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2009 Valckenberg Madonna Riesling, Kabinett

Just a reminder that “kabinett” does not mean “dry.” Clear, medium lemon yellow in color. Clean aromas of pear, yellow apple, pungent floral, steel wool, wax, and some bandage (Brett). Not sure how I feel about it personally. On the palate it’s off-dry, medium-low acidity, medium body and finish; flavors of overripe peach, applesauce, and candied lemon. Pair with caramelized onion and Gruyère quiche.
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2007 Columbia Crest Two Vines Vineyard 10 Red

Bright, medium-deep intensity, ruby with some purple. On the nose, dark fruit, bramble, blueberry, black cherry, raspberry jam. All fruits are on their way to being cooked, but not stewed. New oak, baking spice, vanilla, some herbs—but not prominent. Dry, medium+ body, medium intensity. Fruits confirmed: black cherry, raspberry, plum, jam. Toasted oak, vanilla, cinnamon, and coffee on the palate. Medium acidity, medium tannin, medium alcohol, medium-long finish. The spice from the oak and some fruit linger. In summary, this is a fairly decent table wine, especially given the price. The finish is really good for a wine that might be presumed to be "low quality." No doubt this is mass-produced, but is an excellent every day wine. I'll definitely buy again.
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2005 Deerfield Ranch Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

A big wine, a full, spicy mouthful of black fruit - blackcurrant and blackberry - and loads of spice - black pepper, white pepper, eucalyptus and toasted maple. Wood treatment is obvious, but the fruit is big enough to balance it out. Tannins are powerful but smooth, showing years of remaining cellar life. Drink with a porterhouse, with the filet side early, and the strip side after it gets some air.
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2009 Long Gamma Cellars White Blend – Sonoma County

The color is a clear, bright pale yellow, with a slight green hue. I had expected the Viognier to dominate the nose with its typical fragrant, floral aromas, but was clearly able to detect the Sauvignon blanc. The hints of grassiness and grapefruit are there, just a bit subdued. Interwoven are subtle citrus, peach, and honey aromas. In the mouth the three varietals meld together splendidly with layers of peach, subtle lime, and green apple. A touch of minerality and wet stone mid palette. Great mouth feel and excellent balance, that ends in a lingering, slightly mouth watering finish, pleasing acidity. Read the full review on Simple Hedonisms.
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1998 Château Sociando-Mallet – Haut Médoc, France

Just beginning to turn brick-red at the edges, but still tasting young. Secondary floral flavors, violets and dried roses are just starting to come out to play with the pencil lead, blackcurrant, and plums, all with a light background of genuine licorice. After a few hours of air it shows greater depth, with some unsweetened chocolate replacing the licorice. Tannins are soft, balanced with acids, and the finish is mid-length. This is drinking very well right now.
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2007 Celler de Capçanes Mas Donís Barrica – Montsant

A pleasant and interesting wine, leading with plum, raspberry, cranberry, and spicy hints of cayenne and thyme. Light tannins and acids are there in good balance. The mid-palate is lacking, dropping from attack to simpler one-dimensional juice, but retaining the peppery pop. It's a good burger and fries wine but a ribeye would knock it out in the first round.
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2007 Domaine de Montcy Cheverny – Loire Valley

Standing alone this is thin and slightly sour, but as a food wine it comes into its own. It has some light red juiciness and a touch of licorice, but the unique and surprising flavor is a sea-spray saltiness. For many this will be a curiosity, and for some it will be a treat. Pair it with dry-rubbed barbecue on a hot afternoon.
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2002 Glenora Cellars Brut – Finger Lakes

With Golden Delicious apples and honey on the nose, this blend of 54% Pinot Noir and 46% Chardonnay is food-friendly but not extremely complex. The flavor is a little musky, with notes of apples, radicchio, a squeeze of lemon, and a delicate nuttiness. The bubbles are a bit bigger than others sampled, making this wine a bit less elegant than other options at this price.