Category Archives: Red Blend

Grace Patriot | 2013 Tempranillo 91 Points | 2012 Tempriano 91 Points | Two Alluring Variations on a Classic Spanish Variety

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We first introduced you to Grace Patriot Wines and their El Dorado Tempranillo (the outstanding 2007) in 2013 (see our feature review at the LINK), and since then the Grace Family have continued to demonstrate that this classic Spanish variety … Continue reading

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Experiencing the Greatness of Priorat at Clos Figueras

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We recently had the pleasure of visiting Clos Figueras, a winery and restaurant located in the tiny, yet famed, Priorat region of northeastern Spain. Spending time and tasting with proprietor Christopher Cannan, getting a first-hand look at his winemaking operation, … Continue reading

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2015 WINERY & WINES OF THE YEAR: Derby Wine Estates

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As 2015 draws to a close, the National Wine Review is naming Derby Wine Estates in Paso Robles, California, as our Winery of the Year, and Derby’s 2011 Fifteen 10 White and 2010 Fifteen 10 Red as our Wines of … Continue reading

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G.D. Vajra | Rosso | Langhe | Italy | 2012 | $15 | 87 Points

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“Recommended” Family-owned and operated G.D. Vajra, established by Aldo and Milena Vaira in 1972 in the Barolo appellation of the Italian Piedmont, crafts wines of exceptional expression and purity. We recently had opportunity to tour the winery with Isidoro Vaira, … Continue reading

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PICK of WINE COUNTRY: Selections from Derby Wine Estates | Paso Robles | California

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The Rhone Rangers are American wineries with a passion for producing wines from traditional Rhone grape varieties. This past June, twenty three Rhone Rangers assembled in Washington, D.C., to showcase the best of their Rhone-style varietal and blended wines. Some … Continue reading

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PICK of WINE COUNTRY: Lailey Vineyard | Niagara-on-the-Lake | Ontario | Canada

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During our spring break trip to Niagara Falls — on the Canadian side — we ventured up the picturesque Niagara Parkway into Niagara wine country and paid a visit to Lailey Vineyard. Lailey is located just outside of the town … Continue reading

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PICK of the RACK: Francis Ford Coppola Winery | Director’s Cut | Cinema | Sonoma County | California | 2009 | $30 (Avg.) | 90 pts

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Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley (not to be confused with Coppola’s Inglenook Estate — the crown jewel of California winemaking history located across the mountains in Napa Valley) produces a broad array of wines over a wide range of price points. If you … Continue reading

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PICK of the RACK: Château de Nages | Cuvée JT (White) | Costières de Nîmes | Rhône Valley | France | 2012 | $20 | 91 pts

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Costières de Nîmes AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) is the most southerly wine appellation of the Rhône Valley.  The region is nestled between two neighboring winegrowing regions — Languedoc to the west and Provence to the east — and is situated in close proximity to the Mediterranean sea to … Continue reading

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PICK of the RACK: Bodegas Santa Ana | Unánime | Gran Vino Tinto | Mendoza | Argentina | 2009 | $25 | 89 pts

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Here’s a robust red for your next outdoor barbeque, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Malbec (25%), and Cabernet Franc (15%) sourced from high-elevation vineyards in San Carlos on the southern end of Mendoza’s Uco Valley.  It’s  full-bodied and fleshy, with aromas of cherry … Continue reading

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PICK of WINE COUNTRY: Grace Patriot Wines | El Dorado County | California

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We recently had the pleasure of visiting the Grace family at their winery — Grace Patriot Wines — in El Dorado County, California.  Their property lies just a few miles east of Placerville, the county seat, in an area known as “Apple Hill” … Continue reading

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PICK of the RACK: Campo Alla Sughera | Arnione | Bolgheri Superiore | Tuscany | Italy | 2008 | $50 | 93 pts

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Aromas:  black cherry; cured tobacco; pencil lead; anise; violets; cedar Character: dry; full-bodied & firm; elegant & velvety; smooth tannins & racy acidity; assertive oak;      14% ABV Flavors: black currant; red bell pepper; cured tobacco; clove; dried thyme; toasty oak Food Pairing: medium & sharp … Continue reading

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VIRGINIA WINE: Highlights from Virginia Wine Month at the “Taste of Culpeper”

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October is Virginia Wine Month, and the time is ripe for visiting Virginia wineries, learning about grape growing and winemaking in the state, and most importantly, tasting Virginia wines.  In celebration of this special time of year — and in … Continue reading

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