Wine Reviews

3108131080FranceA ripe, spicy wine, with a good blend of black fruits, spice and tannins from wood aging, and a layer of dry plum skins. It has plenty of Merlot tobacco aromas and dark fruit cake flavors.Grand-Portail Cuvée Réservée8615BordeauxSaint-ÉmilionRoger Voss@vossrogerCaves Fleury 2001 Grand-Portail Cuvée Réservée (Saint-Émilion)Bordeaux-style Red BlendCaves Fleury
3108231081FranceThis is the second wine of Château Balestard, and there are suggestions of high extraction and very ripe fruit. It does have balance, however, the black fruits need time to calm down. The acidity is all here, offering freshness to this rich wine.8620BordeauxBordeauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Lalande Balestard 2003 BordeauxBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Lalande Balestard
3108331082Franceand fruity, this packs good, ripe flavors of blackberries, leather, herbs and sweet acidity. The tannins remain firmly dry, structured, leaving fine, black fruits and acidity.8625BordeauxHaut-MédocRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau le Grand Paroissien 2003 Haut-MédocBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau le Grand Paroissien
3108431083ItalyDelivers unexpected tones of roasted nuts, and behind the toasted notes are some tones of garden greens and artichoke leaf. It does, however, have pretty intensity in the mouth and simple spice flavors.Rigoleto8617TuscanyMontecuccoCollemassari 2004 Rigoleto (Montecucco)Red BlendCollemassari
3108531084PortugalA ripe, soft wine that represents great drinking value. The fruit is fresh and easy, with light tannins and acidity. This is juicy, full of red fruits and touched by a light element of wood.Cister da Ribeira8610DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerQuinta de Ventozelo 2005 Cister da Ribeira Red (Douro)Portuguese RedQuinta de Ventozelo
3108631085IsraelFairly young and needing some time to flesh out, this blend still has much to offer now. The firm tannins play well against the rich vanilla and spice notes; throw in some serious black cherry and raspberry, and the wine comes into focus beautifully. Drink now–2011.Kosher Reserve Petit Syrah-Zinfandel8623GalileeLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzRecanati 2005 Kosher Reserve Petit Syrah-Zinfandel Red (Galilee)Red BlendRecanati
3108731086GermanyRaimund Prüm's Blue Slate is developing into a consistent performer, marrying hints of ripe fruit—peach or nectarine and melon—with crisp citrusy notes and an underlying minerality that gives it an almost dry finish. Drink now.Blue Slate Kabinett8617Mosel-Saar-RuwerJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzS.A. Prüm 2005 Blue Slate Kabinett Riesling (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer)RieslingS.A. Prüm
3108831087SpainA little baked and flat smelling, with licorice and stewed fruit aromas. Sounds kind of dark and heavy, right? But the palate runs to the thin side, with lean but pure raspberry and cherry flavors. Vitality and snap are its virtues; not much depth or character are its fallbacks.Reserva8615Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachMarques de Arienzo 2001 Reserva (Rioja)TempranilloMarques de Arienzo
3108931088ItalySangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet team up to produce an easy wine with pleasant texture and measured aromatic intensity. The wine picks up in the mouth thanks to its freshness and natural acidity.Albatro8639TuscanyToscanaMáté 2004 Albatro Red (Toscana)Red BlendMáté
3109031089USShows classic Muscat flavors of oranges and tangerines, with a wildflowery taste suggesting buttercups and honeysuckles. This unoaked wine is basically dry, maybe tending toward off-dry. It has a touch of sweet honey, balanced with crisp acidity, and is very enjoyable by itself.8624CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastOrchid Hill 2006 Muscat Canelli (Paso Robles)Muscat CanelliOrchid Hill
3109131090IsraelA delicious Cabernet loaded with black currant and plum complemented by hints of pepper and mocha. The medium body and appropriately gripping tannins give way to a solid, lingering finish, making this a suitable companion to most meat and game dishes.Kosher8647Judean HillsLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzKatlav 2005 Kosher Cabernet Sauvignon (Judean Hills)Cabernet SauvignonKatlav
3109231091SpainPersistently murky and leafy on the nose, this traditional-style Rioja brings juicier, brighter fruit to the palate along with some tangy, somewhat sharp acids. In the folds, a dash of oak brings vanilla and additional tannin into the picture. Improves with airing.Crianza8613Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachLoriñon 2004 Crianza (Rioja)TempranilloLoriñon
3109331092ItalyThis Sangiovese-based wine is redolent of smoked bacon, sweet barbecue sauce and campfire. Yet it goes down easy and smoothly thanks to the dense fruit flavors that enliven the palate.I Piaggioni8616TuscanyToscanaMocali 2005 I Piaggioni Sangiovese (Toscana)SangioveseMocali
3109431093SpainA lean and peppery style of Rioja that's very much from the old school. Red fruits such as raspberry and pie cherries steal the palate, giving the wine a tangy sensation and a spicy, almost sharp feel and finish. Very young and fresh right now; it improves with patient airing.Crianza8615Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachViña Salceda 2004 Crianza (Rioja)TempranilloViña Salceda
3109531094SpainSolid as can be, with sweet-styled aromas of berry syrup and tire rubber. In the mouth, the wine shows juicy cherry and raspberry flavors in front of a lively finish. Throughout it shows good form and a bit more roughness than the Volteo varietal Tempranillo or the line's Tempranillo-Shiraz blend.868Central SpainVino de la Tierra de CastillaMichael Schachner@wineschachVolteo 2006 Tempranillo-Cabernet Sauvignon (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla)Tempranillo-Cabernet SauvignonVolteo
3109631095FranceOn the nose this is earthy, with grassy aromas touched by flint. The palate offers herbal flavors and fleshy green plums, still with an earthy edge. Ready to drink, the structure just gives finishing weight.Premius Sauvignon Blanc8610BordeauxBordeaux BlancRoger Voss@vossrogerYvon Mau 2006 Premius Sauvignon Blanc (Bordeaux Blanc)Sauvignon BlancYvon Mau
3109731096PortugalSoft and light, with good black plum and fig flavors. There's a touch of spice, but this is lively, juicy and fresh.The Cork Grove Shiraz and Castelão8610RibatejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerQuinta do Casal Branco 2004 The Cork Grove Shiraz and Castelão Red (Ribatejano)Portuguese RedQuinta do Casal Branco
3109831097SpainSmooth and friendly on the nose, with easy melon and peach aromas that give you confidence in the wine's core character. The palate is nothing special; there's citrus and pineapple before a medium-long finish. Solid but not the most expressive Albariño out there.Selección8625GaliciaRías BaixasMichael Schachner@wineschachAdegas D'Altamira 2006 Selección Albariño (Rías Baixas)AlbariñoAdegas D'Altamira
3109931098FranceFull, fat and fleshy, this wine has some weight, ripe fruit and green plum acidity. There's a light structure of fruit skins, giving a crisp aftertaste. Thirst-quenching acidity to finish.Mouton Cadet Réserve86BordeauxGravesRoger Voss@vossrogerBaron Philippe de Rothschild 2006 Mouton Cadet Réserve (Graves)Bordeaux-style White BlendBaron Philippe de Rothschild
3110031099IsraelYogev (“tiller of the soil” in Hebrew) is a 50-50 blend of Cabernet and Shiraz. Bright and spicy with a medium mouthfeel and soft tannins, the wine is loaded with jammy red fruit flavors of tart raspberry and strawberry. Ends on a medium to long finish with good intensity.Yogev Kosher8616SamsonLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzBinyamina 2006 Yogev Kosher Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz (Samson)Cabernet Sauvignon-ShirazBinyamina
3110131100ItalyThis (mainly) Sangiovese does have a small Syrah component that explains its thicker texture and tighter tannins. The wine also seems on the ripe side with aromas that recall berry preserves and strawberry backed by almond paste and tobacco.86TuscanyToscanaCapoverso 2004 Red (Toscana)Red BlendCapoverso
3110231101USThis is a good example of what Finger Lakes Chards can offer: assertive, full-flavored Chardonnay flavors and layers of spice edged by a clean minerality. Balanced and offering a supple mouthfeel, the wine is both food friendly and elegant.Proprietor's Reserve Barrel Fermented8620New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaChateau Lafayette Reneau 2006 Proprietor's Reserve Barrel Fermented Chardonnay (Finger Lakes)ChardonnayChateau Lafayette Reneau
3110331102PortugalPalmela is the region just south of Lisbon, producing light, fresh wines that are both great values and great everyday drinking. The strawberry fruit flavors are immediately appealing, freshened by the acidity.Pegos Claros8610PalmelaRoger Voss@vossrogerCompanhia das Quintas 2000 Pegos Claros Castelão (Palmela)CastelãoCompanhia das Quintas
3110431103USThis is something you're not likely to see every day—a 10-year-old sparkling wine made from 100% Pinot Gris. Lacks the finesse and minerality of those Alsatian sparkling wines, but the flavors have been smoothed out over the years, and a pleasing toasty streak has crept into the tart pear skin fruit.Sparkling8625OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Duck Pond 1996 Sparkling Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley)Pinot GrisDuck Pond
3110531104ItalyThis is a biodynamic blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc that's focused on two principle components: green Cabernet Franc notes and dusty, mineral ones. Both speak to the wine's typicity yet the finish falls a bit short.Altrovino8635TuscanyToscanaDuemani 2005 Altrovino Red (Toscana)Red BlendDuemani
3110631105USIt's all upfront in this direct Chard, with ripe pineapple, yellow apricot and passionfruit flavors that have been generously oaked. Will satisfy fans of big, lush California Chards. Drink now.Costello Vineyard8626CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaDutcher Crossing 2006 Costello Vineyard Chardonnay (Alexander Valley)ChardonnayDutcher Crossing
3110731106ItalyDefinitely on the ripe side, this aged Cabernet offers aromas of green pepper, chocolate, vanilla bean and black cherry. It delivers a pretty, modern approach and a nice, gritty texture in the mouth.Campora8675TuscanyToscanaFalchini 2001 Campora Cabernet Sauvignon (Toscana)Cabernet SauvignonFalchini
3110831107FranceThis is a dry wine, ruled by tannins. It is firm, the juicy fruit underneath needs time. It will have a juicy future, so wait until late 2018.8510BordeauxBordeauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Terres Douces 2015 BordeauxBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Terres Douces
3110931108USQuite a bit of spicy, sweet-seeming oak flavors give this full-bodied wine an extravagant flair to match its rather hot mouthfeel and firm tannins.8530CaliforniaAmador CountySierra FoothillsJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsDomenico 2013 Cabernet Franc (Amador County)Cabernet FrancDomenico
3111031109SpainShy plum, berry and milk chocolate aromas come in front of a palate with little more than scratchy tannins. Baked plum flavors are flat, and the finish is mild.858LevanteValenciaMichael Schachner@wineschachEl Prado 2015 Tempranillo-Cabernet Sauvignon (Valencia)Tempranillo-Cabernet SauvignonEl Prado

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