Featured User: Bill Alvarez

Although my day job has been in the financial arena, I have always been fascinated by wine from the growing of grapes, to harvest, fermenting, aging and bottling, and ultimately tasting the work of human hands, which is a craft that may not be duplicated successfully year after year. I spent many years learning about wines by reading, attending tastings, talking with wine makers, visiting wineries and taking structured courses. As a result of my efforts I am WSET certified. I have hosted many tastings and provide comments on my wine knowledge through my blog, SippingFineWine.com and on various wine apps where I am highly ranked in the U.S. Delectable: What sparked your passion for wine? Bill Alvarez: Learning about the mystery of wine! There are many different varietals and tastes. These tastes vary among many individuals and not everyone shares the same experience. It is this ever changing variable (taste of varietals and vintages) that drives my passion for the love of wine. D: What wine region are you wild about right now? BA: I like many regions; however, I find the most excitement from tasting Spanish wines, particularly from Rioja where the grapes, wine making and aging produce wines that are both outstanding to drink young as well as with some age. D: What is the most unusual wine you’ve ever tried? BA: Wines that are not made from grapes! D: What is your golden rule for wine? BA: Be open minded when tasting wine regardless of the varietal, region or price of the bottle. I will try any wine and honestly analyze what are its good and undesirable points. I have found wines that are not my preference in taste or style that I thought were quality products. I like to taste blind as much as I can so as to focus on the wine and not the label. D: Say you’re not allowed to have wine, what is your second option? BA: Water! D: Choose a movie, book, quote, or song and pair it with a wine BA: Movie: Sideways – Pinot Noir and Merlot ! Book: Catch 22 – Always guessing on which wine to open! Quote: George H.W. Bush said, “Think about every problem, every challenge, we face. The solution to each starts with education." All wine, the more you learn about it, the more you will understand its complexity. Song: Red Red Wine – Cabernet Sauvignon ! D: If you were a wine, what wine would you be? BA: Big, bold, ripe, small production Cabernet Sauvignon with graceful, aged tannins!

Styring Vineyards

Signature Pinot Noir 2014

Had another chance to try this wine. Family-owned and operated growing just over ten acres of grapes and producing around 1000 cases per year. Berry, spice and floral aromas explode on the nose. Fresh fruit flavors, raspberry and cherry, citrus notes and hints of vanilla, great balance with acidity. Firm tannins, lingering finish ending with earthy tones and a bit of pepper. An enjoyable Pinot at a reasonable price. Has short term aging benefits, but why wait. Tasting Sample. — 6 years ago

Daniel P., Velma and 2 others liked this
Sharon B

Sharon B Influencer Badge

I wish the hadn’t of deleted our features. @Severn Goodwin
Severn Goodwin

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@Sharon B they are still there, have to go to the website now to see.
Sharon B

Sharon B Influencer Badge

@Severn Goodwin oh that’s good to know! Thanks

Dr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler

Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling 2006

I tried this over a year ago and had another opportunity to try the ‘06 again. Nice Golden color with concentrated fruit aromas of citrus and stone fruits, with ever so present gentle petrol notes. Off dry, plenty of fruit, stone, peach, and citrus, great balance with fruit, sugar and acidity. Lingering finish, elegant! Still tasting great. — 6 years ago

Daniel P. and Severn liked this

Grgich Hills Estate

Napa Valley Chardonnay 2014

Mike Grgich, the “King of Chardonnay” farms w/o pesticides and certified organic. Aged 10 months and did not undergo malolactic fermentation. Pale gold straw with soft aromas of stone & tropical fruits. On the palate apple, melon & tropical flavors, with some vanilla toasty oak notes. Nice balance with acidity on lingering finish with a zingy mineral ending. Not your typical CA Chard, very nice! — 6 years ago

Shay, Velma and 2 others liked this


Ca' Marcanda Camarcanda Bolgheri Red Bordeaux Blend 2015

Angelo Gaja, owner of Gaja Winery, began a new venture - Ca'Marcanda, Piedmontese term for “house of endless negotiations”-Blend of 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon & 10% Cabernet Franc, not blended with this mix again. A rich Gaja style wine. Aromas of fruit and earthy spice. On the palate blackberry and cherry flavors with cacao, tobacco and oak notes. Full body, fine tannins, lingering, elegant balance and structure, ending with sweet earthy mineral. Tasting Sample. — 6 years ago

Daniel P., Severn and 4 others liked this

Cakebread Cellars

Napa Valley Chardonnay 2015

30+ years ago, Jack Cakebread came to photograph Napa for a book & bought a vineyard, Cakebread Cellars was born. Cakebread wine offerings are among my Favs, Chard is no exception, consistent quality year/year. ’15, an early harvest showing aromas of green fruits, citrus & honey scents. On the palate complex flavors of apple, melon & lemon zest, balanced with good acidity & great mouthfeel. Lingering finish ending with sweet mineral spice. Update: Had this a year ago, it’s still great & getting better now! — 6 years ago

Velma, Shay and 11 others liked this

Robert Mondavi Winery

BDX Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2013

Had this a year ago & set down another bottle. A special wine not produced every vintage, BDX presents a different expression of Oakville in a Bordeaux blend of Cab Sauv and small bit of Cab Franc. The wine sat on French oak (32% new) for 29 months. Aromas of rich ripe berry fruit, sweet oak spice & cedar notes. On the palate blackberry & sweet cherry flavor with cacao & cedar spice, great balance & structure. Soft tannins, balanced acidity on a lingering finish ending with a slight earthy character. Nice! — 6 years ago

Shay, Daniel P. and 4 others liked this

Belle Pente

Belle Pente Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015

Belle Pente means "beautiful slope", 70 acre hillside vineyard on a historic 1840s farmstead 2 miles east of Carlton in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Beautiful nose with ripe berry & floral scents mingling in the glass. Fresh fruit flavors of raspberry & sweet cherry, hints of vanilla oak spice, great balance with vivid acidity. Smooth tannins, lingering finish ending with cedar tones & a nudge of spice. An enjoyable Pinot at great price. Has aging benefits, but why wait. 667 cases, grab all bottles you can find. — 6 years ago

John, Eric and 1 other liked this
Severn Goodwin

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Great producer, and bottle!

Louis M. Martini

Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

A blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petite Sirah, aged 16 months in 50% new French and American oak, a big wine, very approachable for a 2014. Dense Ruby with black fruit aromas, earthy herb scents and soft spice. On the palate sweet fruits, cherry and currants, with licorice, tobacco and cacao notes on soft tannins, very well balanced. Lingering finish ending with earthy wood, very nice and has lots of room for cellaring. Only 11,000 cases so I got a few bottles to set down, check back in a few years! — 6 years ago

Shay, Velma and 2 others liked this

Bodegas Muga

Torre Muga Rioja Tempranillo Blend 2010

Lucky enough to taste 2010 &’11 side by side. Beautiful dark color, blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Graciano & 10% Mazuelo, aged in new French oak for 16 months. Concentrated red fruit aromas with complementing oak and spice. On the palate perfectly ripe red fruit flavors, complex with layers fruit & spice, noting tobacco, cacao and savory pepper. Tannins are a bit muted but with an edge, lingering, comes together on the finish with great balance. Decant to drink now, otherwise let this baby sit in the cellar — 6 years ago

Velma, Daniel P. and 1 other liked this

Charles Krug

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Had this a year an half ago, Wow did this develop nicely! Est. in 1861, first winery in the Napa by Prussian-born Charles Krug. Today the winery remains under the leadership of the Peter Mondavi Sr Family, who purchased the winery in 1943. Blend of 90% Cab Sauv, 9% Petit Verdot, 1% Merlot, dark red with ripe dark berry scents & sweet spice. Palate sweet blackberry & cherry flavors, leather, cacao & vanilla oak. Soft tannins, lingering, ending with sweet oak & fruit! Very nice! — 6 years ago

Shay and Daniel P. liked this