December 2009

Blue's Best Buys

By: Anthony Dias Blue
Anthony Dias Blue's "Blue Reviews" are one of the most popular features of THE TASTING PANEL's print edition. Here are some extra reviews of Andy's favorite wines and spirits tasted over the past month. Mid-priced or wallet-friendly, each of these selections deserves its "Best Buy" rating because of its outstanding value-to-price ratio.

94 Ravenswood 2007 Zinfandel, Dickerson Vineyard, Napa Valley ($35)
Bursting with pomegranate, raspberry and racy acidity; forward, long and exquisite with a stunning finish.
92 Dow NV 10 Year, Port ($32)
Lovely brickish color; ripe fruit nose; silky, clean and showing lovely rancio, smoke and roasted meat notes; sweet, ripe dates and cherry fruit; smooth and complex, stunning.
92 Cadaretta 2007 Merlot, Columbia Valley ($35)
Dense and spicy with rich texture and lots of ripe plum, blackberry and tangy acidity; long, deep and impressive.
91 Chronicle 2006 Pinot Noir, Cerise Vineyard, Anderson Valley ($48)
Ripe and racy with rich black cherry and nice depth; lively but substantial and complex with length and style.
90 Marimar Estate 2007 Chardonnay, La Masia, Don Miguel Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($37)
Silky and bright with ripe fruit and toasty new oak; juicy with a core of lively acidity; long and balanced with style and depth.
90 Ramey Wine Cellars 2007 Chardonnay, Carneros ($38)
Pure and nervy with lovely fruit and great structure; lively, crisp and balanced.
90 Hess Collection 2008 Hess Select Sauvignon Blanc, Lake County ($12)
Sustainably farmed in Lake County, this crisp wine shows varietal spice, lively fruit and a nice balance of flavors; long, clean and attractive.
90 McIntyre 2007 Merlot, Kimberly Vineyard, Arroyo Seco ($20)
A dense sustainably-grown wine with ripe plum, chocolate and spice; rich, long and balanced with earthy flavors.
88 Oak Grove 2008 Viognier, Reserve, California ($8)
Clean with some nice aromatics and creamy texture; soft, balanced and charming.

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