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2005 Deerfield Ranch Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

A big wine, a full, spicy mouthful of black fruit - blackcurrant and blackberry - and loads of spice - black pepper, white pepper, eucalyptus and toasted maple. Wood treatment is obvious, but the fruit is big enough to balance it out. Tannins are powerful but smooth, showing years of remaining cellar life. Drink with a porterhouse, with the filet side early, and the strip side after it gets some air.
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2003 Château Cambon La Pelouse – Haut-Médoc, France

Like several for the moderately-priced bottles of '03 Bordeaux I have opened recently, this is coming to life, perhaps even peaking now. A year ago it was dead, but now it is showing a pleasant balance of fruit, blackberry and some raspberry, and more aged flavors of violets and cigar box. Tannins are soft and smooth. This has matured into a very pleasant bottle of wine at a bargain price, drinking at its peak right now. Highly recommended as a bargain introduction to a great year for Bordeaux.