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Chappellet, Napa Valley (California) Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill 2015 ($235)
 Another stunner from one of Napa’s famed sites. This vintage is a touch more refined than the last, with seductively supple tannin structure and refined, well integrated oak influence complementing the expected powerful varietal fruit aromas and flavors that show just the right amount of restraint and finish long and full.  Winemaker Philip Titus has quite a string going here!   
97 Rich Cook


Posted by Rich Cook on August 4, 2019 at 12:35 PM

Looking Up and Down for New Wine

One of the reasons that you’ve taken this moment to visit us here at Wine Review Online is no doubt to find something new -- it’s certainly one of the things that binds us together as wine lovers.

That said, it’s my pleasure to highly recommend a first release wine from Minus Tide, a brand-new player in California’s Mendocino County.  This 2017 Chardonnay, sourced from the Mendocino Ridge AVA’s Mariah Vineyard ($36), has been beautifully realized by three friends that met at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (one of California’s “other” wine schools) who are handling nearly every aspect of the winery, from winemaking to sales to label artwork, and they are off to the races with this gorgeously place-specific white wine. 

A little background on sourcing:  Mendocino Ridge is the rare AVA that is based on an elevation cut line, sitting above 1200 feet, and it’s the only non-contiguous AVA in the country to date.  Picture mountaintop vineyards dotting your view--basking in the sun above the fog that swaddles the landscape resting below 1200 feet--and you’ll get a sense of what the AVA is…unique to say the least. 

Now, look up to picture Dan Dooling’s Mariah Vineyard at 2600 feet -- more than double the AVA’s cut line elevation -- with a view of the Pacific, and you’ll get a fuller picture of how this wine comes together.

And come together it does, with elegant aromatics include pear, peach, apple, stony minerality and a dash of ocean spray.  These all translate in linear fashion on the palate, with a solid core of acidity driving the wine’s intensity and integration of flavors through a long finish.  Neutral oak adds a lovely textural component without interfering with the tension and purity of the fruit mix.  I could drink this all day long and never tire of it, and I’m excited to taste the rest of the lineup from this venture.  Look for more reviews soon.  94 Points

I love discovering something new in wine -- it’s like looking down and spotting a shell or a stone that you’ve never seen before while strolling the beach during a minus tide….

Dr. Michael
This Issue's Reviews
Saumur: Home to Fabulous Dry Chenin Blanc
Michael Apstein

The Chenin Blanc grape can be transformed into fabulous wine. It makes sensationally riveting dry wines and lusciously sweet ones. In this column, I want to focus on the dry ones. They are exceptionally versatile, equally well suited to stand-alone as an aperitif or with a meal, especially with those foods that can pose a challenge for matching with wine, such as sushi, spicy Asian fare or roast pork. Flavorful, yet lightweight and refreshing, they are perfect in the summer. In truth, they are wonderful regardless of the season.
Sustainability in the Australian Grape and Wine Sector
Sandra Taylor

The Australian wine industry has been building its capacity in the sustainability space for many years, with the launch of numerous regional programs, like the McLaren Vale Sustainable Winegrowing Australia (MVSWGA), and the national sustainability program, 'Entwine Australia,' which allowed vineyards and wineries to choose among several certifications -- ISO 14001 or one from Freshcare , the certification program for the Australian fresh produce industry - which ever best suited their business needs. In 2018, the industry decided to consolidate the existing programs into a single, united national program that is owned and led nationally, integrating the best parts of all of them into this national program.
Wine With
WINE WITH…White Gazpacho

It has been a hot summer in the northern hemisphere. On the most sweltering evenings we yearn for cool food, but we've had enough chunky chicken salad and tuna sandwiches for a while. We crave a break from all the big, leafy salads we've been grazing on…but we don't want to turn on the stove or even fire up the grill. In short, what we need is chilled, delicious and nutritious gazpacho. We might opt for a traditional tomato infused red gazpacho, or for the beautiful emerald-green arugula-based chilled soup we made earlier in the season, but on a recent steamy evening we went with white gazpacho. Refreshingly pale, icy cold and delectable, this lovely soup may not be the antidote to global warming, but it does make the scorching summer a little more pleasant.
On My Table
The Magic of Extended Aging
Mary Ewing-Mulligan

Of the many aspects of wine that fascinate me, the one that intrigues me the most is the ability of a Champagne producer to create many different wines from a single blend. We know that for Champagne, and the many sparkling wines around the world that Champagne inspires, the magic is in the details: the precise vineyards represented in any blend, the percentages of grapes, the amount of reserve wine (or its absence), the duration of the lees-aging of the bottled wine, the amount of the sweetening dosage added before final corking, and so many other fine details along the way in the production process. Change one detail, and the wine becomes a different wine, even if all the others stay the same. Sometimes, nothing changes except the length of time the wine rests en tirage (in the bottle, on its yeast lees) before it is released to the market. And yet even that factor produces a different wine. Argyle Extended Tirage Brut 2008 is a delicious case in point.