Ravenswood Zinfandel, Mendocino, Lalanne, 1996, $15 VG+
An outstanding Zinfandel, with classic Zin fruit and spice in the nose, incredible smoothness on the palate, and a lovely finish. I only noticed this had 15.5% alcohol after it was gone, which speaks to the balance in this wine. definitely a food wine, though [11/13].
Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais, 1998, $8 G
Light, grapey [11/21].
Beringer Nouveau, California?, 1998, $6 G+
Light, with surprisingly dark fruit flavors [11/21].
Louis Jadot Red Beaujolais, Beaujolais, 1997, $6 G
Earthy, with some richness [11/21].
Georges Duboeuf Red Beaujolais, Beaujolais-Villages, 1997, $6 G
A dead-ringer for the Jadot; Earthy [11/21].
Georges Duboeuf Red Beaujolais, Fleurie, 1997, $9.50 G+
Earthy, has some concentration [11/21].
Georges Duboeuf Red Beaujolais, Moulin-a-Vent, 1997, $9 VG-
Modestly rich fruit and earth in a nice balance [11/21].
Chateau St. Michelle Gewurztraminer, Columbia Va., 1997, $6 VG
Sweet, pure orange flavors. A lot fun [11/21].
Gentil White Alsace, Alsace, ``Hugel'', 1997, $7.50 G
Dry and earthy [11/21].
Weltevrede Muscat de Hambourg, Roberston, South Africa, 1996, $8 VG
Thick, sweet, dark orange flavors with a very complex finish [11/21].
Jade Mountain Les Jumeaux, California, 1995, $19 VG+
This Bordeaux/Rhone-style blend packs complex fruit and spice into a balanced package. The tannins clashed with the duck and sausage gumbo we were eating, but the wine drank great on its own despite the imposing structure [11/25].
Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir, Carneros, 1997, $19 VG+
One of the softest reds I've ever had, jammy with a touch of spice. Perfect with Thanksgiving dinner, but I wouldn't have minded a little more structure [11/26].
Sonora Zinfandel, Amador, 1995, $13 VG
Dark Zin fruit with a little spice, a little restrained [11/28].
Murphy-Goode Zinfandel, Sonoma, 1996, $13 VG+
Not a powerhouse, but exploding with bright Zin flavors filled out by a little spice. Reminds me of the Ravenswood Lodi and the Young's. Fun, fun, fun [11/28].
King Estate Pinot Noir, Oregon, 1995, G
Not a match for the '94, showing tobacco and smoke flavors with insubstantial fruit. Very light in color. I think this wasn't a top year for Oregon Pinots [12/5].
Weinert Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina, 1992, G
Rich, but a bleu cheese flavor prevails [12/10].
Weinert Merlot, Mendoza, Argentina, 1992, VG-
Smooth, fruity, with a touch of earth [12/10].
Weinert Meritage, Mendoza, Argentina, 1992, G+
Consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec, this has some of the guts of their Cab and the smoothness of their Merlot in a nicely balanced package. If it weren't for the inferiority of the Cab, this would be a winner. See also the 1985 Weinert drank earlier this year [12/10].
Trapiche Chardonnay, Argentina, 1997, VG-
Surprisingly complex, showing French-like Burgandy fruit, California oak, and a bit of sweetness. Reduce the oak and sweetness a tad and this would be a winner [12/10].
Bannister Zinfandel, Dry Creek, 1996, $15 VG
Swanson Merlot, Napa, 1996, $18 VG+
Rich and deep with marvelous varietal character. One of the best Merlot's I've ever had [12/12].
Swanson Sangiovese, Napa, 1996, $17 VG
A fine effort, but maybe a little over-priced [12/12].
Fess Parker Syrah, Santa Barbara, 1996, $14 VG
Bright fruit, but not as rich or complex as some of the pricier Syrahs [12/12].
Dry Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek, 1996, $13 VG+
Bright and spicey. Should be dynamite with food [12/12].
Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, 1995?, $20 VG+
Dark, deep, and restrained, with lots of potential [12/12].