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2008 Twomey Cellars Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

he most open and evolved of Twomey's 2008 Pinot Noirs, this Russian River Valley ruby red beauty surprises with sunny orange peel on the nose opening up to ripe cherries. Soft with a zing on the front of the palate, opening up to berries and balanced acidity. Finish with a soft yet zingy finish. A perfect balance of yin and yang. Sister winery of Napa Valley's Silver Oak, Twomey Cellars is located in Calistoga. Read more at Another Wine Blog.
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2007 Laurel Glen Za Zin

This is not a wine for the delicate or unsuspecting. Raspberry, mocha, unsweetened chocolate and wax are all rolled up on the end of a wooden stave, which somebody is about to sneak up behind you with and beat you over the head. That might be the 15.5% alcohol at work. Pairing recommendations? None. Drink this as a snack.
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2007 Freeman Akiko’s Cuvee Pinot Noir, Sonoma

Elegant and sophisticated, this wine takes a bit of coaxing to open up. Patience rewards with a nose of luscious ripe plums and dark berries with a sassafras twist. The color is a vivid shade of red. Supple on the palate, warm musk complements the deep fruit, with a tingle of cola on the end. Hints of rose petals taper to a lingering finish. A more detailed review about this wine and the winery is available here on Another Wine Blog.
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2007 Freeman Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Bright garnet in color, the nose reminds us of freshly fallen autumn leaves, dark cherry and a hint of cola. On the palate, we tasted more cherry, red raspberry and earthy mushroom with toasty oak. Pleasant minerality with a medium finish, this is a very nice young wine that possesses plenty of structure for aging. A more detailed review about this wine and the winery is available here on Another Wine Blog.
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2006 Deerfield Ranch Old Vine Zinfandel, Buchignani/Garcia Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley

The nose is a load of blueberries, chocolate, tobacco - and fresh pecan pie, straight from the oven. All of a sudden, it was autumn, and I was diving into a moist pile of leaves in my front yard. That sweet, bold earth scent filled my mouth, and the finish had a plum and cherry chutney element that reminded me of a holiday in Chicago - trees lit up, walking the Miracle Mile and stopping for a hot apple cider.
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2005 Earthquake Petite Sirah, Lodi

This big fruit bomb delivers powerful blackberry and spice with an alcohol punch at 15.5 percent. They have too much fun with the name "it will rock your world, etc." but it's big wine. Fruit bomb has become a derisive term used by lots of wine writers. This is definitely a fruit bomb, but what's wrong with that? Wouldn't it be boring if they were all the same! If you like big wine, its hard not to like Earthquake. Read Howard’s full review on his blog Grape Sense.
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2004 Dry Creek Vineyards Endeavour Cabernet Sauvignon

A fantastic wine that will beat the pants off of Cali Cabs with significant price multiples. A strident example of a wine achieving balance between fruit and earth and short-term drinkability versus long-term cellaring. The complex nose of blackberry, dusty earth with hints of soy and mint gives way to a total palate experience with dark fruits, chocolate, graphite and an earthy, incredible finish. Now is the time to buy this one—discounts galore on the Internet make finding one of the bottles from just 749 cases a screaming opportunity.
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2007 Matthiasson’s Napa Valley White

It made my palate do a double-take head-fake. It’s a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Ribolla Gialla, and Semillon. Yes, Ribolla gialla (even though I’m a Wine Century Club member, I still needed to look that one up). It’s a funky wine, in that it’s tropical, racy, and spicy all at once – I told Steve that it reminded me of the interesting white blends that were coming out of Australia a few years back, before they started sending us in the States boatloads of their plonk." For more detail see The 1WineDude Top 10 Most Interesting Wines of 2009 and 'Burgh Wine, By Way of Napa (An Encounter with Matthiasson's Current Releases).