Continued 2001 Tasting Notes

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Villa Mt. Eden  Zinfandel, California, 1997, $9  VG- ``Old Vines''

Yum. Fruity and hot on the alcohol (15%), this was a pleasant quaff. Not complicated, but rich and spicy. A fine complement to a meal [2/20].

Gallo of Sonoma  Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, 1998, $8  G+

Sound, but a bit light on the fruit [2/22].

De Loach  Zinfandel, California, 1998, $7.25/glass  G+

Light, sweet, undistinguished [2/23].

Hooper's  Vintage Port, Portugal, 1984, $12  G+

Sound, with pleasant fruit and typical port spice and heat, but somewhat light in color and flavor. Hard to complain at this price, though [2/23].

Wild Horse  Zinfandel, Paso Robles, 1997, $12  G+

Not super rich or flavorful, so it comes across a little acidic, almost citrus. A bit of dirt on the nose and finish gives it some dimension [2/25].

Atlas Peak  Sangiovese, Napa, 1997, $11  VG-

Bright, fruity, uncomplex [2/28].

Piedras  Syrah, South Coast, 1998, $14  VG-

Dark varietal fruit, earth, tobacco, and a touch of sweetness. A score for Temecula [3/2].

Bott Freres  Gewurztraminer, Alsace, Reserve Personelle, 1998, $18  VG+

Silky and sweet, with Sauterne tones with some tar on the finish. Lovely Sauterne nose [3/2].

Trimbach  Gewurztraminer, Alsace, 1998, $14  VG

Sweet, focussed Gewurz fruit, silky texture [3/2].

Dow's  Tawny Port, Portugal, 10 year, $20  VG

Very sound, quite pleasant, but nothing distinguishing [3/2].

Rabbit Ridge  Zinfandel, California, 1999, $9  G+

Very interesting. Bright fruit, oak, spice, and herbs, but rather unformed at this stage [3/6].

Buena Vista  Zinfandel, California, 1999, $6  G+

Not all G+'s are created equal. This is darned good. Nice Zin fruit, albeit light and formulaic [3/13].

Cline  Syrah, California, 1999, $8  VG-

This is up for value of the year. Delicious, pure berry flavors, a bit of earth and other mysterious things. Lovely [3/15].

Buena Vista  Zinfandel, California, 1998, $6  G

No match for the 1999, this is lighter and greener [3/20].

Caparone  Sangiovese, Paso Robles, 1998, $8  Fair-

This is the worst wine I've had in a long time. Little fruit and tons of vanilla oak, perhaps artificially flavored [3/22].

Ridge  Zinfandel, Sonoma Station, 1998, $15?  VG

Hey, in a tough year, go with the blue-chips. This wine is ripe, soft, dark, and mysterious. Everything you look for in a Zin [3/23].

Chateau Souverain  Zinfandel, Dry Creek Va., 1997, $10  VG-

Chateau Souverain is one of my favorite wineries, but their Zin's do not top my list. Even now, still possessing significant structure and a touch green and oaky. Certain not an embarrassment [3/24].

La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi CA Sangiovese 1997 $40 (rest.) VG

Quite fine. Rich berry fruit with Sangiovese acidity without being grapey. Definitely some interesting things going on [3/26].

Ravenswood  Zinfandel, Amador, 1998, $13  VG

Not their best effort, but 1998 was a tough year. Nice fruit, but a little chewy and tannic on its own. With food, it balances out nicely. I imagine this could improve over time as the tannins soften [4/14].

Spelltich  Zinfandel, Shenandoah, 1999, $20  Exc-

Yowza! Now that is wine. Hedonistic, complex, fruity, earthy, o-my-god [4/20].

Beaulieu  Zinfandel, Napa, 1999, $10  VG

Bright, tannic berry fruit. Lively [4/25].

Morgan  Zinfandel, Napa, 1997, $15 (half bottle, rest.)  VG+

This is the most elegant Zin I've ever had, slipping down my throat like a Pinot Noir, but with that forward, lively Zin fruit that I so love [4/27].

Kempton Clark  Zinfandel, Cucamonga Valley, Lopez Ranch, 1997, $8  VG

Dark, ripe fruit, approaching pruney, and mysterious. No hint of oak here [4/30].

Cline  Zinfandel, California, 1999, $7  VG

Rustic, explosive, young Zinfandel fruit makes for a very compelling quaff. But this is no bright, fruity wine; it possesses a dark, surprisingly dense fruit. As good as it is alone, it is even better with food. Maybe the best wine bargain I've ever experienced [5/17].

Lindemans  Shiraz, South Eastern Australia, Bin 50, 1999, $6.50  G+

Nothing remarkable, nothing offensive. Light, but not a lightweight [5/21].

Yalumba  Museum Muscat, Australia, NV, $12 (375ml)  Exc-

Orange and caramel flavors combine for a suberb after dinner drink. Sophisticated and unique [5/20].

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