By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief

This week, the tasting table post is a little shorter than usual, but I've got a big tasting planned for Super Bowl Sunday. In the meantime:

Fox Run Vineyards 2007 Merlot ($20): Ripe blackberry and plum with vanilla and smokey (American?) oak. Even smokier on the palate with vanilla covering up what is a nice core of ripe, concentrated fruit. Blueberry pie peeks through with time in the glass. Medium body, ripe, medium-low tannins. Great fruit, with a little too much oak. 30 (3 out of 5 | Recommended)

Ravines Wine Cellars 2007 Chardonnay ($19): Toasty oak, fig, roasted nuts and apples greet the nose. Not timid or fruit-forward, roasted nuts, oak and fig lead here with apple and dried apricot fruit. Vanilla cream on super-long finish. Good balance, but a lot of oak right now. 25 (2.5 out of 5 | Average-to-Very Good)

Ravines Wine Cellars 2008 Pinot Noir Rose ($15): Red cherry and cranberry on the nose with a subtle earthy-herbal note. Fresh and refreshing palate, cranberry and dried cherry flavors. Med-light body with great acidity and light herbal character. Great balance. 30 (3 out of 5 | Recommended)

Ravines Wine Cellars 2008 Sauvignon Blanc ($18): Austere nose — a little passion fruit, subtle herbaceousness. Even more herbs on the palate with passion fruit, citrus and a minerally vein. Unique raw butternut squash flavor. Great acidity, but a little thin. Okay length. 25 (2.5 out of 5 | Average-to-Very Good)