Continued 1999 Tasting Notes

Bottom    Previous Reviews...

Turley  Zinfandel, ???, Old Vines, 1997, $40 (rest.)  Exc-

Astounding in a style I've only seen from Turley. Light in color, but packed with flavor, fruit and spice in perfect balance. Made for a lovely dinner at California Cafe [10/15].

Ridge Santa Cruz Mtns Chard 1996 $?? Exc-

Rich fruit and glycerin texture, with lovely butter and spice, Viognier-like cinnamon accents [10/23].

Ridge  Carignane, Santa Cruz Mtns, Sommer Ranch, 1993,   VG+

Dry, with a Zin nose, ripe fruit and a touch of earth. Very Zin-like [10/23].

Ridge  Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mtns, Jimsomare, 1991,   VG

Classic Cab with some tar taking it down a notch [3/23].

Ridge  Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mtns, Monte Bello, 1991,   VG+

Tannic, tight, black, with hints of cork and dust [10/23].

Ridge  Zinfandel, San Luis Obispo, Dusi Ranch, 1995,   VG+

Ripe, rich, and grapey (in a '95!). Lovely nose, lovely spice on the tongue [10/23].

Ridge  Petite Sirah, York Creek, 1996,   VG+

Purple-black in color, ripe forward fruit in a tannic background, although a bit light. A lovely nose, like any good Petite Sirah [10/23].

Ridge  Late Harvest Zin, Pagani Ranch, 1992,   VG-

Grassy and light, but still worth a quaff [10/23].

Ridge  Zinfandel, Geyserville, 1997, $28  Exc-

This one, from Sonoma, is just incredible. Ripe, fruit, forward, jammy, and explosive. Hints of sulpher in the nose and touch of orange on the palate [10/23].

Ridge  Zinfandel, Santa Cruz Mtns, Jimsomare, 1990,   VG

Light and a little tough [10/23].

David Bruce  Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mtns, 1997,   VG

Glycerin and cork; racy, dry fruit [10/23].

David Bruce  Grenache, Monterey, 1998,   VG

Surprisingly good for a Grenache. Fruit, pepper, and citrus [10/23].

David Bruce  Pinot Noir, Central Coast, 1998,   VG

Light, soft, glycerin texture, touch of pepper and earth [10/23].

David Bruce  Pinot Noir, Sonoma, 1997,   VG+

Rich fruit, vanilla [10/23].

David Bruce  Petite Syrah, Central Coast, 1998,   VG

Tar, glycerin, soft [10/23]. A second tasting at improperly low temperatures yielded a green, fruitless beast [12/5].

David Bruce  La Rusticana d'Orsa, Santa Cruz Mtns, 1996,   VG

This is a Cab blend actually made by neighbors of David Bruce from a small vineyard. Right now this is a dark, quiet wine. Not tannic, well-balanced, but extremely reserved; almost a dumb phase [10/23].

Byington  Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mtns, 1997,   VG+

Nice concentration, balance, acidity, and flavor [10/23].

Byington  Pinot Noir, Central Coast, 1996,   G

Dry, earthy [10/23].

David Bruce  Zinfandel, Paso Robles, Ranchita Canyon Vineyard, 1997, $12  VG+

Excellent berry flavors, vanilla oak, extremely well balanced, generous yet focused. Just great [10/30].

Savory & James  Tawny Port, Portugal, Six Year, $6  G+

Light and fruity, lacking the nut, wood, and caramel flavors that one hops for, but probably can't expect in a young bargain Tawny. I give the edge to the Yalumba Clocktower [11/6].

Yalumba  Antique Tawny, Australia, Museum Release, 15 year, $?? (375ml)  Exc-

Really astounding, wonderful in every imaginable way [11/19].

Young's  Zinfandel, Shenandoah Va., 1997, $13  VG-

I had great hopes for this after last year's wonderful result, despite a mediocre year, but it just didn't measure up. A little out of balance, and lacking the forward fruit that makes Zin so much fun [11/20].

David Bruce  Pinot Noir, Sonoma, 1995, $13  G+

Once an excellent wine, this was over the hill, a victim of our warm ``wine cellar''. Best to stick to Cabs and Syrahs for aging [11/25].

Sterling  Zinfandel, Napa, 1996, $7  G

Nothing special, but it's hard to expect more from a bargain '96 (although Karly managed to deliver) [12/3].

Taylor Fladgate  Tawny Port, Portugal, 10 year, $20  VG

A classic tawny, with excellent balance between fruit and wood; nice caramel flavors. Perhaps a bit too ``tame'' for me, but I can't complain [12/24].