FrontRunners: Cellar Notes: Fire Works

<< Back to Robb Report, December 2013

For Robert Young, whose family has farmed the same acreage in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley for five generations, one of the highlights of agricultural life was apparently lighting his burn pile—a large heap of dried cuttings that, once ignited, burned all day, leaving only a smoldering expanse of ash. Once the farm became a vineyard property, now known as the Robert Young Estate Winery, the patch of land that provided the mise-en-scène for Young’s bonfires proved so conducive to growing Cabernet Sauvignon that the family chose to vinify and bottle its fruit separately. The Robert Young 2010 Bob’s Burn Pile Cabernet Sauvignon ($85; www.ryew.com) is intensely dark and shows luscious black-plum fruit made more piquant by essences of cassis, charred bread, asphalt, and sweet, dried sage.

The new Scotch comes from one of Scotland’s oldest and smallest distilleries…
The cigar uses a mixture of new and aged tobaccos to achieve a serenely mellow flavor…
The iconic Kentucky bourbon makes a comeback…
The multi-vintage Champagne is a blend of 142 wines from 11 different years…
Photograph courtesy of hotel Matlali
Savored rather than shot, these tequila-based beverages give the spirit the respect it deserves…
Photo by Holly Houk
Contrary to popular opinion, not all Havanas are stellar stogies. Here is how to make the most of...
Sommeliers have their own version of the desert-island question: If you could drink from only one...
These aged tequilas prove that the once derided spirit has come into its own…
The limited-edition distillation pays tribute to the Norse god Odin…
The spirit distinguishes itself by employing Japanese ingredients and techniques…