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September 2020

Our Monthly Newsletter
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Four aromatic whites - Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chenin Blanc and Grüner Veltliner - each get a share of the spotlight this month, and the September issue of Connoisseurs' Guide is filled out by a selection of sturdy, full-bodied Petite Sirahs that are sure to satisfy those who believe that no red wine can be too big and potent as well as yet another new batch of Chardonnays, more than a few of which merit enthusiastic recommendation.

Germany may justifiably lay claim to being the home of exquisite Rieslings, but the grape is successfully grown around the world, and we like to think that the best West Coast bottlings will make their European forbearers proud.

Intensely aromatic Gewürztraminer, which is redolent of roses, distinctively lychee-like fruit and spice, claims an altogether unique place among California's fascinatingly food-worthy white varieties and excels when planted in cool coastal climes.

Chenin Blanc has a long and storied history in France's Loire Valley, but, while it is still waiting to reach quite the same heights in California, there are a few dedicated producers working hard to elevate its status here.

Hailing from Austria and a variety with new-found local interest, bright and lively Grüner Veltliner is taking its first promising steps in becoming a welcome member of California's ever-broadening varietal family.

As dense and full-bodied as any red wine around and never sparing in tannin, Petite Sirah will never be accused of being delicate or dainty and will stand up to the heartiest stews and heavily seasoned, roasted meats on the bone.

From the occasional imbiber to the fervent collector, Chardonnay is a variety of which no one seems to tire, and it remains, with good reason, far and away the most in-demand white wine of them all.

Cabernet Sauvignon prices can be daunting, but there are fine values to be had in both collectable, ageworthy offerings and those designed for near-term drinking, and they are joined this month by Merlots and Sauvignon Blancs on our latest list of wines that deliver a good deal of bang for the buck.

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