1998 Marcarini BAROLO “Brunate” (Piemonte, Italy) -- Seemingly lean and devoid of fruit at first, after a couple of hours of breathing in a decanter, this Barolo opened up and show classic Nebbiolo scents of dried cherries, leather, and minerals. On the palate, this wine showed a more feminine style (almost Barbaresco-ish) than I expected. Very nice and could even last a couple more years.
2001 Guilhem Durand SYRAH “Vieilles Vignes” (Southern France) -- This cheap red had been tucked away in my wine closet for several years. I had been afraid to open it because I thought it was in a state of advanced decrepitude, but figured “what the heck” and popped and decanted it. What a surprise! The color was still youthful, and the wine was full, ripe, and complex, with big scents of dried cassis, eucalyptus, and minerally, wet earth. Tannin has all dropped away , leaving a soft, long finish.
2006 Martin Schaetzel PINOT BLANC “Vieillles Vignes” (Alsace, France) -- Ripe, soft, simple, and peachy.
2006 Mollydooker SHIRAZ “The Boxer” (South Australia) -- A tremendously rich, mouth-coating wine. Loads of flavor, with minerally-graphite and cassis extract flavors predominating.
2005 Turley ZINFANDEL “Ueberroth Vineyard” (Paso Robles, Cal.) -- Intense in every sense of the word: intense boysenberry fruit, intense rock-dust minerality, intense body, and intense acidity. Great with mesquite/pecan wood grilled porterhouses.