Tasting Notes

Tasting notes for individual wines.

Photo of Avignonesi 2013 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano in front of wine books

Dinner with Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

One of the highlights of my wine year in 2023 was an introduction to Avignonesi and their single-vineyard Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines. I had the good fortune of meeting Xiaowen DU, Marketing Manager and Assistant Winemaker at Avignonesi, and Master of Wine student in April. We connected via Zoom, she in Montepulciano with Avignonesi’s vineyards over her shoulder and […]

Photo of two Lang & Reed wines on a table with chairs in background

Lang & Reed and Rockhound — Two Wine Labels, One Family

Tracey & John Skupny established Lang & Reed with the expressed goal “to explore the distinct charms of Cabernet Franc and to craft wines that are both expressive and enjoyable to drink.” Their appreciation of Cabernet Franc came from years of experience as sommeliers. Their appreciation of Napa Valley’s vineyards drew them to the region and they moved to Napa […]

Photo of five Masciarelli wines on table with trees in the background

Masciarelli Winery’s Family Legacy Continues in Abruzzo

Gianni Masciarelli is described by his family as Abruzzo’s first “garagiste”. He began as a home winemaker with a 6-acre family vineyard in San Martino sulla Marrucina in Abruzzo’s Chieti province. His first vintage was 1981, in a simpler time. He was a forward-thinking man (he introduced new vine-training systems, French oak barrels and higher density plantings in the vineyard), […]

Bell Wine Cellars featured photo of eight small bottles of wine on a table with fountain in the background

Bell Wine Cellars: Cabernet Clone Specialists in Napa Valley

Cabernet Sauvignon is so well known in the wine world it is on a first-name basis with most wine enthusiasts. Napa Valley, a wine region also on a first-name basis with many wine enthusiasts, undeniably specializes in Cabernet. And true Napa Cabernet lovers know the vineyards and sub-appellations by heart, but what about Cabernet Sauvignon clones? That’s a less common […]

Hardys Tintara featured photo of two wine bottles on a table with trees in the background

Hardys Tintara: A Name That Recalls the History of Wine in McLaren Vale

The history of Hardys Wines reaches back nearly as far as the first vineyard plantings in Australia’s McLaren Vale and over the years Hardys has undergone about as many changes as the region itself. Hardys currently makes six ranges of wines under the Hardys label, most of which carry names from Hardy family history. Today we are tasting two wines […]

Photo of BARRA of Mendocino Fall 2023 Release Reserve Wines on a table

BARRA of Mendocino — Blending Family and Certified Organic Wines

How do you choose the wines you purchase? We all have different criteria, but the bottom line is the wine must taste good and it must be affordable. Wines made by BARRA of Mendocino definitely fulfill both of those requirements, and you get organic certification, family ownership and attractive labels for no extra charge! Today we’re tasting three new reserve […]

Featured photo of Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri and Bolgheri Superiore on table with trees in the background

Brunello + Bolgheri: A Taste of Tuscany’s Old and New

The story of Brunello di Montalcino and Bolgheri wines provide an interesting contrast between Tuscan regions that have achieved their prestige in very different ways — one through the embrace of tradition and a local variety and the other by throwing off tradition and embracing international varieties. The wines are very different, as you would expect. We received these wines […]