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Open That Bottle Night Wine of the Week: 1975 Château Citran

One always wonders if a wine of this age has anything left to impart. This does. Good high neck fill on the bottle. Lively dark brick color but still nice hues. Leathery, snuff-box, and dried black cherries on the nose unfold in the nose. In the glass and on the palate, whispers of spice like turmeric and black cloves. The fruit is like an aging dowager of faded glory but still a residue of charm left. Finishes surprisingly long. Of some historic interest as it was made before the original family sold the property to a Japanese concern in 1987. In keeping with the wine itself, should be drunk while watching the fading twilight of the day.
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1975 Château Citran

One always wonders if a wine of this age has anything left to impart. This does. Good high neck fill on the bottle. Lively dark brick color but still nice hues. Leathery, snuff-box, and dried black cherries on the nose unfold in the nose. In the glass and on the palate, whispers of spice like turmeric and black cloves. The fruit is like an aging dowager of faded glory but still a residue of charm left. Finishes surprisingly long. Of some historic interest as it was made before the original family sold the property to a Japanese concern in 1987. In keeping with the wine itself, should be drunk while watching the fading twilight of the day.
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2007 Château La Caussade

Interesting, and a terrific bargain. Lemon curd leads in the attack, followed by honeyed oak and white flowers. Leafy spices appear on the finish, marjoram and a touch of sage. The finish is more tart than the palate, the acids giving it a solid backbone. His would be very nice with scallops, and even better with a salty ham. Recommended for taste and value.
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2004 Domaine de l’Oratoire St Martin Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne Cuvée Prestige

This is a very nice bottle of wine, and it has improved with time in the cellar. When the first bottle was opened in 2008 the nose was shy, refusing to give up its secrets without several hours of decanting. Now, after two additional years of rest, it sings. Leather and a touch, a light touch, of barnyard cradle layers of different cherries all sprinkled with white pepper and a spray of foam from an Atlantic wave. Hide this wine in a blind tasting of Chateauneufs and nobody will question its place in the lineup. Drink with steak au poivre.
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2005 Château Fleur Haut Gaussens

This Bordeaux Supérior seems to be hitting its stride, reaching a peak drinking window after five years. Blackberries, black cherry, and some cured meat lead the attack, followed by surprising and light spearmint. Tannins are firm, but not overpowering, ready to pair with a steak. Acids are in balance. It is slightly simple, lacking secondary and tertiary waves of flavor, but still offers far more than anybody could expect at the price point, and does it as a true balanced Bordeaux blend, rather than a blast of fruit and wood. At this price point, this is a great wine to drink, not with the finest prime meat a great steak house can offer, but with a choice New York strip steak from the local butcher.
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NV Moutard Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée

Medium mousse, with bright apple flavors and a toasted bread yeasty background. Soft citrus flavors, Meyer lemon and Valencia orange peel, appear on the mid-palate and surpass the apple on the finish. This is very pretty wine at a reasonable price, but lacks layers of flavors found in great Champagnes. Drink with stone crabs.
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2006 Capatosta Poggio Argentiera Morellino di Scansano DOC

This is not a wine: this is an icon of Maremma Toscana! The grapes are mainly from old Sangiovese clones, with high density planting and extremely limited production, which give the wine ruby coloration in the glass, and a bouquet of dark flowers (violet) and spice (pepper, cinnamon, cloves) but also with a nuance of chocolate. In the mouth it is fresh, with good acidity, still fruity, with smooth tannins. A very elegant and drinkable wine, perfect with grilled red meals.
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2006 Black Pearl Vineyards Oro

Opaque purple in the glass, with a nose of chocolate, smoked bacon, and nutmeg. (Chocolate and bacon is a great combination, in fact.) Opens up tantalizingly but with great promise on the palate, with long, expressive flavors of black currant and nuts, perhaps pistachios. The Shiraz and Cabernet are in fine balance, ending in a languorous finish. A really splendid wine. Try it with really good, true, smoky BBQ brisket (which may be as difficult to find, or more so, than the wine if you are outside of Texas.)