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By Glen Frederiksen For me, one of the saddest stories to tell about Napa Valley is the elimination of many varietals initially planted there in favor of the red Bordeaux varietals Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Of course, winemaking is a business, and there is more money to be made by planting these varietals.
2012 Migration Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley One might get the impression that Migration winemaker Neil Bernardi enjoys the fermentation process. Consider that for this 2012 vintage, Bernardi oversaw just shy of 50 individual fermentations, creating an equal number of “lots” from which to craft this Russian River Valley cuvee.
2012 Migration Chardonnay, Searby Vineyard, Russian River Valley You’re in for a Rued awakening when you smell this wine — and we mean that in a good way. Anyone familiar with Chardonnay clones would take one whiff of this Searby Vineyard bottling and know that the vineyard is planted with the Rued clone — known for its strong floral component.
2012 Migration Chardonnay, Dierberg Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley When it comes to Chardonnay, most renditions are rich and fat (the favored style in California for the last two decades of the 20th century) or bright and refreshing (embraced by most Burgundian vintners).
Although the broad “Sonoma Coast” AVA is listed on the label, this wine was made from grapes grown in a single vineyard in Green Valley — a small AVA within the Russian River Valley AVA of Sonoma County. Green Valley is the coolest growing area in the Russian River Valley, although the vineyard sits in one of the warmer sectors of that area ...
We have been fans of Kenwood Vineyards’ “Artist Series” Cabernet Sauvignon for more than a quarter-century. As with all wines that have been around for a while, some years have been better than others, and there were a few vintages when the wine did not live up to the label — but only a few. In recent years, this special bottling has been on a winning streak.
2010 Kenwood Vineyards ‘Artist Series’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County The painting on the label, crafted by Keith Wicks, is titled, “Sonoma Serenity.” That’s not a bad two-word description of the wine inside, a blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Sonoma Valley and Alexander Valley, and 4% Merlot from the Dry Creek Valley.
By Bob Johnson It had been a while — way too long, in fact — since Glen and Mary Frederiksen and I had visited Pahrump Valley Winery, which is located about an hour from the Las Vegas Strip in the southern Nevada city of Pahrump.
2010 J. Lohr Cuvée Pom, Paso Robles The color is a glass-staining purple/black. The aromas jump from the glass – gobs of jammy blackberry and boysenberry fruit, notes of blueberry, cassis, and a whiff of saddle leather and caramel. In the mouth, the jammy black fruits keep pumping, coating the palate. The tannins are velvety and fine-grained, making this a great wine to enjoy now in its youth.
2010 J. Lohr Cuvée Pau, Paso Robles This Cabernet Sauvignon-based Bordeaux style red is dense and packed, with an opaque dark purple color that shows aromas of polished shoe leather, cedar, menthol, black plum, black raspberry, coffee, and mocha. Quite enjoyable now, medium-grained, polished tannins will ensure continued enjoyment over the next decade ...
2011 J. Lohr ‘Hilltop’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles Opaque crimson hue. The winemaker’s touch is obvious in the nose – coffee, toasted nuts, cocoa powder, and a whiplash of leather. Behind this curtain, there is moderate dark fruits ...
2011 J. Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon, Carol’s Vineyard, St. Helena, Napa Valley At first glance, this red is striking – it is a glass-staining, opaque purple/black with violet glints. The nose delivers on the color’s promise, with rich, pleasing scents of roast coffee, black plum, and black cherry. In the mouth, it is lovely and lush, the flavors echoing the nose.
2013 J. Lohr Sauvignon Blanc, Carol’s Vineyard, St. Helena, Napa Valley Bright straw color. How do we say this? The initial aromatics demonstrate an herbal, pastural quality. But, once we get past that, this white provides ample grapefruit and note of tangerine, along with varietal trademark grassiness. There is a decent balance between a creamy texture and crisp acidity.
2013 J. Lohr ‘Flume Crossing’ Sauvignon Blanc, Arroyo Seco, Monterey Light straw color. This is an eminently likeable, fruit-forward style of Sauvignon Blanc, showing zesty lime, white grapefruit, passionfruit, a hint of banana, and fresh snap pea ...