Wine Reviews

3381133810SpainA ripe fruity set of berry and cassis aromas shows a slight hint of raisin. This is a stacked saturated wine with raw tannins and plenty of power. Blackberry and earthy notes finish stout and compact: this doesn't vary or waver on the back end. Best from 2019–2026.Imperial Reserva9344Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachCVNE 2012 Imperial Reserva (Rioja)Tempranillo BlendCVNE
3381233811USMultiple vineyards contribute to this standout blend. It feels open and accessible, yet carries the structure to age gracefully. You'll find interesting threads of freshly picked herb, lemon oil, pimiento and olive supporting citrus and fresh apple fruit.Récolte Grand Cru93125OregonDundee HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Domaine Serene 2014 Récolte Grand Cru Chardonnay (Dundee Hills)ChardonnayDomaine Serene
3381333812USThis wine comes from one of the producer's oldest blocks in Carneros, where grapes retain vibrant acidity. Reduced on the nose, it opens up into a mix of fennel, preserved lemon and almond aromas that follow through on the steely palate with grace.Paris Tasting Commemorative Estate Grown9394CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneGrgich Hills 2014 Paris Tasting Commemorative Estate Grown Chardonnay (Napa Valley)ChardonnayGrgich Hills
3381433813USThis distinctive, complex and layered wine brings a unique aromatic profile of raspberries, sage and spice before fanning out across the palate with gorgeous raspberry syrup, dark chocolate and blackberry flavors. Its lightly grippy texture of fine-grained tannins perfectly counters the plush effusiveness of its fruit.Scottsdale Vineyard9334CaliforniaLodiCentral ValleyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsHarney Lane 2014 Scottsdale Vineyard Zinfandel (Lodi)ZinfandelHarney Lane
3381533814USMade entirely from Chardonnay grapes grown in one site, the inaugural vintage of this cuvée is delicious. It offers a rich core of almond paste flavor, with inviting peach, apple and pear fruit tones, all while remaining light, bright and highlighted with wet stone and gravel.Schwarze Vineyard Brut9380CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneSchramsberg 2012 Schwarze Vineyard Brut Sparkling (Carneros)Sparkling BlendSchramsberg
3381633815USA collaboration between Sonoma County-based winemaker Jesse Katz and Ken Forrester of South Africa, this 100% varietal red is robust and rich. Dark cherry, red currant and integrated oak flavors support its bold body.A Ken Forrester Wine Farrow Ranch93100CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneThe Bridge 2014 A Ken Forrester Wine Farrow Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley)Cabernet SauvignonThe Bridge
3381733816FranceThe wine comes from a parcel of land planted with both Merlot and Tannat. In its structure, this great wine has a strong connection to the Madirans that are the hallmark of this producer. With maturity, the wine has developed fine secondary flavors and undergrowth and dried-fruit flavors. The wine, named after a standing stone found in the area, is very ready to drink.Château Bouscassé Menhir9325Southwest FranceCôtes de GascogneRoger Voss@vossrogerVignobles Brumont 2006 Château Bouscassé Menhir Tannat-Merlot (Côtes de Gascogne)Tannat-MerlotVignobles Brumont
3381833817USStrong and direct in licorice, cassis, cocoa and smoky cedar flavors, the wine is balanced with adequate acids. It's also thoroughly dry, a good thing. Could use a bit more polish in the tannic structure, which is on the jagged side. Decant, or age for two or three years.V Estate8846CaliforniaSonoma ValleySonomaVJB 2004 V Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma Valley)Cabernet SauvignonVJB
3381933818USThe black label Torii Mor Pinot is the entry-level wine, clean and fresh with clear varietal character. The fruit flavors are tart and lean, but combined with the bouquet offer elegant details with herb and earthy components. The alcohol is a sensible 13.8% and as the wine breathes open it suggests lightly smoked ham and hints of pepper.8829OregonOregonOregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Torii Mor 2006 Pinot Noir (Oregon)Pinot NoirTorii Mor
3382033819PortugalInitially austere, with strong mineral character, this opens up to give bramble fruits, dense tannins and firm structure. The fruit does show some juicy freshness, but the tannins are the key here to a wine that needs 3–4 years aging.Quinta do Côa8816DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerCARM 2005 Quinta do Côa Red (Douro)Portuguese RedCARM
3382133820USO'Reilly's is the budget label for Owen Roe, featuring an attentive wolfhound on the label. Crisp and bracing, this is loaded with textured pear and apple fruit, flavors of barrel fermentation and wonderful pearskin highlights.8813OregonOregonOregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine O'Reilly's 2006 Pinot Gris (Oregon)Pinot GrisO'Reilly's
3382233821ChileViu's first Sauvignon from coastal Leyda is more neutral than desirable. But as it opens you get tangy and fresh flavors of citrus, tropical fruit and grass. It's racy and lively, but the depth and complexity seem regular and not reflective of the reserve notation. Imported by Baystate Wine Co.Reserva8814Leyda ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachViu Manent 2007 Reserva Sauvignon Blanc (Leyda Valley)Sauvignon BlancViu Manent
3382333822USAn example of California Barbera at its best, this is brawny and muscular and rich in flavor, which makes it perfect for roasts and hearty pasta dishes. With firm tannins and crisp acidity, this one is filled with rewarding currant, mocha, olive tapenade and spice flavors.8822CaliforniaSierra FoothillsSierra FoothillsIndian Rock 2005 Barbera (Sierra Foothills)BarberaIndian Rock
3382433823USOne of Oregon's better Pinot Noir values year after year is this basic bottling from Willamette Valley Vineyards. The 2006 is quite spicy with peppery highlights, and the red fruits are sleek and tart, though not green or thin. The core brings warm, somewhat round fruit flavors of pie cherry, plum, and a hint of toast from 20% new Allier barrels.8825OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Willamette Valley Vineyards 2006 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirWillamette Valley Vineyards
3382533824ChileOver time this Cab Franc has been a good performer for Morandé. It's dark and endowed with aromas of chocolate, campfire, coconut, lemon peel and black fruit. The palate is plush and sweet, with big tannins and fierceness to the finish. It's all about power and depth.Edición Limitada8821Maipo ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachMorandé 2005 Edición Limitada Cabernet Franc (Maipo Valley)Cabernet FrancMorandé
3382633825New ZealandImported by JL Giguiere.8816MarlboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzChasing Venus 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough)Sauvignon BlancChasing Venus
3382733826FranceA pale salmon-colored rosé, this is largely Cinsault (60%), with the rest a blend of Grenache and Syrah. It's more minerally than most, with canteloupe and pomegranate fruit and a minerally finish reminiscent of smoky quartz.88ProvenceCôtes de ProvenceJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzChâteau du Galoupet 2007 Rosé (Côtes de Provence)RoséChâteau du Galoupet
3382833827FranceMainly Rolle, this is a plump, melon- and peach-scented white that also features hints of almond and licorice. The fruit is almost honeyed at times, yet still retains a sense of freshness, with some chalky minerality on the finish.Villars-sur-Var Blanc de Blancs8842ProvenceCôtes de ProvenceJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzClos Saint-Joseph 2005 Villars-sur-Var Blanc de Blancs White (Côtes de Provence)White BlendClos Saint-Joseph
3382933828FranceMade from Roussanne, this is a very good example of the variety. It delivers floral and pineapple aromas, featuring plenty of weight on the palate without seeming heavy. There's lots of tropical fruit flavor, but that's balanced by a sense of minerality and freshness on the finish.8817ProvenceVin de Pays des AlpillesJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzDomaine d'Eole 2007 Roussanne (Vin de Pays des Alpilles)RoussanneDomaine d'Eole
3383033829PortugalHugely dense, this wine offers power. The fruit is sweet and superripe; the tannins are soft along with the creamy coffee flavor. Very intense in flavor, missing out on balance.Reserva8840AlentejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerDona Maria 2004 Reserva Red (Alentejano)Portuguese RedDona Maria
3383133830USQuite dry and thin, with an odd mix of unripe fruit, sugary fruit, toasted seed and plastic. Just doesn't sit well in the mouth.Alder Ridge Vineyard Inspiration8224WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Heaven's Cave 2008 Alder Ridge Vineyard Inspiration Merlot (Horse Heaven Hills)MerlotHeaven's Cave
3383233831ItalyYouthful and fresh, this ruby Valpolicella is thin and lacking in intensity. That said, it's an easy-drinking option that you could pair with appetizers of finger food.Terre di Lanòli82VenetoValpolicellaVilla Canestrari 2009 Terre di Lanòli (Valpolicella)Corvina, Rondinella, MolinaraVilla Canestrari
3383333832USThe nose is a tad high-toned, like apple juice concentrate from a can. It's full bodied and dry, with just a touch of sweetness on the palate, with a savory apple flavor that ends with a tart, green apple skin note.8118VirginiaVirginiaAnna Lee C. IijimaVeramar 2009 Chardonnay (Virginia)ChardonnayVeramar
3383433833USTar, tobacco and smoke can't mask the green tomato leaf characteristics on this ruby red Sangiovese. There are some interesting spice notes, but not a lot of ripeness or concentration in the fruit.8129New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaVentosa 2007 Sangiovese (Finger Lakes)SangioveseVentosa
3383533834ChileThis marks two years in a row that this wine ranks low. It's dull, devoid of aromas and sour. Tastes green and bland, with little to latch onto. Just never gets going.Edición Limitada8122Casablanca ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachMorandé 2009 Edición Limitada Sauvignon Blanc (Casablanca Valley)Sauvignon BlancMorandé
3383633835ChileDull and cidery, with mealy apple aromas and similar flavors. Offers almost nothing besides a pale straw color, generic white fruit and corny side notes.8110Central ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSassy Bitch 2008 Chardonnay (Central Valley)ChardonnaySassy Bitch
3383733836ChileHeavy, chunky and waxy, and really not that appealing. There's more than enough baked notes, corn and mealy qualities. Not much else to say.8112Central ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachAsunto de Vino 2008 Chardonnay (Central Valley)ChardonnayAsunto de Vino
3383833837ChileOddly tropical and floral, like an Argentine Torrontés. Spritzy in the mouth but weird tasting and funky, with cloying, unusual flavors that frankly don't taste very good.Natura8011Rapel ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachEmiliana 2009 Natura Gewürztraminer (Rapel Valley)GewürztraminerEmiliana
3383933838SpainRoasted, herbal and blunt, with an acrid stemminess. The palate lacks ripeness and elegance as it delivers burnt, leafy, herbal flavors. Underwhelming.8013Northern SpainToroMichael Schachner@wineschachVega Murillo 2008 ToroTinta de ToroVega Murillo
3384033839New ZealandRelatively broad on the palate and lush in texture, this Riesling's ripe melon and pear flavors are partially balanced by hints of citrus pith. Yet it remains sweet overall, and probably should be paired with spicy dishes or cheese to show at its best.8717WaiparaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzGrey's Peak 2009 Riesling (Waipara)RieslingGrey's Peak

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