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Piña Napa Valley: Current Releases If one were to speculate on the wine market as a savvy investor might in the small-cap stock market, the game would be the same: follow people you know with good track records. In the wine world, we'd also have to include a corollary about betting on great vineyard sites, but leaving aside the raw materials, it's clear that most good wines don't happen by accident. They're made by talented people. Finding talented people in Napa isn't hard at first...

Scene's from Auction Napa Valley 2012. I spent the weekend reveling -- both in Summer and in wine -- thanks to the annual fete known as Auction Napa Valley. Put on each year by the Napa Valley Vintners Association, this weekend-long party serves to both celebrate Napa, it's wines, and the lifestyle they represent, as well as do a whole hell of a lot of good for the local community. The centerpieces to the weekend are the barrel auction, where entire barrels of wine are available for…

2008 Ovid Proprietary Red Wine, Napa Valley I've learned a lot about many things in the course of meeting with Napa winemakers and writing about Napa wines for more than eight years. But I tell you, few lessons have been beaten into my head more than the dangers of looking for a vacation home in Napa. If you have the means to buy a nice place in the Napa Valley you are already imperiled. If you start looking, however, you expose yourself to supernatural forces ... Read More.

Schramsberg Vineyards, Napa: A Few Current Releases. At the risk of oversimplifying things past the point of reasonableness, I'd like to suggest that there are really two kinds of wineries in Napa Valley. Those that have been made great in modern times and those that were great long before Napa Cabernet cost more than even a dollar a bottle. There are a handful of wineries that must be considered some of the valley's historical treasures, and those that continue to make excellent wine...

Last weekend I had the singular pleasure of co-leading a tasting with the title Legends of Napa Valley. I wrote about my impressions of the tasting overall, and the lessons that it offered, such as they were, about the aging of Napa wines across the last five decades, as part of my monthly column for Jancis Robinson. Now that I'm done editorializing, we can get down to the wines themselves. READ MORE...

Outpost Wines, Napa: Current Releases To the casual visitor or inexperienced wine lover, Napa may just be a name on a bottle, or a vision of vineyards stretched between Highway 29 and the Silverado Trail. But like many wine regions, Napa is only a word on a map and an official designation for a group of winegrowing regions that, at times, seem to have little in common. The extreme variations of climate, soils, and topography...

Tasting the Superstar Wines of Napa's Oakville AVA Napa Valley is famous, or infamous depending on your point of view, for some of the world's best and priciest Cabernet Sauvignon. While it has yet to reach the heights of the few First Growths in Bordeaux in terms of pricing, the Napa Valley has been producing some of the most sought after wines in the Western Hemisphere for several decades.

2007 Hess Collection "Allomi Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa I can still remember my first wine tasting trip to the Napa Valley. I'm young, so it wasn't that long ago -- probably 1997 or so. Having been born and grown up in Sonoma County, most of my first winery visits as a legal drinker were there. But given my growing love of wine, my girlfriend at the time arranged a trip up to Napa with some friends and I gamely went along for the ride...

Matthiasson, Napa Valley: Current Releases. The past of most wine regions becomes physically embodied in its most iconic destinations, whether grand Chateaux, or venerable old cellars. The future of many wine regions, on the other hand, can be much harder to find. It is often tucked away, or sometimes hiding in plain sight, but usually off the beaten pathways of expectation. One incarnation of Napa Valley's future, or at least a future furtively hoped for by many, can indeed be found...

2006 Girard Winery "Artistry" Red Wine, Napa You can often tell just how much someone loves Napa wine from their familiarity with the sub-appellations or American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) that divide the larger Napa Valley into select, smaller sections. Many consumers have heard of the Stag's Leap District, and possibly Rutherford or Oakville, but there are more than ten other AVAs in the Napa Valley.