Wine Reviews

30013000GermanyWhiffs of candlestick and honeycomb lend subtlety to zesty white-grapefruit and honeydew flavors in this dry Riesling. While rich, round and supple in mouthfeel, it's balanced squarely by acidity and a pleasant bite of lemon zest.Dry Mineral9120MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaDr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler 2015 Dry Mineral Riesling (Mosel)RieslingDr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler
30023001ItalySmall red berry, spring flower, bread crust and Mediterranean brush aromas lift out of the glass. The vibrant palate delivers McIntosh apple, tangerine, ripe red berry and baking spice alongside fresh acidity and a soft, continuous mousse. A mineral note wraps around the crisp finish.Rosé Brut Metodo Classico9143Italy OtherVino SpumanteKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeDubl NV Rosé Brut Metodo Classico Aglianico (Vino Spumante)AglianicoDubl
30033002SpainThis version of old-vines Carignan-Garnacha is heavily toasted to the point of smelling charred, with coffee and cured-beef notes. Big and blocky on the palate, reflecting a warm year, this tastes toasty, with flavors of wild herbs, baking spices, char and black fruits in the background. Licorice notes and a final blast of char control the finish. Drink through 2021.Vieilles Velles9155CataloniaPrioratMichael Schachner@wineschachFerrer Bobet 2012 Vieilles Velles Red (Priorat)Red BlendFerrer Bobet
30043003SpainDry, dusty, elegant peach and minerally notes open this excellent Albariño. The lightest bit of spritz gives edge and zest to a medium-full palate. Flavors of stone fruits, wild herbs, field greens and white pepper finish healthy, with a melony aftertaste.Etiqueta Ámbar9121GaliciaRías BaixasMichael Schachner@wineschachGranbazán 2015 Etiqueta Ámbar Albariño (Rías Baixas)AlbariñoGranbazán
30053004ItalyThis fragrant blend of 70% Nebbiolo and 30% Vespolina opens with enticing scents of violet, rose, truffle and baking spice. The chewy, accessible palate delivers juicy black cherry, raspberry compote, white pepper and cinnamon while smooth supple tannins provide the framework. An almond note closes the finish. Drink through 2022.9130PiedmontBocaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeVallana 2007 BocaRed BlendVallana
30063005USThis is rich and dense in blackberry and cherry jam, currant, mocha, anise and smoky cedar flavors. The mountain tannins are strong but refined, and the finish is long and spicy. It's a Bordeaux blend based on Cabernet Sauvignon, but be forewarned: It's high in alcohol.Stagecoach Vineyard Synchrony9390CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaKrupp Brothers 2009 Stagecoach Vineyard Synchrony Red (Napa Valley)Bordeaux-style Red BlendKrupp Brothers
30073006USPamplin's admirable focus on its pair of Bordeaux-style blends is rather rare. This is the more expensive of the two, and a fine, fat, forward bottling in this warm vintage. It's three-quarters Cabernet Sauvignon, with lovely fruit that's compact upon opening, fleshing out with air time. Clean, dense and focused, it is bright with berry and cassis flavors, plus subtle barrel notes.Proprietary Red9355WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Pamplin 2009 Proprietary Red Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendPamplin
30083007USA rich mix of red, blue and black fruit opens into a sappy, spicy midpalate. The lush fruits are highlighted by a wash of milk chocolate. At first tightly wound, the wine seems to show more oak flavors with air, hinting at licorice and Bourbon barrel.9355WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Pepper Bridge 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonPepper Bridge
30093008USA hint of mint can be detected in the opening aromas of this Merlot, which includes a splash of Cabernet Franc in the blend. Licorice, smoke and deep cassis flavors all contribute to an intense, seductive wine, with velvety tannins enrobing a lingering finish.9330WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Forgeron 2009 Merlot (Columbia Valley (WA))MerlotForgeron
30103009USJust beautiful, this is the best Sterling Reserve Cabernet in years, and a huge improvement over the 2008. It shows ripe, lush flavors of blackberry and black cherry pie, anise, cola and smoky sandalwood, wrapped into sweetly gentle, complex tannins. Drink this beauty over the next six years.Reserve9375CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaSterling 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSterling
30113010FranceThis is a lush and satisfying Rivesaltes Ambré, made from 100% White Grenache and aged in oak for seven years. There's a gorgeous rancio quality to the wine with notes of almond and orange rind throughout, framed by aromas and flavors of quince paste, wood-grilled peach, fruit cake and carmelized date. The long finish shows good evolution, transitioning from notes of stone fruit to peach pit and finally ending on a sweet spice accent.Ambré9336Languedoc-RoussillonRivesaltesLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzDomaine Cazes 1996 Ambré Grenache Blanc (Rivesaltes)Grenache BlancDomaine Cazes
30123011ItalyA beautiful expression of Sangiovese, this shows delicate and elegant characteristics of wild berry and light spice. The finish is silky and crisp, and the wine would stand up nicely to breaded veal or roast chicken.Riserva9240TuscanyChianti ClassicoCapannelle 2007 Riserva (Chianti Classico)SangioveseCapannelle
30133012SpainDeeply layered and pure on the nose, with tar, cola and toasty oak aromas, this feels deep, full and choppy, with tough tannins and seriously dark flavors of blackened spice, berry and bitter chocolate. It's very long on the finish, which has a tough feel but is generous and loaded with power. Drink 2013–2018; 275 cases made.9290Northern SpainToroMichael Schachner@wineschachPictor 2008 ToroTinta de ToroPictor
30143013USThis is pure single-vineyard Syrah, dark and tasting of cassis and blackberry, with a slightly briny, oyster-shell undercurrent. As it breathes, it displays a cured meat flavor, with a lively, citrusy finish accented by espresso.Les Collines Vineyard9234WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Amavi 2010 Les Collines Vineyard Syrah (Walla Walla Valley (WA))SyrahAmavi
30153014FranceShowing as much freshness and acidity as the hallmark spice of a Gewürztraminer, this is a white-fruit-dominant wine, poised and elegant, with a touch of minerality. Keep for 2–3 years.Schlossberg Grand Cru92AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerAndré Blanck et ses Fils 2010 Schlossberg Grand Cru Gewurztraminer (Alsace)GewürztraminerAndré Blanck et ses Fils
30163015ItalyThis blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon opens with impressive intensity, with notes of bold cherry, crushed black pepper, clove, dried currant and tobacco. The mouthfeel is velvety and rich, with a touch of bright acidity on the finish.Il Querciolaia9260TuscanyColli della Toscana CentraleCastello di Querceto 2008 Il Querciolaia Red (Colli della Toscana Centrale)Red BlendCastello di Querceto
30173016FranceThis retains so much freshness, with just a hint of toast showing at the back of a wine that otherwise projects minerality, a tight structure and intense citrus acidity. It should be aged for several more years.Millésime Brut9255ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerCharles Ellner 2002 Millésime Brut (Champagne)Champagne BlendCharles Ellner
30183017AustriaThis is a powerful, wood-aged wine. It's still showing its toast at the moment, but expect the wine to round out, yielding solid tannins and a concentrated black-plum flavor. With a rich yet firm finish, this should age well over several years.Andau9213BurgenlandRoger Voss@vossrogerScheiblhofer 2010 Andau Zweigelt (Burgenland)ZweigeltScheiblhofer
30193018USThis Merlot-dominated blend features juicy berry flavors and tart, citrusy acids. It has gentle details of pepper, herb, lemon verbena and orange peel. It's a pleasure to see more elegant complexity in these latest Spring Valley reds.Uriah Estate Grown Red Wine9250WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Spring Valley Vineyard 2009 Uriah Estate Grown Red Wine Red (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendSpring Valley Vineyard
30203019FranceThis ripe, full, almost toasty wine tastes of tropical fruit and spice, giving it an exotic feel. At the same time, the right amount of acidity acts as a fine balance. This concentrated wine, medium-sweet in style, should be aged for 2–3 years.Furstentum Grand Cru9233AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerJean-Marc Bernhard 2010 Furstentum Grand Cru Pinot Gris (Alsace)Pinot GrisJean-Marc Bernhard
30213020USFans of ripe, sweet fruit will love this Pinot. It's huge in juicy raspberry and cherry, with spicy hints of Dr. Pepper and red licorice. It will be fun to see how the wine evolves over the next 6–8 years.Gap's Crown9249CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaMacPhail 2010 Gap's Crown Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)Pinot NoirMacPhail
30223021SpainTight, dark and oaky on the nose, this has woody power, cedary complexity and lots of staunch berry character. It is full, grabby and tannic, showing a firm spine to support toasty, oaky, clove-influenced flavors. Dark, tight and toasty on the finish; drink now–2019.Reserva9252Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachMatarromera 2006 Reserva (Ribera del Duero)TempranilloMatarromera
30233022US“Rhône times three” seems to be the code name for this classy blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. It takes the best from each grape, creating a rich, pure, high-acid wine with a zingy berry flavor, plus a mineral underpinning and earthy, coffee-soaked tannins.Rx-3 Red Wine9230WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Nefarious 2010 Rx-3 Red Wine Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Rhône-style Red BlendNefarious
30243023USStyled after the great white wines of Bordeaux, this is fresh and clean, with luscious mixed fruit flavors that emphasize apple and melon. A cooler vintage has produced a wine of low alcohol and real finesse, with a light dusting of toasty oak. Given its impeccable balance, it could be cellared for another 6–8 years.Chaleur Estate Blanc9237WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine DeLille 2011 Chaleur Estate Blanc Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon (Columbia Valley (WA))Sauvignon Blanc-SemillonDeLille
30253024USA blend of 58% Syrah, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Mourvèdre, this combinins power with a big yum factor. Potent and rich, with woody, spicy highlights, the juicy fruit flavors favor blackberry and black cherry. A whiff of smoke runs through the finish.Aix9237WashingtonRed MountainColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Doyenne 2009 Aix Red (Red Mountain)Red BlendDoyenne
30263025AustriaThe chalk soil of the Rabenstein Vineyard has 50-year-old vines, which produce a dense, concentrated wine. Spice and mineral characters combine with creamed apple in a rich display. The wine could certainly age over the next 3–4 years. Screwcap.Rabenstein9229WeinviertelRoger Voss@vossrogerDürnberg 2011 Rabenstein Grüner Veltliner (Weinviertel)Grüner VeltlinerDürnberg
30273026USBeautifully aromatic, this purple-hued wine offers generous plum and black cherry flavors that are cloaked in mocha, with muscular, earthy tannins. It spent over two years in barrel (half new oak), and will benefit from a bit more bottle age for all of its rich flavors to fully integrate.9233WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Forgeron 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonForgeron
30283027SpainCola, coconut and ripe blackberry aromas are draped all over the wine's bouquet. On the palate, it's a bit choppy and acidic, with pounding flavors of black cherry, blackberry and leather. Juicy, zesty and jagged feeling at the moment, this should be consumed no earlier than 2014 and may be at its best around 2018.VS92100Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachAlidis 2009 VS (Ribera del Duero)TempranilloAlidis
30293028USThis is so chocolaty and rich, it's impossible to resist a second or third glass. Although it's heady in alcohol, there's an excellent burst of acidity, and the texture is pure velvet. The blackberry tart, orange zest, spice and sandalwood flavors change continuously as the wine warms in the glass.Library Vineyard9238CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaTurley 2010 Library Vineyard Petite Sirah (Napa Valley)Petite SirahTurley
30303029USThis is classically proportioned in the warm-climate style. It provides a textbook example of the variety's inky black and purple color, rich, thick tannins and elaborate flavors. These flavors include profoundly ripe summer blackberry and mulberry, smoky, umami-rich bacon and sweet sandalwood. Full-bodied and dry, this is a wine to warm the blood on cold winter nights.Pesenti Vineyard9235CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastTurley 2010 Pesenti Vineyard Petite Sirah (Paso Robles)Petite SirahTurley

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