Within the last year, bottles of both these wines were over the hill--faded color, tired flavors. But each of these were surprisingly neither.
2000 Limerick Lane Zinfandel "Collins VY"
Amador County, California
Medium red color with a bit of rust on the edges. Flavors of raspberry liqueur, orange juice, clove and hazelnut. Good length on the palate. A good example of the unique character of Amador zinfandel at mid-life.
1998 Karl Lawrence Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, California
A huge wine. Dense, purple-black. Thick blackberry and black plum fruit with firm tannins that did lessen in the glass (didn't decant since, based on the prior bottle, I pretty much expected to dump this one on the azaleas). Dark chocolate and a jammy note appeared in the finish but thankfully stopped short of turning cloying. A bit ripe for my tastes but nonetheless an impressive wine for the vintage.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov