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September 2022

Our Monthly Newsletter
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It is no news to those who follow fine wine production here on the West Coast (and in the classic districts of Europe for the matter) that recent times have been challenging for those whose profession is the making of fine wine, and 2022 is presenting pointed challenges of its own. 

Riesling may not have the kind of broad-market following of Chardonnay and likely never will. But it is regarded as one of the world's greatest, most noble white varieties of them all. There are good reasons why.

Chenin Blanc occupies but a small niche in California, and there is far less of it grown than there once was, yet, in the capable hands of its best producers, it yields thought-provoking wines of real appeal.

The Lang & Reed Wine Company has carved out a place as one of Chenin Blanc's most accomplished makers, and, in this issue, we take the opportunity to review all of the bottlings that the winery has made starting with the first from the 2013 vintage.

Hard to pronounce, but easy to like, Gewürztraminer is responsible for unique, intensely aromatic white wines unlike any other. With spicy and floral complexities that lend it a personality all its own, it is one of the most immediately identifiable varieties around.

Over the last ten or so years, Pinot Gris (sometimes labeled as Pinot Grigio) has gone from vinous anonymity to being one of the most popular and in-demand white wines of the day with Oregon playing a pivotal role in elevating its status here on the West Coast.

Unlike like its close relation, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc is a variety that is made in relatively tiny quantities and is largely unknown. That, however, does not mean that it should be ignored as examples such as those from Three Sticks and Dutton-Goldfield in this issue attest.


Chardonnay appears in the pages of CGCW several times each year, and, while a longer, more comprehensive look at new releases is planned for a few months down the line, we find room for a short-list of recent arrivals in this September edition.

In what is otherwise an issue entirely devoted to white wines, we close with a dozen new Barberas, several of which are remarkably good, that will meet the needs of those on the hunt for something interesting, red and very food-worthy.

As is once again the case, there is no shortage of lovely, very affordable Sauvignon Blancs from which to choose, and, though finding Cabernet Sauvignons that hit the mark for both quality and fine value is a bit more demanding task, there are, in fact, examples that do so with unqualified success.

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    Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
    P.O. Box 8
    Pinole, CA 94564-0008

    Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
    2691 Doidge Avenue
    Pinole, CA 94564

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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