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by Fred McMillin
for January 2003

Wine

 

Our Top Twenty Five...
BEST BUYS OF THE YEAR

 

Prologue

When asked what wine I like the most, my reply is, SOMEBODY ELSE'S!
               Diogenes, Greek philosopher
               350 B.C.

 

THE PRICE IS RIGHT...NONE OVER TEN BUCKS.

My panel likes bargains, too. Here is the best of each type they tasted in 2002, the best Merlot, the best Chardonnay, etc. that cost no more than $10.

The Top Twenty-Five

Rank   Varietal or Other Category Winery, Etc.
25th - Viognier Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Pays d'Oc, France, '00, $10, Importer—Caravelle
24th - Pink Stone Creek's White Zinfandel, California, '01, $6
23rd - Merlot Falling Star, Argentina, '00, $5, Malbec, Importer—F. Wildman
22nd - Lemberger Covey Run, Washington, '00, $7
21st - Pinot Grigio Danzante, Italy, Joint Robert Mondavi-Frescobaldi, '00, $10
20th - Sangiovese-Merlot Folonari, Italy, '99, $7, Importer—F. Wildman
19th - White Blend Carmel, Israel, Emerald Riesling and Chenin Blanc, '00, $8, Importer—Talbert
18th - Sangiovese Bella Serra, Italy, Gallo project, '98, $8
17th - Petite Sirah Bogle, California, '99, $10
16th - Chenin Blanc Windsor, California, '00, $8
15th - Sparkler Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut, Spain, No Date, $10
14th - Merlot Rothbury, Australia, Beringer Blass, '01, $7
13th - Riesling Charles Mitchell, El Dorado, '00, $8
12th - Cotes-du-Rhone B&G Tradition, France, '99, $9
11th - Zinfandel Chateau Julien, Monterey County, '99, $10
TheTop Ten
10th - Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah Blend Kendall-Jackson, California, '00, $9
9th - Chardonnay Reynolds Vineyards, Australia , '01, $10, Importer—Trinchero
8th - Gewürztraminer Covey Run, Washington, '00, $7
7th - Cabernet Sauvignon Chateau Julien, Monterey County, '99, $10
6th - Dessert Muscat Quady Electra Orange Muscat, California, '01, $8
5th - Pinot Noir Duck Pond, Oregon, '00, $10
4th - Syrah Camelot, California, '99, $9
3rd - Malbec Michael Torino, Argentina, '00, $10, Importer—F. Wildman
2nd - Dessert Riesling Mt. Palomar, Temecula, '01, $9
And here is number one!
1st - Sauvignon Blanc Geyser Peak, California, '02, $10
 

Comments

* Only 30% of the entries were from California but they won over 40% of the spots on the list.

* When there's no price limit, white table wines don't make the best ten on the list. But, in the universe of $10 wines that taste best right now, whites are much more competitive. Three made it this time, including the #1 spot.

Conclusion: When company arrives, I'm greeting them with a glass of the latest release of Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc.

CREDITS
My friend and fellow wine teacher, Edgar Vogt, did the heavy lifting on all the year 2002 tastings.

 
 
About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

 


 

 
 

This page created January 2003

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