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We’re one of 9 from Napa, 100 from around the world

October 20, 2014

Counting down to Wine & Spirits Magazine’s Top 100 Wines event tomorrow, we’re one of only 9 from the Napa Valley: Dominus, Diamond Creek, Frog’s Leap, Mount Eden, Shafer, Stag’s Leap Winery, Storybook Mountain, von Strasser.

Hope you can join us: here are all 100:

We’re on the list at Mission in London

October 15, 2014

We are honored to be on the list at a new wine bar in London called Mission. As Irene Virbila reports in The Los Angeles Times:

And now Michael and Charlotte Sager-Wilde, owners of one of London’s most lauded wine bars, Sager + Wilde, which only opened last year, have launched a new “Californian” wine bar. Called Mission, the wine bar in Bethnal Green in London’s East End showcases California wines, many of which are new territory for British wine buffs more used to sipping obscure Loire Valley wines or proud classified Bordeaux.

The name? Well, according to the news release, it’s “a nod towards the couple’s favorite neighborhood in San Francisco where they lived and worked; it is also the name given to the first grape ever planted in California’s wine region.” And as it turns out, Michael Sager-Wild managed the San Francisco wine bar RN74, which helps explain why the wine list is so uncannily savvy.

Huge on California wines…. Wines are mostly from small producers…. including Smith-Madrone Riesling “Spring Mountain District”…..

Actually the full name of the place is Mission: Californian Wine Bar & Kitchen. …..And what an address! It’s on Paradise Row.

Mission, 250 Paradise Row, London, 011-207-613-0478,

Read all about it here:


Listen to Stu on the radio tonight at 6:10 pm

October 13, 2014

Tune in! Stu will be interviewed on What’s Cookin’ tonight at 6:10 pm at or by going to and clicking on the play button next to CRN1.



We recommend Alder Yarrow’s new book, The Essence of Wine

October 12, 2014

Alder Yarrow has been sharing his insights about wine since 2004, when he founded his blog, Vinography. He is one of the wine world’s most respected voices. Some years ago he developed his Aroma Card and in 2012 he began collaborating with photographer Leigh Beisch in a series of posts capturing the many aromas and flavors to be found in wine.

Now Alder has published The Essence of Wine: Celebrating the delights of the palate. It is an extremely handsome hardcover book which consists of a series of photographs and essays covering 47 flavors and aromas.

Those 47 flavors and aromas include specific fruits and flowers as well as Candle Wax, Wet Stone, Graphite, Garrigue, and many more. Alder accompanies each essay and photo with names of wines which exemplify that flavor. Smith-Madrone Riesling is included on the page about Pear: “…from the translucent-skinned velvety Bartlett to the crisp and floral Asian pear, a thread of flavor unites its many incarnations. The pear’s unique combination of slightly woody skin and sweet juicy flesh make for complex organoleptics that are frequently evoked in wine. Pears are a signature flavor across many of the world’s whites…”

We highly recommend this book—it is an unusual, thoughtful and extremely insightful look at the complexities of wine. You can order it here.

Harvest report for this week for the Spring Mountain District

October 8, 2014

October 6, 2014
The 2014 Spring Mountain harvest is now complete and in the tanks. Every winemaker and grower I spoke with agreed that they were “very happy” with the vintage. Those little rains provided a very helpful slowdown in spacing out the harvest and thus checking any runaway sugars. While it is just a too little early to speculate, it does seem that this year’s wine quality appears to be exceptional.

On the wine list at Mission in London!

October 8, 2014

We’re honored to be on the wine list at Mission, a lively new wine bar in London:

2012 Chardonnay is a ‘winner’ on Vivino

October 5, 2014

Reviewed on Vivino:

This one is a winner. So much Chardonnay from California can boast only the simple oak-n-butter profile, but this little beauty has considerably more to say. The traditional flavors were certainly present, but they were in harmony with a floral nose and diverse combination of fruit flavors such as honeydew, mild peach, and more. In my opinion, this wine will educate your palate about what California Chardonnay can be.