"Life Without The Big Four
"

  by Fred McMillin


Prologue

Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Merlot dominate the California red-wine scene. What would we wine drinkers do without the BIG FOUR?


The Rest of the Story

As for the best-tasting reds from other varietals, we reviewed the results of our last five years of tastings, and here are the top bottles.


Our Delightful Dozen

12th  -  Petit Verdot by Dry Creek Vineyard, Sonoma, '91, $16
11th  -  Cabernet Franc by Sobon, Sierra Foothills, '91, $12
10th - Garnacha (Grenache) by Bujanda(CIV), Spain, '87, $21
9th - Sangiovese (Firebreak) by Shafer, Napa V., '94, $25
8th - Petite Sirah by David Bruce, Cal., '91, $12
7th - Petite Sirah by Ridge, York Crk., Napa V., '89, $18
6th - Petite Sirah by Foppiano, Russian Rvr. Vy., '93, $22
5th - Petite Sirah Reserve by Concannon, Lvrmore V., '92, $15
4th - Cabernet Franc by Perry Creek, Sierra Fthls., '93. $12
3rd - Cabernet Franc by Steele, Clear Lake, '95, $15
2nd - Syrah by Rosemount, Balmoral, Australia, '92, $26
Winner - Cabernet Franc by Jarvis, Napa Valley, '94, $45


Conclusion

In California, for every 100 vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, there are only five Petite Sirah vines and even fewer of Cabernet Franc. My panel is convinced that we need more!


Note
-For more about these wineries, see the following WineDay articles:

 

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