Wine, a work in progress

The 2018 season was an excellent vintage in every way! A Napa quote for 2018, "Like a dream”. Everything about this harvest, and quite frankly, the entire growing season, was ideal."

Other California wine growing regions reported a great 2018 harvest too. Weather was well behaved. If yields are what the early reports are saying, we've got some great pricing coming for this vintage.

After a tasting of some of the varietals that are somewhat "off the beaten path", it seems certain warm climate varietals, like Sangiovese & Tempranillo, are getting pushed out of the California wine lineup. Taste a few and see if you agree. Bring 'em back!

Many of the 2015 Northern California red wines are proving to be outstanding and the fruit is so rich. Another banner vintage is proving itself.

Want us to check out a wine or winery? We go on a lot of wine tours, so send an email with your suggestions.

Wine shipment photo

Recent Grape Encounters

More at PhoenixBites

Duckhorn Merlot: The Full Expression

Now here’s an example of a red wine that really typifies the character of many 2016 Northern California reds. It is the Duckhorn Wine Company’s 2016 Merlot. Because it is a recent release, it is in many bottle shops and large stores, like...
Posted 11/19/19

Qupè Syrah: A Rhone-inspired Californian

Something that’s under advertised about wine is that Syrah (aka Shiraz) creations can vary almost as much as Pinot Noirs. Although this has a lot to do with where the grapes were grown, the winemaker has a huge role to play in the ultimate style and character of a vintage...
Posted 10/5/19

Hatch Chile Pairing: Trefethen Dry Riesling

If you’ve bee browsing the grocery stores this month you may have noticed that the Hatch Chiles are back! This has become a regular thing as summer ends, especially the pre-roasted ones at AJs. And one of the “wine things” we do annually is to find this year’s choice for...
Posted 9/5/19

Summer Refresh: Trader Joe’s “Petit Reserve” Sauvignon Blanc

Recently, we were talking about the ever-so-important “Hot Weather Quaff”. But just what does that mean in the world of wine? To move this along, we took an informal poll and here are the characteristics that were agreed upon as essential...
Posted 7/30/19

Qupè Chardonnay: Seafood pairing with style

When seafood is on the menu, wine pairing often comes to the forefront as a “make it or break it” situation. This makes having a list of wines that are more sure bets with seafood very important, especially when pulling off an elaborate meal...
Posted 6/19/19

Aperture Cellars: New Tasting Room Soon & On Sanctuary’s Wine List

It was an incredible growth story at the small Sonoma winery “Aperture” just outside of Healdsburg, California that caught our eyes this past month. This Sonoma County winery offers a unique mix of Bordeaux-inspired wines. In short, this wine-story is...
Posted 5/29/19

Spottswoode: A St. Helena in-town winery

Wine tasting establishments near the town center of St. Helena Calif. are normally right off Main Street, but for those willing to explore a little further, there are also working wineries within walking distance. And many of these wineries feature estate vineyard property right alongside...
Posted 4/26/19

New @ Hillside Spot Restaurant: Baileyana Pinot Noir

Oh yeah, the “Wine Wednesday” experience just received another excellent option in the Ahwatukee Foothills. Namely, it was a pleasant surprise to see that Hillside Spot just added Baileyana’s “Firepeak” Pinot to their wine list. This is a prime example of...
Posted 3/14/19

A Napa statement for red blends: Mi Sueño El Llano

When Napa Valley winemakers work with grape varietals and put their own “twist” on them, the results are often bold. With climate and style added to the mix, the results can be something to raise a glass to. The results for many are deep, dark, and even...
Posted 1/18/19