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Great cheese & where to find it along the left coast


Doyenne 2009 Roussanne - Red Mountain, WA

Another impressive wine from Chris Upchurch and Delille Cellars. The Doyenne label’s focus is on wine varietals traditionally from the Rhône Valley. The 2009 Roussanne is restrained, yet elegant, with a complexity that is simply spectacular. Floral notes of dried wildflowers, citrus and honey is fresh and inviting. On the palate the wine is rich and silky with honeysuckle and notes of Moroccan preserved lemon rind. Balanced with a beam of fresh acidity. Only 500 cases were made with aging done primarily in stainless steel tanks (six months) and just 30% aged in neutral French oak for three months. Well worth seeking out.

price: $32/b
drink: now to 2012 


Kosta Browne 2007 Pinot Noir - Sonoma Coast, Ca 

Another superb 2007 Pinot from the southern Russian River and Petaluma Gap area of the Sonoma Coast AVA. Deep flavors of black cherry, raspberry and spice. Sweet oak and bright acids frame a wine that finishes with intrigue and style. Some wet stone, licorice and vanilla add to the finish. Should age well for several years. Aged for 16 months in French oak (48% new).

price: $48.00
drink: best from 2010 through 2016


Mangalitsa Pig Lard - magic in the kitchen!

 Many of the cooking traditions of the past are being rediscovered by a new generation. Chefs at the famous French Laundry and the Herb Farm have been on board for years. What is the product, you ask? Artisan made lard. Want magic in your next pie, biscuit or cookie recipe? Do you love perfectly cooked scrambled eggs and omelets? Then you have the ingredient. We have tried several products from up and down the left coast and have discovered what may be the best. Available at The Chef Shop in Seattle is Mangalitsa Pig Lard. Just amazing! These piggies were bred for this very purpose and the flavor is fantastic. The flaky pie crusts of your dreams is at hand. Shipped frozen at $45 for 3.75 to 4.0 pound buckets, which will last and last. A true ‘off the vine’ pick that will make you a star in the kitchen.


Peirson Meyer 2007 Chardonnay - C. Heintz Vineyard, Sonoma Coast

Exquisite fruit from the Charles Heintz Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast creates one of the finest Chardonnays we have tasted from the ‘07 vintage. Rich and pure with a texture and silky weight that shows what great winemaking (Robbie Meyer) is all about. On the palate and on the attack one finds layers of tropical fruit, including pineapple followed by spiced pear, apricot and orange blossom notes. A fine acidity gives balance and the finish goes on and on. A wonderful effort! Wild yeast and 100% malolactic fermentation in-barrel is just a part of the story. Aged for 15 months in 55% new French oak, the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Just 275 cases were produced. Highly recommended!

price: $55.00
drink now to 2012


Tor 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon 'Mast Vineyard' - Napa Valley

A superb effort. Balance, elegance, power… Floral notes jump from the glass. Blackberry, violets and hints of tobacco leaf follow. Great weight and texture. Tannins are well integrated here and one finds added complexity with currants and minerality present through a long and graceful finish. The wine was aged 22 months in small French oak cask, bottled unfiltered, unfined. The wine will cellar beautifully. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Decant recommended.

price: $75.00
drink: 2010 to 2022 


Hubert Keller's Burger Bar - San Francisco