An Exciting Springtime for Wine!


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 straightforward like me, and it makes me smile when he says “Weed control will be the hardest part of this process for me. I hate weeds and I love Round-Up. This year there will be MORE weeds and ZERO Round-Up, yuck! Aside from that I am pleased with our new direction, as it just makes good sense. Mike is also excited about their new vineyard called “Small Block” planted in 2014 and will produce its first fruit this year; and he hopes the clonal uniqueness will make this Cabernet Sauvignon special. I’m looking forward to tasting that wine and his new releases of 2013 Zinfandel and 2015 Rose which he thinks is their best yet.

I have just tasted some fantastic new releases from the Alexander Valley of Sonoma. While Napa Valley is the world famous destination for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Sonoma is the home for California’s greatest Zinfandel’s, but we should never forget that the Alexander Valley of Sonoma has produced many world class Cabernets for decades, from estates like Souverain, Silver Oak, Simi, Stonestreet and Jordan.

At PrimeCellar we have two very talented young winemakers who are making spectacular wines from their AV fruit for a number of years now and they just keep getting better and better at their craft. Mike Kuimelis Jr. has been making the wine at Mantra Vineyards for 15 years now and Erik Miller from Kokomo Winery is in his 12th year; what both of these young men have in common is that their wines are loaded with lush, sweet, attractive fruit. I just tasted a lineup of their new releases from the stellar vintages of 2012, 2013 and 2014 and they are spectacular tasting wines. I invite you to stop by the PrimeCellar booth at VinExpo or the PrimeCellar tasting room in Sheung Wan and taste these fantastic wines for yourself! If you love fruit, you will love these wines.

Kokomo 2012 and 2013 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Mantra 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel and Merlot

2014 Mantra Cabernet Sauvignon


The word on 2015 Bordeaux…Another Fantastic 5 Vintage!

With the exception of 1965, the last 7 out of 8 vintages ending with 5 have been fantastic vintages and 2015 is at the top of the list. Long story short for me is that 2015 is a star studded, outstanding vintage. It is a vintage that features beautiful ripe fruit with great precision, balance and freshness. In fact it is a Classic Bordeaux vintage in style. The recent vintage comparison in my opinion is without question 2005 because of its purity of fruit, bright acidity and great freshness.

Cheers to you! Ralph Sands

PrimeCellar Consultant


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Mr. Ralph Sands

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