It’s Christmas. Bring out the big bottles – and I mean that literally

I did another one of those fun collaborations with Sharman Yarnell, of Montreal radio station CJAD, this week. The theme was Holiday wine giving, by which she meant: what wine do you buy someone as a gift that will be distinctive and, hopefully, impressive.

I made many suggestions, from Alvaro Palacios’ Petalos, a scrumptious Bierzo with a lot of fight in it (see my tasting note), to Miguel Torres’ Mas La Plana, an exceptional and age-worthy cabernet sauvignon from the catalan part of Spain, and to the oft-forgotten madeira (the perfect match for plum pudding and fruitcake) with a Henriques y Henriquest 1995 Single Vintage as an excellent starting point.

But the idea that really stuck with me was: Go Big.

By which I don’t mean heading for overripe, (more…)

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Tasting Note: 1998 Conundrum, Caymus Vineyards

If you do things well enough, you can make pretty much anything work in winemaking. Even combinations and approaches that simply shouldn’t make sense.

Want proof? Try some Conundrum, the impossibly complicated blend created by Caymus winemaker John Bolta. It’s made from chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, semillon, viognier and muscat from Napa Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Lucia Highlands and (more…)