Australia Dispatch No 1. Savagnin: Mistaken Identity with Great Potential‏

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M I S T A K E N  I D E N T I T Y Similar to the California’s Viognier scandal, Australia suffered through a mistaken identity crises of its own. What was assumed to be Albarino turned out to be the obscure Jura grape, Savagnin. Genetic test results went public just 5 years ago. Today, most producers continue to make light, crisp wines, Read More →

Making ‘Sense’ of Wine

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There isn’t a day at the tasting room that goes by that I don’t overhear conversations ranging from deep tannin expression analysis to down home declarations of – ‘I like it!’  Our folks behind the bar are quick to shout out fundamentals of how each wine is produced – from the history of a varietal to specific barrel selection, aging, concrete fermenters – every choice Read More →

Gracias from La Cuadrilla

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On Friday November 7th, we gathered under the oak tree for our annual Cuadrilla profit sharing party. It’s a day I look forward to all year. Early in the morning, Ruben and his chef buddies broke down a whole pig and slow cooked big hunks in the animal’s own fat. The smell of Carnitas wafted through the dormant vineyard. The crew members requested goat cooked Read More →

Because of Wine, I Walk the Line

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With harvest finished, Grenache barreled, and the first rainfall since March penetrating into our Limestone; November gives us a chance to take stock of our recent journeys and give thanks for the amazing opportunities we have. R E C E N T  J O U R N I E S The past three vintages enabled phenomenal wine quality and Sashi pushed the envelope in ways Read More →

Roussanne Opulence in 2014

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R E D  R E C A P No doubt the 2014 red vintage will go down as a supple, voluptuous one. Sashi and the team started picking Syrah early to retain acid and ensure alcohols didn’t get out of control. By the time we finished Syrah, the fruit tasted very ripe, and the cuvees now finished with primary fermentation smack of rich fruit. Cuadrilla Read More →

The New Era: Oak Versus Whole-Cluster

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2012 marks the first of three evenly hot, perfect growing seasons. The timing of these vintages coincides both with the launch of new winemaking methods, and with the culmination of long-term projects. We have the luxury of embarking on new journeys under ideal conditions. Prior to the 2014 Syrah harvest, I sat down with Sashi Moorman to learn more about the changes afoot. W H Read More →

Experience Harvest

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V I E W  F R O M  T H E  B A R N Around 9pm, the still night air is broken by headlights as the first of the crew arrives. A cloud of dust follows the cars as they park under the giant oak tree. Memories of the calm darkness become distant as the diesel tractor engines fire up. The harvesting lights, hung Read More →

This is why they call it Bastardo…

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The Trousseau vines, or as the Portuguese call them, Bastardo; grew vigorously in only the second year after grafting. Rajat Parr assured us this was the nature of the varietal, as it produces less concentrated, light-colored red wines and roses. Weeks ago, we picked the first two tons to make Pet-Nat (Petillant Naturel), a naturally sparkling wine that will partially ferment in tank and then finish Read More →

The New Era

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If you have any doubt about our dedication to making the absolute best wine possible, I invite you to take a stroll through our cuverie. Row on row of beautiful (in a way only a proud owner can love) 4-ton open-top unsealed concrete fermenters stand full of BB-sized purple Syrah grapes. As we debut the 2012 Syrahs this fall, our customers will taste not only Read More →

TexSom Syrah Seminar

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Gr TexSom 2014, perhaps the most important annual sommelier conference in the US, featured a varietal focus seminar on Syrah. Syrah, loved for its complexity and age-worthiness, has to rank at the very top of the list of Sommeliers’ favorite varietals. The room was packed. Firmly placing Ballard Canyon in the Syrah spotlight, moderator Josh Raynolds presented 2012 Stolpman Estate Syrah with 8 other Syrahs Read More →