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Five wines great for deep conversations

Louis Pasteur once said “A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world.”

With this quote in mind, here are five bottlings that will stir deep thinking. The geographic range, which includes South Africa and Argentina, will pique wine lovers’ global interest. But they’ll also be enchanted by the craft itself behind each of these wines.

Uncork these wines when you have time to share with smart company, because they will, no doubt, inspire a long-winded conversation.

Bonny Doon Vineyard, 2016 Beeswax, Arroyo Secco Picpoul. 12.7%, $18. This is a gorgeous and authentic take on a French varietal that’s hot in the south of France right now. Floral aromas with flavors of peach and mineral on the palate. There’s a nice salty note in the mix that makes it interesting. Knockout.

Warwick Estate, 2014 Old Bush Vines, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 13.5%, $20. A snappy red with bright acid and tangy flavors. Notes of currant, raspberry and cedar. Nice and dry. Striking.

Garnet Vineyards, 2014 Stanly Ranch Vineyard, Carneros Pinot Noir, 14.4%, $30. This is a pretty pinot - tangy cherry and strawberry fruit - with a high-toned note of rhubarb. Great minerality and a kick of spice. Impressive.

Alamos, 2015 Mendoza, Argentina Malbec, 13.5%, $9. This malbec has a great backbone of acid and pretty red fruit with notes of cherry and black cherry, coupled with a kick of peppery spice. A steal for the price.

Monte Volpe, 2013 Mendocino County Sangiovese, 14.5%, $19. A bright and lively sangiovese with juicy notes of cherry, a hint of cranberry and earth. This tangy wine, with crisp acidity, is well crafted.

Peg Melnik

Wine, The Press Democrat

Northern California is cradled in vines; it’s Wine County at its best in America. My job is to help you make the most of this intriguing, agrarian patch of civilization by inviting you to partake in the wine culture – the events, the bottlings and the fun. This is a space to explore wine, what you care about or don’t know about yet.

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