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Briefs: Vintage watch

Published September 21, 2005

Yes, crews are making their way through vineyards across the Northern Hemisphere, but you won't be drinking the 2005 vintage from Europe or California soon. It takes several years for the good stuff to reach the shelves and for vintages to sort themselves out.

Right now wine shopping by vintages is good and simple.

- France 2000: Most French vintages since 2000 have been good to great (except for a few ugly spots in 2002). If you have a choice, 2000 remains the killer vintage. Hot-hot-hot 2003 is up there, too. Sock 'em away.

- California 2001: Outside France, the year to remember is 2001. Italy, Spain, Germany and the United States all posted top wines, and the top reserves are now coming into the stores. Crack them open now if you wish.


To celebrate the growing harvest of better wines from Israel, critic Daniel Rogov has put together a guide to more than 1,000 home-grown wines he has tasted, many of them rarely seen here. Rogov's Guide to Israeli Wines 2006 (Toby Press, $19.95) ranks 140 wineries from no stars to five stars.

Most familiar of Rogov's standouts is Golan Heights Winery, best known in the United States by the Yarden label. Other five-star wines to look for include Amphorae and Castel.

[Last modified September 20, 2005, 10:37:05]

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