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2007 St. Supery Élu

The nose is full and sweet, with blackberries, boysenberry, and a drop of caramel. The palate is filled with a melange of dark fruit, from deep mulberry to crisp blackberries. A hint of smoke peeks out on the palate, blossoming into a bite of espresso and unsweetened chocolate on the mid-palate. Tannins are dusty and mouth-filling. Acids are bright enough to hold up to the fruit and tannins. This should do very well in the cellar for ten years or more. The finish lingers. Drink with local lamb chops. Highly Recommended. DH
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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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2009 Campo Lavilla Tempranillo

Clear, medium intensity, bright ruby red. Clean medium intensity aromas of soft earth, moss, dark cherry, plum, fresh cranberry, violet, chalk, strawberry, and tobacco. Dry on the palate with medium tannin, medium-high acidity, medium body. Flavors of bright red fruit, cranberry, strawberry, raspberry, tart cherries; clean minerality on the finish. Drink with spicy lamb kebab or grilled portobello mushroom with blue cheese. Highly recommended. RR
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2008 Pedestal Columbia Valley Merlot

Clear, bright, medium-deep intensity, ruby red. Clean, medium intensity aromas of dark fruit, plum, blackberry, sage, and cedar. Dry on the palate, medium-high tannin, medium body and acidity. Flavors of black cherry, blackberry, charred wood, bitter herbs, and moss. Pair with herb crusted lamb or a spicy black bean burger. Recommended. RR
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2008 Bodega Inurrieta Sur

Blackberries and brambles show in the nose, with a vanilla background from American oak. The palate is dark and deep, with earthy mulberry backed by black cherry. Mild black pepper and tobacco leaf show on the mid-palate, lingering over a mid-length finish with the mulberry. The depth and complexity of the wine belie the moderate price. Drink with flank steak or ropa vieja. Highly Recommended. DH