Wine Reviews

3519135190USRobust in black pepper and intense black fruit, this has a tension of freshness and red cherry, making for a complex and intriguing wine with noticeable structure and a refreshing finish.Tradition9065CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneTobacco Road 2009 Tradition Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonTobacco Road
3519235191USTightly wound in oak and smoky forest floor, this intriguing wine walks a tightrope between savory characteristics and power that somewhat over take the fruit.Tomahawk Vineyard90140CaliforniaStags Leap DistrictNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneChimney Rock 2011 Tomahawk Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Stags Leap District)Cabernet SauvignonChimney Rock
3519335192USThis is made from a majority Cabernet Sauvignon, with 11% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. This makes for a softly layered tease of cinnamon, cedar and brush, with the tannins dry and grippy. Black licorice and violet dot the nose and palate. Drink now–2020.Alliance9190CaliforniaSpring Mountain DistrictNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneCaptûre 2012 Alliance Red (Spring Mountain District)Bordeaux-style Red BlendCaptûre
3519435193USBalanced and fresh, mixing berries, fresh herbs, black cherry and dried mushroom components, this medium-long, estate-grown wine is designed for significant short-term improvement. Delicious already, it seems poised to evolve gracefully through 2021.Estate9145OregonWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Carlton Hill 2012 Estate Pinot NoirPinot NoirCarlton Hill
3519535194ItalyAlluring scents of chopped mint, ripe berry, new leather, clove and a floral note all come together on this elegantly structured wine. The taut palate delivers black cherry, raspberry, fresh herb and dark baking spice while polished tannins provide structure. Drink 2017–2022.Riserva9128TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCastello d'Albola 2012 Riserva (Chianti Classico)Red BlendCastello d'Albola
3519635195ItalyAromas of underbrush, dark-skinned berry, espresso menthol and scorched soil lead the nose. On the elegant, structured palate, firm, polished tannins carry dried black cherry, raspberry, cinnamon toast and a touch of anise. Drink 2017–2023.Il Poggio Riserva9155TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCastello di Monsanto 2011 Il Poggio Riserva (Chianti Classico)Red BlendCastello di Monsanto
3519735196USA fresh, invigorating citrus and pine flavor energizes this crisp and yet substantive wine in a way that will taste great with seafood and fresh cheeses. It shows nice concentration, fine balance and a lingering finish.La Ribera Vineyards9114CaliforniaMendocinoJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsHusch 2014 La Ribera Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc (Mendocino)Sauvignon BlancHusch
3519835197USOld vines, ungrafted, comprise the core of this rich and sappy wine. It's definitely on the dry side, with a mix of peach flesh and skin, Meyer lemon, melon and vanilla. Drink now through 2025.9125OregonMcMinnvilleWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Hyland 2014 Riesling (McMinnville)RieslingHyland
3519935198FranceRocamadour has been one of France's top pilgrimage sites since the Middle Ages but the vines only returned a decade ago. So Lagrézette's director-enologist, Claude Boudamani, went to the rock. The result is a pure Viognier, ripe and impressively rich. Classic apricot flavors come through strongly long with spice from wood aging. The wine pushes forward with its powerful fruitiness and intense flavors. Drink from 2017.Mas de Merveilles9135Southwest FranceCôtes du LotRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Lagrézette 2014 Mas de Merveilles Viognier (Côtes du Lot)ViognierChâteau Lagrézette
3520035199PortugalThis is a wine that combines rich berry fruits and a layer of fine tannins. Juicy blackberry flavors are spiced with the wood aging and given a dark, solid texture from the structure. The wine is ready to drink, packed with fruit and spicy acidity.Tonel 22 Reserva9135DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerEnoport 2013 Tonel 22 Reserva Red (Douro)Portuguese RedEnoport
3520135200USFrom an oceanview vineyard west of the Sta. Rita Hills comes this project led by David Yates of Jaffurs Winery. The bottling shows earthy smashed cherry, mulberry, bloody meat and brawny clove notes on the nose. Sagebrush and iron play loudly on the palate, with tart cranberry and herbal nuance. It finishes smooth and clean after a long tang.Duvarita Vineyard9146CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannEnticer 2013 Duvarita Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara County)Pinot NoirEnticer
3520235201ItalyEnticing scents of violet, iris, perfumed red berry and a whiff of cake spice emerge on this vibrant red. The chewy, savory palate has good concentration for the vintage, offering black cherry, ground pepper, clove and licorice. Firm, mature tannins and vibrant acidity provide balance while a mint note backs up the finish.9128TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeFattoria Carpineta Fontalpino 2013 Chianti ClassicoSangioveseFattoria Carpineta Fontalpino
3520335202USEnticing plum and baked-strawberry aromas invite the nose on this bottling, as do sandalwood, cola and nutmeg notes. The palate begins with soft cranberry and then dives into oregano and thyme before moving into more restrained gravel flavors, finishing with juniper and pine needles. This wine's wound-up structure will unfurl nicely with time.Boekenoogen Vineyard9142CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannGallegos 2013 Boekenoogen Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirGallegos
3520435203USA depth of baking spices and cinnamon stick greets the nose and palate with eager abundance, showing off the wine's savory, flirty side. Good acidity helps balance out the powerful concentration and sword's edge of alcohol, before finishing fresh and with length.Reserve Bacigalupi9168CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneMatrix 2013 Reserve Bacigalupi Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirMatrix
3520535204GermanyMusky rose and melon scents meld into slightly confectionery pastry tones on the nose of this aromatic Riesling. The palate is brisk and dry, but nectarine and peach flavors penetrate deeply. Cool strikes of acid and minerality accentuate the finish. Drink now through 2019.Herrenberg Alte Reben Trocken9142MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaMaximin Grünhäuser 2014 Herrenberg Alte Reben Trocken Riesling (Mosel)RieslingMaximin Grünhäuser
3520635205USRich, soft and luscious, this bottling shows ripe black cherry, caramel, crème brûlée and a tinge of herbs on the nose. It's creamy, dense and smoky once sipped, with baked plum and blackberry-pie flavors laced with vanilla and caramel, proving undeniably delicious and certain to please many palates.Heart Hill Vineyard Estate Grown9145CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannNiner 2013 Heart Hill Vineyard Estate Grown Syrah (Paso Robles)SyrahNiner
3520735206ChileRipe plum and red-berry aromas are complete, spicy and a touch furry, like wool. This blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Carignan feels full and pure, with comfortable tannins. Chunky berry, plum and herbal flavors turn savory on a chewy finish. Drink through 2020.Aliara9140Central ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachOdfjell 2011 Aliara Red (Central Valley)Red BlendOdfjell
3520835207USOne of the first releases since Charles Banks invested in Bob Lindquist's pioneering brand, this wine shows Japanese apple, lemon blossoms, lightly browned butter and a touch of tropicality on the nose. Still a bit wound up, the wine conveys potential length, with green-apple skins, nectarine flesh, cement-like minerality and a chive herb lift.Y Block9120CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannQupé 2014 Y Block Chardonnay (Santa Barbara County)ChardonnayQupé
3520935208ChileLuis Pereira is Santa Carolina's commitment to making wine the old-fashioned way, with lower alcohol and more freshness. All in all, it's a success: aromas of cherry, berry and tomato are a bit lean and austere. In the mouth, this is more tight and grabby than lush, while earthy, Bordeaux-like flavors of cassis and plum finish with zesty acidity and moderate complexity. Drink through 2022.Luis Pereira91150ChileMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Carolina 2012 Luis Pereira Cabernet Sauvignon (Chile)Cabernet SauvignonSanta Carolina
3521035209USA light, bright and lemony white wine that's textured and deliciously quaffable, this vineyard-designate is only available in tiny amounts and well worth the hunt. Orange blossom and juicy peach figure on the nose and palate without the interference of oak or undue sweetness.Catie's Corner9126CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneJoseph Swan Vineyards 2014 Catie's Corner Grenache Blanc (Russian River Valley)Grenache BlancJoseph Swan Vineyards
3521135210USFeaturing a unique and intriguingly fresh and floral nose, this shows bright strawberry, fresh-pressed hibiscus flowers, exotic vanilla-cinnamon notes and hints of slate and chaparral. The palate is just a hair less exciting, with raspberry, cranberry, white pepper, white sage and dried mint, all wrapped with tart acidity and tannins.Muns Vineyard9140CaliforniaSanta Cruz MountainsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannLeft Bend 2013 Muns Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mountains)Pinot NoirLeft Bend
3521235211USA truly complex and layered style from deep in SoCal, this blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petite Sirah brings aromas of smoked chocolate, smashed strawberries, dried rose petals and oregano. The palate bursts with red cherry and blackberry fruit, then settles into smoked meats and dried dill.Alpha9158CaliforniaTemecula ValleySouth CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannLorenzi Estate 2011 Alpha Red (Temecula Valley)Red BlendLorenzi Estate
3521335212ItalyThis structured red offers aromas of mature plum, wild berry, violet, exotic spice and a whiff of sunbaked earth. The chewy palate offers mature black cherry, mocha, licorice and clove alongside firm, fine-grained tannins. Drink through 2022.Gran Selezione9155TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeLuiano 2012 Gran Selezione (Chianti Classico)Red BlendLuiano
3521435213ChileIt's taken time, but Undurraga has finally hit paydirt with this Limarí Syrah. Cool, gritty aromas of black olive, herbs, asphalt, cassis and boysenberry are stacked and complex. This feels just plush enough, but with bracing acidity. Flavors of hard spices, pepper, wild herbs and leather blend with plum and berry notes prior to a savory, meaty, leathery finish. Drink through 2020.T.H. Terroir Hunter9125Limarí ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachUndurraga 2012 T.H. Terroir Hunter Syrah (Limarí Valley)SyrahUndurraga
3521535214PortugalUsing the four main grapes of the Dão region—Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Alfrocheiro and Jaen—this is an impressive wine, with solid tannins and a crushed-stone texture. Black currant fruits are set against perfumed acidity and a dense structure which needs to soften for the wine to be fully ready. Drink this wine from 2018.Colheita9135DãoRoger Voss@vossrogerVinha Paz 2013 Colheita Red (Dão)Portuguese RedVinha Paz
3521635215ItalyEnticing scents of blue flower, red berry, sandalwood and a whiff of new leather emerge on this glossy red. The bright, silky palate doles out juicy Marasca cherry, raspberry and star anise while fresh acidity and polished tannins provide the framework.Riserva9129TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeVolpaia 2013 Riserva (Chianti Classico)SangioveseVolpaia
3521735216USToasty, dense and tannic, this combines blueberry fruit, roasted walnut and sappy acidity in a fresh, youthful and delicious wine. Drink now through 2022.9128OregonUmpqua ValleySouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Willful 2013 Tempranillo (Umpqua Valley)TempranilloWillful
3521835217USA classic profile for top-shelf California Syrah, this bottling shows blackberry, black pepper, thyme, charred pork and dense purple flowers on the nose. The palate melds dried herbs with dense fruit, offering fennel pollen, oregano, marjoram and black cardamom atop blueberry and olallieberry, with a touch of dark chocolate toward the finish.Eight Barrel9148CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannZaca Mesa 2012 Eight Barrel Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley)SyrahZaca Mesa
3521935218USFresh fruit flavors weave through a soft, smooth texture in this well-polished and satisfying wine. It has earthy touches in the aroma, a good center of ripe cherry and raspberry flavors, full body and a lingering, rich finish.Day Ranch Vineyard9138CaliforniaAnderson ValleyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsSaracina 2013 Day Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley)Pinot NoirSaracina
3522035219USThis dry and sophisticated wine made from 77% Pinot Noir and 23% Chardonnay has just what's needed in a rosé. It has a vivid light-copper color, an aroma like red cherries and apple skin, and flavors that are bright and fresh. The balance is almost austere but rounds after a couple of sips.Méthode Traditionelle Brut Rosé9144CaliforniaNorth CoastNorth CoastJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsSchramsberg 2012 Méthode Traditionelle Brut Rosé Sparkling (North Coast)Sparkling BlendSchramsberg

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