1997 Pio Cesare Barolo
Bottle Notes

1997 Pio Cesare Barolo – Bottle Notes

The 1997 Pio Cesare Barolo was the leading vote getter in the February Installment of Pick My Next Bottle. Pio Cesare, located in Alba, Piedmont, was founded in 1881 by Cesare Pio and it is now owned and operated by the fifth generation of the family. Gambero Rosso, Italy’s most distinguished wine journal, notes that today Pio Cesare “invariably offers…

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1997 Barolo
Bottle Notes

Pick My Next Bottle – 1997 Barolo

The February installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on 1997 Barolo. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. I plan on opening the winning bottle on February 27th and publishing an in-depth Bottle Note on the 28th. The…

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1999 Switchback Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon
Bottle Notes, Cabernet Sauvignon

1999 Switchback Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon – Bottle Notes

Switchback Ridge wines are sourced from the Peterson Family Vineyard in Calistoga. The property has been in the Peterson Family since 1914 and was replanted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah in 1990. Bob Foley has been the winemaker since the inaugural vintage in 1999. My last bottle of the first vintage of Switchback Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon. I decanted…

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Random Musings

Reflections on the 2003 Vintage in France

The heatwave vintage of 2003 has always been a controversial one, especially for two of my favorite regions, Bordeaux and Chateaunef du Pape. Much of Europe, France in particular, suffered under a brutal heat wave and drought. In Bordeaux the grapes were picked earlier than ever before. The levels of sugar, and therefore resulting alcohol, reached record levels, but the…

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2008 Rasa Vox Populi
Bottle Notes

2008 Rasa Vineyards Mourvedre Vox Populi – Bottle Notes

Rasa Vineyards is a relatively new winery located in Walla Walla, Washington. Founded in 2007 by brothers Pinto and Billo Naravane, Rasa specializes in Syrah-based wines but has recently released Cabernet, Riesling and Mourvedre. Pinto is the Managing Partner, while Billo is the Winemaker. 100% Mourvedre from Minick Vineyard in the Yakima Valley. 14.5% ABV. 72 cases produced. Bright purple…

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2005 Rafanelli Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
Bottle Notes, Zinfandel

2005 Rafanelli Zinfandel – Bottle Notes

Alberto Rafanelli, an Italian immigrant, first founded A. Rafanelli Winery in the early 1900’s. It wasn’t until the early 70’s that Alberto’s son, Americo, came out with the present day label and started selling the wine commercially. David and Patty Rafanelli now run the winery and a 4th generation Rafanelli, their daughter Shelly, is the winemaker. The winery is perhaps…

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2006 Dehlinger Chardonnay
Bottle Notes, Chardonnay

2006 Dehlinger Estate Chardonnay – Bottle Notes

Dehlinger Winery is located in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County and was founded in 1975 by Tom and Carole Dehlinger. Eva Dehlinger took over winemaking duties in 2007. Known for their Pinot Noir, Dehlinger also makes Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. I’ve previously blogged about Dehlinger in Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings. The wine is lightly straw colored. Great…

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2010 William Church Bishops Blend
Bottle Notes, Random Musings

Syrah & Cabernet Sauvignon at Woodinville’s William Church Winery

William Church Winery was founded by Rod and Leslie Balsley in 2005. The winery is named after Rod’s father William and the middle name of Leslie’s father, Church. Matt Loso, then of Matthews Estate was their first winemaker. Rod Balsley assumed winemaking responsibilities in 2008. Rod and Leslie are both actively involved in all aspects of the winery. Rod manages…

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2001 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir
Bottle Notes, Pinot Noir

2001 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Ferrington Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Williams Selyem Winery began when Ed Selyem and Burt Williams started making wine as a hobby in 1979 in Forestville, California. Their first commercial release was in 1981. In less than two decades, Burt and Ed created a cult-status winery of international acclaim. Setting a new standard for Pinot Noir winemaking, they put Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley at the…

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