Wine News
Top 10 Lists
Food & Wine Pairing Shop/Gifts Top 10 Wine Lists Top 10 Wine Bars 1


August 2006

August 7, 2006

Tablas Creek Vineyard 2005 Rosé

Tablas Creek Vineyard brings you an intense rosé from its Estate program on the Westside of Paso Robles, Calif. Emulating a southern Rhône formula, but with a dominance of Mourvedre and therefore more like a Bandol than a Tavel, this vino is a good bet for your summer sipping enjoyment. In a way, it’s not a wine for beginners and it takes a little getting used to its aromas of sage and juniper. There is also watermelon and white plum in there somewhere, a touch of red fruit and a few other earthy characteristics leading you to a robust finish. Good balance and acidity give it a distinguished feel, which will pair well with sushi or Mediterranean-inspired dishes with plenty of garlic and olive oil. You can also sip it slowly on its own, and letting it show you its delicious complexity.

Rating: 14.5/20

Other Rosés we've tasted
Check out our guide to California
For more information, visit

August 14, 2006

Sesquipedalian 2005 Sauvignon Blanc by Cole Bailey Vineyards

In the ironic words of Cole Bailey Vineyards, a sesquipedalian is a “sophistical rhetorician with the exuberance of his own verbosity.” Or in other words, an intellectual poser who uses $100 words when simpler ones would suffice. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Cole Bailey says they chose this name because hand-crafted wine is the divine right of the upper class rather than the huddled masses—the high-brow, multi-syllabic moniker dissuades such non-elite riffraff. Of course, all of this is a joke, but the wine under the cork certainly isn’t. In not so many words (we wouldn’t want to be accused of being a sesquipedalian), let’s try to describe this well-made, fresh Sauvignon Blanc, perfect for a summer day or evening of light foods. The pale yellow juice with a green hue shows off scents of melons, and summer’s white fleshy fruits. Exhibiting good acidity with a medium body, this citrusy beverage does not have the sometimes off-putting “pipi de chat” smell, which is typical of pedigree Sauvignon Blanc from France and New Zealand. It is supple on the palate and delivers a long finish. Shrimp and pasta dishes, or salads would partner well with the Sesquipedalian’s character.

Rating: 14/20

Other Sauvignon Blancs we've tasted
Check out our guide to California
For more information, visit

August 21, 2006

J. Schram 1998 Rosé

At just about the same time we published our unique “Guide to the Best Wineries of North America” in 1998, the winemaking team at Schramsberg—headed by Jack and Jamie Davies—set out to develop a flagship Rosé, produced in a very artisanal fashion. This is a Méthode Champenoise American sparkling wine made to rival the best from Champagne, with a perfect assemblage from selected grapes of prized vineyards: 50 percent Napa, 21 percent Mendocino, 18 percent Monterey and 11 percent Marin.

Today, second-generation vintner Hugh Davies is proud to bring to market a limited-production release that is sure to be a conversation popper. “This is a polished marriage of Chardonnay (76 percent) and Pinot Noir (24 percent),” says Davies. “We have weaved together small lots of wines fermented in stainless steel tanks with lots fermented in French oak barrels.”

As we sampled this $120 cuvée, our taste buds could not disconnect from Champagne benchmarks and it was rather tricky to be a fair judge—especially considering all our reviewed wines are rated on the same scale. One thing to keep in mind is that this bottle was aged for seven years following secondary fermentation, although we think it could age for a longer time and still present an intense and distinguishingly refreshing character. The fine bubbles reveal an array of flavors in this dark pink sparkler. There is spice and there is fruit, with a dominance of berry and citrus flavors on the palate. “This Rosé is aged and complete, with elegance and distinction,” claims winemaker Craig Roemer. You may certainly enjoy it by itself, but this robust beverage can take you through a meal as well.

Rating: 16.5/20

Other Sparkling Wines we've tasted
Check out our guide to California
For more information, visit

August 28, 2006

2003 Château Brane-Cantenac

Since 1925, the Lurton family has been striving to produce exceptional French wine. Certainly, they can count on their quality land in Bordeaux yielding an outstanding terroir, a philosophy of improving quality year after year, and a dynamic winemaking team. With this 2003 Margaux, we think owner and general manager Henri Lurton has achieved his goal of putting a great bang-for-the-buck wine in your glass. This dark ruby red juice with purple hues is quite pleasant already, although it will continue to age beautifully for a couple of decades. It is after that time that you will truly appreciate its vanilla and toasty character in all of its complexity. Even now, you can enjoy the black fruit in it, along with pepper and tobacco aromas. A good structure ensures this vino a long healthy life; enjoy it with a simple steak frites or a more sophisticated dish detailed in a distinguished cookbook.

Rating: 15.5/20

Other Reds we've tasted
Check out our guide to France
For more information, visit



Read about the wine world's most influential critic: Robert Parker, Jr.

News / Tasting Notes / Features / Wine Map / Wine Events / Interviews / Community / Site Map / About Novus Vinum / Contact Us / Advertise

Copyright © 1996-2010 GAYOT ® All Rights Reserved; Privacy Policy; Disclaimer GAYOT (pronounced guy-OH)