Guelbenzu 1999 Lautus Red (Navarra)
This mixed bag of Tempranillo, Merlot, Cabernet and Garnacha sings a sweet tune. The nose is powerful; there's an early punch of oak then dill, earth and red fruit. Clearly this wine benefited from some healthy sunshine in '99. It's eminently ripe and full of cassis and black-plum flavors. With some marzipan and bitter chocolate on the finish, it racks up plenty of positives. Michael Schachner
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All tastings reported in the Buying Guide are performed blind. Typically, products are tasted in peer-group flights of from 5-8 samples. Reviewers may know general information about a flight to provide context—vintage, variety or appellation—but never the producer or retail price of any given selection. When possible, products considered flawed or uncustomary are retasted.
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