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The only producers you’ll need to know this year
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At W&S, our critics turn the process around and recommend wines first, then rate them. The rating is just an index of how strongly we want you to know about the wine. That might seem like a subtle distinction, but it’s a completely different way of approaching the process. It means that we focus our anenlion on a small fraction of the wines we taste, describing them as clearly as possible and providing specific reasons for each recommendation.
Slightly off the beaten track in western Santa Rosa, DeLoach is best known for its Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs, among them the much-lauded Pennacchio Vineyard edition and the Estate Collection Pinot Noir.
The road twists and turns along the coast, rising and falling, tossing up spectacular scenery around every curve, the Pacific undulating below. This is California as you always pictured it−except it’s purely the untamed version, not the California of Malibu and the Beach Boys. We’re taking the coastal road rather than the highway north from San Francisco to the Sonoma and Napa wine regions, drinking in the seaside sights before we get down to the serious business of winery touring and wine tasting.
Food & Wine The Gastronaut Files Recommends DeLoach
87 top winery tasting rooms to visit
Pinot noir is one of the oldest red grapes. It is grown around the world, but is most often associated with the Burgundy region of France. In the United States, California grows the most pinot noir, followed by Oregon.
“Where Napa Valley and Dry Creek Valley represent warm growing regions for Zinfandel the Russian River Valley – most of it, anyway – is cool. Russian River Zins tend to be lower in alcohol and higher in acidity, especially in our recent run of cool vintages (2010-12)…”
Press Democrat wine writer Peg Melnik scopes out restaurant wine lists around the North Bay, looking for good value and the occasional splurge. This week’s picks.
“There is something magical about an early summer sunset. As long, bright days evolve into cool, refreshing evenings, the play of light from the low-hanging sun splashes a dramatic array of pink tones across the sky. While others see images in the clouds, we take our inspiration from the myriad shades of pink and dream of a long summer filled with many bottles and glasses of rosé wine…”
The ultimate winner in the first annual Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge, held last week in Santa Rosa, was the Beaulieu Vineyard 2009 Tapestry Reserve, a classic red Bordeaux blend.
Two dozen judges sifted through 930 wines in the blind tasting, then voted to find the best from throughout the heart of Wine Country. When their scores were tabulated, a total of 121 wines received gold medals, six won Best of County awards, five won Best of Class and the Beaulieu red was judged to be the biggest winner of all, the “Best of the Best…”
“In a world where gourmet candy bars boast they’re bacon-flavored, it’s not a stretch to say people are passionate about pork. And there are plenty of wine-lovers who insist pork is at its best with a glass of pinot noir…”
“Senior editor Tim Fish has been pouring his way through flights of California Zinfandel as we gear up for our annual report on the varietal, scheduled to run in the June 30 issue of Wine Spectator magazine. This week’s selection focuses primarily on single-vineyard Zinfandels throughout Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties…”
In 2012, members of our tasting panel reviewed more than 15,500 wines from around the world. Tasting that many wines isn’t easy, but keeping track of them all and remembering what to buy next time you’re at your favorite retail shop is an even more difficult task.
Need some wine help? Here’s 5 recommended California white wines, plus a bonus selection from the Columbia Valley.
The year 2012 had its fair share of great wine values due in large art to the influx of new and original domestic blends. And, as always, Europe continued to export extraordinary values geared towards food lovers. Sit back and enjoy, for these are the best your dollar could buy this yea
Here are 42 American wineries that share a commitment to great wine. Each stands out among its peers for its range of exceptional wines– wines that spoke to our tasting panels and our critics in some compelling way.
Thanksgiving can be D. R. A. M. A. Trying to choose ” the perfect wine” to go with your Thanksgiving feast can add to that drama. Trying to find a single wine to please everyone from grandmother to the newly minted drinking-age college boyfriend your daughter has brought home is a challenge.
Harvest is a magical time in Sonoma. Straw-coloured hills are bathed in a golden light and the lush landscape of wine country is bursting. Tractors hum between manicured rows. Trucks, weighed down under bins of grapes, amble along rural roads.
Pickers work late into the night under the glare of artificial floodlights to pluck grapes cold from their vines. And cellars smell of newly fermenting juice…
Visiting Sonoma County during grape harvest in late summer and early fall is a prime time to connect with the beauty of this sprawling California Wine Country area (bigger than Rhode Island), the rhythms of agricultural life, the fabulous food, and the passionate professionalism of its grape farmers and winemakers. To go behind the scenes and meet the people who make the wine, I joined 24 people from around the country at Sonoma County Grape Camp for two and a half days of immersion in grape harvesting, winery touring, cooking and wine pairing, and blending.
These California wineries have recently set their sights on Pinot Noir, the state’s fastest risign red. Shifting gears is often difficult in wine, yet this trio shows how deftly it can be done.
In a world of fast food and one-size-fits all sensibilities, how often does something feel made for you? The “Made for You” section celebrates those itesm that are created with such high quality of hand workmanship and degree of customization that they become individual to you.
We’ve found a fantastic spot just over an hour from San Francisco featuring great wines, Michelin star food, boutique hotels with a river running through it… that’s right… the Russian River! Come along as we discover the great businesses transforming this once sleepy resort destination!
New wines rise above the rest.
Scouting for the tastiest summer sippers.
Here are 10 of my favorite values from the past year. I’m sure I missed a few. Any suggestions? I selected wines that had good availability and cost less than $20.
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DeLoach graces the cover of Wine Enthusiast magazine and is one of the “California Pinot Noirs for Any Budget” picks for $15 or less.
Here are some pinots I’ve enjoyed recently, all below 14 percent, and a heck of a lot less pricey than their brawnier cousins.
Wine Buyers Guide
Wine labels may fade, but they rarely disappear. Most find new owners or reinvent themselves…
This report features a delicious mixed bag of wines from the Golden State, with recommended red and white bottlings in a variety of styles.
Zinfandel was the first wine wine that Cecil DeLoach made. But since Jean-Charles Boisset took over in 2004, the winery has become known for pinot noir and chardonnay as well…
Our Wine of the Week, DeLoach Vineyards 2009 California Heritage Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($13) is earthy, spicy and brambly yet delicate at the same time…It’s a good party wine, especially when paired properly at the table. Buy two bottles and invite friends to dinner.
Youth is revered in our culture and sometimes even in our wine
culture. Our wine-of-the-week winner is the DeLoach Vineyards, 2009 California Cabernet Sauvignon Heritage Reserve at the budget-savvy price of $13.
Some of us might still be reluctant to open a bottle of wine when we just want one glass, despite the wide availability of vacuum pumps, stoppers and all sorts of preservation systems (see my picks for best wine preservation methods here). The availability of premium wine in bag-in-box format greatly resolved this issue enabling us to pour just the one or two glasses we needed.
Some U.S. wine producers are taking a tip from their European cousins and are shipping restaurants and bars wine in kegs, instead of bottles. For consumers it should mean better wines at cheaper prices.
With a few clicks, keyboard taps or screen swipes, you can help a community gardent in Denver be one of five winners…
The heir of a long European winemaking tradition, Jean-Charles Boisset brought a chemical-laden vineyard back to life with organic gardening techniques and lots of TLC.
Pinot Noir grapes are headstrong and demand to be pampered. It is, in fact, pinot noirs’ big personality that presents both the challenge and the reward of producing it, according to Brian Maloney of DeLoach Vineyards.
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