Wine Reviews

3756137560SpainEarthy, baked aromas of raisin and prune are ripe and malty. This feels tight, clampy and mildly astringent. Flavors of baked plum and currant straddle the line between ripe an racy, while this finishes dry and tight, with a touch of cinnamon-like spice.Bianai Crianza8820Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Ugalde 2011 Bianai Crianza (Rioja)Tempranillo BlendBodegas Ugalde
3756237561SpainThis blend of 75% Tempranillo and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon opens with dry, earthy, spicy aromas of tomato, red plum and horse hide. It's racy and lifted on the palate, with good balance. Flavors of olive, herbs, spice and red-berry fruits are slightly green, while this is chocolaty and lightly oaky on the finish.Crianza8816Northern SpainSomontanoMichael Schachner@wineschachEnate 2009 Crianza Red (Somontano)Tempranillo BlendEnate
3756337562USThis is impressively dark, with dense but grapy fruit flavors right out front. The mouthfeel is sharp and spicy, and it thins out surprisingly in the middle, given the color and rather high alcohol. Sappy acids and raspy tannins carry it through the finish.Aroha Vineyard8824OregonUmpqua ValleySouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Iris Vineyards 2014 Aroha Vineyard Merlot (Umpqua Valley)MerlotIris Vineyards
3756437563FranceA fresh and ripe blend that brings the richness of Chardonnay and the perfumed Viognier well into focus. It is rich, full of apricot and green plum fruits that are cut by acidity. The name Vin de Lune (moon wine) is a reminder of the time when grapes were harvested at night to avoid detection by the local lord and so escape taxes.Clos Triguedina Blanc Sec Vin de Lune88Southwest FranceRoger Voss@vossrogerJean-Luc Baldès 2014 Clos Triguedina Blanc Sec Vin de Lune Viognier-ChardonnayViognier-ChardonnayJean-Luc Baldès
3756537564USRoughly half Cab Franc, this includes Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tempranillo as well. Here the fruit is accented, not overtaken, with the flavors of barrels. The best of the winery's red wines, it augments its pretty cherry core with a streak of coffee and dark chocolate.Di'tani8826OregonRogue ValleySouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Kriselle 2013 Di'tani Red (Rogue Valley)Red BlendKriselle
3756637565USA majority of Cabernet Sauvignon makes up this wine, blended with 14% Malbec, 14% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Thick and velvety with strong notes of dark chocolate, espresso and brambly blackberry, it has a juicy middle before finishing fairly flat.Meritage 2028835CaliforniaSonoma ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneKunde 2012 Meritage 202 Meritage (Sonoma Valley)MeritageKunde
3756737566ItalyAromas of underbrush, prune toast and a whiff of crushed blue flower lead the way. The somewhat evolved palate offers dried black cherry, licorice and a hint of espresso alongside dusty tannins.White Label88TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeLamole di Lamole 2012 White Label (Chianti Classico)Red BlendLamole di Lamole
3756837567USThis wine is delicious, rich and buttery, from the aroma through the flavors and on to the aftertaste. It smells like lightly toasted almonds and cream, tastes like toffee and pear juice, and finishes almost like dessert.Estate Grown8815CaliforniaClarksburgCentral ValleyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsLangeTwins 2014 Estate Grown Chardonnay (Clarksburg)ChardonnayLangeTwins
3756937568USStrong blueberry and black-currant fruit tones meet with concentrated lilacs on this wine's elegantly presented nose. The palate is more tart, with caramelized plum skins, black pepper and lavender elements.8835CaliforniaSanta Cruz MountainsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannLeft Bend 2012 Syrah (Santa Cruz Mountains)SyrahLeft Bend
3757037569USLight, bright and relatively low in oak, this wine otherwise shines in baked cinnamon apple and a complementary side note of vanilla. It finishes clean and lean.Estate Grown8822CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneMarkham 2014 Estate Grown Chardonnay (Napa Valley)ChardonnayMarkham
3757137570ItalyFermented without selected yeasts or temperature control, this bright, savory blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Canaiolo opens with classic varietal aromas of red berry, fragrant blue flower and a whiff of new leather. The fresh, easy drinking palate doles out juicy wild cherry, chopped herb and a hint cinnamon offset by vibrant acidity and supple tannins. Drink through 2017.88TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMonteraponi 2014 Chianti ClassicoRed BlendMonteraponi
3757237571USAromas of beach tar and blackberry jam show on the nose of this wine from White Hawk Vineyard by Clarissa Nagy, also winemaker at Riverbench. The palate is also quite tarry, with concentrated blackberry flavors, hints of teriyaki and a strong acidic backbone.8845CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannNagy 2012 Syrah (Santa Barbara County)SyrahNagy
3757337572USAdd this bottling to the growing list of worthy Oregon Pinots under $20. Light and balanced, it offers spicy cranberry and rhubarb with a streak of red licorice. It's a good everyday wine for salmon and light poultry dishes.Big Fire8819OregonOregonOregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine R. Stuart & Co. 2013 Big Fire Pinot Noir (Oregon)Pinot NoirR. Stuart & Co.
3757437573USOn the juicy nose, this bottling shows Concord grape, suave violet and lilac flowers and the slightest touch of tar. It's lighter in body and quite easy to quaff, with flavors of sea-salt caramel and dense olallieberry.8820CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannRobert Hall 2013 Syrah (Paso Robles)SyrahRobert Hall
3757537574ItalyThis lively red opens with aromas of wild berry, blue flower and a whiff of tilled soil. The vibrant, straightforward palate offers juicy red cherry, strawberry and a hint of nutmeg alongside sleek tannins and racy acidity. It's made to be drunk young so enjoy soon.8818TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeSan Felice 2013 Chianti ClassicoRed BlendSan Felice
3757637575USThis flavorful blend of Müller-Thurgau, Muscat and Riesling is lightly fizzy, and off dry, with residual sugar listed at 22.5g/L. Citrus fruits are limned with ginger, and it is a thoroughly refreshing and low-alcohol delight.Transparency8818OregonSouthern OregonSouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Season 2014 Transparency White (Southern Oregon)White BlendSeason
3757737576PortugalA blend of Touriga Nacional, Aragon and Syrah, the wine is open, generous and almost ready to drink. It has some firm tannins along with lifted acidity. The black currant fruits are fresh, right up front and give the wine its delicious fruitiness. Drink from late 2016.Dory8814LisboaRoger Voss@vossrogerAdega Mãe 2013 Dory Red (Lisboa)Portuguese RedAdega Mãe
3757837577USFrom a rare white grape in the region, this bottling shows ripe apple and pear flesh on the nose as well as tangerine juice, lime rinds and chalk. The palate is both dainty and candied, with Jolly Rancher sour-apple flavors woven into grapefruit-pith grip.8830CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannAlma Rosa 2014 Pinot Blanc (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot BlancAlma Rosa
3757937578USThis bright, juicy, charming wine smells like crisp apples, tastes of herbs and citrus, and has a slight sweetness that is balanced by crisp acidity. It's great for a concert in the park or day at the beach.8712CaliforniaMendocinoJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsHusch 2013 Chenin Blanc (Mendocino)Chenin BlancHusch
3758037579USDon't let the rather light red color fool you. This is an assertive Zinfandel with an edgy, oaky, smoky character in the aroma and the flavor. It blends powerful, sweet-seeming oak notes with attractive cherry and raspberry flavors, and is very full-bodied.8721CaliforniaLodiCentral ValleyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsJC Van Staden 2012 Zinfandel (Lodi)ZinfandelJC Van Staden
3758137580USThis pretty Pinot combines aromas of cherry and clove with fresh strawberry and cherry flavors, a lively texture and lingering finish. Refreshing and complete, it would pair well with everything from salmon to steak.8725CaliforniaYorkville HighlandsNorth CoastJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsJudson Hale Winery 2012 Pinot Noir (Yorkville Highlands)Pinot NoirJudson Hale Winery
3758237581ChileThis blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère seems to do better in cooler vintages. In this hot year, the wine is soupy and sticky in feel but herbal in aromas. Flavors of cherry and plum are oaky and medicinal, while the finish is flabby and hollow. This is still good but it has its issues.Memorias8728Maipo ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachViña el Principal 2009 Memorias Cabernet Sauvignon-Carmenère (Maipo Valley)Cabernet Sauvignon-CarmenèreViña el Principal
3758337582USDelicate cherry blossoms and green herbs lend freshness to tart red-cherry notes in this full-bodied yet brisk Cabernet Franc. It's a bit delicate in flavor concentration for it's bold body and alcohol content, but surprisingly refreshing and quaffable.8719New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaKeuka Lake Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Franc (Finger Lakes)Cabernet FrancKeuka Lake Vineyards
3758437583FranceThe wine is full of fresh fruits and crisp acidity. Alongside that, ripe plum skins and a mineral texture promise short-term aging. The old vines give concentration that adds a firm structure at the end.Vieilles Vignes8722BeaujolaisBrouillyRoger Voss@vossrogerLes Frères Perroud 2013 Vieilles Vignes (Brouilly)GamayLes Frères Perroud
3758537584USLots of Anjou pear and Fuji apple flavors enrich this medium-bodied and refreshing wine. It has a light straw color and open flavors of ripe fruit and citrus. The texture is very smooth, and the finish has a touch of ripe-fruit sweetness.8712CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsMirassou 2013 Pinot Grigio (California)Pinot GrigioMirassou
3758637585ItalyAromas of blackberry, Mediterranean scrub and baking spices carry over to the palate alongside crushed raspberry and dusty tannins. Fresh and easy drinking, it can pair with dense chickpea and tomato soup.8712TuscanyRosso di MontalcinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefePodere Paganico 2012 Rosso di MontalcinoSangiovesePodere Paganico
3758737586USThere are nicely complex layers to the nose of this wine from the Sonoma-based R2, featuring apricot, vanilla and tropical mango candy. On the palate are warmer, fleshier fruit flavors of cooked apples, a touch of guava and some caramel notes, with a tad of bitter greens too. It's a little hot.Camp 4 Vineyard87CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannR2 2012 Camp 4 Vineyard Grenache Blanc (Santa Ynez Valley)Grenache BlancR2
3758837587ChileWith a gold-meets-tan color, this is showing cidery aromas as well as toasty oak. The palate is good but chunky, while flavors of green fruits and light vegetal notes finish briny, with a pinch of sea salt.Gran Reserva de Los Andes Estate Bottled8715Maipo ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Alicia 2013 Gran Reserva de Los Andes Estate Bottled Chardonnay (Maipo Valley)ChardonnaySanta Alicia
3758937588ItalyCrushed red berry, black plum, prune, game and baking spice aromas carry on to the palate, along with dense black cherry and mocha. It's warm, soft and evolving fast so enjoy now.8718TuscanyRosso di MontalcinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeSassodiSole 2011 Rosso di MontalcinoSangioveseSassodiSole
3759037589USEach new vintage tacks on another word for “yes”—this time in Swahili. Drink this one soon, as it's a ready-already mix of brambly, earthy, tart red fruits and scents of chamomile and herbal tea.YesOuiSiJaNdiyo!8721WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Stevens 2011 YesOuiSiJaNdiyo! Red (Yakima Valley)Red BlendStevens

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