Petite Fleur Zinfandel, Napa, 1997, $9 VG-
At first a bit corky, this wine was much improved the following day. Pretty much a fruit bomb, but still possessing character that has Zinfandel written all over it [12/3].
Marietta Old Vine Rine, California, Eighteen, $7 $7
This is the last bottle remaining from our vertical ranging from Lot Number Eighteen to Twenty Four. This last was a worthy anchor, soft fruit, almost jammy, with hints of herbs and earth. It's astonishing to me that such an inexpensive wine could age so well [12/9].
Kopke Tawny Port, Portugal (Douro), 10 Year, $26 VG+
Not as rich or extraordinary as the Galway Pipe, this is still a splendid production. Sweet and nutty, with a touch red color. Particularly enjoyable with a chocolate dessert, which brings out its lovely nutty character [12/9].
Mouton Cadet Red Bordeaux, Bordeaux, 1995, G+
Soft, light fruit and earth. Standard French commercial styling [12/15].
Stuhlmuller Vineyards Chardonnay, Alexander Valley, 1998, VG
Initially bursting with fruit, as it warmed up, toasted oak flavors came to to the fore. Quite nice [12/15].
Zingaro Zinfandel, Mendocino, 1998, $12 VG-
A bit tight at the outset, a couple of nights in the bottle turned this into a fine production [12/22].
Chateau Souverain Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, 1998, $10 G+
Tannic and not that generous. A disappointment from one of my favorite wineries [12/23].
Kenwood Zinfandel, Lodi, 1998, G+
Tannic yet overripe, with pruny flavors. An uneven if interesting production [12/25].
Ruffino Chianti Classico, Chianti, Riserva Ducale, 1993, VG-
Dry and oaky with thin fruit. Better than average for a Chianti. Improved by sitting a couple of nights after opening, developing a rich tarry, oily flavor component to the fruit [12/27].
Lindemans Chardonnay, South East Australia, Bin 55, 1998, VG-
A delicious bargain wine made in the international style: vanilla American oak and rich fruit, with no unusual flavors [12/29].
Beringer Chardonnay, Napa, Private Reserve, 1997, VG
Very interesting and intense. Fruit, french oak (no vanilla here!), and acidity were competing for attention. It did not match well with food (turkey); we may have drunk it a little early [12/25].
Beringer Chardonnay, California, Founder's Estate, 1998, VG-
A very pleasant "international" production. Creamy vanilla oak and rich fruit with low acidity [12/30].
Moet and Chandon Champagne, Champagne, Dom Perignon, 1993, VG+
This most famous Champagne was quite delicious, with lots of flavor and movement. Fruit, nuts, cheese, and even a mysterious herbal streak [12/30].