California Wine

Whether it comes to ice-cold cocktails or wines, we all have preferences when it comes to which libations we prefer to drink in hot weather.

Some of us cannot handle drinking a high in alcohol; tannic red wine during the hot summer months and naturally turn to other alternatives.

On this note, many people gravitate toward the great dry rosé wines, which always deliver in beating the heat. Some of us, who just can’t bear to stay away from our red wines, find that these are the perfect “stand-ins” as they are made from red grapes!

Just as wines have body and varying mouth feels (viscosity), so do cocktails. If you are a gin and tonic fan laced with loads of fresh lime, or a Caipirinha or Margherita fan you’ll probably be drawn to crisp, Sauvignon Blancs. California, New Zealand and the Loire Valley provide a zesty and fresh quaff, and are streamlined, so to speak, with clean and refreshing crispness, that hits the spot on hot summer days.


Sauvigon Blancs


Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Seifried Sauvignon Blanc 2005

Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc 2006

Nobilo Icon Res Sauv Blanc 2006

Rudd Sauvignon Blanc 2006

Bogle Sauvignon Blanc 2006

Ferrari-carano Fume Blanc 2006

Flora Springs Soliloquy 2005

Cartlidge & Brown Sauv Blanc

Benziger Sauv Blanc

Pascal Jolivet Fume 2006

Pascal Jolivet Attitude Sauv Blanc 2006

Domaine Cherrier Sancere 2006

Pastou Sancerre Les Boucaults 2007

Lucien Crochet Sancerre 2006




Chateau Pavie Macquin Le Rose De Pavie Macquin 2007

Chateau Phelan Segur Le Rose De Phelan Segur Saint Estephe 2007

Muri Gries Lagrein Rosato 2007

Hundred Acre Pink Gold 2006

Mas De Gourgonnier Rose Les Baux De Provence 2007

Crios De Susana Balbo Rose Of Malbec 2007

Librandi Rosato 2007

Chateau De Pavie Le Rose De Pavie Saint Emilion 2007

Trinquevedal Tavel Rose 2007



As many of you know, Wine Legend held its Grand Tasting at The Manor on October 18. We had a tremendous turnout to sample the over three hundred wines and spirits being poured. We also offered the option for people to attend a special wine dinner, which was held in The Manor’s Wine Cellar.

The dinner consisted of three courses, each paired with exceptional wines.

We’d like for you to have the opportunity to try these wines for yourself as we feel that they were all amazing. Carol Berman of Wine Legend, who is a sommelier, presented the wines.


With the first course, which consisted of scallops and lobster plated in a very creative, Multi-faceted flavor and textured presentation, we served the following wines:

Pieropan, Soave Classico, La Rocca, 2003, Veneto, Italy
This wine is wonderfully classy and refined, with beautiful minerality lacing through in every sip. It is a stellar representation of the Garganega grape, which is this family’s specialty. CB

Chateau de la Matroye, Chassagne Montrachet, 2005, Burgundy, France
This is terrific white Burgundy from a great vintage. Lush, medium to full-bodied. And balanced on the palate, this wine is drinking beautifully right now. CB

Chapoutier, Condrieu Blanc, 2005, Rhone, France
Made 100% from the Viognier grape. Can be vinified anywhere from bone dry to a luscious mouth filling wine with considerable sweetness. This one is off dry displaying much elegance and finesse. CB

The main course was a superbly prepared short rib dish, in which the meat was cooked to perfection and its simple pure flavor worked perfectly with each of the following wines:

Chateau de Pommard, Pommard, 2005, Burgundy, France
Well structured and nicely balanced with classic cherry and soft pepper notes.
Drinking very well now. CB

Bruno Giacosa, Barolo, Le Rocche Del Falletto, 2003, Piedmont, Italy
What can be said of the great wines from Giacosa? The wines speak for
Themselves. This Barolo from the very hot 2003 vintage displayed a lovely dried fruit perfume and ripeness on the palate. It is concentrated, lush and indeed, Giacosa special. CB

Hundred Acre, Ancient Way, Shiraz, 2004, Napa, California
This is a California winery that happens to source and make wine with major hands-on attention in the Barossa Valley in Australia. This is an exceptional Australian wine made from very old vines that grow in rare “terra rossa” and fractured limestone soils, hence its concentration. You can cut it with a knife and fork and call it dinner! CB

Dessert was laden with rich chocolate, which is the perfect compliment to Port Wines:

Charbay, Syrah Port 1997, California
This is small batch port made in California. The wine has an interesting hint of brandy on the nose and palate, due to the fact that the family uses their own brandy in the fermentation production.

Graham’s Port, 1994, Portugal
This is a great vintage port from this very old Port house. The very stylish1994 is clean and refined, displaying both great balance and harmony. CB


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Garage wine project from Andy Erikson and Anie Favia

Screaming Eagle’s wine maker is at it again, proving that great things do come from out of a garage!

Made by the incredible husband and wife team of Andy Erickson, (Staglin, Hartwell, Favia, Ovid, Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle and Arietta), and Anie Favia (viticulturist for Abreu and Screaming Eagle).

Leviathan California Red 2005

This decadent blend of Syrah (55%), Cabernet Sauvignon (25%), Merlot (15%) and Cabernet Franc (5%) is definitely influenced by the Syrah in the blend. Black fruit and spice with very little new oak make it really pleasant right out of the gate!

Leviathan isn’t meant to be a long-aging wine, it is meant instead to be drunk within the next few years. This is a different approach for Erikson, whose past wine creations are definitely made for cellaring.

This exciting wine is destined to become another “cult wine.”

Get it while you can. Buy Leviathan California Red 2005.

The time has come to begin taking that pink juice in the wine bottle seriously.

For those who still find themselves shaking in their shoes at the thought of bringing to their lips a glass of pink wine, GET OVER IT!

Rosé wines are for all practical purposes, red wines that have had less skin and juice contact after crush.

The coloration in wine really comes from the skins. The longer that the juice stays in contact with the grape skins, the darker the wine will be.

There is nothing insipid about true rosé wines.

Many years ago when white zinfandel wine was first introduced into the marketplace it became the first wine to which non-wine drinkers gravitated. Why was this?

Because, it was really nothing like drier wines, which people were not used to and therefore their palates didn’t quite understand. White Zinfandel wines were, and still are, really soft, fruity, and quite simple.

When you try a rosé wine from the Provence region in France made from a blend of the Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah grapes (plus, maybe even a couple more in the blend), you are drinking a spicy and berry-laden wine. This is to say, a wine with lots of character and even complexity.

Italian rosato wines are another good bet when seeking out wonderful pink wines.

The thing to do is to open your minds and a bottle of a good pink wine and decide for yourselves…is it going to be a heavy red wine or a crisp and flavorful pink, in the heat and humidity of the summer? When you realize that these may be drunk with any meal at which you would drink a rich red wine, you just may find yourselves a new seasonal favorite.

Recommended wines:

Mas de Gourgonnier, 2006, Les Baux, Provence, France
Cantalupo, Il Mimo, 2006, Piedmont, italy
Vin Gris de Cigare, 2006, California
Chateau de Trinquevede, 2006, Tavel, France
Muga, 2006, Rioja, Spain

Redcar The Fight 2004

This is a presale wine.

You can buy this wine at our wine store.
Regular Price: $64.99 | Sale Price: $51.99
Click here to buy this wine!




Redcar Red Wind 2004

This is a presale wine.
About this wine: The 2004 red wind is the next vintage of the Trolley Series. It is called red wind after the hot, dry off-shore winds that blast Los Angeles. It is thick purple to the rim of the glass. The aromas are wild blueberries and violets. It literally explodes in the mouth with blue and black fruit flavors, giving one’s palate the sense of a sweet round center held together by vibrant acidity. Time will tell but this may be the best wine made by Red Car to date. At the least it is a testament to the possibilities of blending. Pure syrah, it is comprised of 8 barrels from Richard Perry Vineyard, 3 barrels from Shadow Canyon Vineyard, 2 barrels from Laetitia Vineyard and 2 barrels from Vivio.

You can buy this wine at our wine store.
Regular Price: $64.99 | Sale Price: $51.99
Click here to buy this wine!

Red Car Boxcar Pinot Noir 2004

This is a presale wine.
About this wine: The 2004 Boxcar Pinot Noir is expensive in taste but not in cost. Delicate and bursting with ripe cherries and plums, its juicy front palate has smooth elegant tannins on the finish. Produced from grapes harvested from eminent Russian River Valley vineyards, this is Red Car’s second select pinot noir. It is balanced with bright acid with an aromatic nose of cinnamon and cloves. Enjoy this affordable jewel now.

You can buy this wine at our wine store.
Regular Price: $28.99 | Sale Price: $23.19
Click here to buy this wine!

Marilyn Merlot Velvet Collection 2003

Marilyn Wines have just launched their Velvet Collection 2003 and they are counting on the power of nostalgia eye candy. Marilyn’s iconic red velvet nude graces the front of the Velvet Collection 2003. What about the nudity? The wine comes in a sealed box with a cut-out window that covers up Marilyn’s naughty bits. Buy the the wine and you get the pleasure of undressing the lady, peeling off the plastic label that keeps her decent.

On October 12, a warehouse fire destroyed this winery inventory of the 2002 and 2003 vintages of the Velvet Collection. The collectibility of the wines they offer is well known, but those who have already purchased the Velvet Collection and those who acquire these remaining wines will have something rare, indeed.

You can buy this wine at our wine store.
Regular Price: $229.99 | Sale Price: $183.99
Click here to buy this wine!

Update(3rd March): Marilyn Merlot Velvet Collection 2003 is now available at $174.99 | Buy Marilyn Merlot 2003. (Size: 1.5 lts)

(Right now, this wine is available only with WineLegend.)

About Joseph Phelps Backus: Enticing aromas of currant, mocha and stone carry over to the palate, giving it a decidedly minerally edge. But those pebbly notes give it a unique flavor profile and it’s supported by firm, chewy tannins. Best to decant now. Best from 2007 through 2012
This wine is also known as Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Backus

Rating: WS 92 Pts (Wine Spectator 92 points)
Vintage: 2002
You can buy the wine at our wine store.
Regular Price: $227.99 | Sale Price: $182.39
Click to buy!

Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

Robert Mondavi 2002 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve unfolds in deep, intense dark fruit character, with mineral, violet and earthy truffle complexity. The wine is powerful yet elegant, with beautifully integrated firm, muscular tannins that promise long aging potential.

The International Wine Challenge (IWC) rates 92-95 Points
“Bright ruby. Deep, sappy aromas of blackcurrant, licorice, graphite, sassafras and espresso. Fat, rich and broad, with layered flavors of cassis, mocha and sexy oak. Offers an impressive combination of fullness and vibrancy. Finishes very long and fine, with cassis, mineral and sweet oak notes. I suspect this wine will develop in a more interesting way than many 2002s with even higher alcohol and lower acidity.”

Wine Advocate (WA) rates 92 points
“The stylish, elegant 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve (8,300 cases of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec) is not as dense as either the M-Bar or Vine Hill Ranch cuvee, but it offers a beautiful marriage of power and elegance. Cedar wood, creme de cassis, spice box, and dried herb aromas soar from the glass of this medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, elegant Private Reserve, which is somewhat reminiscent of Mondavi’s 1978. It’s all about harmony, balance, and finesse in 2002. Drink it over the next 15+ years.”

You can buy the wine at our wine store.
Regular Price: $124.99 | Sale Price: $94.99 (its a pre-release wine)
Click to buy!