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May 2022

Our Monthly Newsletter
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This month we take a long look at Chardonnays with special focus on the 2019 and 2020 vintages, and among the more than one hundred new wines reviewed, an uncommonly high number earn multiple-star recommendation. But, considering that May's line-up includes those from such highly accomplished, perennial favorites as DuMol, Frank Family, Kistler, Marimar and Testarossa among others, we admit to not being at all surprised.

Chardonnay's place as California's pre-eminent white wine is unchallenged by any other variety, and there are reasons aplenty why. The 2018 and 2019 vintages have yielded a bounty of fine bottlings, and the fire-plagued harvest of 2020, while so problematic for later-ripening reds, is looking to be yet another fine year for satisfying Chardonnays throughout the price spectrum.

That Petite Sirah is hearty stuff is beyond any debate, but there are some surprising, high-achieving examples that display real interest and depth and prove that variety can produce wines that are far more than just inky, too-tannic bruisers.

It is no secret that Cabernet Sauvignon can get pricey. If at times it seems that good examples are so expensive as to be but occasional treats, the truth is that there are more than a few that are both affordable and long on quality. This month, we offer our picks of favorite Cabernets that stand out for fine value along with Merlots that similarly deliver plenty to like without making a painful dent in the budget.

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