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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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2010 Masut Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir

The nose is a treat in itself, aromas of fresh-ground medium-roast coffee and black cherries, tinted around the edges with fresh sage. The same coffee-cherry theme shows on the attack, the initial taste, adding hints of cola, milk chocolate and licorice on the mid-palate. Tannins are mild and silky, with acids to match. A difficult food match, with rich flavors but medium body, this will pair best with a meat to match. Try it with grilled swordfish or smoked trout. Recommended. DH
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2009 White Rose Pinot Noir, Luciole Vineyard

Another lovely offering from the folks at White Rose in Oregon. They offer a wide range of wines from different vineyards. This one opens with a classic pinot nose of smoked cherries and plums. Tannins are soft and fruit is silken as it lingers on the palate after you first give it a little time to come around. Finishes a tad awkwardly, but the wine is still not quite wholly knitted together yet. A couple years' patience will be rewarded. Drink with grilled lamb loin chops. Highly recommended. GT