Wine Reviews


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3724037239USBlueberry, sage and vanilla swirl into an admirable nose on this wine from a property far up the Santa Ynez River valley. There is distinct tar on the palate, like other wines from the property, with smashed black cherry fruit and tobacco herbaceousness present as well.Paradise Road Vineyard9040CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannSummerland 2012 Paradise Road Vineyard Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley)SyrahSummerland
3724137240USBig flavors and full body make this deep-colored Grenache stand out. It combines aromas of ripe raspberry and boysenberry jam with hints of tobacco and cedar in the flavors. All are supported by a firm, tannic texture that is rounded out by a sensation of richness.Melée9034CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsTuck Beckstoffer 2012 Melée Grenache (California)GrenacheTuck Beckstoffer
3724237241ItalyEarthy, alluring fragrances suggest bright berry, rose petal and tilled soil. The palate delivers ripe, wild cherry completed by notes of vanilla, white and black pepper alongside youthful, bracing tannins. Drink 2016–2024.Ovello Vigna Loreto9060PiedmontBarbarescoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeAlbino Rocca 2011 Ovello Vigna Loreto (Barbaresco)NebbioloAlbino Rocca
3724337242USThe vineyard for this 100% Grenache is certified sustainable, organic and Biodynamic. Bright and light in strawberry and mint, the wine has a strong herbal component intertwined with tartness and tingling acidity.Delta The Difference9035CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastVirginie Boone@vbooneAmpelos 2010 Delta The Difference Grenache (Sta. Rita Hills)GrenacheAmpelos
3724437243SloveniaThis sweet wine is nut brown in color, with aromas of dried prunes, caramelized pears and raisins. The palate is driven by sweet, dried fruit tones, balanced by bright acidity.Valentino Sweet Red9060Vipavska DolinaJeff Jenssen@worldwineguysBatič 2007 Valentino Sweet Red Merlot-Cabernet Franc (Vipavska Dolina)Merlot-Cabernet FrancBatič
3724537244USFull-bodied and lush on the palate, this exuberant wine offers a brightness of red raspberry fruit followed by acres of lively clove and ginger spice. High in acidity, it has years to go before it sleeps, the finish savory in leather.Rosemary's Block9055CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneBrown Estate 2012 Rosemary's Block Zinfandel (Napa Valley)ZinfandelBrown Estate
3724637245ChileJammy blackberry, rubber, graphite and raw oak aromas set up a full, weighty palate. Flavors of mint, licorice, creamy oak and chocolate accent brambly black-fruit flavors, while a minty finish simmers with power and subtle warmth. Drink through 2016.Quiron9030Colchagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachViña La Ronciere 2011 Quiron Carmenère (Colchagua Valley)CarmenèreViña La Ronciere
3724737246USThis exotic and memorable white wine brings a floral, perfumed aroma, ripe fruit flavors and a nicely viscous texture. Rather light in body for its richness level, it delivers a lingering finish. It has the generous texture of a Chardonnay but with more intense fruit flavors.Estate Grown9030CaliforniaSierra FoothillsSierra FoothillsJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsWise Villa 2013 Estate Grown Torrontés (Sierra Foothills)TorrontésWise Villa
3724837247FranceThis is an exceptionally young wine, still tight, textured and mineral. The potential shows in the white fruits, lemon crispness and rich background. It's full of both fruit and a firm, steely structure. Drink from 2017.Eichberg Grand Cru9020AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerWolfberger 2013 Eichberg Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace)RieslingWolfberger
3724937248USWhiffs of lemon and lime zest lend verve to waxy white-floral notes on this honey-touched Riesling sparkling. Juicy and a touch sweet with ripe stone-fruit flavors, it's elegantly balanced with a streak of high-pitched acid and soft, delicate bubbles.Célèbre Crémant8821New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaChâteau Frank NV Célèbre Crémant Riesling (Finger Lakes)RieslingChâteau Frank
3725037249ChileHerbal, saucy aromas of tomato and spice accent dark-berry fruit, while the palate carries a tight, fresh, crisp feel. This brings herbal, spicy notes along with berry and cassis flavors, while the finish rolls out in loamy yet short fashion.Casillero del Diablo Reserva8811Central ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachConcha y Toro 2012 Casillero del Diablo Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon (Central Valley)Cabernet SauvignonConcha y Toro
3725137250AustriaA closed nose opens into a light-bodied, citrus-led palate of mild sweetness, with that lovely killer acid that is Riesling's own. This auslese will make a great companion to soft, ripe cheeses or lemon drizzle cake.Auslese8830NiederösterreichAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoMarkus Huber 2013 Auslese Riesling (Niederösterreich)RieslingMarkus Huber
3725237251FranceThis structured wine discloses dark tannins and a firm, dense character. The granite soil comes through strongly in the cool minerality and tight texture. It has weight and potential richness, but it does need to age. Drink from 2016.8818BeaujolaisChiroublesRoger Voss@vossrogerHenry Fessy 2012 ChiroublesGamayHenry Fessy
3725337252USIn a challenging vintage, this shows excellent structure around rather light fruit. Strawberry and cherry come into play, with some well-managed tannic strength from the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc and a splash of Malbec.8825WashingtonRed MountainColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Hightower 2011 Merlot (Red Mountain)MerlotHightower
3725437253USWeighty and dry, Albariño is a rare sight in Sonoma. This one is well worth seeking, savory in nutty almond and a taste of grilled peach. Mouth quenching, it'll pair well with spicy Thai shrimp.8829CaliforniaSonoma ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneImagery 2013 Albariño (Sonoma Valley)AlbariñoImagery
3725537254USHoney is the key word to describe the nose and flavor of this extremely aromatic and just slightly sweet wine, which also offers notes of honeysuckle and honeydew. Winemakers often turn the grape Symphony (a cross of Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache Gris) into a sweet, dessert-style wine, but this shows how good it can be in a drier version.Obsession8812CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsIronstone 2013 Obsession Symphony (California)SymphonyIronstone
3725637255USThis is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Syrah, with a core of blueberry and cocoa. It's super-smooth and quite easy to sip and enjoy. But apart from that, and the seductive coffee/mocha flavors that run rampant through the finish, it shows little of the depth and complexity that Washington Cabernet can display. Drink 2017–2019.Foreshadow8845WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine J. Bookwalter 2011 Foreshadow Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonJ. Bookwalter
3725737256USLively and full-bodied, the blend includes Chardonnay, Marsanne, Roussanne and Pinot Gris. Citrus fruits fill the mouth, with a streak of honey and appealing roundness. This is a great wine to just drink and enjoy, without too much contemplation.Gossamer8826WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Kontos 2013 Gossamer White (Columbia Valley (WA))White BlendKontos
3725837257ItalyThis bold, sturdy wine brings together mature plum, black cherry, citrus, blue flower, clove, mocha, black pepper and licorice sensations. The savory palate is supported by a backbone of assertive, drying tannins. You'll also notice the evident alcohol. It's delicious but extremely forward so drink soon for freshness.8821TuscanyRosso di MontalcinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeLa Palazzetta 2012 Rosso di MontalcinoSangioveseLa Palazzetta
3725937258ItalyUnderbrush, leather, black pepper, clove and leather lead the nose on this brawny wine. The spicy palate offers allspice, anisette, concentrated black cherry and juicy raspberry alongside strapping tannins. It's one-dimensional but savory. Enjoy through 2015.Tirso8827TuscanyRosso di MontalcinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeVilla Le Prata 2012 Tirso (Rosso di Montalcino)SangioveseVilla Le Prata
3726037259USAdorned by a beautiful label, this aromatic white is resplendent in lychee, pear and orange blossom as well as marked minerality. Dry, the finish is slightly spicy and entirely memorable.8823CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneVML 2013 Gewürztraminer (Russian River Valley)GewürztraminerVML
3723137230USExpertly integrated butter elements mix with peach and lime spritz on the nose. This single-vineyard Chardonnay offers stone fruit flavors, slight sea saltiness and a long vanilla finish for very easy drinking.Harman Vineyard9035CaliforniaSanta Cruz MountainsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannClos La Chance 2012 Harman Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Cruz Mountains)ChardonnayClos La Chance
3723237231FranceThis soft wine shows a rounded character. It's balanced, with acidity giving a supporting freshness and texture to the full, rich creaminess. Full in the mouth and dense, it could age further. Drink from 2015.Vieilles Vignes9021AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Schoffit 2012 Vieilles Vignes White (Alsace)White BlendDomaine Schoffit
3723337232ItalyRipe berry, tilled earth, violet, grilled herb and coffee aromas lead the nose on this firmly structured wine. The palate delivers black cherry, crushed raspberry, chocolate, anisette and black pepper. It's supported by a backbone of bracing, astringent tannins.Pajana9090PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeDomenico Clerico 2010 Pajana (Barolo)NebbioloDomenico Clerico
3723437233USConcentrated and generous in sweet red fruit, this is a gangbuster Oakville Merlot for the price. Balanced in fruit, herb and dry tannin, it's a lovable quaff from a well-known vineyard.Money Road9024CaliforniaOakvilleNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneGibbs 2010 Money Road Merlot (Oakville)MerlotGibbs
3723537234USThough designated simply as Washington state, this five grape, Cab-dominated, Bordeaux-style blend is sourced entirely from Kiona's Red Mountain vineyards. Aromatic—almost pungent—it's built around soft, ripe red fruits, augmented with a touch of leather and toast. Round, full, and ready to drink, it spent a year in 60% new oak.9025WashingtonWashingtonWashington OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Kiona 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington)Cabernet SauvignonKiona
3723637235USNamed after winemaker David Corey's son, this 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Merlot begins with nose-tickling scents of berry syrup and smoked cigars. The maduro cigar flavor consumes the palate, with black cherry fruit and smooth tannins. It can stand up to a fat stogie or gamy meats like lamb.Cuvée Nolan Santa Barbara Highlands9042CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannKuyam 2007 Cuvée Nolan Santa Barbara Highlands Red (Santa Barbara County)Bordeaux-style Red BlendKuyam
3723737236ChileWith tight, crisp aromas of berry fruit, toast, mineral and mint, this Cabernet Sauvignon blend is high toned—coming across racy and snappy. Jumpy, lively plum and raspberry flavors are backed by leafy, herbal notes and resiny oak. A spicy mint finish concludes this energetic yet oaky blend. Drink through 2021.Catalina9050Maipo ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Ema 2011 Catalina Red (Maipo Valley)Red BlendSanta Ema
3723837237ChileEarly aromas of menthol and oak settle on floral red berry scents and woodspice. The flavor profile of black cherry and berry is initially narrow, but with time rounds out to deliver a bright, pleasant overall character. The blend consists of 75% Carmenère, 25% Syrah and 5% Carignan.Amplus One9024PeumoMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Ema 2012 Amplus One Red (Peumo)Red BlendSanta Ema
3723937238USDelicate sprays of cherry blossom and raspberry waft from nose to finish on this salmon-pink blend of traditional Champagne grape varieties. Zesty lemonade acidity is lively on the palate, leading to a long, softly foamed finish.Topaz Impérial Rosé9037New YorkNorth Fork of Long IslandLong IslandAnna Lee C. IijimaSparkling Pointe 2011 Topaz Impérial Rosé (North Fork of Long Island)Champagne BlendSparkling Pointe

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