J VINEYARDS |  Pinot Noir 2016

(Russian River Valley, CA) $40

I remember a smell from my childhood on Cape Cod—walking along a path in summer and smelling the sun-warmed raspberries hanging on the thickets of bushes that lined the lane. The berries themselves were juicy, soft, and delicious. A lot like this pinot from J. There’s earthiness here too—a signature characteristic of pinot noirs from the Russian River Valley—plus wisps of spice. Pinot noir’s first duty is to be deeply satisfying, and this one is. (14.3% abv)

90 points KM

Available at J Vineyards & Winery

More Wines to Know…

Which one of the following Italian wines is not made using the appassimento method?

A. Recioto di Valpolicella
B.  Bardolino
C. Torcolato
D.  Amarone

Here’s the answer…

Wine Versus Food

For the last 8,000 years, wine’s closest companion has been food. Indeed, the two are so close that they are often thought of as inseparable. In Italy for example, when someone drinks too much, they don’t say, he drank too much. They say, he hasn’t eaten enough food yet.


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Three of our favorite Napa Valley sauvignon blancs are terrific after-work wines for fall.

CLIFF LEDE Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (Napa Valley, CA) $25
Tastes like it costs a lot more than it does. Crisp and snappy, but also wonderfully nuanced in flavor. Sancerre’s California cousin.  
90 points 

LE PETIT COQUEREL “Walnut Wash Vineyard” Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (Calistoga, Napa Valley, CA) $22
Wild, sassy, and peppery. Very fresh. Lots of personality.  
89 points 

GAMBLE FAMILY “Gamble Vineyard” Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (Yountville, Napa Valley, CA) $27
From one of the leading growers of SB in Napa comes this lovely, light, citrusy sauvignon. Great as an aperitif.  
88 points 

The California county with the highest percentage of organic vineyards is Mendocino County.
Answer: True. Mendocino has the highest percentage of organic vineyards of any county in California. According to the Wine Institute, the Mendocino AVA has about 16,700 acres under vine. Of that, almost 30 percent are certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers, with countless other vineyards being organic but not officially certified.