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2008 Renato Ratti Dolcetto d’Alba Colombe

The wine is light, fruity, and tart. The fruits are all red, raspberry, cranberry, and a little sour cherry. It also has some warm, toasty flavors from light use of wood, and a bit of cinnamon. Tannins are very light, but present. Acid, on the other hand, is there by the bucketful, giving a tingling, almost effervescent sensation. Drink with roasted chestnuts.
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2008 Coca I Fito

Here is a elegant and earthy red from Spain’s Catalonian region and the Montsant D.O. Very tight when first opened, with aromas of bittersweet chocolate and black tea. It gives up its secrets slowly and you’ll be rewarded by keeping it in the glass and returning to it. It slowly opens up on the palate with layers of dark blackberries and spice (cumin, for one). This wine would work well with grilled kebabs or even Indian food.
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2008 Reginato “CJR” Blanc de Blancs

The Chenin Blanc's contribution is apparent in this sparkling wine of medium-light golden yellow, with a floral, cedar-spice nose. There's a moderate mousse - no heavy bubbling action, but persistent small bubbles. It is somewhat fruity in the mouth, with low apparent acidity in the flavor, yet a fairly long, fruity finish, ending with the acidity that was in there all along. This is a wine to drink with a meal. Try it with the classic dishes that go with Chardonnay but don't hesitate to pair it with more with aromatic dishes such as Moroccan-spiced chicken.
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2008 Monthaven Cabernet Sauvignon

This is one of several releases in the Octavin Home Wine Bar system. The wine in a box, billed as eco-friendly, delivers the equivalent of four standard bottles of wine. This is a blend with minute quantities of other grapes from several parts of California's Monterey and Paso Robles areas. The wine has a deep purple color with hints of blackberry and raspberry. It is a very light-flavored glass of cabernet but no finish for the serious drinker. This wine stayed consistent from week one to week six as promised by the company.
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2008 Rodney Strong Zinfandel Knotty Vines Estate Vineyard

A big, rich, oaky, Sonoma Zinfandel, this has huge oak, generous blackberries and black cherries sprinkled liberally with coarse black pepper and shavings of baker's chocolate. The finish drops off quickly. It scored a three out of five stars at the Palate Press Grand Tasting. This wine will overpower anything but the biggest, most flavorful meats and sauces. Giant, Flintstones-sized beef ribs with a great rub and sauce carmelized on for just the last twenty minutes or so will do the job.
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2008 Valentin Bianchi Chardonnay Famiglia Bianchi

This wine did not fare well in the Palate Press Grand Tasting, scoring only two stars out of five. The wine tastes of a laboratory, not a vineyard. Oak treatment is obvious. The classic apple of chardonnay appears here more like apple flavoring that apples from a tree. The finish falls off quickly, followed by a bitter after-taste. Not recommended.
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2008 Razor’s Edge Shiraz

For those who fear wine websites only review wines they like, a tit-for-tat deal to ensure the steady flow of free samples, read on. Stewed cherries, black raspberries, and artificial vanilla flavor create a mish-mash that cannot be recommended. The Palate Press Grand Tasting panel awarded this an overly-generous two out of five stars.