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2006 Wölffer Estate Noblesse Oblige Rosé – The Hamptons, Long Island

This sparkling rosé, a blend of 54% Pinot Noir and 46% Chardonnay, is tart and elegant. It pours a light peach orange, just barely pigmented. There’s a hint of biscuits, cream, red berries, and lemon zest on the nose. It’s a delicate wine with a mineral backbone and dry notes of peach tea, but still some rich, yeasty brioche flavors—with a dollop of lemon-rosehip marmalade on top. Buoyant mousse and tart acidity, hints of unripe strawberries, green apples, and fennel, make this refreshing wine a winner with food. Try pairing it with lobster rolls or crab quiche. The finish is long, silky, and lingering.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week – 1997 Château Haut-Brion

Tasted with 1997 Cheval Blanc, Château Margaux, and Mouton-Rothschild, the Haut-Brion clearly stood out as the most balanced and complex of this fine lot. Minerality was remarkable. Wet gravel and scorched earth formed the base for red currant, sweet wood, and smoked meat flavors. Tobacco and mint added counterpoints to the mild fruit flavors, clearly giving way to the secondary flavors of a mature Bordeaux. This is ready now and in this down ‘97 vintage unlikely to improve with additional age. If you are in New York, take it to Keen's, order the Mutton Chop, and pay the corkage fee. Don't forget to offer a taste to your waiter (and the envious wine steward).
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1997 Château Haut-Brion – Graves AOC, France

Tasted with 1997 Cheval Blanc, Château Margaux, and Mouton-Rothschild, the Haut-Brion clearly stood out as the most balanced and complex of this fine lot. Minerality was remarkable. Wet gravel and scorched earth formed the base for red currant, sweet wood, and smoked meat flavors. Tobacco and mint added counterpoints to the mild fruit flavors, clearly giving way to the secondary flavors of a mature Bordeaux. This is ready now and in this down ‘97 vintage unlikely to improve with additional age. If you are in New York, take it to Keen's, order the Mutton Chop, and pay the corkage fee. Don't forget to offer a taste to your waiter (and the envious wine steward).
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2006 Santa Quiteria Almansa Loma Gorda – Spain

This is just absurdly good for the price. Blackberry, mulberry, and black cherry all float above a cloud of cigar smoke and tar. There is also a tremendous mineral streak of molten rock. Tannins are taught but smooth. Drink with a pot roast and both will be better for the pairing.
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2004 Carmen Winemaker’s Reserve Red – Maipo Valley, Chile

Slightly vegetal green hints are clear tell-tales of wine from Chile, but they do not overwhelm the nose. It also has loads of menthol, black fruit, and a touch of coconut. Blackberries, menthol, tobacco and green pepper are bound by tight tannins. The second night, it still shows telltale Chile-green. Tannins are smoother but the additional time brought the wood, rather than the fruit, to come to the fore. Vanilla and brown sugar overwhelm blackberries and blueberries in a green pepper cup. Not recommended.