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Napa Valley

Comeback Merlot

in the latest April issue of Wine & Spirits Magazine, somms report a “modest uptick” in Merlot, the first since 1997. They cite Dan Davis of Commander’s Palace who said “the merlot comeback is coming. Now they just need to make a movie about it.”

Revelations From the Napa Valley Vintage Tasting: 2013, 2014 and 2015

During Premier Napa Valley, the trade have an opportunity to blind taste through three different vintages of 15 Napa Valley producers’ Cabernet Sauvignon wines. My original interest in attending this tasting in the past was to see if there was discernible vintage character, but now I also seek out brand styles, consistency and quality as they leap out of the glass vintage after vintage, and back-to-back.

The Wine Lover’s Grape Jelly

The 2016 Napa Harvest is underway. At home, I hand-harvested my own single-vineyard, dry-farmed Zinfandel grapes last week and wanted to make a jelly with a little more distinction and less sugar than most. So I thought like a winemaker. I fermented them.

Standing On The Shoulders of a Giant: Robert Mondavi

Robert Mondavi left a great legacy to the Napa Valley but one of his most enduring gifts may be the core values he drove into his own team of successors, each of whom have also changed the world of wine in their own way

Beyond Big Chardonnay: Rombauer Uncorked

Rombauer Vineyards still makes those rich, full-bodied and buttery Chardonnays that many people love but at a tasting yesterday, I found that they do so much more. If you haven’t visited them lately, it’s time to revisit and discover their wines all over again.

Judgment of Grgich

Mike Grgich is renowned for having crafted the Judgment of Paris Chardonnay but what sets apart award-winning wines from truly great wines? The ability to age. I recently attended a vertical of Grgich Chardonnay from the 1970s to today, and this is what I found.

Dive Into Downtown Napa’s Global Street Food Scene

Singapore may have its hawker fare, LA its food trucks but here in Downtown Napa, we have our own little “pod” of street food, wine country style! These humble eateries have a strong POV with food that is quick, inexpensive and always packed with flavor.

For Rutherford Vintners, the Cool 2011 Vintage Was a Winegrower’s Year

For many Rutherford vintners, the cool 2011 vintage marked by an unusually rainy October was something they’d never seen in their careers. It was a year that vintners became winegrowers in the true sense, making key decisions in the vineyards, at harvest and in the cellar that would ultimately highlight the best aspects of the cool vintage: purity and freshness.

Stags Leap District: A Legend in Its Own Time

At a Stags Leap District tasting April 26 commemorating its 25th anniversary as an AVA, vintners shared their perspectives on the evolution of the appellation since the 1970s. Constantly innovating, constantly adapting, vintners continue to move the region forward with but one goal: to preserve the legend of Stags Leap.

Carneros Cool Factor

Carneros has a cool climate perfect for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. But at a recent Carneros Wine Alliance tasting, I learned the region is cool in more ways than one. It’s a region where a confident new generation embraces tradition in a search for authenticity, and the old garde hews to its free-thinking, but no less authentic, ways.