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August 2017

Our Monthly Newsletter
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Cabernet Sauvignon gets top billing on the August marquee, and many of the state's top producers check in with important new wines. We take a lengthy look at a host of recent releases from the outstanding 2013 and 2014 harvests and briefly pause with quick glance back at how a small selection of examples from the early 1990s have aged. An impressive collection of new Sauvignon Blancs affirms our belief that this is a variety worth taking seriously, and Semillon makes a cameo appearance to fill out our latest report.

California Cabernet lovers are faced with nothing less than an embarrassment of riches these days, but steadily rising prices mean that careful selection is a must. Some are breathtaking, but not every high-ticket offering delivers the goods, and there are plenty of comparatively affordable offerings that perform admirably.

We admit to finding pleasures aplenty in young Cabernets, but we enjoy well-aged versions as well. Old is not necessarily better, but time works its ways in producing virtues of a different sort as is readily manifest in this month's look at wines from a generation back.

For as long as we can remember Sauvignon Blanc has been one our regular go-to whites for sheer value, but, price notwithstanding, the variety's ability to produce a wide range of wines running from vibrant and herbal to weighty and rich makes it a unqualified favorite.

Semillon is a thin-skinned, easily botrytised grape that is a key component in some of the world's greatest dessert wines, but it can yield dry versions of modest distinction and is a work-in-progress for a handful of local vintners.

Smart buys in Rosé, Chardonnay and Barbera are featured in our monthly update on well-made wines that earn an extra round of applause for their outstanding value.




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