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2010 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare

Another wine, a rosé this time, in Randall Grahm’s own idiosyncratic style. Lovely nose of strawberry, melon, and flowers with a hint of vanilla at the back. Very expressive on the palate, especially for a rosé, with sweet but not cloying fruit notes, with a spine of acid and mineral running through it. Finishes long and clean. Not a wuss rosé and may be just the thing for your summer guests who are rosé-shy (if, like me, they’ve been subjected to too much bad rosé). Try with grilled shrimp. Highly recommended.
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2009 Ridge Geyserville

The bottle says 14.5% alcohol. My nose and eyeballs suspect if might be well north of 15%. This is a big wine, with brawny red fruits, a bowl of mixed cherries ranging from barely ripe to nearly black and strawberries to match, fighting it out with blackberries in a ring made of American Oak, refereed by a box of raisins. Sweet dusty tannins abound, but there is enough acid to match. This might settle down and blend together with a few years in the cellar. It is more a stand-alone snack than a food wine, but if you must, match it with a very sloppy cheese steak sandwich. Recommended.
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2007 Les Breteches du Château Kefraya

A slightly dusty-looking brickish red. Aroma is of brick dust and freshly tilled earth, dried cherries, and cocoa powder. Rough tannins hover across the early- and mid-palate and linger on the (moderately long) finish. Beneath the tannins, dried cherry and clove notes add to a profile that is surprisingly light and freshened by plenty of acidity. Overall impression is raspy and astringent, but flavorful and reasonably well-rounded. This would be splendid with smoked trout or a substantial grilled fish like mahi or swordfish, or with a vegetarian entree laden with lots of garlic and a bit of cream.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2007 Ortman Cuvee Eddy, 02 Series

Red Rhône blend. Dark red/purple color. Nose of blueberry, black fruit, touch of smoke, and meat. Bright red berry fruit on the palate. There are times when I want something layered and complex, to pull apart and mull over. Other times I want a wine I can just open, quaff and enjoy. Pleasant, fruit expressive, enjoyable red blend that goes down quite nicely alone, sitting on the couch with a book or a movie. Straightforward, easy to drink, and balanced. Its versatility would pair it well with most meats, many pastas, or even a burger or BBQ. Read the extended review on Simple Hedonisms.
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2008 Bosman Adama

A rather fascinating red blend from South Africa. A wine that is fat but racy enough that it doesn’t have to go on a diet. A big nose of smoke, bacon fat, and blackberries. Follows through with vanilla and cumin notes and nice tannic structure on the intrigued taste buds. Like all good shows, ends with a big finish. If there ever was a wine to go with BBQ spareribs, this is it, to my (admittedly subjective) way of thinking.
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2007 Ortman Cuvee Eddy, 02 Series

Red Rhône blend. Dark red/purple color. Nose of blueberry, black fruit, touch of smoke, and meat. Bright red berry fruit on the palate. There are times when I want something layered and complex, to pull apart and mull over. Other times I want a wine I can just open, quaff and enjoy. Pleasant, fruit expressive, enjoyable red blend that goes down quite nicely alone, sitting on the couch with a book or a movie. Straightforward, easy to drink, and balanced. Its versatility would pair it well with most meats, many pastas, or even a burger or BBQ.
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2004 Domaine de l’Oratoire St Martin Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne Cuvée Prestige

This is a very nice bottle of wine, and it has improved with time in the cellar. When the first bottle was opened in 2008 the nose was shy, refusing to give up its secrets without several hours of decanting. Now, after two additional years of rest, it sings. Leather and a touch, a light touch, of barnyard cradle layers of different cherries all sprinkled with white pepper and a spray of foam from an Atlantic wave. Hide this wine in a blind tasting of Chateauneufs and nobody will question its place in the lineup. Drink with steak au poivre.