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Hmm, that 'sticky from down under' sounds abit off, wouldn't you say? [Big Grin] Anyway, Mrs. K took the G-man over to Grandpa's this evening, so IW and I hooked up for a bit of wine swilling and good food. 1st wine of the night was a '96 Benziger Rsv. CS Sonoma Mtn., decanted for about 1.5 hrs. My tasting notes from last night were spot on from those I made back in June:

This is a great CA cab from a 'sleeper' vintage; paid $36 for these in Atlanta and couldn't be happier.

At the restaurant we opened and decanted a bottle of '97 Pira 'Margheria' Barolo. The lighting wasn't all that great but by the candle on the table the wine displayed a crystal-clear deep ruby coloration. Lots of clear, slow legs. Deep aromas of red cherries and plums, a touch of earth and herbs. Flavors of slate, dark fruits, a mild chocolate hint mid-palate, and talc-like tannins on the long, sweet fruit finish. Just a touch of oak nicely framing the wine, which really opened up after about an hour. Absolutely perfect w/the food (NY strip steak w/grilled Italian veggies and pancetta-wrapped roast pork tenderloin w/garlic mash). $80 at the restaurant, 91 pts., a bit pricey but a great wine.

Back at the Kybo estate we opened a '97 Seppelt DP 57 Rutherglen Show Tokay. A 1st experience for both IW and I, this wine showed beautifully in the glass. Clear burnished bronze colors, strong nose of spice, toffee, and honey, deeply concentrated spiced golden raisins on the palate. Sweet, but definitely not cloying. Mid-length finish that begged for another sip. Good stuff - 92 pts., $18, "A+" QPR.
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Thanks Jeremy-

I've actually had last years Chambers -both regular and Special Muscats, Tokays; Campbells- Muscat and Tokay and Merchant Prince, but have not had Buller's, Stanton & Kileen Collectors', or Jones' versions or the Campbells'Isabella.

I prefer the Muscat style with more spice and body than the Tokay. My individual preference for the Special Muscat (@$35.00) over the Merchant is both in style and price (half the cost). Rare Chambers' are beyond my price range. I'm lucky being one of the few purchasers of these wines in my area, so I get even larger discounts. However, I know I'm only scratching the surface of availability.

Giving the oddities of the distribution chain, I can get these, but not Noon, Veritas or other smaller high end Shiraz Oz and NZ producers. In fact, I now get preoffers of Kracher's lineup at 15-20% discount, but can't get Cloudy Bay. Go figure.

Another great evening with Kybo. The '96 Benziger Reserve CS was truly a wonderful example how Sonoma fruit shines through. The fruit was displayed throughout the mouth and the finish was incredible. The tannins and acidity told me that this wine will last at least another 4-5 years. If you like lively fruit I HIGHLY recommend this 1996 Cab. I would rate this wine 93 pts. A+ QPR. I was so impressed with this wine, Kybo gave me a bottle for my personal collection. Kybo thanks again for wonderful generousity. I give Kybo an A+ on the friendship scale.

The '97 Pira Barola at the restaurant, really evolved into a wonderful wine during the meal. I agree with Kybo regarding the powdery tannins and real plum like color and flavor. The long finish really smoothed out and the fruit started to come out in the last half of the bottle. Decanting this really helped. $80 was not cheap, but glad I had this wine with my steak. I would rate this wine 92 pts. I highly recommend that you decant this wine if you plan on drinking this in the near future.

The Australian sweetie was a delightful experience. At $18 I would buy more. The predominant flavor of raisins throughout went great with some Hershey's chocolates and gold raisins that Kybo had at his house. The color of this wine was my favorite part. The bronze and dusty gold reminded me of something that gold hunters in California 100 years ago would have recognized. Pure fun. Until next time.


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