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Domestic Selection: Chardonnay, 1986, Merry Vintners

The Merry Vintners is a small, 7,000 cases per annum, family winery in the rural outskirts of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. The winery was founded in 1984 by four partners; Charles Edwards and his wife D.J., their daughter Meredith and her husband Bill (Miller). Sounds quite ordinary so far… the catch is, Meredith (Mer­ry)… read more »

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This Matter of Cellaring (Part One)

What is cellaring ? It really is what you want to make rather than the vision it evokes. Fancifully, it generates the im­age of opening a cool underground area, where rows and rows of wine bottles are ageing, some with old labels and others with neck rings and special inventory codes. Let us leave that… read more »

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Adventures in Eating: Nutmeg Honey Cakes

Portugal is our destination in May, and precious articles stored in our “travel” file are reborn. Portugal was known for its Nutmeg-that was the monopoly the Portuguese had in the 16th century. So coveted was the nut­meg, that they distributed phony charts of the seas surrounding the spice Islands, hoping to steer foreign vessels towards… read more »

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Import Selection: Lee Poo Yee, NV. Armand Roux

Let me point out that, no, Lee Poo Yee is not from an obscure estate hidden away in the pictu­resque hills of some exotic prov­ince in China. It does come in­stead, from the familiar Loire Valley of France. This is a regional blend identified in the industry as a “negociant wine”. Though the term might… read more »

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Domestic Selection: Merlot, 1987, Columbia

In 1962 home winemaking buff Professor Lloyd Woodbourne, plus a few of his similarly inclined colleagues from the University of Washington, founded what is now Washington states oldest premium winery. At that time it was called Associated Vintners (six years ago the name was changed to the cur­rent Columbia Winery). Pooling their resources they bought… read more »

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Our Wine Tasting Process

Here is the gist of a typical conversation that has repeated it­self during the last year between Paul Jr. and myself (Sr.), since I moved to Julian (It is usually the following sequence of events). Paul Jr. goes to a trade tasting sponsored by a distributor, and does his thing of tasting every wine at… read more »

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Adventures in Eating: Meringue

In case you hadn’t heard, spring is here! That means, berries and lus­cious summer fruits are not far be­hind. Although, these days, seasons are all mixed up with fruits out of sea­son coming from south of the border orchards. Personally, I consciously refuse to purchase these fruits, be­cause my head tells me they belong to… read more »

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Import Selection: Rioja, 1985, Federico Paternina

During the 1880’s a vine plague, the root burrowing phyl­loxera vastratrix, spawned a mass exodus of several hundred French families from Bordeaux due south 150 miles to Spain’s uninfected Ebro Valley. An unprecedented surge in Spanish wine production ensued. The Rioja vine growing region got its name from a small tributary called Rio Oja of… read more »

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Domestic Selection: Fume’ Blanc, 1988, Lambert Bridge

The Lambert Bridge wine estate was once part of the ranch of a Mr. C.L. Lambert, who owned much of Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley in the early 1900’s. The acreage included a school, a store, a road and a bridge (the bridge was named after him and spans Dry Creek). So when winery founder… read more »

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What’s The Difference Between Aroma and Bouquet?

Last week, at a charity wine tast­ing, I overheard a conversation of two enthusiasts. Though rather interesting in scope it lead me to believe that the two characteristics “aroma” and “bou­quet” are often used interchangeably when further investigation shows a distinct difference between the two. The following is a reprint of the 9/89 newsletter with… read more »

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