November 17, 2006
France Strong, But Italy Tops

France turned in the most impressive performance as the Wine Spectator today unveiled its list of the top 10 wines of 2006. Three of them are French.

California and Tuscany, however, each placed two wines in the ranking. The California wines are the Kongsgaard 2003 Napa Valley Chardonnay ($75) at No. 8 and the Kosta Browne 2004 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($38) at No. 7.

The top spot was taken by an Italian wine, the Casanova di Neri 2001 Tenuta Nuova Brunello di Montalcino ($70). A Washington state wine, the Quilceda Creek 2003 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon ($85), finished second, while a second-growth from Bordeaux, the Chateau Leoville Barton 2003 St.-Julien ($75), finished third.

The tenth ranked wine is the Two Hands Wines 2004 Barossa Valley Bella's Garden Shiraz ($50). Two Hands Wines is to be the subject of the Dunne on Wine column in The Sacramento Bee's Taste section this coming Wednesday.

The Wine Spectator's full list of the top 100 wines for 2006 is to be released Monday. For the report on the top 10 wines, visit the magazine's Web site.

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