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By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN WINE CRITIC | March 1, 1998
The southern Rhone Valley of France is one of the world's great storehouses of Big Reds -- not your dainty little sipping wines but full-throated powerhouses that virtually demand to be fed raw meat.So it was encouraging indeed to hear that after a string of poor to middling years of Rhone production, 1995 would provide the most robust red wines since the acclaimed twin vintages of 1989 and 1990.But hearing and tasting are two different matters. Before all you Rhone fanatics out there go stocking up on multiple cases, it would be wise to pause and listen to the caveats.
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By Michael Dresser | June 24, 2009
2006 Concannon Petite Sirah, Limited Release From: Central Coast, Calif. Price: $15 Serve with: Red meat, game Concannon is one of the recognized masters of petite sirah, a red varietal whose quality is increasingly recognized in California. This wine once again shows why. It's full-bodied, with a great tannin backbone that's concealed by lush fruit. There's appealing blackberry, coffee, chocolate and earth flavors. Think of a vintage port without the sweetness.
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By Michael Dresser | June 24, 2009
2006 Concannon Petite Sirah, Limited Release From: Central Coast, Calif. Price: $15 Serve with: Red meat, game Concannon is one of the recognized masters of petite sirah, a red varietal whose quality is increasingly recognized in California. This wine once again shows why. It's full-bodied, with a great tannin backbone that's concealed by lush fruit. There's appealing blackberry, coffee, chocolate and earth flavors. Think of a vintage port without the sweetness.
BUSINESS
By Los Angeles Times | June 20, 2008
NEW YORK - The former managers of two Bear Stearns hedge funds that have been centerpieces of the subprime mortgage crisis were indicted yesterday, marking the first criminal charges against Wall Street figures stemming from the historic subprime meltdown. The collapse in June 2007 of the now-infamous funds, which invested in securities backed by subprime home loans, sent a shudder through global financial markets and helped trigger a credit crunch that still afflicts the housing market and the overall economy.
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By Michael Dresser | September 28, 1994
This lovely, flavorful, medium-bodied nonvintage red is obviously declassified Barolo, probably from the difficult 1991 and 1992 vintages. Clerico has done its best with what nature gave it, fashioning a delicious wine for early consumption. The black cherry, blackberry and earth flavors have Barolo intensity but without the tannin or body weight. A Marc de Grazia selection, it is perfect for finer Italian restaurants. Drink over the next two years.
BUSINESS
By Los Angeles Times | June 20, 2008
NEW YORK - The former managers of two Bear Stearns hedge funds that have been centerpieces of the subprime mortgage crisis were indicted yesterday, marking the first criminal charges against Wall Street figures stemming from the historic subprime meltdown. The collapse in June 2007 of the now-infamous funds, which invested in securities backed by subprime home loans, sent a shudder through global financial markets and helped trigger a credit crunch that still afflicts the housing market and the overall economy.
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By Michael Dresser | November 5, 2003
2000 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot, Columbia Valley ($12). This well-priced, gripping red wine from Washington state earns a recommendation for the second vintage in a row. It's a full-bodied wine with ripe blackberry flavors and a hint of chocolate. There's enough tannin underneath the generous fruit to give it 3-5 years of aging potential, but it's quite enjoyable now. Red meat, roast poultry, hard cheese or hearty pasta dishes would be appropriate companions.
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By Michael Dresser | May 18, 1997
1995 Fossi Chianti ($8.49).There are few wines more useful than a well-made, inexpensive Chianti, and There are few wines more useful than a well-made, inexpensive Chianti, and there are few producers more adept at meeting this need than Fossi. This is a solid wine, packed with black cherry fruit and nuances of tomato. There's a slight hardness, but not enough to detract from the flavor. In fact, the dollop of tannin suggests one can safely buy this wine by the case and use it over the course of the next year or two.Pub Date: 5/18/97@
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By Michael Dresser | October 24, 2001
1999 Boordy Vineyards Maryland Cabernet Sauvignon ($14). What could be more appropriate around Halloween than a hauntingly fine red wine from the home of the Blair Witch? This elegant, beautifully structured wine is made primarily from grapes grown at Boordy's vineyard in Burkittsville, where the original movie was filmed. The exceptionally penetrating black-cherry and spice flavors show once again that this is one of the finest cabernet vineyards on the East Coast. Drinkable now, the wine also has the balance and tannin to age well -- probably a good 10 years.
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By Michael Dresser | February 16, 2000
1998 Ca' del Solo Barbera, Monterey ($15). The underrated barbera grape really shines in this intense, penetrating, medium-bodied version by Ca' del Solo, one of the spinoff labels of Randall Grahm's Bonny Doon Vineyards. The vibrant, earthy flavors and naturally high acidity set this Italian-inspired red wine apart from tamer, more familiar varieties. In other words, you'll know you aren't tasting merlot. Unlike some barberas, it is not fiercely tannin. It would be an excellent match with a truly exceptional homemade pizza.
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By Michael Dresser | January 5, 2005
2000 Guenoc North Coast Petite Sirah ($17). This blockbuster red wine from the underrated petite sirah grape stages a wrestling match between fruit and tannin, but after a bit of struggle the fruit triumphs. The wine bursts with powerful flavors of blackberry, game, chocolate and herbs. It's a keeper that could age a decade or more, but with a little breathing it's accessible now. Enjoy this winter-weight wine with a beef roast, game, lamb or a hearty stew. Wine coverage Michael Dresser's monthly wine column will no longer appear in Taste.
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By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN WINE CRITIC | February 4, 2004
February is a time of year for hearty, warming foods - stews, roasts, game and pasta dishes. That also makes it a time for zinfandel, California's own red wine. Its full-bodied, intense flavors complement such foods, and the high alcohol levels of the ripest zinfandels are an asset in winter that they wouldn't be in July. Wine enthusiasts have an especially strong motivation for sampling some zinfandels this month because the vintage dominating retail shelves, 2001, is one of the best of the past decade.
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By Michael Dresser | October 24, 2001
1999 Boordy Vineyards Maryland Cabernet Sauvignon ($14). What could be more appropriate around Halloween than a hauntingly fine red wine from the home of the Blair Witch? This elegant, beautifully structured wine is made primarily from grapes grown at Boordy's vineyard in Burkittsville, where the original movie was filmed. The exceptionally penetrating black-cherry and spice flavors show once again that this is one of the finest cabernet vineyards on the East Coast. Drinkable now, the wine also has the balance and tannin to age well -- probably a good 10 years.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser | February 16, 2000
1998 Ca' del Solo Barbera, Monterey ($15). The underrated barbera grape really shines in this intense, penetrating, medium-bodied version by Ca' del Solo, one of the spinoff labels of Randall Grahm's Bonny Doon Vineyards. The vibrant, earthy flavors and naturally high acidity set this Italian-inspired red wine apart from tamer, more familiar varieties. In other words, you'll know you aren't tasting merlot. Unlike some barberas, it is not fiercely tannin. It would be an excellent match with a truly exceptional homemade pizza.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser | March 29, 1998
Vega Sindoa Tempranillo, Navarra ($8)Tempranillo is not exactly a household word in the United States, but in Spain it's the king of red-wine grapes. This is not an example of tempranillo at its mature best, but it does show what a delightful, reasonably priced wine it can produce in its youth. The Vega Sindoa is a chunky, medium- to full-bodied red wine with little tannin and loads of black-cherry fruit. There's an appealing meaty and earthy quality, and a breezy acidity. It's a most enjoyable value.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser | March 29, 1998
Vega Sindoa Tempranillo, Navarra ($8)Tempranillo is not exactly a household word in the United States, but in Spain it's the king of red-wine grapes. This is not an example of tempranillo at its mature best, but it does show what a delightful, reasonably priced wine it can produce in its youth. The Vega Sindoa is a chunky, medium- to full-bodied red wine with little tannin and loads of black-cherry fruit. There's an appealing meaty and earthy quality, and a breezy acidity. It's a most enjoyable value.
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