The '99 Napa Cab from Phelps is a rich, deftly balanced style, loaded with complex earthy currant, black cherry, anise, coffee and mocha flavors that are sharply focused. Long and concentrated on the finish, with a leathery streak working its way in. Best —James Laube
Tony Soter, of California's Etude, has recently debuted his own Oregon project. This initial release shows enticing aromas and deep, complex flavors that hit a lot of different notes, ranging from plum to mushroom, truffle and exotic spices. Texture has a —Harvey Steiman
Made in a voluptuous international style, this lush Spanish red teems with toasty, chocolate oak flavors, thickly overlaid on ripe plum and blackberry fruit. It's well-structured, with firm, ripe tannins and heady alcohol. Impressive. Best from 2003 throu —Thomas Matthews
This 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa demonstrates that this region has serious potential. It pulls no punches, with a great beam of dark blackberry and currant flavors up front, creamy toast in the middle, and a pure, sleek, polished fini —James Molesworth
From Sicily comes this full-throttle Chardonnay, with all the Burgundy treatment (read, juicy Meursault) you could hope for. Loads of apple, vanilla and pineapple character. Full-bodied, with loads of fruit and a long, butterscotch and ripe fruit aftertas —James Suckling
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