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Zymé 2007 Valpolicella Classico Superiore

Celestino Gaspari, the late Giuseppe Quintarelli’s son-in-law, was also seen as his heir apparent in the winery, before he struck on his own and openend Zymé, his own estate, in 2003. One can imagine that the obligatory reference to the former master of the Veneto will fade away with time, if the wines are all as good as his 2007 Valpolicella Classico Superiore. Precise, remarkably balanced and complex, this is not a light pizza wine with simple tart cherry flavors. Think of it more as an Amarone without the partial drying of grapes. It has the dried cherry, spice and tobacco profile that one would expect from an Amarone, but with the freshness and friendly fruitiness of a Valpolicella – all that with a depth and length that is truly remarkable. Better yet, it kept improving over four days after opening, hinting that this bottle could keep going for a good number of years. Highly recommended. RC.
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2007 Sartori Valpolicella Classico Superiore Vigneti di Montgradella

The nose offers up leather, raspberries, and black pepper. It opens on the palate with leather and raspberry, with a dusty mineral background. It moves from black raspberry to black cherry, then tart cherry, on the mid-palate. Medium tannins and juicy red fruits linger through a mid-length finish. This is a food friendly wine at a wallet friendly price. Drink with anything involving red meat and marinara. Recommended.DH
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2007 Pierre Gaillard Faugères “Transhumance”

Cows and sheep trekking down from the mountains have nothing to do with the “Transhumance” name of the wine; instead it’s the winemaker himself who makes the journey from the Northern Rhone down to the Languedoc region in the south of France. There, he has produced an earthy, smoky, syrah-based wine. A bit of the wild landscape there shows in a splash of minty herbs that appear toward the tail end of the aromas and drift into the flavors, to accompany the smoldering deep red berries that persist into the finish. Nice, hearty, integrated tannins in this five-year-old wine. Recommended. BSE.
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2007 Castello di Nipozzano Mormoretto

For Mormoretto’s 25th anniversary, the Frescobaldi family has created a vivid super-Tuscan style blend. Beginning with violets, tobacco and wild herbs in the aroma. On the palate, nice targeted tannins are curled around the blended flavors of fruit and leather. This wine is just beginning to come into its own, and tastes like it will develop further as it ages. Recommended. BSE
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2007 Bodegas San Alejandro Garnacha Calatayud Las Rocas

Very bright red fruits, straightforward, not incredibly complex, but well-balanced. High acid and good minerality make a very food-friendly wine. Cherries and cranberries are the lead fruits with some raspberry showing on the mid-palate along with a very light herbal touch. This is a red wine for chicken, but stick with the dark meat. Recommended. DH
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2007 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

In the nose, a touch of green pepper and eucalyptus, then nice spice appears. Also, a touch of sweetness, cotton candy surrounding the light fruit on the palate. Tannins open up a bit over the course of a half-hour or so, but the wine remains restrained and so light as to disappear in the mouth when paired with food. Recommended with reservations. BSE