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February 2019

Our Monthly Newsletter
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Chardonnay shows no signs of relinquishing its place as California's premier white wine, while Pinot Noir continues its recent upward trajectory, and we have no quarrel with those who would argue that Pinot now warrants the kind of esteem that local Cabernet Sauvignon has long been afforded. This month's issue features dozens upon dozens of new bottlings that demonstrate that, with very good reasons, the high demand for accomplished Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays is fully justified.

It is true that California has been blessed with a succession of very good harvests, but winemaker efforts at elevating Pinot Noir to new heights, both in the vineyard and in the cellar, cannot be overlooked. The high percentage of star-recommended examples in our February review of over one-hundred new wines clearly shows that the local contingent of Pinot producers is a most capable bunch.

Chardonnay has been one the varieties in the crosshairs of those bent on argumentatively promoting one winemaking style over another, and, although that has made for an increase in the number of lighter, more subdued bottlings, the classic local version that champions ripeness and richness has not disappeared.

Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc have won a disproportionate number of CGCW commendations for value over the years when compared to other varieties, and, while it appears that little has changed as we start out on a new year, we also include a handful of sensibly priced Merlots as a reminder that, in every category, there are wines that are as tasty and as well made as they are affordable.

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