Wine Reviews

3189131890ItalyNero d'Avola and Merlot are blended to produce a tight, crisp, cherry-driven red wine with almond and toasted pistachio overtones. Pair this wine with veal, chicken or pork.Triskelè8729Sicily & SardiniaSiciliaDuca di Salaparuta 2008 Triskelè Red (Sicilia)Red BlendDuca di Salaparuta
3189231891ItalyHere's a very pretty white wine from Sicily (made with Grillo grapes) that opens with creamy, light nuances of almond blossom, stone fruit and citrus. Pair this wine with steamed white fish.Kados Risignolo87Sicily & SardiniaSiciliaDuca di Salaparuta 2009 Kados Risignolo Grillo (Sicilia)GrilloDuca di Salaparuta
3189331892ItalyDuca di Salaparuta sources fruit from vineyard sites spanning the island of Sicily. From the Passo delle Mule location, this bright Nero d'Avola is generous in terms of its fruit-forward aromatic profile. The mouthfeel is firm, polished and crisp.Passo delle Mule Suar Marchesa8718Sicily & SardiniaSiciliaDuca di Salaparuta 2009 Passo delle Mule Suar Marchesa Nero d'Avola (Sicilia)Nero d'AvolaDuca di Salaparuta
3189431893USDue Vigne's mountain-grown Sierra Nebbiolo is savory, embellished with olive tapenade, sour cherry, cranberry and caramel, its tannins sufficiently managed to make this wine a rich, robust red with finesse. Small percentages of Barbera and Dolcetto are blended in.Musso Family Vineyard8726CaliforniaEl Dorado CountySierra FoothillsVirginie Boone@vbooneDue Vigne 2007 Musso Family Vineyard Nebbiolo (El Dorado County)NebbioloDue Vigne
3189531894USShows enormously extracted black cherry and mocha flavors, a testament to how nicely ripe the difficult Grenache variety got in the winery's Rodney's Vineyard. Oak lurks in the background, giving smoky, buttery notes.8730CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastEpiphany 2009 Grenache (Santa Ynez Valley)GrenacheEpiphany
3189631895ItalyInspired by fashion icon Versace, this interpretation of Nero d'Avola opens with dense blackberry and blueberry aromas with background tones of spice and almond. This Sicilian estate belongs to the owner of one of Italy's biggest fashion-media groups.Versace8721Sicily & SardiniaSiciliaFeudi del Pisciotto 2009 Versace Nero d'Avola (Sicilia)Nero d'AvolaFeudi del Pisciotto
3189731896New ZealandClassified as medium dry on the IRF scale, this is a medium-bodied Riesling without much texture, yet classic apple and citrus aromas and flavors. A sensation of wet stone creeps in on the finish.8717MarlboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzForrest 2010 Riesling (Marlborough)RieslingForrest
3189831897USRipe and simple, with flavors of black currants, sweet olive tapenade and mocha. It's a clean, pleasant wine to wash down meats and cheeses and not worry about impressing the neighbors.8518CaliforniaEl DoradoSierra FoothillsMadroña 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (El Dorado)Cabernet SauvignonMadroña
3189931898USFrom a benchland vineyard, this Zin is riper than almost anything out there. Higher in alcohol, too, with an astounding 16.8%. That's almost Port—exactly what it tastes like, with caramelized blackberry berry, dark chocolate, and vanilla flavors.Maple8536CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaMazzocco 2005 Maple Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelMazzocco
3190031899ChileVery light in color, such that it's almost pink. The nose on this Cabernet-Syrah blend is accented by chewing gum and spice aromas. The palate is clean but light in weight, with crisp cherry skin and watermelon flavors. It's not very deep or long, but what's here is tasty and ready to drink now.Rosé859Colchagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachEstampa 2007 Rosé Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah (Colchagua Valley)Cabernet Sauvignon-SyrahEstampa
3190131900ArgentinaNeutral for the most part, but this light-framed white slips in pear, orange and spice notes while maintaining a nice, juicy profile. Nothing more than a refreshing, lime-infused dandy. But what's wrong with that?Elsa Bianchi859Mendoza ProvinceMichael Schachner@wineschachValentin Bianchi 2007 Elsa Bianchi TorrontésTorrontésValentin Bianchi
3190231901ItalyHoney, peach, citrus and dried herbs comprise the nose of this simple Pinot Grigio. In appearance, the wine is almost transparent with a touch of gold and the mouthfeel is equally light and easy. The screwcap bottle has a cute picture of a green Vespa on the label to reinforce its all-Italy, Dolce Vita appeal.Rapido White8512LombardyProvincia di PaviaAdria Vini 2006 Rapido White Pinot Grigio (Provincia di Pavia)Pinot GrigioAdria Vini
3190331902USCrisp and on the sweet side, this PG has flavors of honey, lemons, limes, green apples, figs and peppery spices. Nice as a cocktail sipper. Try with Chinese food for something different.8514CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaBalletto 2006 Pinot Gris (Russian River Valley)Pinot GrisBalletto
3190431903USThe wine is 100% Cabernet, a combination of the winery's Palisades vineyard, in Calistoga, and Graveyard Hill, in Carneros. Strangely, it's not as good as either of those single-vineyard bottlings. It's too ripe, with stewed berry and raisin flavors that are almost Port-like.Hommage Artist Series Reserve8580CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaClos Pegase 2004 Hommage Artist Series Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonClos Pegase
3190531904USFolks who like their white wines on the sugary side will appreciate this soft Viognier. It's tremendously rich in pineapple, pear, vanilla and marzipan flavors, almost like a dessert confection.8524CaliforniaAmador CountySierra FoothillsDomaine de la Terre Rouge 2006 Viognier (Amador County)ViognierDomaine de la Terre Rouge
3190631905USMoon Mountain dropped the price on their basic Cab years ago, and with it, quality dipped. The concentration just isn't here. On the other hand, it's a nice, smooth, clean wine, with enough blackberry and currant varietal character to satisfy Cab lovers.8515CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaMoon Mountain Vineyard 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma County)Cabernet SauvignonMoon Mountain Vineyard
3190731906ChileIf what you're looking for is a medium-weight red wine with bright fruit and bounce, this is it. It's not complex or weighty stuff; instead it's focused on jumpy cherry and raspberry flavors and a snappy feel. Totally pedestrian but good in its price category.120859Maipo ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Rita 2005 120 Shiraz (Maipo Valley)ShirazSanta Rita
3190831907ItalyThis is a pleasant, highly quaffable Grigio with a lean, watery appearance and measured aromas of peach, citrus, dried hay and honey. It has a lively, citrus-driven mouthfeel with a touch of playful spice on the close.8516Northeastern ItalyColli Orientali del FriuliTeresa Raiz 2006 Pinot Grigio (Colli Orientali del Friuli)Pinot GrigioTeresa Raiz
3190931908AustraliaThis oak-free Chardonnay combines pear and tropical fruit flavors in a somewhat simple but pleasant package. Shows some oiliness to its texture and a touch of warmth on the finish, but it's a good effort overall.Promised Land Unwooded8513South AustraliaSouth AustraliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzWakefield 2006 Promised Land Unwooded Chardonnay (South Australia)ChardonnayWakefield
3191031909USSomewhat simple and fruity-sweet, this is a silky, crisp wine, plump with jammy cherry, raspberry, root beer and smoky vanilla flavors. Drink now.8424CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaBalletto 2006 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirBalletto
3191131910USSweet, tannic and superfruity, this blend of Dolcetto, Zin, Merlot, Tempranillo and Carignane is rustic and clean. With its flood of blackberry, cherry, chocolate and spice flavors, it will happily wash down simple fare, like cheeseburgers.Rosso8412CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherBargetto 2005 Rosso Red (California)Red BlendBargetto
3191231911ArgentinaJuicy and jumpy on the nose, but not sour. The palate of this dark, almost red Malbec rosé is sweet and candied but also zesty due to pretty lively acids. It's not a stellar wine but it is full of berries and spunk.Rosé8411Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachChakana 2007 Rosé Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecChakana
3191331912USSemi-sweet, this wine combines cherry and chocolate flavors with a vegetal, asparagus taste that detracts from the pleasures a dessert wine ought to bring.Late Harvest8424CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaDashe Cellars 2006 Late Harvest Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelDashe Cellars
3191431913ArgentinaSpritzy lemon-lime aromas are attractive; there's lemon meringue and green herbs on the palate, and a narrow, fresh finish to close the deal.847Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachTrapiche 2007 Torrontés (Mendoza)TorrontésTrapiche
3191531914USThis wine has rich Meyer lemon, lime, fig, date, green apple and spice flavors that are brightened by crisp acidity. But the sugary finish is too sweet.8417CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaTrinitas 2006 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley)Sauvignon BlancTrinitas
3191631915USRich and soft, this Chard has strong flavors of stewed apricots, peaches, pineapples and vanilla. It would benefit from more crispness.8415CaliforniaDunnigan HillsCentral ValleyMatchbook 2006 Chardonnay (Dunnigan Hills)ChardonnayMatchbook
3191731916USToo ripe for balance or longevity, the blackberry and currant flavors in this Cab veer into raisins, with a bitter finish. It's also soft and very oaky, more like a warm, interior valley wine than one from this fine appellation. Drink now.8475CaliforniaOakvilleNapaMatthew Daniel 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville)Cabernet SauvignonMatthew Daniel
3191831917USLots of deliciousness in this dry, tannic Cabernet. Offers tiers of black currant, dark chocolate, licorice and toasty oak flavors that are smooth and flashy. A little high in alcohol and its future is uncertain, so drink now.9080CaliforniaStags Leap DistrictNapaMalk 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Stags Leap District)Cabernet SauvignonMalk
3191931918ItalyThere's a distant note of underbrush or bramble that gives this Brunello a focused, almost etched impression in the mouth. Cola, cherry liqueur, black licorice, ginger and cedar give the wine an austere personality that is matched by the dusty, elegant nature of the tannins.9050TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoDonatella Cinelli Colombini 2008 Brunello di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoDonatella Cinelli Colombini
3192031919ItalyArte shows some age on the bouquet with savory tones of cured meat, bacon, dried fruit and exotic spice. Fresh acidity is backed by a gritty, textured feel to the tannins. The wine has five years or so of aging potential.Arte90TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoDonna Olga 2004 Arte (Brunello di Montalcino)SangioveseDonna Olga

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