Stephen Tanzer’s                         May/June 2001                                           Issue 96


International Wine Cellar

Focus on California

Kalin Cellars.

1994 Potter Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($28): Deep straw color. Aromas of fig, nut skin and smoke. Thick and layered in the mouth, but also quite penetrating, with strong lemony acidity. This wine seemed to grow fresher in the glass, showing fruit notes of lemon, apple and pear. A fascinating wine, still in need of bottle aging, 90(+).

1993 Chardonnay Cuvée LD Sonoma County ($35): Pale green-gold color. Knockout nose of orange blossom, minerals, apple and hazelnut. Thick, rich and uncompromisingly dry; already showing superb inner mouth perfume of orange oil, apple, flowers and spices. Brisk but harmonious acids frame the deep flavors perfectly and contribute to the impression of strong structure. Finishes quite powerful and long. "This wine was still totally dumb six months ago," notes winemaker Terry Leighton, who won’t release a wine until it’s ready for its close-up. Leighton’s LD bottling is from a north-facing slope, while the LV vines face south. 92.