2002 Nebbiolo di Klipsun

Some wines of particular interest entering the retail marketplace: Only 150 cases were made of 2002 Nebbiolo di Klipsun; Wilridge Winery's treatment of northern Italy's great grape variety (used in the big red wines of Barolo and Barbaresco) employs the entire output of nebbiolo at Red Mountain's distinguished vineyard. About $19 retail. Make a special effort to track down a bottle or two of 2002 House Red, the first semi-mass-market wine from K Vintner's Charles Smith and an extraordinary bargain at $10. Two old standbys from the Chalone Wine Group's Washington portfolio: Sagelands' '02 Columbia Valley Merlot is braced by a dash of cabernet sauvignon and a trace of syrah. Over 27,000 cases were produced at around $12 a bottle. The Canoe Ridge '03 Chardonnay was fermented partly in oak barrels, partly in stainless steel; 1,200 cases were produced. About $19. Chateau Ste. Michelle created a winery just for its North Star Merlot. Winemaker Gordon Hill hopes that the 2001 will continue the extraordinary record of success the brand has enjoyed since its debut in 1994. This is big, age-worthy merlot.This year's price, up over 20 percent on the 2000 vintage, will be around $60.

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