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2008 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Édition Limitée Chardonnay

Clear, bright, medium intensity straw yellow. Clean, medium-full intensity aromas: rich yeast roll and oak, caramel, toasted almonds, yellow apple, and Bosc pear. Dry on the palate with medium-full acidity, full bodied, and intense flavors. Yellow apple, pear, lightly toasted nuts, chalk, whte plum confiture, and candied lemon. Long finish. Pair with a creamy pasta dish, heavy on the tarragon and sage. Highly recommended. RR
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2008 Azienda I Greppi Bolgheri Greppicante

This is still a very young wine, softening and adding layers hours after popping the cork. Decant this with lead time and enthusiastic splashing. Otherwise, it will disappoint when first opened, showing a tart to the point of puckering, tannic enough to make the mouth an arid desert. Three hours later, the cabernet aromas and flavors are shining through, with blackcurrant, black berry, leather, and a touch of tar, along with very pretty violet florals. It remains tight and high-toned after several hours of air. Save for at least another five years, though ten is recommended. Drink with a well-marbled ribeye steak. Highly Recommended. DH
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2008 Naveran Dama Cava

A champagne-style sparkling wine, made in the traditional method in the Cava region of Spain. When first poured, amidst some caramel-toffee there’s a faint pear note in the aroma. Pear flavors deepen on the palate while the wine is very cold, with a mild, round, fruitiness. There’s little apparent acidity until the wine begins to warm in the glass, then its lemon-wrapped tartness comes through on the palate and in the finish. Recommended. BSE
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2008 Domaine La Blaque Coteaux de Pierrevert

Blackberries, briars, black pepper, and nutmeg waft up from the glass. On the palate blackberries, real licorice, pecan shells and soy make a complex array of flavors. The finish lingers. Tannins are still very tight - this would benefit from a few more years. Drink with pepper steak. A sophisticated wine at a simple price. Recommended. DH
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2008 Kirkland Meritage

If you live near a Costco you know where this is going. “Kirkland” is Costco’s proprietary brand for everything from soup to nuts (and I mean that literally). They market a “Kirkland Signature Wine Collection” whereby they slap their own label on wines, and some of them are quite good and represent excellent value. This Meritage is a classic Bordeaux blend. The nose is slightly herbal and gives off whiffs of boysenberry and cedar. The flavors are of blackberry and there is perhaps a shade too much oak. The merlot comes on strong, almost overtaking the cabernet sauvignon, but the fruit is quite nice. A tad one-dimensional, but still very pleasant, and an absolute bargain for the price and quality. Nice with simple grilled meats. Recommended. GT
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2008 Castello Vicchiomaggio “Vigna La Prima” Chianti Classico Riserva

A wine so rich, and so expressive of the essence of the region I told John Matta it should be called “Eaux de Tuscany” (the French not withstanding). Deep, dark purpose, almost opaque, with a nose of smoke and truffles. Highly concentrated flavors of ripe blackberries with soft tannins. Absolutely luscious and the star of the trip as far as everyone was concerned. Certainly the finest expression of a great Chianti I have ever tasted. Drink with pasta with meat ragù or grilled T-bone. Very highly recommended. GT