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Rusty Guinn
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2007 Kilikanoon - Shiraz Killerman's Run
Mild nose, with apparent fruit and glycerin. Drinks quite well, with a great front and mid-palate of currants, blackberries and spice. Decent finish, but nothing to write home about. Firm tannins throughout, and didn't seem to soften much in the glass. Still, a terrific value!

(Tasted Jul 3, 2010)

2009 Von Strasser - Gruner Veltliner
One of the first Gruener plantings in Napa. What a fine summer wine! A base of pleasant minerality is overlain by granny smith apples, kiwi and a healthy bit of acidity. Not as dry as I like my Austrian Gruener, but a really pleasant find in Napa!

(Tasted Jun 3, 2010)

2008 Grgich Hills - Chardonnay Estate
Tasted at the winery. What a surprise! This Chardonnay is fresh and live - on the nose and early in the mouth, it quacks like a Sauvignon Blanc. Some acidity and citrus here that I wasn't expecting. Not a heavy oak-and-butter chardonnay. A solid base of mineral and gravel with a wash of dried pears, tangerine and walnut shells. Delightful, ready to drink. I'd be bolder than usual in my food pairings with this one.

(Tasted Jun 2, 2010)

2007 Caymus - Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Prominent fruit on the nose and immediately on the palate. Tannins are harsher than I was expecting - this one might benefit from another year or two in bottle. Starts fruity for a Napa Cab, with a nose of blueberries and cream, but on the palate takes on some more depth, blackberries and (maybe) tobacco? Short finish with a little hint of spice on the back end.

(Tasted Jun 15, 2010)

2003 Yalumba - Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz The Signature
This is a solid year for The Signature, which is a consistent Shiraz/Cab blend from Yalumba. This wine evolves noticeably in the glass, and takes on dramatically different character with an hour in glass or decanter, so do yourself a favor and give it a little time. Straight out of bottle it's probably closer to a 90. Solid nose of dried cherries - the cherries, chalk and coffee dominate in mouth. Surprisingly long finish (25+ seconds?), with the dark flavors and earth maintained throughout.

(Tasted Aug 12, 2009)

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