2000 Franciscan Oakville Estate Magnificat $23
($23 is the price that I had listed in my notes back from when I bought it, even though the list price is $50.)
I have a fond place in my heart for the Franciscan Oakville Estate as they were partly responsible for my current love of wine. However I must say that my tastes have outgrown most of their selection. The one exception is the Magnificat. Each year they change the blend to get the most out of their red wines. It is always quite pleasant, and very well-balanced.
There are dark cherries and perhaps a touch of blueberries in the aroma. The flavor has a touch of chocolate and just a touch of oak. It is very smooth and has a nice finish.
2001 Sauvignon Blanc $8
Light, crisp citrus aroma. Cantaloupe and a little vanilla flavor. It has a nice finish.
2002 Chardonnay $20
100% French oak. This is a nice typical Chardonnay with a buttery finish.
2002 Pinot Noir $10
This one has a nice color, and is not too dark. It has a nice dusty aroma, with flavors of blueberry, vanilla, and lots of leather. There is just a hint of mint on the finish.
2001 Meritage $34
Nice dark purple color and nice legs. Pleasant aroma with a touch of chocolate. Flavors include peppermint, cedar, and mocha. There is a touch of tobacco on the finish.
2000 Cabernet Sauvignon $20
Very nice deep purple color. Light chocolate aromas and chocolate flavors on the palate. There is a little heat on the finish. A good cheddar cheese brings out the earthiness. A nice sausage does the same to a lesser extent.
2000 Bourgas Chardonnay $7
This is a Bulgarian wine that I picked up from a local importer. It was nice, but if you come across it, drink it fast, as it will not store well. I’ve had it for almost a year, stored properly in the cooler, and it is almost over the top.
1999 Chateau Potelle Zinfandel V.G.S.
This was a sad day indeed. I’ve had this one in the cooler – a bit too long, as it had gone way over the top. I will note that there was some stuff in there that reminded me that I liked it much better than the current crop that is for sale. There was indeed some pepper in there…
2000 Edmeades Anderson Valley Gewürztraminer
Nice straw color. Mineral aroma. Slightly sweet, mineral flavors and a very nice finish.
A couple of glasses of wine with a smoked salmon salad for lunch.
2000 Bouley Voney (a Pinot Noir)
2001 McManis River Junction California Cabernet Sauvignon
The Pinot Noir was a little weak with the smoked salmon, but the Cabernet Sauvignon complemented the taste quite nicely.
2001 Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Château La Nerthe produces the best Châteauneuf-du-Pape that I’ve tasted – period.
2002 Castle Rock Carneros Pinot Noir $5 per glass
Ripe fruit but very smoky. It went well with the food – various appetizers including sashimi, roasted chicken, beef and vegetables.
1999 Robert Biale Monte Rosso Zinfandel
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2000 Clos des Menuts, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru $19 – 375ml
Dark color, nice legs. Fruity and spicy aroma. Dry with a touch of green pepper. I matched this with the lunch special which was escargots in phyllo pastry dough and a mesclun salad. This was a beautiful dish. The escargots were Sautédin garlic butter, they and spinach were stuffed into the phyllo dough and baked. A red sauce, containing tomato, basil and an infusion of parmesan and perhaps cream – I’ll have to try it again. I finished the meal with crème brûlée – which was one of the best I’ve ever tasted.
The wines of Robert Hall
2002 Sauvignon Blanc
No big deal, an objectionable aluminum foil taste in the finish.
2000 Merlot $13
Someone messed up and put Cabernet Sauvignon in this bottle. It is very nice, smoky, peppery, nice finish. It went very well with pepperoni and cheese.
2000 Cabernet Sauvignon $13
Light aroma, flavor is okay, there is a bit of matchstick in the flavor, not bad but not great.
Nice dark color. Aroma has a touch of roses or something floral. Flavors of ripe fruit and espresso. Typical Syrah finish.
2000 Rhone de Robles
Very dark for a Rhone style wine. Very smoky, cigar box, tobacco. This is BIG! Very smoky finish! This is very nice.
2001 Rhone de Robles
Not as good as the 2000. Not as smoky, not as big, not as much cigar box or tobacco. Nice but not as nice as the 2000.
2002 Rhone de Robles
Better than the 2001 but not as nice as the 2000.