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San Francisco
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2006 Penner-Ash - Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
Purple with hints of garnet starting to seep in. Great nose. Blueberry, cherry, strawberry, rose, vanilla and clove. The taste is even better. Amazing clarity of fruit. When people talk about wines being integrated, this is what they mean. Perfect use of oak here. Only real negative is that in a blind tasting I might have called this a Russian River. Nonetheless, a great American pinot. I say drink now, but it will last.

(Tasted Dec 6, 2009)

2006 Holus-Bolus - Syrah
Dense, purple ink. Nose of burnt fruit, alcohol, blackberry, some bramble, black cherry and pepper (black). A massive wine, literally bursting at the seams with juice. Lots of black fruit. Decent acidity. Hot. I know people like this wine but I find it very boring. I know syrah is a masculine grape, but Holus-Bolus is like Sylvester Stallone in a bottle.

(Tasted Dec 2, 2009)

1988 Schloss Schonborn - Johannisberger Klaus Halbtrocken
This Rheingau riesling looked like pure gold. Perfect whiff of petrol, mixed with slate, honeysuckle and peach. Delicious acidity after 21 years! A very balanced off-dry style. Tasted like lemon, peach and slate. Not overly complex as it has turned the corner and started to drop off a bit, but still a good wine, especially with food.

(Tasted Jul 30, 2009)

2004 O Fournier - Malbec Alfa Crux
I bought this wine in Brooklyn and carried it with me to San Francisco. Whatever the journey did to its aging curve, I have no complaints. Smelled like damp earth, gobs of black fruit and some brett. Tasted of earth and blackberry, with cocoa, tree sap, nutmeg, cherry and vanilla. Blindfold me and this is a Bordeaux. Far bigger than most wines I tend to drink and could probably use a little more acidity, but this wine is really complex. Over time, developed sirloin juices and tea notes. Maybe the best malbec I have ever had. Drink now if you haven't already because I can't see it getting a whole lot better.

(Tasted Jan 13, 2009)

2007 Reinhard unt Beate Knebel - Von den Terrassen Riesling Trocken
Described to me as a "food only" wine. And I agree. Pale lemon/gold colored. Simple nose of honey, slate, lime and peach. Wow, acidity. That's what is apparent first, followed by honey, slate, flowers, musky peach and lychee. The acidity cuts a line through the fruit and takes you where it wants. Gets salty over time, like some sangioveses, and that really makes it a great food wine. Yeah, that's the theme here, food. Classic trocken riesling.

(Tasted Jul 8, 2009)

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