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Copyright © 2016
Forkmedia LLC


by Fred McMillin
for July 2003



What are...
The BEST BUYS of the year... so far?

Current "On Wine"
Wine Archive



What Does "BEST" Mean?

The Wine Spectator: "Best" means the most exciting. Wines of quite limited distribution are not included.

The Wine Enthusiast: Our list of "Best" is not a compilation of wines that scored highest during the year. Some of the highest are omitted. For example, if one producer is over-represented at the top, not all of those wines are selected.

The Global Gourmet: "Best" means the highest scoring wine in its category. For example, the Merlot listed below is the top tasted; no bottle was eliminated because it was not exciting or because the producer was over-represented.


Our Best Buys

Here is our list of best of each varietal costing no more than 10 or 11 dollars. The highest scoring wine is listed last. That is, the further you read, the better the bottle.

Rank   The Wine Winery, Etc.
19th - Pinot Noir Rincon Privado, Argentina, Importer—Gaucho, 1999, $10
18th - Mead Bargetto, California, Made 100% from honey, $11
17th - Sangiovese Chateau Julien, Monterey County, 2000, $10
16th - Chardonnay Tapiz, Argentina, Importer—Kendall-Jackson, 2001, $8
15th - Syrah B&G, Vin de Pays d'0c, 2000, $7
14th - Bright-lighter white blend Handley, Anderson Valley, 2001, $11
13th - Cabernet Sauvignon Vina Santa Carolina, Chile, Importer—Canandaigua, 2000, $8
12th - Rhone Parallèle "45" Paul Jaboulet, Importer—Wildman, 2000, $10
11th - Zinfandel Woodbridge by R. Mondavi, 2000, $7
10th - Malbec Tapiz, Argentina, Importer—Kendall-Jackson, 2001, $8
9th - Sauvignon Blanc Fetzer Echo Ridge, California, 2001, $8
8th - Gewürztraminer Hogue, Washington State, 2002, $9
7th - Red Muscat Electra Quady, California, 2002, $8.50
6th - Pink Catawba St. James Winery, Missouri, Non-vintage, $6
5th - Merlot Calina, Chile, 2001, Importer—Kendall-Jackson, $8
4th - Cabernet Shiraz red blend Alice White, Australia, Importer—Canandaigua, 2002, $8
3rd - Johannisberg Riesling Woodbridge by R. Mondavi, California, 2001, $7
2nd - Chenin Blanc Covey Run, Washington State, 2000, $7
1st - White Muscat Electra Quady, California, 2002, $8.50

Ouch! Watch Out, California...

The four most important wines on the list are Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. What do the picks for these have in common? All four are from SOUTH AMERICA! The wines of Chile and Argentina are providing some fine buys.

And a final wine smile...

A British connoisseur was asked whether he preferred wine or women. After a long pause he replied, "It depends on the vintage!"

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 July 2003