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by Fred McMillin
for January 2000

 

A Toast to Your Health


Prologue

Centuries before the medical profession agreed, German winemakers recognized the benefits of moderate wine consumption in their adage: "There are a lot more old wine drinkers than there are old doctors!"


The Rest of the Story

Those vintners were talking about Germany's favorite white wine grape, the Riesling. Recently, I was discussing America's favorite white wine grape, the Chardonnay, with my physician, Dr. John Long. It's a favorite of his, too, so we went over some of my picky panel's preferences. Here they are.

 

Our Best Chardonnays (that are ready to drink right now)

$10 Maximum  
4th - Daniel Lawrence, California, '96, $10
3rd - Beringer's Founders' Estate, California, '98, $10
2nd - Farallon, Central Coast, '98, $10
1st - Chateau Julien, Monterey County, '97, $9

$15 Maximum  
4th - Hahn, Monterey County, '97, $11
3rd - EOS, Paso Robles, '97, $14
2nd - Sebastiani, Sonoma County, '97, $13
1st - Charles Mitchell, El Dorado, '97, $12

$20 Maximum  
4th - La Crema, Sonoma Coast, '97, $19
3rd - Pouilly-Fuissé, Vincent (Wildman), Burgundy, '97, $19
2nd - Atlas Peak, Napa Valley, '97, $16
1st - Gundlach-Bundschu, Sonoma Valley, '97, $18 (pictured)
      Bundschu Gundlach

$25 Maximum  
3rd - Chateau St. Jean, Alexander Valley, '96, $24
2nd - Beaulieu Reserve, Carneros, '97, $25
1st - Chablis, Regnard, Burgundy, '96, $24

$30 Maximum  
4th - Grgich Hills, Nape Valley, '97, $30
3rd - Rosenblum, Lone Oak, Russian Rvr. Vly., '97, $28
2nd - ZD, California, '97, $26
1st - Guenoc, G. Magoon Reserve, Guenoc Valley, '96, $30

Unlimited  
3rd - Matanzas Creek, Sonoma Valley, '97, $31
2nd - Chalone Vineyard, Monterey County, '97, $31
1st - Chateau St. Jean, Reserve Magnum, Alexander V., '94, $57

Postscript

During its first century in California, Chardonnay was hardly a smashing success. By 1971 there still were but 3,000 acres. Then, vintners began moving it to cooler microclimates, and voila! Twenty years later there were over 56,000 acres.

 


This page created January 2000

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