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2006 Summers Ranch Knights Valley Reserve Merlot

Complex and familiar aromas, elements of black cherry, no make that black currant, with leather too, and leaf and forest underneath; the same on the palate, too. Good body, integrated tannins, and a medium-long finish. I made notes, then whisked the bottle off the table so I could try it again the next day. Yes, it really delivered, once again. At dinner, it worked especially well with garlicky beef.
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2007 V. Sattui Winery Cabernet Franc

Another star of the Palate Press Grand Tasting, earning a consensus four out of five stars and introducing many of our guests to Cabernet Franc. It was a lean, powerful Cabernet Franc, exhibiting the typical tobacco under clean blackberries and light but clear tannins. This will continue to age nicely for several years. Drink with New York strip steak. It is a particularly good choice for those who prefer their meat medium or more, rather than rare.
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Forget Napa, Head for Sonoma

Napa Valley is noted for its abundance of wineries, wine tastings, warm/hot climate (even in winter), lavish restaurants, and compact access to literally dozens of wineries—currently numbered at over 700. But, with notoriety also comes popularity. Let’s face it—in the summer and fall, Napa is a zoo of tourists and locals. The two main thoroughfares, St. Helena Highway (Route 29) and the Silverado Highway, are usually jammed with vehicles, as are the tasting rooms.