Our giant, our Goliath, in the blind tasting was the Napa
Valley wine district. Our David was the Sierra Foothills
district. Here's how critic James Laube compares the two
in his excellent book, California Wine. (1995)
|Acres in vines
|Number of lines used to describe the district
|Number of varietals mentioned as outstanding
We matched nine Napa wines against nine Foothills wines
of the same varietal and price, for example, two $12 Zinfandels,
two $20 Cabs, etc. Here are the winners. The number is the
percent by which the winner outscored the loser.
|Winning Margin %
Sutter Ridge (pictured)
|| Sierra Vista
|| Rosenblum (1)
||Sobon Estate (2)
- The blend was the '96 Holbrook Mitchell Trio.
- This Sobon Zinfandel was the '96 Fiddletown.
John L. Bree (L) with son John Hyler Bree
make Sutter Ridge Run
Also, there was one dead heat. The two with identical total
votes were $20 Cabs by Conn Creek (Napa) and Renaissance
Each district had four winners. In the $15 to
$20 range, David doesn't beat Goliath, but he
surely holds his own.