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Cosentino Cosentino Winery 1997 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($21.84)
After two weeks in Italy and France, this seemed to be as good a time as any to "recalibrate" on New World reds. This one proves a good choice: Very dark garnet, with black fruit and spicy oak aromas in balance. Big fruit, tart acidity and rather harsh tannins with oak showing its presence, although not dominating; it shows more promise than current appeal, although rare red meat tames it into a respectable companion at the dinner table.

FOOD MATCH: Fine with long-braised lamb shanks.

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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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