Dark violet color and a nose of black cherry, allspice, and eucalyptus herald what is to come. A somewhat reserved, even awkward structure at first masks deeper flavors of chocolate, pepper, ginger, and boysenberry that gradually unfold. The finish is not particularly lingering, but the wine still demonstrates a sort of down-home elegance. Seems a good wine with Philly cheesesteak. If you can’t get to Pat’s or Geno’s in South Philly, then hunt down a Vietnamese-style banh mi sandwich. Recommended. GT

WHO: Brian Carter Cellars “Abracadabra”
WHAT: Red blend
WHERE: Columbia Valley, Washington
WHEN: 2007
HOW MUCH: $17

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About The Author

Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas is a longtime professional journalist and onetime senior correspondent at the Voice of America who spent much of his long journalistic career working overseas, including many of the world's wine regions. He served as wine columnist for the Austin American-Statesman, and has written about wine and spirits for Wine Spectator and other publications. Thomas now lives in Florida, where he continues to taste and write about wine and spirits for PalatePress.com. He describes himself as "ombibulous."

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