Posts tagged ‘Online Wine Tasting’

Cliffs Wine Picks – Finger Lakes Red Wine Tasting

 

These reviews are based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

New York’s Finger Lakes

North America’s premier cool-climate winegrowing region

 

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2012 Billsboro Pinot Noir

2012 Hosmer Cabernet Franc

2010 Chateau Lafayette Reneau Cabernet Franc

2011 Heron Hill Vineyards Cabernet Franc Ingle Vineyard

2010 Fox Run Vineyards Cabernet Franc – Lemberger

2010 Swedish Hill Vineyard Optimus

2011 Damiani Wine Cellars Meritage

2012 Hector Wine Company Essence

 

 

It was my good fortune to be able to participate in an online tasting of wines from the Finger Lakes region of New York.  The event revolved around the Red Wines from the region and included Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and red blends.

 

To follow ongoing conversations on the wines from the Finger Lakes region, check out the hashtag #FLXWine or follow @FLXwine on Twitter or give a “Like” to Finger Lakes Wine on Facebook.

 

 

I want to thank the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance and the wineries for providing these wines for me to sample.

 

If you want to check out the Twitter chat session, click here to view via Storify.

There is also a video of the first half of the online chat by clicking here.

 

 

About the region

The Finger Lakes became an official American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1982 but its history goes back much further.  The first vineyard in the region was planted by Reverend William Bostwick in his rectory garden in Hammondsport, NY in 1829.

 

The region is now home to over 115 wineries with about 9,200 acres of vineyards.  The region produces about 220,000 cases of Riesling wine from the 848 acres of Riesling grapes.

 

In 1998 the region was brought to the forefront in the wine world when Semi-Dry Rieslings from Dr. Konstantin Frank’s and Fox Run Vineyards each won a Gold medal in Strasbourg’s Rieslings of the World Competition in Alsace.

 

The major varieties of grapes planted in the region are Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer.  Each of these has over 100 acres of vines in the AVA.

 

Much more information about the region is available on the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance website.

 

 

My Line Up

This event revolved around the red wines of the Finger Lakes.  Here is my line up for the event:

Finger Lakes Line up

 

 

The wines for the event were broken down into two flights by style and residual sugar.  The first flight line up:

Flight 1

 

 

2012 Billsboro Pinot Noir – SRP $24

 

The Winery

Owners Kim and Vinny Aliperti started Billsboro Winery in 2007.  It was their quest to create dynamic wines from grapes grown in the vineyards around Seneca Lake.

 

More information on the winery, visit their site by clicking here.

 

The Wine

The grapes for this 100% Pinot Noir are from Sawmill Creek Vineyards in Hector, NY, along the southeast corner of Seneca Lake.  The grapes were harvested at 21.5 Brix.  After de-stemming and a gentle crushing, the must was chapitalized to 23 Brix.  The wine was aged 9 months in 7 neutral and 2 three year old French oak barrels.  After aging, the wines were blended, filtered and bottled.  The total production was 253 cases.

 

The wine is sealed with an agglomerated cork and has a final alcohol of 12.5%.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light ruby red color.  The subtle nose has cherries, earthy underbrush, leather, baking spices and a touch of black pepper.  This has light to medium body, soft tannins and good acidity.  The palate features sweet fruit, spice, earthiness and a hint of black pepper.  The finish has good length leaving a slightly sweet closing impression.  This is an easy drinking Pinot Noir to serve before or during a meal.

2012 Billsboro Pinot Noir

2012 Billsboro Pinot Noir

 

 

 

2012 Hosmer Cabernet Franc – SRP $18

 

The Winery

After fifteen years of selling their grapes to others, Cameron and Maren Hosmer had a vision of making and selling their own wine.  Hosmer Winery is founded on the principle that great wine starts in the vineyard.  The vineyards were started as a grape farm in the early 1970s on the west bank of Cayuga Lake.  The winery’s vineyards are now 70 acres and the home to 14 different grape varieties.

 

You can get more information on the winery, their wines or place an order on their website by clicking here.

 

The Wine

This wine is the winery’s flagship red and comes from grapes off of 20 year old vines.  After being fermented at 84 degrees for 10 days, it is aged 18 months in a 50/50 mix of French and American oak barrels.  Most of the barrels are between 6 to 10 years old.  The wine is bottled after filtration.  The total production was 186 cases.

 

The bottle is closed with an agglomerated cork and the wine has 12.7% alcohol by volume.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light ruby color.  The interesting nose has berries, white pepper, roasted herbs and minerals.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the wine features briary berries, pepper and spice up front with earthiness and minerals coming in on back end.  The finish has good length with nice closing spice and berries.  This wine is bone dry and very food friendly.

2012 Hosmer Cabernet Franc

2012 Hosmer Cabernet Franc

 

 

 

2010 Chateau Lafayette Reneau Cabernet Franc – SRP $19

 

The Winery

The winery began in the mid-1980s when Dick and Betty Reno purchased a 140 acre farm and brick farmhouse on the southeastern slopes of Seneca Lake.  About 50 acres of “local grapes”, Catawba, Niagara and Concord were replanted to be the home to fine wine grapes, in 1985.  Chardonnay and Riesling make up over half the new plantings but Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Seyval Blanc were also planted.  The winery was purchased by Gene Pierce and Scott Welliver in the fall of 2013.  The new owners are now the owners of three distinct and different wineries.

 

You can order wine or get more information on the winery and their wines by clicking here.

 

The Wine

This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc comes from a one acre estate vineyard.  After fermentation, the wine is aged for 18 months in a mix of new and used French and Hungarian oak barrels.  After the wine is bottled it is aged for an additional 6 months before it is released.

 

The wine has 13% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.  There were 300 cases produced of this bone dry wine.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light to medium ruby red color.  The inviting nose has berries, cherries, baking spices and black and green peppercorns.  This has a medium body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  The palate on the wine features spicy, peppery berries with a slight herbal note and some earthiness.  The finish has good length with cherries, berries and pepper carrying the load.

2010 Chateau Lafayette Reneau Cabernet Franc

2010 Chateau Lafayette Reneau Cabernet Franc

 

 

 

2011 Heron Hill Vineyards Cabernet Franc Ingle Vineyard – SRP $25

 

The Winery

Heron Hill has grown from a 5,000 case, white wine only winery in 1977 to now producing 20,000 cases.  The days of white wines only is now in the distant past.  The winery now produces almost 20 different wine varieties.  The winery greets more than 50,000 visitors a year at its location on scenic Keuka Lake.

 

Much more information about the winery and their wines is available by clicking here.  You can also buy wine and gifts on their website.

 

The Wine

The vineyard used for this wine, Ingle Vineyard, is the estate vineyard on the west side of Canandaigua Lake.

 

After fermentation the wine is aged 22 months in French, Eastern European, and American oak barrels, 20% new oak (French & Eastern European) along with older Eastern European & American oak barrels.

 

The wine has 12.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  There were 200 cases of this wine produced.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby color.  The inviting nose has cherries, dark chocolate, baking spices, root beer, white pepper, forest floor and a bit of cedar.  This has medium body, soft tannins and good acidity.  The palate is highlighted by sweet cherries, spice and white pepper up front with some earthiness coming in late.  The finish has good length with the cherries leaving a sweet closing statement.

2011 Heron Hill Vineyards Cabernet Franc Ingle Vineyard

2011 Heron Hill Vineyards Cabernet Franc Ingle Vineyard

 

 

 

The line up for the second flight of the evening:

Flight 2

 

 

2010 Fox Run Vineyards Cabernet Franc – Lemberger – SRP $18

 

The Winery

The winery is located high on Torrey Ridge, overlooking one of the deepest parts of Seneca Lake.  Fox Run owns 55 acres of vineyards.  For over a century the land was a dairy farm.  Grapes were first planted in 1984 and the Civil War era dairy barn was converted into a modern wine making facility in 1993.  A new facility was built in 1996 with a picturesque view of Seneca Lake.

 

More information about the winery, their wines and their online store is available on their site by clicking here.

 

The Wine

This wine is a blend of 54% Cabernet Franc and 46% Lemberger.  The grapes come from two blocks of the estate vineyards.  The first block was established in 2005, the second block was established in 1997.

 

For this wine, the grapes were fermented at a high temperature in order to extract flavors and tannins from the grapes.  The wines were aged in a mix of newer and older barrels.  After careful trials the wines were blended and bottled.

 

The wine has 13.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  There were 511 cases of this wine produced.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The nose on the wine has earthy berries, baking spices, dried herbs, cedar, licorice and dark chocolate.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  The palate has rich berries and spices up front with earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with some dark chocolate and licorice coming in adding depth.

2010 Fox Run Vineyards Cabernet Franc - Lemberger

2010 Fox Run Vineyards Cabernet Franc – Lemberger

 

 

 

2010 Swedish Hill Vineyard Optimus – SRP $25

 

The Winery

Swedish Hill is owned and operated by the Peterson family.  The vineyards were planted in 1969 so the family could sell the grapes to other local wineries.  In 1985, the family crushed their first grapes for their own winery, producing 1,200 cases.  This is now one of the largest wineries in the Finger Lakes region, producing over 60,000 cases a year.

 

Much more information about the winery, their varied wines and a place to place an order is available by clicking here.

 

The Wine

This wine is a blend of 49% Cabernet Franc, 28% Merlot and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon.  After fermentation, the wine is aged for a year in small oak barrels.

 

The wine has 12.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby color.  The very appealing nose has crushed berries, dried herbs, baking spices, cherries, minerals and vanilla.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate, nice berries and spice hit on the front end with dried herbs and subtle earthiness coming in on back end.  This has good length with a hint of dark chocolate coming into the picture.

2010 Swedish Hill Vineyard Optimus

2010 Swedish Hill Vineyard Optimus

 

 

 

2011 Damiani Wine Cellars Meritage – SRP $27

 

The Winery

Damiani Wine Cellars is located on the eastern shores of Seneca Lake.  The winery was established in July 2004 and has about 20 acres of estate vineyards.  The winery produces about 8,000 cases of wine a year among the close to two dozen wines they make.

 

Much more information on the winery and their wines is available by clicking here.

 

The Wine

This wine is a blend of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Cabernet Franc and 12% Merlot.  After fermentation, the wine is aged for 14 months in 56% French oak and 44% American oak, 30% of which are new. The wine was bottled without filtration.  There were 407 cases produced.

 

This has 13.0% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The enticing nose has berries, cherries, baking spices, cocoa powder, dried herbs, vanilla and a touch of cedar.   This has medium body, moderate chalky tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit hit first with spicy oak, vanilla and some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with spicy oak and vanilla.  This could use some time in the cellar for the tannins to soften a bit or serve with a juicy cut of meat.

2011 Damiani Wine Cellars Meritage

2011 Damiani Wine Cellars Meritage

 

 

 

2012 Hector Wine Company Essence – SRP $25

 

The Winery

The winery is owned and operated by viticulturist Jason Hazlitt and winemaker Justin Boyette.  They began making wine in 2009 using grapes from Jason’s family business, Sawmill Creek Vineyards.  The two opened a tasting room in 2010 across the street from the vineyard.

 

More information about the winery, their wines and information on their case club is available by clicking here.

 

The Wine

This is a blend of 43% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc and 7% Syrah.  The grapes were hand harvested from the Sawmill Creek Vineyard and hand sorted at the winery.  The wines were destemmed (partial whole cluster for the Merlot and Cab Franc), fermented and aged separately.  After aging in a mixture of French, American and Hungarian oak barrels, the wine was blended and bottled.  There were 178 cases of this wine produced.

 

This has 13.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The inviting nose has cherries, blackberries, minerals, baking spices, dried herbs, black pepper and dark chocolate.  This has a medium body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  The palate has nice up front fruit with solid savory notes coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with dried herbs and subtle earthiness entering the picture.

2012 Hector Wine Company Essence

2012 Hector Wine Company Essence

 

 

 

Win an All-inclusive VIP Sonoma Winecation

 

https://www.undergroundcellar.com/c/6/226099/grand_sonoma_winecation

 

 

Underground Cellar is offering you a chance to win an all-inclusive VIP weekend in Sonoma wine country.

 

The winner will get the following with a value of $6,500:

  • Weekend getaway for 4 to California’s exclusive Sonoma wine country
  • Stay at the luxurious 5,500 sq. ft. Villa Terra Nova Retreat
  • Behind-the-scenes private tour of Iron Horse Vineyards, by winemaker David Munskgard
  • VIP chef’s dinner at award-winning “the girl and the fig” restaurant
  • Rountrip airfare, luxury transportation, and many other surprises!

Click here to enter.   If you win, you can even include me as one of your friends.

Even if you don’t win the grand prize, there is over $3,000 of gift cards with a value of up to $200 to be given away.

 

While you’re there, check out Underground Cellar unique wine selling model.  You can “buy” a lower cost wine and get upgraded to a much more expensive bottle for free.  For example, one of their current offers is $42 for a 2008 Balboa Brioso.  If you buy this wine, you could get “upgraded” to 2007 Stonestreet Monument Ridge Cabernet ($60 value), 2009 Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet ($85 value), 2007 Anderson’s Conn Valley Reserve Cabernet ($130 value), 1994 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon ($150 value), or even a 1985 BR Cohn Cabernet Sauvignon Olive Hill (Helen Turley) with a value of $220.

 

The shipping is also incredible, at 6 bottles, shipping cost $5! Buy 6 more bottles and ship for FREE.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2013 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Snooth

OUR FAVORITE REDS FOR SPRING – The Wine Cognoscenti Recommend

http://www.snooth.com/articles/our-favorite-reds-for-spring/?viewall=1#ixzz2xkH0dfSj

 

Snooth

WHAT’S A GREAT GRENACHE? – Our Friendly Wine Experts Share Their Favorites!

http://www.snooth.com/articles/what-ys-a-great-grenache-5209/

 

Snooth

SPRING TIME IS FOR PAIRING – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks

http://www.snooth.com/articles/spring-time-is-for-pairing/

 

Balzac

Balzac Communications & Marketing – News & Views

http://balzaccommunications.createsend1.com/t/ViewEmail/y/948F113D27729D90/DF475947E7F379DE2A1BF84ACBDD178B

 

Snooth

WHAT WE’VE BEEN DRINKING – News and Reviews from Around the Blogosphere

http://www.snooth.com/articles/what-we-yve-been-drinking/?viewall=1#ixzz2vy4idw7a

 

Snooth

WINES THAT RANG OUR BELL IN FEBRUARY 2014 – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks

http://www.snooth.com/articles/wines-that-rang-our-bell-in-february-2014/?viewall=1#ixzz2vy4DCh5L

 

Crave Local

California Wine Reviews: Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyard

http://www.cravelocal.com/all-favorites/california-wine-reviews-cline-cellars-and-jacuzzi-family-vineyard/

 

Crave Local

Sample Boutique Wines at Affordable Prices with Tastingroom.com

http://www.cravelocal.com/all-favorites/sample-boutique-wines-at-affordable-prices-with-tastingroom-com/

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – La Crema wine tasting with Snooth

 

 

2012 La Crema Chardonnay Monterey

2012 La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

 

 

La Crema – The right wine makes the party

 

 

Overview

I was lucky to be selected in an online tasting of wines from La Crema Winery that was sponsored by Snooth.  This event featured four wines from La Crema.  There was two Chardonnay wines and two Pinot Noirs.  In both cases the wines were the winery’s Monterey and Sonoma Coast appellation wines.

 

I want to thank La Crema and especially Gregory Dal Piaz of Snooth for allowing me to participate in this event.

 

 

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 The Winery

For more than 30 years, La Crema has explored California’s coastal appellations, a voyage of varietals that started here at our estate in the foggy vineyards of the Russian River Valley.  On our journey, we have found exciting cool-climate vineyards north in the rugged hills of Mendocino, and south along the wind-swept slopes of Los Carneros.  Most recently, our exploration has taken us to the wind-swept hillside vineyards of Monterey.  Centered always on the dual lens of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, we look for one unifying factor at these exceptional sites: coastal wind and fog that allow the grapes ripen slowly on the vine, developing intensely complex aromas and flavors while retaining firm acid structure.

 

Naturally, our winemaking team seeks to express the essence of the terroir in our wines, capturing the unique personality and flavor profile of the vineyards.  Elizabeth Grant-Douglas infuses our winemaking regime with a highly personal touch that combines the best of traditional Burgundian winemaking techniques with a contemporary California style.

 

Much more information is available on the winery’s website.

 

 

 

Snooth_Logo_Low-Rez

Snooth

Snooth is a community for wine lovers.

 

Whether one is just a beginner, or a total pro, Snooth offers its 1 million+ users countless opportunities to learn, taste, share and shop in the world of wine.

 

Members are able to interact with wineries, stores, fellow wine lovers, and wine professionals from all over the globe with Snooth’s daily newsletters, wine search, social forums and interactive media tools.

 

Since its launch in June 2007, Snooth has become one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive online wine destinations, featuring millions of price listings and wine reviews.  Snooth also powers wine & food pairings for major sites including Epicurious.com (Conde Nast) and myRecipes.com (Time Inc).

 

Why drink alone? Grab a glass and join the fun!

 

There is a ton of great information available on the Snooth website.

 

 

My line up

Even though there were four wines discussed at this online chat, everyone received just two of the wines.  Here is my line up for the event:

La Crema line up

 

 

 

2012 La Crema Chardonnay Monterey – SRP $20

This 100% Chardonnay uses grapes from various vineyards in the Monterey region.  The vineyards of Monterey are defined by persistent ocean winds that are funneled down a 90-mile-long valley running north to south between the Santa Lucia and Gabilan Mountains.

 

The bottle is sealed with a Diam cork, which is made from pieces of shredded cork that is compressed and molded into shape.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light golden yellow color.  The nose has apples, pears, crème brulee, baking spices, minerals, lemon zest, orange blossom and pineapple.  On the palate the wine has a creamy texture with nice acidity and a medium body.  On the palate apples, vanilla, spice and lemon zest steal the show.  The finish is a touch short but flavorful.  (87 pts)

2012 La Crema Chardonnay Monterey

2012 La Crema Chardonnay Monterey

 

 

2012 La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – SRP $25

This 100% Pinot Noir is sourced from several vineyards in the Sonoma Coast region.  The coastal region’s boundary begins at the Mendocino County border, continues along the western coastal edge of Sonoma County through the mouth of the Russian River Valley; and extends to the Los Carneros region on the southern Sonoma/Napa

border.

 

The wine has 13.9% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light to medium ruby color.  The expressive nose has cherries, baking spices, minerals, raspberries, slight herbal note and cola.  This has a medium body, soft to moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, spice and minerals carry the majority of the load.  There is good length on the finish with some earthiness coming into the picture.  (88 pts)

2012 La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2012 La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

 

 

Conclusion

These wines are made in an easy drinking style that will appeal to most wine drinkers and would be perfect for a party.  The wines have lower acidity which would make them a good choice where the wine won’t be expected to take center stage, but instead serve as a means of getting people to socialize over appetizers or casual meals.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2013 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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