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2008 Cade Cabernet Sauvignon

A CaliCultCab, and if that's your bag, at just fifty bucks this is Highly Recommended. If it's not, then you're buying the wrong bottle. Drink with people who don't know you bought it at Costco. DH
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Mondo Mondavi: On Tours, Reserve Wines, Alcohol Levels, and Looking People in the Eye

Most octogenarians are content to sit in a rocking chair and maybe visit their grandchildren, but not Margrit Mondavi: “I just love to meet people and I love to remember my late husband Robert and tell people a little bit about what we do at the winery.” With a platinum blonde bob and a beaming smile, Margrit Mondavi was the highlight at the dedication of a private dining room at Modus Ristorante in Toronto recently.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 1999 Joseph Phelps Vineyards Merlot

The nose has rich dark fruits and with a light floral background of violet. The palate has dark plums, elderberry, pencil lead, and violets. Tobacco leaf shows up on the mid-palate. Tannins are very fine. The overall impression is of smooth layers of dark depth. The finish is sweet and lingering, everything is in excellent balance. Drink with bacon-wrapped filet. Highly recommended. DH
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2005 Havens Wine Cellars Bourriquot

The nose is rich—mulberry, unsweetened chocolate, and a ripe, meaty, gaminess. The Cabernet Franc leads on the attack, more blackberry than mulberry, with tobacco leaf and unsweetened chocolate. Merlot takes over on the mid-palate, softening to a silky mouthfeel and offering hints of red fruit and fine, dusty tannins. The finish is mid-length with lingering tastes of unsweetened chocolate. Drink with bacon-wrapped filet. Highly Recommended. DH
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2005 Havens Wine Cellars Bourriquot

The nose is rich - mulberry, unsweetened chocolate, and a ripe, meaty, gaminess. The cabernet franc leads on the attack, more blackberry than mulberry, with tobacco leaf and unsweetened chocolate. Merlot takes over on the mid-palate, softening to a silky mouthfeel and offering hints of red fruit and fine, dusty tannins. The finish is mid-length with lingering tastes of unsweetened chocolate. Drink with bacon-wrapped filet. Highly Recommended. DH
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2006 Rutherford Grove Pestoni Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

With neighbors like Opus One and Rubicon, this was bound to be a keeper. Nose of cedar, anise, tobacco, and fresh leather. Flavors of blueberries, cassis, and chocolate with soft, well-integrated tannins. Velvety finish. Nice now, but will be even better by 2013. Cries out for a grilled hanger steak with its rich, beefy flavor. Highly recommended. GT
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2008 Kirkland Meritage

If you live near a Costco you know where this is going. “Kirkland” is Costco’s proprietary brand for everything from soup to nuts (and I mean that literally). They market a “Kirkland Signature Wine Collection” whereby they slap their own label on wines, and some of them are quite good and represent excellent value. This Meritage is a classic Bordeaux blend. The nose is slightly herbal and gives off whiffs of boysenberry and cedar. The flavors are of blackberry and there is perhaps a shade too much oak. The merlot comes on strong, almost overtaking the cabernet sauvignon, but the fruit is quite nice. A tad one-dimensional, but still very pleasant, and an absolute bargain for the price and quality. Nice with simple grilled meats. Recommended. GT
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2006 Karl Lawrence Cabernet Sauvignon

Four hours in the nose is blueberry and black cherry pie. The same fruits, adding unsweetened chocolate, high notes of tobacco leaf and a touch of eucalyptus and vanilla doesn't overpower now and will fade with more time, all make a complex but well-knit palate. Tannins are dust-fine and sweet. The finish lingers. Buy it now but cellar it for five more years. When you do drink it, drink it with a black-and-blue ribeye and fried onions. Highly recommended. DH