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Showing posts from March, 2009

Howell Mountain Uncorked: Red Cap 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

It has been said; “Those who bring sunshine to the lives others cannot keep it from themselves.” ~ James M. Barrie it’s this precise sentiment which I found expressed at the Howell Mountain Trade tasting I attended just a couple weeks ago. There were a few new kids on the block, one of them being Red Cap Vineyards, name was not familiar to me and I thought I have to check this place out.

So I went over and talked to the owner Tom Altemus who said, "Welcome to Red Cap Vineyards" not literally of course but definitely in spirit. Red Cap Vineyards, the launch of Tom’s third successful career.This was their inaugural release to the public which was unveiled at the HowellMountain Vintners & Growers Trade Tasting held at the PetersenAutomotiveMuseum, a great setting to showcase some of the most astounding cars in the world, along with world class wines.

I was curious about the label art so asked Tom, “where did the idea of kid in the swing come from”. He explained it this way, …

Family Winemakers Tasting for the Trade

Back on March 15th I was invited and attended the inaugural Family Winemakers of California Trade Tasting here in San Diego, CA. There were over 200 wineries pouring that day, which made it difficult to choose where I would spend my time. I decided to not visit the wineries for which I was already familiar and instead focus on the wineries which I knew of their reputations, but never had an opportunity to taste their wines first hand. It was a very good experience. I had the opportunity to sample many wines which I had previously only read about or had just scant familiarity. I was able to meet many of the winemakers, network with distributors and other ancillary individuals whom I volunteered with during the check-in procedure. Getting the word out about my Cuvée Corner Wine Blog was beneficial and I look forward to writing a few in depth posts on the those whom I was impressed with the most. Of the hundreds of wineries represented a couple jumped out with depth and complexity and im…

Cuvée Corner Wine Blog Key Board

Howell Mountain, A sense of place!

The Howell Mountain Trade Tasting yesterday at the panoply Petersen Automotive Museum in LA, I came across some very good juice being bottled in the The Howell Mountain Appellation of Napa. I thought in advance of my reviews of the gems I discovered, that I would share a video, produced for The Howell Mountain Appellation by designTHIS!, LLC , which I found to be very informative and captivating. Due to the fact that there have been some technical difficulties in bringing this feature to my blog directly, I have posted the direct link.

I wanted everyone to see story first hand before I post my wine reviews. There were a few newcomers to this event and I can't wait to tell you about what should be an upcoming winery. One to keep an eye out for, because soon as these reviews get posted a price increase could be on the way as well a rush of wine lovers like myself to grab a few before they are gone. I look forward to all comments and feedback regarding this movie. Until next time che…

A Temecula Wine Tasting - Episode #573

I've added this video from Gary V.... because he helps augment my review of the Temcula Wine Scene and lends his own unique perspective. He also reviews some of the wineries I was unable to make it to last month. His review was done last year. These reviews are very current and I hope they are helpful in planning your next visit to the Temecula Valley. Until next time, cheers everyone!

Mount Palomar 2004 Cloudbreak Gold Medal Winner

We are living in the era of change, and like it or not there are many changes afoot in our American culture. Some have embraced it, while others are coming kicking and screaming. Speaking of change, specifically in Southern California which seems to accommodate both restless individualism and personal obstinacy whose two features are not equal, but the culture of wine has a place for both features. It is in this vein, I bring to you the Mount Palomar Winery in the heart of what I call the, "Temecula Wine Scene".

The change I speak of has nothing to do with political will or class struggle but instead it is a change in direction from merely producing quaffable wines and instead making strides toward producing wines which I will hardily recommend to friends, family and to you my readers. The second thing is the willingness to embrace varietals which are best suited for this area. This is the kind of change I can believe in!
I am very glad we stopped there, and for me it was my …

In my backyard, Temecula wine country reviewed!

Hello everyone,
I've been asked so many times, "what's good in Temecula?" My standard reply is that I really don't know because frankly I've been ignoring this region in my backyard. For many folks who know me, this comes as a shock! It is only an hour to hour an a half away from my place, yet I have not really taken too many opportunities to explore the Temecula Wine Scene all that often. I've been there maybe three or four times at the most. This trip I decided to be more evaluative of places we intended to visit and we found two out of eight places we visited that in my opinion were serious about producing some quality juice.

Having spent only 2 days there is hardly enough time to cover the some 24 different wineries in the valley, but my wife and I were able to visit at least 8 different wineries. This typical of our tasting schedule, we find our palates become tired after the 4th place and realize it is time to take a break.

That said, there were a fe…

Wine of the Week: Bodega Norton Malbec Reserva 2006

 'Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup.' Paulo Coelho
Have you ever just caught the glimpse of what you thought was an attractive person on your peripheral vision? You just know somehow, a second look will confirm your suspicion, this was the case with this wine, a real stunner!  I've been wanting to write a review on Argentinian Malbec for some time now, sadly I never really came across one which I could recommend as hardily as the one pictured above. 

Quite the tasty pop and pour, I uncorked this one last night, Bodega Norton Malbec Reserve 2006  and it was dressed to impress. Folks let me tell I was nearly ready to run up to my PC and write this review, right then and there. But after uncorking the bottle a wave of dark black fruits wafted delightfully towards me and I knew almost immediately that I had a amazing taste on the way.

In the glass the core was a dark ruby and fading away to the rim a veil of crimson. As I gave it a swirl the aromas o…

Sea Smoke Botella 2006, Pinot Noir

Do you love Pinot Noir? I really love it so much that a large part of my cellar is devoted to Pinot Noir. One the uncommon characteristics of this wine is the fact that it is not blended with other wines to deliver the complexity of flavors and aromas normally associated with making many red wines.

This wine has really taken off in and largely due to the influence of the movie Sideways popularity. I am glad because it deserves the limelight, but at the same time sad because now everyone wants to get a piece of the Pinot-pie and it's driving up the prices. Which is part of the reason why I've now kicked my allocation to the curb. 

It a grape worthy of our attention and fascination. There are many expressions of this varietal found around the wine world, but of course the most famous expression ofPinot Noiris from its homeland in Burgundy. 

That said, I have been a real fan of Sea Smoke Cellars ever since first encountering it at a wine tasting here in San Diego. There winer…

Your Spring 2009 wine allocation is ready!

Ahh yes, Springtime is in the air in Sunny So-Cal! My apologies in advance for such a glib sentiment! That said, many of the wineries around the state here in California and elsewhere are getting ready to ship out the the class of 2007. Some of course still may have a few 2006 hanging around but for the most part the push is on to get the "class of 2007" out of the barrels and into your homes, cellars and your empty wine glass. Are you excited, scared, or loathing with anticipation? Have you ever run into the allocation list? Some of the more "cult" wines or boutique wineries have what they call allocation lists. Possibly meaning two things, you can either buy all the wine you can carry whilst (love that word) in the tasting room or you can sign up to be a waiting list club member (which in the future will give you purchasing privileges online in the spring most often). Examples of wineries of which I am familiar with who have what I call "heavy allocation mod…