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Hop Kiln Hop Kiln 1996 "Marty Griffin's Big Red" California Dry Table Wine ($9.99)
Clear, dark reddish-purple, showing forward raspberry and black-cherry aromas, full and ripe. Juicy, "sweet" fruit, dries out on the palate with crisp acidity; black fruit and a tangy note pleasantly reminiscent of cranberries in the finish. Nice quaff, a hearty red, a blend of Zinfandel (84%), Valgiguié (11%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (5%), bulked up to 13.4 percent alcohol. (Sept. 21, 1999)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with pepper-crusted grilled T-bones.

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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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