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2008 Clos LaChance Liebeler Vineyard Chardonnay – Santa Cruz

This single vineyard Chardonnay shows clear effect of the 40% new French oak, but wood complements rather than overwhelms. Pear, apple, honeydew melon and some tart pineapple are joined by caramel, smoke, and a surprising kick of white pepper. This would be a perfect pairing with Flounder Francese with Toasted Almonds, Lemon and Capers.
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2007 Bouchaine Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir – Napa Valley

Relatively dark in color, not quite opaque. Flavors are overwhelmingly tart red fruit, barely ripe cherries, wild strawberries, and lots of rhubarb. Sweet wood is there, but barely perceptible behind the tartness. Finish is mid-length, tannins slightly drying. A rich food match might pair well, so try it with a well-sauced duck.
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2008 King Andrews Muscat Blanc – Suisun Valley

The King Andrews Muscat Blanc is, well, muscat. Nothing problematic about it, but nothing particularly attention-grabbing about it, either. If you like the sweet version, however, be forewarned that this is made in a somewhat drier style. The winery describes it as citric with hints of grapefruit and recommends pairing it with thin-sliced pan-grilled turkey breasts.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week – 2005 Amista Cabernet Sauvignon

If you are tired of over-the-top Cabernet and are looking for something with less tannin, you will appreciate this release. Red fruit of blackberry, blackcurrant, plum clove, and berry on the nose. Soft mouth feel, excellent balance, and a pleasant lingering finish on the palate. Layers of complexity. Could be laid down a few more years but certainly approachable and highly drinkable now. For more visit Simple Hedonisms.