From memory, so thumbnail sketches only:
1979 Parducci Pinot Noir, Mendocino County
Yeah, 1979, from the cool basement cellar a friend inherited from his father. Youthful dark ruby garnet-red in color, clearing rim. Had the good leathery nose of an aged wine with a healthy dose of dill (American oak?). In the mouth, cherries, some orange peel and a bit of walnut in the finish. No spice and not particularly complex--ithad those four flavors and that's it--so not recognizable as pinot, but not seeming like anything else in particular either. I wouldn't have thought it cab. All of which doesn't sound like it adds up to much, but the wine was in incredible shape, and the last sip was as good as the first. If it's like this after 27 years, it must have been a bruiser in its youth. I suspect that there was another grape like petite sirrah in there.
1993 Chateau du Fieuzal, Pessac-Leognan
My second bottle of this wine (same source) and a much, much better bottle than the first. Where the other was tired, this was youthful and showed impressively.
1989 L'Ecole 41 Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington
From the same cellar as the Parducci. Nice at first, but it tired easily. One of those Washington wines that didn't develop any secondary nuances; it just got old.
1994 DeLille "Chaleur", Washington
Yum! This Bordeaux style blend is aging well, and unlike the l'Ecole it's developing well with complex berry, tobacco notes and some spicey fruit cake on the finish. We loved it. Has what is needed to continue to evolve/improve.
2002 Mt. Boucherie Summit Reserve, Okanagan Valley BC
Cab, Merlot and CF. Surprisingly soft and velveteen. I mostly tasted oak and cab franc. Too "smooth", no character.
2002 Burrowing Owl Cab Franc, Okanagan Valley BC
Wow. I know BO gets criticized for their use of oak, but when the fruit is as bold and expressive as this, a wine can carry it and this does. Big, bold, rustic and elegant at the same time. Nice feat. Drinks well now but should continue to improve.
2004 Tommasi Valpolicella Classico
Rather tuitty-fruitty in the nose. Soft pleasant tasting, but I found myself trying to drink without breathing. Not interesting.
2004 Blue Mountain Gamay, Okanagan Valley BC
You could put this in a lineup of 05 French Bojos and it would not only totally pass, it would get some first place votes. Lovely lovely lovely.[/quote]
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov