Continued 1999 Tasting Notes

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Ojai  Chardonnay, Arroyo Grande Valley, Talley Vineyard, 1997, $18  VG+

Exceptional richness and fine acidity with ample oak [7/10].

La Crau de ma Mere  Red, Chateauneufdupape, 1996, $19  VG+

Remarkably approach for such a young wine from this region, with classic earth, pepper, and berry flavors [7/10].

Beaulieu  Beauzeaux, California, Signet, 1997, $18  VG

Overripe, slightly turned fruit partially balance by vanilla and chocolate oak flavors [7/10].

Bettinelli  Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, 1996, $14  VG

Somewhat restrained, lots of structure with chocolate and herbal notes. Could be a late bloomer [7/10].

Ravenswood  Zinfandel, Sonoma, Monte Rosso, 1997, $22  VG+

Restrained, but ripe and very concentrated, almost black in color. Has lots of potential with time [7/10].

David Bruce  Pinot Noir, Sonoma, 1995, $13  VG

Now softened into a more classic, elegant Pinot, it was a delight with bread and olive oil. Served later with grilled chicken, it turned earthy. Looking back at my '98 notes, I see we had exactly the same experience a year ago. I guess I still need to learn that I shouldn't serve older wines with grilled food. This wine definitely has some life left in it, but probably won't be improving much [7/17].

Chateau Ste Michelle  Merlot, Columbia Valley, 1996, $13  VG

Well balanced, but quite restrained. Opened up over a couple of hours, with varietal nose and flavors, with that typical soft fruit that make Merlot so enjoyable. Could be exceptional in a couple of years, having the structure to hold up for a while [7/18].

Chateau Megyer  Aszu, Tokaji, 5 Puttonyos, 1988, $20  Exc-

An outstanding white dessert wine, with classic botrytis-style flavors. Rich orange flavors with lots of stuff going on underneath [7/21].

Ravenswood  Zinfandel, Sonoma, Old Hill Vnyd Special Edition, 1986, $25 (auction)  Exc-

One of a kind. Remarkable ripeness and richness in such an old Zin, with complex flavors of all kinds and a powerful nose. Blueberry, earth, shoelaces, and varietal Zin fruit. Defies description, but not enjoyment [7/21].

Estancia  Meritage, Alexandar Valley, 1995, $17  VG+

OK, it's not the '94 or '96, but boy this is a nice bottle of wine, with lovely varietal flavors and balance. Holding up just fine, even in my hot house. This is a Bordeaux-style blend [7/23].

Husch  Gewurztraminer, Anderson Valley, 1997?, $8  VG-

Rich orange flavors with a bit of a bite, perhaps due to being a little too warm [7/24].

Domaine d'Aury Vin de Pays Coteaux des Fenouilledes  , Red Roussillon, 1997, $6.50  G+

Classic French styling, with lots of pepper and earth [7/24].

Domaine Deshenrys  Red, Languedoc, 1996, $8  VG-

Ripe fruit underneath pepper and earth. Quite harmonious [7/24].

Rosemount  Shiraz-Cabernet, Australia, 1998, $6  VG-

Bright, grapey fruit with complementary pepper underneath [7/24].

Ridge  Cabernet Sauvignon, California, 1993, $14  VG-

Something of a disappointment from Ridge. Lacking richness of fruit and balance [8/13].

Landmark  Chardonnay, California, Overlook, 1997, $16  VG

Put together well, but light on the fruit relative to the rich glycerin texture. Not a match for lasat year's Overlook [8/15].

Pulcino  Vino Nobile, Montepulciano, riserva, 1990, $24  VG+

Ultra-ripe cherries and dark earth with a hint of pepper [8/25].

Pulcino  Rosso, Montepulciano, 1998, $9  VG

Grapey, forward, friendly [8/25].

Pulcino  Bianco Vergine Valdichiana, Montepulciano, 1998, $8  G+

Dry, clean, bracing acidity, light on the fruit [8/25].

Ercolai  Vino Nobile, Montepulciano, riserva, 1995, $15  VG-

Fruity, light, a little unbalanced [8/25].

Avignonesi  Vino Nobile, Montepulciano, 1996, $16  VG

Tannic, sound, dusty, restrained fruit. May need time [8/25].

Lombardo  Rosso, Montepulciano, 1998, $6  G

Light and tasteless [8/25].

Tenuta Trerosa  Vino Nobile, Montepulciano, 1996, $12  G+

Light [8/25].

Tenuta Trerosa  Vino Nobile, Montepulciano, ``simposio'', 1996,   VG+

Dark, rich, complex flavors [8/25].

Fanetti  Principesco, ??, 1990,   VG

Ripe, dry cherries; soft [8/25].

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