TN: 41 bottles of red on the wall

Marietta “Old Vine Red” 41 (California) – Every year, this wine disappears further into its own shadow. This version is fading to transparency (and I don’t mean visually), showing anonymous spicy fruit underneath somewhat strident oak…not that much of that latter, but more than enough to subdue aught else. Not only is this no longer the value it once was, I’m not even sure it’s recommendable as a bargain quaffer anymore. Let’s see what the next release brings. (1/06)

Benoni 2002 Syrah “Three Vineyards” (Napa Valley) – Simple plum-berry aromas with a little bit of water-soaked leather and a good deal of dry, papery tannin. Good old Napa, doing to syrah what it does to zin: drying it out. (12/06)

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