La Motte – All the Way From South Africa

One of the advantages of massive tastings like Hospice du Rhone is that you get to try wines that are harder to find and from places you don’t get to see every day.  Such as South Africa. We met a … Continue reading

Irish Family Vineyard 2007 Viognier

Type: Dry White Made: In Calaveras County, California, With viognier grapesPlays well with: seafood, salads, mild cheeses   The 2007 Viognier from Irish Family comes with the expected florals in the nose – honeysuckle in this case. A grape of … Continue reading

Chateau d’Aqueria 2007 Rose Tavel

The good folks at Blackwell’s wines and spririts were featuring Chateau d’Aqueria 2007 Tavel when we wandered in there a couple months ago. The winery is one of the oldest in the Tavel region of France’s southern Rhone region (French … Continue reading

Robledo 2006 Pinot Blanc

Pinot blanc, one of the 22 varietals common to the Rhone region of France, has become a star in its own right.  Here in California, there are a few plantings in Paso Robles and Lake County.  And it was from … Continue reading

Halter Ranch 2006 GSM

GSM is shorthand – 1980s Australian shorthand –  for a classic Rhone blend of three grapes – Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. The basic formula will vary from year to year as one grape stands out over the others. The 2006 … Continue reading

Halter Ranch – Growing the Good Stuff

Every so often, it doesn’t hurt to remember that wine is, ultimately, an agricultural product and that you get grapes by farming them.  Fortunately, when Mitch Wyss came in to grow grapes for Halter Ranch Winery owner Hansjorg Wyss, he … Continue reading

Carmichael Sur Le Pont 2005 Monterey County

While the Carmichael Sur le Pont is not technically an oddball bottle of wine.  The fact that it is made up of 80 percent syrah means it can be legally called a syrah, and that’s hardly oddball these days.  But … Continue reading