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October 2016

Our Monthly Newsletter
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Pinot Noir is enjoying popularity in California of late and there are good reasons why. This month, we review over one-hundred new arrivals, many of which hail from some of the state’s most acclaimed producers. Pinot’s Burgundian cousin, Chardonnay, makes an appearance as well in the first of an extended, two-part feature that will conclude in November, and we wrap up the issue with a quick report on Gewürztraminer, Albariño and Grüner Veltliner, three attractive, aromatic-white varieties that do not find the spotlight shining in their direction often enough.

There is reason for excitement when producers like DuMOL, Ram's Gate, Saintsbury and Williams Selyem show up on the list as they do here in October, but, if this month's roster of new wines adds even more luster to their names, it also reminds that these established greats do not have a monopoly on delicious, highly collectable Pinots.    

New Chardonnays from the Sonoma Coast, Carneros and the Russian River Valley are queued up and waiting for our November issue while an attractive contingent from the state's other appellations gets a chance to shine in this issue.

There are far fewer local Gewürztraminers being made than there once was, and we often find ourselves wishing for more. This unique, wonderfully aromatic white fills a niche all its own.

A favorite of Spain and a variety that is slowly gaining traction in California, Albariño has become more than an esoteric rarity hereabouts, and the offerings reviewed this month, while not great in number, prove that the grape has a place on the west coast.

Rarely mentioned in wine discussions until recent years, Austria's Grüner Veltliner has taken on an air of respectability and counts an increasing number of fans; among them are a handful of vintners here in California.

Top values in Zinfandel, Riesling and Syrah move to center stage in October and offer rewards aplenty to discerning, pennywise wine lovers on the prowl for a good deal.  

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