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I am currently (as I type) enjoying Havens Bourriquot 1996 Red Table Wine from Napa Valley, $29. It is every bit as good, if not better than, 1996 Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages (which I have also enjoyed) touted as Wine of the Year in Wine Spectator and now selling for $80-140 if you can find it.

Bordeaus are generally soft and velvety, many 1994 CA Cabs are outstanding, but becoming hard to find and very pricey. The next release of 97 cabs (some are out, but pass on those, the best will be released this fall) are expected to rival or exceed the incredible 94's. Let them lay for at least a few years, (the 94's are coming into their prime (now-2010) and will soften nicely with time.

For excellent fruit with some body, try a merlot or petite sirah from Cilurzo in Temecula, CA. Fabulous grapes, reasonably priced, hand crafted.

Jeff (I got a hundred of 'em)
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