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By MICHAEL DRESSER | July 2, 2008
From: Russian River Valley, Calif. Price: $40 Serve with: Roast poultry, tuna steakIt is not lightly that one recommends a $40 California pinot noir, but this Burgundylike beauty from Robert Stemmler is, if anything, underpriced for its exceptional quality. It offers bright black-cherry fruit - seasoned with subtle earthy notes - that just won't let go. Its full body is buffered by a silky texture that glides across the palate, and it exhibits flavors and aromas of wild berries and cranberry.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 8, 2013
From: California Price: $20 Serve with: Tuna steak, pork roast, red meat This pinot noir specialist has produced a wonderfully complex wine for its price range. It's a very Burgundian red wine, with nuances of game and that earthy barnyard character so true to the French original It's a medium-bodied wine with intense black cherry and spice flavors that expand in the glass. Thanks to the Red Red Wine Bar in Annapolis for recommending this elegant beverage. -- Michael Dresser
ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 2013
From: Central Coast, Calif. Price: $15 Serve with: Salmon, poultry This well-made chardonnay is widely distributed, fairly priced and avoids all the pitfalls California chardonnay so often falls into. It's crisp, clean and has good, bracing acidity - a sign of its cool-climate origins. There's a touch of vanilla from the oak, but it isn't over the top. It offers bold, assertive fruit with hints of pear, baked apple, lemon and spices. Chardonnay is far from my favorite white varietal, but sometimes you come cross one that hits just the right note.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser | March 22, 1995
When sulfite-sensitive readers ask for a wine recommendation, there usually isn't much to recommend. But this Oregon wine is sulfite-free and it's quite good. It's a light, straightforward pinot noir (made from organically grown grapes, not that it matters much) with generous black cherry flavors. Quantities are limited so people without sulfite sensitivities would be considerate if they left this wine to those who can really use it. If you buy it, take special care to store it in a cool place and not hold it too long.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser | October 5, 1994
Hold on to your hats, Maryland wine fans. Don't let the modest price tag fool you. This is serious, full-bodied white wine. Made from the underrated seyval blanc grape, this wine delivers just as much flavor, intensity and complexity as many $20 chardonnays. There's plenty here: toasty oak, vanilla, peach, pear, dry essence of honey, spices. It would be fun to serve this blind to some California wine snob.
NEWS
March 31, 2000
Elk Run Vineyards near Taylorsville recently received recognition from wine critics for two of its wines. Robert M. Parker Jr.'s "The Wine Advocate" called Elk Run's 1998 chardonnay "an excellent value appealing toast and dense white fruit aromas." Al Spoler in Baltimore's Style Magazine said the vineyard's millennium champagne is "a marvelous wine -- a 50-50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir." In addition, Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine called Elk Run one of the top 100 of 700 wineries on the East Coast.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser | December 27, 1995
We could retire this award right here. Marietta Old Vines, one of California's best-kept secrets, has been praised in these pages for several years now, and there's never been a reason to regret the choice. Each year it seems to get better. Lot 16, perhaps the best of the series, has intense blackberry flavors with touches of blueberry, coffee and chocolate. The level of complexity far outstrips the price. I just wish the winery shipped more into Maryland.
BUSINESS
By Suzanne Gannon and Suzanne Gannon,New York Times News Service | September 30, 2007
Barry Shames isn't a vintner, but he is the proud owner of a vineyard, an 18-acre plot of merlot vines in Northern California. And if he ever feels like dropping by for a tour, he doesn't need to travel far: His vineyard is 100 feet from his back door, just across a tangle of cabernet sauvignon vines in his backyard. Shames, 55, is a commercial builder who loves living around grapevines. "They're lush and green in the summertime, a bunch of twigs in the winter," and in late September, he said, the grapes become an intense, dark purple, "full and delicious looking."
NEWS
By MICHAEL DRESSER | March 29, 2006
This wine is a bit of a splurge, but it is well worth it for admirers of classic Napa Valley cabernet. Joseph Phelps has been producing great cabernet for three decades, and I've been around long enough to taste most vintages. This one is as fine as any young Phelps cab I've tasted - and that's saying a lot. It's about the perfect combination of youthful accessibility and long-term aging potential. The texture is velvety, and the flavors are typical Napa - black cherry, black currant, chocolate, herbs - but with just a little more nuance and roundness than most of its peers.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 18, 2014
From: California Price: $5 Serve: Pizza, pasta, chili, hamburgers Yes, Gallo Hearty Burgundy. You got a problem with that? This iconic wine, which led Gallo's move away from sweet fortified wines and into the realm of table wine, is celebrating its 50 t h anniversary. For as long as I can remember it's been a superb value. In 1972, "Time" put the wine on its cover and called it the best wine value in the United States. Not much has changed. It offers generous fruit, vinified dry, and a soft texture.
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