Hoping for Peace; and a Great year for Wine in 2015!

January 5, 2015





Hoping for Peace; and a Great year for Wine in 2015!


Happy New year to you; all our Prime Cellar members and my esteemed colleagues from the west coast of California.


Unfortunately for most of us the year of 2014 will be remembered with a heavy heart and as the year of protests in Hong Kong and in America.


For the first time in five years I did not travel to Hong Kong due to the dramatic protests for democracy. Being an American who has a love for Hong Kong and its people this is very difficult to watch from afar, as well to understand and reveals the harsh reality that we take our freedom here in America for granted every day.


In America’s major cities, protesters are clashing with police over racial profiling and the shooting death of a young black teenager, Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri by white police officers and most recently the chocking death of another black man Eric Garner in New York captured on video, clearly trying to scream “I can’t breathe”.


In both cases the clashes between police and government has grown violent, and in America random acts of destruction and looting to property and business’s are happening in the exact neighborhoods that support the local protestors in their community. In my opinion, disruption and protest for awareness to the issues is one thing, but criminal behavior and violent injury or death is not acceptable and cannot be the answer. I pray that in 2015 with diplomacy, calm and peaceful communication, maybe even over a glass of wine that serious trust and progress can be made on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.


We certainly do have many things wine wise to look forward to in 2015 that will be great additions to any wine collections.


A study by The University of Minnesota on the California Blue Oak trees that grow in the driest environments that trees can grow, confirms that the three year period of 2012, 2013 and 2014 was the driest period in California in 1200 years! It’s amazing that all three vintages look to be outstanding and I cannot wait to taste the new 2012 releases from Kokomo, Lamborn, Priest Ranch, Mantra, Kelleher, Somerston and Spence. This should be a great run of vintages for California wine both white and red!

Starting on January 5th, this is the first day in Italy that 2010 Brunello can be sold (5 years after the vintage) and many are calling it the finest vintage in modern day history. There are some phenomenal values from producers like Baricci, Ciacci, Ferrero, La fortuna and Poggiarellino that all retail for $40.00 and under; tremendous values in today’s fine wine market and you want to be sure to have some in your cellar.


I will evaluate the best vintage in four years, 2014 in Bordeaux on April 1st and will taste over 1000 on my visit and will be pleased to share my thoughts with you for pre-arrival/futures purchases.


And lastly we will look forward to February and Chinese New Year, year of the Sheep! Break out the Ch. Mouton Rothschild! Much more on that next month.




Ralph Sands

PrimeCellar Consultant

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