Current Releases from California

On the following pages are notes on scores of new releases from California, including a number of wines that I previously reviewed from barrel. California has enjoyed a string of very good to exceptional vintages through the decade of the '90s, so there has never been more excellent California wine in the pipeline. Buying these wines can be an adventure, however, as prices for the most craved items continue to skyrocket and more and more boutique bottlings disappear before reaching retail store shelves. Notes are offered only for recommended bottles i.e., those that rated at least 85 points in my recent tastings. In my lists of additional wines sampled, those I scored 83 or 84 are indicated with asterisks.