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Chaqteau la Bessane

On the other side of the pond, blended wines are the norm. Back when we Americans regularly slaked our thirst with locally brewed ales, the French, Italians and Spanish were imbibing rich, well-developed blends of cultivated grapes grown to complement each other in finely crafted wines.  Today’s vino babble focuses on one such wine from Read more…

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A Trilogy of Blended Pleasures

Red blends, at least the well-made, well-balanced ones, tend to be synergistic affairs, with the wine’s strength equalling more than a sum of its parts.  All Bordeaux and most Super Tuscans are blends.  In reality, California “single varietal” wines usually don’t contain more than 75% of the stated varietal.   One that recently hit my Read more…

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Sustainability

I’m no farmer. Most wine drinkers aren’t. Most of us don’t know much about the various agricultural practices employed by wineries. Increasingly, many of us are rightfully concerned about the actual impact of how what we consume is produced. We are increasingly concerned about the deleterious affects that corporate agricultural practices have had on the Read more…

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Battle of the "Poor Man's Conundrum"

Most fans of domestic white blends are familiar with Caymus’ second label Conundrum, a unique propietary blend of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, muscat, semillon and viognier. Wildly complex and vibrant with honeysuckle, peach/apricot nectar and floral-citrus notes, the precise blend changes with each vintage.  A lesser known, and lower-priced wine is the Chenin Blanc-Viognier from Pine Read more…

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Go for the Gold

While the trend in California chardonnays is towards more tropically flavored wines, featuring dominant pineapple/mango/guava/citrus notes, the big trophy chardonnays still reign supreme. Think Kistler, Far Niente, Newton Unfiltered, Grgich Hills, Rombauer, Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch.  On the other end of the spectrum are the “new chardonnays” of Central and Southern California.  Many chardonnays, especially from Read more…

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