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2009 Veramonte Pinot Noir Ritual

This rather large-bodied Pinot Noir has a label that says 14% alcohol, but a nose and sensation on the eyes that say 14.9%. It also shows cherries, dried strawberries, and sage. On the palate cherries and raspberries meet plenty of wood effects including vanilla, toast, and cinnamon. It also shows sage, marjoram, and a tiny hit of cayenne pepper. Tannins are big and a little dusty. Acids are a bit low compared to tannins and wood. The finish has some length, but ends up with an overwhelming sensation of new barrels. The glass half-full crowd would call this "a Pinot for people who don't like Pinot." The glass half-empty crowd would describe it as "a spoofilated Pinot wearing a Cali-Cab costume for Halloween." Drink it with fun-sized snickers and candy corn. Not recommended.
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2009 Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Reserva – Casablanca Valley, Chile

Citrus, pineapple, and gooseberry, all with a grassy background, are reminiscent of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc before the Kiwis started filtering everything through the litter box. Flavors are clean, citrus bright, but it is slightly fat, not quite in balance. The gooseberry comes out stronger, tilting into "where's that darned cat?" as the wine warms up, so serve it while it is still chilled, or keep it cool. Finish is mid-length. Drink with any very fresh white fish, or just with a very hot day.