2004 Highfield Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand ($13.99) This is a new offering in our portfolio of Kiwi sauvignon blancs, and a fine one indeed. Meticulous vineyard work and grape selection along with cold fermentation contribute to the perfumed nose of lime blossom, pink grapefruit, red bell pepper and minerals. 2004 Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa “Importers Reserve” Cabernet Sauvignon Barossa Valley South Australia ($10.99) It’s tough to find good cabernet at this price, but once again they deliver. The bouquet shows notes of plum, cherry, black current, earth and a hint of herbs. Aged in French oak, there are hints of spice along with the fruit character framed by supple tannins leading to a fine finish. 2003 d’Arenberg “Laughing Magpie” Shiraz-Viognier McLaren Vale South Australia ($19.99) A blend of shiraz co-fermented with 6% viognier. Showing aromas of honeysuckle, marmalade, blackberry, and a hint of pencil lead, on the palate this is full bodied with wonderful balance, fine dusty tannins and great length. This is a superb price. I’d recommend putting some aside to drink over the next 3-5 years. 2002 Penfolds Bin 389 Shiraz-Cabernet South Australia ($18.99) Know as Baby Grange or Poor Man’s Grange, this wine shows elements of pepper, earth, black cherry, cassis, current and notes of cedar, spice box and mocha. I had the 1986 of this wine not long ago and it was absolutely terrific. A great cellar candidate, too! —Jimmy C
Château d’Yquem has delivered its Bordeaux Superiore, rarely produced and only the 23rd vintage since its first introduction in 1959. 2000 Château d’Yquem “Y” ($139.99) is a dry white wine showing delicate aromas of gardenia and jasmine, which mingle with clover, honey and light brioche. The fruit of the nose is carried to the palate, with a pleasant stony finish. This wine offers a perfect long finish. I would recommend this wine with any customary sauternes paring (foie gras) but strongly suggest lobster thermidor. On a sweeter note, the 2002 Le Dauphin de Guiraud, Sauternes (375ml) ($13.99) has a more exotic nose offering a refreshing honey and citrus finish. The bright, crisp and clean flavor makes this wine a great everyday sauterne that will be light enough to drink with any fruity dessert. Another great everyday drinker is the 1998 Reserve St. Julien, St-Julien ($14.99), from the great Saint-Emilion wine maker Hubert de Bouard (Angelus). A deep rich purple color and plenty of fruit to the nose, medium bodied with good structure. Will improve with some cellaring over the next 2-3 years. The 2002 Pagodes de Cos, St-Estèphe ($22.99) offers good value for the cellar. With plenty of sweet concentrated black fruit and cassis on the nose leading to a meaty more delicate finish. This wine should be drunk over the next 10 years. Last but not least, the 2000 Feytit Clinet, Pomerol ($34.99), is a merlot-based wine offering a black cherry and dark earthy nose. With tannins still very present, I would keep this wine in my cellar for another couple of years before opening. It will drink well for the next five years after that. —Alexandre Brisoux
Lets start the month with one delicious white from the classic 2004 vintage and three outstanding reds from the near perfect 2000 vintage in Bordeaux. 2004 Thieuley Blanc, Bordeaux ($10.99) This property has been turning out high quality white and red wines that sell for prices much lower than you would expect. This is a blend of 60% sauvignon blanc and 40% semillon with a round, soft middle showing grapefruit, shy melon and apple. The finish is fresh and citrusy, with a touch of Meyer lemon and a fine dusting of mineral. An amazing bargain! 2000 Thieuley Rouge, Bordeaux ($16.99) This property also crafted our best selling wine from the legendary 2000 Bordeaux vintage. From the aromas of black currants and cigar box to the ripe merlot fruit, this is a satisfying glass of wine. Lush and ample with flashy tobacco and coffee nuances. 2000 Poujeaux, Moulis ($29.99) Probably the most consistent value-priced château we carry. The 50% cabernet sauvignon in the blend shows here with aromatic herbs adding complexity to the sweet black currants. This is supple, round and earthy with a long, rich, tobacco-laced finish that invites another taste. 40% merlot rounds out the mid palate and makes this traditionally crafted beauty a wine that can age but also drinks perfectly now. 2000 Phelan-Segur, St-Estèphe ($26.99) This K&L favorite seems to fly under the radar vintage after vintage, yet always produces some of the best values in Bordeaux. Here is a big wine with ample structure and an intriguing meaty quality that contrasts nicely with the bright dark berry fruit. Although big and chewy in the beginning, the spicy, mineral-laced finish is elegant, silky and long. This will age well but can be decanted and enjoyed now. —Steve Bearden
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