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January 2022

Our Monthly Newsletter
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Although holiday festivities have come and gone, we begin another year of Connoisseurs' Guide with a selection of new Zinfandels, Sauvignon Blancs and fortified dessert wines that, in themselves, are cause for continued celebration. And, as always, we take a moment to briefly glance back on what 2021 meant in the ongoing saga of fine California wines and remember the top wines that graced our tables this past year.

We are among those who hold that Zinfandel deserves a place on the roster of the world's important wines, and there are so many stunning, immensely satisfying Zins now being made that they cannot be overlooked by anyone who believes that fine wine is a necessity of life.

When it comes to fine, white-wine values, Sauvignon Blanc ranks among the best with a far-reaching variety of styles from invitingly fruity to involvingly complex, and finding well-crafted renditions priced for everyday enjoyment requires no effort at all.

A glass of something strong and sweet is our favorite way to end a good meal, especially in chilly winter months, and January's selection of remarkably good local offerings reminds that fine examples of fortified dessert wines are not exclusive to Portugal and Spain.

There are good and not-so-good years. Though the one just past had its high points and low, it was, on balance, as we look back at how 2021 unfolded, a time when lovers of good West Coast wines had much to celebrate.

We tasted thousands of new wines in 2021, and, while a great many earned high recommendation, there are several that stood out in the minds of Stephen, Charlie and Lynne who each offer their personal choices as the most memorable of the year.

It is not news that Cabernet Sauvignon can be expensive, but as this month's Best Buy recommendations remind, that does not mean that all well-made examples come so dear that they are rare treats to be opened only on special occasions, and our latest shopping list of wines long on value includes sparkling wines that will not strain post-holiday budgets.

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