Wine Reviews

3318533184SpainRooty aromas of licorice mix with raw slightly grassy red-fruit scents in front of a juicy lively high-acid palate. This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo from a cool year shows spicy plum and red-berry flavors, while a peppery lightly herbal finish is tangy and fresh.Finca Santa Sabina8720Northern SpainSomontanoMichael Schachner@wineschachBodega Otto Bestué 2013 Finca Santa Sabina Tempranillo-Cabernet Sauvignon (Somontano)Tempranillo-Cabernet SauvignonBodega Otto Bestué
3318633185ItalyDelicate aromas of red berry, blue flower and a whiff of used leather lead the nose. On the straightforward, somewhat fleeting palate, a note of white pepper adds interest to red cherry and pomegranate.Molino del Piano8740TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBonacchi 2012 Molino del Piano (Brunello di Montalcino)SangioveseBonacchi
3318733186USAromas of citrus peel, plum, herb, wood shavings and medicine cabinet are followed by plump cherry flavors. The tannins bring a slight sense of astringency.Crawford Vineyard8728WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportCamaraderie 2013 Crawford Vineyard Malbec (Yakima Valley)MalbecCamaraderie
3318833187ItalyUnderbrush, stewed prune and tobacco aromas follow over to the rather lean, evolved palate along with dried cherry, espresso and a hint of clove. Drink this over the next few years to capture the remaining fruit.Gualto87100TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCamigliano 2011 Gualto (Brunello di Montalcino)SangioveseCamigliano
3318933188USA youthful, light-bodied and exuberant expression of the variety, this shows raspberry, vanilla and currant flavors, with a tangy tartness of citrus on the palate. Oaky tannin comes through on the finish.8718CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneCamp 2015 Zinfandel (Sonoma County)ZinfandelCamp
3319033189USIt's a grand, full-flavored wine that pulls together ripe, focused pear and honey flavors. Buttery, spicy oak nuances beef up the palate impression and run through the finish. For all its body and oaky spice, it doesn't get heavy.High Elevation9023CaliforniaLake CountyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsShannon Ridge 2013 High Elevation Chardonnay (Lake County)ChardonnayShannon Ridge
3319133190USDifferent vintages favor different sites, and this Goosepen Block offering, though perfectly made, is not quite as dense the other vintage offerings from Sokol Blosser. A wash of milk chocolate surrounds raspberry and cherry fruit. Smooth and supple, with a streak of cola and red licorice, it fades gently into a finish tinged with flavors of clay.Goosepen Block9080OregonDundee HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Sokol Blosser 2012 Goosepen Block Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills)Pinot NoirSokol Blosser
3319233191USThe addition of 5% Sémillon proves to be the right call in this white, a structured, spritzy glass of tree-ripened apricot and exotic lemongrass with a pleasant heft to the palate. A twist of ripeness gives a mouthwatering, juicy finish.Estate Bottled9040CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneSpring Mountain Vineyard 2012 Estate Bottled Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley)Sauvignon BlancSpring Mountain Vineyard
3318133180USFashion designer/vintner Richard Hirsh is aiming for the mass market with this approachable if slightly sweet blend. Its wide appeal is the result of sun-filled fruit, showing honey, baked apple, orange blossom and tropical notes on the nose. It's soft on the palate, with candied apple, brown sugar and lemongrass flavors.Honey Pie8732CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannWoodstock Collection NV Honey Pie White (California)White BlendWoodstock Collection
3319333192USAs always, the historic winery produces a nuanced, restrained style, with a subdued nose of berries and balsamic reduction. It's light and bright on the palate, with chicory and woody tones and medium-ripe cherry fruit, a perfect partner to varied foods.Côtes de Tablas Estate Grown & Bottled9035CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannTablas Creek 2012 Côtes de Tablas Estate Grown & Bottled Red (Paso Robles)Rhône-style Red BlendTablas Creek
3318233181South AfricaAromas of gooseberry, guava and white peach are laced with hints of fresh-cut grass and subtle smoke. The palate offers straightforward citrus and green fruit tones, which are lifted by ample acidity and finish quickly on the brisk close. Drink now.8715DurbanvilleLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzDurbanville Hills 2016 Sauvignon Blanc (Durbanville)Sauvignon BlancDurbanville Hills
3319433193ItalyThis brawny, earthy 11-year-old opens with aromas of leather, game, tobacco, graphite and mature plum. Given its age, it's surprisingly youthful, displaying dried dark cherry, fig, prune, black pepper and tobacco flavors alongside an assertive, tannic backbone. Drink through 2018.Exubera90100Central ItalyMontefalco SagrantinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTerre de la Custodia 2003 Exubera (Montefalco Sagrantino)SagrantinoTerre de la Custodia
3318333182SpainEarthy red-berry aromas include a note of forest floor. A medium-bodied palate is centered on tight racy acidity, while this blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon tastes of red plum, mixed spices and cocoa powder. An edgy finish with spiced cherry and plum flavors is juicy and primed by raw acidity.Crianza8716Northern SpainSomontanoMichael Schachner@wineschachEnate 2012 Crianza Tempranillo-Cabernet Sauvignon (Somontano)Tempranillo-Cabernet SauvignonEnate
3319533194USAbundant flavors and fresh-tasting acidity come together in this full-bodied wine to form a complete, complex package. Yes, there is a vivid streak of vanilla and nutmeg from aging in all American oak barrels but the ripe apple flavors and underlying crispness keep those from overwhelming.Reserve9018CaliforniaLake CountyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsWildhurst 2012 Reserve Chardonnay (Lake County)ChardonnayWildhurst
3318433183USThis is a well-put-together, affordable wine that's moderate in ripeness and tannin and easygoing on the palate, offering a plethora of red and black cherry fruit.Reserve8727CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneFrei Brothers 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley)Cabernet SauvignonFrei Brothers
3319633195USThe vintage conditions led to a sharply delineated, acid-driven Pinot Blanc in 2013. Tart with lip-smacking flavors of gooseberry, lime and celery, it also features grace notes of fresh herb. The strong focus and tight persistence make this one to enjoy over through 2020.9021OregonWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine WillaKenzie Estate 2013 Pinot BlancPinot BlancWillaKenzie Estate
3319733196USThis wine is named for the mother of one of the owners, an artist and teacher who provided the inspired artwork found on the label. It blends mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller handfuls of Cabernet Franc and Merlot and is soft in red currant with fully developed acidity.Ellie's9080CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneHall 2011 Ellie's Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonHall
3319833197USDark in color, deep in aroma, quietly intense in flavor and so mouthcoating in texture—this Cabernet demands to be noticed. Yet all of those bold elements are wrapped in a tightly woven and softly finished texture. The flavors are like dark chocolate and ripe blackberries, the mouthfeel is fine and it's not overly tannic or too full-bodied.9015CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsCarnivor 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (California)Cabernet SauvignonCarnivor
3319933198USA deep gold color combines with ripe fruit aromas and assertive, seductive oak flavors like vanilla and nutmeg in this full-bodied, lush-textured, unapologetic California Chardonnay. A layer of the tasty oak flavors stays strong on the finish.9026CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsAlta 2012 Chardonnay (Napa Valley)ChardonnayAlta
3320033199USThis is a deep and concentrated white wine, ripely adorned in honey and apricot with a streak of honeysuckle dancing on the nose throughout. Creamy and round, it is buoyed by a fresh sprinkling of orange blossom and rind.Saralee's Vineyard9030CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneArrowood 2012 Saralee's Vineyard Viognier (Russian River Valley)ViognierArrowood
3320133200GermanyHints of umami richness lend savoriness to primary red-cherry and cranberry flavors on this nuanced wine. Supple like silk yet refreshingly mineral, it finishes crisp and clean with lingering wet-granite notes.Sommerhalde Erste Lage R GG90103BadenAnna Lee C. IijimaBernhard Huber 2011 Sommerhalde Erste Lage R GG Spätburgunder (Baden)SpätburgunderBernhard Huber
3320233201USSolely from Mount Veeder, this Cabernet Sauvignon has small percentages of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. The trio combine to offer currant and cranberry around a complex, woody core of oak, black tea and herbs.Estate Grown9060CaliforniaMount VeederNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneBrandlin 2011 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon (Mount Veeder)Cabernet SauvignonBrandlin
3320333202USWhite pepper and matchstick come to the fore aromatically in this crisp white that's fuller bodied on the palate than one would expect given the aromatics. Apple and pear give a complex, autumnal fruit presence that leads up to a ripe, creamy finish.The Count's Selection9025CaliforniaSonoma ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneBuena Vista 2013 The Count's Selection Pinot Gris (Sonoma Valley)Pinot GrisBuena Vista
3320433203ItalyBlueberry, plum cake, mocha, vanilla and sweet pipe tobacco aromas jump from the glass of this mature, structured wine. On the palate, notes of cinnamon and anisette back up primary flavors of dried black cherry and blackberry. Thanks to its smooth tannins, this would be nice to sip after dinner in front of the fire.La Mattonara Riserva90350VenetoAmarone della Valpolicella ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeZymè 2003 La Mattonara Riserva (Amarone della Valpolicella Classico)Red BlendZymè
3320533204SpainRipe and dense from a warm vintage, this wine shows aromas of cedar, tobacco, black plum and blackberry on the nose. The baked fruit core is accented by cardamon and warm spice, then turns oaky and darker in character. Drink through 2017.Llanos del Almendro90140Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachDominio de Atauta 2009 Llanos del Almendro (Ribera del Duero)Tinto FinoDominio de Atauta
3320633205FranceGuigal's 2009 entry-level Côte Rôtie comes across as a bit austere. Cool scents of crushed stone and black olive mark the nose, while the palate is firm and tight, only slowly giving up hints of espresso. Drink 2018–2024.Brune et Blonde9075Rhône ValleyCôte RôtieJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzE. Guigal 2009 Brune et Blonde (Côte Rôtie)SyrahE. Guigal
3320733206SpainThis Cabernet Sauvignon-led blend opens with gritty black fruit aromas accented by licorice, olive and old leather. A racy red fruit palate has plenty of acidic fuel, while flavors of raspberry, red plum and spicy oak eventually turn chocolaty. Fig, herb and tomato flavors add complexity to the finish. Drink through 2019.Santa Rosa9042LevanteAlicanteMichael Schachner@wineschachEnrique Mendoza 2010 Santa Rosa Red (Alicante)Red BlendEnrique Mendoza
3320833207ItalyDried lychee, apricot, and baked biscuit aromas lead the nose on this enveloping dessert wine. The richly textured palate doles out honey, mature yellow peach, dried mint and candied citrus brightened by just enough fresh acidity that gives it a clean finish.Motto Piane9040VenetoRecioto di SoaveKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeFattori 2011 Motto Piane (Recioto di Soave)GarganegaFattori
3320933208USRoughly half the fruit is estate grown. Lush, potent aromatics introduce an impressively concentrated wine, abundant in fresh pear flavor. An orange liqueur highlight adds a sharp, well-defined note to the finish. This wine should develop nicely through 2018 or 2020.9018OregonOregonOregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Iris Vineyards 2013 Pinot Gris (Oregon)Pinot GrisIris Vineyards
3321033209ItalyAn intense fragrance that recalls peach blossom, lemon blossom and hints of green apple lead the nose on this sparkling Chardonnay. The creamy palate delivers white peach, Golden Delicious apple, almond and lemon pastry brightened by crisp acidity and a steely mineral note. Fine bubbles add a touch of softness on the finish.Regium Brut9040LombardyFranciacortaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeLa Valle 2008 Regium Brut Chardonnay (Franciacorta)ChardonnayLa Valle

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