Waypoint Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

I couldn’t find anything about this wine.  Their website is nonexistent, and there is even a totally different Waypoint line from Napa now on the market.  Too bad, because this wine was really good.  Pick up a few bottles if you stumble across them.

Waypoint Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

This Cabernet is the correct dark red color, with just a tinge of brick; it is seven years old, after all.  The nose opens with dark, rich fruit.  On the palate, there is a full mouthfeel, with flavors of blackberry, baked plum, dark cocoa, and tart red currant.  The well-structured tannins, oak backbone, and just-so acidity offer great balance, making for a really appealing glass of Cabernet.

Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal Cognac

Click here for tasting notes.

Rémy Martin is one of the world’s oldest and best known cognac brands, with selections that range, at my local liquor store at least, from the $13 St. Remy French brandy to the $9000 Rémy Martin Louis XIII Time Collection: City of Lights – 1900.  (I have tried one of these, but not both.)

Rémy Martin was founded in 1724  in the Cognac region of France by Paul-Emile Rémy Martin. He was born in 1695 near Rouillac in southwestern France, the son of a vine grower.  At 19, he married the daughter of a local notary, and 10 years later, in 1724, he established a cognac trading house. On his death in 1773, the business passed to his grandson, also named Rémy, who was also the local tax collector.  In time, his son inherited the business, which saw a four-fold increase in the region’s trade between 1810 and the early 1820s.  In 1841, Paul-Emile-Rémy Martin (the family gave just about every male heir the same name, apparently) assumed control and oversaw even greater growth. He introduced the innovation of selling in bottles as well as the traditional casks.  An early skilled marketer, he added a logo to the bottles and cases; a centaur after Sagittarius, Martin’s zodiac sign, and registered the firm’s first trademarks in 1874.  Following him, as so often happens in dynastic families, the fifth-generation proprietor nearly bankrupted the operation.

It was saved in 1927  by André Renaud, the son of a Grande Champagne grower, who was also a lawyer, a merchant, and who had been involved in E. Rémy Martin & Co. since 1910.  He reduced quantity, increased quality, and applied the VSOP designation, an eighteenth century term for old cognacs.  (VSOP, like VS and XO, are traditional terms that specify the age of the cognac, but not its quality.)  By the time Renaud died in 1965, the company was selling 300,000 cases a year, and was the leader in the premium Cognac segment. Rémy Martin continued to rise under André Hériard-Dubreuil, André Renaud’s son-in-law.   He  constructed a modern production facility and introduced the now iconic frosted bottle for the VSOP in 1972.  As they came of age, his children joined him, notably his daughter Dominique Hériard-Dubreuil who became general manager in 1988, and president two years later. In 1991, Rémy Martin acquired Cointreau.

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Asbach 8 Year Old German Brandy

Click here for tasting notes.

Asbach (formerly Asbach Uralt), one of Germany’s oldest and best known brandies, celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2017.

The picture-perfect town of Rüdesheim sits along the Rhein river, the old town seeming as though it has always existed. It was here, in 1892, that the ambitious, 24-year-old Hugo Asbach (1868–1935) founded his distillery. In 1908, he registered the brand name “Asbach & Co. Uralt” at the Trade Registry of the Imperial Patent Office.  Uralt is German for “ancient.” and has since been dropped.

Asbach, a native of Cologne, learned the distillery trade at a local firm named “Export-Company for German Cognac,” and further improved his knowledge in France. Like other brandy producers of his time (as well as ours), Cognac was the ideal he aspired to in his own brandy distilling. And “Rüdesheim Cognac” was what he called his product, which soon became popular. After World War I, however, the Treaty of Versailles decreed that the word Cognac could only be used for French products, specifically from that region. Asbach pivoted and coined the term “Weinbrand,” literally wine brandy, for German brandy, which in 1923 became an official classification according to German wine law.

The original historic Asbach distillery, which was abandoned by the company in 2007.

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Chalk Hill Estate Red 2018

Click here for tasting notes.

One fine spring day in 1972, attorney, private pilot, and wine aficionado Fred Fruth was piloting his plane over the Russian River Valley area.  Down below, he hoped he saw what he had been searching for: a property that had the climate and soils to grow first-class wine grapes.  Furth and his second wife, Peggy, purchased the land, named the estate Chalk Hill, and started producing wine about a decade later.  They gradually planted more than 270 acres of vines.  Years later, Furth said, “I have always been interested in wine because my grandfather had vineyards. I’m actually more interested in the working-the-soil aspect, but I have many very talented people in the winery who know how to produce a world-class wine. When I bought this property, I was told it was too hilly to be a vineyard, but I simply planted the grapes in rows going uphill. People said you can’t do that, but I’d seen it done in Germany so I knew it would work.”  After a rich and varied life, Furth died in 2018 at the age of 84.

Bill Foley

 Lawyer Bill Foley acquired Chalk Hill in 2010.  Although Foley is titled as “vintner,” I doubt he sees the interior of the winery very often.  He is a vintner in the broader sense of “someone who sells wine.”  He also owns the National Hockey League’s Vegas Golden Knights,  is the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors for Fidelity National Financial Inc., is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for Fidelity National Information Services, Inc., and owns fifteen other wineries.

The Estate

The Chalk Hill AVA is one of 13 in Sonoma County, and is distinguished from the neighboring appellations of the cooler Russian River Valley to the west and the warmer Alexander Valley to the northeast. Elevations are higher and soil fertility is lower. The soils include gravel, rock, and heavy clay. Under the topsoil is a distinctive layer of chalk-colored volcanic ash which inspired the name of Chalk Hill.

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Kelt Tour du Monde Rare VSOP Cognac

Kelt Rare VSOP
For tasting notes, click here.

First, let’s talk about brandy vs. cognac. Brandy is a liquor distilled from wine and aged in wood. (Brandy can be made from fruits other than grapes as well, but that’s a story for another time.) Cognac is brandy that specifically comes from the town of Cognac and the delimited surrounding areas in western France. (The one which has the most favorable soil and geographical conditions is Grande Champagne.) So, all cognacs are brandy, but not all brandies are cognac. For more detail on cognac, click here.

Until the early 1900s cognac was shipped in barrels. The long sea voyages had a profound effect on the quality of the cognac. When cognac started to be shipped in bottles, many felt something had been was lost. Hoping to recapture that quality, Estonian-born Swedish entrepreneur Olev Keltes established the Kelt Cognac company in 1988. He began his career with the study of the distillation of cognacs as well as madeira, rum, and aquavit. It was this study that led him to rediscover the lost secret that quality improved in spirits that were aged in barrels on a long trip at sea . It is this maturation at sea that sets Kelt apart from other cognac houses.

Kelt continued to expand on this idea, and sent his cognac on its first sea voyage in 1990. The cognac world looked on, many with skeptical eyes. After the voyage, a tasting session was arranged with some of the top names in the cognac industry, and it was with some surprise that the experiment was hailed a great success.

Subsequently, an optimum route around the world was established, and one which all Kelt cognac now follows. The aim of this travel around the world (tour du monde) is to produce cognacs similar to those of the past, where many cognacs and eaux-de-vie were subjected to this epic oceanic journey.

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Clase Azul Reposado Tequila

As you can see, Clase Azul tequilas come in some of the most distinctive bottles out there, made in the mountainous Mexican town of Santa Maria Canchesda, population 1,750. There, the 180 or so employees, 80% of whom are women who grew up in poverty and with little, if any, formal schooling, decorate each bottle by hand.  The entire production process takes about two weeks. And the cap isn’t chrome-plated plastic.  Oh no.  It is metal, that drinkers will often strike to produce a little ring after the pour.  “You may have heard people talk about ‘ringing the bell’ on their Clase Azul bottle, which was actually discovered quite by accident” mentions Brand Experience Specialist Saskia Iha. “In order to use a more sustainable material, we redesigned the cap which happened to make a ringing sound when tapped just the right way. We now consider this sound the ‘unleashing’ of the magic inside the bottle.”  Okay.

In addition to wages, the company compensates the artisans with two meals a day, transportation, daycare, and school tuition. The work they’ve provided has revitalized the local economy.

In recent years, Clase Azul boutiques have opened to sell  pottery as well as lamps, mirrors, and other products made from its ceramic decanters, all to “share the historical, cultural, and luxurious aspects of Mexico with the world.”  In addition, Clase Azul launched Fundación con Causa Azul, a non-profit organization that protects and promotes Mexican folk art. The foundation collaborates with artisan communities throughout Mexico and works to preserve traditional craft techniques like pottery and basalt stone carving.

Arturo Lomeli, who grew up in Guadalajara in the Mexican state of Jalisco, got into the liquor-making business in 1997 when he was 24. He and a friend named Hugo Luna Vazquez created a pomegranate punch they branded La Pinta. The next year they came out with a tequila called El Teporocho. Both promptly failed.

At loose ends, Lomeli went back to school in 1999 to study marketing. While there, he decided that the issue hadn’t been with the quality of his tequila, but rather with how it had been packaged and marketed. Vazquez disagreed, so Lomeli bought him out of the company and continued on his own.

An employee paints one of the Clase Azul bottles in the factory in Santa Maria Canchesda.

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For tasting notes, click here.

McLaren Vale is a wine region in south Australia about 20 miles from “Australia’s Wine City,” Adelaide.  Vines were first planted here in 1838, but things didn’t really get going until about 40 years later.  By the turn of the twentieth century, McLaren Vale was established as one of Australia’s premier wine regions, a position it holds until this day, with over 80 wineries and 13,000 acres under vine.  This coastal zone sits between the Mount Lofty Ranges and the tempering sea.  The growing season is long and warm, and features good air drainage to prevent frosts.

It was here that Andre Bondar decided to set up shop.  He originally got the wine bug in 2001 after working a vintage in Oregon.  Following that, he worked at Tyrrell’s, in the Hunter, and historic Hardys Tintara, in McLaren Vale, as well as at Padthaway. He credits a vintage with Northern Rhône legend Alain Graillot with being hugely influential, particularly in respect to the impact of whole bunch fermentation. “It changed the way I made wine,” Bondar says. Finally came formal training, and Bondar took a postgraduate winemaking degree at Adelaide University in 2005. He then worked at Nepenthe, in the Adelaide Hills, from 2006. He started as a cellar hand and left seven years later as the senior winemaker.

Andre Bondar and Selina Kelly

Bondar and his wife Selina started their own winery in 2012 with a ton or two of shiraz grapes picked by family and friends. That was the first ‘Violet Hour’ they made, a homage to the sky at the time once the work was done.  But Bondar wasn’t satisfied with the resulting wine, so the first public release had to wait until 2013. The Bondars bought the lauded Rayner Vineyard in Blewitt Springs the same year, and have grown their brand from a solitary shiraz to nine selections now.

The Bondar tasting cabin.

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Dom Pérignon Champagne 2010

Dom Perignon 2010
For tasting notes, click here.

There’s sparkling wine.  There’s Champagne.  And then, as far as I’m concerned, there is Dom Pérignon.

Sparkling wine is simply wine that contains bubbles of carbon dioxide gas.  There are four methods of infusing the wine with bubbles, which I won’t bother with here, and fizzy wine is made around the world.

“Champagne” has for a long time been used generically and interchangeably with sparkling wine.  But, in the European Union and many other countries the name Champagne has been legally protected by the Madrid system as far back as an 1891 treaty, which reserved it for the sparkling wine produced in the eponymous region and adhering to the standards defined for it as an appellation d’origine contrôlée.  In the early 2000s Australia, Chile, Brazil, Canada, and China passed laws that limit the use of the term “Champagne” to only those products produced in the Champagne region.  Since 2006, the United States has banned  the use from all U.S.-produced wine brands, with a specific exception: producers that had approval to use the term on labels before 2006 may continue to use it, provided the term is accompanied by the wine’s actual origin (e.g., “California”).  Hence,  a wine such as “Korbels California Champagne,” is still allowed.

Dom Pérignon is named after a Benedictine monk, Dom Pérignon (1638–1715),  who was a pioneer in Champagne wine but who, contrary to popular myth, did not discover how to make sparkling wines*.  However, he was the inventor of the second fermentation in the bottle, the Méthode Traditionelle (formerly Méthode Champenoise), that creates Champagne as we know it.

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Scheid VDR [Very Dark Red]

Click here for tasting notes.

Scheid Family Wines got their start in 1972 when Al Scheid first purchased property in Monterey County and wine grape growing there was in its infancy. Scheid was drawn to the region for what he considered its untapped potential, for making money as well as farming.  Scheid was running his own investment company at the time.  A graduate of Harvard Business School and an investment banker, he realized that vineyards could make an excellent tax shelter, with their usual heavy investment on the front end and no income until at least five years later.  Originally named Monterey Farming Corporation, the enterprise he founded was a limited partnership; the tax laws at that time allowed investors to offset losses in one business against regular income from another one elsewhere.  And even before one acre was planted, Scheid, shrewd operator that he was, had found a customer for 100% of the grape production he anticipated (although, I’m guessing, not allowing revenue to outpace expenses, for a few years at least).

A hard-nosed origin story, for sure.  But Scheid was a firm believer in Mark Twain’s quote: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” So the truth is what it is.

Scheid brought his eldest son, Scott, who had been working on Wall Street as an options trader, into the expanding business in 1986.  (He is now CEO.)  In 1988, Kurt Gollnick, an admired viticulturist who had previously farmed for Bien Nacido Vineyards, was brought on as General Manager of Vineyard Operations.  A few years later, Scheid’s daughter Heidi, who had been working as a business valuation consultant after earning her MBA, also joined the operation.

Initial plantings were heavy on Colombard, Chenin Blanc, and Ruby Cabernet, but by the early ’90s the market was calling for Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and, due to the 60 Minutes broadcast of The French Paradox, Merlot.  In addition, during these first 20 years or so, quite a bit of knowledge about farming wine grapes in Monterey County had been accumulated. Countering these positive developments, the vineyard scourge called phylloxera was killing vines in a large portion of the Scheid vineyards.  Other challenges, such as improvements to the irrigation system, were also involved.

A businessman first and foremost, Scheid bought out all of the initial outside investors so that operations could be streamlined and decisions made more expeditiously.  In short order, almost every single vineyard acre was redeveloped;  a new vineyard was acquired and planted to Pinot Noir; the number of customers was expanded from two to 20; and the company was rechristened Scheid Family Wines.

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Underground Cellar, a Wine Site with a Twist

As a wine enthusiast and blogger, I’m always looking for delicious wines at attractive prices, and I bet you are too or you wouldn’t be reading this.

I belong to a handful of winery membership clubs, such as Cline, Clos Pegase, Keenan, and Truchard, all of which I recommend.  I also get alerts from wine flash sale sites, including Wine ‘Til Sold Out, Last Bottle, and Invino.  And I’ve tried a number of online wine clubs, like First Leaf, Wine Insiders, Vinesse, Naked Wines, Laithwaites, and WSJWine (the latter two being the same operation under different names.)  They all feature appealing loss-leader introductory offers, so trying a few is worthwhile.  First Leaf is the one I’ve stayed with, for their good selections and attentive service.


A wine site with a twist is Underground Cellar.  The wines aren’t the cheapest; prices start at about $25 a bottle, and increase from there.  Every day a new featured offer goes up, and you can buy any number of bottles, with free shipping on a case.  Standard stuff.  But here’s where things get interesting.  When you buy three or more bottles, they promise to upgrade all but one of them to a wine worth more than the offer price.  For example, on a recent Cabernet Sauvignon deal you could buy, say, six bottles for $180.  There is one “buy-in” selection that retails for $30 that you know you will get, and then UC selects five more for you from a range of, in this example, 20 to be upgraded.  You can’t pick the selections, but there is a list of what’s available. (On some offers, all bottles in the order are upgraded.)  There’s even a very slim chance the upgrade would be huge, like to a Stag’s Leap magnum worth $524.  And if you buy only a bottle or two at a time, UC will store them at no charge until you have accumulated a full case to get the free shipping.

If you’re looking for higher-end wines at reasonable prices, I suggest you give Underground Cellar a try. I am a satisfied customer myself.  Visit the homepage and enter your e-mail address, or sign in with Facebook to get started. Joining Underground Cellar is free, and there are no monthly fees or purchase obligations.

When you enroll, please use referral code AMBSTEPHENAs a bonus, if you use that code you will get $50 OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER OF $100 OR MORE. Yes, I will receive a small compensation if you sign up.  But hey, I’ve got to buy wine too, right?


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Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2017

Click here for tasting notes
Josephine Tychson

In 1881, Josephine Marlin Tychson and her Danish husband, John, traveled from Pennsylvania to St. Helena in the hope of alleviating his tuberculosis and becoming vintners. They purchased 147 acres of property just north of town from a retired sea captain, William Sayward, who had earlier bought the land from Charles Krug. They planted Zinfandel, Riesling, and “Burgundy” vines on the estate. Five years later, Tychson Cellars was established, but not before John’s despair over his affliction caused him to commit suicide.

After this sad event, the undaunted Josephine continued to nurture the vines she and her husband had planted together, and with the help of her foreman, Nils Larsen, she oversaw the construction of an impressive redwood winery, large enough to contain up to 30,000 gallons of wine. She became the first woman in the entire state of California to oversee the building of a winery and one of the first few female winemakers in the state.

However, her stewardship only lasted until 1894, when  she sold the facility to Larsen. He in turn leased the property to Italian immigrant Antonio Forni and sold it to him in 1898. Forni renamed the winery Lombarda Cellars after his birthplace in Italy, and the following year he razed Tychson’s winery and constructed a new building out of hand-hewn stones from nearby Glass Mountain. Workers were primarily Italian; many of their descendants live in St. Helena to this day. This historic winery structure was until fairly recently used for barrel storage and wine making, but both have since been moved off site. All wines are now made at Cardinale Winery in Oakville, part of Jackson Family Wines, the current owner of Freemark.

Forni concentrated his efforts on making Chianti and other Italian-style wines which he marketed to the numerous Italians that had moved to Barre, Vermont, the site of America’s largest marble and granite quarries. Like so many others, Forni was forced to cease most operations when Prohibition began in 1920. He was licensed to produce sacramental wine for the Catholic Church, but that barely kept the operation viable.

Lombarda Cellars on Highway 29 in 1939
The historic building today.

Forni, who never fully recovered from Prohibition, sold the winery and vineyard in 1939 to three businessmen from Southern California, Albert “Abbey” Ahern, Charles Freeman, and Markquand Foster. They renamed the winery Freemark Abbey. (Amusingly, despite the sacramental wine production history, the winery has never been part of a monastery or a religious body; the name is instead a combination which includes a portion of each partner’s name.) The winery opened a “sampling room” in 1949, making this one of the first tasting rooms in Napa Valley. (Incidentally in the 1950s Freemark Abbey was one of the largest up-valley wine grape jelly producers. An article from the September 10, 1952 issue of the Napa Register references at least twelve different types of jellies produced at the winery that year.) Continue reading “Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2017”

Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Click here for tasting notes.

Three decades ago, on my first visit to Napa valley, I stopped by Beringer for a tasting.  I didn’t know much about Beringer at the time, mostly that they had a long history and made some well-regarded wines.  Back then, tastings were free, but a friend had given me a tip to skip that and head upstairs to the Founders room, where you could sample Beringer’s best wines for $10.  As a bonus, there was a crowd downstairs, but I had upstairs nearly to myself. I left that session with a life-long affinity and appreciation of what Cabernets from Napa could be like. (Today, the basic tasting is $45, and the high-end samplings are $125 or $150, depending on which way you go.)

Jacob Beringer

In 1868, Jacob Beringer, enticed by the opportunities of the new world, sailed from his home in Mainz, Germany, to New York. However, after hearing that the rocky hillside soil and fertile valley floor of Napa Valley resembled that of vineyards back home in Germany, Jacob made his way to California in 1869. He became cellar foreman for Charles Krug, one of the first commercial winemakers in Napa Valley. A few years later, in 1875, Jacob and his brother, Frederick, purchased 215 acres next door to Charles Krug in St. Helena for $14,500. This parcel of land, known as Los Hermanos (the brothers), became the heart of the Beringer estate.

Here, the brothers oversaw their first harvest and crush in 1876. With Jacob serving as winemaker and Frederick as financier, they made approximately 40,000 gallons of wine, or 18,000 cases, that first year. In order to house the fermentation tanks, the first two floors of the original winery were built, and Chinese workers began digging a 1,200-foot-long tunnel to store the wine for aging.

The Beringer cave.

Continue reading “Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013”

August Hill Winery Berlyn NV

Click here for tasting notes.
Mark Wenzel

In 2002, Mark Wenzel, his wife Teri, and childhood friend Sean Ginocchio (who sold his interest in 2010) founded August Hill Winery on the hilltop land his grandfather August Engelhaupt had farmed, occasionally with Wenzel’s help. Located in Utica, Illinois, about 90 miles southwest of Chicago, in the ensuing years August Hill has expanded to include caves for aging wine, a tasting room, and a sparkling wine label called Illinois Sparkling Company.

Wenzel is both business partner and winemaker. Although he took a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Florida, he had always had an interest in wine and experimented making small batches through the years.  Once he learned that, unlikely enough, northern Illinois was developing as a viable vineyard region, the Illinois countryside and his farm boy roots beckoned to him.  After seven years as an engineer, Wenzel decided to add a new career and immersed himself in the details of grape-growing climates, varietals, and winemaking while still working in engineering for an additional seven years before he could turn to winemaking full-time. Along the way, he received hands-on experience and support from others in the winemaking industry, from both Illinois and California. When he began the sparkling wine program, he consulted with industry experts as well as an expert from France, with whom he continues to work.

Teri Wenzel is August Hill’s visual taste-maker. She’s the creative eye behind everything from the product packaging to the tasting room environment. Continue reading “August Hill Winery Berlyn NV”

Von Strasser Diamond Terrace Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Click here for tasting notes.
Rudy von Strasser

Rudy von Strasser is a Napa legend; he’s worked there for over 30 years, and played a huge part in founding the Diamond Mountain District, a part of the Mayacamas Range dividing Napa Valley from Sonoma Valley, and famous for its Cabernet. He was also instrumental in having the region designated as an AVA (American Viticultural Area).

Von Strasser first entered the wine business in 1989, but he didn’t start out there. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1980 with a thesis on hard-cider production, quite arcane for the time. His vision was to modernize the cider industry. While traveling the country with the intention of gleaning tips-and-tricks from the wine industry to apply to hard-cider production, he took a job at Robert Mondavi Winery in 1980; while there, he ended up falling in love with wine instead. He enrolled in UC Davis, famous for spawning thousands of winemakers, and graduated in 1985. Blessed by good fortune, a family friend introduced him to Baron Eric de Rothschild at Chateau Lafite-Rothschild and von Strasser became the first American intern at the venerable chateau. After his year was up, von Strasser returned to Napa Valley and worked for both Trefethen in the cellar and then Newton Vineyard as the assistant winemaker under John Kongsgaard. In 1989, immediately after his marriage to Rita, the couple began looking for a vineyard property on which to make their home.

In short order, they located a small block of property on Diamond Mountain that was originally planted in 1970 and was known as Roddis Cellars, but was being used by its then owner the British Gilby Gin family as a corporate retreat. In 1990, the von Strassers bought the estate and began renovating and modernizing the property, including an historic barn. Getting off to a running start, the first vintage was produced that same year from the existing six acres of Cabernet Sauvignon. Located in a large bowl in the mountain, which is also home to Diamond Creek and Reverie wineries, the von Strasser estate vineyard today is planted with 12 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon plus about three acres of Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Grüner Veltliner at 500 to 1,000 feet in elevation. Continue reading “Von Strasser Diamond Terrace Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015”

Metz Road Riverview Vineyard Pinot Noir 2020

Click here for tasting notes.

Scheid Family Wines got their start in 1972 when Al Scheid first purchased property in Monterey County and wine grape growing there was in its infancy. Scheid was drawn to the region for what he considered its untapped potential, for making money as well as farming.  Scheid was running his own investment company at the time.  A graduate of Harvard Business School and an investment banker, he realized that vineyards could make an excellent tax shelter, with their usual heavy investment on the front end and no income until at least five years later.  Originally named Monterey Farming Corporation, the enterprise he founded was a limited partnership; the tax laws at that time allowed investors to offset losses in one business against regular income from another one elsewhere.  And even before one acre was planted, Scheid, shrewd operator that he was, had found a customer for 100% of the grape production he anticipated (although, I’m guessing, not allowing revenue to outpace expenses, for a few years at least).

A hard-nosed origin story, for sure.  But Scheid was a firm believer in Mark Twain’s quote: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” So the truth is what it is. Continue reading “Metz Road Riverview Vineyard Pinot Noir 2020”