Wine Reviews

3711137110South AfricaThere's a pleasant and subtle chalky texture to this refreshing white, with aromas and flavors of white peach, underripe kiwi and orange peel. The cleanly fruited palate boasts great verve and liveliness, with tart gooseberry and lime flavors that unfold on the close. Drink now.Bergkelder Selection8710Western CapeLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzFleur Du Cap 2016 Bergkelder Selection Sauvignon Blanc (Western Cape)Sauvignon BlancFleur Du Cap
3711237111USVery rich in texture and lightly sweet in flavor, this wine smells citrusy and crisp but tastes full and soft. It has ripe pear and peach flavors and a lingering, honey-like finish.Wedge Block8725CaliforniaLake CountyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsGregory Graham 2014 Wedge Block Chardonnay (Lake County)ChardonnayGregory Graham
3711337112USA full six years old, this wine is in a sweet spot, with aromas of fresh and dried blue and red fruit. It's rich in style with plump, luscious fruit flavors. It still has time but it's hard to imagine it could get much better. Drink now.9125WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportMcCrea 2009 Syrah (Yakima Valley)SyrahMcCrea
3711437113AustriaCherry and pepper are the hallmarks of Zweigelt. Here, they are very aromatic: While muted on the nose, the palate is fresh, lively and very authentic. Merlot adds riper fruit while Blaufränkisch contributes more pepper and structure. This is a very harmonious blend. Lovely now but with the mileage to last a number of years in the cellar. Aromatic cherry fruit echoes on the palate. Drink now until 2020.Cuvée9117CarnuntumAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoNetzl 2013 Cuvée Red (Carnuntum)Red BlendNetzl
3711537114USThe oak (50% new French) plays a big part in this show, with aromas of coffee and pencil lead alongside the variety's strawberries and herbs. It's supple and pillowy in feel with a high yum factor.Stillwater Creek Vineyard9128WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportNovelty Hill 2012 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Grenache (Columbia Valley (WA))GrenacheNovelty Hill
3711637115USA blend of fruit from Seven Hills (75%), Octave (21%) and Pepper Bridge vineyards, this wine shows intriguing aromas of anise, cassis, herb and woodspice. It still seems to be in its shell. The flavors are dense and supple, rich but restrained with the tannins combed to a fine sheen.9160WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportPepper Bridge 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonPepper Bridge
3711737116USIn this distinctive, delicate, dry Riesling, the signature aromas of pine, petrol and white peach lead to crisp, tangy, green apple and peach skin flavors that tingle the taste buds. It's light bodied, lean in texture and makes the mouth water.The Shell Mound9128CaliforniaMarin CountyNorth CoastJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsPey-Marin 2013 The Shell Mound Riesling (Marin County)RieslingPey-Marin
3711837117USAromas of vanilla bean, coconut and cocoa meld with cherry cola and dark fruit. The palate has tart, focused cranberry and cherry flavors with a restrained, velvety feel.Baby Bear9154WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportPursued by Bear 2011 Baby Bear Syrah (Columbia Valley (WA))SyrahPursued by Bear
3711937118USEqual parts Dineen and Sheridan vineyard, this 100% varietal wine shows a mixture of dried and fresh herbs, savory notes, graphite and floral aromas. It's reserved and ultra-polished in feel with a divine sense of texture and plenty of tart acidity. Serve it at the dinner table to see it truly shine.Stevens Franc9132WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportStevens 2012 Stevens Franc Cabernet Franc (Yakima Valley)Cabernet FrancStevens
3712037119USA blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec, this wine exudes complex aromas of leafy herbs, pencil lead, black licorice, citrus peel and dark cherries. On the palate, the blue and red fruit flavors are front and center, well framed by lively acidity and lick of tannins.Stevens4249136WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportStevens 2012 Stevens424 Red (Yakima Valley)Bordeaux-style Red BlendStevens
3712137120USThis blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (67%), Merlot (22%) and Cabernet Franc draws you in with aromas of dark coffee, dried herbs, medicine cabinet and dark cherry. The sweet flavors are layered and tightly wound, with tart acidity and lightly gritty tannins stitching it all together.Sagemoor Vineyards Reserve9150WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportTamarack Cellars 2011 Sagemoor Vineyards Reserve Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendTamarack Cellars
3712237121USThe aromas of blue fruit, fresh lavender, game and herbs are quite reserved at present. The palate offers rich but balanced dark fruit flavors, with floral notes taking over on the finish.9158WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportTenor 2012 Syrah (Columbia Valley (WA))SyrahTenor
3712337122USThis blend of Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier displays aromas of almond, corn husk and apricot. There's a pleasing, nuanced feel to the sweet, full-bodied fruit flavors along with a finish that won't quit.Slice of Pape Blanc9130WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportTranche 2012 Slice of Pape Blanc White (Columbia Valley (WA))Rhône-style White BlendTranche
3712437123New ZealandThis is a supple, silky Pinot, the kind that wins friends for the variety. Bold plum and cherry fruit is both sappy and spicy, with ample weight on the palate and a long, mouthwatering finish.9155Central OtagoJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzTwo Paddocks 2013 Pinot Noir (Central Otago)Pinot NoirTwo Paddocks
3712537124FranceChloé is a good representation of Vincent Couche's style of wine. With ripe fruit coming from the Aube, it offers well-balanced dryness, giving a rich wine that has an orange tang as well as a steely aftertaste. It is ready to drink, although it will benefit for keeping in bottle until the end of 2015.Chloé Extra Brut91ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerVincent Couche NV Chloé Extra Brut (Champagne)Champagne BlendVincent Couche
3712637125USThis wine comes from some of the oldest vines in the valley, planted in 1977. Aromas of pear, hay and hazelnut lead to stone-fruit and butterscotch flavors that are light and elegant in style with a very pretty sense of balance.Estate9166WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportWoodward Canyon 2013 Estate Chardonnay (Walla Walla Valley (WA))ChardonnayWoodward Canyon
3712737126USA new project from winemakers Mark McNeilly and Trey Busch, this wine leads with aromas of fresh green herbs, raspberries, dark chocolate and cherry. The palate is full bore but not overweighted, showing intensity to the red and black fruit flavors.Devil's Playground9132WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportUnderground Wine Project 2012 Devil's Playground Cabernet Sauvignon (Horse Heaven Hills)Cabernet SauvignonUnderground Wine Project
3712837127AustriaVery subtle hints of ripe pear on the nose lead to a citrus-dominated palate that has a pleasant bitter-almond edge and a finely textured midpalate. Nonetheless, the zesty freshness is the main feature of this tricky vintage. This is Pinot Gris but not as you know it—here it has the slender verve of a stony, steep site.Gola9122SüdsteiermarkAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoWohlmuth 2014 Gola Pinot Gris (Südsteiermark)Pinot GrisWohlmuth
3712937128AustriaZesty green citrus with lifted notes of Conference pear strike out for a fruity opening. The palate follows up with concentrated spiciness and even more grapefruit zest. This is lively, taut, slender, refreshing and full of tension, with an appetizing edge of pepper.Kittmannsberg9114KamptalAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoNastl 2014 Kittmannsberg Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal)Grüner VeltlinerNastl
3713037129USUsing dry-farmed grapes, Ryan Pease crafts a heavily structured wine with aromas of black gravel, mocha and blueberries reduced in a vanilla vinaigrette. The sticky tannins will need some time to unravel, but the flavors of cooked cherries, blackberries and coffee paste are promising. Drink 2018–2024.Comes a Time Alta Colina Vineyard9148CaliforniaAdelaida DistrictCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannPaix Sur Terre 2013 Comes a Time Alta Colina Vineyard Mourvèdre (Adelaida District)MourvèdrePaix Sur Terre
3713137130USThis is serious and concentrated, probably built to age a few more years before its peak. It smells soaked with black cherry and black currant aromas, tastes deep, ripe and compelling, and feels full bodied and firmly tannic. The flavors are powerful enough to match the big texture, so it should improve through 2020.9125CaliforniaMendocino CountyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsPaul Dolan 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendocino County)Cabernet SauvignonPaul Dolan
3713237131USThis leads with aromas of dark raspberries, toast and woodspice, seeming to still be in its shell. Flavors are high-octane, rich and sweet, with enough tannins to go the distance. It doesn't seem entirely integrated right now, but it will go up a notch or two if it comes together.9160WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportPedestal 2012 Merlot (Columbia Valley (WA))MerlotPedestal
3713337132USThis wine from an ownership team of former pro baseballers Rich Aurilia and Dave Roberts is plush on the nose with dried strawberry, gingerbread and baking spices. The palate offers pomegranate-cherry juice along with graphite and coffee notes.Soberanes Vineyard9154CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannRed Stitch 2013 Soberanes Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirRed Stitch
3713437133USIt's rare to see a varietal bottle of Chardonnay from this appellation. This one comes from Birch Creek Vineyard and has alluring aromas of lees, almond, peach and straw. The creamy stone-fruit flavors have a sense of richness but are also quite deft, with a finish that lingers.Reserve9148WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportReininger 2012 Reserve Chardonnay (Walla Walla Valley (WA))ChardonnayReininger
3713537134USThough it's a niche variety in the state, Carmenère has always been a flagship wine for this winery. This one is all varietal, with aromas of herbs, freshly cut green and jalapeño peppers. It coats the palate with dark fruit and savory flavors.Seven Hills Vineyard9151WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportReininger 2012 Seven Hills Vineyard Carmenère (Walla Walla Valley (WA))CarmenèreReininger
3713637135ItalyA blend of Sangiovese, with 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this offers aromas of ripe blackberry, baking spice, toasted oak and a balsamic note. The round, savory palate offers black cherry, ground pepper, anise, espresso and tobacco alongside polished tannins.Famiglia Zingarelli Riserva9126TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeRocca delle Macìe 2012 Famiglia Zingarelli Riserva (Chianti Classico)Red BlendRocca delle Macìe
3713737136USThis stylishly labeled wine by Adam Lazarre and Christian Tietje shows salted apples, lime blossoms and white flowers on the nose. The energetic palate offers just-cut green pears at first, then opens into a touch of vanilla. It tightens back down on green apple peels before ending with vanilla cream. The wine delivers a full experience.Los Alamos Vineyard9120CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannSea Monster 2013 Los Alamos Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Barbara County)ChardonnaySea Monster
3713837137USThis hedonistic wine has aromas of embers, dark coffee, earth, cranberry and blackberry. It coats the palate with supple, concentrated dark fruit flavors showing some heft and grip to the tannins.9150WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportSequel 2012 Syrah (Columbia Valley (WA))SyrahSequel
3713937138ItalyFragrant purple flower aromas, with red berry and vanilla lead the nose of this round, succulent wine. Notes of mocha, white pepper and aniseed accent the juicy black cherry core while chewy tannins provide the framework.Croce Riserva9128TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTerrabianca 2011 Croce Riserva (Chianti Classico)Red BlendTerrabianca
3714037139SpainBrawny aromas of asphalt, roofing tar and rubber are balanced by smooth, deep blackberry and cassis scents. This is tannic and rugged, but the palate also offers buttery, oaky richness and depth. Heavily toasted plum and blackberry flavors finish with heat and a taste of dark chocolate. Drink through 2019.Almirez9127Northern SpainToroMichael Schachner@wineschachTeso La Monja 2012 Almirez (Toro)Tinta de ToroTeso La Monja

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