Flavorful Wines Arise From Inhospitable Conditions

October 18, 2006

Rosenblum Rockpile Road

A review of several Rosenblum wines.

Lovers of big, flavorful wines should make a pilgrimage to northern Sonoma County. There, the Rockpile AVA, a recently designated American Viticulture Area, includes more than 15,000 acres extending from Dry Creek Valley to the Mendocino County line above Lake Sonoma. The name fits perfectly since the shallow soil is studded with rocks and water is scarce. Only a few hundred acres within the Rockpile region can support grapevines, and the farms are located miles apart. These remarkably inhospitable conditions are the source of amazingly complex and well-structured wines — including the award-winning Rosenblum Rockpile Road Zinfandel 2003.

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Winemaking Beckons Successful Types To Try Their Hand

September 21, 2005

de Lorimier Lace

Winemaking as a second career.

Some say the way to make a small fortune in the wine business is to start with a large one. Subject to the vagaries of weather, insects and capricious consumer tastes, winemaking appears to be a guaranteed way to lose money. Despite these issues, many people who have become successful in other endeavors find the lure of making and selling their own wine irresistible.

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Que Sirah, Sirah: Wines Earning Well-Deserved Respect

January 19, 2005

Concannon

A review of recently released Petite Sirahs.

Petite Sirah is the Rodney Dangerfield of grapes. A big, bold wine with cherry and berry like fruit and a mild peppery spiciness, it is frequently added to other varietals for color, body and flavor. Seldom does Petite Sirah get the respect that it deserves. However, this perception is slowly changing as the number of California winemakers producing quality Petite Sirah steadily increases.

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Lighter, Crisper Wines For Summer Dining

July 1, 2004

Cousino-Macul Dona Isadora

Some summer wine suggestions.

Summer is a great time to try different wines. “People move away from the oaky chardonnays and heavy reds when the warm weather arrives,” said Marty Meyrowitz, the owner of The Wine Harvest, “they prefer lighter, crisper whites and fruitier reds.” These types of wines have the acidity to be refreshing and to hold up to summer foods such as salads and barbeques. A large number of inexpensive wines perfect for summer entertaining are made from regions all over the world. In white wines, look for crisp acidity that tastes clean and refreshing. The red wines should be simple, young, and fruity. And be sure to chill both types of wine before serving.

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