Cellar Notes

Notes about the wines we have tried recently.

Garofoli featured photo

A Return to Marche and Garofoli Wines

It’s always fun to revisit newer vintages of wines that we have tasted in the past. It’s an opportunity to evaluate a winery’s continuing quality and I always hope to taste the nuances that can come with a new vintage – though this can be a stretch for me. It’s also an opportunity to impress upon my tasting memory the […]

Kay Brothers Amery Vineyard Block 6 Shiraz

Today we are enjoying a taste of Australian wine history. It isn’t every day one has the opportunity to taste wine made from Shiraz planted in 1891 and made by the same family whose ancestors planted those vines, but that is the story of Kay Brothers Amery Vineyard Block 6 Shiraz. We received this wine as a tasting sample. Herbert […]

Celebrating Biodynamic Wines with Benziger Family Winery

The Benziger name is one you likely associate with wine in Sonoma County. You might even know the Benziger family made a commitment to sustainable, organic and biodynamic viticultural practices in Sonoma long before the ideas were fashionable. Today we are tasting two Benziger Estate wines that are Demeter-certified Biodynamic® and celebrate the family’s dedication to biodynamic viticulture and winemaking. […]

A Taste of Navarra Wines

Today we’re taking a quick trip to northern Spain’s Navarra DO (Denominación de Origen) situated south of the the Pyrenees Mountains. The region is known for its bright rosé wines, a small amount of white wine and predominantly red wines made using Tempranillo and Garnacha along with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. These are wines for every season to serve with […]

Bonavita Rosato, Terre Siciliane IGT

Few wines really speak of a region or variety to me (no fault of the wines, but rather a lack of skill on my part), but this wine did. As I sipped it initially I felt certain it was Nerello Mascalese. Something about the combination of fruit and earth just made me think of the wines we tasted around Mt. […]

Viteadovest Bianco, IGP Terre Siciliane

We never pass up the opportunity to taste skin-contact white wines. We enjoy everything from Pinot Gris with only a few hours of skin contact to other varieties that might have months of skin contact resulting in an orange wine. The flavors of these wines can vary significantly depending on the grape variety, length of skin contact, fermentation vessels and […]

Kenwood Vineyards: Wines for a Change of Seasons

I usually spend September in denial about the end of summertime. By the time October rolls around I’ve come to terms with fall and actually look forward to a change of seasons. Thanks to Kenwood Vineyards that transition has been especially easy, and delicious, this year. We received a group of wines as tasting samples that perfectly bridged the change […]

Flora Springs All Hollows’ Eve Cabernet Franc

Flora Springs in Napa Valley’s St. Helena goes all out for Halloween and with good reason. Their beautiful stone winery is considered one of Napa’s ghost wineries, which means it was built between 1860 and 1900, was abandoned for a time and then rescued and renovated to become part of the modern winery at Flora Springs. Today we’re getting in […]

Sipping Flora Springs Soliloquy

The story of Soliloquy, a Sauvignon Blanc clone unique to Flora Springs and a wine of the same name made using those grapes, is a story of family and perseverance. California Wine Month is the perfect time to tell it’s tale. We received this wine as a tasting sample. Flora Springs Winery is a family-owned winery that sits at the […]

Sipping Vermouth

Today we are sipping something a bit different for us – vermouth. We recently tasted a vermouth crafted in California and two made in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Both are infused with botanicals and fortified, but they taste very different. We received both as tasting samples. I used to think of vermouth as exclusively an ingredient in cocktails, I […]