1990 McDowell, Cabernet Sauvignon Mendocino:
12.8% alcohol; some bricking at the edge, medium garnet; expansive nose with bottle bouquet, plum, herb and iodine aromas; rich and almost lush in the mouth but without weight, solid fruit flavors with considerable complexity, accents of earth, brush and herbs, maybe even some mint; good length and no drying tannins. More like an older Bordeaux than expected and no hint of decay. Fine wine.
2008 Drouhin-Laroze, Gevrey-Chambertin:
13.5% alcohol; beautiful nose of fruit and earth with a touch of spice, very alluring; silk in the mouth and complete, clearly Burgundy in delivery and weight, mouth-watering; good length that is every bit as delightful as the palate and nose. Charming in so many ways and as pretty a pinot noir as I have had in awhile.
N/V Louis Roederer, Champagne Brut Premier:
12% alcohol; vigorous bead; smells slightly of fruit and bread; clear, clean taste with lively acidity and the texture of light mousse. I know little of Champagne but I enjoyed this and would be happy to drink it any time.
2009 Ladd Cellars, Pinot Noir Cuvée Abigail:
14.5% alcohol; feminine but not frail, this Sonoma Coast pinot has the texture of satin with good fruit (both treble and bass notes) and some nice earthy/spicy accents, starting to close down just a little, decanter time helps. Seductive is an often over-used descriptor but here, it is warranted. A lovely pinot with as pleasing a texture as any I can remember.
2011 Centonze, Frappato:
12% alcohol; a deft, lightweight, pure wine with supple fruit, an elegant delivery and surprising sustain. The style reminds me of Beaujolais but the flavors are all frappato. Charming wine and less than $20, retail.