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Last weekend we had a chance to see “Ocean’s 12,” which we liked a lot but with some reservations. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the new film is a sequel to the extremely successful “Ocean’s 11,” which starred George Clooney and Brad Pitt.

If the first film played out like a well-oiled machine, filled with slick cons and double crosses, the sequel sort of rambles along, taking detours and playing riffs as it unfolds slowly against various romantic European backdrops. It’ll be more a matter of taste than the first one…some won’t like it, but some will enjoy the leisurely pace at which it unfolds with its own twists and turns.

Remarkably, though, the second film has the same basic theme as the first: the extent to which a man will go to attract and captivate the woman he loves.

Go figure.

We’ve had several wonderful wines over the past week…

  • A 2001 Cuneo Pinot Noir from Oregon which was one of the more unusual Pinots we’ve had…deep and dark and unusually robust with flavor, not as delicate as some. Fantastic

  • A 2000 Wyndham Estate Bin 555 Shiraz, from Australia, a ripe and full-bodied and utterly fabulous wine.

  • A 2001 Gundlach Bundshu Mountain Cuvee, from Sonoma, which has this great vanilla and light cherry thing going for it, and which went great with this lamb and artichoke stew we made the other night. Yummm…

By the way…

With the help of an MNB user who graciously compiled a list of all the wines we mentioned this year (of his own accord – we never would have asked anyone to sort through 12 months of MNB reviews), we’ve come up with a listing of some of the best and brightest wines we’ve enjoyed this year, in alphabetical order:

• Bouchard Pere & Fils 2002 Rully White Burgundy (France)
• Duck Pond 2003 Pinot Gris
• Duck Pond 2003 Pinot Noir
• Francis Coppola Diamond Collection 2002 Pinot Noir.
• Francis Coppola Diamond Collection 2003 Sauvignon Blanc.
• Francis Coppola Director's Reserve 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon
• Francis Coppola Director's Reserve 2001 Merlot
• Francis Coppola Director's Reserve 2002 Chardonnay.
• Icardi L'aurora 2003 Piemonte (Italy)
• Jacques & Francois Lurton 2003 Hacienda Araucano Sauvignon Blanc (Chile)
• JK Carriere 2001 "Provocateur" Pinot Noir
• Kenwood 2001 Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel
• Paul Jaboulet 1996 Aîné "Vieilles Vignes” (France)
• Pedroncelli 2001 Dry Creek Valley Pinot Noir
• Sakonnet Vineyards’ 2002 Piccolo Bianco
• Schug 2002 Sonoma Pinot Noir
• Solaris 2002 Carneros Pinot Noir.
• Tramin 2002 Pinot Bianco (Italy)
• Tramin 2002 Pinot Grigio (Italy)

That’ll give you something to work on this weekend and over the holidays…

KC's View: