© 2001 by Randy Buckner
Fall has arrived in all its regalia, with multicolored leaves, crisp mornings, the smell of burning fireplaces and children bobbing around like little ducklings in their oversized coats and mittens. Halloween has passed, and so has Thanksgiving. It is time to start planning for the perfect holiday table. Another 100 new and current releases are presented for your perusal. The dual rating system evaluates quality (the first number) and value (the second) on a 100-point scale. As always, enjoy a bottle with dinner tonight.
1998 Buena Vista, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carneros, California, $17, 22,268 cases. The nose has scents of cedar, black olive and tobacco interlaced with mixed berry fruit. Chocolate, blackberry fruit, generous oak and cinnamon flavors fill the palate. 85/86.
1998 Camellia Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek Valley, California, $35, 294 cases. This ruby red wine has blackberry, vanilla, cocoa, and cedar aromas and flavors, finishing with medium-weight drying tannins. 85/85.
1999 Carmenet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Dynamite, North Coast, California, $17, 58,000 cases. Currants, cedar and vanilla highlight the senses. Approachable now, the sweet fruit is supported by medium-weight tannins and easy going acidity. 85/86.
1999 Clos Du Bois, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County, California, $17.This dark ruby Cabernet has plenty of black fruit, olive and chocolate accents. Brisk acidity greets the palate, with plum and cranberry fruit coming to the forefront. Cocoa and nutmeg provide additional interest. 86/88.
1998 Columbia Crest, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grand Estates, Columbia Valley, Washington, $11. Black fruit, chocolate and American oak are noted on the nose. Very easy on the entry with satiny tannins, black fruit and toasty oak flavors prevail. 86/88.
1999 Estancia, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, $16. Lovely aromas of cherry, plum, boysenberry, and saddle leather are followed by sweet fruit flavors, cherry predominant. Approachable now with soft tannins and easy acidity. 86/87.
1998 Estancia, Red Meritage, Alexander Valley, California, $30, 10,000 cases. Currants, cherry, vanilla, chocolate and spice define the aroma profile of this deep ruby release. Elegant on the palate, full-bodied, with plenty of black cherry fruit and a healthy dose of sweet vanilla and dill spice, with a long aftertaste. 87/87.
1999 Forest Glen, Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Barrel Selection, California, $10. Despite the name, this wine is not an oak bomb. Black cherry, cola, cedar, vanilla and earthy notes play on the nose and palate. More Merlot in style, the wine is simple but tasty. 84/86.
1998 Franciscan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville Estate, Napa Valley, California, $25, 45,000 cases. Sweet black cherry and plum aromas are interweaved with toasty oak that does not overwhelm. Repeated on the palate, this medium-bodied wine is elegant and approachable now. 86/87.
1998 Franciscan, Magnificat, Oakville Estate, Napa Valley, California, $40, 11,500 cases. A fine effort from the 98 vintage, with complex aromas of blackberry, cassis, tobacco, and cedar. Very elegant on the palate, plums, blackberries, chocolate and cigar leaf delight the senses, finishing with silky smooth tannins. 91/90.
1999 Hess Select, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, $15. Black cherry, raspberry and light oak aromas are followed by straightforward black fruit flavors. Nicely balanced with supple tannins and an acidic underpinning, the wine can be enjoyed tonight. 85/87.
1997 Hogue, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, Columbia Valley, Washington, $30, 1,062 cases. Blackberry, black cherry and dusty aromas open to like flavors, with sweet oak lingering on the long, lively finish. 87/87.
1997 Kenwood, Cabernet Sauvignon, Artist Series, Sonoma County, California, $75, 5,275 cases. Very dark in color, with black cherry, cedar and mint aromas. The flavors are not very forthcoming at the present time. With coaxing, sweet black fruit, mint, and spicy vanilla became apparent. Well-balanced with polished tannins. 89/86.
1999 Sagelands, Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington, $17, 11,360 cases. Black fruit, chocolate and olive aromas are echoed on the palate. Layers of raspberry, cassis, coffee and herbs continue to unfold. Match with grilled meats. Let’s hope that this marks a return for this underachiever. 88/90.
1997 Simi, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, Alexander Valley, California, $75, 4,900 cases. Deeply colored, the nose is full of blackberry, blueberry, vanilla and cedar aromas. Lush and elegant on the palate, the ripe blueberry and black cherry fruit, vanilla, cedar, chocolate and eucalyptus flavors delight the senses. The tannins are polished, the acidity sublime. 92/90.
1998 Trinchero, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mario’s Reserve, Napa Valley, California, $40, 2,845 cases. Sweet cherry, cedar and vanilla aromas unfold on the nose. Medium-bodied and elegant, the layers of black cherry fruit, judicious oak and structured tannins make a pretty package. 88/87.
2000 Blackstone, Chardonnay, Monterey County, California, $10. This food-friendly value wine has floral and citrus aromas. A crisp entry opens to tropical fruit, citrus and light vanilla notes. 85/88.
1999 Buena Vista, Chardonnay, Carneros, California, $14, 10,223 cases. Quite a melange of aromas and flavors, to include apple butter, pineapple, toasty oak, nutmeg, and generous vanilla. Medium-bodied with a snappy finish. 87/89.
2000 Duck Pond, Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, Washington, $9, 23,000 cases. Apple, vanilla, and buttery aromas are followed by straightforward spiced apple flavors, made in a soft, creamy style. 83/85.
2000 Geyser Peak, Chardonnay, Sonoma County, California, $12, 60,000 cases. Loads of butterscotch and tropical fruit aromas greet you. Displaying respectable acidity, the pear, melon and vanilla flavors are full, with a lengthy finish. 86/88.
1999 Guenoc, Chardonnay, Unfiltered Reserve, Genevieve Magoon Vineyard, Guenoc Valley, California, $40, 1,886 cases. This richly colored release exudes apple, pear and floral notes. Lush, complex flavors of apples, pears, citrus and spice, silky acidity and a long aftertaste makes for a nice package. 88/86.
2000 Hess Select, Chardonnay, California, $11. Golden straw in color, with butter, smoke and pineapple notes. Soft and creamy, the mouth is filled with pineapple, citrus and French vanilla flavors. 85/87.
1999 Hogue, Chardonnay, Reserve, Columbia Valley, Washington, $24, 500 cases. Aromas of pears, tropical fruit and vanilla bean carry over to the palate. Creamy, buttery, toasty with subtle tangerine flavors. 86/86.
2000 Kenwood, Chardonnay, Reserve, Sonoma County, California, $20, 2,300 cases. Lovely floral aromas open on the palate to apple, fig, vanilla and clove spice. Complex, creamy and tasty. 87/87.
2000 Kenwood, Chardonnay, Sonoma County, California, $15, 58,510 cases. Tropical fruit and toasty oak notes are repeated on the palate, with balanced acidity. 85/86.
2000 Meridian, Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County, California, $11. The nose is loaded with smoky oak, tropical fruit and asparagus. Lush and creamy on the palate, flavors of peaches, mango fruit and honey dominate. Nice value for the style. 85/88.
2000 Pedroncelli, Chardonnay, Vintage Selection, Dry Creek Valley, California, $10.50, 5,358 cases. Nicely balanced with pear, vanilla, spice and caramel flavors, enhanced by green apple, grapefruit and spicy aromas. 85/87.
2000 Salmon Harbor, Chardonnay, Washington State, $8, 6,000 cases. Aromas of smoke, Bartlett pear, and vanilla are followed by tropical fruit and buttery flavors on a soft, creamy background. 83/86.
2000 Snoqualmie, Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, Washington, $11. Sweet tropical fruit and butterscotch aromas and flavors are found in this crisp, juicy wine. 84/86.
1999 Trinchero, Chardonnay, Mario’s Reserve, Napa Valley, California, $25, 3,000 cases. A melange of aromas, with butterscotch, pineapple, pear and toasty oak interweaving. Full-bodied, creamy and rich, this is a classic California-styled Chardonnay. 87/87.
2000 Bel Arbor, Merlot, California, $6, 73,500 cases. Surprisingly tasty for the price class, this wine has plenty of plum, coffee, and mint flavors and aromas. Brisk, with easy drinking tannins. 84/88.
1998 Buena Vista, Merlot, Carneros, California, $18, 6,648 cases. This ruby red Merlot has straightforward aromas and flavors of black fruit, tobacco and olives, with medium-weight tannins. 84/85.
1996 Buttonwood Farm, Trevin, Santa Ynez Valley, California, $26, 270 cases. A blend with 36% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Cabernet Franc added. Blackberry, chocolate and mint highlight the nose. These are repeated on the palate along with generous sweet oak. Complex and tasty. 87/88.
1999 Carmenet, Merlot, Dynamite, North Coast, California, $25, 5,000 cases. This dark beauty delivers a mouthful of black cherry, chocolate, coffee, olive and dill flavors, with similar aromas. Delicious right now, but will certainly drink well for another 3-5 years. 90/90.
1999 Columbia Crest, Merlot-Cabernet, Columbia Valley, Washington, $9. A blend with 35% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. A straightforward wine with blackberry and herb aromas and flavors made in a drink-me-now style. 83/85.
1998 Columbia Crest, Merlot, Grand Estates, Columbia Valley, Washington, $11. Blackberry, blueberry and oak aromas echo on the palate, with a touch of raspberry shining through. Easy tannins allow for early enjoyment. 86/88.
2000 Delicato, Merlot, California, $6. This budget wine delivers for the price class. Plums, cocoa and smoky aromas precede straightforward sweet black fruit. Medium-weight tannins and soft acidity. 83/86.
1999 Estancia, Merlot, California, $16, 48,800 cases. This medium-bodied Merlot is easy to like. Black cherry, plum, spicy American oak, and black tea aromas and flavors are supported by modest tannins and lively acidity. 87/88.
1999 Geyser Peak, Merlot, Sonoma County, California, $17, 50,000 cases. Plenty of cherry, raspberry and cedary spice aromas and flavors to please most anyone. The wine is structured to be enjoyed early on. Match with a pork tenderloin and mustard sauce. 85/86.
1997 Hogue, Merlot, Reserve, Columbia Valley, Washington, $30, 909 cases. Bold and yummy summarizes this wine. Very deeply colored with huge aromas of black fruit, chocolate and dill spice. Full-bodied, the wine is packed with sweet black fruit, French vanilla and dark chocolate. 90/88.
1999 Pedroncelli, Merlot, Special Vineyard Selection, Dry Creek Valley, California, $14, 10,481 cases. Cherry, chocolate and American oak notes emanate from this ruby red Merlot. Sweet cherry fruit, spice, oak and dill flavors round out the package. 84/86.
2000 Salmon Harbor, Merlot, Washington State, $8, 6,000 cases. Straightforward aromas and flavors of black cherries, plums and cocoa are sustained by easy drinking tannins. 82/84.
1999 Simi, Merlot, Alexander Valley, California, $20, 5,000 cases. Soft with an elegant entry, cherry, raspberry, vanilla and cinnamon spice highlights linger on the long aftertaste. Very approachable now. 86/87.
1998 Snoqualmie, Merlot, Columbia Valley, Washington, $11. The bouquet of raspberry and sage is supported by raspberry, black cherry and delicate oak flavors. Made for early consumption. 83/85.
1999 Snoqualmie, Merlot, Reserve, Columbia Valley, Washington, $23. Lots of beautiful underlying fruit, however it is overshadowed at this point by massive new oak flavors and cinnamon. Hopefully time will tame the oak? Not rated.
1999 Stone Creek, Merlot, Special Selection, California, $8. This straightforward quaffer offers up plums, cherries, earthiness, modest tannins and balanced acidity at a fair price. 84/87.
1999 Camellia Cellars, Diamo Grazie, Red Table Wine, Dry Creek Valley, California, $42, 180 cases. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Sangiovese, and 5% Cabernet Franc. Deeply colored with blackberry, cherry and French vanilla notes. Medium-bodied with rounded tannins, the aromas are echoed on the palate. 87/85.
2000 Coulson, Mataro, Kipp Vineyard, El Dorado, California, $15, 220 cases. A stylistic wine that is not for everyone. Loaded with very ripe fruit, the balance is impeccable, the tannins forgiving. 86/87.
1998 Guenoc, Vintage Port, Guenoc Valley, California, $36. Another dandy Petite Sirah Port from Guenoc. Blackberry jam, cassis and chocolate aromas invite further exploration. Sweet and well-structured, there is a truck load of dark fruit flavors, with delightful nutty nuances. 88/88.
2000 McDowell, Grenache Rose, McDowell Valley, California, $9, 1,500 cases. This is a fun wine, watermelon in color, with aromas of citrus and strawberries. Crisp, lean and dry, the strawberry fruit has added floral overtones. From 50-year-old vines. 84/86.
1999 Mirassou, Pinot Blanc, Monterey County, California, $12, 6,584 cases. Pear, banana, vanilla and allspice fill the nose. Creamy on the entry, tropical fruit and generous spicy oak round out this wine. 85/85.
1999 Pedroncelli, Petite Sirah, Dry Creek Valley, California, $14.50, 963 cases. A fine example of the grape. The tannins are evident but not hard on the palate. Earthy aromas and flavors, black fruit, plums, a touch of pepper and balanced oak wrap up this pretty package. 90/92.
1999 Renwood, Barbera, Amador County, California, $20, 1,898 cases. Deeply colored. Plum, cherry and vanilla aromas were coaxed from the glass. Sweet black fruit, plum predominant, modest tannins and zippy acidity makes this a nice match for your favorite pasta with red sauce. 87/87.
2000 Snoqualmie, Semillon Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, Washington, $7. Crisp and flavorful, citrus reigns on the palate, with fig and nutty nuances. The finish is long and pleasing. 83/85.
2000 Windsor, Muscat Canelli, Late Harvest, Murphy Ranch, Alexander Valley, California, $15. Sweet at 6.6% residual sugar with balanced acidity. Grapefruit and gooseberry aromas are followed by full, pleasing flavors. Match with Chinese dishes. 87/87.
2000 Duck Pond, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $9, 6,100 cases. Offering up aromas of citrus and green apple, this light gold sipper is lean, crisp, and refreshing. You’ll find citrus and vanilla flavors on a short to medium-length finish. 84/85.
2000 Forest Glen, Pinot Grigio, California, $10. Apricot, pear, lime and honey notes tempt the nose. Made in a drink-me-now style, the wine is straightforward, crisp, with citrus flavors dominating and canned pineapple in the background. 85/86.
2000 King Estate, Pinot Gris, Vin GlacÚ, Oregon, $18 (375 ml). Loaded with aromas of apricots, peaches, honeysuckle and exotic fruits, this sparkling gold beauty offers up a mouthful. Very lush and viscous, the depth of fruit is incredible, with plenty of acidity to support the 14% residual sugar. 91/91.
2000 Winter’s Hill, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $12, 325 cases. This straw-colored wine has light floral and citrus notes, with lovely pear, green apple and tangerine flavors, finishing with delicate acidity. 88/89.
1999 Buena Vista, Pinot Noir, Carneros, California, $17, 12,549 cases. An easy to drink Pinot with loads of strawberry and raspberry aromas and flavors. Lightly styled, well-balanced, with a lengthy aftertaste. 86/88.
2000 Clos Du Bois, Pinot Noir, Sonoma County, California, $17. Cherries and plums unfold on the nose and palate, with toasty oak nuances. The brisk acidity makes this a nice match for grilled salmon with tarragon butter sauce. 85/87.
1999 Handley, Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, California, $26, 1,554 cases. Not up to their usual high standards at this point anyway. Light to medium-bodied, the wine has black cherry, dark tea and spice on the nose and palate. 84/83.
1999 Kenwood, Pinot Noir, Olivet Vineyard, Reserve, Russian River Valley, California, $30, 1,644 cases. This is a dandy example of a Russian River Pinot. The nose is intense, complex, with black cherry, cinnamon, mushroom and black tea notes. Very balanced and pretty, the aromas do an encore on the palate. 92/92.
1998 King Estate, Pinot Noir, Reserve, Oregon, $35, 2,500 cases. Dark ruby with aromas of ripe bing cherries, dried flowers and spicy sweet oak. Nicely balanced with a lush mouthfeel. Plum and cranberry fruit is supported by a brisk framework. 87/86.
1999 Meridian, Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County, California, $11. Black cherries and mushrooms make a bold statement on the nose and palate, with a sun-dried tomato component. Very crisp throughout, this one will match well with pork tenderloin. 86/89.
1999 Mirassou, Pinot Noir, Central Coast, California, $13.50, 8,832 cases. Lovely black cherry and black tea aromas delight the nose. Well-balanced and medium-bodied, the wine is chocked full of lush fruit, tea and earthy notes, with zippy acidity. 88/90.
1999 Windsor, Pinot Noir, Signature Series, Sonoma County, California, $18.50. Lush black cherry fruit, balanced oak vanilla and saddle leather delights the senses. The snappy acidity of this wine makes it nice foil for salmon or pork dishes. 87/87.
1999 Winter’s Hill, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $25, 295 cases. Black fruit and earthy/smoky aromas open on the palate to full black cherry fruit and French vanilla. Crisp and clean on the finish. 88/89.
1999 Deerfield Ranch, Sangiovese, Roumiguiere Vineyard, Lake County, California, $NA, 531 cases. The nose is filled with strawberry and cherry aromas. Warm cherry/berry fruit, judicious use of oak, crisp acidity, and medium-weight tannins add to the overall package. 86/?.
2000 Ecco Domani, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy, $10. Leather and black fruit unfold on the nose. Made in a lean, crisp style. Cherry fruit and a streak of pepper balance out the medium-weight tannins. 85/88.
2000 Buttonwood, Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley, California, $12, 3,545 cases. There’s plenty of ruby red grapefruit here to please the nose and palate, with pineapple striving to be recognized. Food-friendly acidity wraps up this tasty package. 88/89.
2000 Handley, Sauvignon Blanc, Handley Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley, California, $15, 337 cases. You’ll find a lot of lime and herbal notes on the nose, with just a touch of rose petal. Light and crisp on the palate, the aromas echo the flavors throughout the lengthy finish. 88/89.
2000 Kenwood, Sauvignon Blanc, Reserve, Sonoma County, California, $15, 3,760 cases. Layers of tropical fruit and peaches unfold on the nose. Crisp yet creamy, grapefruit prevails, with light vanilla nuances. Match with steamed mussels. 86/87.
2000 Snoqualmie, Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley, Washington, $7. An interesting wine for the price class, with nice acidity, threshold sweetness, and lemons, herbs and jasmine playing on the palate. 83/85.
1999 Buttonwood Farm, Devin, Santa Ynez Valley, California, $16, 301 cases. A blend of 59% Sauvignon Blanc and 41% Semillon. Very crisp and refreshing, the Semillon exerts its fig influence. Citrus zest and barrel flavors add additional accents. 85/85.
2000 Carmenet, Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon, Reserve, Edna Valley, California, $18, 4,600 cases. A rich golden color, with a melange of citrus, hay, fig, honeydew melon and smoke aromas. Full-bodied, crisp, with a mouthful of figs, honey and herbs. 87/87.
2000 Langtry, Meritage White Wine, Guenoc Valley, California, $23.50, 1,857 cases. Lime and orange blossom scents pique the nose. Lime, fig, nutmeg and vanilla intermingle on the palate, begging for a grilled sea bass accompaniment. 87/86.
1998 Handley, Brut Rose, Anderson Valley, California, 440 cases, $29. Pale salmon with fine bubbles and light cherry and strawberry aromas. Crisp and refreshing, lovely dried cherry and tea flavors are supported by snappy acidity. 85/85.
2000 Delicato, Shiraz, California, $6. A very fruity, jammy wine striving for over achievement. Look for mint, smoked meat and vanilla notes. Very approachable now. 85/88.
1999 Granite Springs, Syrah, El Dorado, California, $16, 450 cases. Dark in the glass with smoked meat aromas and flavors. Jammy black fruit, peppercorns, and medium tannins are balanced out by lovely acidity.
1999 McDowell, Syrah, Reserve, McDowell Valley, California, $24, 2,400 cases. Dark ruby with violets and cedar emanating from the glass. A polished entry opens to elegant black fruit, firm but satiny tannins, with balance that makes this wine shine. 88/89.
1999 Renwood, Syrah, Amador County, California, $20, 400 cases. Deeply colored with black fruit, coffee and earthy wood aromas. This wine is closed down tighter than a drum head, although the stuffing seems to be there. Not rated.
1997 Sierra Vista, Syrah, Five Star Reserve, El Dorado, California, $60, 220 cases. Plenty of black fruit, leather and tobacco aromas and flavors to please most everyone’s palate. Tannins are generous but smooth. A nice example of Syrah from the area. 88/86.
1999 Simi, Shiraz, Sonoma County, California, $20, 3,100 cases. Medium-bodied and approachable now, this Syrah has plenty of blueberry, plum and smoky oak aromas and flavors. A dash of black pepper and cinnamon add interest. 86/86.
1998 Valley of the Moon, Syrah, Sonoma County, California, $17, 2,620 cases. Black fruit, smoke and earthy notes prevail in this deeply colored wine. Peppery spice first hits the palate, followed by respectable black fruit flavors and a boatload of acidity. Match this one with grilled beef. 86/87.
2000 Geyser Peak, Viognier, Block Collection, Alexander Valley, California, $19, 524 cases. Floral notes charm the nose, with apricot and tangerine providing additional interest. Best consumed in its youth, this Viognier offers plenty of fresh fruit flavors, delicate acidity and a medium-length finish. 86/86.
2000 McDowell, Viognier, Mendocino County, California, $16, 3,500 cases. Intense floral notes, with pineapple and lime. Up-front pineapple fruit is followed by peach and floral flavors. This wine is a full-bodied in your face Viognier with nice acidity and little heat at 13.8% alcohol. 88/90.
2000 Renwood, Viognier, Shenandoah Valley, California, $25, 250 cases. Juicy apricots and honeysuckle delight the nose. Packing nice acidity for the grape, you’ll find engaging floral and sweet fruit flavors, with a dash of spice to add interest. 88/87.
1998 Barefoot Cellars, Zinfandel, Reserve, Sonoma County, California, $17. Ruby colored, with aromas and flavors of cherries, raspberries and vanilla, this easy-styled Zin is ready for current consumption. 83/84.
1999 Camellia Cellars, Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, California, $22, 215 cases. Mixed berries, smoke and vanilla aromas highlight this full-bodied wine. Lots of blackberry fruit and American oak flavors dominate the palate, with easy tannins. 84/83.
1999 Dry Creek, Zinfandel, Late Harvest, Dry Creek Valley, California, $13 (375 ml), 800 cases. Big jammy fruit with fresh raisins, chocolate and cloves on the nose and palate, finishing lush and sweet. 7% residual sugar. 87/87.
1999 Dry Creek, Zinfandel, Old Vines, Sonoma County, California, $21. Bursting with aromas of blackberries and raspberry cream, this wine presents a tight package of blackberry fruit, cocoa, raspberries, nicely integrated oak and workable tannins. 88/88.
1999 Geyser Peak, Zinfandel, Block Collection, Cucamonga Valley, California, $23, 550 cases. Very deeply colored, with briary blackberry jam and vanilla aromas and flavors, a healthy dose of chewy tannins and a long, snappy finish. 87/87.
1999 Lake Sonoma, Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, California, $15, 2,910 cases. Cherry/berry fruit, spice and vanilla aromas precede a palate load of jammy fruit, vanilla and cinnamon flavors. Medium tannins round out this fairly-priced Zin. 86/87.
1999 Peachy Canyon, Zinfandel, Benito Dusi, Paso Robles, California, $26, 874 cases. Dark ruby with raspberry and bing cherry aromas and flavors. Black pepper and light vanilla nuances round out this nicely balanced wine. 89/88.
1999 Peachy Canyon, Zinfandel, Estate, Paso Robles, California, $30, 943 cases. This is your big boy. The big jammy nose is followed by intense fruit on the palate in a full-blown package of red fruit, pepper and vanilla. Not for the faint of heart. 92/90.
1999 Peachy Canyon, Zinfandel, Mustang Springs, Paso Robles, California, $26, 246 cases. An interesting wine with layers of raspberry and blueberry aromas. The flavors are intense and lush, with almond nuances, crisp acidity and supple tannins. 91/90.
1999 Peachy Canyon, Zinfandel, Paso Robles, California, $15, 3,702 cases. This dandy value wine is loaded with raspberry and strawberry scents. Light to medium-bodied, you’ll find juicy red fruit, a streak of pepper, finishing long and crisp. 88/91.
1999 Peachy Canyon, Zinfandel, Westside, Paso Robles, California, $19, 4,268 cases. Dark in the glass, the wine is full of black cherry aromas and flavors. Moderate tannins are braced by a brisk finish. 89/89.
1999 Simi, Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, California, $22, 2,700 cases. Claret styled, soft and easy to drink, this dark ruby wine offers up cherry, blueberry, plum and spicy vanilla notes. 86/86.