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July 2021

Our Monthly Newsletter
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Zinfandel has a particularly loyal following and there are good reasons why. When well-made, it is a wonderfully rich companion to commensurably rich foods and shines with the grilled and barbecued fare that are central to summer dining. It gets the spotlight in July and shares the marquee with a bounty of white wines made from Rhône varieties and thirst-quenching Rosés

As its longtime devotees are well aware, good, very serious, genuinely collectible Zinfandels is not a new phenomenon, but Zin seems to get more and more, long-overdue respect with each vintage, and we are happy to report that it is roundly deserved.

When it comes to expressive white wines that are long on fruity richness, intensely fragrant Viognier ranks among our favorites, and our once-a-year look at new offerings counts many remarkably good, deeply satisfying renditions.

Each year there seems to be a few more Grenache Blanc bottlings, and, if the variety is generating a bit of new interest among winemakers, it still is a grape whose future fortunes are unclear. We do agree, however, with those who think it is worth watching.

A very small amount of Roussanne is being grown in California, and most of it that is finds its way into various white Rhône blends where it contributes heady, aromatic richness.

If, among California white varieties, Roussanne accounts for but a miniscule drop in the bucket, Marsanne is more uncommon yet, and, though upon rare occasion found varietally labeled, most of the wine it makes also winds up in blends.

Pinks made from Rhône varieties as well as those comprised principally of Zinfandel are featured this month in our latest look at new Rosés well timed for summer sipping.

Contrary to what too often seems the case, there are more than a few very well-made Pinot Noirs and Cabernet Sauvignons that are not painfully priced, and they are joined in this month's roster of Best Buys by Sauvignon Blancs that again remind that it is a variety that can be consistently relied upon for very fine value.

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