Wine Reviews

3675136750USDry and rough in texture, this has earthy flavors of coffee, cherry and spice. The tannins are a little uneven and green. Drink up.8526CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastButtonwood Farm 2010 Grenache-Syrah (Santa Barbara County)Grenache-SyrahButtonwood Farm
3675236751SpainFloral berry aromas are fresh and carry only the slightest grassy, green element. The wine feels crisp and tight, with nice red plum and raspberry flavors. Mild, focused and not very hefty or thick on the finish.859Northern SpainCariñenaMichael Schachner@wineschachCastillo de Monséran 2010 Garnacha (Cariñena)GarnachaCastillo de Monséran
3675336752USThis is a modest red wine, with very light berry-flavored fruit, and just a hint of cherry candy. The simple flavors are ready to drink.Estate8538WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Cave B 2010 Estate Malbec (Columbia Valley (WA))MalbecCave B
3675436753FranceA soft, fragrant red-cherry flavor dominates this fruity, open and easy wine. Very ready to drink, it has attractive acidity and a light spice to the finish.Château du Prieuré85BeaujolaisBrouillyRoger Voss@vossrogerGeorges Duboeuf 2011 Château du Prieuré (Brouilly)GamayGeorges Duboeuf
3675536754USToo oaky, this is dominated by buttered toast and crème bruûlée flavors. Underneath all that are some nice notes of pineapple, orange and apricot. Drink up.8518CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaBluenose 2010 Chardonnay (Sonoma County)ChardonnayBluenose
3675636755USAged in French oak for 9–12 months, this has a base of 84% Merlot, with smaller portions of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. It has a soft and nimble core, with a grippy tannic shell and a vein of compost that weaves through the palate. Blackberry and clove notes tag the finish.Equation8516VirginiaVirginiaBreaux NV Equation Merlot (Virginia)MerlotBreaux
3675736756PortugalIt may be a second-rate grape in France, but in Portugal Alicante Bouschet has really come into its own. This is a ripe, smooth wine, with dark plum skin tannins, red peppers and intense concentrated spice. Drink now.8611AlentejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerAdega Cooperativa de Borba 2006 Alicante Bouschet (Alentejano)Alicante BouschetAdega Cooperativa de Borba
3675836757USAn acidic, bone-dry Chardonnay, brilliant in fruit, that doesn't seem to have been touched by oak. It's so pure in zesty Meyer lemon, lime and kiwi flavors, with a mouthwateringy clean finish.White8615CaliforniaMontereyCentral CoastAmerican Roots 2006 White Chardonnay (Monterey)ChardonnayAmerican Roots
3675936758FranceHints of fresh mint leaves highlight the brooding black currant and dark fruit aromas. The balance of Cabernet and Merlot has been successfully achieved, as the wine is beautifully structured with a firm backbone of ample tannins and a rich, supple mouthfeel.Kosher8632BordeauxHaut-MédocLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzBarons Edmund Benjamin de Rothschild 2003 Kosher (Haut-Médoc)Bordeaux-style Red BlendBarons Edmund Benjamin de Rothschild
3676036759USThis is quite light, almost ephemeral, with tart raspberry and red licorice flavors and a strong metallic/mineral streak. It is delicately made, and interesting, but comparable to a simple Bourgogne rather than a wine priced at this level.Momtazi Vineyard8645OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Boedecker Cellars 2005 Momtazi Vineyard Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirBoedecker Cellars
3676136760USThis is a light, leafy wine, with tannins that taste of green tea and leave a sensation of astringency long after the wine is swallowed. Sounds like Burgundy! In a world where so many Oregon wineries are making Pinot Noir that is superripe, extracted and alcoholic, this shows why the Burgundy comparison is still valid.8635OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Capitello 2005 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirCapitello
3676236761USAnother lovely wine from Chaddsford, with both class and a delicate touch. A pretty, poised nose of black pepper and spice are followed by restrained, minerally flavors that leave a clean but complex wave on the palate. Pair this with more elegant French dishes with a seafood slant.Miller Estate Vineyard8635PennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaChaddsford 2005 Miller Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (Pennsylvania)Pinot NoirChaddsford
3676336762USThis aromatic wine has a strong floral scent that opens into more typical notes of tart lime skin and pineapple. It continues with similar palate impressions, then leaves a somewhat oily aftertaste, like a swallow of perfume.Steelhead Run Vineyard8622OregonApplegate ValleySouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Troon 2006 Steelhead Run Vineyard Viognier (Applegate Valley)ViognierTroon
3676436763USA very nice wine, and more proof, if it's needed, that PG can make a crisp, interesting dry white even at an everyday price. Acidity is high and clean, giving a vibrancy to the citrus, honeysuckle, mineral and vanilla flavors.8610CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherLittle Black Dress 2006 Pinot Grigio (California)Pinot GrigioLittle Black Dress
3676536764ItalyThere's a lot of ripe berry that muddles the purity of fruit. For example, you'll get strawberry roll-up and sweet spice upfront. It tastes youthful and soft overall.Poggio alla Guardia8618TuscanyMaremmaRocca di Frassinello 2005 Poggio alla Guardia (Maremma)Red BlendRocca di Frassinello
3676636765SpainIt's hard to rate an aging, oxidizing, barrel-fermented Verdejo and take into consideration the wine's faded qualities versus its complexities. If you like dried apricots, dehydrated mango slices and fruit jellies, then this will tickle your fancy. Adherents to the school that believes whites should be fresh and palate cleansing should take a pass.Fuente Elvira - Fermentado en Barrica8622Northern SpainRuedaMichael Schachner@wineschachPedro Escudero 2005 Fuente Elvira - Fermentado en Barrica Verdejo (Rueda)VerdejoPedro Escudero
3676736766AustraliaBears a passing resemblance to some Monterey (California) Chards, combining peaches with sweet corn and bright citrus, all wrapped in a coating of toasty, vanilla-scented oak. Crisp on the finish. Drink now.8617South AustraliaMcLaren ValeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzTapestry 2006 Chardonnay (McLaren Vale)ChardonnayTapestry
3676836767ItalyLight in color but heavy in oak, Alcineo is a modern Tuscan red that puts big emphasis on wood-driven aromas of spice and vanilla. There are some bright cherry and citrus flavors on the finish.Alcineo8650TuscanyToscanaPalazzo 2003 Alcineo Red (Toscana)Red BlendPalazzo
3676936768USThis is 100% Pinot Noir, tart and young and juicy, and at this price it's a pretty fair value. It could be criticized as being slightly sour, but it has none of the herbal, leafy, vegetal character that can haunt inexpensive Oregon Pinots.8618OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Pappas Wine Company 2005 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirPappas Wine Company
3677036769ItalyA blend of 20 varieties from the Mediterranean and the Caucasus, the wine's aromas are muddled: There's a bit of blackberry, plum, horsehide, cow pasture, tar and old leather in here. But this primordial brew offers a fascinating glimpse at the roots of wine.Jassarte8641TuscanyToscanaPodere Guado al Melo 2004 Jassarte Red (Toscana)Red BlendPodere Guado al Melo
3677136770ItalyThis Merlot, Cab Sauvignon and Sangioveto blend is a bit thorny and sharp because high notes of black peppercorn, cola and pine forest seem to rise above the wine's natural fruit.Poggio alla Guardia8624TuscanyMaremmaRocca di Frassinello 2004 Poggio alla Guardia (Maremma)Red BlendRocca di Frassinello
3677236771ItalyThere is good integrity of fruit, but there are also slight distractions in the form of stewy or earthy tones. Otherwise, it delivers blackberry, coffee grinds and smoked almond with rigid tannins.Insoglio del Cinghiale8640TuscanyToscanaTenuta di Biserno 2006 Insoglio del Cinghiale Red (Toscana)Red BlendTenuta di Biserno
3677336772ItalyThis is a light and breezy blend of Sangiovese and Merlot that doesn't have huge intensity but that does have a nice focus on fruit. It's a no-fuss, easy wine with bursting cherry, almond blossom and ripe strawberry in the background.Il Ghizzano8620TuscanyToscanaTenuta di Ghizzano 2005 Il Ghizzano Red (Toscana)Red BlendTenuta di Ghizzano
3677436773ItalyThis is a big, modern wine that delivers thick oak renderings stacked tall against smaller offerings of black fruit. Aromas of leather, spice and vanilla are dominant, and the wine is characterized by firm tannins. Drink after 2010.Lorenzo & Isabelle8660TuscanyToscanaIl Palazzone 2005 Lorenzo & Isabelle Red (Toscana)Red BlendIl Palazzone
3677536774PortugalWith what seems a stylistic change, this 2005 version of Periquita is firm, tannic, structured, with dark fruits and plenty of dry tannins. It is impressive for a big brand, dark and concentrated.Periquita8610Terras do SadoRoger Voss@vossrogerJosé Maria da Fonseca 2005 Periquita Red (Terras do Sado)Portuguese RedJosé Maria da Fonseca
3677636775AustraliaThis starts off a bit tarry and rubbery at first, but soon settles down to reveal black cherry and cola aromas and flavors. It's a nice, medium-bodied red, turning a little tart on the finish.8625South AustraliaMcLaren ValeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzKangarilla Road 2005 Shiraz-Viognier (McLaren Vale)Shiraz-ViognierKangarilla Road
3677736776ItalyPaolo Valagussa's Cabernet Sauvignon-Sangiovese-Merlot blend is characterized by green notes of artichoke leaf, garden greens and pungent green peppercorn. It has tight, polished tannins and definitely needs to rest a few more years in the bottle.Le Grascete8640TuscanyBolgheriLe Grascete 2004 Le Grascete (Bolgheri)Red BlendLe Grascete
3677836777ItalyThis seems very ripe, and offers notes of cooked cherry, backed by loads of exotic spice, cherry cola, prune, plum, crème de cassis and graphite. It exhibits a velvety mouthfeel and pretty good length on the finish.Campordigno8615TuscanyMontescudaioMarchesi Ginori Lisci 2004 Campordigno Merlot (Montescudaio)MerlotMarchesi Ginori Lisci
3677936778ItalyAromas of mature fruit, blackberry, leather, cigar, molasses and stewy herbal greens. The wine is lean and slightly sour in the mouth yet its ripe fruit aromas leave a lasting impression in the mouth. It's a wine with more bark than bite.Paretaio86TuscanyToscanaFalchini 2003 Paretaio Sangiovese (Toscana)SangioveseFalchini
3678036779USFrog's Leap's Chards always have a softly herbal earthiness, even though there's plenty of pineapple, green apple, apricot and vanilla oaky flavor. That herbaceousness keeps the wine from soaring.8624CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaFrog's Leap 2006 Chardonnay (Napa Valley)ChardonnayFrog's Leap

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