1998-1999 Vin Ordinaire Extraordinaire
by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

My Vin Ordinaire recommendation for 1998 and 1999 is:

The 1995 Buena Vista Cabernet Sauvignon from the Carneros area of California.

In late 1998 the wine cost seven dollars a bottle at Specs when purchased by the case. It was around $7.75 by the bottle. The first surprise when tasting this wine is that it has a nice bouquet Sadly, one of the thing one usually has to give up in the "under ten dollar" reds is bouquet. Here, however, one can detect a slight cabernet bouquet that promises good things to come.

The wine has the characteristic dark red color of a well-made cabernet. There is no alcoholic taste in the mouth, and the tannins in the wine are clearly present. This wine is well balanced and smooth to the tongue. It is definitely drinkable now. It does not make one think of a young wine. I like it everyday, and would not be embarrassed to serve or give it to friends.

It also passes the last test of a great vin ordinaire. It still tastes good on day three, with the use of a Vacu Vin to keep air in the bottle to a minimum.

The vineyards in Carneros where these grapes are grown are in an area just north of San Francisco Bay and in an area midway betwen Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, but south of them. The Buena Vista Winery has been making wine since 1857, and this wine is testament to their skills. Give it a try. Highly recommended.

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