Patel: Small Winery with Big Taste

When Robert Parker awards your first wine a 95, you know you’ve made something special. But don’t let that number bias you toward Patel Winery. It’s more of a treat if you taste the Napa wines without any preconceived notions. That’s how I came to meet owner Raj Patel, at last year’s High Museum Atlanta […]

Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

The Faust of legend sold his soul for knowledge and worldly pleasures. Fortunately for us, there is no need to make a deal with the Devil to enjoy the Faust 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The man behind the California legend is Agustin Huneeus, best known for Quintessa. With a career in wine that has […]

Chimney Rock: Showcasing Stags Leap

Driving along the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley’s Stags Leap District, you can’t miss Chimney Rock’s bright white Cape Dutch-style estate. Though the building was influenced by architecture in South Africa (where the original owner worked as an executive at Pepsi Cola), the wine has always been true to place. “Our wine should paint a […]

Surprising Lake County Wines

By Maxine Howard What is so surprising about Lake County wines? The surprise is that they’re interesting, well-made, and reasonably priced. Twenty-one wineries from Lake County (just north and east of Napa) showed off their recent vintages at a tasting in San Francisco in September. We only had a chance to sample about a third […]

Newton The Puzzle 2008

Newton Vineyard’s The Puzzle 2008 is a red wine in which all the pieces fit perfectly together — both the blend of grapes and the balance of tannins, alcohol and acidity. This Bordeaux-style blend has an elegance that is reminiscent of its French counterparts. It is rich yet soft, with layers of flavor that gently […]

Discover Temecula: Briar Rose Winery

Tucked away in a valley in southern California is Temecula, one of the state’s lesser known wine regions.  While it may not yet have the name recognition of Napa or Sonoma, Temecula is home to more than 30 wineries.  At just 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles and 60 miles north of San Diego, Temecula […]

AG Pick: 2006 Pier Asnas Langhe Rosso

With the many varieties and styles of Italian wine, it’s hard to know how to pick out a good bottle.  Fortunately I had some help finding the 2006 Pier Asnas Langhe Rosso. I heard about this Italian red from Michael Bittel, wine connoisseur and owner of Sunset Corners Wines & Liquors in South Miami.  Michael, […]

Organic Wines at Heller Estate Vineyards

It used to be that the word “organic” was associated with wines that didn’t taste so great.  But at Heller Vineyards, organic and delicious are not contradictory terms. Heller Estate Organic Vineyards was one of the last wineries I visited during my trip to California’s Central Coast.  It’s located in the Cachagua region of Carmel […]