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Chile, Syrah (with 3% Viognier), Tamaya, Valle de Limari, Reserva, 2009

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Syrah with 3% Viognier N/ Smoked bacon. Cedar. Stewed cherries. Black olives. Sawdust. Black pepper. Lavender. Wow! T/ Full, coating, thick mouthfeel. Smooth after 30 minutes when some initial chalkiness subsides. Smoky, massive plums. Thick stew of cedar and oak. Crushed rock and mineral blast. This is a massive wine, begging for a rare to […]

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Argentina, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bodega Septima, Valle de Uco, Tunuyán, Mendoza, 2008

Note: decant and let breath at least one hour before enjoying. In the glass practice aggressive swirling. C/ Black, deep purple. Light penetrates not. N/ Round black pepper. Black soil. Stewed black cherries and cassis. Graham cracker. River stones. T/ Medium-full to full mouthfeel. Stewed, white peppered plums with an acid finish. Wood work big […]

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USA, Chardonnay, Foppiano, Russian River Valley, 2009

N/ Wet hay. Huge minerality. Clean, angular, yellow fruits and apples. Classic Chardonnay nose displaying great structure and nicely layered with touches, not boatloads, of oak. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Acid in totally harmony with glycerol weight. Clean, crisp, but not remotely thin. Reminiscent of one of my favorite Chardonnay producers, Far Niente. This is classy, […]

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Australia, Red Blend (Shiraz/Merlot/Cabernet), Mollydooker, Two Left Feet, 2008

Red blend of: 68% Shiraz, 17% Merlot, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon N/ Fat oaks with a tinge of burnt sugar. Delicious! Plums and black fruits. Stewed black pepper. Damp barrel room. Sandalwood. Game. Lovely. T/ Medium full to full mouthfeel. Giant, dripping black peppered plum stew. Almost port-like in body. Clean for such a massive […]

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USA, Zinfandel, Terlato, The Federalist, Visionary, Dry Creek Valley, 2008

Fruit bomb lovers and structured wine aficionados can be together in harmony on this one…. N/ Started with pen ink, then transformed into luscious, dripping, ripe plums dusted with black pepper. Light flint and granite. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Huge, but round and massively juicy plum and fig jam. Long, satisfying jammy finish kissed with a […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Franciscan, Winemaker’s Reserve, Napa, California, 2004

Note: suggest waiting one hour post decant as some of the more angular elements and spiky tannins need the air. N/ Lovely, fat oaks. Complex spice. White pepper dusted plums. Cigar box, old leather, soft earth, and forest floor. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Fat, ripe plums. Deep, aged cassis. Velvety rich, elegant mouthfeel. Deep earth and […]

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USA, Syrah, Soldiers of Fortune, JAQK Cellars, Napa Valley, California, 2007

Note: decanted one hour before rating. N/ Round. Warm Graham crackers. Massive black fruits. Stewed black pepper. River stones. Cedar. Confectionery. Wonderful. T/ Surprisingly clean and crisp given the nose. Medium mouthfeel. Mellow, but full, spices. Pepper soaked plums and black fruits. Chocolate and coffee. Massive minerality for a Syrah. Elegant structure and balance. Wonderful […]

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USA, Chardonnay, Cupcake Vineyards, Central Coast, California, 2009

N/ Clean. Round rocks. Minerals. Medium (not “over”), oaked. Warm, yellow fruits. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Medium, round yellow fruits. Nice wood work and balance. Winemaker = Adam Richardson Price =$9-$12 retail. See http://www.cupcakevineyard.com Fantastic Q2PR! Brilliant +. 94 This wine was a media sample kindly provided by the winery.

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New Zealand, Pinot Noir, Mt. Beautiful, Teece Family Vineyards, North Canterbury, 2008

N/ Warm, dry woods. Wonderful smoked bacon. Cloves. Hay. Crushed granite. Phenomenal nose. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Very clean. Medium-high acid. Medium intensity fruits – ripe raspberries and cherries. Nice layers and structure. Elegant. Wonderful drinking! Price = $25 Brilliant +. 94 This wine was a media sample kindly provided by the winery.

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USA, Red Blend (Sangiovese, Cabernet, and Merlot), Tesoro Winery, Trinita, Temecula, 2006

A red blend of: 67% Sangiovese, 22% Cabernet, and 11% Merlot Temecula winery, Paso Robles grapes. Note: No need to wait long after opening. Ready to enjoy in just 10 minutes. N/ Massive fruit bomb of strawberries and cherries. Warm oaks. Lovely barrel room. Lavender. Fresh leather. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Lightly candied cherries and plums. […]

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USA, Viognier, Tesoro, Temecula, 2009

N/ Wonderful aromas of a spring creek – fresh river stones, spring water, grasses. Dried hay. Oranges. Light pine. Fantastic. T/ Medium-full. Honeysuckle juice. Big, round tropical fruits.  Oranges. Full, round minerality. Lovely. Only thing my taste would have preferred is a tad more restraint on the fruits and a more angular minerality. This is […]

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USA, Zinfandel, Dead Man’s Hand, 2007

95% Zinfandel with 5% Petite Sirah Note 1: One of the coolest labels I’ve seen in a while. Also, quite useful for fun candle holder after consumption. Note 2: Decanted one hour prior to enjoying. N/ Clean rawhide, barrel room, cigar box, sweet, ripe cherry, milk chocolate, surfboard wax. Wunderbar. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. […]

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USA, Zinfandel, Story Winery, Picnic Hill Vineyard, Old Vines, Amador County, 2006

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C/ Light for a California Zinfandel. N/ Clean, but laced with brooding dark purple fruits. Exceptional balance, with very nice wood work. Dried casiss. Black pepper – but the clean and sharp variety. T/ Clean. High acid feel / crispness for a California Zinfandel. Fat plums. Dry soil. Great layering and structure. Angular finish. Excellent […]

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USA, Chardonnay, Cupcake Vineyards, Central Coast, 2008

N/ Dried green grass. Clean dirt. Wet hay. Vanilla. Nice oak – but not over done. Spring water. T/ Medium full mouthfeel. Clean. Mouth filling, yellow fruit bomb. Medium glycerol. Long, slightly salt-kissed finish. Winemaker = Adam Richardson Retail $8-10 !! Great value and perfect summer party white. Brilliant+. 94 This wine was a media […]

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USA, Sauvignon Blanc, Malk Family Vineyards, Napa, California, 2009

N/ Completely devoid of ammonia / cat aromas, which I really appreciate. Nice, ripe flowers and yellow fruits. River stones. Fresh, wet hay. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Perfect structure. Multiple layers of yellow fruits, clean lines, and dried hay bliss. Long, clean finish. Wonderful drinking. http://www.malkfamilyvineyards.com/ Winemaker = Robbie Meyer Price= $29. Brilliant +. 94

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Argentina, Torrontes, Callia, Alta, 2008

N/ Fresh hay, field grasses, peaches, river stones. Lovely. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Medium-high crispness. Coating. Sugar just a tad high. Fresh, clean, simple, wonderful. Price = $9.99 at BevMo Brilliant+. 94

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USA, Syrah, Thornton, 2006

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N/ Beautiful aromatics fill the glass right after opening. Gorgeous and floral.  Quite unique for a Syrah. Barrel room, violets, rosemary and pepper. Beautiful. T/ Medium full mouthfeel. Dripping red berriesmarinated in black pepper. Solid wood-work.  Luscious. Notes – Even after 3 hours, no loss of fruit or any signs offlattening. – Unlike many big reds, was no […]

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USA, Pinot Noir, Torii Mor, Dundee Hills Select, Oregon, 2007

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N/ Oregon soil, nicely smoked. Dry gunnysack. Light game. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Red berries and tart cranberry. Elegant structure melded with nice wood work. Layered and rich. Tart, mouth watering, finish. Lovely. Price = $41. Brilliant+. 94 This wine was a media sample kindly provided by the winery.

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France, Rhone Blend, Andrieux and Fils, Cuvee Jules, 2007

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N/ Fresh tortillas. Black bean paste. Is this a reduction sauce of a Taco Bell Gordita?  Not kidding.  Odd, yes, but great. If this is not a one-off for just this bottle, would be amazing for a pairing with Taco Bell. Light berries. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Round and plummy. Cassis. Light pond water. Retail $15. […]

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USA, Pinot Noir, Torii Mor, 2007

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C/ Quite light. N/ Light but nicely floral. Cherry kisses and light. Fresh, dry soil. Light smoke. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Elegance. Harmony of red berries and oak.  Light flint and minerals. Salt and iron. Retail $24 Astounding. 94 Sample kindly provided by the winery.

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