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Copyright © 2015
Forkmedia LLC

by Fred McMillin
for June 21, 2001


Just what you want...Underpriced Wines!


At almost every blind tasting, we find one or two wines that are worth considerably more than the price on the bottle. Here are the last dozen real bargains we've found in Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. (The postscript explains how we determine what the wine was worth.)


Our Delicious Dozen

Dollar Talk The Wine
Charles Krug Merlot

Charles Krug Merlot  

Smith & Hook Chardonnay

Smith & Hook

The Price Panel Value The Difference  
$25 $28 $3 Chardonnay, Smith & Hook, Baroness Reserve, Monterey, '97
$16 $19 $3 Merlot, Sagelands, Columbia Valley, Wash., '98
$24 $27 $3 Cabernet Sauvignon, Show Reserve, Rosemount, Coonawarra, Australia, '98
$11 $15 $4 Merlot, Duck Pond, Columbia Valley, Wash., '98
$10 $17 $7 Cabernet Sauvignon, Monterra, Monterey, '98
$20 $30 $10 Merlot, Frick, Dry Creek Valley, '97
$10 $21 $11 "Les Charmes" (Chardonnay), Macon-Lugny, Burgundy, France (Seagram) '98
$10 $21 $11 Chardonnay, Sierra Vista, El Dorado, '99
$9 $26 $17 Chardonnay, Carramar, S.E. Australia, Imp.-W.J. Deutsch, '99
$30 $47 $17 Merlot, Sketchbook Collection, Mendocino, '97
$25 $43 $18 Merlot Reserve, Charles Krug, Napa Valley, '97
$7 $27 $20 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stone Creek, California, '96

Postscript—Only for the Number Crunchers

This is how we determine what the wine is worth. On the average, my panel gives a $16 Cab an 85 rating. It gives a $22 Cab an 87 rating. So, if my panel finds a $16 Cab that in a blind tasting gets an 87 rating, we say it is worth $22, even though the price is only $16.


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 June 2001