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Clos le Vigneau Monmousseau 1998 Clos le Vigneau Vouvray Val de Loire Cuvee Amp ($9.99)
The conventional wisdom holds that 1998 was a very poor year indeed in Vouvray, with autumn rains soaking the vineyards and diluting the grapes. Monmousseau seems to have dealt with the situation nicely, though, with a wine that's a delicious quaffer if not entirely typical of Vouvray. Very pale straw in color, it offers fresh and appetizing citric aromas, lemon-lime and tangerines. Crisp and bright citric fruit on the palate is bone-dry and lemon-tart, with a fresh citric tang in a long finish. U.S. importer: Kysela Pere et Fils Ltd., Winchester, Va. (Nov. 21, 1999)

FOOD MATCH: Good with a light dinner of rice studded with bits of prosciutto and pine nuts; even better with a side dish of green beans Lyonnaise, sauteed in butter and onions with thyme.

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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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