1999 La Sirena Sangiovese Juliana - USA, California, Napa Valley (9/4/2010) 1.5 Litre
A delicious surprise. Very bright and fresh but demonstrating more depth than expected.Garnet in color. Overtones of red fruit at the outset, morphing into plum and chocolate on the mid palate. Wish I could find more. (92 pts.)

2000 Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (9/4/2010) 1.5 Litre
Somewhat of a disappointment. Opened and decanted this for 3 hours before drinking. Consumed over a two hour peiod following. Never seemed to open up despite being in a good window for consumption. Color was good, nothing in the nose indicated an issue. Wasn't bad, just expected this to be better. (84 pts.)

2000 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain - USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain (9/4/2010) 1.5 Litre
Deep purple color. Very narrow and deep in dark fruits. Hints of blueberry and blackberry evolving into strong notes of graphite and tobacco. Well resolved tannins and nice balance given this was young by Dunn standards. (90 pts.)

2001 Elan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley, Atlas Peak (9/4/2010)
The most sophisticated wine of an eclectic flight of red wines comsumed this evening. Very Margaux like with a floral nose and almost delicate notes of ripe berries and cassis on the palate. Robust enough though that it did not get lost among the Dunn, La Sirena and La Nerthe. Long finish with hints of chocolate and cigar box on the back palate. (94 pts.)

2005 Grgich Hills Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown - USA, California, Napa Valley (9/4/2010)
89 rating does not accurately reflect potential of this wine. This will likely improveover the next 5 years. Opened an hour before drinking, Dark red almost purple color. Very heavy with cedar, tobacco and red fruits. This was what I expected from this wine. It never really opened up, leading me to believe this needs another two to five years to be at its best. (89 pts.)

Wonderful comparison of red wines at gala dinner celebration for family and friends celebrating all boys home. Enjoyed with tenderloin, twice baked potatos, caprese salad, green beans with bacon and shallot butter, apple and french silk pies. Joined by Rick and Linda, Rusty, Ann and Johnny, Will and Kate, Matt and Molly, Drew, Mike and Erica outside on a clear and delightfully cool Labor Day weekend evening.


2007 Robert Craig Napa Valley Cuvée Mt. George - USA, California, Napa Valley (8/7/2010)
Medium claret color, some spice, bramble and cigar box, typical of Craig mountain wines but much more approachable at this young age. A good value for the money. (82 pts.)


1996 Château Belle-Brise - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol (8/6/2010)
Dark red color with good legs. Some minerality on the palate with notes of flint. Limited nose and tannins. Fairly unremarkable the first hour but opened pretty well revealing some dark fruit flavors. A decent value at $30. (84 pts.)

1995 Château Gruaud Larose - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien (8/6/2010)
Medium red color. Elegant structure. Some tannins but well balanced. Lots of blackberry, blueberry and a hint of chocolate. Evident terroire and moss on the nose. Really good bottle of wine and a nice accompaniment to ancho and coriander rubbed hanger steak at Dylan Prime in NYC. Drank with Will from his collection. (92 pts.)


2004 Yalumba The Signature - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley (7/25/2010)
Really nice cabernet/shiraz blend from Yalumba. Deep purple color. Lots of bright fruit (cherry, raspberry) on the nose. Initial hint of pepper and spice on the palate, evolving to mint and chocolate. Strong tannins on opening which resolved somewaht over an hour. A little pricey at $40 but will likely buy some more and put away. May be really promising in 5 to 10 years. (88 pts.)

2004 Château Brane-Cantenac - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux (7/24/2010)
Deep purple color. Lots of fruit on the nose. Plum and blackberry opn the palate. This has improved significantly in the year plus since I last opened a bottle drinking well and will probably last another 15 years. An interesting contrast to 2005 Chateau Larmande which was somewhat lighter in body and reflected more red fruit on the palate. Both very nice wines and an interesting somparison between left and right bank Bordeaux. (88 pts.)

2005 Château Larmande - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru (9/8/2010)
Medium bodied, floral perfume, plum fruit, subtle spice, cherry-cranberry, nice texture and an appealing moderately firm grip of tannin in the finish. (90 pts.)

Drank with Linda, Rick and Beth first at party at Alyssa's celebrating Drew's college graduation and later at Angeli's for a celabration dinner.  


1978 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Bosché Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley (7/15/2010)
Deep garnet red in color. Strong legs. Earth and mushroom on the nose. Ample dark fruit, some mint and eucalyptus on the palate. Very drinkable after 32 years. Purchased this bottle at auction and compared very favorably to the 1978 FA Napa Cabernet I drank after purchase from the winery last year.

Drank with Beth at Wildfire Restaurant celebrating 32nd anniversary with an anniversary year wine. (91 pts.)


1984 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Bosché Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley (5/29/2010)
Deep inky purple color, moderate fruit on the nose, chocolate and dark berries on the pallet. Very nice bottle from Kate's birth year served at Will and Kate's wedding reception. Interesting contrast to the '82 Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow which demonstrated less fruit but some additional complexity. Enjoyed with Beth, Rick, Linda, Ann, Rusty, Pam and Todd (90 pts.)


1982 Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Gravelly Meadow - USA, California, Napa Valley, Diamond Mountain (5/29/2010)
Excellent bottle of Napa cab. Deep red in color, medium body and some fruit remaining on the nose. Actually had some bordeaux tendencies with some minerality and earthy elements in addition to blackberry and cassis. This is the second large format bottle of Gravelly Meadow in the last two years. Unlike the earlier magnum which began to close down after two hours, this remained open and delightful for the duration of the dinner. Served this double magnum from Will's birth year at Will and Kate's wedding reception to Beth, Rick, Linda, Ann, Rusty, Todd and Pam. (92 pts.)


1997 Robert Craig Cabernet Sauvignon Affinity - USA, California, Napa Valley (5/28/2010)
Typical Napa mountain wine. Deep purple color, plenty of fruit forward. Some astringency and tannin which moderated over 24 hours. Next day, tannind had softened but fruit remained. Very popular with the audience post rehearsal dinner. (86 pts.)


1984 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select - USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District (5/28/2010)
Deep garnet color, slight meniscus, some dark berry fruit, cigar box and chocolate. Needed to open over a two hour period but improved and continued to open. Very nice wine. Interesting comparison to '82 Brane-Cantenac which opened early and subsequently cloised down. Drank with great friends and family at Will and Kate's rehearsal dinner in homr of Kate's birth year. Consumed with Beth, Rick, Linda, Rusty, Ann Greg and Marcia. (88 pts.)


1982 Château Brane-Cantenac - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux (5/28/2010)
Opened with nice floral notes as expected from a Margaux, but pleasantly surprised given the age. Dark purple in color. Still drinking well with very tempered tanins and some berry still left. Typical old world Bordeaux with leather, mushroom and cedar. Opened at gala rehearsal dinner for Will and Kate at Starkers in KC. Will's birth year wine shared with Rick, Linda, Rusty, Ann, Greg, Marcia and Beth. (88 pts.)


2006 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT (5/19/2010)
Really nice Tuscan. Deep garnet color, alcohol on the nose. Suprising depth given the blend including valpolicella. Lot's of fruit...mostly dark berry and well balanced. Very approachable now but likely even more interesting in 3 to 5 years. Served at Primo in the JW Marriott in Orlando with rigatoni primavera. (88 pts.)


1995 Château Cos d'Estournel - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe (4/24/2010)
Earth, dark fruit and leather on the nose. Graphite, chocolate and spice on the pallette. Delicious bottle of wine. Still a bit tight and lots of life left. Served at Tom and Debby's party celebrating Will and Kate. (92 pts.)


1995 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Bosché Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley (4/18/2010)
Still outstanding but requires several hours to fully open. Well integrated tannins. Overtones of plum, blueberry, mocha on the pallet. Lots of fruit and some eucalyptus and mint on the nose. Opened three hours before tasting. Enjoyed over tenderloin, new garlic potatoes and asparagus with Greg and Marcia S.. Celebration of new job and new house. (94 pts.)


2004 Hazyblur Shiraz Baroota - Australia, South Australia, Far North, Baroota (4/18/2010)
Plenty of fruit still left though not the fruit bomb it once was. Still fills the mouth with blueberry, blackberry, clove and pepper. No doubt at peak but still has several years left. Enjoyed over tenderloin celebration dinner with Greg and Marcia S. (88 pts.)


2004 Cillar de Silos Ribera del Duero - Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero (4/18/2010)
Some notes of graphite, leather and spice. Not much fruit. Wonder if this is moving past prime. Have had several bottles of this and there seems to be some inconsistency despite purchasing at same time and place. (82 pts.)


2005 Château Roland La Garde - France, Bordeaux, Côtes de Blaye, Premières Côtes de Blaye (4/8/2010)
Will benefit from additional decanting time and age but great promise and value. (84 pts.)

03/14/2010 1982 Château Brane-Cantenac - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux (3/14/2010)
Very drinkable as expected. The fruit on the nose has moderated over time. There is still some dark berry on the palette giving way to a nicely balanced wine with floral notes. Third bottle in the last six months and all have been remarkably consistent. (88 pts.)

1984 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac (3/14/2010)
Holding up surprisingly well for a 26 year old from a lesser vintage. Moderate fruit up front giving way to mocha and tobacco flavors. Still some fruit on the nose by tempered as expected by its age. More than held its own against a 1982 Brane Cantenac and a 1982 Ducru Beaucaillou. (88 pts.)

03/06/2010 2006 Château Fortia Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée du Baron - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (3/6/2010)
Very fruit forward and fresh. Wonderful representation of Chateauneu du Pape. Hints of smoke and spice, mostly pepper and lots of red berry on the palate. Tasted side by side with 2006 Mont Redon and 1996 Domaine de Beaucastel. Would rate the Fortia ahead of the Mont Redon (86 pts.)