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Bonheur Le Bonheur 1990 Simonsberg Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon ($15.99)
Although recently purchased, I suspect this nine-year-old South African red has been knocking about in retail channels for quite some time. It's holding up well, though, showing real class and more than a whiff of Bordeaux-type style. Inky dark garnet in color, its aromas focus on black fruit, tar and smoke and strong black coffee, old-Cabernet scents but holding up well. Full black-fruit and tart acidic flavors echo the nose, full-bodied and ripe; soft tannins and ample fruit indicate that there's lots of life remaining and even some further development potential. Excellent wine! U.S. importer: Maisons, Marques and Domaines USA, Inc., Oakland, Calif. (Dec. 4, 1999)

FOOD MATCH: An unbeatable companion with pan-grilled ribeye steaks.

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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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