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2008 Brandborg Gewürztraminer

Clear, bright lemon yellow color. A clean, aromatic nose with notes of flowers, stone fruit, peaches in syrup, and lychee. Off dry to medium sweet on the palate (2.5% residual sugar), medium acidity and body. Flavors of candied orange, peach, tinned pears, lanolin, and sweet apple. Drink with spicy Asian BBQ. Recommended.
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2009 Ridge Ponzo Vineyard Zinfandel

A mouthful of wine, this Zin is a moderate (by today's standards) 14.8% alcohol, but has loads of black fruit, cocoa, and coffee. The nose is slightly vegetal, suggesting perhaps some whole cluster fermentation. Blackberries on attack are followed by raspberries on the mid-palate and finish. Black pepper runs under everything from attack to finish. On the mid-palate, first mocha, then dark chocolate, come through. The long finish tastes of dark chocolate and dusty tannins. Drink with well smoked pork ribs. Recommended.
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2006 Littorai Roman Vineyard Pinot Noir

Littorai’s winemaker, Ted Lemon, brings remarkable balance to the pinot noirs he picks from various sites in Sonoma Coast, Russian River and Anderson Valley. Originating from the latter, the 2006 Roman Vineyard, originally released in late 2008, is a remarkable blending of Burgundian technique with Californian character. The wine is a light but complex shade of garnet, yet the flavors are ripe and mature. The fruit, combining cherry and plum, jumps out at first with a light floral accent, but spicier and earthier notes, with a light, heady sort of pastry or maybe cocoa powder accent adding on to it. The wine is silky and accomplished, with moderate acid good body and good length. The alcohol, at a stated 14.1%, does not produce any heat, though a little richness and voluptuous character. This is a wine that drinks itself, and could be enjoyed by itself over the course of an evening – though a duck breast certainly wouldn’t do it any wrong. Enjoy now or within the next couple of years. Highly recommended.
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2008 Whitman Cellars Viognier

Clear, bright, medium straw yellow; Clean nose with medium intensity white flowers, candied citrus rind, apricot, sweet hay, yellow apple, and hotdog water (not bad! this is a classic Viognier marker for me!); Dry on the palate with medium-full body, medium acid, medium alcohol, medium flavors of yellow apple, peach skin, honeysuckle, candied lemon; rich texture and a medium-long finish. Pair with pan seared tofu glazed with spicy peach preserves.
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2008 Bonny Doon Le Pousseur

A typical offering from Randall Grahm, a winemaker who doesn’t like to do things by halves.  Have to mention the also usual intriguing Bonny Doon packaging—in this case,  a label reminiscent of a medieval tarot card.  Strong notes of black cherry, chocolate, and nutmeg on the nose. Big, expressive blackberry fruit and herb (thyme) on the palate with fine structure to carry it home to a long finish. Hard not to like this one. Try with something from the grill—I think a bit of smoke and char would pair well here. Highly recommended.
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2009 Ponzi Vineyards Pinot Noir Tavola

Cherries and some cola and caramel show up on the nose, along with a little more burn than you would expect from the 13.7% alcohol reported on the label. On the palate the wood speaks loudest, in vanilla and caramel, followed by dark cherry and Dr. Pepper. A bit of allspice and white pepper appear on the palate, but none of it breaks through the wood. Drink with baked chicken, the dark meat if possible. No recommendation.