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July 2017

Our Monthly Newsletter
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The wines featured in July are an eclectic bunch and run the gamut from light-hearted quaffers to inky, full-bodied reds. We explore the phenomenon that Rosé has become, check in on significant new Chardonnays and report on Syrah and two out-of-the-mainstream varieties, Grenache and Barbera, that are justifiably gaining a following of new fans. The roster of fine California examples of each continues to grow, and we are once again reminded that you can never have too much of a good thing.

Over the past several years, Rosé has been leading all other wine categories with regard to increased demand, and is a phenomenon that few saw coming. Regardless of what might lie behind the new Rosé boom, these are heady times for pink wines.

There are a lot of us who did not turn their backs on Syrah when it was popular to do so, and that a host of talented growers and vintners have ignored fatuous criticisms and steadfastly stayed the course is very good news to us all.

Globally, Grenache is anything but a rarity, but accomplished bottlings are relatively new to the state and fairly limited in number. They are generating plenty of interest, and, if a full-scale Grenache "boom" is not in the offing, there are some delicious local versions to be had.

We do not get tired of good Chardonnay, and neither, so it seems, do its legions of loyal fans. This month's update includes wines made in a wide range of styles and features not-be-missed offerings from several of the state's premier producers as a well as a few very good buys.

There are good things afoot in California Barbera, and there are more than a few highly recommended versions appearing in our latest review. Some sport the variety's ebullient, classically zesty fruit, while others show a surprisingly serious side.

A high price, as we all know, does not always guarantee high quality, and experience teaches that, happily, there are bargains that overachieve. This month, we turn to satisfying Pinot Noirs, Petite Sirahs and Cabernet Sauvignons that convincingly prove the latter point.

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