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.

Albarino - 4/20/16

Apr 19, 2016

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Juan Gil "Kentia" Albariño, Rias Baixas '13 ** $

(Layers of complexity with herbs, stone fruit flavors)

Raimat Albariño, Costiere de Segre '14 *1/2 $

(Fresh, flowery wine with good acidity, firm structure)

Martin Codax Albariño, Rias Baixas '14  ** $

(A classic albariño with crisp apple flavors, mineral notes, complexity)

Burgans Albariño, Galicia '14 **1/2 $  VALUE

(A very complex, delicate, aromatic white)12

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.

Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite  

San Pietro Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige '13 *1/2  $

(Tropical fruit flavors with honey notes)

Barone Fini Pinot Grigio, Valdadige '14 * $

(Lean, minerality, lemon notes, with crisp acidity)

La Crema Pinot Gris, Monterey '14 ** $ VALUE

(A rich, complex, aromatic wine with good complexity)

King Estate Signature Pinot Gris, Oregon '14  ** $

(A very aromatic p.g. with layers of flavor in a crisp format)

Jermann Pinot Grigio, Friuli Venezia '12  *** $$

(A very good maker of crisp white wines with great depth)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.

Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

House of Mandela Chenin Blanc, South Africa '13 **  $

(A fresh lively chenin, with great acidity, sweet/tart fruit and earthiness.)

Paul Blanck Pinot Blanc, Alsace '14 ** 1/2 $ VALUE

(A beautiful full-flavored pinot blanc, rich, easy to drink, aperitif.)

Sean Minor Sauvignon Blanc, California '13 ** 1/2 $  VALUE

(A great negotiant blend, plump for a grassy style of sauvignon blanc.)

Dr. E. Loosen "Loosen-Up Riesling" '14 * $

(A simple, very pleasant riesling with some sweetness and balance.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.

Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite

Villa Antinori Toscanna Red IGT '12  *1/2 $$

(A classic Tuscan red, lean structure, modest fruit)

Tomasi Rompicolla '12 **1/2 $

(A velvety sangiovese/cab blend with opulent flavors and texture)

Familia Dante Chianti Riserva '12 ** $

(Dry, lean red with notes of chocolate and cherries)

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

Mara Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore, '13 **1/2 $  VALUE    
(Classy versions of Juicy Fruit gum aroma and flavor, complex.)

Loriñon Rioja Crianza '10 ** $  VALUE
(Graceful, flavorful, with layers of complexity, a lot of bang for the buck.)

G. D. Varja Langhe Rosso '11  **1/2 $  VALUE
(Lovely blend of 6 grapes, bright, balanced and complex.)

Urban Maule Cabernet Sauvignon, Valle de Maule '11 **  $
(Soft, modest red with correct aroma and flavor, very tasty.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

Porter - 3/16/16

Mar 16, 2016

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

Original Flag Porter, England **    
(Grainy, earthy, iron flavors, almost light bodied)

Fuller's London Porter, England **1/2
(A touch of molasses, good density, well integrated flavor)

Anchor Porter, California **1/2
(Good depth, good body with roasted coffee and malt notes)

Saranac Caramel Porter, New York ***
(Very complex with true coffee flavors, great smoothness)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

Malbec - 3/9/16

Mar 9, 2016

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

Salentin Reserve Malbec, Mendoza '13 * $
(Simple and uninspiring.  Not much to say.)

Amancaya Gran Reserva, Mendoza '12 *1/2 $
(Catena-Rothschild project with some complexity.  OK)

Alta Vista Estate Malbec, Mendoza '13 ** $
(High altitude vineyards give it good character.)

Don Manuel Villafañe  Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza '12  ** $
(Lush texture, mild, tons of flavor...see what can be done.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

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

Cambria has long been one of our favorite brands for good value in pinot noir and chardonnay.  They are re-shuffling the brand, moving the "Bench Break" line of wines into the entry level position, and elevating the "Julia" and  "Katherine" labels to the top tier.  In between will be a series of "Clone" bottlings of pinot noir and chardonnay.  They are also bottling a good syrah and an extremely good viognier.

Cambria "Bench Break" Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley '14  **1/2  $$
(A nice toasty citrus chard, good for Saturday night dinner.)

Cambria "Bench Break" Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley '13 ** $$
(Soft, rounded, subtly earthy, nice classy pinot noir.)    

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

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

Ferreira 10 Year Tawny Port  *** $$
(Everything you could ask for in a middle-aged tawny)

Ferreira Late Bottled Vintage Port 2011 **** $$ SUPER VALUE
(This LBV has it all!  Why spend 3 times more for vintage port?)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats. Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

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

Ferreira Ruby Port *** $  VALUE
(Arguably the best entry-level ruby port out there.)

Ferreira Tawny Port *** $ VALUE
(Superb value in classic tawny port.)

Ferreira "Brown Label" Branco Port **1/2  $
(Almost a rosé port, very intriguing.)
    
Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

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