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Beyerskloof Stellenbosch Winemaker and Winery

Beyers Truter, runs this property in a partnership which includes UK based wine merchant Simon Halliday. Here he makes stylish and vibrant Pinotage in a light and elegant style and a dense and burly premium red, the Field Blend which combines Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot. This is in a rich chocolatey style with abundant evidence […]

Two Paddocks Central Otago

Actor Sam Neill (Jurassic Park – as well as more demanding roles) is a celebrity wine producer in a fashionable wine region. But don’t let that put you off as beneath the lightly irreverent façade there is serious intent here – and very good Pinot Noir. The wines are currently made by Dean Shaw at […]

Trinity Hill Hawkes Bay

John Hancock is one of the industry stalwarts in the modern era of New Zealand winemaking, who first helped establish Morton Estate as a quality leader in the 80s before moving on to form Trinity Hill in the 90s. He has always produced ripe, concentrated, fruit-driven wines – powerful and full, and sometimes oaky in […]

Napa’s Realm Cellars Purchases Hartwell Estate’s Winery

The owners of Napa Valley’s Realm Cellars have purchased Hartwell Estate Vineyards’ winery, caves and a portion of their vineyards, Wine Spectator has learned. Hartwell founder Bob Hartwell and his family will retain the brand, an onsite residence and the remaining vineyard parcels. The purchase price was not disclosed. Realm founder Juan Mercado said he […]

French winery fined for illegal rosé winemaking

France’s Vinovalie co-operative has been fined for illegally blending red and white wines and bottling the result as rosé. The tribunal in Albi, southern France, last week fined Vinovalie €10,000 for illegal rosé production, with a further €1,000 in damages. Three employees in managerial roles were separately fined between €1,000 and €5,000 for their role […]

Core Family Winery Santa Barbara County

Small, recently established Rhône-style specialist based in Santa Maria but sourcing fruit under a long term leasing arrangement from the high altitude Alta Mesa vineyard in Santa Barbara County. Planted at an altitude of 3,200 feet (just under 1,000 metres) to Mourvèdre and Grenache the site provides fruit for wines that have both of impressive […]

Clos LaChance Winery Santa Cruz Mountains

This operation founded in 1987 is producing an ever increasing number of wines. Most expensive are the Designate Series, details of which can be found on the winery website. Among the Reserve and Estate Series wines, Pinot Noir comes from the Santa Cruz Mountains, the estate Cabernet and Merlot are both good and well-priced. Recent […]

Cambria Winery Santa Maria Valley

Part of the giant KENDALL JACKSON Group, Cambria is its Central Coast flagship. It is by no means small with the total area under vine now some 565 ha (1,400 acres). Top-flight Pinot Noir is ripe and full of red-berry fruit, and particular noteworthy are a number of Pinot Clone listed bottlings as well as […]

Black Sheep Finds Winery Santa Barbara County

Peter Hunken was originally part of the Holus Bolus partnership with Sashi Moorman of PIEDRASASSI. A range of wines is now made under the Black Sheep Finds banner and they are very fairly priced. As well as the Holus Bolus Syrah, there are three single vineyard examples from the Watch Hill Vineyard in Santa Ynez, […]

Bernardus Winery Carmel Valley

The 20 ha (50 acres) of estate vineyards here are all planted to the Bordeaux varieties. Winemaker Mark Chesebro is committed to making traditional ageworthy reds. The Marinus, crafted from highdensity plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, is traditionally vinified with regular pumpovers for extraction. It spends 12 months in new […]

Anglim Winery Paso Robles

The Anglim’s small range of wines is mainly focussed on Rhône styles with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Zinfandel as well as Pinot Noir from the Fiddlestix Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills (see FIDDLEHEAD CELLARS). Output remains strictly boutique at around 3,000 to 4,000 cases per year with all the wines produced in pretty […]

Alma Rosa Winery Sta. Rita Hills

Richard Sanford is one of the most famous names of not only the Sta. Rita Hills but of Santa Barbara County. He was one of the founders of the great Sanford and Benedict Vineyard, a source of some legendary Pinot Noir and he also established the SANFORD Winery. He and his wife Thekla have now […]

A Donkey and Goat Winery Berkeley

An exciting and recently established producer providing juicy, exuberant Rhône style reds and Pinot Noir as well as rosé and both a Roussanne and a couple of Chardonnays. The Brandts worked in the Rhône and Burgundy before deciding to establish their own operation in 2003, which is warehouse based. The Grenache rosé is ripe and […]

Quintessa Winery Rutherford

This winery was originally part of FRANCISCAN. Quintessa is now solely owned by Agustin Huneeus whose other properties/partnerships include the Chilean winery VERAMONTE and the Sonoma Coast FLOWERS winery as well as a number of other projects. Illumination is a Sauvignon Blanc made from a small plot established at the Quintessa property. Faust is a […]

Plumpjack Winery Oakville

The Plumpjack winery is just a part of a leisure-based operation that specialises in food and wine and includes the luxury Squaw Valley Inn at Olympic Valley. Good to very good Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay are produced and Syrah has also now been added to the small range. The winery is nestled into the […]

Pine Ridge Winery Stags Leap

Founded in 1978, this is now a relatively large property producing just mid- to premium-range wines. There are some 80 ha (200 acres) planted in 16 different vineyard locations throughout the Napa Valley. Indeed, estate-grown grapes account for some 95% of the winery’s production. The focus is mainly on the Bordeaux varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon now […]

Patz and Hall Winery Napa Valley

The two partners here first worked for FLORA SPRINGS and during this association they determined to establish a small winemaking operation in order to produce top-quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The regular bottlings of Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast and Napa Valley Chardonnay are impressive but even more so are the small-volume runs produced […]

Paradigm Winery Oakville

The Harris’s sizeable vineyard property in the heart of Oakville underpins the admirable quality achieved at this excellent small estate. Production is very small at around 5,000 cases. Winemaking expertise is provided by Heidi Peterson Barrett and in the principal wine, the Cabernet Sauvignon (blended with Cabernet Franc and Merlot for harmony), she achieves a […]

Opus One Winery Oakville

This MONDAVI/Rothschild (Mouton-Rothschild) joint venture was conceived in 1978, the first vintage being in 1979 and remains independent from Constellation in its vineyard management and administration. At the time, super-premium Napa styles of Cabernet had not really materialised and Opus One was uniquely highly priced among its peers. During the 1990s the Mondavi Reserve Cabernet […]

Lokoya Winery Oakville

This is Kendall-Jackson’s super-premium label, producing distinctive Cabernet Sauvignons that showcase the best single-vineyard characteristics of prime mountain-grown fruit. The wines are vinified in the same facility as the flagship CARDINALE, which by contrast is a blend of sources. While vineyard source and low yields of 2–3 tons/acre are key to the great fruit in […]

Lagier Meredith Winery Mount Veeder

This property high up on Mount Veeder was purchased by Lagier and Meredith in 1986. Remote and seemingly far away from the humdrum of Napa Valley grape growing, the redwood forests nearby are home to mountain lions and coyotes. Originally one wine was made here, a richly textured, very pure and intense Syrah. The first […]

Kuleto Estate Winery St Helena

Pat Kuleto began establishing vineyards on this eastern Napa ranch in 1993 and there are now plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sangiovese, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay, all now released varietally, as well as some Muscat. A Rosato is also produced from Sangiovese. Production is approaching 10,000 cases a year, small in winery terms yet […]

Hess Collection Winery Mount Veeder

An unusual operation in that Donald Hess also provides visitors with access to his extensive art collection. The wines here are impressive, particularly the Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, produced under the Hess Collection label and vinified from estate Mount Veeder fruit. A new pricey top wine The Small Block Reserve from the Napa Valley is […]

Havens Winery Napa Valley

A good, small range of wines with the Bordeaux varieties a key element in the portfolio. Certainly rich and impressive when at their dark fruited best, the wines can be marked by oak. Bourriquot is a Bordeaux style blend, but Right Bank rather than Left, being a stylish blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. A […]

Grgich Hills Estate Winery Rutherford

Mike Grgich made his reputation at CHATEAU MONTELENA before going on to establish a formidable track record under his own label. All the wines are now coming solely from estate fruit and the vineyards are farmed biodynamically. Chardonnay is big, full and typically opulent in a classic ripe and forward tropical Napa style. It is […]

Frog’s Leap Winery Rutherford

John Williams established Frogs Leap with Larry Turley, who went on to make superstar Zins at TURLEY CELLARS. The emphasis of the marketing here is on fun, reflected in the labelling. Pull a cork and you’ll see what I mean. However, the wine is serious and can be very impressive. The style is for forward, […]

Clos Pegase Winery Napa Valley

A fairly extensive range is produced at this Calistoga winery, although our most recent tastings only cover the Napa Cabernet. The other key wines are the Mitsuko Vineyard Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. A special label Hommage Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are also released each year with the labels taken from works among the Shrem’s […]

Chateau Potelle Winery Mount Veeder

The Fourmeaux family origins are in the French wine trade but Marketta and Jean-Noël have made a very good job of producing classically original, stylish California wines. The VGS labels are particularly impressive, none more so than the Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon vinified from estate-grown mountain fruit. These are big, structured wines which need time, […]

Chateau Montelena Winery Napa Valley

Chateau Montelena Winery Napa Valley – One of a few genuinely historic Napa wineries dating back to the 1880s. Nowadays the winery is best- known for one of the greatest Cabernet-based reds from the US. Even in lesser years the Montelena Estate red has a reputation for real quality. It is a backward and powerfully […]

Domaine Serene Dundee Hills

This is a top-class producer of both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Considerable investment has gone into the estate and the results are impressive. Yields are kept to a minimum – around 2 tons to the acre – and the harvest is always carried out by hand. Minimal intervention in the cellars means the Pinot Noir […]

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