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Today's Wine Tasting Note

© Copyright 1998 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.


Thanksgiving wines
Prunotto We enjoyed these four wines over the course of a simple meal on Thanksgiving Eve and a more traditional feast on an exceptionally mild and springlike Thanksgiving Day:

Prunotto 1995 Barbaresco ($24.99)
Very dark garnet, almost black in the glass. Tightly wound, opens up gradually to black fruit with floral and spicy notes with an appetizing whiff of fennel. Big, chewy black fruit flavor, acidic and tannic; big structure and ample fruit, but still needs time. U.S. importer: Winebow Inc., NYC; Leonardo Locascio Selections. (Nov. 26, 1998)

FOOD MATCH: A more-or-less traditional Thanksgiving dinner, char-grilled whole turkey breast and the usual trimmings.

Ramos Pinto Ramos Pinto 1992 Traditional Late Bottled Vintage Porto ($15.99)
Inky dark reddish-purple, with ripe aromas of perfumed stone fruit. Soft and sweet, good black-fruit flavors and intense sweetness well-balanced by lemony acidity. Rather simple, lacks the tannic heft of vintage Port, but it bears a distinct family resemblance; and at one-third the cost of the vintage product, it makes a pleasant, warming finish to a festive meal. U.S. importer: Maisons Marques & Domaines USA Inc., Oakland, Calif. (Nov. 26, 1998)

Antonin Rodet Antonin Rodet 1993 Nuits-Saint-Georges ($16.99)
Dark ruby with a reddish-orange glint. Earthy and "tarry" aromas over ripe red fruit. Plenty of fruit on the palate, with pleasant gamey nuances to add complexity and flavor interest. Tannic and a little short in the finish and doesn't open up much with airing in the glass; but by the high-rent standard of Burgundy, it's not a bad wine and a good value. U.S. importer: Winesellers Ltd., Skokie, Ill. (Nov. 25, 1998)

Beringer Beringer 1998 Nouveau California Red Table Wine ($6.99)
Clear ruby color. Jammy ripe black cherry and strawberry aromas, characteristic of the "nouveau" process. Soft, juicy fruit flavor, consistent with the nose, with sufficient acidity to hold it in balance. Better than this year's French offerings, for a change, but essentially a "soda-pop" wine not worth a lot of contemplation. A curious note: Although the back label refers consumers to Beringer's regular Gamay Beaujolais bottling, nowhere on the bottle is any variety claimed for the Nouveau. Is it Gamay? (Nov. 25, 1998)

FOOD MATCH: Each of the above works well enough, in different ways, with a traditional hearty beef stew, a simple dinner for Thanksgiving Eve.

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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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