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2009 Roth Estate Merlot

Sweet and fruity is the feel of this wine. Very fruity, with caramelized fruit in aroma and flavors and finish. On the palate, there’s also some unripe plum along with its light woody tannins. Fairly uncomplicated and easy to drink as an aperitif. Serve cool. Recommended with reservations. BSE
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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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2008 Benziger Family Winery Sangiacomo Vineyard Chardonnay

This has a pleasant combination of wood and fruit, richness and acidity. The nose presents the aromas of lemon chiffon and mesquite smoke. Flavors are deeper on the palate, tropical fruits, apple, and a bit of pie crust, followed by lemon, all with the same underlying smoke. While the wood effects are obvious, they are not overwhelming. The flavors are clean and the acids bright, making this a wine that can pair well with Cornish game hen. Recommended.
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1999 Valley of the Moon Cuvée de la Luna

The cork was a little soft and I lost a couple centimeters of it to the bottle. This wine is definitely showing some age. Garnet in color with a brick rim. On the nose it has definite aromas of dried fruit—cherry, plum, raisins—lots of spice, some vanilla, dried flowers, earth, the slightest hint of bell pepper, and what I think is a little Brett. It’s dry and rich on the palate, medium intensity, medium-light acidity, super soft tannins. Lots of dried fruit and floral flavors come through on the palate as well. Black fruit: plums especially. And a little cola. Definitely some brighter cherry on the finish.
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2009 Rodney Strong Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc

The blend of the warm climate Alexander Valley fruit with cooler climate Russian River, makes for a unique, flavorful wine. A color of clear light straw, and aromas of citrus and kiwi fruit. On the palate are flavors of grapefruit, pear, and melon. Nice finish with good minerality and acidity. Drinks well by itself, pair with moderate acidic foods. Read the extended review on Simple Hedonisms.
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2008 Rodney Strong Zinfandel Knotty Vines Estate Vineyard

A big, rich, oaky, Sonoma Zinfandel, this has huge oak, generous blackberries and black cherries sprinkled liberally with coarse black pepper and shavings of baker's chocolate. The finish drops off quickly. It scored a three out of five stars at the Palate Press Grand Tasting. This wine will overpower anything but the biggest, most flavorful meats and sauces. Giant, Flintstones-sized beef ribs with a great rub and sauce carmelized on for just the last twenty minutes or so will do the job.