Author Archive

Getting Rouged

Lunch with Steve Edmunds and his new releases

This is becoming a regular occurrence. I call Steve Edmunds and coerce him into opening his soon to be released wines – he agrees and we meet for lunch at Café Rouge in Berkeley.

It works for me.

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All Things Must Pass

All Things Must Pass

Aldo Biale – a Remembrance

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Dinner at the Doghouse

Need a recipe for a fine evening?

Pull a few of your treasured older bottles from the cellar. Add a couple of your favorite people. Blend in a simple supper and you’re there. Read the rest of this entry »

Ridge Notes from the Tasting Note Closet

Ridge notes

While sweeping out my Tasting Notes folder, I came across these items. They have not been part of a Gang story, but will be added to our archive of Mr. Ridge tasting notes.

I hope you find them of interest. Read the rest of this entry »

All in the Family – Tasting the “other” varieties at Family Winemakers 2009

I approach these huge trade tasting events with no small degree of trepidation. I suppose it’s not the tasting itself, but the challenge of finding an approach to visiting some 320 wineries in a structured fashion and leaving with a coherent story.

I spent quite some time perusing the Family Winemakers website, searching through the tasting information, looking for a “hook” for this story, a theme, a story line – all to no avail. I eventually found myself looking through the “varietal map” on the website, which was not a map at all, but lists of wineries that produced specific varieties. With both delight and relief, I found myself at the index page, staring at the list of varieties.

There it was, staring back at me, right at the bottom of the list of white varieties: “other white varieties” – and on the red wine page, a corresponding entry: “other red varieties”. This appealed to me on several levels, not the least of which is the Gang’s mission to find and report on out of the mainstream wines and producers. So it was with a sense of excitement and anticipation that I embarked on my personal quest to taste the “other’ wines. Read the rest of this entry »

TN: 1978 Lytton Springs Zinfandel Valley Vista Vineyard (black label)

Simply amazing.

The only real signs of age are textural – all the angles have become curves. The color is bright and clear. The nose carries ripe and sweet berry/cherry notes with none of the expected tea leaf/tobacco/cedar/rose petal/claret patina of an aged Zin. The fruit is sweet and focused in the mouth with completely integrated tannins and acids – a study in harmony.

Perfect with grilled tri-tip, tiny roasted Yukons and a simple leafy green salad and held up beautifully through the entire meal.


1998 Vieux Telegraphe…

1998 Vieux Telegraphe…is open for business and has it all – loam and licorice
and asphalt and tarry fruit – great mouthful of CdP, but
I must say the Paloma 1998 Syrah stood right up to it, and
then some. What it lacked in fruit it more than made up in
spice. Balanced and ready to go – a very very good wine
from a horrible vintage.

Quite a pair matched with braised lamb shanks and several
toasts to Jim…

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