1. 1994 Breuer Montosa riesling, Germany, $11
OMG!!! This stuff was so tasty. It's honestly hard to believe that you can get such an incredibly good bottle of wine for only $11 - and even harder for me to come to terms with the fact that about 95% of the wine drinking public would never even consider drinking riesling, much less old German riesling. This had absolutely everything right in place where you'd want it: beautiful honeyed gasoline smell, nice weight in the mouth, and flavors of distant honey and meadows. Mmmmm. Shame they're sold out now, though. :(
2. 1997 Sacred Hill Helmsman cabernet sauvignon, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, probably about $20
We brought this bottle back from NZ in 1999 - it came from Glengarry in Auckland, I think [thanks to nzbear5 for telling us about Glengarry!]. Since then it's been hanging around the cellar waiting for the right time to open it up with friends.
It reeked of green bell pepper, which is very typical of cool climate cabernet - the grapes don't quite get ripe, and usually stink like picante sauce. However, once you got past the nose, it really was quite lovely - the few years in bottle probably really pulled everything together. Dan said it tasted too oaky, though. Me, I was OK with it but couldn't recommend it. If you're drinking reds, probably best to pass up NZ cabernet.
3. 1996 Mount Langi Ghiran Billi Billi Creek Grenache Cabernet Shiraz, Victoria, Australia, $12.49
I saw this in the Redmond Washington State liquor control board shop and couldn't resist. I mean, it's a name brand I'd heard of, it was old, and it was pretty cheap, considering. I liked this fine - if you're near the liquor store in Hazel Dell or Kirkland, WA, they may still have some left. Excellent value for money. Everyone seemed to agree that this was way more compelling than the Sacred Hill; it was just a lovely, smooth, mellow wine that went down real easy.