Diverse set of some great wines

Montevetrano 1996
Really terrific wine, my first test drive with this producer. Very Bordeaux on the expressive bouquet with mature scents of charcoal, smoke and dried black cherries. It’s palate gives it away as Italian with it’s high (and engaging) acidity and a bit of ripe licorice. Very classy and elegant, with good length and a wonderful old world rusticity. Loved it. 94 pts.

Montelena Estate Cabernet 1992
The richness goes up some here, with a sweet creamy note, some heft in the midpalate and a bit more oak, but still a classy cab. Not really a Bordeaux lookalike, but nicely balanced nevertheless. This bottle is a bit more expressive than the last but still a little foursquare at present. Overall, I think the 92 Montelena will be better in another 3-5 years. 92 pts with some upside.

Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet 1993
A big step down, probably fading. The bouquet is going kinda herbal with some VA, and the palate us breaking up a bit. Too much oak, sweet without enough stuffing. Ugh. Unrated, overthehill.

Roagna Riserva Barbaresco 1990
I’ve had some otherworldly bottles of this- tonight was merely good, and someone else said it was off, too. That said, really nice Nebbiolo with classic tar and roses, great acidity, that old school earthiness married to good sweetness and decent length. Seemed a bit muted on the nose. 90-91 pts.

Feudi San Gregorio Serpico 2001
Big, rich, uber minerally, young, high alcohol, high glycerin, somewhere between Priorat and Aussie… but I like it. Serious juice with some aglianico verve and acidity holding it together. More intense than heavy overall. Probably better down the line. 92 pts, higher if you love the style.

Terra Lavoro 2002
Another new wine for me. Very, very nice, with claret aromatics and again, wonderful old world typicity (without being too austere or lean). Black fruited, with notes of asphault. Another one to look for (except it’s a bit too expensive). Don’t seem like it will improve much nor make old bones. 92-93 pts.

Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet 1993
Sensational wine. In a great place, with terrific intensity and fruit yet totally dry and balanced. It’s got that Napa cab mint going on with some bittersweet chocolate. Very aromatic and expressive, yet fresh and food friendly. Alas, not cheap but worth the tariff. My favorite. 95 pts.