Did you know that in the Japanese language the word ‘sake’ merely means ‘alcohol?’ It does not necessarily mean ‘rice wine’ like Western countries have mistakenly defined in our books and our laws. In Japan the word ‘sake’ can refer to any wine, beer, or even distilled spirit. The Japanese word ‘sake’ is kind of like the colloquial word ‘booze,’ is for Western countries. The correct word in Japanese which refers to rice wine in particular is ‘Seishu.’
Though Livermore Valley has a long and enviable wine history dating back to the 1840s when grapevines went into the ground, it nonetheless has been overshadowed by its northern neighbors. That oversight is being corrected with a slew of exceptional wines.
Murrieta’s Well traces its heritage back to 1884, and though The Spur was only created as a blend in 2010, it shows what this Valley can produce.
Ragged Branch Wheated Bourbon Whiskey is the four-year-old brainchild of Alex Toomy (owner of Ragged Branch) and the late, great distiller, Dave Pickerell. The whiskey was released in September of last year and since then it’s received its share of positive reviews from consumer and trade journals. And it’s about to get another one from us.
90 proof, Ragged Branch Wheated Bourbon Whiskey includes 66% corn, and 17% malted barley and is distinctly Virginia.
This deep cherry colored wine, with the most subtle hint of amber makes for a wonderful pour. We let this breathe for a bit and it paid off in spades. Blueberry, blackberry, and currant turn to subtle licorice on the back palate. Cedar on the aftertaste. The flavors glide along and the mouthfeel is exquisite. This is a robust but graceful wine. A wonderful trade-up for Napa cab-loving customers. Get this one on your wine menu.
Dark cherry red in color, this wine sparkles, adding to the appearance of any restaurant dining table. First impression on the nose is clove (in careful measure). Dry delivery to the palate, dark fruit aromas, followed by restrained mocha. This wine layers flavor without piling it on. Upon second entry, we noticed distinct dark cherry and blackberry notes. Ready to serve, but solid acidity and overall balance make this an age-worthy wine.
Stunning clarity, in a straw crystal clear appearance, this chardonnay epitomizes what Napa fans hope for. Abundant ripe fruit on the nose in the form of dried pineapple is met with less-ripe flavors of apple to alert the senses that something wonderful is about to happen. You’ll spot the perfected balance on the palate, with that tropical fruit flavor bursting through, prompting immediate salivation. It holds back at the end though, so as not to build. Apple again on the aftertaste keeps it fresh. Upon each entry, the process starts again. This is a crowd-pleaser and a safe bet for any on-premise menu.
The case is made time and again. A vodka must have something different to justify its space on the already overcrowded shelves at on- and off-premise. Why take down one vodka to make room for another? The answer is always the same: flavor profile. Bare Bone Vodka is proof that if the product in the bottle stands out, then the trade, and ultimately the consumer, will make room for it.
It was 1981 when Dennis and Judy Groth purchased a 121-acre parcel of land in Napa and from that day to this the focus has been on producing a handful of wines but specializing in Cabernet Sauvignon. Their 2015 Reserve Cabernet is such a comprehensive Cabernet, allowing the fruit to be the star power with support from 100% new French oak barrels. Harvested over a two-week period in Oakville, this lush fruit reaches out with blackberry, blueberry, cassis, black currant, plum, and cedar box with an acidity that belies the structure of the wine.
A beautiful example of high mountain fruit, the 2014 offers a deep and complex nose that shows the high-quality fruit at its peak flavor. Deep black in color, the fruit shines through with a well-balanced but subtle wine with character. Impressive and balanced tannins, with dark stone fruit, blackberry and a hint of black cherry, create an elite wine that stands near the top. A beautiful example of high mountain fruit, the 2014 offers a deep and complex nose that shows the high-quality fruit at its peak flavor. Deep black in..
Intense oak floods the glass with an opulent aroma. If you like big, oaky chardonnay this is the wine for you. Fruit forward with beautiful straw color and clarity, the wine over delivers with a lush viscosity that encapsulates the palate. Layers of rich fruit includes gooseberry and melon. A superb and richly made wine. Intense oak floods the glass with an opulent aroma. If you like big, oaky chardonnay this is the wine for you. Fruit forward with beautiful straw color and clarity, the wine over delivers with a lush viscosity that encapsulates the palate.
A silky smooth version from Washington State, this is a middle of the road Merlot, allowing non-Merlot folks to step towards this grape without sacrificing what they want in terms of flavor, structure and drinkability. There is plenty of boysenberry, blackberry, blueberry and black cherry, with back notes of resin, minerality, cedar and vanilla. 2013 Northstar Merlot is a blend in the truest sense of the word, Mainly Merlot with 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Petite Verdot, this is fruit from 10 different vineyards with vine age averaging…
Chappellet Winery has been crafting wine for over 50 years. It has always been a Cabernet Sauvignon house, but hiding in the shadows is its stellar Cabernet Franc. Made of Cabernet Franc with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% each of Malbec and Petite Verdot, this is a generous wine, popping with red and black berry flavor and giving you something different, something softer, smoother and more approachable. There are strong notes of blackberry, black cherry, boysenberry, sweet vanilla, smoke and anise make the wine in your glass immensely drinkable…
Dutton Goldfield has had a stellar reputation with Chardonnay since they opened their doors in 1998. The Chardonnay, actually a Chardonnay musque clone from their Rued Vineyard site, provides more aromatics than other Chardonnay clones. There is certainly an obvious malolactic element evident on the nose and in the palate, but it is tempered with zesty fruit, lemon-lime, manuka honey, tropical fruit mélange, tangerine, crème brulee, even wisps of gardenia…
Lovely ruby red color. Immediate notes or raspberry and chocolate on the nose are reflected on the palate. A lot of vanilla in this one which will either really appeal to you or not. Super soft tannins sacrifice a little of the dimension, but do make for a gentle aftertaste which many consumers like. Blackberry and plum, mocha and ash/tobacco. For $12.99 this is a great value and since its label is also appealing, it’s a smart one to have on your shelf at this price point. 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 5% Petite Syrah, 5% Zinfandel, 3% Other Reds…
For eight decades Martini has been at it pressing grapes and making wine. Its Sonoma expressions of Cabernet have always been consistent and provide a hallmark of quality from the Dry Creek Valley. The 2015 vintage is no exception. Comprising mainly Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Franc, this is a rich and layered wine offering notes of blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry, and black cherry with a mild tannic structure that makes this extremely drinkable now and a great…