This wonderful white wine is the product of Randall (Randy) Graham, the quirky and unique founder of Bonny Doon, an enterprise that he created to produce American versions of the best Rhône wines. He's run into some tough times in the last few years, a visionary winemaker but self-described not-so-good businessman, and in January sold the brand to WarRoom Ventures LLC after 35 years at the helm. Thankfully, he'll remain as winemaker and on the board of WarRoom. Other labels he relinquished earlier include favorites Big House Red and Cardinal Zin. Picpoul, or in the French way, "Piquepoul" (sometimes Piquepou de Pinet) means "lip stinger" on account of its bracing acidity. It's typically grown in the south of France, but…

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There are roughly nine weeks left of “traditional” summer—Memorial Day to Labor Day—and hopefully you’ve been able to buy and enjoy some lovely wines.  I’m betting that you’ve quaffed a few Rosés, ideally some of them with some aroma, fruit, and character (and not those watery, pale and insipid ones). Anyway, I’m hoping you’ll make a pledge to just this once, stay away from the big 4: Chardonnay, the Queen; Pinot Grigio, the rook; Sauvignon Blanc, the knight; and Riesling, the King. There are so many other wonderful whites out there, so please give them a try. Look at them as varietal treats during the Pandemic: if you can’t get out and about, stay in and luxuriate!  Here they are,…

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Meritage, as you may know, is a kind of proprietary red wine made by any number of producers in California. It's supposedly done in the "Bordeaux style" which means it must have at least two of these varieties - Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, and Petit Verdot - and can have all five, though few do. To be labeled a Meritage wine, the winery has to be a member of the Meritage Association and follow a few rules. But that's not something for you to worry about. Anyway, I like my share of Meritages, although they tend to be more fruity, dense and powerful than Bordeaux wines. I've enjoyed Buena Vista, Charles Krug, Cosentino, Ehler's Estate, Guenoc, Murrieta's Well,…

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