Five sizzlers emerged in my S.F. State course on California's best wineries, big and small. Here they are:
Best White: Only 820 cases were made of this delicious Elkhorn Peak 1994 Chardonnay from Jamieson Canyon in the vaunted southern Napa Valley. $16.
Best Red: There were three that drew ratings up in the stratosphere...
Best Dessert Wine: Dessert wines do not win Best of Tasting against excellent red table wines.. but this one did. Every ballot showed the taster felt the wine was exceptional. 1994 Guenoc Vintage Port, $25.
- Winemaker Dennis Johns, noted for his Merlots, says he's never made a better one than this 1994 St. Clement Napa Valley Merlot. 4,100 cases, $24
- What a Cabernet pedigree...Stags Leap District...one of the best winemakers in the Western Hemisphere...from the fine 1992 vintage. It's Frenchman Bernard Portet's Clos Du Val 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley. $24
- Here's another dazzling 1992 Napa Valley Cab. But I have very bad news. There are only 155 cases in the universe. Elan Vineyards Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon, $28.50. Phone President Patrick Elliott-Smith and plead...(707)252-3339.
Postscript: These wines pleased both the veterans and newcomers in my course. That tells me they are good choices for my dinner parties, where guests range from the casual wine drinker to the esoteric type.