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Producer Stephane Riffault (son of the titular Claude) and the Sancerre region have one thing in common—a close connection to Burgundy. For Sancerre, the relationship to Burgundy is physical. A mere hour and a half by car from Chablis, it shares some of the climatic and geological traits of this other region famed for its crisp whites. For Riffault, it’s emotional. Riffault spent time both working and studying with Burgundy producer, Leflaive. His brother, Etienne, has also found success making wine in Puligny-Montrachet and the two often share winemaking critiques and the fruit of their labor...

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In European winemaking, family feuds are nothing unusual.  Angelo Monaldeschi, nearly 700 years ago, made his home in the Castello della Salla hoping to rule the city of Orvieto. He faced competition, however, from his three brothers, each of whom raised their own fighting force to conquer the town. As told by Marchesi Antinori’s website, “the largest was called the Cervara (the Stag), […] another the Cane (the Dog), a third the Aquila (the Eagle), and, the clan of Angelo, the most warlike of the entire family, the Vipera (the Viper).” The Vipera and the Cervara clans would continue to fight f...

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We at Sokolin pride ourselves on bringing you not only the most sought-after and well-known wines, but also less-familiar, hidden gems from across the world. Today’s wine, the 2007 Bisceglia Gudarra Aglianico del Vulture Riserva, is one example. Hailing from Basilicata, Robert Parker’s “favorite underdog Italian region”, this wine is one defined by its terroir. Produced on Mount Vulture, an extinct volcano, the vines dig deep into the thick ancient ash to produce wines of incredible depth. To taste this wine is to experience both a far-away place and an ancient time. “Wine has given me the abi...

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While the Garden of Eden might be known for its apples, California drinkers know that Mount Eden means grapes and seriously good wines, such as today’s 2013 Mount Eden Estate Chardonnay.  

Far from the bucolic greenery of the biblical pastures, the Mount Eden vineyards are located high in the Santa Cruz Mountains on rocky shale soils. Nearly 1000 feet above the fog line on east-facing hills, the vines receive ample sunlight, dry weather, and cool, consistent temperatures that help the grapes reach optimum ripeness year after year. The area, the first mountainous zone to be made an AVA in 1981, ...

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All good things must come to an end, it seems. Gone is the unseasonable warm weather we’ve been enjoying, and here comes the snow. To combat these dark skies, today we’re tasting a brighter wine—the 2014 Domaine Terres Dorees Jean Paul Brun Bourgogne Pinot Noir

Burgundy, or Bourgogne in French, is broadly split into two parts—Burgundy proper in the North, where you’ll find names such as Corton, Chambertin, and Romanee Conti, and in the South, the area of Beaujolais. Beaujolais is best known for its young, playful Gamay-based wines which, while highly drinkable, often lack individual character...

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With the clock falling back this week, we fall back on one of our favorite Thanksgiving varietals—Pinot Noir. This is a grape that was seemingly designed for cool weather. Its warm, elegant fruitiness makes it a great companion to the hearty foods and chilly air of autumn. Even in the vineyard, Pinot is a grape that produces its most profound expressions through colder climes, such as today’s wine, the 2013 Melville Pinot Noir Estate Santa Rita Hills

When you think of the world’s great Pinot Noir sites, Burgundy of course jumps to mind along with Oregon and perhaps the up-and-comer of New Zea...

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« Qui boit du Meursault ne vit ni ne meurt sot »

This play on words is the unofficial slogan of the village of Meursault and might be roughly translated as “A person full of Meursault is no fool at all”. A fitting phrase for today’s wine, the 2014 Patrick Javillier Meursault les Tillets, which you’d be a fool not to taste! 

The town of Meursault has been synonymous with rich, oak-driven white Burgundies since nearly the time of its first winegrowers, the Cistercian monks. Les Tillets, the vineyard name, hearkens back to the fragrant linden trees planted by these monks to surround the vines. 

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In France, wine’s most dynamic successes are the result of tradition meeting innovation. This couldn’t be more clear than in Burgundy’s most recently created appellation—Viré-Clessé (veer-AY cluh-SAY). Often overshadowed by its more famous Mâcon neighbors of Pouilly-Fuissé and Saint-Véran, the area of Viré-Clessé, classified in 1999, has nonetheless been known by wine fans as a source of rich, great valued wines for centuries. 

The name of the village of Viré itself (or Viriaco as it was known) means “grape-growing” and has been producing wines since the ninth century. One thousand years later ...

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“If you can still find them, 2001 is a mythical vintage in many Spanish viticultural areas.”

Robert Parker wrote this over a decade ago and based on my recent tasting of Rotllan Torra’s 2001 Tirant, it still holds true.

According to the Catalunya website, Jordi Rotllan Torra and his family founded the Torroja del Priorat winery in the early ‘80s. Supposedly the small mountain village was a popular vacation destination for the wine distribution family from Penedes when Jordi was young. When they realized the amazing potential of the region, they purchased the vineyards and the facility built in t...

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From picking fruit in Bordeaux during the 70s to producing music videos that earned him a Grammy nomination, Scott Palazzo clearly has the “midas touch”. He’s now the rock-and-roll winemaker who’s crafting world-class wines in Napa Valley. He produces three cuvees, all well-known among wine insiders, but probably not getting the notice that they merit! Thomas Keller, owner of The French Laundry, was so impressed by Palazzo’s wines that he asked Scott to create an exclusive wine to serve in all his restaurants.

Last night, I was happy to be pulling the cork on his 2010 Palazzo Wine Proprietary R...

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