Blog Header

February 2018

Jim_Riley_LATimes_Baja_United_Wines

22 FebCosta Mesa entrepreneur imports Baja wines to Orange County


Jim Riley’s love affair with the Baja peninsula began as a teenage surfer, driving down from his Orange County haunts to catch the famed waves along the “lower” portion of what was once greater Mexican California. Riley’s appreciation for the peninsula — which extends from the U.S. border at Tijuana 1,000 miles south to Cabo San Lucas — only grew during his south-of-the-border trips to race off-road vehicles…

Read More

09 Feb2015 Monte Xanic Gran Ricardo Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot (65/25/10)


To be honest, I feel like a review of “current vintage” Gran Ricardo is premature. Everything about this bottle – thick glass, waxed over cork, deep punt – screams “take me seriously!” and “give me time,” but I also think it’s fair to treat this wine with the immediacy expected by consumers. One of the more traditional blends produced in the Valle, the Gran Ricardo is arguably also one of the best-known prestige bottlings. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot…

Read More

06 Feb2016 Monte Xanic Calixa Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah (80/20)


My experience with the Cabernet/Syrah blend comes primarily from Australia, where the two grapes are commonly planted in the various regions of South Australia, both as single variety or as blends. Perhaps the most commercially renowned wine of Australia, Penfolds Grange, is a bold, intense blend of Cabernet and Syrah. The wines of the Valle de Guadalupe, likewise, tend to be big on fruit, oak, body, and general intensity. My expectations for this wine…

Read More

05 Feb2016 Monte Xanic Vina Kristel Sauvignon Blanc


I’m not new to wines from the Valle de Guadalupe, and Monte Xanic’s wines are not new to the region, either. The winery just turned 30, making it one of the oldest in the Valle de Guadalupe (and, let’s be honest, older than the majority of wine labels up and down the California/Baja California coastline!). The Valle de Guadalupe is an arid climate with warm, sunny days throughout much of the year. Breezes and cool air sucked in from the Pacific Ocean cause a pretty shocking diurnal shift…

Read More