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Wife of a friend belongs to a professional women's group that raises money for scholarships, return to college efforts, etc. for women around the country. Last night's fundraiser was a wine-tasting and the following wines were tasted.

Segura Viudas NV Brut Reserva Cava - Lightly colored sparkler with excellent bead, light aromas of bread dough, apple and lime, and a nice touch of toast. 87 pts., $17. Bought another bottle at auction.

'00 Louis Latour Montagny 1er Cru 'La Grand Roche' - Clear, pale yellow coloration, faint nose of mineral, peach and pear, nice fruit but low on acid, short finish. 84 pts., $16.

'01 Brancott Vineyards SB Reserve - Ahh, the good stuff. Spicy tropical fruits, great acidity, long finish. Bought (2) at auction.

'00 Caymus Conundrum - Nice coloration and aromas of white fruits, apple, peach, figs and toasty oak on the flavors, not as sweet as the '99 vintage. 87 pts., $23.

'99 Sebastiani Carneros PN - Very pleasantly suprised here. Clear, deep black cherry coloration, lots of legs, a little barnyard mixed with the red-fruit nose, strawberry, plum, and dusty earth on the midpalate and finish. 89-90 pts., $18. Bought the last one at auction.

'01 Paringa Shiraz - Everyone here knows the drill. Excellent Aussie Shiraz for $11. 90 pts.

'99 Barton & Guestier "Tradition" CdP - Deeply colored, nose of tart black fruits, blackberries, tart plums, and spice flavors. Quite tannic, but the acids seem way out of whack here; maybe more time will settle this wine out. 84 pts., $21.
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The lack of fruit you've experienced probably translates to my 'less sweet than previous vintages' comment. I found it pleasant drinking, not the blockbuster I'm sure Caymus would like to think it is, but certainly not as dessert-like as it had been.

Some of the sentiment herein is that once Caymus added Viognier to the mix the wine became too sweet. Personally I'm a Viognier freak, and I hadn't tasted pre-viognier Conundrum so I've nothing to gauge it against - so it's hard for me not to be biased. It is a good glass of wine, though I'd probably not buy it at $23 (local price).

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