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Excellent Values from Recent Tastings

By Denman Moody

John Concannon is the 4th generation family owner of Concannon winery.

Cleo Pahlmeyer is president of Pahlmeyer Winery in Napa Valley.

Sergio Cuadra, winemaker at Fall Creek Winery.


A New List For A Memorable Shopping Spree


  • Ferdu Bianco Veronese IGT 2013 — 100% Garganega. A great value, these grapes are hand-picked and dried for 40 days to reduce water and concentrate sugar content. Dry and rich on the finish. $12
  • Dreaming Tree Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County 2016 —From “co-conspirators musician Dave Matthews and winemaker Sean McKenzie.” Lovely. $15
  • Royal Tokaji The Oddity Dry Tokaji 2013 — A must try. Like an excellent Chenin Blanc with a little extra oomph. 100% Furmint. Relatively new product from Hungary. “Different” terroir. $16
  • Benziger Chardonnay Sonoma County 2015 — Pears and apricots. Try with lobster rolls or corn on the cob. Or Danish Havarti on a cracker. Great bargain. $16
  • Nobilo Icon Marlborough 2016 — Possibly the best value of the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc lineup. Opulent. $17
  • Martin Ray Chardonnay Sonoma County 2016 — Delicious, high-value Chardonnay. $20
  • Stewart Sauvignon Blanc 2016 — Excellent fruit/acid balance. Consulting winemaker is the iconic Paul Hobbs. Try with shellfish or goat cheese salad. Enjoy! $24
  • Emblem Chardonnay Carneros (Sonoma) 2015 — From Folio Partners (Michael Mondavi). Lovely. $35
  • Animo Heritage Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2015 — Also from Folio Partners. About as good as any Sauvignon Blanc I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. Unique! $65



  • 19 Crimes The Banished Dark Red (Southeastern Australia) 2016 — Incredible value, like all the other reds I’ve tasted from 19 Crimes. $10
  • Boom Boom Syrah (Washington) 2015 — Whenever I see a red wine made by Charles Smith, I know I‘m going to enjoy a big, rich winner. Not disappointed here! $15
  • Galil Mountain ALON Upper Galilee 2013 — Mostly Cabernet and Syrah, this wine exhibits plums and cherries with a distinct terroir similar to me of some of the better South African reds. $16
  • Concannon Petite Sirah 2014 — One of several Petite Sirahs from the oldest ongoing winery in California under the same family management. And first to produce as a single varietal (1961). All great values!!! Perfect with burgers and meat pizzas. $16
  • Pedroncelli Mother Clone Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2014 — My favorite varietal from this family, who purchased the original vineyard in 1927! The addition of 10% Petite Sirah is perfect. $20
  • Saved California 2013 — Six varietals with Merlot, Zinfandel and Syrah carrying most of the load. 15% alcohol, but in balance with the acidity and subtle tannins. $25
  • Wente Pinot Noir Arroyo Seco Riva Ranch Vineyard 2014—“Deep, intense flavors of cherry, earth and vanilla.” Stunning at this price! $27
  • Wente Cabernet Sauvignon Charles Wetmore Vineyard 2014 — Red and black fruits with a hint of spice. Full-bodied and tasting like a significantly more expensive Cab. Steaks! $27
  • Canvasback Sauvignon Red Moun­tain 2014 — Duckhorn’s Wash­ington Cab. Aged in 90% new French oak. Chocolate-covered cherries with hints of sweet tobacco. $40
  • Fall Creek GSM Terroir Reflections 2014 — A double gold winner at the San Francisco International, this is one of the best wines produced in Texas to date! Available at the winery locations in Tow and Driftwood. Kudos to new, iconic Texas winemaker Sergio Cuadra. $43
  • Kenwood Artist Series 2012 — Stunning vineyard label and top-of-the line red. Delicious! $50
  • Emiliana Gê Valle de Colchagua 2012 —Deep, dark and rich. Predominantly Carménère and Syrah. Blackberries and dark chocolate with a hint of pepper from the Syrah. Tour de force! $50
  • Sartori Amarone Della Valpolicella DOC 2013 — The usual suspects with an addition of 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. One hundred days of drying the picked fruit on wooden racks. Dried cherries and cacao. Lush. $50
  • Chateau Buena Vista Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013 — First Napa wine made by Buena Vista, which is now owned by Jean-Charles Boisset. Chocolate-covered cherries with a hint of cedar. $50
  • MacRostie Pinot Noir Goldridge Vineyard 2014 — Another successful single vineyard offering from Steve Mac­Rostie, who is enjoying his new tasting room with sweeping views! Go visit. $55
  • Goldeneye Pinot Noir Alexander Valley 2014 — The rich diversity of Anderson Valley is evident from this assembly of grapes from Goldeneye’s four fabulous vineyards. Seamless integration! $55
  • E Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013 —Cer­tainly one of the best Cabernets from this winery ever. Black fruits, spice and a hint of vanilla in the finish. Perfect with beef tenderloin. $55
  • Benovia Pinot Noir Tilton Hill Vineyard Sonoma Coast 2014 —Perched on a ridge just a few miles from the ocean, this is Benovia’s coolest vineyard. Delicious, wild strawberry and raspberry flavors. $60
  • Migration Pinot Noir Drum Canyon Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills 2014 — Lush fruit and plush tannins with excellent balancing acidity. $68
  • Duckhorn Merlot Atlas Peak Napa Valley 2013 — Merlot doesn’t get any better than this. $72
  • Goldeneye Pinot Noir Confluence Vineyard Anderson Valley 2014 —Voluptuous, bright red fruits and supple tannins. Plush and complex. Roasted duck with cherry sauce. Yum! $80
  • Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Ten Sta. Rita Hills 2014—From the organic — and biodynamic — certified Estate Vineyard, as well as another over-the-top vintage. “…notes of cola and black currant, then a myriad of spices, dusty blueberry and a hint of tea leaves.” Fabulous. $80
  • Pahlmeyer Merlot Napa Valley 2013 — From “the most heralded vintage in Pahlmeyer’s history,” this purple-black stallion conjures up thoughts of a combination of Lafite (violets) and Petrus (plums). $85
  • Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013 — “Power” springs to mind from this Chateau Latour look-alike. Great persistence. Should age beautifully for 15 to 20 years. $150

DENMAN MOODY USE DSC_0007Denman Moody was the Editor and Publisher of Moody’s Wine Review for six years and Con­tributing Editor on Rare Wine for International Wine Review in New York for six years. He has published or had published over 400 articles on wine, including The International Wine and Food Society Journal in London, Revue du Vin de France in Paris and The Robb Report in Malibu. He is or has been a member of The Inter­national Wine and Food Society, Confrerie Saint-Etienne d’Alsace, The German Wine Society, Commanderie de Bordeaux, Chaine des Rotisseurs, Les Amis d’Escoffier and The Knights of the Vine.

Excellent Values from Recent Tastings

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