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Wine

A Three-Varietal Smackdown!

Argentina's Malbec vs.
Australia's Shiraz vs.
California's Zinfandel.

by Fred McMillin

At San Francisco City College (Ft. Mason campus) we held a large blind tasting of affordable ($15 maximum) bottles with these results.

We called the best our—

NIFTY NINE

 
On Wine: Rankings
These three were rated GOOD:
RANK WINE DETAILS
9th MALBEC Merlot blend, Falling Star, Argentina, 2004, $5
8th SHIRAZ Red Belly, Angove's, Australia, 2004, $12
7th SHIRAZ McLaren Vale, Tyrrell's, Australia, 2002, $11
 
These three were rated VERY GOOD:
RANK WINE DETAILS
6th ZINFANDEL Reserve, Shenandoah of California, Amador County, 2002, $10
5th ZINFANDEL Bargetto, Lodi, 2004, $14
4th MALBEC Don Miguel, Pasternak Imports, 2003, $12
 
These three were rated EXCELLENT:
RANK WINE DETAILS
3rd MALBEC Bodegas Escorihuela Gascon, Pasternak Imports, 2004, $13
2nd ZINFANDEL Shooting Star, Mendocino, 2002, $12
1st ZINFANDEL Heritage Clones, Dry Creek Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley, 2003, $15
 

Comments

ZINFANDEL: A 6th, 5th, 2nd and 1st ranking. As in prior studies, this grape makes the best buy reds in the $10 to $15 range.

MALBEC: This just in—ON WINE reader Simone Laplante asked what to taste when visiting Argentina. Of course we said MALBEC. Simone reports the current releases down there are DELICIOUS.

SHIRAZ: We found some excellent bottles but they were above our $15 price limit.

QUESTION: Who first said the wine of SHIRAZ was the best of Persia?

ANSWER: Genghis Khan c.1229 AD. I probably am the only living wine writer who has sipped SHIRAZ wine in the town of SHIRAZ. The year was 1972 and the wine was REELY, REELY robust.

 

A Parting Gourmet Grin

Sign in window of local bistro: Come in before we BOTH starve.

 

Fred McMillin

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He was voted one of the U.S.A's 22 Best wine writers by the Academy of Wine Communications. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

 

Copyright © 2007, Fred McMillin. All rights reserved.

 


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This page created October 2007


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