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Cline Cline 1998 California Zinfandel ($9.99)
Year in and year out, Cline's basic California Zinfandel - still holding at just under $10 in this market - stands as a benchmark, a good, clean textbook example of the variety. The 1998 is no exception; dark-ruby in color, it breathes ripe berry scents and big, bright mixed-berry flavors with a hint of chocolate and a citric snap, mouth-filling and warm.

Wyndham Wyndham Estate 1996 South Eastern Australia Bin 444 Cabernet Sauvignon ($9.99)
If not as classic an example of its variety, this quaffable Australian red is a good buy nonetheless. Very dark garnet, its aromas focus on black fruit, new leather and oaky spice. Big and fruity, a bowl of juicy currants are wrapped up with lemon-squirt acidity and warm oak. No elegant "claret" this, but as the Aussies say, it's a good drop. U.S. importer: American Wine Distributors Inc., San Francisco. (July 7, 2000)

FOOD MATCH: Both work fine with grilled tenderloins.

Clock These wines were featured in The 30 Second Wine Advisor, my free weekly E-mail bulletin of quick wine tips, advice and tasting notes. Click here to join the E-mail list!

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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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