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2007 Chardonnays and pinot noirs from Patz & Hall

Chardonnay and pinot noir are the specialties of the Patz & Hall winery, with vineyards in Napa and Sonoma. The excellent 2007 vintage shows them off with style.

Leading the whites is the 2007 Zio Tony Ranch Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($60), a vivid and intense wine, with fine acidity. It's loaded with peach and pear, plus a hint of vanilla. Very drinkable now, but expect Zio Tony to mature for several years. The 2007 Hyde Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay ($55) also displays peach and pear. More floral, this balanced, very satisfying white leads to a long finish. Both chardonnays are ideal with meaty finfish such as halibut and monkfish or with lobster.

The winery's 2007 Hyde Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir ($60) and 2007 Chenoweth Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($55) are vintage stars, too. The big Carneros wine is full of red fruit, layered, minerally and complex; the spirited, lively Russian River Valley red delivers berry and cherry flavors. Versatile wines, ready for red meat and salmon.

Three bargains

From Portugal comes the 2007 Ramos Pinto DQ ($15), a fruity, slightly floral red blend ... Lodi brings the 2008 Peirano Estate "The Immortal Zin" ($14), an earthy, spicy zinfandel ... The 2008 Seven Hills Columbia Valley Riesling ($14) is an attractive Washington state refresher.

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