Top Italian varieties from California

Top Italian varieties from CaliforniaCalifornian producers are finally building a selection of quality Italian grape variety wines. See Decanter expert Jon Bonne's top picks.The description of Italian grapes in California has been, to be candid, a near-total failure. Its greatest success was found in the mid-20th century, when jugs of not-quite-Chianti were made from Carignan, Zinfandel and many additional varieites California had inherited.
But the Californians success has changed when they thought less about copying Italy and more about incorporating the right grapes into its Pacific culture.
Jon Bonne gives us his top 10 picks of the best Italian varieties in California: Read more

Weingut Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Rosengarten Kabinett

Weingut Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Rosengarten KabinettTonight we’re continuing our look at riesling, and heading back to Germany.  This one from Weingut Josef Leitz is from the Rheingau province of Germany.  Rheingau basically translates to mean “Rhine province” and this province is situated along the banks of the Rhine river.  Riesling is also the dominant grape here, accounting for nearly 80% of wine grapes grown in this province.
Like many winemaking families in Germany, the Leitz family has a long description of winemaking — dating back to 1744.  But there have been some disruptions to that tradition over the years and it hasn’t always been a primary focus of the family.  But since 1985 it has been, when Johannes Leitz took over the winery.  And within the past 10 years, the winery has grown dramatically.
One thing that can be a bit challenging with this wine is the name.  It’s not atypical for German wines to have ridiculously long names.  But as terrible as this one looks, it’s not that hard to say.  Try it.  Weingut Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Rosengarten Kabinett.
This riesling is also a small more expensive than our predictable wines here, with a suggested retail of $22.00.  But with that as the “suggested” fee, there’s a excellent chance that it in fact sells for below 20 bucks. Read more