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Top 10 wines of the week


Two Zins, two Chards, two Cabs, and one each of Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and a dessert wine. And four of the wines are $20 and under. Sounds like the makings of a ten-course dinner. Create the best food pairing menu, and win a year’s free subscription to As usual, you’ll find my complete reviews and scores in upcoming issues of Wine Enthusiast.

Tres Vinicultores 2008 The Industrial Zinfandel. From grapes in Santa Rosa comes this classic, wild berry and spice high-octane Zinfandel. 70 cases, 15.8%, $40

Envy 2007 Late Harvest White Blend. From Napa Valley comes this sweet Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc blend. Rich and crisp. 100 cases, 12%, $45/375 ml.

Suacci Carciere Wines 2008 Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay. Another great Chard, a worthy followup to the ‘07. From Russian River Valley. 200 cases, 13.8%, $45

Zichichi Family 2008 Estate Old Vine Zinfandel. Made from century-old vines in western Dry Creek Valley. Intense and spicy. 973 cases, 15.5%; $36

Bruliam 2009 Doctor’s Vineyard Pinot Noir. Plenty of ripe fruit and full-bodied Santa Lucia character in this ageable wine. 300 cases, 14.3%, $52

Bernardus 2009 Griva Sauvignon Blanc. Just enough green pepper stuff going on to give this Arroyo Seco wine a subtle hint of gooseberry. 2,851 cases, 13.5%, $20

Grove Street 2008 Healdsburg Ridge Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. From this revitalized house, a rich Cabernet with a Sonoma County appellation. Case production not revealed, 13.9%, $28

Katherine Goldschmidt 2008 Crazy Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Another crazy value from veteran Nick Goldschmidt, from primo Alexander Valley fruit. 2,723 cases, 14.5%, $20

Kopriva 2009 Cassidy Ranch Chardonnay. Lots of crisp, crunchy green apple acidity in this fresh, unoaked Carneros Chard. 598 cases, 13.7%, $15

Chelsea Goldschmidt 2009 Merlot. Even Miles Raymond will be drinking Merlot if he gets his hands on this dry, softly tannic wine, made from Dry Creek Valley fruit. 1,460 cases, 14.4%, $15

  1. Hi-ho Steverino,

    Since I cater to the under $20 crowd, I want to thank you for including wines from Goldschmidt, for example, in your ratings–though it wasn’t a gesture, I realize, but simply a finding. Of course some weeks the wines may not be at the level that they were last week or the next week. It would be interesting to know how this particular week, though, measures up. I for one am curious how many wines you tried and was the range and quality representative? It puts you choices in context.

    Glad tiding to thee.


  2. Tom, this was a light week in terms of quantity. I review pretty much what comes in. When a lot comes in, I review a lot, so the scores tend to be higher. But with regard to Nick Goldschmidt and his various labels, he really must be considered one of the top winemakers in California.

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