Notes From The Cellar

2010 24 Knots Monterey County Pinot Noir

Steve Paulo

Bargain-Priced Pinot Noir Won’t Blow You Away

My wife and I spent a weekend in Monterey, California recently. While there, we tasted some local wine, and found several bottles that really impressed us. I’ll be writing about some of those wines in the coming days or weeks…

2009 Sequoia Grove Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Steve Paulo

A Subtle Napa Valley Cab

It’s common for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon to have a reputation for bombast, for explosive fruitiness. Fruit-bombiness, if you will. With their 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet, Sequoia Grove Winery brings you something less common in Napa: subtlety

2010 Artesa Limited Release Alexander Valley Cabernet Franc

Steve Paulo

Where Dark and Spicy Meets Lush and Round

In Los Carneros there sits a bunker atop a hill. Really, it looks like a bunker, but it’s a tasting room. This avant-garde hilltop compound is a sight to behold, and one you shouldn’t miss. Welcome to Artesa…

The Champion of the 2013 Meritage Madness Tournament Is...

Steve Paulo

Cabernet Sauvignon!

Congratulations to the King of Bordeaux, the Emperor of Napa, the Champion of Chile— really, the most popular red grape on the planet— Cabernet Sauvignon, for winning the 2013 Meritage Madness Tournament!

2013 Meritage Madness: The Championship

Steve Paulo

There Can Be Only One

Well, folks, it all comes down to this. In the real world, the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has inched its way into April (can it still be called March Madness?) and has its Final Four. Here in fantasy wineblogland, we have our Championship Matchup set in the 2013 Meritage Madness Tournament…

2013 Meritage Madness: The Final Four!

Steve Paulo

16 Grapes Entered, Only Four Remain

As the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament enters its second weekend (and the fabled “Sweet Sixteen”), our little Tournament of Berries steps ever-closer to naming a winner. Here, then, without (much) further ado, are your Final Four!

2013 Meritage Madness Tournament: Regional Semifinals

Steve Paulo

Say Hello To Your Elite Eight!

The first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is in the books, as is the first round of the Meritage Madness Tournament! How did your favorites do?

Welcome to the 2013 Meritage Madness Tournament

Steve Paulo

Where Your Favorites Go Head-to-Head

Welcome, sports fans! Welcome, wine fans! I wanted to find out what the most popular varietal wine is (at least among people I could get to participate), so I created Meritage Madness! In this inaugural tournament, I’m pitting top seeds Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon against a field of other popular wine grapes in White and Red regions, to see who comes out on top!

2011 Ledson Winery & Vineyards Russian River Valley Chardonnay

Steve Paulo

Lightly-Oaked Sonoma Darling

Just off Highway 12, at the northern point of Sonoma Valley, lies a castle. Really, it’s a huge home, but Ledson calls it a castle, and I’m inclined to let them have it; it’s really quite stunning. Some of the wines you can taste inside, however, are the real showstoppers…