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2008 Penley Estate “Phoenix” Cabernet Sauvignon

The color is inky dark with maroon edges. The nose is lightly jammy blackcurrant with a background of vanilla and eucalyptus. The palate is more harsh than the nose. Blackcurrant leads, along with some vegetal tobacco leaf as well a higher tones of mint and eucalyptus. It does not show a lot of development from attack through mid-palate to finish, ending with some brown sugar and vanilla from wood. At this price point it is very competitive with California cabernets, showing a more deft hand with wood flavors than is usually seen in the under-$15 crowd, as well as some acid to keep it food-friendly. Drink with a skirt steak. For the price, Recommended. DH
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Light Drinking During Pregnancy: What Recent Studies Do — and Do Not — Tell Us

The media has, in general, done a poor job of reporting on studies regarding alcohol intake during pregnancy. When the media over-interprets some studies it sends an unwarranted message that "drinking during pregnancy might be beneficial." When the media over-interprets other studies it sends an unwarranted bit of hyperbole - some might say fear-mongering - that can lead pregnant women to consider abortion. More research can only help our understanding. No amount of research is likely to ever discover a "safe threshold", and therefore women looking for a green light to drink during pregnancy will not - and should not - receive one from the medical community.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2005 Kilikanoon Cabernet Sauvignon “Blocks Road”

A nice offering from Down Under. Nose is stubbornly tight at first, but then yields notes of cassis, cedar, and green pepper. Generous fruit on the palate, with restrained tannins and overtones of juicy blackberries and chocolate with oak floating throughout. Finish is clean, albeit not languorous. Have it with steak with a red wine mushroom sauce. Recommended. GT
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2005 Kilikanoon Cabernet Sauvignon “Blocks Road”

A nice offering from Down Under. Nose is stubbornly tight at first, but then yields notes of cassis, cedar, and green pepper. Generous fruit on the palate, with restrained tannins and overtones of juicy blackberries and chocolate with oak floating throughout. Finish is clean, albeit not languorous. Have it with steak with a red wine mushroom sauce. Recommended. GT