Beyond Napa

by Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng
November 15, 2007

Lake County Shannon Ridge Wrangler Red label


2056 Broadway
(70th and 71st Sts)
New York, NY 10023


Diplomat Liquors
939 2nd Ave
(49th and 50th Sts)
New York, NY 10022

I’m loving California wines again because I’m discovering new regions that are making their names on their own styles. Two wineries from Lake County have blown me away recently. This up-and-coming AVA is shining with varietals from Sauvignon Blanc to Petite Sirah. I especially liked the 2006 Syrah (80% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot) and 2006 Wrangler Red (60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, 11% Zinfandel, 8% Mourvèdre, 6% Tempranillo) ($21.99) from Shannon Ridge. This is what food-pairing wines should be showing: clean fruit and complexity that is not overshadowed by high alcohol percentage or heavy oak. 39 Degrees is also turning out a Cabernet ($19.99) in the same vain. Gorgeous ripe, bright black fruits — plum and blackberry — with depth but not cloying weight that dulls the overall taste. When you try these wines, each found respectively at only one New York location, you’ll see the excitement in California is definitely happening in the newer regions beyond Napa.

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