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Cline Cline 1994 Carneros Marsanne ($5.99)
Another oddity from the bargain bin, this one doubtless placed there because it should really have been drunk up a few years ago. This one's showing its age, but not unpleasantly. Clear gold, probably much darker than when the wine was new, with nutlike and odd "petrol" aromas more reminiscent of older Riesling than Marsanne. Much more appealing on the palate than the nose suggests, rich and full, with a delicious sweet vanilla custard character laced up by tangy acidity. Odd, intriguing. (Sept. 23, 1999)

FOOD MATCH: Works well enough with sauteed sea bass, but that sweet-tart custard quality is probably best enjoyed without food.

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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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