Wine Spectator reveals ‘Top 10 Wine Values’ of 2021


Wine Spectator reveals “Top 10 Wine Values” of 2021

Wine Spectator has unveiled its inaugural Top 10 Wine Values of 2021, with New Zealand’s Allan Scott Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2021 ($17) taking top honors as the Wine Value of the Year.

The list features bottles that are rated 90 points or higher on Wine Spectator’s 100-point scale, cost $40 or less and are made in large-enough quantities to be widely available.

Four wines out of the Top 10 Wine Values of 2021 came from well-known wineries based in Sonoma County.

Coming in at No. 3 was the J 2018 Pinot Noir, Monterey-Sonoma-Santa Barbara Counties, Winemaker’s Selection, It got a score of 91 and costs $25.

Ranked No. 5 was the Seghesio 2019 Zinfandel, Sonoma County, Sonoma. It received a score of 92 and costs $26.

Listed at No. 7 was the Dry Creek 2020 Fumé Blanc, Sonoma County. It got a score of 92 and costs $16.

Ranked No. 9 was the Frei Brothers 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, Sonoma Reserve. It received a score of 90 and costs $27.

The Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 2019 Chardonnay, Napa Valley, Karia, also made the list at No. 8. It received a score of 91 and costs $34.

For a complete list, go to Wine Spectator’s February issue, which features the Top 10 Wine Values of 2021, will hit newsstands on Jan. 25.



Bricoleur hires new executive chef for culinary program

Bricoleur Vineyards has hired Chef Thomas Bellec as its in-house executive chef, joining its team of culinary advisers composed of well-known chefs Charlie Palmer and Nate Appleman.

Bellec worked for 18 years with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Hawaii, Beverly Hills, Toronto, Boston and Uruguay. He was raised in the coastal town of Concarneau in Brittany, France, where cooking and hospitality run in his family.

Bellec apprenticed at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Concarneau before joining Four Seasons. In 2015, the chef was named a Master Chef of France by Maîtres Cuisiniers de France.

“We are so excited to have Chef Bellec lead our in-house culinary team,” said Bricoleur Vineyards’ co-founder Mark Hanson. “With his vast international experience, he’s the perfect person to mentor our culinary team.”

Bricoleur Vineyards opened in Windsor two years ago and is known for its wine and food pairings. Last fall, Bricoleur Vineyards introduced a six-course Rooted wine and food pairing and a dinner series to highlight the estate’s sustainably farmed culinary garden.

Bricoleur Vineyards is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday by appointment only. Reservations can be made at or 707-857-5700. Bricoleur Vineyards is located at 7394 Starr Road.



Medlock Ames hosts sound of music on Bell Mountain

Medlock Ames Winery is planning a Bell Mountain Immersive Sound Experience as part of its tours and tastings program.

Developed by local composer and sound artist Hugh Livingston, the 90-minute experience includes a self-guided audio tour of the sights and sounds of the 340-acre Bell Mountain Ranch, followed by a guided tasting of six current-release wines, paired with local organic cheeses.

The winery also has a Bell Mountain Elevation Tour and Tasting Experience, touring the vineyards and winery and including a seated tasting of exclusive estate wines paired with local cheeses.

The working estate includes 55 acres of vineyards, 800 olive trees, an orchard, market garden and a state-of-the-art winery and barrel cellar.

The Bell Mountain experiences cost $75 per person. Reservations required: 13414 Chalk Hill Road.

Staff Writer Diane Peterson can be reached at 707-521-5287 or On Twitter @dianepete56

Diane Peterson

Features, The Press Democrat

I’m interested in the home kitchen, from sheet-pan suppers to the latest food trends. Food encompasses the world, its many cultures, languages and history. It is both essential and sensual. I also have my fingers on the pulse of classical music in Sonoma County, from student mariachi bands to jazz crossover and symphonic sounds. It’s all a rich gumbo, redolent of the many cultures that make up our country and the world.

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