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Top 10 wines of the week



It’s been a while since I posted a TTWOTW, so here goes.You can see my scores and full reviews in upcoming issues of Wine Enthusiast.

This was a good week for value wines. You’ll note that four of my Top Ten retail for less than $30, while the Dichotomy is just a few bucks more than that. Anytime you can get a 90 point or above wine for $30 and under, you should grab it.

Some old, familiar names made the list. Geyser Peak, Rutherford Hill and Alexander Valley Vineyards have been around forever. There’s a reason why they abide: they do a good job. Krupp Brothers has two of the top ten. I have fond memories from years ago when Dr. Jan Krupp, who with his brother Bart bought and developed the land that eventually became Stagecoach Vineyard, took me on a tour of the land. Stagecoach has obviously turned into an important vineyard and in my opinion is single-handedly responsible for turning around the reputation of the Atlas Peak AVA. The vineyard actually spans Atlas Peak and Pritchard Hill, which is not yet an appellation; wines from Stagecoach qualify “only” for the Napa Valley appellation. The Doctor red blend, by the way, is an imaginative and thoughtful combo of Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. I really believe more wineries would create these non-traditional blends were it not for the 75% varietal-bottling rule and the fact that most Americans seem to need the reassurance of a varietal name and not a proprietary one. We writers and educators are going to have to work on that.

Anyhow, here’s the list. Have a great weekend! Back on Monday morning with some interesting news.

Krupp Brothers 2010 M5 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley); $150.

Krupp Brothers 2011 The Doctor Red Blend (Napa Valley); $90.

Alexander Valley Vineyards 2010 Cyrus (Alexander Valley); $65.

Rutherford Hill 2012 Limited Release Chardonnay (Carneros); $28.

Dichotomy 2012 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): $32.

Geyser Peak 2011 Tectonic Red Blend (Alexander Valley); $28.

MacLaren 2011 Stagecoach Vineyard Syrah (Napa Valley); $45.

Bruliam 2012 Gap’s Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast); $55.

Amici 2012 Olema Pinot Noir (Sonoma County): $20.

Geyser Peak 2011 Walking Tree Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley); $28.

  1. Anytime you can get a high-quality wine for a price you’re willing to pay, you should grab it.


    90 points doesn’t necessarily someone else will like the wine. I’ve had 100 and 99-pt wines for which I wouldn’t spend $30. I understand your proposition but disagree with your premises.

    I do agree completely with your third paragraph. The Doctor is a great wine and more wineries should start making imaginative blends!

  2. GrapesRGreat says:

    That M5 is really killer stuff. Not over the top or syrupy at all, but very well balanced. I tried the 05′ M5 recently and in a lineup of 20 or so $100+ Cali Cabs it was at least top 2.

  3. We’re happy to be included in this list, Steve! There’s always room for more high-quality “value” wines in the market.


  1. Review Roll-up March 2014 | Amici Cellars - […] Heimoff, meanwhile, featured our 2012 Olema Pinot Noir in his blog post from 3/7/14 as one of his “Top…

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