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Five Wines to Buy and Drink Now

2005 Chardonnay

Sonoma, California


The 2005 vintage was particularly successful throughout Sonoma; the Chardonnays were especially rich and concentrated, but also well balanced with excellent acidity.

Bottles to Buy

Look for the impressive 2005 Hartford Court Stone Côte Chardonnay, from the cool Sonoma Coast region ($50).

2005 Côtes-du-Rhône

Rhône Valley, France


There have been several terrific vintages in the southern Rhône; 2005 is just the latest. Buy Côtes-du-Rhône to drink now (and cellar the same region’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape).

Bottles to Buy

Pierre Usseglio is well known to Châteauneuf-du-Pape lovers, but the domaine also makes a delicious Côtes-du-Rhône ($23).

2005 Shiraz



Australia is an awfully large country, and it’s difficult, if not downright irresponsible, to generalize. But 2005 was an exceptionally good year for most makers of Aussie Shiraz.

Bottles to Buy

The 2005 berry-rich Wolf Blass Gold Label Barossa Shiraz is a well-made, polished wine, and at $25, it’s a great value.

2006 Whites

Alto Adige, Italy


Some of the most intensely flavorful Italian whites–Pinot Bianco, Müller-Thurgau–are made in the northern reaches of the country, specifically in the mountainous Trentino—Alto Adige in 2006.

Bottles to Buy

Trentino-based Pojer and Sandri produced a top Müller-Thurgau, a Riesling-like varietal, in 2006. It’s a steal at just $20.

2007 Sauvignon Blanc



Although Chilean winemakers are more likely to boast of their Carmenères and Cabernets than their whites, the quality of their crisp, bright 2007 Sauvignon Blancs is impressively high.

Bottles to Buy

The 2007 Santa Rita Floresta Leyda Sauvignon Blanc, with its penetrating minerality, is simply outstanding ($23).

Published January 2008


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