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Napa Valley in Retrospect

legends_sign.jpgDo the wines of Napa share the characteristic of so many of the world's greatest wines, namely the ability to improve over the decades? And if they do, is this equally true for contemporary releases as it is for historical bottlings?

Over the course of two days last week, in the company of Anthony Dias Blue, Karen MacNeil, and Sotheby's wine specialist Nicholas Jackson, I had the good fortune and great pleasure to guide 35 interested wine lovers through a truly historic tasting of wines from California's Napa Valley. The premise was as simple as it was literal: assemble 80 examples of Napa's most legendary wines from past and present for a comparative and retrospective tasting.

While the truly definitive list of the legends of Napa could easily fuel hours worth of debate between even the most knowledgeable California wine experts, there is little doubt that the 80 wines assembled for our tasting, as part of the 2012 Flavor! Napa Valley food and wine celebration, were definitively representative of Napa's most glorious past and present.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud