Wait, Just Wait

11PNGV-bottlshot

Like all Made-in-the-USA endeavors, when modern, California wines flamboyantly swaggered onto the global stage in the last half of the twentieth century they did so with bravado. Brash, full-bodied reds dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon alongside richly-textured, lavishly-sexy, oak-driven whites crafted from golden Chardonnay  have resoundingly defined the “new world” style for the last half of the century. Today, […]

The (Golden) State of Pinot Gris!

BreggoPinotGris

Alsace, and its eastern neighbor Germany, harvest many classic grape varieties that have left an indelible mark on many of the planet’s other great wine regions. And so it is, along one of the more rugged and majestic landscapes to be found in the world, where great stands of gigantic, ancient redwoods hug the spectacular […]

Saint-Emilion – The Right Bank Revisited

10182414t

This summer I revisited a truly delightful vintage from Bordeaux’s library of compelling harvests. While somewhat eclipsed in stature by that of 1982 – a storied crop that put Robert Parker on the wine lover’s vinous map – the 1983 vintage offered a truly compelling experience with great potential for longevity that was on display […]

The Power of Pinot Noir

Sea Smoke Botella 2010 Pinot Noir

While California has built it’s reputation on king Cabernet (think Sauvignon) and continues its perpetual love affair with the world’s most feted, golden grape Chardonnay, its viticultural landscape of the last few years has witnessed a burst of diversity. Today, as the region’s body of wine artisans continues to build world-class domains producing bottlings across a […]

Nopa – Decidedly Diviz!

Nopa Wine Director - Chris Deegan.

The Divisadero corridor, a pulsing San Francisco neighborhood north of the Panhandle is for those in-the-know a culinary and entertainment hot spot anchored by the eponymously named Nopa, one of the best-loved and most-consistently creative dining spots in the city. Heading up Nopa’s precision-crafted and highly-expressive wine program is Chris Deegan. I recently spoke with him about […]

SlaveToTheGrape In Motion

June, the first act of a familiar estival trilogy, at times seems solely to exist as a place holder – one designed to energize an eager audience patiently anticipating the excitement and invigorating heat of yet another summer. Minds begin to fill with fanciful thoughts of leisure in exotic places – of white, sandy beaches, mountain […]

Stags Leap District Shows its Colors

masthead_visit

The year is 1852. Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire has just become the 14th president of the United States. California is a newly minted addition of the American Union, its Sierra foothills teeming with wild-eyed fortune seekers clawing at a purported cache of inexhaustible gold bullion. In the northern valleys of Napa and Sonoma, waves […]

All You Need is Love – and Bubbles!

Valentines Day, like many modern translations of history has not been immune to whimsical adaptations of reality that have transformed its significance from dubious religious rite to that of a full-blown celebration of the affectionate impulses of humankind. It is believed that this most intimate of mid-February observances has its enigmatic roots in late 5th […]

The Republic of Venice – part two.

phpThumb_generated_thumbnail

In the Republic of Venice part one, the delightfully expressive wines of the great northern Italian district of Soave took center stage. Yet, in the land of Shakespeare’s Capulets and Montagues there is another dominant voice of the vine that has celebrated the Veneto’s rich wine heritage for centuries – Valpolicella. Flanked to the west by […]

The Republic of Venice – part one.

This is the first in a two-part series on the wines of the Veneto. The Republic of Venice, through commerce and conquest, flourished for nearly eleven-hundred years! From the late seventh-century until its collapse in the late eighteenth century the Venetian city-state was one of great power and influence. Its strategic position at the intersection […]