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Editor's Note: Although these articles were written years ago, we are keeping them on the site to be used as reference material. Many wine drinkers like to compare wines and appreciate knowing about past vintages.
Steve Pitcher has not been an officer or a member of the Vintners Club since 2003 and he does not support or endorse the organization.
Aussies Excel in Syrah Taste-Off
"Syrah Down Under" rises to the top.
Bernardus and Bien Nacido Vineyard
Bernardus (Carmel Valley of Monterey County) and Bien Nacido (Santa Maria Valley appellation in Santa Barbara County) Vineyard are the big winners in this Pinot Noir taste-off.
Cabernet Sauvignon remains the king of red wines, certainly in California.
Pinot Noir: Goldeneye in Debut Wins Taste-Off
A new kid on the block marks the emergence of the Anderson Valley as a prime Pinot Noir appellation.
Red Bordeaux Vintage 1997
Serviceable, but not exciting.
The bottles that restored Steve's faith in this varietal.
Best Buys Among Australian Shiraz
Wine expert Steve Pitcher recommends Shiraz as a good red wine at bargain prices.
Bold and Flavorful Petite Sirah
Steve Pitcher reports on the wine with an unusual family tree.
Syrah's Winning Ways
Steve says that a little mood lighting and a clean glass will make this red tastier in more ways than one!
Red Blends in the Bordeaux Style
Steve knows the value of blending wines. Find out his twelve favorites.
Chianti California Style: New World Sangiovese
This varietal might surpass Syrah as California's "up and coming" favorite. Steve discusses the good, the bad and the Valley.
Cabernet Sauvignon Taste-Off
The winning winery exemplifies the real estate mantra, "location, location, location." Resident "winemeister" Steve Pitcher reports.
Promise of California Syrah Grows Brighter
This varietal is poised to outsell merlot in the not-too-distant future. Steve "reads the palm" of the wine industry and reports on his top picks.
Sonoma Prevails in Zinfandel Taste-Off
California's most widely-planted varietal continues its reign at the top of the taste-off list. But which winery is it? Ask nicely and Steve will tell.
1993 and 1994 Bordeaux
The Bordeaux are coming! Until the much-anticipated 95s get here, Steve Pitcher and his well-palated friends sip their way through the classes of 93 and 94.
Merlot: A Wine to Warm the Cockles of the Heart
What does Morley Safer or "The French Paradox" have to do with rising merlot sales? 24 different merlots get reviewed.
New World Syrah
Just who are the "Rh�ne Rangers" and why do they use words like "volatile acidity" and "Beaujolais-like carbonic maceration"?
So, which 12 wines made the top honors? How many were from the three "r's" this year? Steve Pitcher tastes and rates the cream of the crop of this dramatic varietal.
Pinot Noir: Sanford's Barrel Select Wins Taste-Off
Do you lean more towards "wild strawberries, licorice and cinnamon-clove" or would you prefer something with "stinky, barnyard smells"? Fess Parker's gonna throw a fit when he reads these tasting notes.
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons: Rutherford Bench vs. Stags Leap District
Move over Hatfields and McCoys -- there's a ruckus abrewin' between Stags Leap and Rutherford Bench.
Cool-Climate Pinot Noir
Steve Pitcher lets us in on all things "Pinot."
Proprietary Red Blends & Meritage Bordeaux-Style Winemaking in California
What do California vintners do when they blend reds? Invent a name to go with the blend.
Syrah vs. Sirah -- Is There a Difference?
An ode to what could be Doris Day's favorite wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Chateau Souverain's Reserve Wins Taste-Off
Steve Pitcher lauds Chateau Souverain for its recent taste-off win.
Zinfandel's Fervent Fans: A Growing Multitude
All about Zinfandel: the red wine, its fans and a recent Vintner's Club tasting of Sonoma County Zins.
Bargain-Priced Merlot Takes Taste Off Prize
Steve, and his fellow tasters at the Vintners Club, rate their favorite Merlots from California and Washington.
Mendocino Chardonnays: Effects of Organic Farming
Mendocino County grape growers lead the way in organic "sustainable" viticulture.
Oregon's Pinot Blanc is the Real Thing
Something new and exciting is happening in Oregon.
Pinot Blanc's Fight For Identity
If you've experienced sticker shock while shopping for Chardonnay lately, perhaps it's time to get acquainted with Pinot Blanc.
Distinctive, High-End Sauvignon Blanc from California
Tastes like gooseberry?
Prestige Bubbly from California and Champagne
It's time to pull out all the stops...and really splurge for the Millennium!
California's Pinot Noirs: Styles Driven by Appellation
Steve Pitcher explains geography's role in a wine's character.
Sauvignon Blancs from California & Down Under
Whichever Hemisphere you reside in, you'll want to read Steve's picks for the best of the blanc.
South Central Coast Chardonnay Wins the Taste-Off!
The Vintner's Club members found themselves in quite an unusual situation at this year's taste-off!
German Spatlese Rieslings
Steve shares his thoughts on the wine with the funny name and bold flavor.
Summer Sauvignon Blancs
Steve knows a good thing when he sees it! This varietal is not as brash as Chardonnay but not a wallflower, either.
Steve lists the best of the best in this month's column.
California Chardonnay vs. White Burgundy
What weather phenomenon caused a grower's nightmare and a winemaker's dream? Steve fills in the details.
California's Exotic & Different Rhone Wines
From "silky" to "Laurel & Hardy," these varieties have been called all sorts of names. What are most vintners calling them? Excellent.
White Proprietary and Meritage Blends
Often labeled under "other Whites" in the store, this white blend is a treasure waiting to be found.
What's the best dish to serve with this elegant varietal? What are some purchasing tips? Steve Pitcher enlightens us on the finer points of Sauvignon Blanc.
No longer reserved solely for red wines, Steve Pitcher lends some insight into the benefits of ageing Chardonnay.
Pinot Blanc Revisited
Find out why Steve is reminiscing about past Vintner's Choice columns and which varietal he finds so intriguing.
Pinot Gris: Salmon's Best Wine Friend
So, what's the real difference between Oregonian, Italian, Californian and Alsatian Pinot grapes? You won't know until you read Steve's latest on the grape with the rapidly growing circle of friends.
Viognier: California's Exotic, Rare White Wine
The white Rhone varietal Viognier (VEE-ohn-yay) is catching on with vintners in the Golden State. Steve is on the scene with colorful descriptions like "bacon rind," "mild toast" and "aggressive asparagus."
Inimitable German Riesling
Germany's wine without peer.
Dry Gewurztraminer's Spicy Appeal
Alsace's pride and joy.
Proprietary Meritage Blends: California's Best White Wines
Coverage of blended wines, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Mendocino's Distinctive Chardonnays
A good primer on this solid varietal from California's north coast.
The Many Styles of Pinot Blanc
Plumbing the depths of this complex wine and choosing some favorites from California, Alsace and Italy.
Pinot Gris from California & Oregon
"Dry, Opulent and Elegant" says Steve Pitcher.
Year End Reviews
Best Wines of 2000
Steve picks his favorites of the new millenium.
Tenth Annual Masters of Food and Wine
Steve gives an overview of this star-studded event.
Best California Wines Encountered in 1999
The state's wine industry has certainly come of age...
1998 Year End Review: Best Wines Encountered
Steve lists the best of the best from this year's Vintners' Club tastings.
Best Wines of 1997
Steve reminisces over his past favorites from several varietals. Reap the rewards from his countless hours of sipping.