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TimMc

California's Central Coast

by TimMc » Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:51 pm

Often times, the Central Coast Wine Region of California is unfairly overlooked in favor of it's more popular cousins; Napa and Sonoma Valley's.

I am here to tell you that this region of Wine Country produces some of the best Zinfindel, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Savingnon Blanc in the entire state.

San Luis Obispo County is worth a second look by all those who enjoy wine.


Any thoughts or experiences along those lines?
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With me, you are preachin' to the choir !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by Bill Spencer » Sun Jun 25, 2006 10:00 pm

%^)

Kathleen and I were original Justin Winery club members ... went to the wine dinner when as a group we voted to name the Cab Franc/Merlot blend "Justification" ... when Justin got a little too expensive for our tastes, we joined Adelaida's group ... that's when John Munch was there ... same deal - wines started to get priced out of hand ... then we found TOBIN JAMES ! We've been James Gang members for about a decade ... then there are a slew of others we've come to love ... we make the 500 mile drive with our travel trailer behind us each Summer to spend in Morro Bay and then make the trek on a regular basis over the hill to Paso wine country ... what a breath of fresh air compared those "nose-up-in-the-air" jerks in Napasonoma ! And the wines, IMHO, are just as good if not better than the nose bleed priced wines in Napasonoma ... other than Toby, Lance, Justin, Debbie, John, Larry Roberts, etc., we have met numerous other GREAT winemakers ...

YOU ARE RIGHT ON RE PASO !

Clink !

%^)
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Napa is for auto parts, Paso is for wine !

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Re: With me, you are preachin' to the choir !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by Lou Kessler » Sun Jun 25, 2006 10:19 pm

Bill Spencer wrote:%^)

... when Justin got a little too expensive for our tastes, we joined Adelaida's group ... that's when John Munch was there ... same deal - wines started to get priced out of hand ... then we found TOBIN JAMES ! We've been James Gang members for about a decade ... what a breath of fresh air compared those "nose-up-in-the-air" jerks in Napasonoma ! And the wines, IMHO, are just as good if not better than the nose bleed priced wines in Napasonoma ...



%^)


It's hard to compete when the main criteria in your case seems to be price. I'm sure there are many wines priced too high for your taste produced in the central coast. There are many wines in this world priced out of my range but that doesn't make them any less great. Your post has the sound of "sour grapes" splattered all over it.
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Re: California's Central Coast

by Dave Erickson » Sun Jun 25, 2006 10:26 pm

What with Santa Barbara, Santa Lucia Highlands, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez...and that's just off the top...I'd say the Central Valley doesn't need any special pleading. I wouldn't exactly call wines from these regions bargains anymore, either.
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Re: With me, you are preachin' to the choir !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by Bob Henrick » Sun Jun 25, 2006 10:50 pm

Lou, I am not saying that this is true for those named wineries, but what Bill says is also true for wineries who gain approval from the numbers people. So, I guess that IMO price matters.
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You're right but ONLY to a certain extent ...

by Bill Spencer » Mon Jun 26, 2006 12:06 am

Lou Kessler wrote:It's hard to compete when the main criteria in your case seems to be price. I'm sure there are many wines priced too high for your taste produced in the central coast. There are many wines in this world priced out of my range but that doesn't make them any less great. Your post has the sound of "sour grapes" splattered all over it.


%^)

To the extent we're talking about quality versus price ratio, you're right ... yes there are wines that are out of my price range in Paso but by in large, the quality of Paso juice versus the price of Paso juice is unsurpassed in any other California wine growing region ... tastings in Paso are still mostly free or at the most 5 bucks with the exception of Turley where you walk away with a Riedel glass ... and most of the time, the winemaker is either behind the bar or handy for a conversation if you want one ... "sour grapes" ? Not hardly ... Paso is, again, a breath of fresh air compared to those in Napasonoma who thinks their sh** doesn't stink ! I'm not biased at all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clink !

%^)
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Napa is for auto parts, Paso is for wine !

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Depends ...

by Bill Spencer » Mon Jun 26, 2006 12:17 am

Dave Erickson wrote:I wouldn't exactly call wines from these regions bargains anymore, either.


%^)

Comparitvely speaking, IMHO you're wrong ... you might be able to find some better "bargains" from Spain, Chile, Argentina, Australia, etc. ... but if you're into buyin' from the good ol' U.S. of A. and supporting American wine farmers, you're gonna be hard pressed to find better wine at a better price than Paso grog ! BTW - what's NOT going up anymore ? It's ONLY our government that says there is NO inflation, ya know ... ask the common Joe on the street ... wine or anything else ain't cheap anymore !

Clink !

%^)
"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went !" - Anonymous

Napa is for auto parts, Paso is for wine !

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Re: With me, you are preachin' to the choir !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by Bill Spencer » Mon Jun 26, 2006 12:20 am

Bob Henrick wrote:Lou, I am not saying that this is true for those named wineries, but what Bill says is also true for wineries who gain approval from the numbers people. So, I guess that IMO price matters.


%^)

Thanks for the help, Bob !

With my yearly income, Kathleen and I couldn't open a bottle of QUALITY wine every night if it weren't for Paso grog !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clink !

%^)
"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went !" - Anonymous

Napa is for auto parts, Paso is for wine !

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Lemon Recipes - http://www.associatedcitrus.com/recipes.html
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Re: Depends ...

by Jenise » Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:54 pm

you're gonna be hard pressed to find better wine at a better price than Paso grog !


Frankly, I think Washington state gets the nod for comparative QPR. But buried in that statement is also my preference for cooler climate wines.
Last edited by Jenise on Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Depends ...

by Bob Henrick » Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:13 pm

Anoter point to remember Jenise is that by living in Washington State you have access to many of the wines that we do not. I do agree with you in principal though. IMO, the wines of Ste Michelle are hard to be QPR wise.
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Re: Depends ...

by James Roscoe » Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:31 pm

Bill needs to chill! Hey y'all don't need to worry about what the government says about inflation. The government's about to wash away! Ten inches in the last two days and it's pouring again! If I wanted to live in the Amazon I would!

Central Coast vs. Washington in the great American QPR Taste Off for July's 101! Jenise vs Bill! Buy tour tickets now!
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Not disagreeing ...

by Bill Spencer » Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:38 pm

Jenise wrote:Frankly, I think Washington state gets the nod for comparative QPR.


%^)

... but -

500 miles is far enough to pull the trailer
We don't see many Washington wines in this Southwest Sonoran Desert part of Arizona
On the rare occasion we drink chardonnay, we ONLY drink Washington chardonnays
When you lived in California, did you drink as much Washington state wine ?

Clink !

%^)
"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went !" - Anonymous

Napa is for auto parts, Paso is for wine !

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If I only could ... sigh ...

by Bill Spencer » Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:50 pm

James Roscoe wrote:Bill needs to chill!


%^)

Let's see ... the low this morning was 86 ... headed for a high of 110 (cooler than yesterday's 113) ... dewpoint in the high 60's ... hard to breathe ... need to grow some little gills ...

But ...

STILL gonna open a bottle of Larry Robert's Penman Springs Paso Robles Petite Sirah to go with sausage, peppers, and onions with pasta for dinner tonight ! I'll just crank the A/C down a bit ...

Oh ... and Jenise ? You've heard of keeping up with the Jones's ... I love Jenise to death (especially when she used to send me kafir lime leaves) but my cellar is NO match to hers ! But I sure do love to read her WTN's !

Let's see ... 1, 2, 3, ... 24, 25 - AH ! Only 25 more days 'til Kathleen and I cruise to Morro Bay for two weeks ! Low 60's, at most only 3 hours of sun a day, fog, mist, cool almost cold breeze ... sigh ...

Clink !

%^)
"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went !" - Anonymous

Napa is for auto parts, Paso is for wine !

Bill Spencer (Arizona Wine Lover)

Lemon Recipes - http://www.associatedcitrus.com/recipes.html
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Re: You're right but ONLY to a certain extent ...

by Lou Kessler » Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:56 pm

Bill Spencer wrote:To the extent we're talking about quality versus price ratio, you're right ... yes there are wines that are out of my price range in Paso but by in large, the quality of Paso juice versus the price of Paso juice is unsurpassed in any other California wine growing region ... tastings in Paso are still mostly free or at the most 5 bucks with the exception of Turley where you walk away with a Riedel glass ... and most of the time, the winemaker is either behind the bar or handy for a conversation if you want one ... "sour grapes" ? Not hardly ... Paso is, again, a breath of fresh air compared to those in Napasonoma who thinks their sh** doesn't stink ! I'm not biased at all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clink !

%^)


Wow, a great deal at Turley, that's a new one on me. Do you try their wine just so you can get a free glass? It would be so much easier to listen to your tirade if at some point you would interject "IMHO". It's always so "refreshing" when someone writes something that is purely subjective as an absolute truth. You would make a great leader for "The ministry of Truth". Orwell is hard to forget.
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Kinda, sorta ...

by Bill Spencer » Mon Jun 26, 2006 6:34 pm

Lou Kessler wrote:Wow, a great deal at Turley, that's a new one on me. Do you try their wine just so you can get a free glass? It would be so much easier to listen to your tirade if at some point you would interject "IMHO". It's always so "refreshing" when someone writes something that is purely subjective as an absolute truth. You would make a great leader for "The ministry of Truth". Orwell is hard to forget.


%^)

Nice glass, too, IMHO ... but for 15 bucks, we're really there to taste the wine ... IMHO, their Paso juice is getting better with every vintage ... nice etched glass at Clautiere, too, IMHO ... and there, we do buy the wine as, IMHO, the quality versus price ratio is in balance ... "tirade ?" Tsk, tsk ... ask around ... IMHO and others, I only do "tirades" when we're talking about farming versus imports and that subject rarely comes up when we're talking wine ... thanks for the "refreshing" comment ! IMHO, it's always nice to have a civil conversation with a fellow wine lover ! And thank you, again, for the "leader" comment ! But IMHO I'm already up to my ears in my agricultural leadership roles and don't think it would be wise to try and take on anything more right now ... oh - BTW ... IMHO, who could forget Orwell ?

Clink !

%^)
"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went !" - Anonymous

Napa is for auto parts, Paso is for wine !

Bill Spencer (Arizona Wine Lover)

Lemon Recipes - http://www.associatedcitrus.com/recipes.html
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Hey Lou !

by Bill Spencer » Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:20 pm

%^)

Just went over to the old WLDG and read the bio you posted back in '97 ... going on 15 years in Napa or have you moved ? If you're still there, betcha you've noticed a TON of change over that time period ! My son lives in San Francisco and tells me not all the changes have been for the better ...

Clink !

%^)
"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went !" - Anonymous

Napa is for auto parts, Paso is for wine !

Bill Spencer (Arizona Wine Lover)

Lemon Recipes - http://www.associatedcitrus.com/recipes.html
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Re: Hey Lou !

by Lou Kessler » Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:19 pm

Bill Spencer wrote:%^)

Just went over to the old WLDG and read the bio you posted back in '97 ... going on 15 years in Napa or have you moved ? If you're still there, betcha you've noticed a TON of change over that time period ! My son lives in San Francisco and tells me not all the changes have been for the better ...

Clink !

%^)

Actually have been here 14 years. The march of civilization doesn't seem to treat kindly any area that I've been aware of in my lifetime. But it's all relative and I would rather live here than other places I've resided. We've been pretty lucky because of our prop J and the ag preserve that has slowed to a walk most all of the crappy development. I'm sure big money someday will overcome those obstacles and turn the whole area into ranchettes and little boxes. By then I'll be part of the Rutherford dust and not able to see the ugliness, thank goodness.
Good grapeland on the valley floor is going for over $200,000 an acre, ludicrous but that's the way it is unfortunately. :(
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Re: Hey Lou !

by TimMc » Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:06 am

Wow!

Obviously, there are many different perceptions realitive to the Central Coast...not the least of which is price.


I have traveled up and down the California Coast/Wine regions and I can clearly tell you, and without hesitation, that the Napa/Sonoma Region has completely priced me out.

I would have to take out a second mortgage to be able to afford Napa/Sonoma wines. These guys are all about the greed and nothing about the enjoyment of wine. The price of wine is all about profit up there. They could care less about your average wine lover. The more you make yearly...the more they love you. Screw the average guy.

The Paso Robles/Tempelton/Santa Maria/Santa Barbara Regions have allowed me to, once again, enjoy fine wine without having to rob the local Wells Fargo to afford it.

I support them with all my heart.
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Re: Hey Lou !

by Mark Lipton » Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:34 am

TimMc wrote:The Paso Robles/Tempelton/Santa Maria/Santa Barbara Regions have allowed me to, once again, enjoy fine wine without having to rob the local Wells Fargo to afford it.

I support them with all my heart.


I find it interesting that you all include Paso in the "Central Coast" since it's geographically not coastal at all, nor does it get much coastal influence in its weather. Still, I've heard people call Napa "North Coast" so I guess it's all coastal from some perspective... I agree about the QPR aspect of Paso, though Central Coast Pinots no longer represent much of a value to me. Of course, there's also Amador and, increasingly, El Dorado for QPR Zins, Rhone varietals and Italians.

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Re: Depends ...

by Dave Erickson » Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:51 pm

Bill Spencer wrote:
Dave Erickson wrote:I wouldn't exactly call wines from these regions bargains anymore, either.


%^)

Comparitvely speaking, IMHO you're wrong ... you might be able to find some better "bargains" from Spain, Chile, Argentina, Australia, etc. ... but if you're into buyin' from the good ol' U.S. of A. and supporting American wine farmers, you're gonna be hard pressed to find better wine at a better price than Paso grog

%^)


You let me know when Justin Cab is $15, and then maybe we'll talk about bargains.
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Re: Hey Lou !

by Lou Kessler » Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:47 pm

TimMc wrote:Wow!

Obviously, there are many different perceptions realitive to the Central Coast...not the least of which is price.


I have traveled up and down the California Coast/Wine regions and I can clearly tell you, and without hesitation, that the Napa/Sonoma Region has completely priced me out.

I would have to take out a second mortgage to be able to afford Napa/Sonoma wines. These guys are all about the greed and nothing about the enjoyment of wine. The price of wine is all about profit up there. They could care less about your average wine lover. The more you make yearly...the more they love you. Screw the average guy.

The Paso Robles/Tempelton/Santa Maria/Santa Barbara Regions have allowed me to, once again, enjoy fine wine without having to rob the local Wells Fargo to afford it.

I support them with all my heart.


Tim, economics 101- the price of things are determined by supply and demand. If the buying public sees the central coast as worth more money per bottle of wine than they do now the prices will rise. In fact if the quality is great, you will pay more, it's inevitable.
I will repeat "Screw the average guy" just sounds like sour grapes. I could say "maybe you should work harder so you are able to earn more money". My previous statement is one that I find to be disgusting and just as much out of line as "screw the average guy".
There are and have been many things that I have not been able to afford during my life, but I don't feel it's because people are out to screw me.
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Re: Hey Lou !

by TimMc » Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:24 pm

Mark Lipton wrote:
TimMc wrote:The Paso Robles/Tempelton/Santa Maria/Santa Barbara Regions have allowed me to, once again, enjoy fine wine without having to rob the local Wells Fargo to afford it.

I support them with all my heart.


I find it interesting that you all include Paso in the "Central Coast" since it's geographically not coastal at all, nor does it get much coastal influence in its weather. Still, I've heard people call Napa "North Coast" so I guess it's all coastal from some perspective... I agree about the QPR aspect of Paso, though Central Coast Pinots no longer represent much of a value to me. Of course, there's also Amador and, increasingly, El Dorado for QPR Zins, Rhone varietals and Italians.

Mark Lipton


To be precise, none of California's wineries are located on the coastline....it is the proxemity. California is a huge state and the "coastal" designation is designed to allow people to locate a particular winery. We also have Central Valley wineries [Ficklin, Quady and the various jug wine operations], NorCal and SoCal wineries as well. An individual from out of the area or new to wine would have one heck of a time locating wineries if not for these designations.

I agree with you about Amador and El Dorado counties for Zinfandel...but the appellation offers vastly different Zins than on the Central Coast or even Napa/Sonoma. All a matter of taste, of course, but they are coming along nicely, IMHO.
Last edited by TimMc on Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hey Lou !

by TimMc » Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:40 pm

Lou Kessler wrote:
TimMc wrote:Wow!

Obviously, there are many different perceptions realitive to the Central Coast...not the least of which is price.


I have traveled up and down the California Coast/Wine regions and I can clearly tell you, and without hesitation, that the Napa/Sonoma Region has completely priced me out.

I would have to take out a second mortgage to be able to afford Napa/Sonoma wines. These guys are all about the greed and nothing about the enjoyment of wine. The price of wine is all about profit up there. They could care less about your average wine lover. The more you make yearly...the more they love you. Screw the average guy.

The Paso Robles/Tempelton/Santa Maria/Santa Barbara Regions have allowed me to, once again, enjoy fine wine without having to rob the local Wells Fargo to afford it.

I support them with all my heart.


Tim, economics 101- the price of things are determined by supply and demand. If the buying public sees the central coast as worth more money per bottle of wine than they do now the prices will rise. In fact if the quality is great, you will pay more, it's inevitable.
I will repeat "Screw the average guy" just sounds like sour grapes. I could say "maybe you should work harder so you are able to earn more money". My previous statement is one that I find to be disgusting and just as much out of line as "screw the average guy".
There are and have been many things that I have not been able to afford during my life, but I don't feel it's because people are out to screw me.


Hm.

Well, let me offer an example or two of why I think Napa/Sonoma are purposely trying to out exclusive the wine world and therefore are screwing the average wine drinker.

Typically, many wineries ask for a modest tasting fee of a couple bucks to help offset the wines opened for drinking that day. Napa/Sonoma, OTOH, charge upwards of $15 dollars per tasting and, in Silver Oaks case, for one taste. They have summarially jacked the prices up on wine astronomically, and as a matter of course, over the past ten years.

Far Niente, for example, used to charge $40 dollars 6-7 years ago for their Cabernet...today, you can't touch one for under $100 bucks. The other wineries in the area have followed suit and people are plunking down an average $35-50 dollars a bottle for lots of unproven vintages. Clearly, the area is pushing the envelope of the market to get all they can and when they can. The last time [about 5 years ago] I bought a bottle from that area of premium cabernet wine cost me nearly $40 dollars....and it was a huge disappointment. Quiet frankly, the area is trading on a name not on quality or a suitable price for wine which might run $6-8 bucks a bottle to produce; vineyard to store shelf. I'm not coming back until they come back to their collective senses price-wise.

Now I am not at all suggesting there are not excellent wines to be had from numerous vintners in the area. There are many. What I am saying is they have completely priced me and others like me out...and permanently. Only those with the money [few of whom actually understand wine in my experience] are able to afford Napa/Sonoma.


Napa/Sonoma has become a status symbol only available to those with big bucks to spend.



OTOH, Alexander Valley is still affordable....but I support the Central Coast because they, in large part, don't gouge the consumer.
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Re: Hey Lou !

by Lou Kessler » Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:36 pm

TimMc wrote:
Lou Kessler wrote:
TimMc wrote:Wow!

Obviously, there are many different perceptions realitive to the Central Coast...not the least of which is price.


I have traveled up and down the California Coast/Wine regions and I can clearly tell you, and without hesitation, that the Napa/Sonoma Region has completely priced me out.

I would have to take out a second mortgage to be able to afford Napa/Sonoma wines. These guys are all about the greed and nothing about the enjoyment of wine. The price of wine is all about profit up there. They could care less about your average wine lover. The more you make yearly...the more they love you. Screw the average guy.

The Paso Robles/Tempelton/Santa Maria/Santa Barbara Regions have allowed me to, once again, enjoy fine wine without having to rob the local Wells Fargo to afford it.

I support them with all my heart.


Tim, economics 101- the price of things are determined by supply and demand. If the buying public sees the central coast as worth more money per bottle of wine than they do now the prices will rise. In fact if the quality is great, you will pay more, it's inevitable.
I will repeat "Screw the average guy" just sounds like sour grapes. I could say "maybe you should work harder so you are able to earn more money". My previous statement is one that I find to be disgusting and just as much out of line as "screw the average guy".
There are and have been many things that I have not been able to afford during my life, but I don't feel it's because people are out to screw me.


Hm.

Well, let me offer an example or two of why I think Napa/Sonoma are purposely trying to out exclusive the wine world and therefore are screwing the average wine drinker.

Typically, many wineries ask for a modest tasting fee of a couple bucks to help offset the wines opened for drinking that day. Napa/Sonoma, OTOH, charge upwards of $15 dollars per tasting and, in Silver Oaks case, for one taste. They have summarially jacked the prices up on wine astronomically, and as a matter of course, over the past ten years.

Far Niente, for example, used to charge $40 dollars 6-7 years ago for their Cabernet...today, you can't touch one for under $100 bucks. The other wineries in the area have followed suit and people are plunking down an average $35-50 dollars a bottle for lots of unproven vintages. Clearly, the area is pushing the envelope of the market to get all they can and when they can. The last time [about 5 years ago] I bought a bottle from that area of premium cabernet wine cost me nearly $40 dollars....and it was a huge disappointment. Quiet frankly, the area is trading on a name not on quality or a suitable price for wine which might run $6-8 bucks a bottle to produce; vineyard to store shelf. I'm not coming back until they come back to their collective senses price-wise.

Now I am not at all suggesting there are not excellent wines to be had from numerous vintners in the area. There are many. What I am saying is they have completely priced me and others like me out...and permanently. Only those with the money [few of whom actually understand wine in my experience] are able to afford Napa/Sonoma.

Napa/Sonoma has become a status symbol only available to those with big bucks to spend.



OTOH, Alexander Valley is still affordable....but I support the Central Coast because they, in large part, don't gouge the consumer.[/quote

You really didn't understand what I wrote in my original answer to your post. ( Not a clue) So I guess I'll humor your paranoia. I just returned from a meeting of the local vintners this morning where the main topic discussed was how to keep Tim Mc from being able to purchase any of the wines made here in Napa or Sonoma. This duo of evil is determined to sell their wines to only "the right kind of people" which Tim Mc is obviously not.
Have a good day, no more time for crap like your opinions.
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