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December 2014

Our Monthly Newsletter
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Cabernet Sauvignon is featured this month as it is every December, and many of California's most prestigious producers take the stage in our year-ending survey. Of course, the better bottlings do not come cheap, and the best are very expensive, but that is what happens when the world wakes up to just how good the wines really are.

And, while on the topic of very good wines, this issue also includes your trusty editors' picks of the best wines of the year. Our reviews of new Sauvignon Blancs and our quick annual look at French Champagne also add to joys of the season.

Whether rated by points, stars, bicchieri or chopsticks, the current crop of new releases in this issue is an outstanding one by any and all measures. The outstanding 2012 vintage keeps proving its mettle, while a couple of stunning new arrivals from 2009 and 2010 walk away with top honors.

Very often our "go to" wine for first courses in restaurants both for its invitingly lively style and its usual priceworthiness, Sauvignon Blanc has been a blow-out winner in 2012 and has shown a lot to like in 2013.

Good sparkling wine is an essential staple for us, and we do like the genuine articles from the environs of Reims and Epernay, especially when cost is not a concern.

It has been a year to remember in Californian wine country, and the events of 2014, from the drought to an earthquake and more than a few temblors both great and small in the wine-writing world, will not be forgotten soon.

It is not easy to pick a handful of favorites from the special, hard-to-forget wines that leave an indelible mark, but the best of those on this year's honor roll set a very high bar for the incoming class of 2015.

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