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2009 Domaine Debray Bourgogne Hautes Côtes-de-Beaune

A true low-alcohol Bourgogne for half the price of a tooth-staining California pinot, this shows true balance and minerality. Strawberries, some raspberries, and damp black earth shoveled over hot coals show on the nose. On the palate the fruit is more muted, hinting at a dumb phase calling for a couple of years in the cellar. Raspberries and strawberries, in that order, still show, but they have equal billing with smoky earth and leafy spices, sage and marjoram. The taste of fresh-licked river stone comes out with bright acids and cranberry on the finish. There is a lot of complexity here, particularly for the price, and it should reward patience in the cellar. Drink with pork loin. Recommended. DH
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2005 Chateau Arnauld

A very moderately priced Bordeaux, particularly for one from the “Vintage of the Century.” It is also still rather young, evidenced by how much better it showed on the second night. The nose shows blackcurrant, cedar, and tobacco leaf. The taste on the palate is far richer than the aromas on the nose. It leads with blackcurrant, cedar, and mocha, with tart cherries, even a touch of cranberry, and dark chocolate, all showing on the mid-palate. Clearly an old-world wine, high acids and dusty tannins to match offer a food-paring wine, rather than a snack in a glass. Drink with a rib-eye or a great burger. Recommended. DH
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2007 Pierre Gaillard Faugères “Transhumance”

Cows and sheep trekking down from the mountains have nothing to do with the “Transhumance” name of the wine; instead it’s the winemaker himself who makes the journey from the Northern Rhone down to the Languedoc region in the south of France. There, he has produced an earthy, smoky, syrah-based wine. A bit of the wild landscape there shows in a splash of minty herbs that appear toward the tail end of the aromas and drift into the flavors, to accompany the smoldering deep red berries that persist into the finish. Nice, hearty, integrated tannins in this five-year-old wine. Recommended. BSE.
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2008 Rene Lequin-Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Clos Devant

This is a single vineyard, Clos Devant,white Burgundy from Chassagne Montrachet. It is translucent, with a light golden hue. The noise has an apple pie and caramel sweetness with a lovely white flower bouquet. The palate offers up rich flavors, starting with baked apples, adding creme brûlée and Meyer Lemon on the mid-palate, all with underlying toast and smoke. Gardenias, sweet lemon, and creme brûlée linger on the lasting finish. Acids are very good. This is a good food wine or a delicious sipper. Drink with grilled swordfish. Very Highly Recommended. DH.