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Blending several grape varietals together is a centuries-old tradition for both red and white wines. Vintners learned early on that just a small amount of Cabernet Franc or Merlot could complement and extend the flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon and that a little SÃ©millon could round and soften the herbal edges of Sauvignon Blanc. But we wanted to venture into a wider arena. Just as chefs were exploring the fusion of flavors from classic to contemporary, from east to west, often combining savory, spicy, herbal and fruity flavors in one dish, we wanted to explore how non-traditional combinations of grape varietals would work together. We wanted each varietal to be distinctive but still complementary to the others and to the foods we were enjoying. After experimenting with 11 different white wine grapes, we chose the three that we considered the key ingredients, the aromas and flavors that form the foundation of the wine: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and--for its intriguing floral/tropical character--Muscat Canelli. Then, from our "spice cabinet," we added small amounts of SÃ©millon and Viognier. Already, we were working with flavors and textures that formed a new and unprecedented combination--a conundrum, or puzzle to be teased out by the taster. To make the blend even more complex, we took the same approach we used when making red wine: we treated each small lot or portion of wine separately, respecting its unique flavor profile. This approach starts in the vineyards, where we expanded the number of rootstocks and clones we planted. It extends to harvest decisions, as we pick each grape varietal at several different levels of ripeness and acidity within the spectrum we are seeking. It continues in winemaking, as we ferment some wine lots in stainless steel and some in oak barrels, varying the yeast to complement the character of each. Similarly, we keep some lots in cool-temperature stainless steel to maintain some fresh, crisp aromas and fruit flavors, and age some in seasoned barrels and a small portion of new barrels so that oak flavors remain subtle. As a result, when the time comes to blend the wine, we have not just five lots representing the five varietals, but sixty or more components, each offering its own aromas, flavors and textures. That's when the creative juices begin to flow. The proportions vary slightly in each vintage, as Mother Nature hands us new "ingredients." But our goal is always the same: a wine whose complexity makes it appealing to both red and white wine drinkers, a highly styled wine that is excellent as an apÃ©ritif and pairs beautifully with the wide-ranging, global dishes we are eating as chefs experiment with fresher and more healthful cuisines that depend on vegetables, herbs, spices and creative preparation techniques to achieve intensity of flavor.
The wine enters round with a Chardonnay weight then quickly lightens up as the Sauvignon Blanc adds a fresh element. The Viognier adds a spicy character with Muscat Canelli and Semillon adding to the layers of flavors. Explore this puzzling wine as rich aromas of honeysuckle escape from the glass, ... more
It's proprietary and we believe the fun is exploring this intriguing wine. Conundrum Red is a non-traditional blend of California red grapes. This wine is truly a Conundrum in style which is unlike any other red blended wine. Aromas are rich, velvety and wonderfully appealing; floral notes with tones of ... more
Wine which is produced and bottled under strict supervision and meets all standards to be certified Kosher.
Wine which is produced using organic practices and is free of all synthetic chemicals, antibiotics, hormones and pesticides.
Biodynamic designation is regulated by Demeter, an international certification organization. Biodynamic agriculture is based on the view of a farm as a self-contained organism. Certified organic vineyards must meet Demeter"s additional criteria for a period of one year before earning the designation "biodynamic."
Sustainable practices incorporate organic standards and may exceed them and include ecologically and socially sound business practices such as fair pay for farm workers and energy conservation.
Wines sealed with a screw cap as opposed to a cork, which experts report protects and preserves wine more effectively than does a cork, while also eliminating the possibility of cork taint.
All wines naturally contain some sulfites, however wines that contain less than 10 parts per million sulfites are not required to include "Contains Sulfites" on their labels.
Wines that are still in the barrel and have yet to be bottled. Futures offer the opportunity to invest in a wine before it arrives in our store.
Like futures, pre-arrivals are wines that have not yet arrived on our shelves, however they may or may not be a new release. Pre-arrivals may already be bottled and en route to our store.
The Wine Advocate is a bimonthly wine publication featuring the consumer advice of wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. Initially titled The Baltimore-Washington Wine Advocate the first issue was published in 1978. Accepting no advertising, the newsletter publishes in excess of 7,500 reviews per year, utilizing Parker's rating system that employs a 50-100 point quality scale.
Wine Spectator is a lifestyle magazine that focuses on wine and wine culture. It publishes 15 issues per year with content that includes news, articles, profiles, and general entertainment pieces. Each issue also includes from 400 to more than 1,000 wine reviews, which consist of wine ratings and tasting notes.
International Wine Cellar
Since 1997, the 100% subscriber-supported IWC has also been available in French and Japanese editions.
Wine Enthusiast Magazine is a lifestyle magazine covering wine, food, spirits, travel and entertaining topics. It was founded in 1988 by Adam and Sybil Strum and reaches 686,000 readers. Its wine ratings, conducted by reviewers in major wine-producing areas of the world, are considered an influential gauge for consumers and professionals in the wine industry.
Wine & Spirits
Wine and Spirits is America's practical guide to the straightforward, enlightened enjoyment of fine wine and and premium spirits. We have for 18 years served customers and marketers alike with a lively mix of wine reviews, features, profiles, food and wine pairings, new product introductions, travel pieces, history, opinion and wine business news.
Burghound.com was the first of its kind to offer specialized, and more importantly, exhaustive coverage of a specific wine region. The first Issue was released in January of 2001 and there are now subscribers in more than 50 countries and nearly all 50 states. Allen Meadows spends over four months a year in Burgundy and visits more than 300 domaines during that time.
James is one of the world’s leading authorities on Australian wine, matching intelligent, honest reviews with unparalleled knowledge of, and passion for, the wine industry.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
For thirty-five years, Connoisseurs’ Guide has been the authoritative voice of the California wine consumer. With readers in all fifty states and twenty foreign countries, the Guide is valued by wine lovers everywhere for its honesty and for it strong adherence to the principles of transparency, unbiased, hard-hitting opinions.
I rate wines using the 100-points scale. I have used this point system for close to 25 years. I still believe it is the simplest way to rate a wine, with its origins from grade school in the United States. A wine that I rate 90 points or more is outstanding (A), and worth buying. If I rate a wine 95 points or more (A+), it is a must buy.
View from the Cellar
View From the Cellar, an electronic wine newsletter published bi-monthly by John Gilman.
Homepage for wine writer, Neal Martin's, "Diary of a Wine Writer".
Malt Advocate magazine is America's leading whisky magazine. It's the number one source for whisky information, education and entertainment for whisky enthusiasts.
The Rhone Report
Dedicated to the wines and grapes of the Rhone Valley
Wine Review Online
Wine Review Online was originally conceived by Publisher Robert Whitley as an all-encompassing platform for the many talented wine journalists he came across in his travels as wine columnist for the Creators Syndicate.
All sizes are 750mL unless otherwise noted.
Vintages and ratings subject to change at any time.
All pricing and availability subject to change.