memories of family gatherings and hospitality remain. When the Murphy […]

2019 Ettore Chardonnay Pure, Mendocino, California featured photo

2019 Ettore Chardonnay Pure: A Cellar Note

This post brings you a second taste of Ettore organic wines grown and made in Hopland, California, the southernmost town in Mendocino County. All Ettore wines are estate grown in their Sanel Valley Vineyards, which are certified organic by CCOF. We received this wine as a tasting sample.   2019 Ettore Chardonnay Pure, Mendocino, California — light golden with aromas […]

photo of The Pairing Current Release wines: 2021 Sauvignon Blanc, 2018 Red on table

The Pairing: A Taste of the Current Release Wines

The Pairing is part of a very fancy family of wines that includes JONATA and The Hilt. The Pairing wines are sourced from the same vineyards as JONATA and The Hilt, but from blocks that are too young or don’t fit their vintage style. That’s good for consumers because The Pairing wines are made with the same attention to detail, […]

Trio of Terlato white wines photo

White Wines to Help You Keep (Your) Cool

All things considered we have had a relatively mild summer in Central California.  After recently experiencing the heat and humidity of a heat dome in the Midwestern US, we have a new appreciation for temperatures in the mid-90s with relatively low humidity. We also have an appreciation for sipping chilled white wine on a warm evening and today are sharing […]

White Bordeaux Wines Perfect for A Summer Meal

Bordeaux is best known for its dry red wines, but Bordeaux is also home to delicious dry white wines. With temperatures soaring this summer, here and in much of the Northern Hemisphere, a crisp white wine is just what I want in my wine glass. We recently tasted three dry white Bordeaux wines, sent to us as tasting samples, that […]