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2007 Emblem Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

Dusty dark fruit in the aroma at first, then vanilla. Opens up to be rich and buttery, with a touch of char on the fruit, like burnt sugar. Over all well balanced with moderate tannins and respectable structure. A bit of acidity apparent in the medium-long finish, too. Recommended. BSE
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2006 Mendel Unus Malbec

Definite luscious cabernet in the nose, dusty earthy and some minty eucalyptus in both nose and flavor. Smooth mouthfeel. Lighter on end-palate and in finish. Firm structure and moderate, well-integrated tannins. I would recommend aerating and/or decanting before drinking – which I did, but it remained a little too restrained for my taste. Recommended with reservations. BSE
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2005 Swinto Old Vines Malbec

Made from 100-year-old vines, this Malbec is gentle and pleasing. The nose has dry earth notes, and the flavor a slight spiciness. Dark berry compote with candied plum and burnt sugar, hints of cocoa, tobacco. Tinny tannins but a floral finish. Rounds out nicely with time Aerate and/or decant before serving. Recommended. BSE
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2008 Gauchezco Oro Malbec

The “Oro” is the reserve Malbec, and it’s a restrained version of the regular Malbec in the Gauchezco line. Here, there’s a very slight aroma of blackberry and leaf. Spicy, dark, cooked cherry on the palate, transitioning to milder dark red fruit in end palate and finish. Cocoa notes. Light, integrated tannins. Remember to open a half-hour before drinking, or decant or aerate first. Recommended. BSE
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2009 le Jaja de Jau Sauvignon Blanc

It has a light nose, with fresh, sweet herbs. At first it feels light on the palate, but it settles into a solidly medium mouththfeel. Citrusy, too, with a somewhat short finish and a moderate amount of acidity around the edges through the end. Only 11.5% alcohol, but this wine acquires more depth with foods such as salads and fish. Recommended. BSE
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1997 Kathryn Kennedy Cabernet Sauvignon

The wine began with blackberry and leaf, an elegant nose with a touch of eucalyptus. Very smooth mouthfeel. At first it was light on the palate, with a bit of plum, with flavors diminishing then rising again, another touch of eucalyptus. More than half an hour after pouring, with a refresh from the decanter, the wine had deepening plum flavors and tannins emerging. A light finish. Final word: damson. Recommended, but drink now. BSE
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Palate Press Wine of the Week (August 22-26): 2008 Stoller Vineyards Chardonnay

The grapes from this vineyards also end up in several other prestigious Oregon Chardonnays, so I was eager to try this. The aromas are light, floral, almond shell, and the flavors solidly reminiscent of a good, medium weight white Burgundy. There’s a lemony vein throughout that gets stronger in the finish. Touches of vanilla, oak, and cedar spice emerge as the wine warms in the glass. Recommended. BSE