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Diamond in the rough

[bottle]Rombauer 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) – Very austere, aromatically, with the palate showing tarred rosemary and not much else. It’s imbalanced in favor of its tannin, as well, which adds to its dry severity. (5/07)

Rombauer 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon “Diamond Selection” (Napa Valley) – Much more structured than the regular cabernet, but more balanced as well, showing espresso, dark black fruit, and leather with a light charred coconut aspect to the finish. More expressive and longer than any of the wines so far, though there’s also the faintest touch of brett. (5/07)

Carneros park

[bottle]Rombauer 2005 Chardonnay (Carneros) – Oaky, full-bodied, silky and lush, and quite openly sweet on the palate. Very, very simple, and seemingly pointed at the widest possible audience of chardonnay-as-cocktail drinkers, in which context I think it should be viewed. (5/07)

Auto parts

Rombauer 2003 Merlot (Napa Valley) – Smoked black cherry residue and black pepper; there’s a char to this wine, probably from the oak, that somewhat dominates. There’s good acidity, but the wine hollows on the finish. (5/07)

Read-only zin

Rombauer 2005 Zinfandel (California) – Grapey and slightly confected, with spicy-hot red cherries dominating. This doesn’t seem quite dry, either. Not my style. (5/07)