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1997 Rochioli Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc Old Vines; 13.5 % alc.: This medium straw has a pretty grapefruit nose that was complimented by real sea air, along with subtle herb and the faintest hint of fig. Rich and refined at the same time, this shows delicious grapefruit/green apple/pear flavors that carry a creamy note right on through the long finish. The oak is in the background here, and there is good acidity. Rochioli makes my favorite alternatives to the Loire/New Zealand styles of Sauvignon, and this is a classic example.

1998 Rochioli Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc; 13.5 % alc.: I noted less cat spray in this medium straw than in last years model, but a few days later at the winery, there was a lot more. Go figure. There was big spicy pear with a spritz of citrus on the nose and palate` with good acidity. 9-Ball noted distinctive grapefruit while Madame mentioned "pine", and both were right on in that assessment. Like many of its Loire cousins, there was a hint of detergent on the long finish of this world class Sauvignon. We brought four of these home.

1983 S. Anderson Napa Blanc de Blanc; 12.9 % alc.: This medium straw to pale gold bubbly is not only remarkably well preserved for its age, it’s damned good! Toasty/yeasty/nutty aromatics follow through on the tongue with rich, bold, delicious flavors, good acidity and tons o’ bubbles. Wish I could have lingered long over this…

1995 Kistler Sonoma Chardonnay McRea Vineyard; 14.1 % alc.: We did this @$$-backwards, finishing with what should have been an aperitif, but I told Dea we’d never had a Kistler Chardonnay, and she felt that it was an injustice that needed to be corrected. I’m glad she did, because this pale gold is lovely, with butterscotch/ripe pear character and surprising acidity; even DJ liked it! My notes read, "Another creamy, dreamy Kistler."

1997 Sobon Estate Shenandoah Roussanne: Medium straw to pale gold, this wasn’t corked, but it was a little musty at first. Green apple/pear flavors are pleasant, but that’s all.



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