No, not oak, but a square sensation to 3 of the latest:
Philippe Rossingnol, Gevrey-Chambertin 'vieilles vignes', 1996
A darkish maroon with a lightish rim. Dark forest fruits with smoked campfire game meat with a little spice thrown in. This wine dwells in a deep forest, a chewy dark cherry and sour raspberry flavor. Very masculine. Steely. It's not bad, but not good either at $40. Pass.
Cantalupo, Ghemme 'Collis Breclemae', 1996
Oh look-kee, another '96er! This is dark cherry red colored, with a minty dried rose petal & cherry nose. On the palate is bitter cherry root, coffee grounds, and vanilla-mint. Has an old feel about it, slightly rustic, with gripping tannins. On the end I notice angostura bitters, a bitter orange peel with an alcoholic bite. And I thought Ghemme's were supposed to be the welcome wagon to Piemonte? Pass.
Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin 'Clos de la Chanteniere, 1999
Still light, bright gold colored. A subdued nose of pressed cider apples, sunflower & ghee. Yumm: comice pears, golden delicious apples cloaked by a little clovey oak on the finish, this is an elegant mouthful of white Burgundy. The acidity has rounded out due to both vintage character and time-in-bottle, and this has lost perhaps some of it's youthful exuberance, but it is still drinking well, considering. Buy again (if I could find it)
Descendientes de J. Palacios, Petalos del Bierzo, 2003
Having mostly vowed off drinking Spanish wines, I still wanted to try a variety I've never had before (mencia), and found this bottle. My mistake. It's got the color of a 'new' red. The nose is full of redcurrants and sharp flowers. Plenty of tart, unripe raspberries, redcurrants, and slight menthol & green mango in the glass. There's also a burnt sulfur thingy going on, giving this a reduced feeling. The tar note makes me think of the 2004 les Heretiques, which I am not enamored of. A little too extracted, too much wood, or both. A pass, and a continued search for the Real mencia...