Taste of Wine: Napa Valley Merlot is Wine Spectator’s No. 1

I can not tell you how happy I am to let you in on the No. 1 wine of 2017 from the largest circulated wine journal in the Earth, Wine Spectator.

Duckhorn Merlot 2014 ($98) from Three Palms Vineyard was ideal for two big reasons. It comes as Napa Valley is currently working hard to return from the recent fires which burned more than 240,000 acres in Napa and Sonoma, more than the size of Manhattan in New York City, with 42 deaths.

Wine Spectator’s No. 1 wine for 2017 is a Duckhorn Merlot 2014 from Napa Valley.

The next is that the Merlot varietal, that has had a tough 10 years because “Sideways” the film sliced and diced this historically iconic grape. Duckhorn was founded in 1976 with its first Merlot produced in 1978.

Almost 16,000 wines were blind tasted this season as mentioned by Wine Spectator, which named the top 100 to make the cut. “The roses featured in our top 100 list catch the character of this past season and exemplify the high quality and diversity that the wine world has to offer,” stated Marvin Shanken, editor and publisher of Wine Spectator. Winemaker for Duckhorn is Renee Ary, who began in 2003 in Duckhorn just north of St. Helena.

The rest of the Top Ten comprise:  K, Syrah 2014 Washington, Chateau Coutet 2014 Bordeaux France, Casanova di Neri 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Italy, Chateau de St Cosme 2015 Gigondas France, Domaine Huet 2016 Loire Valley France, Chateau Canon 2014 St. Emilion France, Meyer 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Pahlmeyer 2015 Chardonnay Napa Valley and Booker 2014 Oublie Rhone Blend, Paso Robles.  

The whole top 100 list of winning wines could be viewed at top100.winespectator.com or at the magazine Dec. 31 issue on newsstands Nov. 28.

Cradle of Wine is in Republic of Georgia

One wants to go back to where wine was recorded as being first produced to understand the background of wine and its powerful influence on centuries of civilizations. A recommended place is Chateau Mukhrani at the Tbilisi district of the Republic of Georgia.

The blossoms in this portion of the world are extremely different produced in clay vessels known as qvevri than expected with a few orange in color and buried underground for aging. Chateau Mukhrani is a conventional castle and cellars with gardens and vineyards. In 2002, a group of businessmen headed by top supplier Frederik Paulsen, started a restoration of Chateau Mukhrani, improving it combining traditional and modern procedures of Georgian wines for the world to taste. Fascinating varietals and sometimes Cabernet Sauvignon are available.   Titles include Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane are whites, along with the local red is Saperavi, a dark-skinnedgrape.

See more of the historical wine narrative at chateaumukhrani.com.

Wine Bytes

• My buddies Jim and Bill Tobin in North County Wine Company have a few of don’t overlook events coming.   On Dec. 1 and Dec. 2, their annual holiday Top Shelf Wine Event includes names like Paradigm, Pahlmeyer, Plumpjack and Caymus Special Selection and certainly will be awesome. Price is $40. Then on Dec. 15 and Dec. 16, NCWC will unveil their top 10 wines for the year, and for tasting. To find out more, call -LRB-760-RRB- 653-9032.

• A Batasiolo Wine Dinner is going to be presented in Osteria Romantica from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 7 at La Jolla. These are Piedmont Italian wines of the best quality. Stefano Poggi introduce the wines and will moderate the narrative. Price is $45. Telephone -LRB-858-RRB- 551-1221.

• Capri Blu at Rancho Bernardo has an Italian Antinori wine dinner in 6 p.m. Dec. 6. Check out the information at -LRB-858-RRB- 673-5100.

Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur.   He is among the leading commentators on the internet.   View his columns in thecoastnews.com. Proceed to menu columns. Reach him at mangiompc@aol.com.

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