Wine Reviews

36383637ChileFlat aromas of red licorice candy, grass and maderized fruit are none too inviting. Feels chunky for rosé, with sweet, wayward fruit flavors that come with a burnt stalkiness. Finishes bitter.Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah8112Maule ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachOveja Negra 2011 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah Rosé (Maule Valley)RoséOveja Negra
36393638USDilute, with simple strawberry flavors and a disjointed finish.8116OregonUmpqua ValleySouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Melrose 2010 Pinot Noir (Umpqua Valley)Pinot NoirMelrose
36403639ChileFunky and odd smelling, with exotic aromas that are unfamiliar and not that inviting. Feels thick and soupy, with black fruit flavors, cumin, candy and some bitterness on the finish.8110Central ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachArauco 2011 Carmenère (Central Valley)CarmenèreArauco
36413640PortugalAromas of strawberry sherbet are followed by sweet candy-shop flavors on the palate. Chill it thoroughly before drinking. Screwcap.Estreia808Vinho VerdeRoger Voss@vossrogerViniverde 2011 Estreia Rosé (Vinho Verde)RoséViniverde
36423641ChileFluffy, sweet aromas of peach, pear and vanilla are as good as it gets. Tastes of powdered sugar and the most forced oak you can imagine. Not at all surprising that it's resiny on the finish.Reserve8015Maule ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachCuevas del Sur 2010 Reserve Chardonnay (Maule Valley)ChardonnayCuevas del Sur
36433642France96-98. Barrel sample. The fruit is very pure with a great depth of flavor. This wine has weight, and intense flavors of dark plum and sweet fruit. Impressive.Barrel Sample97BordeauxPauillacRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Pontet-Canet 2011 Barrel Sample (Pauillac)Bordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Pontet-Canet
36443643France95-97. Barrel sample. A powerful wine with dark and dry tannins. It has a great depth of fruit flavor, with immense and concentrated weight, and a structure that is for long-term aging.Barrel Sample96BordeauxPauillacRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Lafite Rothschild 2011 Barrel Sample (Pauillac)Bordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Lafite Rothschild
36453644France95-97. Barrel sample. Showing new wood spice, this rich and full-bodied wine also has weighty fruit, with creamy and herbaceous qualities.Barrel Sample96170BordeauxPessac-LéognanRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Pape Clément 2011 Barrel Sample (Pessac-Léognan)Bordeaux-style White BlendChâteau Pape Clément
36313630ChileA strange wine that's not very aromatic beyond basic pear fruit and grass. Feels basic and tastes both green and oddly sweet, with a short, oily feeling finish that ends bitter. Tasted twice with similar findings.8220Leyda ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachAmayna 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (Leyda Valley)Sauvignon BlancAmayna
36323631ChileFeels flat and syrupy feeling, with sweet, herb flavors that suggest blueberry and baked plum. Finishes herbal.8210Central ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachArauco 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Central Valley)Cabernet SauvignonArauco
36333632USA bit unripe, with some vegetal flavors along with the blackberries. There's also a lot of sweet heat from high alcohol.Zinfusion Reserve8218CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastCastoro Cellars 2010 Zinfusion Reserve Zinfandel (Paso Robles)ZinfandelCastoro Cellars
36343633USThis is a rustic, soft Cabernet. It tastes hotter than the official alcohol level, which is 14.5%, giving heat to the blackberry and prune flavors.8215CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastChessman 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles)Cabernet SauvignonChessman
36353634USSugary sweet and medicinal, like cherry cough syrup.8111CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherYN NV Red (California)Red BlendYN
36363635ChileCrisp but bland, with sharp edges and some bitterness on the finish.8114Maipo ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachCousiño-Macul 2010 Sauvignon Gris (Maipo Valley)Sauvignon GrisCousiño-Macul
36373636USOverripe and Porty, with raisin, prune and chocolate flavors that finish hot and slightly sweet. The heat simply overwhelmed this Merlot.Reserve8137CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastCerro Prieto 2008 Reserve Merlot (Paso Robles)MerlotCerro Prieto
36463645ItalyThis 50-50 blend of Sangiovese and Merlot is one of the best red wines produced in Umbria. The Lamborghini family (of automotive fame) delivers a plush, modern—and yes, racy—red with dark concentration and generous tones of ripe cherry, vanilla and sweet spice. It has a chewy, plush feel in the mouth with bright freshness on the close.Campoleone9352Central ItalyUmbriaLamborghini 2005 Campoleone Red (Umbria)Red BlendLamborghini
36473646AustriaA finely constructed wine that is likely to age over many years. With its juicy currant flavors still dominated by minerality and citrus, there is some austerity. It is a complex wine showing great terroir character from the steep vineyard site.Ried Schütt Smaragd9367WachauRoger Voss@vossrogerEmmerich Knoll 2006 Ried Schütt Smaragd Riesling (Wachau)RieslingEmmerich Knoll
36483647AustriaThis vineyard, the “way to the church,” gives a full, rounded wine with very pure, direct fruit, and a green structure. This is an impressive wine that offers minerality as well as big fruit.Wösendorfer Kirchweg Smaragd9356WachauRoger Voss@vossrogerRudi Pichler 2006 Wösendorfer Kirchweg Smaragd Riesling (Wachau)RieslingRudi Pichler
36493648USWith 15% residual sugar, this dessert wine is decidedly sweet in apricot, pineapple, pear, honey, vanilla fudge and smoky flavors, with a brisk minerality. It maintains a zesty balance, with crisp acidity.Solomon Hills Special Bottling Two Barrels Made9350CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastOjai 2006 Solomon Hills Special Bottling Two Barrels Made Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley)ChardonnayOjai
36503649USSagemoor's old Cab vines comprise 79% of the blend. The rest is a mix of Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, melded into a deep and satisfying whole. Beautifully mixed cassis, berry and cherry fruits are dotted with dried herb. There is plenty of caramel and toast in the lingering finish, and this wine combines hedonistic power with depth and character.Sagemoor Vineyard9340WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Walla Walla Vintners 2005 Sagemoor Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonWalla Walla Vintners
36513650USNear perfect in the way it tastes almost sweet, then pulls back into dryness. The flavors of pineapples, green apples, pears, peaches and honeysuckle are made even more delicious by the judicious application of new oak and sur lie aging.Estate Bottled9330CaliforniaChalk HillSonomaChalk Hill 2006 Estate Bottled Sauvignon Blanc (Chalk Hill)Sauvignon BlancChalk Hill
36523651USHere's a big, rich, densely layered Syrah, the kind of wine that Cab or Merlot lovers who are looking for alternatives should discover. It's full-bodied, dry and oaky, yet with its cherry, chocolate, fig and licorice flavors, offers a whole different flavor profile. Brilliiant with pork tenderloin with a fruity sauce or stuffing.Thompson Vineyard9345CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastOjai 2004 Thompson Vineyard Syrah (Santa Barbara County)SyrahOjai
36533652AustriaA first from Pichler, this is a wine that stopped fermenting while still sweet and offers rich layers of honey, lychees and pepper are all here, as well yellow peaches and honeydew.Dürnsteiner Kellerberg Reserve9390WachauRoger Voss@vossrogerF X Pichler 2006 Dürnsteiner Kellerberg Reserve Grüner Veltliner (Wachau)Grüner VeltlinerF X Pichler
36543653USThis is sort of a second wine of the respected veteran winemaker, Nick Goldschmidt, who bottles his more expensive brand under his last name. But there's nothing second-rate about the wine. It's classic Alexander Valley, soft and a little herbal, and rich in cherry, red currant, licorice, sweet vanilla oak and peppery spice flavors. Lovely now, and with the integrity to evolve for a decade.9340CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaForefathers 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley)Cabernet SauvignonForefathers
36553654USA classic Bordeaux blend. Tight and chewy, this fragrant wine adds whiffs of tobacco to its red currant and cherry fruit. It is a beautifully shaped wine, precise and balanced, compact and intriguing. It will reward decanting and should be cellared for a few years to give maximum enjoyment.Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Wine9260WashingtonRed MountainColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Andrew Will 2005 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Wine Red (Red Mountain)Red BlendAndrew Will
36563655USBridlewood has crafted a very serious Syrah, from a region of Santa Barbara County that excels at this Rhône variety. The wine is fully dry and full-bodied, with rich, dense tannins, but what's notable is the depth of flavor. The blackberries, currants, licorice, cola, mocha and smoky oak flavors are very rich. Drink now and for a few years.Estate9240CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastBridlewood 2004 Estate Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley)SyrahBridlewood
36573656AustriaPacked with superripe tropical fruits, this is a concentrated, powerful wine, with lychee and smoke flavors. There is intense acidity to counteract all the richness. Finishes sweet and ripe.Dürnsteiner Kellerberg Smaragd9285WachauRoger Voss@vossrogerF X Pichler 2006 Dürnsteiner Kellerberg Smaragd Grüner Veltliner (Wachau)Grüner VeltlinerF X Pichler
36583657ArgentinaApartado, a high-flying Bordeaux blend of Malbec, Cabernet and Merlot, shows up only occasionally, but when it does it shines. This vintage is stunning; the black cherry and wild berry flavors are lively and honest, while the wine's structure is just where it should be. With a juicy steak or lamb chops, this wine will bowl you over.Apartado9264Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachFelipe Rutini 2004 Apartado Red (Mendoza)Bordeaux-style Red BlendFelipe Rutini
36593658USRich in red currant, cassis, licorice, cola, vanilla cream and smoky oak flavors, with a smoothly tannic texture, this wine seems to be Cabernet-based. It's made solidly along Napa cult Cab lines, a softly voluptuous wine that's delicious now, and should age well for many years. From Hagafen.Reserve Melange9275CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaPrix 2004 Reserve Melange Red (Napa Valley)Red BlendPrix
36603659USThis 95% Cabernet Sauvignon perfectly captures the vineyard's strengths: lush, ripe, fleshy fruit that shows perfectly ripened flavors of cherry and cassis, bolstered by ripe, chewy tannins. It's substantial but not tiring; the balance of fruit, acid and tannins holds it together through a spicy, lingering finish. It's just a delicious wine, and one that should cellar well also.Champoux Vineyard Red Wine9240WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Soos Creek 2005 Champoux Vineyard Red Wine Red (Horse Heaven Hills)Red BlendSoos Creek

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