Bucket List Wines: California

Sometimes the best wines are the hardest to find


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Special Burgundy

I’m going to wrap things up here with another California specialty: jug wine! Say, what? That is correct, sort of. The generic jug wines of our past always went by names like Burgundy, Chablis and the like. In fact, many still do. Every so often, there are outstanding wines made under these generic labels.

Case in point is Beaulieu Vineyard’s Special Burgundy, produced only a few times that I can recall (1968, 1973, 1979 and 1990). I’ve tried the 1990 many times and am down to the last two or three bottles of a case purchased on release. It’s not a profound wine but it is a very good wine, one that can trace its lineage right back to the earliest days of California wine making.

Back in the day, most wines made were blends. The 1990 BV Special Burgundy was composed of 50 percent Petite Sirah, 40 percent Charbono and 5 percent each Early Burgundy (Abouriou) and Napa Gamay (Valdiguie). This is very likely to be typical of many California blends produced throughout the past century. My bucket list wine here is the 1968, probably over the hill but such a great vintage in California at such a pivotal time. This jug wine turned Special Burgundy seems to represent the era so well, mirroring California as it began its move into the upper echelons of wine regions!

Photo courtesy of Christopher Chan via Flickr/cc

Bucket List Wines: California

1.
Ridge Petite Sirah Spring Mountain District York Creek (1975)
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2.
Stony Hill Napa Valley Chardonnay (1978)
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3.
Inglenook Limited Cask Cabernet Sauvignon (1978)
List It
4.
Beaulieu Vineyard Special Burgundy (1968)
List It

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Comments

  • Snooth User: tomglip
    502946 25

    MY BUCKET LIST - CHOSEN FROM WINES I HAVE HAD BUT WOULD LOVE TO HAVE AGAIN, IF THE WINE AND I WERE IN PERFECT CONDITION:

    1970 BV GEORGES DE LaTOUR RESERVE CABERNET
    1982 OR 1991 BERINGER RESERVE CABERNET
    1985 INGLENOOK REUNION
    LONG VINEYARDS LATE HARVEST RIESLING (any vintage from the 90s)
    1992 SUMMIT LAKE EMILY KESTREL CABERNET SAUVIGNON
    1990 RUBICON
    1983 DUNN HOWELL MOUNTAIN CABERNET SAUVIGNON
    1978 RIDGE YORK CREEK PETITE SIRAH
    1987 BERINGER BANCROFT RANCH MERLOT
    1978 OR 1985 INGLENOOK CHARBONO

    Jul 12, 2012 at 4:47 PM


  • Snooth User: pinot N
    1035167 18

    Y piensan dejar fuera de la lista a Robert Mondavi y su famoso fume Blanc ?

    Jul 12, 2012 at 9:27 PM


  • Jordan Cab 78
    Marcaisson any year
    Ch. Neuf d'Pape Beaucastel any year
    Turley Zinf when she made it. Old vines.
    Mt. Veeder Cab 89
    Silver Oak 89 99 2001

    Jul 14, 2012 at 1:13 PM


  • Snooth User: homestar
    512161 83

    Have you done a piece on Petite Sirah? My apologies if I missed it, but given your comments it would seem odd if you haven't. I have had several I enjoy a great deal, but they tend to be huge wines and probably overpowering for many people and many occasions. Would love to read about your wider tastings from California.

    Jul 15, 2012 at 7:44 AM


  • Snooth User: DOCTOR T
    152537 36

    I AGREE I HAD THE 1978 AT BURNS STEAK HOUSE BACK IN AROUND 1999. IT WAS FABULOUS.

    Jul 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM


  • Snooth User: gmatt01
    298451 1

    1974 Heitz Martha's Vineyard

    Jul 18, 2012 at 11:58 PM


  • A MUST try Petite Sirah in California comes from Concannon Vineyard...they have a whole flight.. after all, they were the first to produce it 50+ years ago! Be sure to try Captain Joe's PS. Cheers.

    Jul 19, 2012 at 3:16 PM


  • Snooth User: Helen Poole
    1337036 29

    it's great

    Aug 30, 2013 at 5:33 AM


  • Snooth User: anvilpep
    1370081 34

    good

    Sep 24, 2013 at 12:47 AM


  • great!!

    Sep 27, 2013 at 1:57 AM


  • It's interesting post

    Oct 07, 2013 at 12:02 AM


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