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Front Runners November 2015: The Past Recaptured

When Kelli A. White moved from New York City to take up the position of sommelier at Press restaurant in St. Helena, Calif., she confronted a new challenge. In New York she had managed one of the city’s largest, most diverse wine lists; yet the cellar at Press consists entirely of local wines. “I looked for the book to study up on Napa wines but couldn’t find it,” she recalls. “So I started knocking on doors.” Few tasting notes existed for researching older Napa Valley vintages, and so White decided to write the book she sought herself. The result of her labors, Napa Valley, Then & Now ($95, napavalleythenandnow.com), is a 1,300-page volume (with an introduction by Robert M. Parker Jr.) that not only traces the colorful history of California’s best-loved wine region but also offers collectors an indispensable compendium of detailed, critical notes on historic vintages.

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