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    Eisele is one of the greatest single vineyards in Northern California. Ridge made a Cabernet from this source in 1971 and Joseph Phelps made a succession of fine wines throughout the 70s and 80s. However, since Bart and Daphne Araujo acquired the property in 1991, they have been responsible for producing some of the world`s greatest and most sought after Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines.
  • "Nicolás Catena Zapata is justly credited with putting Argentinean wines on the world map—by the best expedient of focusing entirely on quality. It`s great to know he has started a wine dynasty, too."
    Jancis Robinson

    The Catena story begins with the luck of finding high altitude vineyards that turned out to have real terroir and not just dirt on a hill. From that luck and an enormous amount of hard work, Cistercian monk-like research and constant striving for quality comes a large range of wines.

  • A Franco-Italian venture in Argentine Patagonia, Chacra is a young venture, founded in 2003, with vines up to 90 years old. They are fanatical about preventing environmental degradation in their marginal terroir and farm organically and biodynamically in order to conserve and promote biodiversity at all levels of the food chain. As cultivated semi-desert, the Rio Negro region gices vines a chance to struggle to find and express their identity and the cool climate allows long ripening seasons and produces wines with remarkably low natural alcohol levels while fully ripe.
  • I love the Bond wines. Not cheap but pretty good value and as a portfolio a distinctive set of Napa terroirs. They are owned by, but run as a separate operation to Harlan Estate. Each one has a different set of aromas, flavours and strcture and each one is a pleasure to drink. They are proper wines with freshness and balance and none of them is overbearing or tiring. If you love the terroirs of Burgundy then these Cabernets express equivalent differences. Bond describe themselves as Grand Cru and I wouldn`t argue with that.
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    Between LA and San Francisco, Santa Barbara County may not yet be as well known in wine terms as Napa or Sonoma, but it is an area very fast on the rise. It is already home to some extremely distinguished vineyards and wineries. It’s a diverse place, too; the eastern inland reaches are hotter and are most known for Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, while the west excels at cool climate, ocean-influenced Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

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    The story of Cristom begins in 1992, when engineer Paul Gerrie had succumbed to his love for Pinot Noir. He had been searching up and down the Americas for the ideal location to found his own winery. When he discovered an abandoned winery and some neglected vineyards among the steep slopes of the Eola-Amity Hills, he saw the potential, and knew he had found his motherlode.

  • Complex, multi-dimensional, effortless wines. DuMOL are making wines all about the purity of place. the extreme south-west of the Russian River Valley, the cooler corners of Napa. It`s explicitly not about the winemaking, which they try to keep simple - fancy winemaking techniques, in the DuMOL philosophy, tend to obscure vineyard character. It`s all about the fieldwork. And it`s not easy when the vines are dripping every morning from the Pacific fog.

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    When I visited the Freemans last year, it wasn`t just the beauty of their redwood-ringed estate that impressed me, or how remote it seems if (as I did) you take the back road from Napa over the Mayacamas Mountains. I was particularly struck by how Burgundian the Pinots seemed this time round, even as they retained all their hedonistic Californian fruit.

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