russian river valley grapes
Random Musings

Reflections on Two Days in the Russian River Valley

I first started visiting the Russian River Valley when I moved to Sacramento in the early 1990’s, and have developed an absolute affinity for the beauty of the area that is best experienced through a slow drive along Westside Road. Here, there’s a good chance you can stop in at a world class winery like Rochioli and have the tasting…

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wine cellar
Buying Wine, Random Musings

The Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings Revisited

I published the inaugural version of the Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings last November. My intent was to rank domestic wineries based on buzz, “it” factor, excitement and the intrigue generated among wine collectors and consumers. I’ve ranked the wineries below and indicated whether they’ve moved up the list or down. I’ve also highlighted wineries new to the list and those…

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Bottle Notes, Zinfandel

2004 Turley Howell Mountain Zinfandel Rattlesnake Ridge – Bottle Notes

Turley Wine Cellars was founded in 1993 by Larry Turley and specializes in small lots of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah from some of California’s most historic and treasured vineyards. Rattlesnake Ridge is located on Howell Mountain adjacent to the well known Black Sears Vineyard. The vineyard has volcanic soils with considerable amounts of iron and white ash. Crimson in color…

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Bottle Notes, Pinot Noir

2006 Rochioli Estate Pinot Noir – Bottle Notes

Rochioli is one of the true pioneers in Russian River Valley, with a winemaking history dating back to the the late 1950′s. Although best known for their world class Pinot Noir, Rochioli also produces remarkable Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. I’ve blogged about Rochioli previously in Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings and the Fab 5 of Mailing Lists. Rochioli recently published a…

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home wine cellar
Bottle Notes, Merlot

In Defense of Merlot

It’s become fashionable to bash Merlot. Will Lyons of the Wall Street Journal wrote: “What struck me was how different the vintages were in style, how poorly some of the Merlots showed and just how stunning the Cabernet Sauvignons were.” From Tim Fish of The Wine Spectator: “The 2010 California Merlots just aren’t much fun to taste. Another tough day…

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