Yes, I've gone "Sideways" and tried the very luscious 2006 NorthStar Merlot (92) as a diversion ($25.30 at Hannafords); a great and VERY drinkable wine that goes well with friends, fun, and food.
I've opened a Hall Napa Valley 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, $32.99, 94 points, and discovered one of the most complex wines I know of, deep purple red, aromatic, fruit-forward with spice and a long finish. This is a wine to sip and muse-over (cerebral) with a good book or movie, a wine to contemplate by, but there is no end to the flavors neatly, furtively woven throughout this fine wine, and that's not to say that there isn't dramatic boldness, but this wine is a symphony.
However, Zinfandel is becoming more and more my wine theme, at least until I can't find any more.
So, lets draw nigh to
Neyers Pato Vineyard 2008 Zinfandel, $29.99, 91 points, is an elegant well structured wine, from the aroma, fruit, lush texture, alcohol, tannin, right to the dense red color and smooth finish reminiscent of Frog's Leap. I found no trade-mark quality other than its balance. It paired well with a spicy Rib eye steak and spinach and fries.
Buehler Napa Valley 2007 Zinfandel, $17.99, 91 points, is as wild as the Neyers is tame. With a fairly pleasant aroma, dense ruby color, brambly richness, with tannin a bit tight, the bite of which is okay to me, having a long sweet-tart spice-espresso finish that marks this an exciting "draught"to have at barbecues or with pizza, but definitely with friends. This is a very good wine.
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