Wine Reviews

3129131290ArgentinaThose familiar with Altocedro's Malbecs know that oak will be a key player. For this 200-case, small-batch wine, the nose offers a blast of barrel power that initially smells like a sawmill. The palate is bold and full, with flavors of buttery oak, vanilla and salty black fruits. There's grip to the finish, which, not surprisingly, tastes woody, dark and minty. Drink through 2022.Finca Los Gallegos9135Mendoza ProvinceLa ConsultaMichael Schachner@wineschachAltocedro 2013 Finca Los Gallegos Malbec (La Consulta)MalbecAltocedro
3129231291USBright, tart fruit conjures up fresh raspberries and cranberries, with potent acids and light hints of metal shavings and dried leaves. A lovely wisp of cinnamon toast elevates the finish.Thistle Vineyard9148OregonDundee HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Ayoub 2013 Thistle Vineyard Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills)Pinot NoirAyoub
3129331292USFrom a relatively cool hillside site within the Oak Knoll District, this wine dances in lemon and green apple, completely crisp atop a fuller-bodied style embraced in oak. Luxurious on the palate, it finishes with a bite of salty brine.Hillview Vineyard9130CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneGroth 2013 Hillview Vineyard Chardonnay (Napa Valley)ChardonnayGroth
3129431293ItalyEnticing aromas of Alpine wildflower, rennet apple and a whiff of aromatic herb unfold on this sleek, radiant white. The vibrant, elegant palate offers creamy Anjou pear, white peach and lemon-lime energized by a mineral vein and firm acidity.Praesulis9130Northeastern ItalyAlto AdigeKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeGump Markus Prackwieser 2014 Praesulis Pinot Bianco (Alto Adige)Pinot BiancoGump Markus Prackwieser
3129531294FranceBig, ripe, generous, this wine is on the rich side of the 2006 vintage. At this stage, it offers peach and apricot, with honeyed yeast flavors. The minerality crispens the texture, while black pepper and firm tannins suggest aging ability.Le Fief de Grenouilles Grand Cru9167BurgundyChablisRoger Voss@vossrogerLa Chablisienne 2006 Le Fief de Grenouilles Grand Cru (Chablis)ChardonnayLa Chablisienne
3129631295USThis is a dark, glyceriney, full-bodied Syrah that should have been held back a little longer before release, but you can make up for that with cellaring. It's tannic and raw now, but packed with blackberry, currant, licorice and pepper flavors that are totally dry, and firmed up with crisp acids. Best for a few years after 2009.Stage Gulch Vineyard9138CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaLost Canyon 2007 Stage Gulch Vineyard Syrah (Sonoma Coast)SyrahLost Canyon
3129731296AustriaA great mouthful of rich sweetness, toffee rounding an already velvet texture. The wine, with its liquid honey and mango flavors, feels full-bodied. If balancing acidity is less apparent, it does show in the fresh, lifted finish. Screwcap.Ruster Ausbruch9140BurgenlandRoger Voss@vossrogerGunter Triebaumer 2006 Ruster Ausbruch Welschriesling (Burgenland)WelschrieslingGunter Triebaumer
3129831297USA muscular, dense and tannic Syrah with a distinctive mineral underpinning. The expression is focused on concentrated, tightly wound blackberry and cassis, with some alcoholic heat. This is almost Australian in its sculptural elegance, and needs breathing time to let the mix of licorice and coffee come out in the finish.9139WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Woodward Canyon 2005 Syrah (Columbia Valley (WA))SyrahWoodward Canyon
3129931298ItalyThis juicy wine benefits from a special selection of fruit to give it an elegant and streamlined impact on the palate. The wine is redolent of forest fruit, cherry, spice and cola. It offers a polished and harmonious experience to the end.Rovente9032TuscanyMorellino di ScansanoCol di Bacche 2005 Rovente (Morellino di Scansano)Red BlendCol di Bacche
3130031299ChileVelázquez's most successful and consistent effort is this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. It's crusty and dark on the nose, with magnanimous baked-fruit, earth and berry aromas. The feel is just right and the wine shows few, if any, faults or breaks. Overall it's pure and fades away with rich, dark flavors and velvety tannins. A New World red wine that's sure to please. 350 cases made.Condesa Real9026Aconcagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachConde de Velázquez 2006 Condesa Real Red (Aconcagua Valley)Red BlendConde de Velázquez
3130131300USAromatic and highly textural. The wine brings out a lot of citrus rind, tart stone fruits, and leesy texture. There's plenty of acid and hints of an underlying minerality with no hot alcohol burn. Just a little hint of stem in the tannins.9020WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Dusted Valley 2006 Viognier (Yakima Valley)ViognierDusted Valley
3130231301USThe 2006 Zachary's Ladder is 65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot. Beautifully defined, sharp and tight. Still compact, dense, hard and young, but loaded with mixed flavors of black cherry, iron and rock. The tannins are tough and hard, the wine is firm and focused.Zachary's Ladder9029WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Gorman 2006 Zachary's Ladder Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Red BlendGorman
3130331302USAlways estate grown and 100% varietal, Beresan makes one of the best Sémillons in the state. Exceptionally dry and crisp, this again suggests sweet grain, citrus and light tropical fruits. Notes of lemon oil and even a hint of diesel come in as subtleties. Though not as full-bodied and rich as the 2006, it's an excellent, well-made bottle, more in the style of a Bordeaux blanc.9018WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Beresan 2007 Sémillon (Walla Walla Valley (WA))SémillonBeresan
3130431303ArgentinaAn elegant, floral Pinot Noir from Patagonia's top producer of PN. Barda is warm, creamy and intense. An emphasis on balanced raspberry and cherry flavors mixed with rose hip and freshness gives it an Old World personality. A very drinkable and honest style of red wine. Good now into 2011.Barda9024OtherRío Negro ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachBodega Chacra 2007 Barda Pinot Noir (Río Negro Valley)Pinot NoirBodega Chacra
3130531304ItalyThis pure expression of Cabernet Sauvignon from sunny Tuscany has done a good job of holding up to the heat of the vintage. The wine shows ripe aromas of blackberry, chocolate and spice but does not taste jammy or cooked. In fact, it strikes a very good balance between fruit and firmness.Farnito9035TuscanyToscanaCarpineto 2003 Farnito Cabernet Sauvignon (Toscana)Cabernet SauvignonCarpineto
3130631305ItalyThis ripe, sun-drenched blend of Nero d'Avola, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon delivers generous tones of leather, tobacco, licorice, cassis berry, dried hay and spice. It has thick, dark concentration and a long finish.Ceuso9040Sicily & SardiniaSiciliaCeuso 2004 Ceuso Red (Sicilia)Red BlendCeuso
3130731306New ZealandWinemaker Simon Waghorn has been able to maintain this brand's quality even as production has ramped up to 100,000 cases, a remarkable feat. The 2008 features ripe, tropical fruit aromas of guava and pineapple that morph easily into flavors of nectarine and fig; expect some herbal notes to emerge by the time it reaches consumers. It's plump in the mouth, yet finishes with a mouthwatering, clean, crisp finish.9023MarlboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzWhitehaven 2008 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough)Sauvignon BlancWhitehaven
3130831307AustraliaThis amply endowed, creamy-textured Cab may not make old bones, but it offers a delicious mouthful of rich cassis fruit, accented by hints of mint, tobacco and dark chocolate. It's silky enough to drink now, with a long, slightly warm finish.9030South AustraliaBarossa ValleyJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzKaesler 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (Barossa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonKaesler
3130931308New ZealandWinemaker Matt Dicey has teased out Pinot Noir's silky texture and ample complexity in this wine, one of his finest to date. Cherry fruit hints at rose petals and picks up subtle earth and spice shadings on the palate, finishing with elegance and class. Drink now–2012, although its balance may permit it to hold for several more years after that.9038Central OtagoJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzMt. Difficulty 2007 Pinot Noir (Central Otago)Pinot NoirMt. Difficulty
3131031309FranceThis exuberant wine has pineapple, pepper and perfumed toast. It is open, generous, kept in check with some crisp acidity, but essentially rich, lively and buttery. This is a down-to-earth wine, fat, prosperous and friendly.En Remilly Premier Cru90BurgundySaint-AubinRoger Voss@vossrogerOlivier Leflaive 2006 En Remilly Premier Cru (Saint-Aubin)ChardonnayOlivier Leflaive
3131131310USGreat price for a big, powerful red like this. Tough in tannins now, it shows classic flavors of currants, mocha, anise and pepper, and will develop over time. Classy and impressive.909CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaRendition 2007 Petite Sirah (Alexander Valley)Petite SirahRendition
3131231311USTired of oaky fruit bomb Chards? This one's notable for structure. Crisp acidity and a firm streak of minerals undergird the grilled pineapple, cinnamon apple sauce and buttered toast flavors. Drink this elegant wine now.Big Bend Estate9032CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaRoessler 2007 Big Bend Estate Chardonnay (Carneros)ChardonnayRoessler
3131331312ChileA zesty wine with more zap and tang than one might expect. That said, it's solid as a rock, with intense flavors of cherry, plum, carob and oak. Call it a bit obtuse, if you will. But even with woody finishing notes of vanilla and cream, this settles on fruit more so than the barrel. Carmenère (78%) with Syrah and Carignan.Amplus One9019Cachapoal ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Ema 2005 Amplus One Red (Cachapoal Valley)Red BlendSanta Ema
3131431313AustriaRipe, creamy aromas introduce a deliciously full-bodied Grüner. It has freshness, but also soft apple flavors and a cream character, while its pepper and spice is prominent. The finish is clean, with green plums and apple skin tannins. Screwcap.Leithaberg Weiss9025BurgenlandRoger Voss@vossrogerSommer 2007 Leithaberg Weiss Grüner Veltliner (Burgenland)Grüner VeltlinerSommer
3131531314USThis interesting blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Charbono and Cabernet Franc is a big wine packed with powerful black currant and licorice flavors, with a liberal dusting of pepper. It impresses for dryness and the rich, sturdy tannins. Drink this rustically chic wine with roasts.The Devious Woman9032CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaJR Wine 2006 The Devious Woman Red (Napa Valley)Red BlendJR Wine
3131631315USWith crisp acids and a dusting of tannins, this young Pinot could develop additional bottle complexities over the next six years. Right now, it has rich flavors of red currants, cherries, sweet leather, cola and spice.Las Brisas Vineyard9042CaliforniaLos CarnerosNapa-SonomaLost Canyon 2007 Las Brisas Vineyard Pinot Noir (Los Carneros)Pinot NoirLost Canyon
3131731316USDramatic oaky aromas and flavors, like nutmeg, butter and vanilla, create an attention-grabbing profile in this full-bodied, moderately tannic wine. It has solid fruit as well, but that character plays second fiddle.8722CaliforniaLake CountyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsJelly Jar 2014 Zinfandel (Lake County)ZinfandelJelly Jar
3131831317ItalyThe nose of this wine is marked by funky game, moist earth, stewed plum and wet fur aromas. That gamy note follows through to the palate, which is rustic and raisin-inflected with hints of grilled herb and used leather. Grainy tannins leave a raspy finish.Quercetonda8750TuscanyVino Nobile di MontepulcianoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeLe Casalte 2013 Quercetonda (Vino Nobile di Montepulciano)SangioveseLe Casalte
3131931318USToasted oak and cardamom aromas give way to powerful oaky flavors on the palate, where maple, stewed plum and toasted bread flavors accompany a soft, easy texture.8712CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsMcManis 2015 Syrah (California)SyrahMcManis
3132031319USThis wine offers a full-bodied lushness on the palate and a mix of preserved lemon and dried herb flavors that veer tart against the riper backdrop of sweet, peach-like fruit.Classic8718CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneNapa Cellars 2015 Classic Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley)Sauvignon BlancNapa Cellars

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