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October 2014

Our Monthly Newsletter
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With its focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this Issue looks at two varieties that are at the heart of the "what is balance?" debate. Richness and deep flavor versus low alcohol and high acidity are the points upon which the arguments hinge. We do not take sides in the debate but enjoy wines of all stripes when they are well-made.

Its prices may not yet rival those of the top California Cabernet Sauvignons, and privately, we hope they never will, but Pinot Noir's popularity is driving the cost up and also encouraging growers and winemakers to provide more and more of it. The cooler parts of the West Coast, ranging from the Sta. Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County all the way up to Oregon, has created the world's longest Pinot Noir playground.

The white grape mate to Pinot Noir in its native Burgundy, it grows here in many of the same locales as Pinot Noir and loves the cool vineyard sites as well where it can ripen with full flavor and plenty of acidity. And, when one gets a few miles further inland, there is still balance to be had as well as fuller bodies and enhanced richness.

Nothing could be better than a bargain, and this edition of Best Buys finds plenty of wines whose QPR (quality to price ratio) is exemplary.

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    Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
    PO Box V
    Alameda, CA 94501

    Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
    651 Tarryton Isle
    Alameda, CA 94501

Wineries may submit samples (two bottles of each please) to the above address. Please include information about price, cepage, residual sugar, total acidity, pH and production level. Please understand that all wines are tasted blind, often twice, and that we treat samples with the same respect as wines that we purchase at retail.


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