Wine is only as good as the people with whom it is being shared.


I was at my neighbors’ house the other night and they poured an EARTHQUAKE Cabernet Sauvignon and an EARTHQUAKE Petite Sirah.  I have never had these wines before and they were really good.  Not only was the conversation stimulating – we have recently become friends as I am in a new neighborhood – but the wine was wonderful.  You can’t ask for a better combination.  The Wine Ponderer has often stated, “Wine is only as good as the people with whom it is being shared.”

Michael and David Phillips Winery

So what made the wine that good that I felt compelled to write about it?  For starters, when I find a new wine that I really enjoy, I want to tell the world.  Okay, so what made this wine “good”?  Very simply put, I liked it.  I liked it a lot.


Earthquake Petite Syrah

The 2009 Petite Sirah (with some Cabernet Sauvignon blended in) is actually a 90-point wine (according to Robert Parker in Oct 2012).  I didn’t know this going in, but I can certainly understand why it was rated so highly.  Okay, what does that really mean to the taste buds?  According to the wine notes – “It boasts an opaque purple color along with notes of blueberry and blackberry liqueur, camphor, and violets as was a long finish.”  I found it to be a wonderfully drinkable, robust wine that had really nice depth and structure.  And it tasted really good.  It retails for $26, but Total Wine carries it for $23.


Earthquake Cabernet Sauvignon

After we polished off the Petite Sirah, we opened the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (with some Petite Sirah blended in).  This is an 87-point wine (Wine Enthusiast Oct 2012) that is “big and very fruity, with cranberry and cassis notes intermingled with a blackberry flavor. Smooth throughout, the wine finishes with a delicious hit of toffee and vanilla.”  As soon as I tasted this one, I called out that this was a “big boy”.  The word “smooth” was used in the tasting notes above, and that’s the word that I would use to describe this wine.  There was plenty of structure without heavy tannins.  And it had a really nice fruit forward sensibility without it being overwhelming.  Another great tasting wine, and very reasonably priced.  Retails for $26 – Total Wine has it for $22.


Earthquake Zinfandel

There is a third varietal that I am very much looking forward to tasting – the EARTHQUAKE Zinfandel.  According to the winery website, this comes from an old Lodi vineyard planted around the same time of the Great Earthquake of 1906 in San Francisco.  The tasting notes say – “Opaque, dark purple with a hint of cured tobacco on the nose.  Exploding on the palates bursting with jammy black raspberry, warm spice and of course big on character.”  Yes, I am salivating as I type these words.  Please know there will be a follow up to this post once I have the pleasure of tasting this one.  Retails for $26 – Total Wine has it for $20.


Michael and David Phillips WinerySo who is responsible for EARTHQUAKE?  The winery is called MICHAEL DAVID WINERY ( and is located near Lodi, California.  Michael and David Phillips are brothers whose family has been farming this area since the 1850s.  The sixth generation of the Phillips family has recently joined the business.  You may be familiar with other wines they produce, including 7 DEADLY ZINS, 7 HEAVENLY CHARDS, INCOGNITO, RAPTURE, GLUTTONY, LUST and others.  EARTHQUAKE is the RESERVE COLLECTION of wines from these producers.  So that may account for the great quality and taste of these wines.


These are wines that I say if you have $15 to spend for a bottle of wine, dig a little deeper and go to $22/$23. It’s really worth it.  I hope you do taste these wines… And when you do, please leave comments on this blog so we can all share in this wine experience.  I am curious as to what you think about it.


My neighbors are really nice people and I am happy we got to share some nice wine together.  After drinking a couple of bottles between us, it’s a good thing that I didn’t have to drive home.


“Good company, good wine, good welcome, can make good people.” Shakespeare (enjoy more memorable wine quotes here.)

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  1. Troy

    As I told you this morning I love 7 Deadly Zins but also I noticed that the same winemaker makes another wine I love which is Rapture… Sounds like a super talented winemaker… Nice article.

  2. Michael

    Thank you for the kind words Steve! I wish I could take credit for Earthquake… but I have admitted to you that I know next to nothing about wine. I had tasted it with another friend who is knowledgeable like you. It pays to have the right friends! Now that I know about your blog perhaps I will learn more…

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