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Foppiano Foppiano Vineyards 1995 Russian River Valley Petite Sirah ($13.99)
Very dark garnet, with peppery black fruit and buttery oak aromas. The oak is quite noticeable at first, but fruit seems to gain dominance as the wine opens in the glass. Bright and juicy fruit flavors play the melody over a ground bass of sweet oak. Good wine, more going on in it than you'll find in a lot of younger Petite Sirahs. (Jan. 5, 2000)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with Northern Italian-style thick pork chops braised with bay leaves and black peppercorns.

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All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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