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Despite the "doom and gloom" associated with the dreaded '98 vintage, both of these wines were quite good. In fact the '98 WHL Res. was better IMHO!

Here you go:

1. WHL Reserve Cab. - I decided to try this wine based on some recent commentary here on the forum regarding a vertical tasting of WHL done somewhere on the east coast...I forget where at the moment. The poster said that the '98 Reserve was the best of all of them in a blind tasting. Had to see for myself. Very nice bouquet of plum, cherry, and currant. Excellent garnet color. Not too light, not opaque black either. Wonderful mouthfeel. Smooth and velvety, but and excellent display of tannin/acidity. Very well balanced wine. Great fruit and oak...not overly extracted. The only down side was the common, but only slightly "vegetal" flavor in this '98. I've had this experience before with a few of the '98's and although this doesn't dominate, it's ever so slightly there...the green bell pepper taste I'm not so fond of. But...I still think this is a wonderful wine. Should last a solid decade or so. A great buy IMO for $45. I'd give it 92-93 pts.

2. The Geyser Peak... - For Fans of the previous vintages, this lives up to it's name. I think this is a fantastic Sonoma wine. Sort of a dark horse these days in winemaking. I think they should get a bit more press than they do. But...with recent price hikes I can see why! It's gone from $25/bottle to $40/bottle in about 2 years. At $25 this would be a great buy, but $40 is really pushing it. This is definitely not a long term ager. I think it will hold well for 5-8 years max. My favorite think about Geyser Peak is their bouquet. Always stunning. Very nice ripe extracted fruit in the glass, a bit darker in color than the WHL, but lacking in tannin. Good acidity. I'd give this an 89-90. I really loved the '97 Reserve, unfortunately this doesn't quite match it.

Happy tasting...

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Dr. DRAB -

Glad you liked the '98 WHL. Personally, I didn't find it exciting especially at the horrid winery price of $80 or so (I tasted the '95 - '98 Reserve Cabernet bottlings there in June). Heck, I didn't even like the '97 which was highly regarded by many.

$45 sounds like a pretty good price though.

Interestingly, I'm a huge fan of the '99 Napa bottling.

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