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Amazing TN's - '96 Margaux, '98 Cannon La Gaffeliere, Kuleto Cab, Duckhorn Patzimaro

I've been brooding over this for a couple of weeks. Some friends and I had a reason to celebrate, and it called for a glorious tasting. These wines were every bit what they should have been. No disappointments here. I've been thinking of what to say/how to say it, and mostly just awe struck to sit down and really write about it. This was the best flight I've experienced yet! So here goes....

'96 Margaux - Everything Parker says it is. This is a luxurious wine. Everything here is in the right proportions. This is winemaking and balance at their finest. Absolutely phenomenal wine. Incredibly well made and structured. Wonderful fruit, excellent bouquet, deep garnet color, not overly extracted, super fine integrated tannins. WOW!!! I agree with Parker 99 Pts. IMHO. I have a half case left, and could easily drink it all right now! This is some good juice!

'98 Ch. Canon La Gaffeliere - This could be my favorite St. Emilion wine. I love this estate. And this was the best I've had yet. This really gave the Margaux a run for the money. And dare I say I almost liked it better (but the key word is almost)! Deep color, dark rich fruit, sturdy tannins, and a full bodied long lasting finish! Again....this is some good juice! I would give it 96-98 pts.(leaning more toward the 97-98 side) Can't wait to watch this over the years.

'99 Kuleto Cab. - This is Pat Kuleto's first Cab. release. For those of you not familiar, he's a famous restaurant owner here in S.F. For the past couple of years he has been growing mostly Italian varietals like Sangiovese, and decided that his mountain vineyard in Napa was actually more suited to Cab. After releasing this offering, which I believe is very small production....something like 250 cases, WS gave is a very nice 92 pt. review. I would heartily agree. This is another high extract, fruit forward wine. Drinking very well right now. Excellent new world Cab., but I wouldn't give it much for cellaring potential. Nice wine.

'98 Duckhorn Patzimaro - This is one of two single vineyard releases that Duckhorn does. The other is the Monitor Ledge. Both are Cab. based wines. The Monitor Ledge is blended with the usual Bordeaux varietals, and the Patzimaro is 100% Cab! I love 100% cab!!! Despite the doom and gloom of the '98 vintage this was a phenomenal wine! Very old world in it's flavor. It tasted French, but was also new world in it's extraction level. The best of both world IMHO. I loved this wine. Easily one of the best '98's I've had yet. Great fruit, bouqet, full bodied, long finish, you name it. I would give it a solid 94-96 pts. Leaning more toward the 95-96 side. Awesome wine!

There you go!

Happy tasting all....

-DRAB
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