Cellar Notes

Notes about the wines we have tried recently.

Shelter Spätburgunder featured photo

2016 Shelter Winery Spätburgunder: a Taste of Baden

Shelter Spätburgunder is the middle-tier Pinot Noir made by Hans-Bert Espy and Silke Wolf at their small winery in Kenzingen, Baden. The couple farm just a few hectares of vines north of the Kaiserstuhl where the soils have transitioned from volcanic to limestone and loess. Growing conditions are a bit cooler here too, thanks to the influence of the Black […]

Sosie Wines First Things First featured photo

First Things First: Sparkling Roussanne from Sosie Wines

Sosie (so-zee) is a French word that translates to twin or spitting image. The name perfectly describes Regina Bustamante and Scott MacFiggen’s vision of making Northern California wines in a French style. Thanks to travels through France their palates are Old World in style, having been influenced by Bordeaux, Rhône Valley, Burgundy and Loire Valley wines. Given their affinity for […]

Two Shepherds Pastoral Rouge featured

Two Shepherds Pastoral Rouge: A Red Wine for Any Season

William Allen is a Rhône specialist who makes a range of red, white, skin-fermented and rosé wines at his Two Shepherds winery. And he recently released his first canned wine. He sources grapes from small often organically farmed vineyards. William’s winemaking style is hands off. He uses native yeast fermentations and neutral oak aging. He and partner Karen Daenen harvested […]

Quintessential fall red wines featured photo

Looking Forward to Fall Wines: Cabernet, Malbec and Petite Sirah

Summer feels like it’s beginning to slip into fall. The days are getting noticeably shorter and mornings are damp and cool. The smells remind me of walking to school in the mornings during my grammar school years. And after a summer of sipping mostly white and pink wines I’m beginning to think of sipping a few more red wines. Any […]

Kenwood Vineyard featured photo Rosé and Jack London Red Blend photo

The Certainty of Kenwood Vineyards Wines

During uncertain times a glass of wine can offer not only a sense of calm, but also the comfort of familiarity. Cue Kenwood Vineyards. Today we’re sharing two Kenwood wines, both sent to us as tasting samples. Kenwood Vineyards is a familiar name to wine drinkers in California and beyond. Kenwood Vineyards was established in 1970 as a family business […]

Windrun Pinot Noir featured photo

Windrun Pinot Noir: Delicious Memories in the Bottle

Wine has the undeniable ability to elicit memories of people, occasions and travel. Sometimes it is a particular variety, other times it’s the name of a wine that is so memorable. In the case of Windrun Pinot Noir it is both the name and the variety that hold special memories for me. So, as you might imagine, I’m pleased to […]

2017 Theopolis Vineyards Pinot Noir, Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County photo

Theopolis Pinot Noir, Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County

I hope you are ready for another wine day celebration, because Pinot Noir Day (#PinotNoirDay) is right around the corner on August 18. We want to make sure you have Pinot Noir in your glass so, to that end, today we have a recommendation for you: 2017 Theopolis Vineyards Pinot Noir, Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County. Theodora R. Lee is the […]

Black Stallion featured photo

An Introduction to Black Stallion Estate Winery

Black Stallion Estate Winery is situated not far from the Napa River along the southern end of the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley’s Oak Knoll District. The winery makes its home in what was a large equestrian center called the Silverado Horsemen’s Center. There is more history to tell about the family that owns Black Stallion Estate Winery and the […]

Chalk Hill Red Blend featured photo

Chalk Hill Estate Red

For some reason I have always had it in my mind that 100 percent varietal wines should receive more respect than blended wines. Maybe because the varietal name appears on the label as opposed to red or white blend. Or maybe it’s because, from a non-winemaker’s point of view, it appears varietal wines are more challenging to make because the […]

Weekend wines featured photo

Wine Your Way Through the Weekend

It’s Friday and that means it’s time to plan for the weekend. Like many of you we will spend time working around the house, in the yard and relaxing. Today we have three wines that will take you from relaxing after your work week on Friday, to chilling after house and yard work on Saturday and finish the weekend with […]