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How About A New What Are You Drinking ?

Time to start a new one. The last one makes it hard to follow.
I am drinking a nice ,earthy 2006 Wild Earth Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand.
Imported by San Francisco Wine Exchange and available in the greater San Francisco Bay
area. Reasonably priced at $ 24 as I recall.

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  1. I am drinking a 2003 Earthquake Cabernet- jammy licorice earth- It was left over from a wine tasting at my house.

    1. Bruce,

      Just when the old thread was about to set an all-time CH record!

      OK, I'll continue to play - Caymus (name is no longer on bottle) Conundrum. Not sure what I'll move on to, but will go poke around the cellar and see...


      7 Replies
      1. re: Bill Hunt

        Found it. Biale Stagecoach Vineyard, Biale Block, Zinfandel '06. Dark red to the meniscus. Concentrated dark cherry fruit. Nose of pencil lead and black cherry. The mouthfeel is smooth, and like velvet. I’d guess (the bottle is upstairs, and I am on the pool level) that it’s ~ 14.5% ABV, but will check. Finish goes on for many moments.


        1. re: Bill Hunt

          Gotta echo Hunt on this one but fine, turn the page, move on. its a very melancholy evening and the '03 Ch Fortia is drinking very nicely and dulling the heartache.

          1. re: Bill Hunt

            >>Just when the old thread was about to set an all-time CH record!

            Actually, the "what Chowhounders do for a living" thread is @ 710 replies as of today....

            EDIT: www.chowhound.com/topics/408611

            1. re: OCAnn

              Wow, I'd not seen that one. Oh well, guess that one was fairly short of a record then.

              Thanks for pointing this out to me.


            2. re: Bill Hunt


              This may be old news but after reading your post (almost a year old) about Caymas Conundrum, I did a quick search to find out that the wine was actually made by someone else for the Wagner family - I haven't had a glass in a few years but always remembered I did enjoy it.

              1. re: Bill Hunt

                Ooo, Conundrum is one of my all time favorite wines! My husband and I had it at The Melting Pot on our first anniversary. It is one of the only wines that we agree on. He likes a sweet wine i.e. Ice wine. and I don't.

              2. I am drinking Grange-Tiphane's 2006 Ad Libitum which is a Gamay based field blend from Touraine-Amboise. With a chill!

                1. I feel very outclassed... it's called "Vino" from Carmel Winery in here in Israel. Surprisingly good for 19 shekels a bottle (about $6 today)! From my limited Hebrew reading skills, it appears to be a blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot, Petit Sirah, and something like Crinion (Crinian?) Anyone recognize that?

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: dd992emo

                      Could be - anyone else read Hebrew? I'm not familiar with the varietal, that's probably why I didn't recognize it.

                    1. 2000 Monthelie Cuvée Lebelin, Réserve Particulière des Hospices de Beaune.
                      Quintessential low profile Burgundy, my favorite kind of stuff.
                      Please don't ask me to associate with berries, dark fruits or jeune filles en fleur.
                      The day I want one of those, I won't be grabbing a bottle.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: RicRios

                        >>>jeune filles en fleur.

                        Hysterical. Laughing out loud at 7:30 in the morning funny. I'm actually drinking coffee right now, but last night I drank a bottle of Lioco Michaud Vineyard Chard 2006. One of the best all stainless chards I've had, certainly from CA. Makes me do a double take on domestic chard.

                      2. Had a party last weekend and we drank lots of rose and reds. As a leftover (only one person drank white) I have a box of Picpoul de Pinet in the fridge. Even though I have enjoyed the simple pleasures of this humble wine many times, i love that with a box, i can pour myself a glass any damn time without worrying about how much time a bottle has been open. Also enjoyed a chilled '05 Clos le Farge Chiroubles and a Rosenblum Zin that was blockbuster with grilled skirt steak.

                        1. Glad to see a new string.

                          Just returned from France and Italy. I will be posting soon of the amazing meeting I had with an Italian winemaker. Great wines I had from simple and direct to the complex. But, I am very happy to be home.

                          1. Friday:
                            2006 Newhaven Sauvignon Blanc
                            1992 Kistler Pinot Noir McCrea Vineyard (still surprisingly good!)

                            1998 Argyle Brut

                            2006 Tobin James Chardonnay James Gang Reserve

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: njfoodies

                              Newhaven is one of my go-to summer whites.... all that grapefruit makes me very happy.

                            2. Bridesmaid White Napa Valley 2005. 60% Semmilion / 40% Sauvignon Blanc.

                              1. 2002 Arrowood Syrah, Saralee's Vineyard.
                                This is a type of wine I have to discipline myself to not consume too much.

                                1. 2006 Weingut Niklas, Kerner ($20) from the Alto Adige, a cross of Riesling with a red wine grape, Schiava. It had a nice little kick in the finish with the roasted garlic on the bruschetta made with the first tomatoes from our garden. I’ve had the 2007 Abbazia di Novacella, Kerner, Alto Adige ($18) also and both were excellent.

                                  1. Biale Party Line Zin. Extracted and opaque, but with nice fruit forward. I you do not like extracted, fruit-forward Zins, this is not the one for you.


                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                      Drinking Big, Extracted, Fruit-Forward Zins, has become almost as "out of fashion" as driving an American made SUV and being Republican. Oh well, I'll take our Expedition to buy a few Biale Zins to celebrate McCain's election!

                                    2. a '05 Robert Arnoux Burgundy, at Cavaillon for Bastille Day. WAY young but a very impressive wine. went well with duck and salmon entrees.

                                      1. Herb Lamb 2005 E II Napa Valley White Wine served with a variety of light appetizers. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Musque. Great wine, albeit, a bit pricey. Plenty of fruit (peach / pear maye a little citrus) and just a hint of minerality.

                                        1. Last weekend, with grilled bone-in NY strip steak, mashed potatoes and steamed edamame, Sol Rouge Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon 2006. A bordeaux style CS that we decanted for about an hour. Plenty of cherries and blackberries, deep purple color, and a long smooth finish. Approximately $32 locally. Purchased on recommendation of local wine shop staff. (We have not tried many Lake county wines prior to this one.) Nice wine for the price - I would buy it again.

                                          1. Bottle of Jordan J sparkling wine..dang, it's good!

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                              I'm pretty sure that Jordan does not produce the "J" wines

                                              1. re: ibstatguy

                                                I guess I got Tom Jordan of Jordan Winery and his daughter Judy mistaken somehow..
                                                I know that she branched out with the Jordan Sparkling Wine Co that produces the 'J ' sparkling wine..
                                                I'll run posts by you before I submit, so that there are no grammatical or
                                                non-factual errors.. ; )

                                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                                  LOL; no worries, I only know cause I made the same assumption years ago. I think J does a nice job with their sparkling wine.


                                                  1. re: ibstatguy

                                                    Glad I read this before heading out to the Costco at Scripps Poway to get more of that 'Jordan J'..
                                                    Plus, thinking about submitting the myriad of posts to you for correction was overwhelming..
                                                    hee hee

                                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                                      what r they selling it for out there?

                                                      1. re: ibstatguy

                                                        well, I thought I got it there last time and it was around $30 but they didn't have it..they have the Veuve Clicquot which I really like for $34 and the PJ flower bottle was $97 and Dom which I do not like was $111...love your take on great finds on champagne that won't break the bank.

                                                        Fav is the Veuve Clicquot, La Grande Dame...salivating just thinking about it!

                                            2. V Clicquot and a '94 Ch Meyney with grilled; lamb chops, corn, onions and peppers from Chino Farms.

                                              1. '05 Ch. d'Oupia Minervois
                                                Louis/Dressner Selections
                                                60% carignan, 30% syrah, 10% grenache

                                                Drinking great right now. Almost inky. Lots of black fruit, with a refreshing scent of pepper. This wine would go with just about everything one might eat with a red wine. Too bad it's not on more wine lists.

                                                1. 05 Ch. d'Oupia Minervois
                                                  Louis/Dressner Selections
                                                  60% carignan, 30% syrah, 10% grenache

                                                  Drinking great right now. Almost inky. Lots of black fruit, with a refreshing scent of white pepper. This wine would go with just about everything one might eat with a red wine. Too bad it's not on more wine lists.

                                                  1. An interesting wine I had recently:
                                                    1997 R. López de Heredia Rioja Rosado Viña Tondonia

                                                    I haven't had a lot of Spanish rosados, nor have I had a lot of 11-year-old rosés, so this seemed special. It tasted in some ways like a Rioja lite, with some definite red wine flavors -- a creamy (but not over the top) vanilla and some background oak. Nose was orange oil and wet stone. Flavor notes were citrus, apricots, and almonds with great minerality. Really delicious.

                                                    This would have been fabulous with a paella -- but it was good with a mix of traditional tapas.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: oolah

                                                      Lopez Tondonia Rosado is one of my favorite wines ever, glad you liked it!

                                                      2006 Bodegas Arzuaga Navarro Ribera del Duero La Planta
                                                      Amazing QPR ($10!) for such a rich robust RdD. Coconut and vanilla on the nose, black cherry, cocoa. 2nd day after nite in fridge the coconut is not as apparent, but tangy black cherry and smoky oak persist.

                                                    2. John Anthony Sauvignon Blanc. Grrrrrrrrrreat stuff !

                                                      1. '04 Dehlinger Goldridge PN; robbed the cradle but still a very nice wine even at this age

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: ibstatguy

                                                          thought I should mention that a day later this wine rocked!

                                                        2. last bottle of 05 dugat-py bourgogne rouge. couldnt resist, it was begging me to drink it

                                                          1. '05 Raymond Res Cab; gift from a friend, hadn't had a Raymond Cab in years

                                                            1. Three Clicks Napa '07 Sauvignon Blanc - citrusy, crisp, not overly grapefruity. Very refreshing on this humid evening. Made by ay oung couple who are both winemakers at different Napa wineries.

                                                              Cape Rock Sparkling NV Shiraz (Robertson, South Africa): dry, but with nice berry fruit. Unusual wine type but starting to get more popular lately.

                                                              Tantara Dierberg Vineyard '06 Pinot Noir (Solomon Hills, Santa Maria Valley) - Tantara doesn't know HOW to make a wine that isn't excellent. This one is full-bodied, dark fruited and not one for those who prefer Red Burgundy.

                                                              Tantara Gary's Vineyard '05 Syrah - Gary Pisoni is sortof the Steve Irwin of the Central California Vineyard world. This is an incredible Syrah, as is just about everything from his vineyards.


                                                                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                    it was excellent; quite a funny story though as the four of us ended up drinking it straight out of the bottle

                                                                1. 2006 Scott Paul "Cuvee Martha Pirrie" Pinot Noir

                                                                  1. 2007 Sirch Malvasia from Friuli. Bone dry and minerally.

                                                                    1. '05 Selvapiana Chianti Rufina - excellent

                                                                      1. 2006 Thierry Puzelat Touraine In Cot We Trust

                                                                        Strange but good wine. Dark violet color. Nose is pine tar, barnyard and blackberries. Notes of cherry and earth. Not at all like an Argentine cherry-bomb Malbec -- this is unmistakably French. Very rustic and tasty, but not for new world wine fans.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: oolah

                                                                          2002 Mr. K The Nobleman.

                                                                          My least favorite of Manfred's stickies.

                                                                        2. 2003 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs
                                                                          2006 Ponzi Tavola

                                                                          1. Well, well, well. A new list, just as I'm returning from Hound Hiatus!

                                                                            - 2005 Tablas Creek Cote de Tablas. For $20, no red blend better.
                                                                            - 2006 Greenwood Ridge Mendocino Ridge estate white riesling. Would rather drink Navarro's riesling. Sorry. (Feel the same about their pinot, too.)
                                                                            - Alfaro Family Vineyards 2005 pinot noir. Doable. At $30, nothing special. A little hot on the tongue (and I'll be damned if I can find a % alc on the label...weird.)
                                                                            - 2006 Viu Manent Reserva Malbec, Chile, Colchagua valley. Gorgeous, cheap, and a nice change up from other beefy reds. Still 14.5% Thank you to Say Cheese in Noe Valley for this one!
                                                                            - 2007 Alpen Cellars Trinity Lakes chardonnay. Tad disappointing if you like cleaner more acidic chards. More sweet than I was hoping for.

                                                                            Best for last

                                                                            - Alban viognier. Wow. That is good (and big) wine. Masterfully crafted. So good I don't remember the vintage :)

                                                                            - 2004 Renaissance Roussanne, Sierra Foothills, North Yuba. Really, after hitting the Renaissance booth at last weekend's CA family winemaker's tasting, I think there's no winery more interesting and consistently delicious (save maybe Clos Saron, which shares the same winemaker). This is rich in acid with very unusual clove-ish elements. Vaguely reminiscent of Joe Pithon.

                                                                            To that end, other wines we enjoyed at the tasting:

                                                                            - Mt. Eden pinot noir: gorgeous. Can't say much more. Can't remember much more.
                                                                            - White Rock claret and cab: will age beautifully. Different and more restrained in fruitiness than other Napa cabs due to volcanic ash and different elevation than other vineyards in Stag's Leap district. Still not cheap, but not Insignia-like pricing.
                                                                            - Clos Saron's Black Pearl and Cuvee Mysterieuse bottlings: incredible red blends (first has syrah, cab, petite verdot, second is syrah, merlot, mourvedre and viognier). An artists showcase for what to do with grapes. Rarely released 6 or 7 years after bottling, and for good reason. Throw this in the cellar -- or down the gullet.

                                                                            - Bruno Paillard premiere cuvee. Why drink anything else, really, if you want bubbles? Needless to say I had some Roederer L'Hermitage '99 and '00 from the Anderson Valley as well, but frankly it doesn't even come close (diff styles I suppose).

                                                                            1. '05 Crocker Starr Cab Franc: I love everything Pam makes

                                                                              1. Las Rocas Vinas Viejas- solid and a great value wine

                                                                                1. 2005 Toulouse Pinot Noir Anderson Valley per the recommendation of Lane Myers oops I mean iwantmytwodollars. Great call, thanks.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                                                                                    We just recently went to Mendocino and at the local grocery picked up four bottles of the Toulouse '03 pinot noir for $29.99 each. I cannot get enough of that stuff!

                                                                                    Going to Oregon for Thanksgiving. If you have recs, bring it on.

                                                                                  2. '08 Melipal malbec rose; '02 Dehlinger cab

                                                                                    1. 4 Graces Pinot Blanc 05 from Oregon, almost on the verge of being to sweet lots of honeysuckle, sticks on your lips like a good veal demi. A nice wine to drink in the afternoon, outside in the shade.

                                                                                      1. 2004 Bodegas del Palacio de Fefiñanes Rías Baixas Albariño

                                                                                        1. Sineann Blend 2005, Columbia Valley. A blend of Syrah 20%, Petite Sirah 10%, Cabernet Sauvignon 24%, Merlot 28%, Zinfindel 14% and Grenache 4%. ABV 14.8%.

                                                                                          Neither screw top nor cork - sealed with a glass and rubber stopper. Actually took me a minute to figure out what it was.

                                                                                          Lot's of fruit and no heat. A pleasant bar-b-que wine.

                                                                                          1. Graffigna Malbec,2005. My new favorite Malbec and it's not too expensive. Looking forward to finishing the bottle!

                                                                                            1. I had Paraduxx 2005 tonight and enjoyed it very much.. a wine I seem to be having every year around this time although I don't consciously do it.. It just seems to end up at my house annually. Anyway, I liked it.

                                                                                              1. 2004 Ioppa Vespolina Colline Novaresi. Iron and red fruit and a touch of mint with a fair amount of tannin.

                                                                                                1. Tasting on Sunday at a friend's house: 78 ridge cab/merlot, 83 navarro cab, 85 barolo, 88 rioja, 91 mt veeder cab, 92 lyeth bordeaux blend, 01 iron horse cab, 01 lolonis syrah, 00 alex valley vyd syrah, 00 ridge buchignani zin, 95 ridge lytton late harvest zin, 05 turley moore's earthquake, 06 belle glos meiomi pinot, 06 hess santa lucia highlands pinot, 00 dry creek vyd zin, 05 collier falls zin, 01 rosenblum rockpile petite sirah, 05 russian hill top block syrah/viognier... there were more but i can't remember. Best wine - the 85 barolo - stunning!

                                                                                                  1. Diebolt Vallois Prestige brut

                                                                                                    1. Ironstone Obsession Symphony

                                                                                                      1. 2005 Mollydooker Two Left Feet.. 65% Shiraz, 19% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon. Perfect Thursday night wine.

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: grantham

                                                                                                          Mollydooker?? Where is it from? Love red blends and looking for recommendations. Price range for 2 left feet?

                                                                                                          1. re: psirah

                                                                                                            Australia. Quite the "fruit bomb." Gotta love it. Screw top, et al. Roughly around $20 retail.

                                                                                                            1. re: grantham

                                                                                                              Fruity nice quaffable new worldy red blend: Folie a Deux Menage a Trois (zin, cab, merlot), around $10

                                                                                                        2. Dehlinger '04 Goldridge PN; I've quite pleased to have taken delivery of my most recent allocation. This is a wonderful PN.

                                                                                                          1. Popped the corks or two recent purchases this weekend:

                                                                                                            Beaulieu Vineyards 2004 Tapestry Red Wine - a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot and malbec. ABV 14.5 %. Served with grilled bone-in NY strips, mashed potatoes and string beans. From the label this sounded like a wine I would like. So much for judging a book by its cover. The wine was too extracted and too tannic for my taste. Really puckered my mouth with the first sip, so we decanted for over an hour - slightly better by the end, but just not my style - and I like big cab blends. Black cherry fruit and licorice, long finish. Deep purple (almost black) color, almost opaque. Maybe some age would help this one out - I don't know.

                                                                                                            The other wine - 2003 Chalk Hill estate bottled cabernet sauvignon. ABV 14.8% according to the label. This wine was everything that the Tapestry was not. Soft, muted tannin, berry flavors, nice medium finish. Deep ruby color. A truly pleasant wine that I would buy again.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: scrappydog

                                                                                                              a number of years ago the Tapestry was a favorite CA QPR of mine; have not kept up with and sorry to hear that it has perhaps slipped

                                                                                                              1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                It's always possible that it was a bad bottle and not a bad wine, but it was not spoiled in any obvious way ( oxidized, corked, etc.). It might suit someone else's tastes better than mine.

                                                                                                            2. '98 Henriot rose and an '04 Behrens&Hitchcock Alder Springs Merlot

                                                                                                              1. Surreal weekend. But they were all half glass tastings more than drinking. Reverse chronological order:

                                                                                                                2006 Jermann Dreams: quite good, carried the oak well, with lots of papaya, mango, and tropical fruit flavors, still prefer the Tunina
                                                                                                                2005 Sassicaia: WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Best young cabernet blend I've had in a long time. It may improve, but why wait?
                                                                                                                1998 Mouton-Rothschild: second time in 5 months. I still feel the same, it's quite nice, but something is missing here. Not really fair to say it's dormant, but seems like it's taking a Sunday afternoon nap. A decanter didn't help.
                                                                                                                1988 Lafite-Rothschild: The secondary flavors are really showing well on the nose, and the fruit is popping up at the end. I'd guesstimate it's at peak or pretty close to it.
                                                                                                                1985 L'Evangile: On the downslope, the fruit is fading. Still a gorgeous mouthfeel.
                                                                                                                1982 Pichon Lalande: The elegant star of Saturday evening, with all the complexities in harmony and balance.

                                                                                                                Sigh. Monday morning is going to be hard....

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: mengathon

                                                                                                                  there may be "greater" wines but the Comtesse may well be my favorite wine

                                                                                                                2. Had a nice couple of bottles this weekend.

                                                                                                                  On Saturday, 2006 Château de Coulaine Chinon Bonnaventure. Wow. $22 and drinks like a $40+ wine. Very elegant, very fruity, very well-balanced. Love the Loire...

                                                                                                                  On Sunday, 2002 Domaine des Margotieres St. Romain Sous Roche, a very pretty burgundy. Not spectacular, but a good textbook definition of villages burgundy -- very nice with some fennel-roasted duck.

                                                                                                                  1. '85 Beringer Private Reserve; lovely wine, still quite dark red, scents of cedar, cigar box, reminscent of a wine from Bordeaux

                                                                                                                    1. 05 Bodegas Almasenas Almansa La Huella de Adaras

                                                                                                                      Wow this stuff is luscious and crazy QPR at $12

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: kenito799

                                                                                                                        05 Firriato Chiaramonte Sicilia IGT (Nero d'Avola)

                                                                                                                        Another really delicious wine, licorice, black and sour cherries, rhubarb, grippy tannins, yum. $15 good value.

                                                                                                                      2. Last night with grilled bone-in strip steak, roasted corn and sauted spinach / mushrooms - 2000 Behrens & Hitchcock King of the Gypsies Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep purple in color, lots of dark fruit and a little cocao, long finish, and some well integrated tannins. ABV 14.2% according to the label. Served direct from the bottle without decanting, the wine showed well and opened up nicely over the dinner.

                                                                                                                        Earlier this week, 2003 Stolpman (Santa Ynez Valley) Poetry in Red with burgers. A nice, albeit fairly simple red wine with berry and cherry and a little oak. Not a bad mid-week bar-b-que wine. ABV 14.9 % according to the label. I believe it is a blend of syrah, sangiovese and grenache, but I am not certain of this.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: scrappydog

                                                                                                                          Last night:

                                                                                                                          Landmark "Grand Detour" Pinot Noir 2006 (Sonoma Coast, 14.4% ABV) served with duck legs with green olives, whole peppercorns, cracklings, and papperdelle. This wine had a good deal of finesse and was popular with our dining companions. My wife, typically a pinot disser, enjoyed it too.

                                                                                                                        2. At a charity brunch today, Morande (Argentinean) wines. Most notable were the 2004 Pinot Noir and the 2003 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc. Reasonably priced and incredibly quaff able. We will be buying lots.

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: grantham

                                                                                                                            My fiancé and I just recently enjoyed a bottle of Finca Allende 2003. It was our first Spanish wine, and it paired quite well for a dinne of steak, bread, and french-style green beans.

                                                                                                                            1. re: French Foodie

                                                                                                                              Sfida wines are also great Spanish wines. I recommend the Cab blend that they have.

                                                                                                                              Sfida Puglia Rosso IGT

                                                                                                                              Style: Medium-bodied red

                                                                                                                              Bouquet: Dark berry, tobacco, tar

                                                                                                                              Flavor: Savory, spice, dark fruit

                                                                                                                              Grape Blend:
                                                                                                                              40% Cabernet
                                                                                                                              40% Aglianico
                                                                                                                              20% Primitivo

                                                                                                                          2. well, the weather is still quite nice here in San Diego so a 2008 Melipal Malbec rose, locally, it is distributed by Epic Wines. try some...

                                                                                                                            1. 2004 Vigneti Massa Pertichetta. Made from the Croatina grape. The DOC is Colli Tortonesi.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: wineguy7

                                                                                                                                kool, I had Massa's 05 Derthona from the Timorasso grape--Italy has the most amazing whites.

                                                                                                                                1. re: kenito799

                                                                                                                                  I've had that before. It's excellent, a very unusual white wine.

                                                                                                                              2. For all kinds of reasons, 1997 Chateau St Jean Cinq Cepages.

                                                                                                                                1. I was at Whole Foods today and saw a display of white wine from a winery called Three Alarm Cellars out of Sonoma CA. It was cheap ($8), it was noted that a portion of the proceeds go to a burn victim foundation and I prefer white wine so I tossed it in the basket just to try it out. It's fantastic--very smooth and light with a nice citrus finish and no bitter oak. They also make a red that I might try next time.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                                    New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2008 ($11)
                                                                                                                                    Has a nose like no other sauvignon blanc that I've had. Flavors of lemon, passionfruit, and melon. Highly recommend.

                                                                                                                                    Sharpe Hill Vineyards
                                                                                                                                    "Ballet of Angels"
                                                                                                                                    Connecticut wine. Fruity, semi-dry, white.

                                                                                                                                  2. Thursday evening: an '01 Remirez de Ganuza. Simply one of my very favorite wines, a better bottle/vintage than '02. Mind blowing...

                                                                                                                                    1. '02 Havens Black and Blue. I so very much wish that Michael had not sold his operation.

                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                        I recently purchased a bottle of the very same wine (wine and vintage) to try - can you elaborate? (TN / thoughts on food pairings?)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: scrappydog

                                                                                                                                          Scrappy: this wine is now very much ready to drink. a blend of syrah and cab (I don't think there is anything else in it.) nice viscous mouth feel, plenty of fruit but balanced, not an Aussie type fruit bomb. had mine with some grilled lamb chops and thought it was a terrific pairing but that said, I think you could easily come up with plenty of combos. hope this is of help. BTW - if you can find some, get some Havens Bourriquot or Hudson Syrah.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the info. I will post something here when I pop the cork.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                          I so loved the '02 Havens merlot. Didn't know he sold it! So depressing. Probably not for him, mostly for us...

                                                                                                                                        3. Bodegas 1+1=3 Cava Brut

                                                                                                                                          1. Diebolt Vallois brut Tradition; buy some now before the prices go up any further.

                                                                                                                                            1. 2001 Justin Isosceles. Chocolate, currants, a little smoke. mmmmm winter wine.

                                                                                                                                              1. 2004 Kilikanoon South Australia Killerman's Run Shiraz. Screw Cap. Total Australian "fruit bomb." Totally "fits the bill" tonight.

                                                                                                                                                1. Itsas Mendi Bizkaiko Txakolina 2005. My first experience with this variety. Nice acidity, balanced fruit (citrus), a nice change of pace from NZ SB. I will have to try some others. About $16 locally if I recall correctly.

                                                                                                                                                  Also Dominus Estate Napa Valley 2004. Sampled direct from the just opened bottle. Drank perfectly, no decanting needed in my opinion. Full bodied, with layers of coffee and black fruit, long finish and low/moderate tannins. A truly complex wine, the second glass proved as equally intriguing as the first. I wish this was not so pricey.

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: scrappydog

                                                                                                                                                    If you see any, try the Getariako (sp?) as well, wonderful stuff. I've also read somewhere that red Txakolina is pretty darn good.

                                                                                                                                                  2. 2007 Dark Side of the Vine Pinot Noir 'Lunarcy'
                                                                                                                                                    La Encatada Vineyards, Sta Rita Hills

                                                                                                                                                    intense nose of very ripe cherries, strawberries, and hints of pomegranate, blueberries, and black tea. what i feared was an over-jamminess on the nose was instead balanced by supple yet creamy tannins that gives the wine balance and avoids the tiresomeness that i generally find in SB pinots. an elegant finish as well. that said, i can still detect a little bit of the heat at 14+% abv. would be great with a rack of lamb or a duck confit.

                                                                                                                                                    thanks LIndsay and Marilyn!!!

                                                                                                                                                    1. '06 St Innocent Anden Vyd Chardonnay; shoulda bought a few more as it is very nice. only bought it as I've been a fan of their PNs for a long time.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Red Pif. Affordable organic-ish VDT du Languedoc from Vinumentis. I think it's the 2007 but there's no vintage info on the label. www.redpif.com (speakers on!)

                                                                                                                                                        Juicy, sweet-and-sour blend of Carignan (75%) and Grenache (24%) given 12-18 days carbonic maceration and bottled unfiltered and unfined. A big hit in local bistros. About perfect with a merguez and onion pizza.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Diebolt-Vallois Blanc de Blancs
                                                                                                                                                          Egly-Ouriet Blanc de Noirs, Les Crayères

                                                                                                                                                          1. 2004 Bodegas Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero; nice stuff have a couple btls of the Mallelous (sp?) but will be waiting a bit to try those. Guess I'd say its more on the modern side of things but still a very nice btl of wine.

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                              1994 Schloss Schönborn Rüdesheimer Berg Rottland Riesling Spätlese
                                                                                                                                                              2000 Kooyong Pinot Noir Estate
                                                                                                                                                              2007 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel L'Enfant Terrible McFadden Farms
                                                                                                                                                              1994 Albert Mann Tokay Pinot Gris Hengst
                                                                                                                                                              2005 Jean-Pierre Robinot (L'Opera des Vins) Coteaux du Loir Vin de Table Francais Concerto D'Oniss
                                                                                                                                                              1994 Prager Riesling Smaragd Weissenkirchner Klaus
                                                                                                                                                              2003 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese ** Trocken
                                                                                                                                                              2006 Inman Family Pinot Gris
                                                                                                                                                              2005 Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett

                                                                                                                                                              and then we went to greg's house. what did we open? I DON'T KNOW! my head hurts...

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TBird

                                                                                                                                                                hopefully you walked to Greg's...

                                                                                                                                                            2. N.V. Riondo Prosecco Veneto IGT; 2006 Denner "The Ditch Digger" with bison and regular burgers at Cowboy Star. The prosecco freshened up the palates and the Ditch Digger (Paso Robles) went great with the burgers. 37% Grenache, 28% Syrah, 26% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsaut.

                                                                                                                                                              1. 2007 Andean Vilneyards Malbec with a late lunch with lots of garlic!

                                                                                                                                                                1. NV Aubry Rosé
                                                                                                                                                                  2005 Jean-Maurice Raffault Chinon, 'Clos des Capucins'

                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mengathon

                                                                                                                                                                    like the Aubry; how was the Chinon?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                      Recent wines tasted:

                                                                                                                                                                      2004 Catena Alta malbec. This was the best wine I've had recently (enjoyed a bottle last weekend with my wife, to celebrate the 7th anniversary of our first date). Well balanced. Good food wine (we enjoyed it alongside grilled tenderloin steaks topped with pats of roquefort butter; mashed potatoes, and green beans). Loads of juicy fruit on the palate, yet not a sweet or cloying wine. Spice (esp. cinnamon), mint, and earthy (leather, tar) notes. The alcohol is extremely well-integrated. Despite the price (around $50), I would seek this beauty out again. One of the better Argentinean malbecs I've tasted.

                                                                                                                                                                      2005 Orin Swift 'the Prisoner': We had this the night after the Catena Alta, and it really paled in comparison. Tasted slightly 'hot', but also lacked complexity. Dominant flavour was a prune-raisin note typical of zinfandel. Did not have the lengthy finish I remember from tasting this wine a year ago. Perhaps this one is just not a great cellaring wine? (but one year should not tarnish it too much). I think that it was unfortunate we drank this the night after we enjoyed the stellar Catena Alta.

                                                                                                                                                                      This weekend: Friday: Domaine Pavelot Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru--Les Vergelesses 2005. This was recommended by a trusted wine consultant. He said it was a good buy for a Beaune and that it was ready to go now. I decanted it for an hour, and paired it with baked salmon, mashed potatoes, and stir-fried baby bok choy. Frankly, I don't think this wine was ready to drink. The tannins were silky smooth but the wine tasted aggressively acidic and the fruit was subdued. I am not very knowledgeable about Burgundy (reds or whites); I am trying to familiarize myself with the region. This wine did not win me over, especially for the price. Perhaps it would have been a much improved wine 5 years from now?

                                                                                                                                                                      Last night: Herder Pinot Gris 2007 (Similkameen Valley, BC). Nothing special here. 2007 was a challenging vintage in the Pacific Northwest.

                                                                                                                                                                      Winchester Cellars 'Sharp Rock Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2005. Also a BC wine. This was delicious, and paired beautifully with chicken cacciatora, roasted beets with mint and ricotta salata, and green beans (boiled, then sauteed with butter and parm-reg). Wonderful cherry and mineral flavours. I have a hunch that this wine would win over those with limited exposure to what BC wineries can accomplish these days.

                                                                                                                                                                      Jaboulet-Vercherre Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2005. This was another burgundy recommendation from a different wine merchant. It was very nice, and much more approachable than the more expensive Burgundy from the night before. The wine boasted cherry and defined spice notes, particularly cinnamon.

                                                                                                                                                                      I'll continue my quest to familiarize myself with the wines of Burgundy. I'm starting with the reds. 2005 was supposedly an excellent vintage. I find the prices to be daunting, though.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                        A little too dense and powerful for my tastes. Still sort of textbook cab franc from Loire: that bell pepper nose, minerals on the back end. I prefer a mellow, easy going Chinon that doesn't necessarily require food. My friend loved it with her sirloin on ciabatta with caramelized onions and blue cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                        I might buy again and see what happens in 5 years with something like an oxtail stew.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. 1999 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia

                                                                                                                                                                      1. La Senechaliere Melon de Bourgogne Sparkling NV-- An unfiltered, unfined muscadet-- almost cidery in mouthfeel. Great minerality, but well balanced, and full of fruit. Fantastic oyster wine.

                                                                                                                                                                        Canet-Valette Antonyme Rouge-- Inexpensive St. Chinian. Grippy, with nice black fruit and pretty graphite-y notes from the Mourvedre.

                                                                                                                                                                        Bachelet-Monnot Puligny-Montrachet 06-- One of the first 06 white Burgs that I've really dug. Wow is this good. Hard to believe it's only the second vintage for these two brothers (age 25 and 26, no less).

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pigloader

                                                                                                                                                                          Drank some outstanding Napa wines over the last couple of days:

                                                                                                                                                                          Altamura Cabernet 2004: WOW. Showy, Napa Cab (actually Wooden Valley). Frank Altamura is one of my favourite Napa producers. Huge fruit right at the front, has the tannins to last for a 20 years but drinking beautifully right now. Lasts forever. Delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                          Ballentine Syrah "Betty's Vineyards" 2003: Huge sweet fruit on the nose. Comes down on the palate. Coats your mouth with fuzzy tannins. A little too much acidity, but still very drinkable.

                                                                                                                                                                          Robert Craig Mt. Veeder 2004: Everything you want a Napa Cab to be. Cassis, smoke, big tannins, beautiful fruit. Just outstanding. I love the wines of Robert Craig.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. 1993 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino Riserva; 2000 Larmandier-Bernier Champagne Blanc de Blancs Millésimé; 2005 Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Southing

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                            Rough night...Love the Larmandier-Bernier Blanc de Blancs.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mengathon

                                                                                                                                                                              yes, it was a nice line up; its the time of year for great wines with great friends. The Argiano was outstanding and would have still have had quite a life ahead of it. the Larmandier wines are just fantastic; the color of the rose is almost worth the price of purchase itself.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. This weekend
                                                                                                                                                                            1994 Cappellano Barolo Otin Fiorin Gabutti (Piedmont) Coloring is showing a bit of bricking. Really nice aromas of orange peel, dried cherries and anise are a good sign to start. The initial flavor is all dark cherry and dried mint then there is a huge rush of acidity that just swamps all else. The mid-palate is pretty thin but the cherry/menthol returns with a slight bit of very fined grain tannins for a lengthy finish. It takes a good 6 hours for this wine to balance and fill out. The aroma and flavors get ramped up more, the acidity seems more tame, and the mid-palate fills out. Very enjoyable, well priced barolo, that has lots of life in it.

                                                                                                                                                                            2005 Dönnhoff Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spätlese (Nahe) Reasonably priced on a restaurant list. Very shy and petrol dominated for the first hour or so then showed graceful flavors of Asian pear, Granny Smith apple, and yellow peach with a mineral core of crystalline purity. The finish is lithe and persistent. This is just so primary and slightly round at this very young age but very enjoyable.

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. Laurel Glen Reds.
                                                                                                                                                                              Delicious & spicy. A zinfandel, carignane and petite syrah blend . I just drank it with a bowl of cioppino. A steal at $7.99

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Er, I feel lucky to be alive on days like this...

                                                                                                                                                                                '90 Bollinger Extra Brut, RD
                                                                                                                                                                                '89 Trimbach Riesling, Clos Ste. Hune, Vendanges Tardives
                                                                                                                                                                                '80 Château-Grillet
                                                                                                                                                                                '45 Bourdy Côtes du Jura
                                                                                                                                                                                '96 Mommessin Clos de Tart
                                                                                                                                                                                '04 Dagueneau & Patrat Jurançon, Jardines de Babylone


                                                                                                                                                                                Bollinger - pale gold, nose of citrus, green apples, too-ripe pears, cashews, mushrooms, and slight vanilla; medium-full bodied, with an intense finish. Not surprisingly, I had a craving for a croissant.

                                                                                                                                                                                Trimbach Clos Ste. Hune VT - I don't ever recall having a VT riesling that was dry or nearly dry. Unbelievable. If you told me that this is without a doubt the greatest riesling in the world, I would have no plausible arguments. Deep gold color, with green hues; aromas of noble rot, honey, nectarines, and other tropical fruits. An oily texture which really stood out in juxtaposition with the Grillet. Please drink with lobster, foie gras, or any rich cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                Château-Grillet - This is viognier? The most interesting wine of the lineup. Loads of funk, barnyard, and very goat-cheesy. Light to medium body for a viognier. I cant really figure out what's going on here, but damn tasty!

                                                                                                                                                                                Bourdy - (Poulsard and Trousseau) Dark tawny, aromas of coffee grinds, toffee, tobacco, dried porcinis, bacon, and Dr. Pepper! Light to medium bodied, with great acidity. Reminiscent of an incredibly well-aged, traditional barolo. I want a mushroom risotto with this.

                                                                                                                                                                                After this, I lost track...

                                                                                                                                                                                Clos de Tart - "Silly"
                                                                                                                                                                                Jardines de Babylon - "Wow. wtf? This is manseng?"

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Gonet Medeville rose; Jacquesson 730; '97 Penfolds Bin 707. The Penfolds was simply amazing; still way young, was constantly evolving through the meal (at Romesco BTW), 13.5 %, huge fruit but enough tannin to hold things together. Had never had a 707 before and now hope that I will get a chance for another sometime.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes! 707 is probably my favorite non-European cabernet. Not a whole lot makes its way here, but I always try to snatch a bottle or two every vintage. The only drawback is that I've never kept one long enough to see it through to its full potential. Glad you enjoyed yours.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                      I recently had the '97 707 also, and was blown away. I've never enjoyed much from Down Under, but this was balanced, perfect tannin, not overly extracted but still soooo rich and flavorful.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Last Thursday night: 1996 Roagna Barbaresco Crichet Paje. I'm glad that I still have one more bottle remaining from the original six I purchased on release. What an elegant wine! Very silky tannins and no sharp edges. Loads of depth. Drinking great now, will last a few more years if I can keep my hands off that last bottle.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Last night: 2000 Chateau Chauvin Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe. Smoky blackberries, some soft tannins-just marvelous. The acidity isn't super-high. I think it will drink well for a few more years.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 2007 Miolo Pinot Noir...from Brazil. This is light, earthy, dry, way better than any $10 PN I have ever had (and better than most $20 PNs)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kenito799

                                                                                                                                                                                          Last night: 1970, 1977, 1997, 2000 & 2003 Fonseca Vintage Port. The 77 just became my WOTY. easily.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. '02 Lynch Bages with cheesebuger watching the Chargers beat the Broncos. The LB is drinking a-ok but letting it go for at least a few more years is the way to go.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. N.V. Gonet-Médeville Champagne Brut: 60/30/10 Chard-PN-PM premier cru. paid under $40. buying more.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Sunday night birthday dinner: '96 Clicquot Le Grande Dame and brut; '99 Les Pallieres Gigondas; '98 Marcoux CDP; '95 Pesquera Janus and Danflou Vieux Calvados.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                Happy f'ing birthday! Nice! How's the Grande Dame showing? Years to go?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mengathon

                                                                                                                                                                                                  the Grande Dame is drinking wonderfully well and sadly now only have 1 btl left; no signs of it being on the decline. oddly enough though I recently saw a reference to the "problematic" '96 vintage; all my experiences with '96 champagne have been good ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Jean Lallement et Fils Brut Tradition: 80% PN 20% Chard. Very impressive wine. Also had an '01 Jobard Mersault Les Genevrieres; love this wine and it went great with roast lemon chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. 2006 Vignai da Duline Schioppettino

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. 1989 Chateau Canuet (Margaux). This was the second label of Chateau Cantenac-Brown. I stood the bottle upright for several days prior to decanting. There was very little sediment. Color was a ruby-amber. There was a little iodine in the nose which seemed to subside with time. Medium bodied. Plenty of soft fruit, good acidity and mineral with lightly chalky tannins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Lioco Pinot Michaud Vineyard 05-- I like this wine a great deal more than I expected to. Really elegant, super aromatic... all together very well made.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dom. Paul Autard CDR 07-- wow. what a mouthful of wine for the money. absolutely smokin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 2005 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Franc; reaffirmation of Pam Starr's status as one of my very favorite wine makers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. 2004 La Stoppa Ageno. What an interesting wine! If you are a fan of Gravner, Radikon or Massa Vecchia you may want to find this. It is 60% Malvasia with 40% Trebbiano and Ortrugo (according to their website http://www.lastoppa.it/english/scheda...). 30 days of soaking on the skins has given this wine an intense orange color, reminiscent of Grand Marnier. Incredibly aromatic. Somewhat tannic. A little nutty. Wonderful acidity. Great depth of fruit. Rich in the mouth and long in the finish. I got it at Terroir in San Francisco.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: wineguy7

                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you don't mind me asking, price tag?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Blankiet merlot rose...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 2004 Domaine de la Charbonnière Vacqueyras

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I sampled Abuelo rum from Panama at a tasting a couple months ago. They make an unaged at about $13, and an anejo at about $18. The anejo is better than Flor de Cana 7 year from Nicaragua, and the 5 year Havana Club from Cuba. The unaged is good enough to drink on the rocks -both are nice finds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. We've been enjoying several different Marquis Phillips lately. Full, interesting, and delicious reds that don't break the bank.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 1994 Arrowwood Malbec; still quite lovely although it was starting to show its age. Its impact on me was to consider buying some good Argentine malbecs and lay them down for a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 2005 Bogle Phantom. Petite Sirah 55% - Zinfandel 42% - Mourvèdre 3%, ABV 14.5 %. Purchased at my local Trader Joes for $15.99 after reading some discusion of it elsewhere on this board. A pleasant wine for the price in my opinion. Plums / cheeries, a little spice. Deep ruby color. Served with grilled chicken burgers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Also, 2002 Twenty Rows "The Grappler": 58% Amador County Zinfandel, 30% Spring Mountain District Syrah, and 12% Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. ABV 14.5%. Lots of dark fruit, plums / cheeries. Much more fruit than the Phantom. Purchased for $14.99 at a local wineshop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. 2003 Château des Tours Vacqueyras Reserve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 2007 Tajinaste Tinto Tradicional from the Valle de la Orotava, Tenerife,Canary Islands. The grape is Listan Negro. Deep purple color. Floral and herbal aromas. Clean and minerally, medium-bodied, violets and black fruit, a touch of pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 2004 Lewis Cellars Alec's Blend

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. A. Margaine, NV Brut, Premier Cru; Krug NV; '04 Donjon CDP Blanc; '04 Marcassin Zio Tony Ranch; '75 Heitz Martha's Vyd; '96 Hardy's E & E Black Pepper Shiraz; '97 Dalla Valle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2007 Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2006 Marcel Deiss Pinot Blanc Bergheim
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2007 Blanco Nieva Verdejo Rueda Pie Franco
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2005 Inman Family Pinot Noir
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2006 Kutch Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2000 Miguel Merino Rioja Reserva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2006 Linne Calodo Rising Tides
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2004 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Franc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TBird

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    looks like you had a good time as well....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      always. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      last night:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2007 Bodega Pardevalles Vino de la Tierra de León
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2008 Viñedos de Nieva Rueda Blanco Nieva, Pie Franco
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2008 Bodegas Ochoa Navarra Rosado de Lágrima Finca El Bosque
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2007 Bodega Sur de los Andes Cabernet Sauvignon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2007 Marqués de Reala Campo de Borja Tinto
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2007 Bodeqas Piquer Cariñena Lelia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2004 Rafael Cambra Valencia Uno
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2001 Bodegas y Viñedos Heras Cordon Rioja Reserva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      N.V. Pedro Romero Jerez-Xérès-Sherry
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      N.V. Justino Henriques Madeira Feist Rainwater

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TBird

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Was that the Pardevalles Gamonal Prieto Picudo? I had never heard of that grape (Prieto Picudo is the grape) till I bought the bottle at Astor Wines. It was 06, I think. Very nice wine--earthy, forest floor, dark cooked fruit, nice tannins. I love trying unusual varietals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TBird

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hey TBIrd,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What did you think of the Heras Cordon Rioja Reserva? I just tasted that very vintage at a wine industry tasting last week and bought a few bottles for the wine shop I manage. How was it? Also, we were just in Spain and visited the very tiny winery owned by Miguel Merino. Love his wines!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. 2006 Elena Walch Gewurztraminer 'Kastelez'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2000 Bressan 'Ego' 50/50 Cabernet Franc/Schioppetino

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And at Babbo, what to pair with half a rabbit, wild striped bass, and stuffed pig's feet, all at the same time? Why, Ligurian grenache, of course!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2005 Prima Terra 'Çericò' 80/20 grenache/syrah

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And amazingly enough, the wine tasted of Liguria, with a minerally CdP nose, with a saline quality in the mouth. This red would have paired really well with a branzino. Perfect texture and body as a pairing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks Luca!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mengathon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      yesterday with slopeguy:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2007 Mormoraia Vernaccia di San Gimignano
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2007 Casita Mami Navarra
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2007 Weinhof Scheu Grauer Burgunder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2007 Cantina di Casteggio Oltrepò Pavese Barbera
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2002 Dow Porto Crusted
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      N.V. Leacock Madeira Malmsey Malmsey 5 years
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      N.V. Emilio Hidalgo Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Cream "Morenita"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      N.V. Emilio Hidalgo Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Oloroso Seco "Gobernador"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2007 Bouké Red Table Wine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2007 Bouké White Table Wine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2007 Icario Rubì Delle Pietrose Toscana IGT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2007 Barberani Orviéto Rosso Polago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TBird


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Are you a professional drinker or what? Please tell me you have help drinking all these wines!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. 2004 Albert Boxler Edelswicker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 2005 Hoopes Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley (Oakville). A nice match with grilled filet, roasted corn and sauted spinach. Deep purple color, cocoa, spice and berries, moderate tannins and a long finish. 14.5 % abv.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A pleasant wine that I would purchase again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Dom Ste Michelle Blanc de Noir NV sparkling wine, Washington State. Served with chicken spring rolls. Surprisingly good for a sub $10 sparkler.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 2004 Cascina Morassino Barbaresco

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: wineguy7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2007 Domaine Le Garrigon Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Du Coquelicot
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2007 Domaine de la Mavette Côtes du Rhône
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2007 Domaine Monpertuis (Paul Jeune) Côtes du Rhône Vignoble de la Ramière
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2007 Domaine de Cabasse Côtes du Rhône Villages Sablet Les Deux Anges
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2007 Les Garrigues Côtes du Rhône
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2005 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes-Hermitage Les Jalets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2007 Saint-Cosme Côtes du Rhône (x's 2, duplicates)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2005 Domaine des Anges Côtes du Ventoux
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2005 Domaine du Grand Montmirail Vacqueyras

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2007 Signorello Viognier Estate Bottled
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2004 Bodegas Monteviejo Malbec Festivo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1999 Quinta de Roriz Porto Vintage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1995 Quinta de Roriz Porto Vintage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1997 Gould Campbell Porto Vintage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1980 Gould Campbell Porto Vintage

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ib, my notes state "flawed,v olatile acidity", but not everyone agreed with me. go figure...lol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TBird

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thx, was curious as I've had a btl of the Vacqueryas and thought it was rather good, particularly for the price

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      which gives me more reason to believe the wine we had was flawed. others tried to convince me it was what it was...you know the type! ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2005 McPrice Myers Viognier Larner Vineyard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2006 Mara Syrage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2003 Domaine Lignères Corbières Aric

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. N.V. Egly-Ouriet Champagne Brut Tradition

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                last night:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2005 McPrice Myers Viognier Larner Vineyard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2006 Mara Syrage(Syrah-Merlot)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2003 Domaine Lignères Corbières Aric

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. 1998 François Jobard Meursault 1er Cru Les Poruzots

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2004 Bodegas Monteviejo Malbec Festivo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2006 Domaine des Anges Côtes du Ventoux Blanc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  both prove bargains do exist. the anges was $12.99 and in this area, everything cost more so i am sure it can be found under $10. the malbec was under $10 as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TBird

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2006 Stefania Syrah Eaglepoint Ranch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    packed for am departure to Aruba!(this should last me until i find "La Bodega"???:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2003 Waypoint Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2005 McPrice Myers Grenache L'Ange Rouge
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2007 Melville Viognier Estate Verna's
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2007 Peay Vineyards Roussanne/Marsanne Estate

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TBird

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      what are the prices on those new world Rhone's?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Domaine Tempier Bandol Blanc, I think 2007. Run, don't walk!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: waferthin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And I thought you detested organically grown wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. '83 Pichon Lalande Comtesse and '02 Pingus; not a bad day

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 2006 Booker Vineyard The Alchemist ; 85% syrah 15% cab; Paso Robles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 2006 Shafer One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District. 99% CS, 1% PV. ABV 14%. Pleasant enough and definitely pricey enough. Lots of dark fruit, mild tannins. Nice moderately long finish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: scrappydog

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2006 Dry Creek Vineyard Zinfandel Old Vines
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2006 Rodney Strong Zinfandel Knotty Vines
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2006 Ravenswood Zinfandel Old Vine Sonoma County
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2005 Berryessa Gap Zinfandel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2006 Montevina Zinfandel Terra d'Oro S.H.R. Field Blend
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2007 Michael-David Vineyards Zinfandel 7 Deadly Zins
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2006 Four Vines Zinfandel Sophisticate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2006 Simi Zinfandel Sonoma County
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2006 Valley of the Moon Zinfandel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2007 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2004 Carol Shelton Wines Zinfandel Maple Zin Maple Vineyards
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2006 Windsor Vineyards Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ouch, my head. :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. 2004 Kistler Chardonnay Vine Hill Vineyard; N.V. Pierre Peters Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Cuvée de Réserve. a few glasses of great wine and one's perspective on life can change quickly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1999 Château Pontet-Canet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2005 Melville Syrah Estate Donna's

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            neither were very exciting. :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. 1996 Domaine Mussy Beaunes-Epenottes Premier Cru.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love those '96s!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The bottle had a leaky cork, and the wine seemed a little sleepy when I first opened the bottle. It really blossomed after 20 or so minutes and had staying power throughout the 3 hours it took to get through the bottle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 1994 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Cornas Domaine de Saint Pierre; the only Cornas with this much age that I've had and is still doing fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. 2006 Yellow Hawk Cellar Barbara. It's divine and earthy and has that wonderful spicy-turpentiney-fruit flavor that I identify with their wines in particular. $20 and damn respectable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Two interesting and terroir-y wines:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  06 Hilberg-Pasquero Vareij. Piedmont table wine; 75% brachetto, 25% barbera. Dry, strawberries and flowers, medium body, super fragrant and great with a slight chill. Fun stuff!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  05 Thierry Germain Saumur-Champigny. Loire cab franc. Tangy aroma of crushed fermenting black raspberries, earthy tobacco, herbaceous tarragon, blue cheese et al. Racy acidity on the palate with nice but somewhat prickly tannins...the fruit is earthy, yet vivid, like tart raspberry juice combined with the astringent taste one gets from crunching the seeds. Fantastically enjoyable, honest and very expressive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kenito799

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    '96 Foreau Vouvray Moelleux 'Clos Naudin'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    '01 Dom. Bonserine Côte-Rôtie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Foreau was singing, improving in the glass even past the very end. Excellent acidity as always, and more dried stone fruits than tropical. The nutty aromas emerged towards the very end. I dont think 96 was a great year for stickies in the Loire, but neither is Foreau capable of making an less than very good wine. No botrytis character either. Low RS levels and at 12.7 abv, not very viscous for a moelleux. I'd drink relatively soon. Not the most complex, but when the first course is a foie gras terrine, seared bay scallops with a cauliflower puree, and country paté, and dessert is mixed berries? extremely enjoyable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Bonserine was not quite, or rather, close to ready. The nose was completely shut down initially, and moved along at a galacial pace in the glass. Scents of spices, good amount of vanilla, and beautiful floral notes at first impression, but no fruit. The palate was full, yet the finish included very grippy tannins, and almost too high acidity. But I like the sign of a good amount of viognier. After an hour and reconsideration to vigorously aerate in a decanter, it was still unready, but markedly improved. Vanilla faded gently into the background, and blueberries spilled out. Velvety texture. Should be good in 3-5 more, or decant 10 hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mengathon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I see you eating as well as you're drinking...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Unfortunately, not often enough. Just a once a month spur of the moment thing. And when the opportunity popped up at a great restaurant I hadn't been to in awhile at a very fair corkage, couldn't pass it up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. With some grilled steaks and veggies over the weekend:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2003 Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Red. A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 4.5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, and .5% Malbec. Decanted approximately an hour. Deep purple color, lots of fruit, moderate tannins. We enjoyed this wine immensely. A bit pricey, but a satisfying indulgence, nonetheless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    With burgers another night:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2004 Girard Artistry Napa Valley. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec but not sure of the exact percentages in this vintage. Decanted approximately an hour. Deep ruby red, cherry fruit and a little cocao and spice. Moderate tannins. A pleasant wine at an affordable price. We will pick up another one next time we see it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: scrappydog

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just an FYI - Girard has been showing up at our local Costco in OC/CA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. A week ago with pizzas (roasted veggie pizza and a margherita pizza):

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2006 Centerfold, 22 Hundred Cellars, Paso Robles. A blend of 40% Mourvedre, 40% Syrah and 20% Grenache. Ruby red color, lots of strawberries and cherries, low tannins. A nice match for some lighter fare. Retails for $17.99 locally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. '04 Luciano Sandrone Barolo 'Cannubi Boschis' - baby killing... still ridiculously good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As an aside, while I completely understand the traditionalist v. modernist debate in Barolo and Barbaresco, there are those like me that love both right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mengathon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          why miss out on what could both be regarded as wonderful wines simply because of a belief system about how a wine should be made?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mengathon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, me. THough if I had to choose, it would be the traditional.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. 2001 Havens Wine Cellars Bourriquot; alas, the last of my Bourriquot. One of the best QPRs around, IMHO. With grilled lamb chops, excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 2007 Pali Alphabets Pinot Noir Willamette Valley. Cherries / plums and some spice with moderate tannins and acidity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Last night we had a bottle of Poggi Valpolicella Classico Superiore (Ripasso) Il Moretto 2003. Anybody who is looking for something different and attention grabbing, try a valpolicella. It's a pretty tart wine, so pair accordingly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Aveleda Fonte Vinho Verde. Though there are several other vinho verde I've tried and like just as well. Gazela comes to mind. That was a wine I was wishing I had bought a case of. A super summer sipper for around the patio.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This weekend I am going on a search for some Sauvignon blanc. The husband will be out of town so I am attending a wine tasting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Last night, with the first shad roe of the spring here on the coast of Maine, we had:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    '07 Serra da Estrela Albarino,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    '04 Charles Koehly Pinot-Blanc,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    '04 Dom. Ehrhart Gewurztraminer "Rosenberg"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 2006 Von Strasser Cabernet Sauvignon Sori Bricco Vineyard; very nice CA cab, not terribly overblown, lovely nose, worthy of seeking out

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. At dinner with friends recently, 1998 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Light to moderate tannins, deep garnet color, berries and cocoa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. N.V. Zoémie de Sousa Champagne Brut Merveille; 1995 Domaine de Trevallon Vin de Pays des Bouches-du-Rhône; 2006 Perrin & Fils Gigondas La Gille. The Trevallon was wonderful with grilled lamb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. With some burgers over the weekend: 2007 Owen Roe Sinister Hand, Columbia Valley. A blend of 62% Grenache, 21% Syrah and 17% Mourvedre. Deep purple color, cherries and blackberries and a little spice. Quite nice - I will have to pick up a few more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. With some falafel, hummus and veggies: Tablas Creek Vineyard 2006 Cotes de Tablas Blanc. A blend of 59% Viogner, 32% Marsanne, 6% Grenache Blanc, and 3% Roussanne. ABV 13.5%. Pale yellow / straw color, floral nose, with melon / honey / some mineral notes. Relatively short finish. It has a crispness that comes from the moderate acidity, and is a pleasant Rhone blend for those that like such wines. I will probably stock a few extra for the coming summer season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. With bone-in NY strips, corn, sauteed spinch and purple asparagus: 2003 Martin Ranch J.D. Hurley Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Clara Valley. This was a recommendation from a friendly wine shop owner who said it had been the favorite at a recent tasting they had hosted. Served from the bottle without decanting. Deep purple color, nice fruit on the nose. Cheeries and berries and some cocoa, moderate tannins, and a long finish. ABV 13.9%. It opened up nicely over the meal. A nice wine for just under twenty dollars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                With burgers and sides: 2007 Acre Cabernet Sauvignon, central coast. A blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Syrah 4% Merlot. ABV 13.5%. Again served from the bottle without decanting. Dark ruby red color, fruit and coffee on the nose, moderate fruit notes of cheeries/ cocoa, moderate tannins, medium long finnish. A pleasant, if not fairly simple wine and a bargain at just under $20.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. 2005 Core White Blend 613 Alta Mesa; an interesting wine and not just because of the taste, aromatics and mouth feel. The back label gives you the % blend of the three grapes used Grenache Blanc, Marsanne and Rounsanne, along with the date bottled, etc. There was something that was almost effervescent about this wine despite it not being "light". Had it with some lemon chicken, maybe a bit out of left field for the pairing but it worked tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. With portobello mushroom ravioli: Mollydooker 2007 Two Left Feet, a blend of 68% Shiraz, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot. ABV 16%. Deep, dark purple color, fruity nose. Sweet and fruity (beyond jammy) - not exactly a mix of Grape Nehi and Welch's Grape Jam, but the closest resemblance to it that I have had in a 750 ml bottle. Not my cup of tea (wine). The one redeeming feature was that it was not hot in spite of the high alcohol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. With salmon, asparagus and couscous: 2007 Pali Pinot Noir Bluffs, Russian River Valley. Ruby red color, berries and cocao. Moderate finish. ABV 13.8%. Very pleasant match with the dinner. Nice wine for just under $20.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Balck Velvets (sparkling wine and Guiness - taken from Kinglsey Amis' "Everyday Drinking"); N.V. H. Billiot Champagne Brut Rosé Grand Cru; 1989 Château Cos d'Estournel; 1995 Château Mouton Rothschild; 2006 Perrin & Fils Gigondas La Gille. The Cos was stunning; the Mouton was way young but did not fail to impress. The Billiot was wonderful as was the conversation with friends.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. With grilled burgers / sides: 2007 Justin The Orphan, Paso Robles. Deep purple color, black cherries and some spice / pepper. ABV 13.5%. Nice summer BBQ wine. About $18 locally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          With Grilled steak / mushrooms / corn / asparagus: 2006 H Pinot Noir, Sonoma County. Ruby red color, raspberries and blackberries and a little oak. A little "hot" in my opinion, probably due to ABV 15.6%. I think I would have liked this better at a lower alcohol level. About $24 locally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. With chicken spring rolls: Ameztoi Getariako Txokalina Rubentis Rosé 2008. Light pink color, lots of strawberries and a little minerality. Slightly effervescent (comparable to the level in Vino Verde). ABV 11%. Absolutely refreshing. This is an outstanding rose for the coming summer. Will pair nicely with lighter fare; also suitable as an aperitif.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: scrappydog

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'd really like to get some of that wine as well as the still red. I've had the white.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Rosé is really a "fun" wine. I have not tried the red.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. With dinner out - braised short ribs for one / seared scallops the other / mediterranean sides for both - 2006 Tercero 2006 Cuvee Christie. A blend of of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre. ABV 14%. Deep purple color, raspberries, cherries and a little pepper. The flavors were distinct and pronounced but not overwhelming. (Fruity but not a "fruit bomb". ) Great mouth feel. Moderate tannins and enough acid to provide for some interesting food pairings. A nice find at about $28 locally; I picked up a few more for the coming summer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. With keilbasa, pierogi and green beens: 2006 Fattoria La Rivolta Taburno Falanghina. ABV 13%. Golden color, pears and green apple and some minerality. (Not the best match, but we did not have any good beer on hand.) Pitched by the shelf-talker at the wine shop as an alternative to Pinot Grigio. Less acidic than PG so not an absolute substitution. A decent wine. I wish I knew more about Italian white wine, but my knowledge is sorely lacking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. With assorted shellfish, simply prepared, and sides: 2007 Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc. Pale straw color, light and crisp, grapefruit and melon with a hint of minerality. ABV 13.5%. A pleasant summer sipper at about $17 locally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. With grilled NY strips and sides: 2005 Slingshot Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley. Dark red color, moderate tannins, cherries and coffee. ABV 14.5%. Served direct from the bottle without decanting; it did open up nicely over the evening. A pleasant, fairly simple wine for just under $20 locally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. With light appetizers: Domaine Vallon des Glauges Rosé Coteaux d'Aix en Provence 2008. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, and Counoise. Pale pink color, strawberries / minerals. ABV 12.5%. A nice light Rosé for around $12 locally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 2007 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Comptche Ridge Vineyard; these guys don't make much wine but I encourage you to track some down

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Stumbled across the Row Eleven 2007 Pinot Noir Vinas 3, Geyserville CA. Paired with my lovely wife's peanut pork on skewers was a delight. Seemed more in the old world style, 13.9% ABV, looking forward to exploring it more. Found locally (GrapeTray in Fresno CA) for 16.99. Curious if other hounds have had a chance to give it a shot?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 2005 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Right Bank - great stuff and fairly priced for the quality. You can pay a lot more and get a lot less...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 2005 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Right Bank

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. With grilled chicken and grilled veggies:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ebner Ebenauer Grüner Veltliner 2008. Screwcap. Light straw color, light and refreshing, with citrus and slight minerality. ABV 12.5%. The relatively low alcohol and the crispness from some acidity make this an excellent summer sipper. It would be a good choice for some tricky pairings - like Thai or other spicy cuisine. At around $10 for the 1 liter bottle, it is a bargain that won't stretch the budget either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. N.V. Vilmart Champagne Rosé Rubis; '02 Dom Drouhin (OR); '04 Justin Isoceles. Along with some stuffed mushrooms, fresh potato chips and bison burgers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Love the Cuvée Rubis, though I think I've only had the vintage ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. With a chicken stir-fry:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chateau Font-Mars Picpoul de Pinet Languedoc 2008. Pale gold color, aromas of peach / banana, very light tastes of pineapple, peach and some chalk. A pleasant summer sipper for around $10 locally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. With grilled filet, mashed potatoes and succotash:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Robert Hall 2006 Rhone de Robles, Paso Robles. A blend of 46% Grenache, 45% Syrah, 6% Cinsaut, 3% Counoise. ABV 13.9%. Dark red color, lots of berries on the nose. Dark cherries, cranberry, and a little spice with moderate tannin. We enjoyed this wine immensely. It was a gift - not sure what it retails for and have not seen it locally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. With burgers / sides:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Havens Syrah Hudson Vineyard 2004. A Sryah co-fermented with 2% Viogner. Decanted about 45 minutes. Dark red color. 14.5 % ABV. Some floral notes on the nose. Blackberries, smoke, some spice and a little earthiness on the palate. Moderate tannins and a moderate long finish. This wine had a really nice mouth feel. A fine example of an old world style Syrah. A pleasant wine that I would buy again. Around $40 locally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: scrappydog

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Havens is a longtime favorite but Michael is no longer involved (I'm fairly certain) and wonder if the wines will continue to be produced with the same degree of quality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Finished off the last glass and a half last night. Still good the second day. I noticed that I made a mistake in the post above: vintage was 2000 rather than 2004 (I was typing from memory, or lack thereof.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I know you have posted comments on some of their other Syrahs and the Black and Blue (Which I bought but have yet to open.) I see they make a Merlot and and Albariño also. Have you tried either of these?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: scrappydog

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm actually not a fan of the Albarino, I have had much better and at somewhat lower prices from Spain. The Bourriquot (Michael's homage to Cheval Blanc) is a huge favorite of mine. I've always enjoyed the merlot and the Hudson Syrah, as you've noted, is wonderful stuff. The Black and Blue is (or was) something of a whopper of a wine but I really did enjoy it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks. I have never had a domestic Albariño, so I was curious. It is about $23 at a local wine shop. Like you, I have had plenty of good ones from Spain for less. I will pass on it for now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: scrappydog

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  by the way, word has it that the company that bought Havens a few years ago has gone into bankrupcty; not sure if or how that might impact the future for their wines...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. 2004 Lewis Cellars Alec's Blend - only 1 bottle left

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. With some light appetizers:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mancini Vermentino di Gallura Cucaione 2007. Gold color, floral nose. Citrus and crisp acidity. ABV 12.5%. Around $14 locally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            With chicken kabobs, pilaf and peas:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Terlan Pinot Bianco Alto Adige 2007. Straw color, light ande crisp. some minerality. ABV 13%. Around $17 locally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 93 Liparita Howell Mountain-- a bottle won is sweeter than a bottle bought, IMHO... Still very youthful, with plum, currant and blackberry and lots of smoke and leather on the back. Very fine-grained, soft tannins, but still impressively structured. Pretty delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Domaine Herbauges Muscadet Sevre et Maine 07-- A little richer than I expected, but still had lots of flinty minerality and racy acidity. Very pretty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. This month:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Columbia Crest Vineyard 10 White Blend and Rose'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Marques de Caceres Rosado
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jacob's Creek Riesling
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Laurel Glen REDS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. 2004 Lucien Albrecht Pinot Gris Cuvée Romanus; N.V. Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Brut Millésimé Merfy. The Albrecht was a very nice and welcome change from some of the less than compelling pinot grigios...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. With a veggie lasagna:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Suore Cistercensi Coenobium Bianco 2007. A blend of 55% Trebbiano, 20 % Malvasia, 15 % Verdicchio and 10 % Grechetto. A nice, crisp summer sipper with hints of orange / tangerine. ABV 13 %. Around $20 locally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. '96 Le Grande Dame and '06 Dehlinger RRV PN with grilled salmon; the Dehlinger was young but went rather well with the salmon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. With various light appetizers:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        La Viarte Ribolla Gialla Colli Orientali del Friuli 2005. 100% Ribolla Gialla. Gold color. Floral nose. Dry, crisp / moderate acidity. Notes of pears / apples, a light minerality with something else slightly nut-like. I am told the wine is 100% un-oaked and aged in only stainless steel, but I would have guessed otherwise from the taste. ABV 13%. About $14 locally. An interesting wine with a unique taste. My first exposure to this varietal, I wonder what is typical for this grape / wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. On its own without a food pairing (but after a dinner featuring red sauce Italian pasta):

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Owen Roe Syrah Columbia Valley Ex Umbris 2007. Deep purple color. Lots of fruit but not overly jammy. Blackberries, some licorice and pepper. Moderate acidity. Nice mouth feel. A nicely balanced wine in my opinion. ABV 14.1%. About $22 locally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. With hamburgers, corn and fresh fruit salad:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2007 Peirano Estate The Other Red (Lodi). A blend of 60%Cabernet 30%Merlot and 10%Syrah. Deep purple color. Raspberries, cherries and a little spice. ABV 13.8 %. Nice barbecue wine. About $14 locally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 2007 Bodegas Gurrutxaga Bizkaiko Txakolina - rose. and a very nice rose at that. however, while it was only $16.99, there's an ocean of very good roses for less; that said, I'd buy it again. was very pleased to have finally tracked down a txakoli rose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. 2006 Movia Sauvignon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2007 Heidi Schrock Muscat 'Rust'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1999 Albert Morot Beaune 'Bressandes' 1er Cru

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: wineguy7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  how was the Movia? I've got to get some...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Beautiful. Clean, aromatic. Very minerally. Great length.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: wineguy7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I love Movia as much as the next guy, but I have to admit, I would never have thought to use "clean" to describe as of his wines. Given that most of Ales' whites are sit with the lees for up to two years, and he doesn't fine nor filter his wines, I would hesistate to call any of his wines clean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Granted, the sauvignon may be his most conventional white; I think his wine is a very pure, aromatic expression of the sauvignon grape from Collio/Brda. And it's probably my favorite in his lineup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not meaning to pick semantic bones, just wanted to add a little clarification for those who are interested and may wind up getting an unexpected surprise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That blog post was the first time I had come across re: Movia. In retrospect, I'm surprised the Lunar was not mentioned or tasted. One of the most singular wines out there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: mengathon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I am completely comfortable using the term 'clean' to describe this Sauvignon. It was not as overtly aromatic as some others I've had from Collio such as Sirch, Kante, Ca' Ronesca...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Such anticipation, but alas, the fickle nature of Burgundy strikes...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1998 Ramonet Montrachet - prematurely oxidized, though most undetectable on the nose, which is intense and powerful, with the oak having integrated beautifully, but the palate and finish fall off a cliff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1999 Comtes Lafon Meursault Les Charmes - prematurely oxidized. Nose was much more muted, though still pretty nice to drink.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2007 Rochioli Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley. A very good pinot noir in the non-overbearing style that's not so easy to find these days. Even then, the creaminess in the mid-palate and pillowy tannins are markedly "new world." Nevertheless, a very solid wine that should appeal to just about everyone on some levels.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mengathon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      there's been a lot of chatter on the ebob board about the premature oxidation of burgundies and your '99 is right in the midst of the years discussed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. 2005 Gries Lagrein Prestige Riserva.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2003 Castello della Paneretta Terrine 50/50 blend of Sangiovese and Canaiolo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 2002 François Jobard Puligny-Montrachet Le Trezin; a very nice wine but that said, it isn't my favorite from Jobard. I can report, however, no issues with premature oxidation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. 2006 Nalle Pinot Noir Hopkins Ranch Russian River Valley.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 2002 Pehu Simonet Champagne Brut Selection Grand Cru

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. 2004 Crescendo Hills Vineyard Virtuoso; a gift so I'm not sure of the price although a bit of "Googling" suggests around $20. Much better the 2d night. In the quaffer category...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Had the 07 Chateau de Segries Cotes du Rhone Rouge last night. Amazing value at $12. Classic Rhone nose of herbs and dark berries. Rich full palate of dark fruits. NICE every night drinker!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Vlajos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    La Madonnina Bello Stento 2003
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    with our version of Rao's meatballs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. 2006 Redhawk Winery Pinot Noir Vitner's Reserve. I happened to visit there when I was at a friends wedding. Small winery / vineyard, great view of the Oregon countryside. Very well balanced wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 2005 Domaine Henri Perrusset Mâcon-Villages - excellent

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. With grilled filet, sliced beefsteak tomatoes and peas/cauliflower:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2001 Crocker and Starr Stone Place Cuvee. Deep purple color, lots of chocolate and black cherry flavor, with mild, well resolved tannins. Nice mouth feel and a nice long finish. ABV 14.2%. A very enjoyable wine that I would buy again.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: scrappydog

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Love Pam Starr's wines; check out her cab franc some time. The present pricing on the SPC though is a bit high but then again, compared to some wines that I've had in that price range, it is a good value

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Margaine rose NV, '07 spottswoode sauvignon blanc; '04 marcassin sonoma chard, '94 viader (omg loved the 40%+ cab franc); '96 michele chiarlo cerequio barolo; '03 marcassin 3 sisters, melipal rose; Laurent Perrier Gran Siecle (wow!)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ibstatguy


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            How was the Chiarlo Cerequio? Not generally a great big fan of his wines, but I imagine any wine from 96 Cerequio should be singing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Aubert Chardonnay, Quarry 2003

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nicely done. CA style, but extremely well-balanced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 2004 Vigneti Massa Vignaiolo Artigiano Barbera Monleale Colli Tortonesi DOC. It has a great purity of fruit. Excellent length, solid, well integrated oak and long finish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Joseph Phelps Napa '01 Cab.


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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bill - glad to see you're back (and drinking good wine)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. With grilled filet, steamed broccoflower and mashed potatoes: 2006 Jada "Passing By" (Paso Robles). A blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. Deep purple color, plum / blackberry flavors with moderate tannins and a moderate long finnish. ABV a whopping 16%, but luckily no noticable heat. Not a bad wine, but there are probably many others I would prefer in this price range or less. About $39 locally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Last weekend a California red wine extravaganza with lots of friends and sliders and other heavy appetizers:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2006 Justin Vineyards Isosceles Paso Robles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2005 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2006 Orin Swift Papillon Napa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2004 Palhmeyer Merlot Napa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2003 Chalk Hill Estaes Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2005 Hoopes Vineyards Oakville Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 2008 Pascal Janvier Jasnières - a Kermit Lynch import. Went very well with roast lemon chicken

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Unfamiliar with Pascal Janvier, who's not listed in Friedrich's unfortunately outdated Loire guide. He does have a website, though: www.jasnieres-pjanvier.fr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Most of the Jasnières I've drunk has been made by Joël Gigou (Domaine de la Charrière) and leaning toward sec-tendre. How dry is the Janvier?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: carswell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I should imagine that the Pascal was drier than the Gigou, given your description. A bit more acid would have boosted the overall quality of the wine. I think I paid something on the order of $15 for the wine and, at that price, was quite pleased.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I am recently of legal drinking age & i just discovered Lambic beers. Oh man, I don't know how I lived thinking that all beers we're best chugged!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. From this past weekend, from Sun-Fri:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          N.V. Gianluca Viberti Langhe Dionisio - an alcoholic mess, but what do you want for under $7?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2005 Alma Rosa Pinot Noir La Encantada Vineyard - always delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2006 Tobin James Tempranillo James Gang Reserve - just ok
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2005 Tobin James Cabernet Franc James Gang Reserve - just ok
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2006 Stefania Haut Tubee - always a pleasure! These are great wines that Pau and Stef are producing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 2007 Barth Pinot Noir Rose - an excellent wine!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. OK, I finally have one for honorable mention: 1999 Loriñon “Crianza” Rioja from Spain. I got a split for $15 at a restaurant to accompany my pork roast with pear reduction. It was so good that I brought another home, which was outstanding with a rack of lamb tonight. It is 85% Tempranillo, 5% Ganacha, 5% Giraciano and 5% Mazuelo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. 2007 Domaine de la Chanteleuserie Bourgueil Cuvée Vieilles Vignes - a disappointment based upon what I expected due to vintages past

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the possibility exists that the wine simply needs a few years of bottle age. it is also a "food" wine, not something that would show well in an aperitif setting...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. 2008 Pali Sonoma Coast Riviera Pinot Noir. Nice Cherry, pomegranate, rose nose on opening, that migrated to be a bit more traditionally barnyardy after an hour or so. Dark fruit and a little anise on the palate. Good, but could use a couple more years in the bottle. Pali apparently had difficulty selling their single vineyard Pinots so they blended some into cuvees at $19 (about half of what their single vineyards go for). Good deal I think.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have tried a number of these different Pali Blends: Alphabets (Williamette Valley), Bluffs (Russian River Valley), and Huntington (Santa Barbara County). All in the $18 to $20 range. Posted comments on a couple of them on this thread. All decent wines for the money. Had not thought about aging potential until your post. I have stocked up on a few because I thought they were good values, so undoubtedly, I can try to (or unintentionally) age a couple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. 2004 Serdonis Cabernet Sauvignon Ink Grade Vineyard

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 2003 Igneous Cabernet Sauvignon; this was a very nice Cali style cab, if you know what I mean...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2007 Sineann Wyeast Pinot Noir. Delicious red fruit, nice acidity and balance. Nice job Peter !

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. 2004 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron with some Brillat-Savarin while watching Zenyatta win the Breeders Cup Classic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Yesterday morning watching Macy's Thanksgiving Parade with friends and oatmeal / cranberry cookies - '92 DP. A nice way to kick off the holiday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Later in the day - 2008 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc / Voigner blend (great wine at a highly affordable price) and Dain 2005 Pinot Noir "Rebel" - Santa Maria Valley. ABV 13.9% - ruby red color, nice mouth feel. Lots of cherries / berries. A nice wine with our meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A week ago with steaks and sides - 1997 Long Meadow Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley. ABV a pleasant 13.2%, deep garnet color and well integrated tannins. Blackberry, cherry and a little tabacco / spice. Also opened the '94 vintage of the same wine, but sadly it was toast (oxidized).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 2008 Arbe Garbe Russian River White Wine. A blend of Pinot Bianco, Malvasia Bianca and Viognier. There's some skin contact from the Pinot and Malvasia. Quite refreshing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2006 Redmon Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. A more restrained, elegant style.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 2006 Domaine de la Chevalerie, Les Galichets, Bourgueil

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. from the 24th through the 1st, with various family members in residence:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                N.V. Varnier-Fanniere Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut; N.V. Jacquesson & Fils Champagne Cuvée No. 730; 1998 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut La Grande Dame; N.V. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut; 2004 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron; 1999 Château Rayas Côtes du Rhône Château de Fonsalette Cuvée Syrah; 2001 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape; 2005 Cameron Pinot Noir Clos Electrique; N.V. Gonet-Médeville Champagne 1er Cru Rosé
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2005 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Franc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1999 Domaine les Pallières Gigondas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Hafner, Alexander Valley Sonoma Cab '03, and their Reserve Chard '05, tonight.


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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jonesy Port and some Bogle Cabernet Sav. 2007

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Tonight, it's Stevens & Walker Monterey Pinot Noir. Not as big as some of the Melivilles, or the Brewer-Cliftons, but a very nice wine with loads of fresh fruit and some nice spice notes. Not widely distributed, but worth the effort to locate.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Mondavi Joint Venture, Chilean Sena 1995. Better than a lot of top flight Bordeaux of the same vintage!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Here's another - Robert Biale's Hillclimber Pilgrimage '03 Napa Syrah. Big dark fruit, and soft, round tannins. Lovely wine.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Dang, I'm so envious, reading your entries. I can't find exotic wines like those where I live (outer borough of NYC). Are you all in major cities?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: comestible

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I live in an outer borough of NYC as well. Most wine stores in Manhattan with great selections will deliver with a minimum of $150-$200.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. 2000 Havens Wine Cellars Syrah T Block Hudson Vineyard; the demise of this winery greatly saddens me...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You and me both. The Bourriquot was one of my favorite domestic wines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. 2004 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett; great stuff, great price

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. 2001 Arnaldo-Caprai Sagrantino di Montefalco Collepiano

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ibstatguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  '01 Sagrantino seems to just be coming around. I have some Adanti '01s that are still huge!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: wineguy7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    these are certainly wines that need some time

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Ikal 1150 Torrontes 2008... Just released...


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Citrus, honeysuckle, floral, minerality and honey on the nose, surprisingly dry on the palette and crisp on the finish with minerality that mirrors the nose.