Hugh Sisson

Host, Cellar Notes

As General Partner of Clipper City Brewing Company, L.P., Hugh J. Sisson is among Baltimore's premier authorities on craft brewing and a former manager of the state's first pub brewery, Sissons, located in Federal Hill.  A fifth generation Baltimorean, Hugh has been involved in all aspects of craft brewing.

In the mid-eighties, Hugh Sisson saw the potential for a small brewery in Baltimore, an historically "big beer" town. After researching the industry at its heart - in Germany, England, and the U.S. west coast - Hugh, with the help of Senator George W. Della, Jr., successfully lobbied the Maryland General Assembly to pass legislation required to open a brew pub in Maryland.

After the inception of craft brew in Baltimore, Hugh immersed himself in the development and market recognition of both Sisson's and its beers.  He is a member of the Master Brewers Association of America, the Institute for Fermentation and Brewing Studies, and sits on the Executive Committee for the Brewers Association of Maryland.  He has served as President of the Cross Street Irregulars Home Brew Club and along with Al Spoler, he has been co-hosting Cellar Notes since 1992.

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Cellar Notes
9:17 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Mont Redon/Domaine Galevan - 2/11/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Chateau Mont Redon Chateauneuf-du-Pape '10 *** $$$
(Ultra smooth and refined, pricey but worth it)

Chateau Mont Redon Cotes du Rhone '11  ** $
(Grenache dominated, refined CDR)

Domaine Galevan Chateauneuf-du-Pape '11 *** $$$
(Dense, well structured, magnificent)

Domaine Galevan Cotes du Rhone "Paroles des Femmes" '11 **1/2 $
(Dynamic, rustic up-front fruit, very classy, great value)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Cellar Notes
9:32 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Ports - 2/4/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Fonseca Ruby Port ** $
(Delicious, sweet, lighter bodied, supple)

Taylor-Fladgate LBV Porto 2008 *** $$
(Fabulous value, with  tons of flavor and complexity)

Taylor-Fladgate First Estate Reserve Porto *** $$
(A "reserve" ruby, with more depth and complexity)

Graham's Six Great Reserve Porto **1/2 $$
(A very reliable and familiar brand)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

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Cellar Notes
8:42 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Rodney Strong Resurgent - 1/28/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Rodney Strong  Zinfandel Knotty Vines", Sonoma '12 ***  $
(A very strong effort with tons of flavor)

Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley '12 **1/2 $
(Good Alex Valley cab, with good fruit)

Rodney Strong Chardonnay, Chalk Hill '13 **1/2 $
(Terrific value in chard from a prestigious appellation)

Rodney Strong Sauvignon Blanc "Charlotte Home" '13 *1/2 $
(Fruity melon style)

Rodney Strong Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley '12 ** $$    
(Good representative pinot from a strong appellation)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

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Cellar Notes
5:34 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Maryland Wine Event - 1/21/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Old Westminster "Greenstone" '13  white blend ** $$
(Drinks like an Albarino)

Sugarloaf Mountain Reserve Chardonnay '13 *** $$
(Uncanny resemblance to Puligny-Montrachet)

Big Cork Viognier '13 *1/2 $
(Bone dry approach to this popular grape)

Linganore Redskins Reserve  Red Blend '12 *1/2 $
(Pizza wine par excellence)

Old Westminster Channery Hill Red Blend '12 **1/2  $$
(Lucious merlot dominated blend)

Basignani Lorenzino Red Blend '08 **1/2  $$
(Classic Boredeaux style)

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Cellar Notes
8:19 am
Wed January 14, 2015

M.Chapoutier of the Rhone - 1/14/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Chapoutier "La Ciboise" Luberon Blanc '13 ** $
(Super value in delicious Rhone white; fresh and fruity.)

Chapoutier "La Ciboise" Luberon Rouge "12 **1/2  $
(A running mate with the blanc, superb value in CDR style wine.)

Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage Petit Ruche Rouge '12  **1/2  $$
(One of the best C-H's you'll find, made in a stylish and generous manner.)

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Cellar Notes
8:52 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Wine List Recommendations - 1/7/15

 The Whites:

Keuntz Bas Alsace Blanc  ** $    
(Dry, light, supple with fresh slightly woodsy notes.)

Martinsancho Rueda Verdejo  ***  $
(A wine of great classiness, ultra-smooth, rich, food friendly.)

West Cape Howe Unwooded Chardonnay  **1/2  $
(No oak?  Really?  It tastes so lush and rich, it's hard to believe.

Ecole No. 41 Semillon  ** 1/2  $        
(Thank goodness someone is still doing semillon:  delicious!)

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Cellar Notes
11:40 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Delas Wines of Southern France - 12/31/14

Delas Cotes du Rhone "St. Esprit" Rouge '12 ** $
(An unusual reverse blend of 90% syrah and 10 % grenache.)

Delas Ventoux Rouge '13 ** $
(Another syrah-grenache blend, with fresh dark berry flavors.)

Delas Croze-Hermitage "Les Launes" Rouge '10 **1/2 $$
(An exceptionally good Croze, much better than most, at a good price.)

Delas St. Joesph "Sainte-Epine" Rouge '11 **1/2 $$
(Very good wine from a small but important appelation.)

Delas Hermitage "Les Bessards" '11 *** $$$$
(Very pricy, but monumental.  A wine to keep for years and years.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

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Cellar Notes
4:37 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

New Year's Eve Bubblies - 12/24/14

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Gruet Blanc de Noir *1/2  $  
(Surprise value from New Mexico!)

Gloria Ferrer Va de Vi  ** $  
(A touch of muscat makes for a lucious bubbly.)

St. Hillaire Blanquette de Limoux ** $
(Tremendous value at the price.)

Clara C Fiore Rosé Prosecco ** $
(Lovely rosé, easy drinking, and classy.)

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Cellar Notes
8:50 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Holiday Gift List - 12/17/14

• Unoaked Chardonnay:  Chamisal Chardonnay, Central Coast '12  $17

• Chardonnay:  Jordan Chardonnay, Russian River Valley '11  $31

• Bargain Cab Sauv:  Sean Minor Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa '11   $20

• Splurge Cab Sauv:  Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon '11  $50

• Bargain Pinot Noir:  Meiomi Pinot Noir, Sonoma '12  $19

• Splurge Pinot Noir:  Belle Glos, Monterey '12   $46

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Cellar Notes
8:36 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Cru Beaujolais - 12/10/14

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Chateau De Jacques Moulin a Vent '11 **1/2 $$
(Brilliant wine from Beaujolais's most distinguished village.)

Chateau de Jacques Morgon '09 **  $$
(Beaujolais's biggest cru wine, a very fruity, mature wine.)

Domaine Franck Besson "Note Blanche" '11 ** $$
(Very rare white Beaujolais, closely related to the standard red version.)

Les Freres Perraud Brouilly, "Vielle Vignes" **1/2 $$
(Tons of bright fruit, cherry and strawberry, great balance and depth.)

Domaine de la Bonne Tonne, Morgon '11  **1/2  $$
(As close to strawberry wine as you can come, informal and delicious.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

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