Friends,

Some random notes.

91 Dominus. I asked a friend to go pick a bottle out of the vinotemps and this is what he came back with. He could not have made a better choice. I am not a huge Dominus fan, but the 91 is a great wine. The tannins are very fine and soft, the acidity is still firm and the transition in the mouth is seamless front to back. Spices, red fruits, cedar and tobacco leap from the glass and the fruit really comes to life in the mouth. This wine has a great harmony to it. 97pts

95 Seavey. What happened to this the potential this wine had? The oak now dominates and the texture is chunky. I still have five or six bottles and hope that this bottle was off, but I doubt it, it just doesn't seem like a very good wine. The acidity is soft the tannins rough the oak huge, not a great combination. 87pts.

91 Girard Res. Thin and lean. This is an angry little wine that displayed nothing that I like about California Cabernet. Even pasta couldn't help it out. 84pts

99 Sauzet Bienvenue Batard Montrachet. My second bottle of this wine. The first shared with Jim Cowan and Double J was superb, this bottle was even better. The combination of apples, minerals and spices is amazing. The finish lingers on and on. Plenty of acidity to age, but a great drink now. It's hard to pay $160 for Chardonnay, but this wine is makes you think about it. I wish I had some in my cellar. 96pts

99 Prieur Corton Bressandes. I loved his 99 Musigny and this wine is a further step up. Some might find the current level of oak a little high, but there is plenty of stuffing to keep my mind off of it. Deep red fruit, hints of tea, spices and toasty oak. The tannins are firm but time will take care of that. Could this wine have been a little manipulated? Either way 94pts.

98 Katnook Estate Prodigy Shiraz. Tanzer loved this wine, 96pts, so I took a chance on a couple of bottles, my mistake. It turns out that it was another over extracted, heavy handed oak bomb. Everything I don't like about Oz. 89pts

96 Pahlmeyer. Every other bottle of this is one of the best wines I've had from this vintage. This bottle was a good bottle. I am beginning to believe that Helen's extreme style of winemaking leads to considerable bottle variation. It will never keep me from buying but it can be bothersome. This had all of the standard Pahlmeyer qualities, they just didn't sing as loud. It would have been great had I not had the wine before. 92pts

99 Monbousquet. Bordx isn't my strong suit, if I'm drinking Cabernet I usually lean towards Dr. J's side of the fence and stay in Napa. Even so this wine was a very good drink. Dark and brooding with layers of scents and flavors that again left me wondering was this a manipulated wine? Easily the best 99 I have tasted except for the 99 Latour. Costco is selling this at around $55 and I will certainly buy more. 93pts

99 Showket Cabernet. I know that everyone has read notes from Josh du Lac and M. Cooper about this wine but they didn't due it justice. Concentrated, but very elegant. Dark fruit that speaks to super ripe grapes, but none of the alcohol that you would expect to go with this level of ripeness. Very balanced and the acidity is lively and refreshing. If each vintage was to have a bottle that represents the best qualities of the vintage this wine would be it for 99. 95pts

94 Beaucastel. I loved this vintage on release and bought more of it than I did the 95. I may have made a mistake. This bottle was thin and had more horse butt and VA than I typically like in a wine, or for that matter anything in my life. Unlike the Girard this could have been an off bottle. 85pts

97 Rochioli West Block. Yummy and more yummy. Not burgundy and who cares. Ripe cherry and raspberry flavors. Very well balanced and ready to drink now. 93pts

Eat, drink and be merry,
Russell
rbevan@pacbell.net
Original Post
Nice notes -- thanks. Of the wines you mentioned, I've had two recently, the '91 Dominus and the '99 Monbousquet, and I think you're right on with both.

The '91 Dominus was at the NorCal wine dinner in Sacto, and I think everyone there really liked it. The '99 Monbousquet is not exactly subtle, but it's got tons of very interesting flavors (I got a lot of smoke and coffee grounds) and is definitely worth a try.
Kimber,

Thanks for the kind words. My problem with the current WS board is that I have no clue who any of these people are. I wish we had a list of names to go with monikers.

I do hope one of them is my old buddy JJB, the Black Hand.

All the best,
Russell
Bacchus/tonester,

The Showket mailer for the 99 cab was mailed out
yesterday. To get on the list (if you're interested), just go to their website. It's
www.showketvineyards.com.

Have you guys tried their sangiovese? I think it's one of the best to come out of California.
Budman,

I am not a big fan of Cal Ital wines. Most are boring at best and many are almost undrinkable. The Showket Sangio is the one that I do enjoy, but for all the wrong reasons. It is almost cabernet in style and texture, the hill it is grown on is magical.

All the best,
Russell
Mark,
Not to step on Bacchus' toes, but..

Showket is located in Oakville,
on the East side near Silverado trail.
The Showkets have been grape growers
since 1988, and sold their grapes to
winemakers like Dalla Valle. Their first
Showket-Awni label was 1997 Sangiovese,
and their first cab was the 1998.
Heidi Barrett makes the wine at the
Napa Wine Co. Need I say more? [Cool] [Big Grin]
Bacchus,
Good to see you posting more lately. I've always valued your opinions since you, along with Julius and Nanop, helped me select the wine for a house warming party a few years ago. [We went with Seavey, Eddy, Miner, Vine Cliff and BV GDL.]
Agree with you on the Seavey, yet I'm still hopeful time will tame this beast.

I'm going to pick up the Monbousquet on your req.
I've hestated because of RP's opinion of the vintage, (in relation to '98) but that's very broad stroke.

You mention the '99 Latour. Have you tried Margaux, Haut Brion, Lafite, and Mouton?

I recently found a cache of '97 Paradigm. Is it safe to assume you're a fan?

Better Red Than Not!
Dear Rucchin,

I have had the Mouton and Lafite. Did not care for the Mouton that much, but liked the Lafite. Compared to the Monbus. they were lacking.

The 97 Paradigm, a pass for me, I wouldn't consider it. I find the wine to be flat and if I'm drinking California Cabernet I do so for the concentration of fruit and round lush textures.

All the best,
Russell

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