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January 2018

Our Monthly Newsletter
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California has been on quite a roll these past several years with one excellent vintage following another, and, if 2017 may have thrown a few curves at growers and vintners, the number of outstanding new wines coming to market this past year was striking. What has been good only seems to keep getting better, and we see no reason to think that things will be different in the twelve months ahead.

Its true origins were a mystery for years, but there has never been anything mysterious about Zinfandel's heady richness and deep fruit. Whether made with an eye to claret or pushing the limits in ripeness, it is, with good cause, a variety of which we and its many devoted fans never tire.

Chardonnay is and has been the most popular white variety and, in its finest incarnations, affords richness and depth like no other. January's collection spans a wide range of styles from those that are easy to quaff to collectable wines of great stature and eye-opening achievement.

Sauvignon Blanc makes for a versatile mealtime glass and is a consistent performer for fine value, but there are serious examples that show why it deserves far more respect and attention than it typically receives.

There are lessons to be learned from tasting older wines, and an important one is that it is not just red wines that can benefit from age. This month we revisit some past Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc favorites, and, as always, there are a few happy surprises.

2017 will be remembered as a time of ups and downs in the vineyard, but, as we look back there are vastly more high points than low, and, we find it hard to containment our excitement when surveying what has truly been a very good year.

Fine values in Cabernet Sauvignon, Sparkling Wine and Pinot Noir get the spotlight in January's roster of Best Buys and remind that there are plenty of very good wines awaiting thirsty shoppers whose post-holiday pocketbooks are a bit lighter than they were a month or two back.

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