Wine Blog

July 1, 2016

“Taste the Greats of Bordeaux Tour with Ralph Sands”
 

I’ve just returned from yet another amazing tour of some of the greatest estates in the storied history of Bordeaux with 18 customers, something I have been privileged to do so many times now and sometimes I still have to pinch myself!
 

After a full week of breakfast every morning, great lunches and dinners at a different Chateau everyday and many great wines I definitely came home a few extra pounds heavier but with a lifetime of memories, so it was all worth it. My customers got a firsthand experience of being in the wine business; it rained all week but it did not dampen our sprits! Here are the highlights; I hope you can join me on my next tour.


Sunday June 12th- All 18 customers arrive on the same plane from Paris. Check in at Hotel Relais Margaux before are welcome dinner at Ch. Cantemerle where Director Philippe Dam...

May 31, 2016

 

As always we kept a crazy busy schedule tasting over 1000 wines from the new baby vintage of 2015. We stayed in the Medoc, at Ch. Beauragard in Pomerol and at Ch. Le Thil in Leognan. The hard work was well worth it, I know the wines inside and out and the comparison vintage is an easy answer for me; very much like 2005.
Now that the scores are in and some prices are out we are indeed having our first real Pre-Arrival Campaign since 2010 and everyone who loves Bordeaux is happy with the opening prices, at least so far. I’m thrilled with the wines across the board, the absolute natural beauty the wines feature, and the great purity of fruit, the tremendous freshness and above all, their great taste.
This vintage is the perfect vintage for young people to lay the foundation of a great wine cellar and if you are up there in age it is important to know that this is not a vintage...

May 1, 2016

 

After a few quiet months in the business of wine the month of May really kick starts an exciting year for wine. In Hong Kong May 24-26 is VinExpo Asia and PrimeCellar will have a booth pouring our fantastic California portfolio so be sure to stop by. I have just returned from Bordeaux where I tasted over 1000 wines from the fine 2015 vintage; more on that later.

At PrimeCellar we are in our eighth year of business in Asia and as I reflect on this time and the wineries we represent I am very proud of the entire group, as the wines keep on improving and the winemakers are really hitting their stride. We keep in close contact with them all year round to see what is new and what they are excited about; here is the latest information.
 

On Howell Mountain my buddy Mike Lamborn is excited about the beginning of Organic Farming at Lamborn Family in 2016. Mike is honest and straightfo...

March 1, 2016

Wow, it is already March and time seems to be flying! For wine lovers it is already an exciting year with so much great wine being available from all over the globe and more coming on the horizon.
 

From California there continues to be a wide selection of Cabernet Sauvignons from the lush and plush vintage of 2012 that are drinking wonderfully right now and everyone loves them; but be aware that 2013 in my opinion is even better, featuring a darker core of stronger fruit with better freshness and acid. Many of the early releases from 2013 are available now. The 2013’s Cabernets from Lamborn Family, Somerston, Priest Ranch and Kelleher should be spectacular wines and I am very excited to taste them all. I did just taste the 2013 Zinfandel and Pinot Noir made by Erik Miller at Kokomo and they are indeed outstanding.
 

The 2010 Brunello vintage continues to dominate much of the w...

February 1, 2016

(Pictured above from left to right, front row, Gian, Stefan and Antony  

Back row, Ralph, Julie, Sherri, Alton, Kim, Jon and Captain Rick)

 

Where does a wine specialist go for a weekend getaway vacation to re charge his batteries and rejuvenate the soul after the busy holiday season? How about Napa Valley! That is exactly what I did with my wife Kim, son Alton and our family friends from Tampa Florida, Rick, Sherri and their 8 year old triplets Gian, Anthny and Stefan.
 

Napa in the winter is so beautiful, peaceful and quiet that you almost got the feeling that the valley was closed. But it’s not! It’s just winter!
 

While everyone here in California is fully embracing the wonderful set of winter storms that are bringing rain and snow to help fill our depleted reservoirs after 4 years of draught, the people working in the tasting rooms and restaurants of Napa are taking this time...

August 1, 2015

 

Dear PrimeCellar members and friends, I hope you and your families are enjoying the warm summer weather. I have just returned from a two week vacation with my 11 year old son Alton, it was a father and son trip to get away from the rigors of busy city life, and spend some quality time together.

We had a wonderful time in the  majestic Mountains of Livingston, Montana and in the incredible Lake Tahoe National Forest here in California. As I return to the business of wine on this warm Sunday afternoon at 4pm, I realize it's the perfect time for a for glass a glass of Kelleher 2012 Sauvignon Blanc!

While my vacation was to avoid big crowds I can just imagine the thousands of vacationers pouring out of the wineries in the lovely Napa Valley after  day of tasting in 85 degree weather and looking for their next glass of wine. Most likely that wine will be white and chilled! A fantas...

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Mr. Ralph Sands

Wine Consultant

 
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Hong Kong Pioneer, California Wine Specialist, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, USA Wine, Prime Cellar Hong Kong