Archive for the ‘Terroir’ Category

Apr 11, 2013

Napa’s Underrated Appellation Shows Off Its Chops

Among all the various Napa Valley sub-appellations, some stand out more than others and possess more prestige than others. I’m thinking of Oakville, Rutherford, Stag’s Leap District, Howell Mountain and Spring Mountain. These are the top-tier sub appellations when it comes to recognition. Then you have the next tier of recognition: Atlas Peak, Mount Veeder, Calistoga, Carneros, Coombsville. Oak Knoll, Yountville. Lesser known, yet they are every bit a part of the vastly more famous and valuable and larger American…

Jan 25, 2013

Woe Is Sonoma Valley—For It Is Within the County

Decanter Magazine reports that a survey by the folks over at Wine Opinions has discovered that few wine buyers “differentiate between Sonoma County and Sonoma Valley and that using both on a label may even be a disadvantage.” A disadvantage to the folks making “Sonoma Valley” wine, that is. Of course it’s a disadvantage. And yet, after a “conjunctive labeling” law was pushed through the state legislature at the behest of the Sonoma County Vintners Association in 2010, it is…

Jan 18, 2013

The New Standard of American Wine

Where the topic of American wine is concerned, there are really only three approaches to writing a book on the subject: 1) Telling the history of American Wine, 2) telling the history of a palate’s interaction with American Wine and 3) describing the current state of American Wine. A new book set to be published by the University of California Press on February 1st, American Wine, takes the latter and probably most useful approach for the vast majority of consumers…

Dec 31, 2012

5 Wishes for Wine in 2013

Without hope, there is no sense in going on. Hope sustains us. Hope motivates us. With hope there is no action. Hope is the seed that grows into a wish. MY WISHES FOR WINE IN 2013 1. The Natural Wine Movement Reforms Itself I wish 2013 is the year that those who self-identify with and promote the “Natural Wine” movement finally give credit where credit is due and recognize all the artisan producers everywhere who have for years (decades, really),…

Dec 7, 2012

Saving the Idea of “Reserve” At Smith-Madrone Winery

Here’s something relatively rare in the wine business: An established Napa Valley winery that has never affixed the term “Reserve” to a wine. You can swing a dead cat in this Valley and knock over five or six “Reserve” wines before the feline makes a full revolution. But, say what you will about the term “Reserve” on wines (The term isn’t regulated”. “There are too many synonyms for the term”. “It’s just a marketing gimmick”), the fact is it can…