Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Two Californian Wines From 1999

Two Californian Wines From 1999


I do not believe in only posting tasting notes about good wines.  By omitting any tasting note there is less information about that particular wine and an incomplete profile of my tasting preferences.  If I cannot find a review about a wine then I do not know if it was awful, strange, or so good that people are being secretive.  The Washington, DC area has a tremendous selection of wines and this exciting variety means that the various wine merchants may not have up to date knowledge or any knowledge about a particular selection.  Even quick internet searches may be unfruitful.  As a result the tasting notes in this blog will cover all of the wines that I drink, both good, awful, and past prime. 

These two wines were purchased last month from MacArthur’s.  The Philippe-Lorraine cost $20 and the Lane Tanner cost $18.  The Philippe-Lorraine is a decent buy for a fully mature Napa Cab but the lack of acidity distracted me a bit.  Avoid the Lane Tanner.

1999 Philippe-Lorraine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
This wine is produced at Baxter Winery by Phil Senior and Phil Junior.  The wines are a tribute to maternal grandparents Philippe and Lorraine.  This wine started with a meaty nose combined with roast earth.  There were initial flavors of black fruits in this medium-bodied wine.  The flavors bordered on savory with chewy, ripe tannins.  There was not enough acidity so the flavors became soft as hints of stone came out.  The mouthfilling aftertaste revealed cedar, a bit of green blackcurrant, and some spice.  The flavors did grow with air.  I would venture that this bottle is just past its peak and is in gentle decline so drink up.


1999 Lane Tanner, Syrah, French Camp Vineyard, San Luis Obispo
This wine is 100% Syrah from the French Camp Vineyard which is located on a high-plateau in the mid-eastern portion of the county.  The grapes are aged for 12 months in 30% new French and American oak barrels.  One or two barrels were heavy char to give a “smoky-bacon fat smell” to the wine.  The goal is to produce an elegant, accessible wine.  This wine had volatile aromas on the nose that acted as a warning sign.  In the mouth there were flavors of sour fruits.  This wine was clearly over the hill and not pleasant to taste.  I corked the bottle and dumped the rest of my glass.

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