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by Fred McMillin
It's Time for
"A Winery with A Fault"
First Quarter—$6 Wines
Dave Jones' '99 Beringer White Merlot won the quarter by a field goal, so the Pink Panthers lead by 3.
Second Quarter—$10 Wines
Edgar's '99 Sobon Estate Rhone Rosé (89% Grenache) scored a touchdown with the tasters, putting the Vogt Varietals ahead, 7 to 3.
Third Quarter—$12 Wines
Another lesser-known varietal won the third quarter by 6 points, the '99 Handley Pinot Meunier (a component of much Champagne). That puts the Vogt Varietals ahead 13 to 3. Let's see if the Panthers can stage a fourth-quarter rally.
Fourth Quarter—$16 Wines
Oh-oh. Another important varietal...arguably Italy's greatest grape, the Nebbiolo, that makes the heralded Barolo reds. The Nebbiolo Rosato by Montevina scored another 7 points. The Vogt Varietals stomp the Panthers, 20 to 3.
We have a tie! Both Sierra Foothills wineries, Montevina and Sobon, won by 7 points. To break the tie, we checked with the tasters and if forced to choose, they would take...
'99 Montevina Nebbiolo Rosato,
Amador County, Sierra Foothills
Tasters' Comments—More intense strawberry, raspberry flavors than in most off-dry pinks. Nice for the holiday turkey.
Production—Alas, only 900 cases.
Contact—Office of Stan Hock and Sandy Flanders, (707) 963-3104, FX (707) 963-2381
About the other wine that tied for first, the Sobon Rhone Rosé made from the Grenache grape. Some five decades ago the Almaden Winery made America's first commercial rosé just south of San Francisco. About 15 years later I visited Almaden, (see photo), to check it out. That first American rosé was made from...Grenache!
About the Writer
Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers. 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 December 2000