Posts with the label "california"


A few older bottles of Frog’s Leap…

A few older bottles of Frog’s Leap…

Wednesday 16th February 2022
by Julian Campbell

The biggest misconception about Frog’s Leap is that they’re often assumed to be a large-scale commercial operation. The truth is this is a family-owned winery producing just 45,000 cases per year across five cuvees. Far from looking to grow relentlessly, they are trimming production while simultaneously increasing their holdings of estate owned vineyards. John was one of the first people in the valley to adopt an organic approach in the vineyards and has been a great advocate for dry farming. And they are also great innovators in the winery. When it comes to thinking up new ways to produce ever more restrained, elegant wines, there no is no slavish devotion to oak barrels here… 

Places Endure – An ode to Cain

Places Endure – An ode to Cain

Thursday 29th October 2020
by Mark Dearing

Places Endure - An ode to Cain 

It was with particular poignancy that we drank a recent bottle of Cain. At home, in a convivial setting, we were reminded of just how confidently the Cain wines celebrate originality. In fact, this estate is known - feted even - by the more thoughtful of tasters, for producing a slightly wilder style of wine. These are Bordeaux blends layered with intricate fruits, earthy herbs, and spicy ferric notes – not your average Napa. In youth, what some commentators might describe as “strident” tannins in the Californian context, we view as classicism – true ripeness allied to freshness – an approach that yields sophisticated wines of presence, with nimble, wind-swept acidities and smooth, engaging fruit flavours. 

A Tasting with Andy Peay of Peay Vineyards

A Tasting with Andy Peay of Peay Vineyards

Friday 6th July 2018
by Julian Campbell

We’ve been championing the wines from the ultra-remote Peay vineyard for a few years now. Planted in 1998, the vineyard turns 20 this year and quality levels have never been higher. 

The lion’s share of production goes to Pinot Noir, followed by Chardonnay and Syrah (alongside minute quantities of other varieties that don’t make it across the pond). The vineyard is nestled amongst huge redwoods, 600 feet above sea level, four miles from the coast and within the inversion layer. Effectively within the fog line, this a truly cool Californian vineyard whose year round temperatures are moderated in a meaningful way by the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean. Contrary to being further in-land, out on the coast the higher you get the warmer it becomes. At 600 feet you hit something of a sweet spot, cool enough to moderate ripening but not so affected by fog as to be constantly battling mildew.  Being 600 feet lower than the lowest vineyards in the nearby Fort Ross and Seaview AVA, (home to the likes of Hirsch, Flowers and Martinelli) means that average yearly temperatures are 12-13 degrees lower at the Peay’s vineyard. That’s a meaningful drop. It is hardly surprising they were repeatedly told that ripening grapes would be a struggle out here and indeed today their tiny yields are testament to this perilous spot. Truly, this is winemaking on the edge.

Justerini & Brooks' Portfolio Tasting

Justerini & Brooks' Portfolio Tasting

Friday 2nd February 2018
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Since 1749 we have been supplying the very finest wines and spirits to our customers in Great Britain and beyond.  

Portfolio has always sat at the very heart of Justerini & Brooks. This is why we invest so much and take such pride in how and what we source.  Our six Buyers spend half of the year travelling and tasting in cellars around the globe. Their aim is to track down the world’s finest wines, those that speak of their origins and that our customers will delight in drinking. We directly import from over 300 producers, including the greatest, scarcest names such as Pétrus, Château Lafleur, Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair and Domaine Armand Rousseau. But at Justerini & Brooks we have always valued the undiscovered gem just as much as the famous label.  It is why we have always extolled the virtues of German wine, why we were championing red Burgundy over twenty five years ago before anyone was interested and why we have been banging the drum for Piedmont since the mid-nineties.

New Producer: Napa Knockout - Massimo di Costanzo

New Producer: Napa Knockout - Massimo di Costanzo

Thursday 1st September 2016
by Julian Campbell

Massimo di Costanzo is the up-and-coming talent from Napa Valley, whose wines have really impressed. Making wine in tiny quantities, the adage good things come in small packages, or in this case parcels, has never be so astute. The 2013 vintage is one Napa knockout you will not want to miss out on...

We asked Massimo a few questions to give us a real insight into the innermost workings of this exquisite winery and just why, for Massimo, the simplicity of wine and the culture of wine is as much a necessity as it is a way of life. Read on to find out more...

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