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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 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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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.