Bucko's New Releases

© 2007 by Randy Buckner
June 2007

Summer 2007 Releases

Barbecue - the very word quickens a man's pulse and calls on his primal instincts; the very word causes a woman to say a silent prayer that the fire does not spread this year.

Summer brings out the smokers and grills in force. Hickory smoke wafts through the neighborhoods, acting like musk for men. Porterhouse steaks and baby back ribs don't stand a chance.

While we're beating the heat with our crisp, refreshing white summer sippers, don't forget the robust red wines that can stand up to a plate of barbecue.

Another 100 new and current releases are presented for your inspection. The dual rating system evaluates quality (the first number) and value (the second) on a 100-point scale. All wines are tasted from Riedel Vinum glasses. No wines scoring below 80 points are listed. All prices are the manufacturer's suggested retail price. Vendor prices are often less expensive. As always, enjoy a bottle with dinner tonight.

Beaujolais wine glass

2006 Georges Duboeuf, Beaujolais Villages, France, $10. This is a delightfully fruity wine that will pair with a host of foods. Light and easy to drink, enjoy this one now for the strawberry, cherry and banana fruit; 86/89.

2006 Georges Duboeuf, Morgon, Jean Descombes, Beaujolais, France, $13, 2,500 cases. Garnet in color, the nose is somewhat muted, but it does yield berries, plums and floral notes with coaxing. It is more intense on the palate and is literally bursting with red fruit flavors; 88/90.

Cabernet Sauvignon wine glass

2004 Covey Run, Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington, $9, 27,500 cases. This light ruby Cabernet presents with blackberry, oak and dill spice nuances across the board. Grill those burgers; 83/85.

2004 Foppiano Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Russian River Valley, California, $17.50, 4,000 cases. Blackberries and cedar unfold on the nose. You'll find nice balance, middleweight tannins and straightforward fruit; 83/83.

2004 Geyser Peak, Cabernet Sauvignon, Walking Tree Vineyard, Alexander Valley, California, $47, 1,045 cases. Well balanced, with firm tannins. The aromas and flavors speak of black cherries, cedar and vanilla; 86/85.

2006 Lindemans, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bin 45, South Eastern Australia, $8. Light, simple and fruity, this wine is designed for early consumption. Berry and smoke notes prevail; 83/85.

2004 Madroña Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Black Label Series, El Dorado, California, $48, 48 cases. Blackberries, black cherries, vanilla and French oak underscore the wine. Generous, soft and easy to drink right now for the lush fruit, this wine will not make old bones. Juicy berries linger on the finish; 87/86.

2002 Pietra Santa, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cienega Valley, California, $20, 2,054 cases. You'll find loads of black cherry and cedary barrel notes on the nose, while the palate conveys layered black fruits and olives. The tannins are generous but rounded; 85/85.

2003 Rodney Strong, Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Vineyards, Alexander Valley, California, $25. The nose is highlighted by ripe berries, plums, coffee and cedar. The tannins are pretty chewy at this point, but the wine is packed with juicy red and black fruits; 86/86.

2004 Sterling Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain Ranch, Napa Valley, California, $65, 1,477 cases. This ruby-red Cabernet has aromas of black cherries, humidor notes, vanilla and generous toasty oak. The tannins sneak up on you - they're silky on the entry and then firm up on the back end. The fruit is lush and complex and the wine will improve with cellar time; 89/88.

2004 Sterling Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, Napa Valley, California, $75, 5,243 cases. Aromas and flavors present a mélange of characters - black cherries, plums, barrel spices, cigar leaf and French oak. Elegant and complex on the entry, the firm tannins need prolonged cellaring; 88/87.

2004 Sterling Vineyards, SVR, Reserve, Napa Valley, California, $50, 5,280 cases. This deeply-hued wine gives off aromas black fruits, vanilla, anise and toasty oak. Elegant on the entry, the wine is very harmonious, with silky tannins and complex flavors that linger endlessly; 88/88.

2004 Valley of the Moon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County, California, $20, 3,500 cases. Almost black in the glass, the wine gives off aromas and flavors of cassis, dark chocolate and cedar. Firm tannins need cellar time; 86/87.

Chardonnay wine glass

2006 Alice White, Chardonnay, South Eastern Australia, $7. This straightforward, lemon-colored wine offers citrus and green apple aromas, with sweet tropical fruit and pear flavors; 81/81.

2005 Dry Creek, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, California, $20, 15,791 cases. Light gold in color, this medium-bodied wine is soft and creamy in the mouth, with aromas and flavors of peaches, pears, toasty oak and butter. Nice for the style; 87/87.

2005 Mirassou Winery, Monterey County, California, $11. Lemon with a green tinge, this soft, simple Chardonnay displays citrus and green apple notes; 83/83.

2005 Orogeny, Chardonnay, Green Valley, California, $25, 3,921 cases. You'll find lemon, vanilla and toasty oak aromas and flavors throughout. The wine is very creamy in the mouth while maintaining a crisp underpinning; 87/87.

2005 Pietra Santa, Chardonnay, Central Coast, California, $15, 2,715 cases. Both crisp and creamy, you'll find butterscotch, vanilla and pear nuances throughout, with well-integrated oak; 85/86.

2005 Rodney Strong, Chardonnay, Estate Vineyards, Chalk Hill, California, $20. Aromas of lemon curd and toasty vanilla radiate from this light gold wine. Soft, creamy and buttery in the mouth, you'll find roasted hazelnuts and toasty oak. Tasty for the style; 85/85.

2005 Sonoma Vineyards, Chardonnay, Sonoma County, California, $15. The nose is a mix of citrus, pears and cotton candy, followed by straightforward flavors of same. Soft and creamy; 83/83.

Chenin Blanc wine glass

2005 Covey Run, Chenin Blanc, Columbia Valley, Washington, $8, 3,112 cases. Soft, off-dry and simple, you'll find citrus and fig nuances; 81/81.

2006 Dry Creek Vineyard, Dry Chenin Blanc, Clarksburg, California, $11.50, 14,399 cases. Aromas and flavors are distinguished by melons and citrus rind. Balanced and fruity, this is a nice match for shellfish; 85/86.

Malbec wine glass

2004 Alberto Furque, Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, $13. Inky purple in the glass, the nose is characterized by black fruits, smoke and spice. The wine is loaded with plums and berries, backed by moderate tannins and bright acids; 88/90.

2004 Bodegas Nieto Senetiner, Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, $9. The wine is underscored by plum, dried fruit and oak accents. It is well balanced, with bright acidity and soft tannins. This is a nice, inexpensive Malbec for those grilled burgers; 84/86.

2006 El Portillo, Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, $12. Purple in color, with lovely blackberry, cigar leaf and cedar aromas. The wine is nicely balanced and fruity in the mouth, with berry/cherry/plum notes and modest tannins; 85/87.

2003 Madroña Vineyards, Malbec, Black Label, El Dorado County, California, $42, 25 cases. Blueberries and smoky French oak dominate the aroma and flavor profile. The tannins are firm yet silky. Blueberries linger on the lengthy finish; 85/84.

2005 Salentein, Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, $16. This deep purple wine is intensely aromatic, with a mélange of black fruits unfolding in the mouth. Tannins are firm but manageable. This is just the wine for that Porterhouse you've been eyeing; 87/90.

Merlot wine glass

2006 Alice White, Merlot, South Eastern Australia, $7. This simple quaffer offers berry and cherry notes in a balanced package; 80/80.

2003 Claar Cellars, Merlot, White Bluffs, Columbia Valley, Washington, $17, 252 cases. The nose is a pleasant mix of black cherries, new leather and French oak. Medium bodied, with firm but forgiving tannins, the straightforward flavors echo the nose; 84/85.

2004 Foppiano Vineyards, Merlot, Estate Russian River Valley, California, $15, 2,000 cases. Modest tannins and bright acids help out the simple blackberry and currant flavors; 82/82.

2004 Kendall-Jackson, Merlot, Grand Reserve, California, $26. Aromas of ripe berries, cherries, dark chocolate and generous oak radiate from this intensely ruby wine. It is well balanced, rich and fruity in the mouth, with less apparent oak than the nose portends; 87/87.

2004 Kendall-Jackson, Merlot, Vintner's Reserve, California, $18. Berries and chocolate unfold on the nose and follows through on the palate. The wine shows very nice balance and has silky tannins; 85/86.

2006 Lindemans, Merlot, Bin 40, South Eastern Australia, $8. Straightforward and balanced, with tart red cherry fruit, chocolate and mushrooms across the spectrum; 82/83.

2004 Patit Creek Cellars, Merlot, Columbia Valley, Washington, $26, 164 cases. Rich cherry liqueur aromas mingle with French oak and new leather nuances. The wine is soft and seductive, with silky smooth tannins. It is delicious right now and will not be a long ager; 89/89.

2003 Pietra Santa, Merlot, Cienega Valley, California, $15, 3,187 cases. Plums, sour cherries and barrel notes highlight the nose, while the palate speaks of ripe black cherries, vanilla and drying tannins; 83/84.

2003 Sonoma Vineyards, Merlot, Sonoma County, California, $15. This quaffable crowd pleaser is medium bodied, fruity, and characterized by berries, plums and warm spices; 84/86.

2004 Sterling Vineyards, Merlot, Reserve, Napa Valley, California, $65, 948 cases. Aromas and flavors speak of black cherries, vanilla, warm spices and toasty oak. Crisp and moderately tannic, the wine needs time in the bottle; 87/85.

2004 Sterling Vineyards, Merlot, Three Palms, Napa Valley, California, $55, 6,146 cases. This deep ruby Merlot is full on the nose, with a mix of blackberries, cocoa, vanilla and toast. While elegant on the entry, the wine is closed up tighter than a drum right now. It shows promise but needs time to mature. Not rated.

Spain wine glasswine glass

2004 Alberto Furque, Tempranillo, Mendoza, Argentina, $13. Aromas of plums, berries and vanilla emanate from this purple/red wine. Fruity, with moderate tannins, this one is easy to drink right now; 86/88.

2004 Chateau Julien, Bravura, Monterey, California, $85, 300 cases. This 50/50 blend of Merlot and Malbec weighs in as a middleweight. Elegant, with refined tannins, the wine is highlighted by cherries, plums, leather and vanilla; 87/85.

2006 Chateau St. Jean, Gewurztraminer, Sonoma County, California, $15, 3,061 cases. Apricot, rose petal and lychee scents unfold on the nose. Soft, sweet and cloying, the flavors mirror the aromas; 83/83.

2004 Covey Run, Lemberger, Columbia Valley, Washington, $8, 2,400 cases. Tart cherries and plums present on the nose and palate. Well balanced in the mouth, this one will pair with a host of foods; 85/87.

2005 Covey Run, Morio-Muskat, Columbia Valley, Washington, $8, 3,000 cases. Typical of the variety, the wine is very grapey, with a twist of tangerine. Off-dry and balanced, this is a fun picnic wine; 83/83.

2005 JC Cellars, Marsanne, Preston Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley, California, $32. Sporting a medium gold color, the nose speaks of melons, toasted nuts and crème brulee. Soft and creamy in the mouth, the wine shows nice complexity and a dose of minerals, with relatively low acidity characteristic of the grape; 88/87.

2006 Kenwood, Red Table Wine, California, $8. Simple, tart and fruity, this blend of several grape varieties has sour cherry and blueberry aromas, followed by berry and cherry flavors; 82/82.

2006 Kenwood, White Table Wine, California, $8. A blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat Canelli, the wine is soft, simple, fruity and off-dry, with lemon, vanilla, pineapple and toasty notes. Serve chilled; 82/83.

2003 Pietra Santa, Sangiovese, Cienega Valley, California, $18, 1,288 cases. The ripe berry and aged leather aromas and flavors ride on a very crisp acidic backbone. Serve with a tomato-based dish; 85/86.

2005 Symington Family Estates, Douro Vale do Bomfim Reserva DOC, Portugal, $12, 4,000 cases. Purple/red in the glass, with earthy, leathery, cherry/berry aromas abounding. It is moderately tannic, with plum and cherry flavors; 85/87.

Petite Sirah wine glass

2004 Foppiano Vineyards, Petite Sirah, Estate Russian River Valley, California, $23, 10,000 cases. Medium bodied, with moderate tannins, you'll find straightforward blackberry, blueberry and American oak flavors; 82/82.

2004 Madroña Vineyards, Petite Sirah, Black Label, El Dorado County, California, $36, 20 cases. This is a BIG Petite Sirah that does not part your hair with monstrous tannins. It is elegant but true to style - plums, cherries, tobacco and spice abound. Lovely; 90/90.

2004 Stags' Leap, Petite Syrah, Napa Valley, California, $38, 15,800 cases. This wine is literally black in the glass, and is underscored by mixed black fruit, cocoa, vanilla, spice and new leather. Very full, complex and juicy in the mouth, with tannins that sneak up on you. Give this one a few years of cellar time; 91/91.

Pinot Gris wine glass

2005 Covey Run, Pinot Grigio, Columbia Valley, Washington, $9, 6,700 cases. Enjoy this simple, crisp quaffer early on for the melon and citrus zest; 81/81.

2005 Kumeu River, Pinot Gris, Kumeu, New Zealand, $19, 200 cases imported. Peaches and floral notes underscore the nose. The wine is soft and creamy, with loads of fruit, but acidity is low; 85/85.

2004 Marc Kreydenweiss, Pinot Gris, Moenchberg, Grand Cru, Alsace, France, $38, 300 cases. Strawberry, citrus and pear aromas follow through on the palate as well. While intense and lush, it seems a little cloying due to low acidity; 85/85.

2005 Pietra Santa, Pinot Grigio, Amore, Cienega Valley, California, $18, 567 cases. This wine is clean, crisp and balanced, with tropical fruit highlighting the nose and palate. Some heat is noted on the finish; 84/84.

2006 Ponzi, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $17, 6,845 cases. Straw in color. Pears and honeysuckle highlight the nose while juicy pears frame the palate. Smooth and creamy; 88/88.

2005 WillaKenzie Estate, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $19, 3,731 cases. Tangerines, melons and pears underscore the nose. The wine is fruity, smooth, balanced and easy to drink. Pair with a chef salad and a sunny deck; 88/88.

Pinot Noir wine glass

2006 Alice White, Pinot Noir, South Eastern Australia, $7. Soft, simple and quaffable, enjoy this one now for the cherry and plum flavors; 80/80.

2005 Foppiano, Pinot Noir, Estate Russian River Valley, California, $23, 2,400 cases. Cherries and generous American oak define the aromas and flavors of the wine. Soft tannins and bright acidity round out the mix; 82/82.

2005 Hahn Estates, Pinot Noir, Monterey, California, $20, 22,000 cases. Black cherries, spiced tea and oak are evident on the nose and palate. Food-friendly acidity gives lift; 84/84.

2005 Orogeny, Pinot Noir, Green Valley, Sonoma County, California, $35, 9,077 cases. Black cherries, dark tea and nutmeg scents highlight the nose. Full and juicy in the mouth, the flavors mirror the nose. Nicely balanced, with a long finish; 89/89.

2005 Pietra Santa, Pinot Noir, Central Coast, California, $18, 1,280 cases. The aromas are an unusual mix of cherries and brushy undergrowth. Made in a delicate style, you'll appreciate light berry and cherry notes with a dash of vanilla; 86/87.

2005 Red Bicyclette, Pinot Noir, Vin de Pays d'Oc, France, $12. Light, simple and quaffable - drink now for the tart raspberry flavors; 82/83.

Rhone wine glass

2004 Domaine Les Pallières, Gigondas, France, $24. Kermit Lynch owns this property and Vieux Telegraphe makes the wine. Earth, smoke and black cherries intermingle on the nose and then carry over to the palate. Full, ripe, balanced, crisp and loaded with minerals are only a few of the adjectives found here; 89/91.

Riesling wine glass

2006 Chateau St. Jean, Riesling, Sonoma County, California, $15, 1,796 cases. Off-dry (2.44 percent residual sugar), with aromas and flavors of pears, apricots and ripe apples. Acidity is borderline; 83/83.

2006 Drylands, Riesling, Marlborough, New Zealand, $15, 1,000 cases. Citrus and white peach aromas radiate from this light gold Riesling. It is crisp and lean in the mouth, with honeysuckle and lime flavors becoming pronounced; 87/88.

2005 Madroña Vineyards, Dry Riesling, Black Label, El Dorado County, California, $26, 24 cases. I don't know what to make of this wine. While it has all of the adjectives such as tangerines, peaches, honeysuckle and slate, the wine feels like it went through malolactic fermentation? Not rated.

2006 Palandri, Riesling, Western Australia, $13. Lime, peach and petrol aromas lead to lemon/lime flavors. Lean and crisp, this is definitely a food-friendly Riesling at a great price; 88/90.

Rosé wine glass

2006 Kenwood, Rosé Table Wine, California, $8. Pink with an orange hue, this straightforward wine delivers cherry/berry aromas and flavors in a soft, simple package; 81/81.

2006 Pedroncelli, Zinfandel Rosé, Dry Creek Valley, California, $10, 3,000 cases. Berries and citrus zest define the wine. Off-dry, straightforward, and easy to drink; 83/84.

2005 Pietra Santa, Rosato, Cienega Valley, California, $14, 350 cases. The wine is underscored by strawberries and dried cherries. It is off-dry, balanced and fruity and should pair with any light cuisine; 83/84.

2006 Pietra Santa, Rosato, Cienega Valley, California, $14, 277 cases. Loads of strawberry and peach aromas and flavors emanate from this pink/orange-colored Rosé. It is crisp, off-dry and refreshing, and it will make a dandy picnic wine. Serve chilled; 85/86.

2006 Simi, Roseto, Sonoma County, California, $15, 5,000 cases. Light and soft, the wine offers straightforward yet quaffable strawberry flavors; 83/83.

2006 Sofia (Niebaum-Coppola) Rosé, Carneros, California, $16. Produced from Pinot Noir grapes of the Carneros region, this pink/peach-colored Rosé radiates a lovely perfume of strawberries and garden flowers. It is well balanced and flavorful, with cherries and strawberries lingering on the lengthy finish. Pair with grilled halibut; 87/87.

Sauvignon Blanc wine glass

2006 Bonterra, Sauvignon Blanc, 52% Lake County / 48% Mendocino County, California, $13, 20,000 cases. Produced from certified organic fruit, this pale lemon-colored wine delivers aromas of Ruby Red grapefruit and kiwis. The wine is well balanced in the mouth, with loads of melon and tropical fruit flavors; 87/88.

2005 Covey Run, Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley, Washington, $9, 21,953 cases. The wine is crisp, clean and simple, but very quaffable, with hints of pineapple and grassy notes; 82/82.

2006 Frei Brothers, Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley, California, $17. While very grassy and citrusy on the nose and palate, you'll also appreciate underlying tropicals. Well balanced; 85/85.

2006 Geyser Peak, Sauvignon Blanc, Block Collection, River Road Ranch, Russian River Valley, California, $21, 3,300 cases. Aromas of grapefruit zest and limes emanate from this lemon-colored wine. Snappy acidity gives lift to the flavors which echo the nose. Think shellfish; 88/88.

2006 Grgich Hills Estate, Fumé Blanc, Napa Valley, California, $28, 13,454 cases. Upfront grassy notes are followed by aromas of grapefruit and pineapple. Rich and crisp in the mouth, with kiwi and lime flavors predominating; 90/89.

2006 Kendall-Jackson, Sauvignon Blanc, Vintner's Reserve, California, $11. Lemon/lime and melon aromas waft from the glass. Simple and very drinkable, the sweet fruit leans to the tropical/pineapple spectrum; 84/85.

2006 Kenwood, Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County, California, $13, 132,000 cases. This simple but tasty Sauvignon Blanc offers up grapefruit and lemongrass aromas, while flavors display lemon and melon accents. Lively acidity gives needed structure; 84/85.

2006 Newhaven, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand, $12, 20,000 cases. This is a new house for me. Gooseberries and guavas underscore the nose, while the full, rich flavors lean towards grapefruit and melons. The acidity gives the wine some of that food-friendly kick; 88/89.

2006 Souverain, Sauvignon Blanc, Alexander Valley, California, $15, 12,000 cases. Grapefruit, limes and vanilla carry across the spectrum, with a moderately crisp and creamy mouth feel; 85/85.

Spain wine glasswine glass

2006 Laxas, Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain, $16. The color is a delightful pale lemon with a green sheen, which leads to lemony aromas as well, underscored by nuances of nectarines and herbs. Clean and crisp on the palate, this refreshing wine delivers what the nose promises. Pair with grilled seafood; 90/90.

NV René Barbier, Mediterranean Pétillant Rosé Wine, Catalunya, Spain, $6. You'll find cranberry and citrus aromas and flavors, with a hint of sweetness and a light spritz; 82/84.

NV René Barbier, Mediterranean White, Catalunya, Spain, $6. Don't let the price fool you - this is tough to beat at the price point. Light, crisp and refreshing, you'll find apple, lemon and wet stone aromas and flavors; 83/86.

NV René Barbier, Pétillant White Wine, Catalunya, Spain, $6. Here's another crowd pleaser for those summer deck parties that is easy on the wallet as well. Quite complex for the price class, citrus and melon accents are backed by a refreshing bit of spritz; 84/87.

Sparkling Wine wine glass

2004 Schramsberg, Blanc de Noirs, California, $37, 11,700 cases. Complex aromas of baked peaches, berries and biscuit dough unfold on the nose and palate. Crisp and creamy, with roasted cashews lingering on the aftertaste; 90/90.

2004 Schramsberg, Brut Rosé, California, $40, 6,450 cases. This is a perfect wine for smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels. Aromas and flavors are an interesting mix of berries, orange slices, pie dough and toast; 88/88.

Syrah wine glass

2006 Alice White, Shiraz, South Eastern Australia, $7. The aromas and flavors speak of berries, sage and green plums. A simple quaffer for grilled burgers; 80/80.

2003 Claar Cellars, Syrah, White Bluffs, Columbia Valley, Washington, $17, 252 cases. The aromas of blackberry jam, smoke and white pepper are not as expressive on the palate. The wine is crisp and medium bodied, with straightforward flavors and generous oak; 83/84.

2003 Covey Run, Syrah, Winemaker's Collection, Columbia Valley, Washington, $13, 2,000 cases. Simple and spicy, the wine displays berries, white pepper and a smoky touch; 82/82.

2006 Lindemans, Shiraz, Bin 50, South Eastern Australia, $8. Spicy, fruity and smoky, this straightforward quaffer is made for BBQ. Drink early on for the berry and plum fruit; 83/85.

2005 Kendall-Jackson, Syrah, Vintner's Reserve, California, $12. Black cherries, blueberries and cedar swirl about on the nose and repeat on the palate. It is light, balanced and ready to drink; 83/84.

2003 Madroña Vineyards, Enyé Syrah, Black Label, El Dorado County, California, $38, 158 cases. The nose is a lovely mix of ripe black cherries, warm spices and a wisp of smoke. Full in the mouth, the generous cherry/berry flavors deliver quite a punch; 88/88.

Zinfandel wine glass

2005 Bonterra, Zinfandel, Mendocino County, California, $15, 14,500 cases. The nose is a lovely mix of berries, cedar and pomegranate. Medium to full in the mouth, you'll find firm but forgiving tannins. Blackberries dominate the palate; 85/87.

2005 Dry Creek Vineyard, Heritage Zinfandel, Sonoma County, California, $16, 9,571 cases. Defined by jammy berries, oak and dill spice, this medium-bodied, straightforward wine begs for a barbeque accompaniment; 83/84.

2004 Dry Creek Vineyard, Old Vine Zinfandel, Sonoma County, California, $25, 4,270 cases. The nose is typified by cherries, berries, currants and oak. Medium bodied and tannic, you'll find tasty fruit laced with black pepper. I'm not sure the fruit will outlast the tannins, so serve with a hearty beef dish; 87/87.

2003 Pietra Santa, Zinfandel, Cienega Valley, California, $18, 670 cases. Blackberries, spice and American oak scents define the nose. The wine is very full and jammy, with blackberry preserves lingering on the finish; 83/84.

2005 Valley of the Moon, Zinfandel, Sonoma County, California, $16, 10,300 cases. This one is smooth and easy to drink right now for the brambly fruit, strawberry jam and vanilla highlights; 86/88.

Food/Wine Event

Covey Run announces the second annual "Endless Possibilities" recipe contest. Open to anyone with a flair for culinary innovation, the contest invites participants to create a proprietary dessert or beverage recipe utilizing one ounce of Covey Run Reserve Semillon Ice Wine. Contestants may submit as many unique beverage or dessert concepts as desired. The Grand Prize is a trip for two to the 12th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in Orlando, Florida, including airfare, three-night accommodations and four-day admission to Disney's Epcot Center, Universal Studios and/or Magic Kingdom. For complete contest details and official rules, please visit www.coveyrun.com.

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