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Northern California’s Best Wine Values

The wine regions of Northern California make lots of expensive Cabernets. But they also produce many amazing values, from crisp Sauvignon Blancs to lush, fruity Zinfandels.

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Northern California Bottles:

2006 Husch Anderson Valley Gewürztraminer ($14)

Despite a hint of sweetness, this spicy white from the Anderson Valley’s oldest producer comes off as dry and focused, with peach and rose-petal notes.

2004 Three Families Mendocino Merlot ($14)

Full of plum and pepper, this Merlot from Mendocino expresses just what the varietal ought to: dark, ripe fruit with a slightly wild, spicy edge.

2005 Sawbuck Cabernet Sauvignon ($10)

Mendocino is known for cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, but this juicy red proves that good Cabernet grows there as well.

2007 Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc ($13)

Winemaker Pat Henderson uses fruit from five different Sonoma appellations for this bright white. Its ripe flavors suggest fresh honeydew melon and a hint of smoke.

2007 Sobon Estate Old Vines Zinfandel ($13)

This wine is Zinfandel at its jammy, blackberry-rich apogee, which is something that Amador County’s warm climate helps ensure.

2005 Trentadue Old Patch Red ($13)

This ripe, spicy blend of Zinfandel and other grapes is still partly sourced from the 1890s-era vineyard that inspired its name.

2007 Gallo Family Vineyards Sonoma Reserve Pinot Gris ($15)

Gallo makes good Pinot Gris under several different labels. This one’s a great value, full of nectarine and peach notes.

2007 Luna Vineyards Freakout ($15)

Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Ribolla Gialla, all from Napa Valley, go into this fresh, surprisingly fleshy white.

Published April 2009
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