Ballard Canyon – Syrah Incubator

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Wrapping up my week in Buellton at the Wine Bloggers Conference, the focal tasting seminar on Ballard Canyon and its Syrah was the highlight of the conference for me.  One of the newest AVAs, Ballard Canyon was established within the Santa Ynez Valley in 2013.  Long known as an excellent source for Grenache and Syrah, the area […]

Rosés of Summer: Casey Flat Ranch, past and present

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In land far away, on a hill steeply above the valley, lies a secret place in Capay Valley called  Casey Flat Ranch.  Located at 2000 feet above sea level in the Vaca Mountains, between Napa Valley and the Central Valley, the area was originally settled in the late 1850s during the Gold Rush.  Now, a new rush […]

Live Blogging: Consilience Syrah

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I have been exposed to Consilience for over 10 years, and it’s been so wonderful to be able to taste the development of these wines.   This 2011 Santa Barbara County Syrah is under $30, and is a blend of Tierra Alta and Estelle Syrah, as well as a touch of this and that. This […]

Rosés of Summer: 2013 Stepping Stone Corallina

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Today is the day before Summer officially starts.  Here in the Bay Area, summer has a tenancy to be a bit confused, and we’ve had some amazing weather, then cold weather, then amazing weather, then fog, then… As confused as it can be, Summer to me is the time to drink Rose and think pink. […]

Sometimes, smaller is better

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Often times, people have the assumption that larger is better; whether it’s in wine, packages of snacks at Costco, or houses with more bedrooms than people in the town where I went to boarding school, the message is bigger is better.  Even in wine, the message can be bigger is better; while not referring to […]

High on a Ridge (again)

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It’s another day on top of the mountain here, and the sun is shining at last.  It’s clear, and we can see San Jose and even a bit of San Francisco in the distance.  It’s time for a visit to Ridge Vineyards in Cupertino! We start our tasting with the  2009 Estate Chardonnay, which is […]

I'm drawing a blanc

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Blanc did you say?  Yes Blanc.  As in white.  Wine.  White wine!  I am not the biggest wine wine drinker in general, instead preferring the heartier meat of a red wine, but there are a few white that really rope me in.  Specifically, Greanache Blanc.  I particularly enjoy GB because it is NOT your average […]

KEEEEEEEEEEEVINNNNNNNNNNNNNN!

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Sorry, I just had to get that one in there.  you remember, when Mom FINALLY realizes that she left the kid at home halfway through Home Alone?  Yeah. So that’s exactly how I feel about this wine.  My friend Kevin Hamel, who makes Hamel Wines and has had a rather illustrious career as a winemaker, […]

Are you a Rhonely heart?

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And the winner is: Congratulations to Valerie, the WineDog and Helene! If for any reason you cannot go, the runner up is Beau and Brandye. These results were randomly generated by Random.org. ps if you didn’t win here, please check out: There’s a Name for My Condition: Rhone Ranger OR The Rhone Rangers Ride Again!   […]

You shook me all morning long

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Hospices du Rhône.  Day 2.  What happens when you take several hundred (probably hungover, definitely tired) wine writers, bloggers, lovers, and somms, and throw them in a conference room at 9am with eight glasses of wine in front of them ?  Lots and lots of champagne.  that’s what happens.  wait…strike that.  Reverse it.  But you can’t! […]

Jumping off a Clif

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See that little logo to the right?  Notice the CLIF name and image?  That’s right, those crazy people that essentially created the energy bar are back and they are in bottle!  I was so excited when I recieved these wines, because several blogger friends had already had the opportunity to sample them and were raving. […]

B is for Bottle

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In this case, a bottle of Broll Mountain Vineyards 2004 Syrah from Calaveras County.  I first discovered Broll Mountain through a chance meeting at a ZAP volunteer event, where @brixchick_liza and i met Roger & Ginger, who are retirees who work part time at Broll Mountain.  As chance would have it, the winery is in […]

On the Verge (again)

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If you read my last post on VERGE Wines, you know that I already love them.  This time, they are releasing their 2007 VERGE Syrah, from Dry creek Valley.  It is only the winery’s second vintage, and it is impressive. VERGE Wines specializes in what they call “Fringe Vineyards”, those that are outside the norm. […]

Que Syrah Syrah!

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This is a tale of two syrahs.  No, not a sirah and a syrah but two syrahs!  When I first heart about David Cole’s wine, he was working on another project called Redline, which I bought through my friends at WineQ.  I knew then they this guy had talent, and I was very excited when […]

Bring on the BACON! Yes I said bacon.

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When the box first arrived in my mail room at the office, I was slightly scared that someone was playing a bad joke on me.  Or just didn’t like me very much.  Or I had really made it big in the wine blogging world. Why you ask?  Well, the box that I received was stamped, […]