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Number 4 October 28, 2008


Regusci Merlot Stags Leap District 2005 $46.50 Not reviewed

Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon Winemaker's Blend 2005 $21.00 Not reviewed

Hartwell Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Miste Hill 2005 $65.00 Wine Spectator 93 Superrich, broad and expansive, with layers of ripe currant, blackberry, black cherry and plum notes, framed by spicy, toasty, jazzy oak. Finishes with a long, mouthcoating aftertaste that keeps pumping out the rich fruit flavors. Drink now through 2013. June 2008

Chateau d'Armailhac 2003 (Pauillac) $70.50 Wine Spectator 91 Loads of currant, berry and light toasted oak on the nose with hints of milk chocolate. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a medium-long finish. Thick texture. Nicely crafted and balanced. Best after 2011. March 2006

Chateau Monbousquet 2003 (St. Emilion) $84.25 Robert Parker 93 From a mixture of sand, gravel, and clay soils, this unheralded terrior produces wines well-above its pedigree thanks to the extraordinary efforts of proprietors Chantal and Gerard Perse. The wines are given a 4- to 5-week maceration in both stainless steel and oak, and are aged sur-lie in new oak. The dark ruby/purple-colored 2003 offers up notes of smoky meats, melted licorice, jammy black cherries, spice box, earth, and cedar. This plump, fleshy, sexy, unfined, unfiltered wine represents a classic blend of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Yields were 32 hectoliters per hectare, and the alcohol is 13.5%. Anticipated maturity: now-2016. April 2006

Chateau Clerc Milon 2004 (Pauillac) $62.75 Wine Spectator 90 Raspberry and blackberry aromas follow through to a medium- to full-bodied palate, with velvety tannins and a caressing finish. Best after 2010. May 2007

Chateau Talbot 2003 (St. Julien) $70.50 Wine Spectator 91 Aromas of blackberry, currant and mineral follow through to a full-bodied palate, with fine tannins and a chocolate and light vanilla aftertaste. Subtle and long. Caressing texture. Hard not to drink now. Best after 2010. May 2006

Chateau Sociando-Mallet 2004 (Haut-Medoc) $69.50 Robert Parker 90 Sociando Mallet’s big, extracted, rich, classic 2004 boasts a deep ruby/purple hue as well as aromas of charcoal, wet stones, cold steel, and abundant black currant and cassis fruit. This medium to full-bodied, structured, powerful wine will benefit from 4-5 years of cellaring. It should last for two decades. June 2007

Concha y Toro Merlot Peumo Marques de Casa Concha 2005 $22.00 Wine Spectator 90 Has an ample layer of sweet, mocha-infused toast, but plenty of plum and blackberry notes as well. The long, fleshy finish lets the fruit and mineral notes hang together nicely, with an encore of toast. Drink now through 2009. October 2007

Selene Merlot Napa Valley Frediani Vineyard 2005 $40.00 Wine Spectator 92 Bold aromas of mocha and toasty oak lure you in and then reveal layered, supple plum and exotic spice fruit. Finishes with dry graphite and mineral notes. Best from 2009 through 2011. November 2007

Merryvale Profile 2004 $138.50 Wine Enthusiast 94 Merryvale’s Profile remains a star year after year. The ’04 is nearly all Cabernet Sauvignon, and stuns with its power. With a smooth, complex tannin structure, it’s rich in currants, blackberries and cedar, but is too young to open now. Should hit its stride around 2010 and continue to develop for some years after. Tasted twice, with consistent results. Cellar Selection. To be published December 2008

Casa Lapostolle Merlot Alexandre Apalta Vineyard 2006 $25.50 Wine Spectator 90 Muscular, with broad cocoa and plum sauce notes leading the way for an ample core of currant comfiture and licorice. The rock-solid finish will need some cellaring to stretch out. Best from 2009 through 2011. August 2008

Gaja Ca'marcanda Toscana Promis 2006 $55.00 Wine Spectator 90 Dark in color. Very focused and precise on the nose, with a full body, wonderfully silky tannins and a fruity, bright aftertaste. Lively and delicious already. The best Promis ever. Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese. Best after 2010. September 2008

Gaja Dagromis Barolo 2003 $110.25 Not reviewed

Novy Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands 2006 $29.00 Wine Spectator 92 Intensely peppery with cracked black and jalapeño evident, this turns rich, dense and loamy in a pleasing way, ending with a chewy, tannic finish. Best from 2010 through 2016. October 2008

Carpe Diem Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2005 $25.00 Not reviewed Just a good, everyday drinking Napa cab.

De Bortoli Botrytis Semillon Vat 5 Australia 2005 $17.00 Wine Enthusiast 86 It’s not easy to find bargain-priced stickies, but this offering from De Bortoli is a solid attempt. It’s like their Noble One Botrytis Sémillon, just dialed back a notch, with less oak and concentration, but still boasting dried apricot and candied pineapple flavors that end with a hint of orange rind. December 2007

De Bortoli Botrytis Semillon Noble One New South Wales 2005 $35.00 Sweet, rich and deeply honeyed, tasting of soft green fig and cream. Yet this is balanced, with juicy, almost tangy, pineapple and grapefruit notes. A perfect evocation of the Sauternes idea. Delicious already. Drink now through 2016. March 2008

d'Arenberg Shiraz Port Australia 1999 $36.25 Robert Parker 91 The 1999 Vintage Declared Shiraz Port is a shockingly good offering. This fortified red was bottled one year after aging in tank. It possesses notes of violets and acacia flowers, an unctuous texture, and extraordinarily thick, intense, juicy, blackberry fruit flavors intermixed with licorice liqueur-like notes. One never really knows how stunning a wine such as this can be unless it is put in a blind tasting against some of the great vintage ports. D'Arenberg's impressive 1999 was both extraordinarily elegant and generous. Whether or not it has the aging potential of a great vintage port remains to be seen, but certainly this fortified Shiraz should last for 15-20 years. October 2002

Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey $62.50 Not reviewed

Cointreau Noir $60.00 Spirit Journal 4 Stars

Rī ¹ Rye Whiskey (Rye 1) $47.00 Not reviewed

Oban Distillers Edition 1993 $106.00 Spirit Journal 3 Stars

Dalwhinnie Distillers Edition 1990 $77.00 Spirit Journal 4 Stars

Mythe Absinthe Traditional 750ml - $67.00 375ml - $33.50 Not reviewed

BenRiach 12 yr Scotch $57.00 Spirit Journal 4 Stars

BenRiach 10 yr Scotch Curiositas $59.00 Spirit Journal 4 Stars

BenRiach 21 yr Scotch Authenticus $150.00 Spirit Journal 4 Stars

Sazerac Rye 18 yr $69.00 Spirit Journal 4 Stars

Thomas H. Handy Rye $69.00 Spirit Journal 3 Stars

Singleton 12 yr Scotch $44.75 Spirit Journal 3 Stars

Balblair 16 yr Scotch $90.00 Not reviewed


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