Kirindija Vedran, Pelješko, Dingac, 2002
Hand-carried back from Croatia. Color is medium crimson red with a clear lightening on the edge. In the glass are deep plum, clove-spice, dried flowers (roses, peony). Sappy plums, some slight resin, dried flowers and basket straw, raisin and deeply steeped hibiscus tea. Slight ripasso in feel: sweet, lush, and heady (14.5% alkol), but finishing with gripping tannins that suggest this is still youthful. Has a body of a zinfandel but with the signature of a southern Italian, perhaps an Etna Rosso or an aglianico in feel. Interesting and wish I had another bottle of two to trace its evolution. B+/A-
Bitouzet-Prieur, Volnay 'Pitures', 1996
Recent experience has told me to open these '96 Burgundies. (Note that I tend to enjoy them on the young side when the potential is there rather than the finding the fading flavors attractive) Oh-oh, color has a noticeable sable rim. The only flavors coaxed out of the glass are old cherry and earth, but the kind close to either a graveyard or scrap heap. Tastes old and tired, and unworthy of its $35 pricetag. D-O-A. D/D-
Dom. Bruno Clair, Chambolle Musigny 'les Veroilles', 1996
Good thing I have another 96 for comparison value. Better color, this one is light cherry-maroon red. A lovely nose of wild strawberries footcrushed by hiking boots walking on diatomaceous earth. Old, opened strawberry preserves and field hay, Japanese green tea in the mouth. Tannins are fully resolved, with tangy redcurrants falling on the sappy finish. Not bad at all, especially appealing is the beautiful, unfading nose. B+ $40 on closeout.