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].