****++Araujo, Eisele Vineyard, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2004: I continue to fawn over this Eisele cabernet, from vintage to vintage. This is a magnificent iteration. Wonderfully balanced, red fruit driven wine with elements of fig, treacle, creosote, pipe tobacco. Gliding palate with excellent grip and a perfectly integrated, spicy finish. The prototype for how Napa cabernet should be.

****++Kongsgaard, The Judge, Napa Valley, chardonnay, 2006:
The best I have had from the 2006 vintage. Profound. Amazing depth and elegance. Heady, yet laser focused blood orange, orange blossom, white fruit, lilly of the valley. Cardamom, nutmeg. Great depth, minerals on the oily palate, more tropical fruit. Supple, with surprising delineation through to a long finish. Pretty hard to take anything away from this wine. Great.

***++Moet & Chandon, Cuvee Don Perignon, Epernay, 1996:
This is drinking superbly right now. Bright green apple, candied lemon and lime zest, wet slate. Yeasty but bright and fresh. Lively acids on the palate. Baking spices and more citrus. Long, firm finish. A great apertif!

***++Maybach Eterium Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, 2007
: Wow. In a super spot right now. Marzipan, candied orange zest, bosc pear, white flowers. Excellent minerality. Long. Deep. Funny that on the back, Chris suggests TRB used a "restrained" hand or something like that...nothing restrained here. Full throttle chard.

***++Ridge Montebello, Santa Cruz Mountains, 1993: Drinking great. Surprisingly youthful. Blackberry, loam, black currant, eucalyptus, sage. Beautifully integrated and balanced. Plenty of grip. Really elegant.

***+Las Flors de la Peira, Les Terrasses du Larzac, Coteaux du Languedoc, 2006:Delicious wine. Ripe grenache provides exuberant, perfumed nose of chocolate covered raspberry / blackberry, lilac, malabar pepper, candied black olive. Coating, velvety palate with very good balance and integration. Full and fresh...not thick or syrupy. Long on the finish, with a slight metallic note that mars an otherwise very pleasant wine.

***B Kosuge, 1313, Pinot Noir, Oregon, 2008
: Lush, Eola Amity Hills pinot. Deep, black cherry, pine needles, cola, cocoa. Velvety, with a nice mineral under currant. Well integrated oak. Nice length. Byron has succeeded here in making a wine that borders on opulent but keeps everything in balance and proportion. Sexy wine from a dynamite vintage.