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Chardonnay Rules at Kumeu River

Chardonnay Rules at Kumeu River

"New Zealand’s wine history has been significantly—and positively—influenced by the Croatian immigrants who arrived in the country at the turn of the last century and settled in northerly Auckland. The Brajkovich family, who immigrated from the Dalmatian coast, founded what is now Kumeu River Wines in 1944. Today, third-generation Michael Brajkovich serves as winemaker; he also became New Zealand’s first Master of Wine in 1989. Chardonnay is a specialty at Kumeu River. I tasted through some current Chardonnay releases with Michael last month. This is one of New Zealand’s best producers of this varietal, with few rivals."
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Anthony Dias Blue, December 2009
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Sommelier’s Choice, Top Releases of 2009

Sommelier’s Choice, Top Releases of 2009

For Sommelier Journal’s year-end selection of the best of 2009, we wanted to avoid adding to the omnipresent listings of “wines of the year” and “gold medals.” Instead, we thought our readers would be more interested in seeing meaningful recommendations from their colleagues. I asked a number of our editors and writers and other top professionals from around the world to submit their most memorable wines of 2009, along with personal tasting notes. Each was limited to one selection; the only criteria were that the wine had to be currently available in the United States and not commercially represented by...
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Benjamin T. Weinberg, December 2009
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Sommelier’s Choice, Top Releases of 2009

Sommelier’s Choice, Top Releases of 2009

For Sommelier Journal’s year-end selection of the best of 2009, we wanted to avoid adding to the omnipresent listings of “wines of the year” and “gold medals.” Instead, we thought our readers would be more interested in seeing meaningful recommendations from their colleagues. I asked a number of our editors and writers and other top professionals from around the world to submit their most memorable wines of 2009, along with personal tasting notes. Each was limited to one selection; the only criteria were that the wine had to be currently available in the United States and not commercially represented by...
To read the full article, click here.
Benjamin T. Weinberg, December 2009
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Wines for Thanksgiving Menus

Wines for Thanksgiving Menus

"You definitely don't want a big heavy bruiser of a wine at Thanksgiving, so I'll not only agree with Pinot Noir, but I'll stay in Oregon with my pick. WillaKenzie Estate 2007 Pinot Noir does what Pinot does best. It shimmers gracefully in the glass, and brims with cherry-berry flavors that are at once bright and deep. The finish brings a pleasant 'thwack' of acidity that helps keep a meal light on its feet. I can't say enough about this wine."
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Wini Moranville, November 20, 2009
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Gerald Boyd’s Thanksgiving Picks

Gerald Boyd’s Thanksgiving Picks

Pinot Noir is a great wine to have with your holiday meal, no matter what food you serve. So, here are...Pinots I tasted this past year that will bring enjoyment to any holiday meal. WillaKenzie Estate 2006 Pierre Leon Pinot Noir is concentrated and nicely balanced, with dark plum, boiled beet, black pepper and a trace of earthiness. The Pierre Leon is a Pinot to savor now or with another year or two of bottle age.
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Gerald Boyd, November 16, 2009
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All-American Turkey Day

All-American Turkey Day

The key to pairing whites with the cacophony of holiday flavors is to find aromatic wines packed with fruit and freshness. Riesling: A classic grape responsible for dry to dessert wines, Riesling in all forms is ideal for bridging the spicy, sweet mix of dishes on the turkey table. Gainey 2007 Riesling Santa Ynez Valley, California Deliciously dry-styled Riesling delivering value.
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Leslie Sbrocco, November 15, 2009
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Pinot Noirs for Thanksgiving

Pinot Noirs for Thanksgiving

To come up with some specific suggestions for Thanksgiving dinner, we retasted about three dozen American Pinot Noirs we have recommended over the years that are not too hard to find. We ultimately decided on these six... WillaKenzie Estate 2007 Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvée, Willamette Valley "Light but complete. Good Pinot flavors in a very drinkable package. Bright fruit and light enough to complement everything on the table without adding yet another big taste. This really tastes like the fruit of the harvest—something that grew in the earth, under the sun—and therefore is quite appropriate to a Thanksgiving meal." Click...
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Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, November 14, 2009
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24 Outstanding Wines from Oregon

24 Outstanding Wines from Oregon

A baker’s dozen of 2007 Pinot Noirs as well as a mixed selection of Oregon whites that offer great value. WillaKenzie wines are two of Wine Spectator's top 24.Click here for the entire list.
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Harvey Steiman, November 6, 2009
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The World’s Best Wine Values Under $25.00

The World’s Best Wine Values Under $25.00

This heartbreakingly beautiful and historically fought-over region of France is home to some of the world’s most dramatically distinctive, seductively aromatic, texturally alluring, and long-lived wines. The grape varieties themselves-not to mention the soils and microclimates in which they are grown and stylistic inspirations of the growers-are so diverse that they permit synergistic pairings with virtually any cuisine on earth. Marc Kreydenweiss Alsace Pinot Blanc Kritt Organic pioneer Kreydenweiss’s blend of Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois suggests pear cider and honeysuckle. Rich, often strikingly creamy, it finishes lusciously but without a hint of sweetness.
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Robert M. Parker, November 3 2009
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The World’s Best Wine Values Under $25.00

The World’s Best Wine Values Under $25.00

New Zealand is the new kid on the block, as it is only since the early 1990s that the country has established a successful wine industry, and boy, has it striven to make up for lost time. Coupled with slick marketing campaigns based around the image of New Zealand as an unspoiled rural paradise, evocatively depicted by the iconic label of Cloudy Bay, it is unsurprising that from virtually nothing there are now just shy of 62,000 acres under vine. Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay From one of New Zealand’s best exponents of the variety, their entry-level Chardonnay has a very...
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Robert M. Parker, November 3, 2009
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