wine tasting

Domestic Selection: RS Reserve, 1989. William Wheeler

Bill and Ingrid Wheeler, own­ers of the William Wheeler Win­ery, met while Bill was posted in South America as a U.S. Foreign Service officer. In 1970 they bought a 175 acre Sonoma County ranch. They planted their first vineyard (Cabernet Sauvignon) during 1973-1974 and harvested their first grapes in 1975 (these they “sold off”). They… read more »

Import Selection: Pinot Gris, 1991. Dunavar

This wine comes from the larg­est mountainous wine-growing re­gion in Hungary, Mátraalja, in the foothills of the Mátra mountains. Running from east to west, this mountain range offers ideal viticul­tural conditions to about 30,000 acres of grape vines which thrive on its sunny, south-facing slopes. There are three major quality strata in Hungarian wines. Vin… read more »

Import Selection: Cream Sherry, NV. Sanchez Romate

Over 200 years have passed since the prominent and enterpris­ing Don Juan Sanchez de la Torre founded this venerable sherry house. The company has distin­guished itself for the unsurpassed quality of its products many times over, receiving coveted appoint­ments as purveyor to the Royal Family of Spain, the Vatican and the House of Lords. The… read more »

Domestic Selection: Blanc de Noirs, Five Star. Sebastiani

Wow! Two superb Sebastiani bargain wines practically back-to-back! (Remember this September’s wonderful “Emilia-label” Cabernet #992A? It’s still available at only $7.29 ea., if you’re new and you missed it!) This winery has man­aged to stay in the same family’s hands despite tumultuous times; Prohibition, The Great Depres­sion, hostile take-overs and what­ever else has come along… read more »

Import Selection: Fondation, 1991. Barton & Guestier

The venerable French wine-shipping firm of Barton & Guesti­er (B&G) was founded by Thomas Barton in 1725, hence the proud name of this selection. Barton, of English/Irish heritage, having tak­en on a French partner, Daniel Guestier, was notably instrumental in developing the British Isles’ seemingly unquenchable thirst for Bordeaux wines. The massive market he helped… read more »

This Matter of the Color of Wine

Your first introduction to a wine is through the sense of sight. The appearance and color of a wine tells you, or warns you, about what’s coming. The first question we ask: “Is it clear?” Cloudy wines are undesirable. These wines could have several different problems; leftover sugar combining with yeast for a secondary fermentation,… read more »

Import Selection: Cotes du Ventoux, 1990. Jaboulet Aine

“I do not think that Gerard Ja­boulet has ever made greater wine than he has in 1990…a new quali­ty threshold has been attained…” Robert Parker Jr. When we tasted this wine, we had to agree. Paul Jaboulet Aine is another family owned winery. They have achieved the dual distinction of be­ing not only one of… read more »

Domestic Selection: Chardonnay, 1990. Maddalena

If you were to try and imagine the most irregular, most unnatural, most intriguing location for a win­ery, would you choose downtown Los Angeles? No, seriously, I mean downtown Los Angeles! In 1917, when Santo Cambiani­ca came from Padua Italy, winemaking in Los Angeles was truly in its infancy. He opened this win­ery and named… read more »

Member Inquiry: When is Wine at its Best?

“Paul, In the newsletters it says things like, Will complex over the next two years.’ How can I tell when a wine will be at its best? M.N., North Hollywood, CA As many factors are involved, this is a complex issue (no pun in­tended). Unfortunately, the main factor, is experience, and that you must gain… read more »

Import Selection: Blanc de Blanc, 1990. Domaine de Felines

When, between 1976 and 1984 the authorities of the Languedoc wine growing regions of France set out to change their image, the Herault district was one of the first to accept the challenge. Long known as France’s “wine reservoir”, the Languedoc needed a new image. The district of He­rault uprooted 74,000 acres of vineyard to… read more »

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