Continued 1999 Tasting Notes

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Havens  Sauvignon Blanc, Napa, 1997, $9  VG

Nice acidity, rich flavor, and pretty nose [5/29].

Babich  Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand, 1998, $7  VG

Interesting touch of orange [5/29].

Raymond  Sauvignon Blanc, Napa, 1997, $7  VG-

Somewhat reserved [5/29].

Lolonis  Fume Blanc, Mendocino, 1997, $9  VG

Sweet muscat orange tone with a touch of bitterness, some legs [5/29].

Vino de Eyzaguirre  Cabernet Sauvignon, Cachapoal, Chile, Reserva Especial, 1996, $5  G+

Muddy earth, over ripe fruit [5/29].

David Bruce  Pinot Noir, Sonoma, 1997, $16  VG

Rich fruit, but a lot of vanilla oak in the nose. Maybe it will settle down in a few weeks, but right now it doesn't measure up to the '96 [5/29].

Chateau La Rogue  Red Languedoc, Pic St. Loup, 1996, $9  G+

Blackberry and pepper earth in the nose, with the pepper much stronger on the palate. Quite sound, but lacking in fruit presently [5/29].

Francis Coppola  Merlot, California, Diamond Series Blue Label, 1997, $11  G+

A typical inexpensive Coppola offering, well-balanced but light, with a nice nose [5/29].

Benziger  Merlot, Sonoma, 1997, $12  VG-

Varietal nose, some chocolate on the finish [5/29].

Katherine Hills  Cabernet Sauvignon, South Australia, 1997, $7  G

Ultra-ripe, dark nose and nearly black color, coming across slightly turned on the palate [5/29].

Hogue  Late Harvest Riesling, Columbia Valley, 1998, $7  VG-

Pretty, light, and sweet. Almost watery, but possesses a creamy texture and a touch of orange in the fruit [5/29].

Hardys  Tawny Port, Australia, Whiskers Blake, NV, $8  VG

The Wine Spectator rated this a 94, which is absurd, but this is a nice tawny. Characterized by typical cherry fruit and caramel, a touch light, but sound, not revelatory [5/30].

Peachy Canyon  Zinfandel, California, Incredible Red Bin 106, 1997, $9  VG

Yowza! This is the best ``affordable'' Zin I've had yet this year. Light, yet explosive cherry fruit and jazzy spice. Ah, a reprise of 1996! It reminds me of the Karly and Ravenswood Lodi. I have few words to describe it, but I know it when I see it. Drink up [6/1]!

Fritz  Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek, 1997, $7  VG-

Lemon fruit in the nose, rich fruit with a slightly bitter edge [6/5]. The richness seems more texture than fruit [6/26].

Cline  Viognier, Los Carneros, 1997, $10  VG

Toasty oak, vanilla and cinnamon in rich fruit. This is my first Viognier, and an interesting, complex quaff it is [6/5]. At home with a meal the experience was quite similar, although it took some time to show its form. It started lean and racey, then later rounding out and became more complex. Perhaps I overchilled it, although I had cooled it by quick-chilling, not refrigerating [6/18].

Byron  Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley, 1997, $12  VG

Oaky butter, racey fruit, not especially rich [6/5].

Bentivoglio  Red, Toscana, 1995, $10  G+

Oak, earth, typical light fruit; quite dry [6/5].

Barranc  Red, Priorat, 1997, $9  VG

Classic pepper, earth, and fat ripe fruit. A winner [6/5].

Penfolds  Shiraz, Coonawarra, Bin 128, 1996, $16  VG-

Astringent, spicey orange rind tar and focussed fruit. Very unusual now, it might have future promise [6/5].

Penfolds  Shiraz, South Australia, Bin 28, 1996, $19  VG+

Very dark color, vanilla oak nose, very sound fruit and tannins [6/5].

Penfolds  Cabernet-Shiraz, South Australia, Bin 389, 1996, $19  VG+

Nearly black in color, dark chocolate flavors added by the Cab, nice balance. A real pleasure [6/5].

Penfolds  Cabernet Sauvignon, South Australia, Bin 407, 1996, $19  VG-

Nice enough, but it seems to be missing something in the bottom compared to the Cab-Shiraz [6/5].

Husch  Chenin Blanc, Mendocino, 1997, $6  VG

Sweet, thick, nice fruit, even a little sugary. Very pleasant [6/12].

St. Supery  Sauvignon Blanc, Napa, 1998, $8  VG

Very unusual. A touch sweet with penetrating, jazzy, candy fruit flavors. Wine Spectator gave this a 91. I don't know about that [6/12].

St. Supery  Chardonnay, Napa, 1997,   VG-

Nice fruit, but vanilla oak overpowers. Might settle down in a couple of months [6/12].

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