California Merlot has steadily improved, despite the seemingly ubiquitous offerings. This version from Shafer is smooth-textured, with polished currant, mocha, cranberry and cherry, plus touches of tobacco, coffee and spice. A bit tough-edged with tannin, —James Laube
In just a few vintages, Torbreck has put itself among the elite of Australia with its powerful RunRig Shiraz. Ripe and generous, showing impressive density without tremendous weight, this Australian red offers concentrated blueberry, plum, mineral and bit —Harvey Steiman
The '99 California Cabernets are starting to be released and all indications point toward a superb vintage, a welcome relief after the weak '98s.
The '99 Spottswoode is a dazzling wine, sleek and sophisticated, with beautiful ripe fruit purity. It has —James Laube
Miguel Torres, who heads up his family's Penedès winery in Spain, has steadily turned his Chilean venture into one of the country's top wineries. This, his high-end wine, really excelled in the superb '99 vintage.
Blackberry, spice and sanguine ar —James Molesworth
Here's another gorgeous '00 white Burgundy worth a spot in your cellar. Supersupple, silky yet fresh and lively premier cru, showing a great mineral grip and lots of ripe, sweet fruit that is like a delightful summer fruit dessert. Long finish with —Per-Henrik Mansson
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