Christian Navarro

Ideal Iberians: Spain and Portugal

At present, the iberian Peninsula is producing arguably the best wines in Europe. The wine industries in Spain and Portugal have undergone significant transformations in recent decades. In both countries, traditional winemakers and the more avant-garde new school of oenologists seem to have struck a harmonious balance in which each group borrows techniques and practices […]

Cru North: Washington and Oregon

The Pacific Northwest region of the United States has recently emerged as one of the most prolific and diverse wine-growing areas in the world, successfully producing a wide array of varietals that, only decades ago, few thought would thrive there. Interestingly, Oregon and Washington share the same latitudes as Burgundy and Bordeaux, so it should […]

Wild, Wild West: Central and Southern California

California’s Central Coast stretches from Ventura to San Simeon, but its three most important wine regions are Paso Robles, the Edna Valley near San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara County, where the film Sideways was shot. The success of that production fueled a surge of interest in the area’s wines, and the winemakers there have […]

Pure and Precise: Loire, Alsace, Provence, and Germany

While this grouping of regions may be all over the map, the best wines from these areas share certain stylistic attributes—such as mouthwatering minerality, lively acidity, and precise, lengthy finishes—that make them exceptional wines for pairing with food. Though often underappreciated in the United States, these recent releases do credit to the noble soils from […]

California Dreaming: Napa Valley and Sonoma County

As the cradle of all New World and American wine, these two regions in the northern half of the Golden State possess all the attributes of viticultural nirvana: Perfect amounts of sunlight, soils that imbue the fruit with structure and complexity of flavor, and the local populace’s tenacious pioneering spirit that drives the winemaking to […]

Ancient Roots, Modern Vines: Italy

Its traditions are ancient, but the modern nation of Italy is a relatively recent invention. Just as the United States was torn by civil war in 1861, the disparate Italian states were being unified under Victor Emmanuel II, whom the new parliament proclaimed king. The government declared Rome its new capital, yet the city-states of […]

The Big Valley: Rhône

There is an old saying that, if it smells like a Bordeaux and tastes like a Burgundy, it must be a Rhône. Indeed, the wines of this southern region of France strike an interesting medium between the lushness of those from Pauillac and Pomerol and the exquisitely structured austerity of those grown in the Côte […]

Happy Canyon 2006 Ten-Goal

Situated in Santa Barbara’s Santa Ynez Valley, this acclaimed estate is owned by Thomas and Laurel Barrack, who were pioneers in Happy Canyon and have some of the very best vineyards there. With each vintage, winemaker Doug Margerum demonstrates remarkable skill in crafting his expressions of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc from California’s Central […]

L’Aventure 2008 Côte à Côte

Owner and winemaker Stephan Asseo believes he has finally found his true winemaking Mecca in Paso Robles, located on California’s pristine Central Coast. He exclusively uses solar power in the winery, where he makes Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Rhône-style blends that represent the pinnacle of the region’s offerings. ($95)

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