Posts Tagged ‘Herman Story’

Under the influence of the wine label? Guilty as charged.

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Orin Swift - PapillonOh go ahead and call the wine police. I’ll confess. Have I bought under the influence of the wine label? Yes sir, officer! Guilty as charged.

But, admit it. We’ve all done it. Sure we research the vintage tasting notes, read the reviews online, keep current on the industry trends, and mine feedback on our apps. But when you’re running late for that dinner party, you’ve left your phone in the car, and there isn’t a soul to ask for a recommendation, what does it come down to? That’s right…the label.

And really, what’s wrong with that?

Chonic Cellars - Sofa King BuenoAfter all, we taste with our eyes first. We swirl the wine, pontificate its color, its brilliance, its opacity, its legs. It’s our eyes that set the stage ripe with anticipation, setting the expectations of what will soon roll over our tongue. And yet, we discard the label as unimportant, a decoration, a distraction, a rookie mistake. Isn’t the label really our first taste of the vino goodness to come? And if it isn’t, shouldn’t it be?

Still not convinced? Consider some of our favorite wine labels in the shop.

 Orin Swift PapillonOrin Swift - The PrisonerOrin Swift - Saldo

Orin Swift
Strong, bold and arresting with layers of complexity in the storytelling. From Papillon’s hands of third generation Napa Valley grape grower and winemaker Vince Tofanelli to Saldo’s striking red and white label maker label, Orin Swift’s labels offer a visual amuse bouche of what awaits inside.




Herman Story - On the Road, Nuts & Bolts, and TomboyHerman Story
Fresh and forward, saturated, and yet, balanced, Herman Story’s labels reach out and grab you without even a line of front text. It’s pure experience: lush, vivid and focused. And just when you think you’ve got the blend of vineyards figured out, it slaps you with a barrage of words and smirk on the back label.



Owen Roe - Sinister HandOwen Roe - Yakima RedOwen Roe
Conversation starter and finisher. Owen Roe visually tempts your taste buds with a master blend of historical richness and salt of the earth earnestness, all delivered with a wink and a smile. Look no further than Owen Roe’s Sinister Hand label. Ominous yet tempting, it tells the tale of a rowing race won by a competitor slicing off his hand and tossing it on shore to be the first to touch, and ultimately become king. Determined, focused, arresting…or at the very least, a great party conversation starter.

Sans Liege - ProphetessSans Liege - GroundworkSans Liege - Cotes-Du-CoastSan Liege
Tasting this Thursday (5/12) at The Wine Closet with the winemaker himself!
Seductive, enrapturing and powerful, San Liege promises an “anthology of sensory travels” from first glance. A visual feast rich with layers of emotion, temptation and longing, San Liege’s labels deliver that first bite of the forbidden bottled inside.

And with that your honor, I rest my case and give it to the jury. What wine designs have caught your eye and tempted your palate?

Davina DaVino


Bottled Passion – Bodega de Edgar

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Bodega de Edgar

What makes a good wine great and a great wine unforgettable? Passion. It might not be heading the tasting notes, but you taste it on the palate and you feel it on finish. It’s the culmination of every decision – from soil selection to aging – being driven by the winemaker’s unyielding commitment to pour every ounce of themselves, their experience, and their journey into bottled perfection. It’s both undeniable and unexplainable, but it’s present in the best. And there are few that it’s more present than in local winemaker Edgar Torres’ Bodega de Edgar wines.

Edgar Torres’ wines are handcrafted masterpieces. No surprise really, as Edgar started his journey surrounded by amazing wines as a waiter at the famous Villa Creek Restaurant, and developed from cellar rat to winemaker under the tutelage of McPrice Myers (McPrice Myers Wines) and Russell From (Herman Story Wines), two outstanding winemakers in their own rite. What Edgar pours into every vintage is his love of the art and of the land culminating in a passion for and commitment to small production, natural wines. Sourcing the same grapes as Meyers and From, Bodega de Edgar’s wines undergo natural fermentation (no yeast added), where the natural heat of Paso Robles and the yeast within the grape skin initiate fermentation, allowing the varietal and vineyard designate to pronounce itself from nose to finish.

Bodega de Edgar - BottlingAs with most masterpieces, they’re few in number and hard to come by. Bodega de Edgar’s lots are small and purposely so focusing on quality over quantity. Edgar’s Grenache/Syrah blend, E2, for example, has only 45 cases produced. His Garnacha? A select 100 cases. And his Albarino? 310 cases. But we’ve got all three, and we’re the only shop in the area that does.

This Thursday night (4/7) we’re pouring all three (E2, Garnacha, and Albarino) limited releases plus Bodega de Edgar’s newly bottled ’09 Tempranillo and ’07 Syrah. Come by and taste the passion!


Davina DaVino

Blends – the Varietal All-Star Team

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Blends - the Varietal All-Star TeamI love a good blend. I’m not talking about the bland, throw-together-whatever-we-have-leftover blends. Thanks, I’ll pass on those. I’m talking about the perfectly balanced masterpieces of vino. I’m talking about the blends that in one sniff, swirl and swallow celebrate the unique attributes of each varietal in a single, powerful union. Maybe it comes from my sports background or maybe because it’s impossible to turn on the T.V. right now without running into another March Madness game. (I’m not bitter the Gators beat my Gauchos…no, not at all.) Blends are like an all-star varietal team. Sure you could have a team of Zin power forwards dunking fruit bombs all day, but who’s going to run the court and bring some color balance to that game? Now throw a little Petite Sirah point guard in the mix, maybe a Grenache guard, and now you’re talking a power team!

Thursday 3/31 Moonstone Cellars Wine TastingWhy blend? According to one of the blend’s best, Moonstone Cellars (featured at this Thursday’s 3/31 tasting), color and balance are the top two reasons. Blending can brighten up a wine, smooth the acidity, balance the alcohol level, and bring complexity to the palate.

In our opinion, Paso Robles has taking the blend to a true art form and has a bounty of blends to pick from.  We thought we’d share a few of our favorites for your all-star vino team consideration.

  • Justin 2007 Isosceles
    A big money player, but packs a punch worth the ticket. Offers an opaque, dense purple-black core with little color change to the rim. The nose brings black and blue fruit, firm but inviting oak notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, and a sense of just-roasted dark-roast coffee beans with a later note of dark cocoa, a dash of black pepper, and a drop of vanilla. The palate reveals an immensely flavored wine, repeating the black fruit intensity and powerful tannins.The roster: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot
  • Chronic Cellars 2009 Sofa King Bueno
    Not every player demands a huge contract; Chronic Cellars’ 09 Sofa King Bueno brings power playing for an approachable price. Offering juicy fruits, Bing cherries and ripe blackberries followed up by notes of toasted vanilla, cinnamon spice and clove. Consistent flavor, well-integrated fruit and delicate tannins. Mouth-filling and seductive with no hard edges.The roster: 27% Petite Sirah, 25% Syrah, 20% Tempranillo, 14% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre and 4% Tennat 
  • Herman Story 2008 Tomboy - 90 Points, Robert Parker!
    Who said all great blends are reds? Not us! Herman Story’s 08 90 point white is a full-flavored, balls-to-the-walls, intensively flavored blend. The 08 Tomboy blend brings balance to the court with a powerful, rich white blend of marmalade and tropical fruit aromatics to a boat load of glycerin and concentration. Drink over the next 1-2 years.The roster: 40% Marsanne, 40% Roussanne, and 20% Viognier

So who makes your roster?

Davina DaVino

08 Melville Chardonnay & 08 Melville Pinot

Monday, September 20th, 2010

’08 Melville Chardonnay Santa Rita Hills – $25.50
’08 Melville Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills – $33.00
’08 Melville Carries Vineyard – $48.00
’07 Stolpman Hillops Syrah – $48.00
’07 Villa Creek Avenger – $36.00
’08 Herman Story Nuts & Bolts – $36.00

Also, the Wine Closet is offering special pricing on McPrice Myers Cuvee Kristina -$43.50. Check it out!!!

Wine Tasting Tonight

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Tonight (Thursday), The Wine Closet ( is doing a blind tasting tonight with some special wine from around California.   Come check us out.

New wines are on the shelf!!!!!

’08 Melville Chardonay Santa Rita Hills – $25.50
’08 Melville Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills – $33.00
’08 Melville Carries Vineyard – $48.00
’07 Stolpman Hillops Syrah – $48.00
’07 Villa Creek Avenger – $36.00
’08 Herman Story Nuts & Bolts – $36.00

Also, the Wine Closet is offering special pricing on McPrice Myers Cuvee Kristina -$43.50. Check it out!!!

2007 McPrice Myers Cuvee Kristina

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

2007 McPrice Myers Cuvée Kristina
The Wine Closet is featuring this wine as the wine of the month. Special pricing online at The Wine Closet (  Buy Now!! Retail price was $48.00, Now $43.50

98% Syrah, 2% Viognier
121 cases produced
23 months in French Oak, 80% new
Aging Potential: 6-8+ years
This wine is a blend from three vineyards:  Three Creek, Les Galets, Larner Vineyards
30% whole cluster fermentation, in small open top bins, followed by 30-35 days on the skins, with pump -overs during cold soak and punch downs during fermentation. 24 months on lees, in 228 and 265 liter barriques.

Super dark ruby-violet… incredibly sexy nose, blood orange, lavender field, milk chocolate, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, black cherry, tapenade… pomegranate, vanilla French roast, rose petal, lupine, orange rind…looooong finish. Rich, powerful, robust

Chronic Tasting & New Wines

Friday, September 10th, 2010

We had a big turn out last night for the Chronic tasting. The wine was really good. Did some small appetizers, pulled pork sandwiches, taquitos, cheese, nuts, etc. Really a fun time. We gave out some cool Chronic swag, posters & postcards.

The Wine Closet ( is getting new wines daily. Here’s the list (again):

’08 Melville Chardonay Santa Rita Hills – $25.50
’08 Melville Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills – $33.00
’08 Melville Carries Vineyard – $48.00
’07 Stolpman Hillops Syrah – $48.00
’07 Villa Creek Avenger – $36.00
’08 Herman Story Nuts & Bolts – $36.00

Also, the Wine Closet is offering special pricing on McPrice Myers Cuvee Kristina -$43.50. Check it out!!!

My Memories of Mammoth

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Rob, Jerry, Donna and myself took a week off from work and headed out the 395 towards Mammoth Lakes for some fun in the snow. We left on Saturday the 6th at the beginning of a big storm front – it rained about half the time we were driving and snowed lightly once above Bishop. Roads were clear of hazards (including other cars), so it was a quick trip. We checked into our little condo around 4:00ish, settled in and then hit the Vons for a weeks worth of groceries.

Our in-home menu for the week consisted of chicken tortilla soup, chicken parmasan over linguini pasta, Mexican sopas and spicy sausage stuffed portabella mushrooms.  All were delicious.

Our meals out were not as exciting…

First outing was to Burgers Burgers located across from Mammoth Village on Minaret. I’ve come here every time I’ve visited Mammoth in the past as they make good, large burgers perfect following a day on the slopes. This visit was hohum for the most part. Rob and I split the buffalo burger which was overdone and dry –  it was only saved by the grilled onions and mushrooms piled on which were quite tasty. French fries are okay, not the best – but overall, prices at Burgers is reasonable and they’re filling. They also have milk shakes (Rob had vanilla which tasted good, but was runny), and Mammoth Lakes beer on tap…which I thought was all blah except for the nut brown ale

Our 2nd outing was up the ski lift at June Lake – WOW, this is a steep climb up to the top and take about 15 minutes. Luckily it was an incredibly clear day, not a cloud in the sky. Once at the top you could see for miles, absolutely incredible. Their food at the mountain top lodge was quite good too. I had a grilled chicken sandwich with swiss cheese which came on a soft ciabatta-type roll and crispy fries. The soup special was a corn and sausage chowder and was delicious.  Not being a fan of heights, I thought the ride down the ski lift would be difficult, but it was actually easier then the climb up – could have been due to the spicy bloody mary’s I consumed during lunch, which were also very good.

Wines we enjoyed during our stay included Herman Story Grenache, Roessler Pinot Noir, Terry Hoage ‘The Hedge’ Syrah, Venge Champ de Fleurs white blend, Cannonball Cabernet Sauvignon, Chronic Cellars Sofa King Bueno, Villa Creek Willow Creek Cuvee and Barrel 27 Rhight Hand Man, Dubost Homestead Red and a lovely 20 year Tawny Port from Ferreira.

All wines were great, especially after a day playing in the snow.

Annual Xircom BBQ

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Well today was the annual BBQ get-together at Sharon and Jesse’s home for all the folks still “keeping in touch” from the old Xircom days.  There’s about 10 of us plus spouses, plus a ton of kids I can’t keep up with, who all meet at least once a year for a BBQ and a few other holiday gatherings throughout the year.  Sharon and Jesse were so kind as to open up their home once again for the gathering – they provide the lovely home and BBQ and the rest of us bring all the side dishes and booze.  This year we focused on the lighter meat dishes and lots of homemade side salads that were perfect for the lovely afternoon – it was a tad cooler in temperature then previous years’, but pleasant nontheless.  With all this farer food, we opted for a nice bottle of Saxon Brown 06 Semillon to start.  Not too sweet, not too dry with nice balance between fruit and acidity, this wine paired nicely with the caprese-on-a-stick appetizer that had a dramatic presentation of one small fresh mozzarella ball and a fresh basil leaf sandwiched between the cheese and a pear tomato – all this was lightly doused in a blasamic vinagrette.  Tasty treats – thanks Barbara!  We also had hummus with nan lightly toasted and fresh french bread.  Lunch/Dinner consisted of grilled chicken and salmon along with a Mediterranean pasta salad with cannolini beans, feta cheese, olives and sun dried tomatoes (along with a few other items) – yummy, thanks Donna! Another salad of lemon doused pasta with feta and toasted pine nuts which was also very tasty and very different than the other pasta salad – thanks Neni!  We also enjoyed some Sangria and guacamole from Patty and dessert consisted with loads of fresh strawberries, pineapple and great ice-cream from George and brownies made by Tara and Barbara – all was terrific with the Herman Story 05 Syrah from Herman Story


Herman Story Wines

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

This week Leah from the Bradford Group will be bringing over the new releases from Herman Story.  Should be a Syrah with both Larner and Whitehawk Vineyards and I believe 2 Grenache’s.  Tasting notes to follow.   Linda