Magazine article Sunset

The West's Best Bottles

Magazine article Sunset

The West's Best Bottles

Article excerpt

OURJUDGES TASTED SOU WINES to bring you the most extraordinary. Plus this year's top wine bars, tasting rooms, and wine pros

STEALS

$15 & UNDER

Whites

GRUET NONVINTAGE BLANC DE NOIRS

(Lower Rio Grande, New Mexico; $15)

Wild strawberries pop with rich, yeasty bubbles.

RUNNER-UP

LIBERTY SCHOOL 2009

CHARDONNAY

(Central Coast; $12)

Spicy apple and pear with a touch of pineapple and toasty brûlée balanced with bright acidity.

RUNNER-UP

CLAYHOUSE 2010

"ADOBE PINK"

(Central Coast; $15)

Strawberry and raspberry spiked with citrus and minerality.

MORE GREAT STEALS WHITE

8 I CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE 2009 COLD CREEK VINEYARD RIESLING

(Columbia Valley; $15)

9 | COLUMBIA CREST 2009 "TWO VINES" PINOT GRIGIO

(Washington State; $8)

10 | FOXGLOVE 2009 CHARDONNAY

(Central Coast; $15)

11 I JOEL GOTT 2010 SAUVIGNON BLANC

(California; $12)

12 I MARA 2009 "WHITE GRASS" SAUVIGNON BLANC

(Sonoma County; $15)

13 I MATELLO 2010 PINOT GRIS

(RibbonRidge;$lS)

14 I TANGENT 2010 PARAGON VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC

(Edna Valley; $13)

15 I VIENTO 2009 ALLEGRE VINEYARD WHITE BLEND

(Columbia Gorge; $14)

Reds

PROJECT PASO 2009 REDWINE BLEND

(Paso Robles; $14)

Plump cherries and strawberries are laced with chocolate in this Grenache blend.

RUNNER-UP

HAHN 2009 SYRAH

(Central Coast; $12)

Intriguing herbs, black olive, and white pepper put this darkberried Syrah on the wild side.

RUNNER-UP

WATERBROOK 2008 MERLOT

(Columbia Valley; $12)

Brambly black currant and berries with a dusting of cocoa and cracked pepper.

MORE GREAT STEALS RED

1 I THE CRUSHER 2009 "GROWER'S SELECTION" PETITE SIRAH

(Clarksburg; $13)

2 I CYCLES GLADIATOR 2009 CABERNET SAUVIGNON

(California; $10)

3 I JARGON 2009 PINOT NOIR

(California; $12)

4 I J. RICKARDS 2009 "BROWN BARN RED" BLEND

(Alexander Valley; $15)

5 I McMANIS FAMILY 2009 CABERNET SAUVIGNON

(California; $11)

6 I MILBRANDT 2008 "TRADITIONS" CABERNET SAUVIGNON

(Columbia Valley; $15)

7 I POPPY 2009 PINOT NOIR

(Monterey County; $12)

SOMMELIER OF THE YEAR

B.C/s hot wine scene

A RESERVATION AT VANCOUVER'S NEW HAWKSWORTH RESTAURANT IS A COVETED THING. As it turns out, the restaurant's wine program, led by B.C. native Terry Threlfall, is responsible for a huge chunk of the excitement. We asked him for a few tips.

Which wines in B.C. should we be tasting? Rieslings - especially the old-vine versions from Tantalus and Sperling Vineyards in the Okanagan Valley - impress with steely minerality and complexity. And keep an eye on Chardonnayand Pinot Noir from Foxtrot and Meyer Family Vineyards, both of which have pure, racy fruit reminiscent of good Burgundy. Foxtrot's 2oo8 Pinot has to be one of my alltime favorite B.C. wines.

How to avoid stale wine by the glass? Choose a restaurant with high volume and turnover (good signs are wines offered by the taste, glass, carafe, and flight), and ask if the wine is dated and checked or stored in a winepreserving system. At Hawksworth, I'd much rather the kitchen get some extra cooking wine than a customer receive an oxidized glass.

GOODVALUE

$16 TO $25

Whites

NAVARRO 2010 ESTATE DRY GEWÜRZTRAMINER

(Anderson Valley, Mendocino; $19) Racy citrus with a touch of tropical litchi takes an elegant turn with pretty rose petals.

RUNNER-UP

KING ESTATE 2009 DOMAINE PINOTGRIS

(Oregon; $25)

The state's signature white comes here with flashy peach and nectarine and mouthwatering acidity.

RUNNER-UP

CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE 2009 "EROICA" RIESLING

(Columbia Valley; $20)

Zesty lemon-lime, green apple, and pineapple plus a gorgeous honeyed finish. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.