The Undiscovered California – 2016 Edition
The pace at which new projects
pop up in California remains nearly impossible to keep up with. Once again, I
was deeply impressed with a number of new projects I tasted over the last year.
Most of the wineries in this article have only released a few vintages, while
some are literally just getting started. This year’s Undiscovered has something
for every palate; from cutting edge sparkling wines, to cool-climate
Chardonnays, Pinot and Syrahs, all the way to Napa Valley Cabernets.
Michael Cruse is pushing the limit of what is possible with sparking wine in California. The same is true of Morgan Twain-Peterson and Chris Cottrell of Bedrock with their new project, Under the Wire.Ferren, Lombardi, Chamboulé, Model Farm and Raen are all Sonoma-based wineries that have just released or are about to release their first vintage. Trail Marker makes distinctive wines from sites in Mendocino County and the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Christian Moueix’s Ulysses Vineyard, Oakville
In Napa Valley, MacDonald, Dakota
Shy, Ulysses and Di Costanzo have gotten off to a strong start. All four have
deep roots in Napa Valley. The MacDonald family has been farming grapes in
To-Kalon for decades. Right across the road, Tom Garrett makes the wines for
Detert, his family’s estate, as well as his new project, Dakota Shy. Garrett
and brothers Alex and Graeme MacDonald are second cousins and their vineyards
were once a single property. Christian Moueix has been making superb wines at
Dominus for many years. Ulysses, a small vineyard on the southern edge of
Oakville next to Vine Hill Ranch and Missouri Hopper, is his latest project. Massimo
Di Costanzo hasn’t had the head start some of his colleagues have had, but he
is massively talented and deeply passionate about his craft. And his resumé
couldn’t be any better.
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The Undiscovered California – 2015 Edition
The Undiscovered California – 2014 Edition
-- Antonio Galloni