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Bosquet des Papes 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape ($24.99)
Bosquet des PapesVery dark ruby. Ripe plum and black-cherry aromas, fruit forward. Big, ripe and fresh, tart acid and rugged tannins provide structure for black pepper and plummy fruit. Another big '98 that's accessible now but will benefit from cellar time. U.S. importer: Europvin USA, Emeryville, Calif. (Oct. 12, 2000)

FOOD MATCH: The fruit and pepper make it a surprising cross-cultural match with a Western-style take on "lion's head," pork tenderloin braised with Asian spice and steamed bok choy.

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Vieux Télégraphe 1998 Chateauneuf-du-Pape ($40)
Vieux-TelegrapheDark garnet, with a complex scent of perfumed roses, black pepper and light, plummy fruit. Big and ripe, black fruit and fragrant pepper flavors are more forward than the nose. Tannins lurk beneath the surface but are cloaked by the huge fruit and zippy acidity. Very good now, but I'm putting a couple away until 2008. U.S. importer: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, Calif. (Sept. 30, 2000)

FOOD MATCH: An intriguing match with char-grilled guinea hen (faraona) marinated in sparkling wine and lemon.

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All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I accept no free samples from wineries or distributors, purchasing all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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