by Fred McMillin
No, this is not about the USA's Civil War. Instead it's about the fact that very early in California winegrowing it was concluded that the NORTH produced better wines than the SOUTH.
However, we got to wondering if the rise of Santa Barbara wines means the SOUTH has caught up at least with the far NORTH's Mendocino County? So, we matched a number of Mendocino reds with their southern counterparts, such as two 2004 Syrahs of about the same price. Here are the results:
|7th||South||Pinot Noir, Steele Wines, Santa Barbara-Bien Nacido, 2005, $35|
|6th||North||Zinfandel, Blockheadia, Mendocino County, 2001, $24|
|5th||South||Syrah, Bianchi Wine, Paso Robles, 2004, $21|
|4th||South||Zinfandel, Bianchi Winery, Paso Robles, 2005, $24|
|3rd||North||Pinot Noir, Navarro Vineyards, Mendocino County, 2003, $16|
|2nd||North||Carignane, Frick Winery, Mendocino County, 2002, $16|
|1st||North||Pinot Noir, Handley Cellars, Mendocino County, 2004, $20|
South—Not bad, landing three of the top seven spots.
North—My picky panel gave Mendocino the top three spots. They found that the South is rising, but in this large tasting, the North was still the winner.
Reviewer commenting on the little-known Austrian wine grape Gumpoldskirchner:
"Not a name that will launch a thousand cases."
Credits: Edgar Vogt
Statistics: Ophie Mercado
Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He was voted one of the U.S.A's 22 Best wine writers by the Academy of Wine Communications. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.
Copyright © 2009, Fred McMillin. All rights reserved.
This page created March 2009
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