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by Fred McMillin
for February 2006

Wine

 

"Close to Napa and Closing In"

Headline in the N.Y. Times

The Times is talking about the second most important wine district in the New World, SONOMA. Four years ago we described our tasting of Napa vs. Sonoma wines in which Sonoma proved to be very competitive. So, we decided it was time to update our results.

 

Has Sonoma Caught Napa?

Our new tasting paired 10 wines from each district. The result? Seven of the ten matches were won by—Napa. BUT WAIT. Checking the prices, the Napa entries averaged $39 a bottle while Sonoma averaged only $26. How would they compare at the same average price? To find out we set up another flight of 16 from each region, both with an average price of $26. The result? Ten of the 16 matches were won by—Napa again! But both regions had a number of superb wines. Here are the top five.

Rank   Category & Winery
5th - Napa—Ballentine Block 11 Zinfandel, 2003, $25
4th - Napa—Sullivan Rutherford Cabernet, 2001, $50
3rd - Sonoma—Orogeny Green Valley Pinot Noir, 2003, $30
2nd - Sonoma—Gary Farrell Rochioli Pinot Noir, 2003, $60
1st - Napa—D.R. Stephens Moose Valley Cab, 2002, $100
 

And Our Gourmet Grin

True story: At a natural history museum, I saw hanging on the wall the fossilized imprint of a large fish with a small fish inside it. The brass plate beneath read, "The world's first fish dinner."

 
 
About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

 


 

 
 

This page created February 2006

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electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc.

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