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    Napa, CA, Usa
  1. Visiting Richmond Virginia What are the don't miss food spots? Thanks
  2. Visiting Richmond Virginia What are the don't miss food spots? Thanks
  3. Strickly speaking this is not a "Meritage." Meritage (rhymes with “Heritage”, so feel free to flick anyone who says “Merit-aahhjj”) is actually a very specific term and a registered trademark, to boot. American vintners who wanted to fashion themselves after Bordeaux producers founded the American Meritage Association to come up with an accepted definition for the term, and members pay $1/case fee for the right to put the word on their bottle. Red Meritage is made up of two or more of the red Bordeaux varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, St. Macaire, Gros Verdot, and Carmenere. A white Meritage is made from a blend of two or more of the following varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Sauvignon Vert. No single variety may make up more than 90% of the blend in either case. But here are a couple of "California Meritage blends" that are pretty good... Robert Foley Claret Joseph Phelps Insignia BOND Caldwell Cardinale Dalle Valle Maya Dominus Gemstone Lail J. Daniel Cuvee Niebaum-Coppola Rubicon Opus One Pahlmeyer Peter Michael Les Pavots Knights Valley Pine Ridge Andrus Quintessa Viader
  4. I wouldn't characterize TCA as being "contagious". If you have one tainted bottle, your whole cellar will be not be contaminated. There would have to be a very specific set of unlikely circumstances to happen before TCA would be passed from one bottle to another. And luckily, most finished wines have capsules or wax on them to make that even less likely. At a very basic level--TCA occurs when a particular type of mold interacts with chlorine and other chemical compounds called "phenolics" (which can be naturally occurring, including flavinoids, found in stems and seeds of grapes, etc). Corks are a large factor in TCA, as bark for cork used to be bleached with chlorine products regularly. Miniscule amounts of (naturally occurring) mold in corks + cholorine + exposure to wine = corky bottles. When a cellar or wine producing facility has a TCA problem, it's likely because they've been using chlorine products for years to clean; you can imagine how some recycled barrels can results in dozens of cases ofTCA-infected wines. Put those barrels on wooden pallets that you also clean with chlorine, and after a while, etc. and TCA can spread systemically that way. I've opened cardboard case boxes that smell like TCA, but the wine inside was fine. What's likely happening in these large-scale winerires is that low levels of TCA meet inferior corks, and then you have not-so-low levels of TCA. Hope that answers your question, esp. since I'm not a scientist. I'm not so sure now that the problemis specific to California (in fact, the WS story has a link to another story that is European-based). But perhaps the California style of wines, which generally tend to be fruit forward, make TCA seem more obvious, whereas Old World styles of earthier wines mask it better.
  5. I don't think it's surprising at all, given WS track record with reporting TCA. Someone over there thrives on publishing this type of stuff as hardly an issue goes by where there isn't some report of it in some wine somewhere in the world. Heck, the last August issue rated a Gallo '02 Sonoma Chardonnay as a 55. They said six of eight bottles had some form of TCA. They seem comfortable with publishing this to the world and basically saying, "You've got a problem, fix it!" Really Nice! - I wasn't surprised, that was in responce to the lovely Carolyn Tillie's surprise. Actually there is a big TCA problem here in California, not so much in the rest of the world far as I can tell. Just curious - Would you rather not know what producers are selling $125 bottles of wine that they know are tainted? As for the Gallo score, I guess that pokes a hole in all of the conspiracy-theorists talk of high scores for advertisers, as Gallo is still prominent in the WS ads.
  6. That is why I'm surprised. Well ETS is independent of Wine Spectator and Montelena and all of the other wineries in the valley. ETS also enters into confidentiality agreements with their clients. And YES Montelena did know. As did BV and Gallo. That's the whole point. They knew that they had produced flawed wines and continued to sell them. Do you think that is OK? I don't. If they had any integrity they would pour the crap right down the drain instead of hoping consumers are too stupid to taste the TCA or try to Feed people this bullshit: So I guess it's not surprising that Montelena knew they had a problem that was tainting their wine and they were continuing to sell $125 bottles of it. But it's very, very surprising that Wine Spectator would point that out to their readers.
  7. Not sure why you find it bizzare. Looks like they had been tasting "corky" wines from there since 1997, so they sent them to the lab to have them tested. Would you believe the winery's test results? Or an independent lab? It seems it is a better story to hear what the winery is doing about the problem, then to just print the results of the testing. This is the same approach WS used in the Gallo and BV TCA problems. Seems it is pretty good consumer information and also fair to the producer to say, Hey we found this. Have you known about it? What are you doing about it?
  8. Trichloranisole: It's not only the Corks. Article from Wine Spectator online today. Wine Spectator
  9. I have not eaten at the Manresa, but would like to. I would like to point out that most (or all), of the VERY positive posts have come from people with VIP or SUPER VIP status and not from "regular" diners. I think that we can all agree that there is a MUCH greater chance of having a great experience when you are given extra attention. And I, for one, appreciate it when a review has a bit of a disclaimer. I also find negative reviews very helpful in the sense that one can sometimes be alerted to potential problems and try and avert them.
  10. This has been going on for a couple months and speculated about for longer. Look for most or all of Mondavi to be sold.
  11. Everyone's said everything that needs to be said already, but I might want to add a small point: Years ago, many California producers treated Zin differently than their other red wines. Zin was the fun and juicy wine that was often released first of the vintage, and (outside of those that were taking it seriously), wasn't taken very seriously. These days, more and more Zin producers are treating it like Cabernet; giving it more oak, releasing it later, and giving it higher prices. With that comes an implied "you can cellar this!", but I don't think that's necessarily the case. As others have pointed out; the ripe style and the high alcohols don't give much hope for aging; no matter how much wood you slap on it. And in general, since fruit is the first thing to fade when a wine is aged, and these tend to be fruity, juicy wines, aging is a big gamble.
  12. Well part of her is living forever, Right here. And while I am crying I am also thinking how wonderful and full a life to have given so much to so many. To have made that kind of impact. I am also glad to be able to share my feelings here with my friends at egullet. I hope that we can all take the time to enjoy good food and wine, made with love, care and respect, with our family and friends--- Just like Julia taught us. I for one will be making a meal to celebrate Julia's wonderful life. Maybe a new thread with pictures, if others do the same.
  13. Julia'sChild

    pesto additives

    I have made arugula pesto, (or added some to my basil pesto), which is good on a lot of different pastas. And it is good on potato salad as well.
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