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by Fred McMillin
for February 2004

Wine

 

What Is the...
California Wine Plague

The market has been plagued by obscure labels from California for years, most of them delivering much less than promised."
Frank Prial
New York Times

How You Can Avoid the Plague

My picky panel sipped a lot of "obscure-label" wines and here are the best. The further you go down the list, the better the bottle. If you buy any of the last eight, they surely deliver what they promise; you will avoid the plague!

 

A Delightful Dozen Emerging From Obscurity
(all from California)

Rank   Wine
12th - Fog Mountain Chardonnay, Boisset, 2000, $8
11th - Mellow Yellow Red, Van der Vijver, NV, $14
10th - Emeril's Classic Red, 2000, $13
9th - Shale Ridge (Lockwood) Cabernet Sauvignon, 2001, $8
8th - Novella Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Coast, 2000, $11
7th - Amusant Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2001, $30
6th - Black Coyote Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2000, $25
5th - Graeser Diamond Mountain Red, 1999, $28
4th - Chameleon Cellars Napa Valley Merlot, 2000, $23
3rd - Sunset Cellars Potter Valley Zinfandel, 2000, $18
2nd - Charles Creek Sonrisa Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2001, $26
 

And we're number one!

 
1st - Domaine Alfred Califa Pinot Noir, 2000, $42
 

Conclusion

What category of wines won the most places on the list? Napa Valley Cabs...so what's new?

 
 
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 February 2004

Copyright © 2004
electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc.

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