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Some Personal Favorites

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About This List

I often wonder what the vintners buy . . . 
    —The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

If we have skills, those are not primarily as wine tasters and evaluators ourselves; rather, our expertise, assuming we have any, is in "meta-review"—searching the work of many other tasters and evaluators to see where there seems to be consensus on good wines (within our self-imposed price limit of not over $20).

Nonetheless, it is inevitable that anyone visiting a site like this must wonder what the webmasters themselves find appealing in the wines they present. So, we have made this list. It is important, as we discuss more fully on our page about published wine reviews, that you keep in mind not only what limitations the reviewers (here, us) may have, but also that different people have different preferences. To belabor the obvious, Wine A may appeal strongly to us and Wine B not so much, whereas you might love B and scorn A—even if both are widely reckoned very good or even excellent wines. The difference would be the wines' styles and your and our preferences in style.

Please note carefully that our "favorites" have nothing whatever to do with the list selections we present on this site for each wine type: not a few of our personal favorites do not appear on the lists for their type. They're just our favorites, no more, no less: we don't use our tastes as a measure for listing.

A side note: for not a few varietals, our current preference is rather tentative, meaning that while we liked them, there are still a fair number of candidates that we haven't yet gotten round to sampling. We used to mark some of our choices thast way, as "tentative", but the reality is that all our choices are tentative, in the sense that tonight we might try something new that blows away our current preference. So all this is just a snapshot, a work in progress (lifelong progress).

One thing we do not do, however, is list any wine just to fill in a varietal; if, for a given varietal, no specimen we have tried so far has really appealed to us, we just leave that varietal off this list as if we hadn't tried any of it at all yet.

For most varieties, we list only one choice, for simplicity's sake. Occasionally, though, we will list two or even three if, for example, there are strongly differing styles, as with, say, oaked Chardonnay and unoaked (Chablis-style) Chardonnay.

Also for simplicity, we do not present any evaluations of our own, save where we may explain why more than one wine is listed for a given type. The mere fact of selection is, we feel, sufficient comment.

In this list, the wine type (say, Merlot) is a click-on link to our page for that wine type. The individual wine's names are click-on links to such CellarTracker pages as may exist for them, so you can see what other folks have had to say about them. (In the rare few cases where there were no posted comments to be seen on CellarTracker, the link is to some other ideally germane note on the wine.) We do not necessarily agree with all of those comments (which, in any case, often disagree considerably among themselves), but you can see what actual non-professional consumers have had to say.

Very well, then, let's cut the cackle an' get to the hosses.

The List

Agiorgitiko: Erasmios Nemea

Aglianico: Caparone Aglianico

Albariño: Anselmo Mendes "Contacto" Alvarinho
     La Cana Albariño

Altesse (aka Roussette): Domaine Giachino Roussette de Savoie Altesse

Assyrtiko: Hatzidakis Santorini

Barbera: Rocca Felice Barbera d'Alba Superiore

Bonarda: Zuccardi "Serie A" Bonarda

Brachetto: Sottimano "Mate"

Cabernet Franc:
  Old World style:
    Les Pensées de Pallus.
  New World style:
    Hosmer Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Sauvignon: Caparone Cabernet Sauvignon
  alternative (if a Caparone order is inconvenient for you):
    Columbia Crest "Grand Estates" Cabernet Sauvignon

Carmenere: Anakena Carmenere "Tama Vineyards" Selection

Castelão | Castelão Frances | Periquita: Jose Maria da Fonseca Periquita Classico; very tentative choice

  oaked style -
    Angeline Chardonnay
  unoaked -
    Jean-Paul & Benoît Droin Chablis

Chenin Blanc: Francois Pinon Vouvray "Cuvée Tradition"
    A. A. Badenhorst "Secateurs" Chenin Blanc

Cinsault: Birichino "Bechthold Vineyard" Old Vine California Cinsault

  dry style -
    Zenato Valpolicella Superiore
  ripasso style -
    Zenato Ripassa

Counoise: Steele Writer's Block Counoise

Dolcetto: Marcarini "Fontanazza" Dolcetto d'Alba

Dornfelder: Kallstadt Kallstadter Dornfelder trocken

Falanghina: Ocone "Flora" Falanghina Taburno

Fiano: Mastroberardino "Radici" Fiano

Fié | Sauvignon Gris: Cousiño-Macul "Isadora" Sauvignon Gris

Gamay: Debeaune Fleurie "La Madone"

Garnacha | Grenache: Lurra Garnacha

Gewürztraminer: Zind Humbrecht Gewürztraminer

Graciano | Morrastel: Rio Madre Graciano Rioja

Grechetto: Arnaldo Caprai "Grecante" Grechetto

Greco: Terredora di Paolo Greco di Tufo "Loggia della Serra"

Gros Manseng: Domaine des Cassagnoles Gros Manseng Reserve Selection

Grüner Veltliner: Gobelsburger Kamptal Grüner Veltliner

Hárslevelü: Fekete Somloi Hárslevelü

Lemberger | Blaufränkisch | Blue Frank | Kekfrankos: Kiona Lemberger

Limnio: Porto Carras Limnio;
    Zafeirakis Limniona

Loureiro: Anselmo Mendes "Muros Antigos" Loureiro

Malagousia: Gerovassiliou Malagousia

Malbec: Zuccardi "Serie Q" Malbec

Malvasia: Birichino Malvasia Bianca

Melon (de Borgogne) | Muscadet: Marc Ollivier Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie

Mencia: Losada Vinos de Finca "El Pajaro Rojo"

Merlot: Caparone Merlot;
  alternative (if a Caparone order is inconvenient for you):
    Columbia Crest "Grand Estates" Merlot

Meunier | Pinot Meunier: Duck Walk Vineyards Pinot Meunier

Mondeuse Noire | Mondeuse Noir: Charles Gonnet Chignin "Vieilles Vignes"

Monastrell | Mourvedre | Mataro: Juan Gil Jumilla

Montepulciano: Citra Montepulciano

Moscofilero | Moschofilero: Skouras Moschofilero

Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains: Bodegas Juan Gil Moscatel Seco
     Wohlmuth Gelber Muskateller Steinriegel

Nebbiolo: Caparone Nebbiolo

Negroamaro: Castello Monaci Maru Negroamaro

Nero D'Avola: Valle dell'Acate "Il Moro" Nero d'Avola;
Valle dell'Acate "Case Ibidini" Nero d'Avola

Petit Verdot: Ruca Malén Reserva

Petite Sirah: Line Shack Petite Sirah

Picpoul de Pinet: Hugues de Beauvignac Picpoul de Pinet

Piedirosso: La Sibilla Piedirosso "Campi Flegrei"

Pinot Blanc: Kupelwieser Pinot Blanc Alto Adige

Pinot Gris | Pinot Grigio:
  "gris" style -
      Willow Crest Pinot Gris;
  "grigio" style -
      Kupelwieser Alto Adigo Pinot Grigio

Pinot Noir: Line 39 Pinot Noir

Plavac Mali: Bura "Fresh" Plavac Mali
(CellarTracker seems not to have any entry for this particular Bura Plavac Mali; the link is to the maker's tech/spec sheet for the wine.)

Poulsard: Bénédicte & Stéphane Tissot Arbois Poulsard "Vielle Vines"
(This bottling is way over our normal price limit; we need to sample others.)

Refosco: Le Carline Refosco
(Beware! Some of the CellarTracker entries there are for a Chardonnay!)

Riesling: Trimbach Riesling;
  alternative #1:
    Chateau Ste. Michelle "Eroica" Riesling
  alternative #2:
    Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Riesling

Robola: Gentilini Robola

Rosé: Ameztoi Rubentis Txakolina

Roussanne: Novelty Hill Roussanne

Sagrantino: Còlpetrone Sagrantino di Montefalco

Sangiovese: Caparone Sangiovese

Saperavi | Saperevi: Pheasant's Tears Saperavi

Sauvignon Blanc: Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc;
    Nobilo Regional Collection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Scheurebe: Darting "Durkheimer Fronhof" Kabinett Scheurebe

Sémillon: Tyrrell's Old Winery Sémillon

St. Laurent | Sankt Laurent: Schneider St. Laurent
  CellarTracker users seem to have used a variety of names for this wine, leading to three different sets of review pages. Those are:
     •Georg Schneider St. Laurent
     •Weingut Schneider St. Laurent
     •Schneider St. Laurent

sparkling wines (Champagne et al.): Roederer Estate Brut, Anderson Valley

Syrah: Nobles Rives Cave de Tain Crozes-Hermitage

Tannat: Famille Laplace "Laplace" Madiran

Tempranillo: Tamaral Ribera del Duero Roble

Torrontés: Michel Torino "Cuma" Torrontés

Touriga Nacional: Aveleda "Follies" Touriga Nacional

Txakolina: Zudugarai "Amats" Txakolina

Verdejo: Viñedos de Nieva "Blanco Nieva" Verdejo

Verdelho: Tyrrell's "Old Winery" Verdelho

Viognier: Michel Gassier "Les Piliers" Viognier

Xinomavro: Katogi Averoff Xinomavro

Zinfandel: Caparone Zinfandel





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This page was last modified on Friday, 6 December 2019, at 9:32 pm Pacific Time.