Water Wheel Vineyards, “Memsie”, Bendigo, Australia 2004 ($17) – An interesting blend of 83% Shiraz, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Malbec. Garnet in color with black cherry, current and spice aromas. Plum, black pepper and spice flavors finishing with dusty tannins. Delicious and a great value. Score: 9/10
Dr. Loosen, Riesling, Mosel, Germany 2004 ($14) – Clear with a hint of yellow in color with the classic Mosel aromas flowers, green apple and minerals; ripe green apple and honeysuckle flavors finish dry with nice acidity. A great food wine and excellent value that should only get better with age. Score: 9/10
Vina Robles, “Signature”, Paso Robles 2002 ($18) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ A blend of 48% Petit Verdot, 33% Syrah, and 19% Petite Sirah. Dark purple in color with intense aromas of plum and spice. Silky plum, blackberry and black pepper flavors. Moderate tannins are still behind the thick mouthfeel, indicating that this wine has better days ahead. Plenty of fruit here for the long term. This is my kind of wine. Score: 9/10
De La Montanya, Zinfandel, Sack Vineyard Russian River Valley 2004 ($32/sample) – Dark purple in color with blackberry and plum aromas coming through quite a lot of cedar. Lots of dark fruit and pepper flavors that barely balance the alcohol, but the thick, rich mouthfeel and lack of noticeable tannins is intriguing. Finishes hot with a slightly raisony aftertaste, but nothing objectionable. For lovers of big Zin’s only and not one to match well with food. Drink now before the fruit goes away.
Beaulieu Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2001 ($17) – Garnet in color with aromas of black cherry and spice. Black cherry, mint and black pepper flavors with moderate tannins and a nice dusty finish. A nice Cab to have around for everyday drinking. Score: 8.5/10