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2005 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch, Cherry Ridge Syrah

The nose has ground espresso and cocoa powder, blackberries, and some leather. The palate comes at you with waves of flavors. Blackberries and coffee, plums, all make up the attack. Fruits sweeten on the mid-palate, adding some blueberry to the blackberry. The espresso changes to unsweetened cocoa. There is interesting minerality the expands from the attack through the finish. Leather shows up at the end of the mid-palate and lingers with black fruit on the finish. This is really good wine. It is not Aussie Shiraz, all jammy fruit. It is also not Northern Rhone Syrah, all earth and olives. This has good fruit, earthy coffee and chocolate, and great terroir minerality. For David's full two day review visit his blog, 2 Days per Bottle.
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2008 Y. Rousseau Old Vines Colombard, Russian River Valley

Made from 100% French Colombard, this wine was totally dry, but still succulent (a neat trick), made by Yannick Rousseau, who grew up in an area of France where he learned wine making, and where the first wine he made from from Colombard. The wine has a striking aroma of fresh herbs, stone fruit, and a touch of spice, and the wine's balance is impeccable. Not your average Colombard!
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2005 St. Supéry Napa Valley Dollarhide Limited Edition Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

The dense, dark garnet color was enlivened in the nose by fresh garden herbs, forest leaves and a black and red fruit complexity, complemented by the more savory loam, anise and truffle notes. The palate is where the complexity of this wine truly shined, with deep layers of the fruit medley from the nose and wonderful balance of the full, smooth mouthfeel, with the hint of oak underneath and ripe, round tannins with good acidity. It is a phenomenal combination of outstanding fruit and nuanced winemaking.
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2006 Aver Family ‘Blessings’ Estate-Grown Petite Sirah

Why write about a wine already sold out? Well, as the new kid on the block, Aver Family Vineyards is doing great things. But it is all in small lots. Their 2006 100% Estate grown Petite Sirah 'Blessings' is reason enough to get on their mailing list! Rich and deep, this wine shows finesse with a lovely balance of dark cane fruit and acid. The tannins are firm, but well rounded. The finish is very long. One of the best expressions of this often poorly served grape in California. Just as Pinotage surprisingly found a home in the Lodi area, the Santa Clara Valley, a historically important wine growing area but lately overlooked, may be among a handful of places where Petite Sirah excels. Check out the Aver Family! http://www.averfamilyvineyards.com/
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2006 Unti Vineyards – Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley

This wine is actually a blend: 88% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Syrah and 3% Barbera. And what a marvelous blend it is – a refined wine that might even be a bit sophisticated for a Super Bowl party, but an indulgence I surely wouldn’t forgo. Yes, I did decant it and I was glad to have done so, as it allowed the wine to unfold in the most beautiful way. The aromas swirling in the glass are seductive enough to make you close your eyes as you take it all in – it’s all about dark fruit, cherry and vanilla. In the mouth, though, the fruit intensifies while subtle notes of spice and anise are revealed. The wine pairs perfectly with the chili, but it’s one you’ll want to keep sipping long after the meal is over. Winemaker Mick Unti says he wishes he could make Zinfandel like this every year… and so, I’m quite sure, will you! Check out the full article on Big Chili and Bold Wines.
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2007 Joel Gott, Zinfandel, Mohr-Fry Ranches, Lodi

This small-production bottling of 60- to 85-year-old vines from the Mohr-Fry ranches is simply spectacular. One sniff of this wine and I was seduced! Deep aromas of dark berry, currant and mocha make you want to sink your nose deeper in your glass, until the urge to taste it takes over. A gorgeous mouthful: this is a beautiful, smooth and complex wine with dark, juicy fruit notes up front and clove, cedar and even a hint of roasted coffee in the finish. The marvelous thing here is that the wine picks up all the roasted spices and the smokiness of the chili, making them come alive with every bite. Check out the full article on Big Chili and Bold Wines.