Go to a restaurant with an F&W Best New Chef in the kitchen, and you’ll likely find a great wine director in the dining room. F&W’s Ray Isle talks to these experts to find terrific bottles.
2009 Best New Chefs Easiest Recipes

10 Top Wine Destinations

I’ve singled out one amazing bottle from each list that’s worth looking for in a wine shop; prices are suggested retail.

Cityzen, Washington, DC

Wine Director Andrew Myers

Bottle to Try 2006 Catena Zapata Malbec ($26). Argentina’s Catena family helped create interest in Malbec in the United States with wines like this powerful, spicy red.

Cru, New York City

Wine Director Robert Bohr

Bottle to Try 2006 Capezzana Barco Reale di Carmignano ($15). Capezzana, one of the stars of Italy's Carmignano region, produces dark, earthy Sangiovese-based red blends.

Eleven Madison Park, New York City

Wine Director John Ragan

Bottle to Try 2008 Pazo Señorans Albariño ($25). Pazo Señorans’s citrus-and-mineral Albariños are benchmarks of Spain’s Rías Baixas region.

Mélisse, Los Angeles

Sommelier Brian Kalliel

Bottle to Try NV Guy Larmandier Grand Cru Cramant ($60). The small Champagne producer is known for this mineral-edged, 100 percent Chardonnay grand cru bottling.

Sea Saw, Phoenix

Wine Director Peter Kaspierski

Bottle to Try 2007 Cline Ancient Vines Mourvèdre ($18). This plummy red comes mostly from 80-plus-year-old vines in northern California.

Frasca Food And Wine, Boulder, CO

Wine Director Bobby Stuckey

Bottle to Try 2007 Corte Sant’Alda Vigne di Mezzane Soave ($19). For years, northeastern Italy’s Soave region produced oceans of bland white wine. Today, wineries like Corte Sant’Alda and wines like this refined, lightly almondy bottling have restored Soave’s reputation.

L2O, Chicago

Sommeliers Chantelle Pabros & Jean Tomaro

Bottle to Try 2007 William Fèvre Champs Royaux Chablis ($25). Fèvre’s wines are known for the steely grace that characterizes top Chablis.

Spruce, San Francisco

Sommelier Andrew Green

Bottle to Try 2006 Abadía Retuerta Selección Especial ($23). This juicy Tempranillo blend is an ideal introduction to the powerful, smoky reds of north-central Spain’s Sardón del Duero region.

Tru, Chicago

Wine Director Chad Ellegood

Bottle to Try 2006 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert ($48). Jaboulet’s renowned Thalabert bottling, one of the best from France’s Crozes Hermitage appellation, is robust and peppery, with notes of smoked meat and olives.

Boulevard, San Francisco

Wine Director John Lancaster

Bottle to Try 2006 Scherrer Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($40). From his small winery in Sebastopol, California, Fred Scherrer produces some of the region’s best Pinot Noirs—silky, fragrant and rich with black cherry fruit.


50+ Values, Legendary Regions
A Lesson in New Argentinean Wines
2007 Bodegas Caballo Listán Blanco ($18)