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July 2016

Our Monthly Newsletter
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Syrah takes the lead in this month's issue and continues its slow but steady climb to legitimacy as one of California's more serious red wines. The high quality efforts made by its dedicated makers attest to its importance, and, if not nearly as widely appreciated as we believe it deserves to be, top-tier Syrah is not about to disappear from the scene. New Chardonnays are featured as well, and an exceptionally high number earn enthusiastic recommendation. And, just in time to meet the needs of seasonal drinking, our July edition closes with a lengthy look at Rosé and a quick one at Pinot Gris.

Good Syrah occupies a niche all its own among complex and expressive red wines. This month's feature includes many made by the state's top producers, and, as more than a few of the offerings reviewed in these pages prove, those being made here on the West Coast hold their own with the best produced anywhere.

Chardonnay needs no introduction other than to say that what has been very good seems to keep getting better. It may be true that the finest examples do not come cheap, but we would argue that they are still good values on the broader world stage, and there are plenty of affordable bottlings that do not stint on pleasure.

As anyone who follows the trends in wine over the past couple of years knows, Rosé is enjoying new celebrity and acclaim, and its image as a sweet and simple quaff has been dramatically changed by the host of well-made dry versions that now vie for space on retailers shelves.

Pinot Gris is responsible for a veritable ocean of easy-going white wine, and, while a pleasant sipper when carefully made, there are enough dull and listless renditions crowding the market that it is best to be choosy when making a selection.

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