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Best wines this past week

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Here are some of the best wines I tasted this past week for Wine Enthusiast. You can find all my reviews on the magazine’s website, although these ones won’t be up for a few more weeks.

1. Three Au Bon Climat “Historic Santa Barbara Vineyards Collection” Chardonnays from the 2007 vintage: Sanford & Benedict, Bien Nacido and Sierra Madre, and each only $30. Clendenen has decades-long relationships with these properties, and I expect he gets his hands on some of the best fruit. Complain all you want about ABC being “oaky fruit bombs,” if you don’t want to drink them, more for me!

2. A pair of Chalk Hill Sauvignon Blancs, both 2008: the Musque clone bottling and their Sauvignon “Gris,” actually a clone of S. Blanc. Each $40, and both are rich, savory and elegant.

3. Of the Place 2008 Pinot Noir. Opulent and silky. $30 is a good price for a Russian River Pinot of this quality.

4. William Hill 2007 Meritage. Pricy at $125, but great wine. Nice to see a return to form at this veteran winery, which was bought by Gallo just before the 2007 harvest. That bodes well for WH’s future.

5. Meander 2006 Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. I haven’t been a fan of their regular Cab, but the Morisoli bottling is always good. The vineyard is in the heart of Rutherford.

6. Zaca Mesa 2007 Eight Barrel Syrah. Pretty much as good as the winery’s far more expensive Black Bear Block Syrah, only 20 bucks less. ZM’s ‘07 Roussanne is no slouch, either.

7. A trio of Roessler 2008 Pinot Noirs: La Brisa, Clos Pepe and Sanford & Benedict. Roessler is playing the Testarossa/Siduri game, scooping up as many famous vineyard grapes as they can. Seriously good wines, and not over-priced.

8. Eberle 2009 Muscat Canelli. This is one of the winery’s most consistent and pleasing wines, sweet and juicy and crisp, and only $15.

9. Novy 2008 Papera Lane Vineyard Zinfandel. Novy is the “other” winery of Siduri’s Adam and Dianna Lee. Classic, spicy Russian River Zin, but the alcohol is high.

Best deal of the week

Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi 2009 Pinot Grigio. For 8 bucks, you get a super-dry, tart, lemony wine.

Have a great weekend!

  1. I have to agree Steve, the ABC historic vineyard collection is outstanding. I recently had a chance to taste a few of them at the ABC/Qupe open house and I was really impressed with the nuance and the complexity.

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