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March 2017

Our Monthly Newsletter
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The spotlight in March shines brightly on local wines made from the red varieties of the Rhône, and it is clear that Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre are quietly continuing their steady rise to real legitimacy in California. Petite Sirah is featured as well and is showing that the new wave of consumer interest is well-founded, and, in a decided change of pace, we also take a moment to check in on the stylish Pinot Noirs of Oregon.

California Syrah may have had its ups and down in the market, but devotees of the grape know just how good the local version can be, and this month's report affirms our belief that the best can stand with the finest bottlings being produced anywhere in the world.

Grenache has been getting an increasingly serious look from more than a few west coast vintners, and, while not about to challenge the likes of Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir in popularity, its enthusiastic fans are growing in number with very good reason.

Widely grown in the warmer climes of Spain and southern France, Mourvèdre is quietly making inroads hereabouts both as a savory, stand-alone variety as well as in its traditional role as a component in hearty red blends.

There are few red wines that will match Petite Sirah when it comes to out-and-out swagger, but, despite its propensity for making decidedly tannic wines, it is showing a new face of late as its makers have learned to tame its wilder ways.

There are few places in the world that have proven hospitable homes to fine Pinot Noir, and Oregon ranks high on the very short list of those that are.

Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay share the Best Buy marquee this month as we highlight some memorable, not-to-be-missed values discovered in our recent tastings.

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