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As good as it gets


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Special Reserve December 29th 2005.

Don Anselmo, Paternoster 1997

The best form of Aglianico known to me.

A fine creation from gifted vito paterneoster redefining the word tannins.

The wine seems to toy around with gentle spicy and dried fruit flavors and massive chewy tannins that shift from almost dusty flavors bordering green almonds.

Massive array of flavors is very slow to open up allowing an enchanting journey to a nearly forgotten traditional world.

Drink 2009-2014.

Gaudium Grand Vino de Marques de Caceres 1994

I had been waiting forever for this wine to open up with some disappointments along the way, yet, patience seems rewarding.

A breath taking display of strength and complexity under very gentle and somehow timid flavors of an aging wine.

A too fast tasting of this wine and their goes your money. This wine needs a tentative ear to listen to all the fine soft flavors that all seem to surface regardless of the fine acidity and great amount of tannins now turning soft and balanced.

Drink now through 2010.

Meursault Louis Jadot 1999.

One of my favorite chardonnay wines from a wonderful vintage.

Full bodied, rich, complex matched by a great deal of acidity that will allow further development for many years to come. The right amount of bitter minerals surfaces from the back of the throat to leave a rich and very long finish.

This wine is hardly meant to point out anything in specific but rather show perfect balance of body and flavor.

A great drinking wine that should not come near anything from the sea but rather matched by salty herbaceous cold meats and pastry.

Drink now – 2015.

Chardonnay Beringer Private Label, Nappa Valley 1996.

The question that I tend to ask myself about many fine Californian wines is when is this huge amount of oak expected to subside in order to reveal the essence of the fruit.

Almost goldish toward brown color

The nose is a concentrated blend of oak and ripe fruits massive yet suggesting that this is as good as it gets.

Full flavored and quite an enjoyable aged modern style wine that offers a balance of ripe tropical and Mediterranean fruit tastes structured on mildly toasted oak.

Drink now – 2007.

Brunello di Montalcino Val di Suga 1989.

This wine is every wine keeper's dream.

A traditional fully blown wine with an amazing amount of flavors ranging from dried prunes and peaches through Cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, fresh and dried herbs, leather and earthy aromas.

It seems that this wine has a little of everything under a mature gentle and full flavored jacket.

Some may prefer the single vineyards such as the Vigna Spuntali from this producer, yet I found the multi-vineyard Brunello more complex.

Thrilling !

Perfect now – 2008.

Cabernet Shiraz Black Lable, Wolf Blass 1996

The Beringer Blass' flag ship is something that may always impress your guests. Probably the best vintage to enjoy now, this jammy and soft wine is a massive concentration of sweet shiraz and Cabernet flavors that although deep, lacks finesse and complexity to impress beyond a first impression.

Industrial Australia at its best.

Drink now – 2012.

Beyerskloof, Stellenbosch S. Africa 1997

Great year, great country with some unusual wine talents.

This 1997 Beyerskloof is a masterpiece in terms of consistency of flavors.

An amazing blend of 72% Cabernet and 28% Merlot that form perfect marriage providing a rare unity of flavors reserved for single vineyard high quality varietal wines. The greatness of this wine is not in terms of body and complexity but in terms of smooth consistent and enjoyable flavors from two of the most common fine red grape variety in the world.

The 1997 Beyerskloof seems at its peak and will stay so for another 2-3 years. It will be interesting to follow the aging process of this wine.

Montes Folly Apalta Valley, Chile 2000

Whether Mr. Montes is s a genius or simply lucky [following the results from this winery, the former may provide the correct answer] it is rare to witness the birth of a great wine, and this form of syrah is nothing short of great.

Massive, dark, concentrated and very much at its youth, this hulk will need years to evolve into its full proportions. A pure display of strength balance and elegance while very concentrated black cherries, raspberries and gooseberries co-exist with rich spicy flavors lead by black pepper.

Opening the wine now is a mere speculation of potential.

Drink 2008-2014.

Chateau Romer du Hayot 2em Grand Cru Classe' Sauternes 1998.

Talk about a perfect dessert: Naturally sweet with an excellent acidity and an amazing array of flavors ranging from the honey of Ithika in Greece to Turkish dried apricots. The after taste contains a slight note of bitter almonds that promises to disappear in two to three years.

This is a great wine that is simply moving, enjoyable now but will continue to evolve another fifteen years from now.

Behind every great wine there is a great man or woman. No technology I am familiar with can achieve such depth of flavors as the wines above and if so it will be a mere scene in a movie. The experience of drinking such wines and yielding to their flavors are one of the few compensations for situation like Gunter's: [A former east – Berliner coming to New-York] "Now we are free but nothing seems to be free anymore".

Andre Suidan

I was taught to finish what I order.

Life taught me to order what I enjoy.

The art of living taught me to take my time and enjoy.

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