Wine Reviews

3807138070USGood, rich and earthy, a dark, full-bodied wine with olive, earth, tobacco and plum flavors and dense but accessible tannins. Strikes a balanced note, not a hedonistic blockbuster, but elegantly drinkable tonight. Might soften and improve with a few years in the cellar.8925CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaSilverado 1999 Merlot (Napa Valley)MerlotSilverado
3807238071USBig, ripe, rich and well-oaked. That pretty much says it all about this show-offy wine, with its bold, tropical fruit flavors, crisp coastal acidity and sleek structure. The tart taste of minerally gunmetal adds complexity.Katherine's Estate Bottled8922CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastCambria 2001 Katherine's Estate Bottled Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley)ChardonnayCambria
3807338072AustraliaThis Riesling's fruit is from a 70-year-old Eden Valley vineyard; half the wine was vinified by Jeff Grosset at Polish Hill, the other half was vinified by Rob Hill Smith at Yalumba. Once the wine was all brought together, Grosset and Hill-Smith, as the story goes, took four days to decide on the final blend. The wine's at once viscous and very dry, with stone fruit, vanilla bean and some floral flavors. Green apple rounds out the long, dry finsih.mesh8925South AustraliaEden ValleyYalumba 2002 mesh Riesling (Eden Valley)RieslingYalumba
3807438073USThis is much creamier, with much more leesy flavor than the regular bottling, but not as much ripe fruit (perhaps because it is from a different vintage). Various flavors of nuts, honey, spice and light tropical fruit mingle in a well balanced finish.Reserve8915OregonOregonOregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine King Estate 1997 Reserve Chardonnay (Oregon)ChardonnayKing Estate
3807538074USDense, dark and lush, an extracted wine made from very ripe grapes that brim with dark berry and black stone fruit flavors. Big in the mouth, with dense, creamy tannins. Has the exuberance of youth, and best to lay away for a few years to develop further complexity.8938CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaGrgich Hills 1999 Merlot (Napa Valley)MerlotGrgich Hills
3807638075AustraliaFor a Riesling, the Julius is no lightweight. It's medium-weight, with pretty flavors of yellow fruit, resin, honeysuckle, even olive oil. Petrol and minerally notes play on the nose. A very good wine, and one with enough range of flavor to keep you guessing.Julius8925South AustraliaEden ValleyHenschke 2001 Julius Riesling (Eden Valley)RieslingHenschke
3807738076USThis might be one of Oregon's best Cabernet efforts to date. Yes, it's firm, with hard tannins, but time should allow that to settle down. In the meantime, there's char, road tar and caramel on the nose, while plum, cassis and chocolate dominate the rich, extracted palate. Toward the end it's the tannic structure that makes itself most felt. But again, some time in the cellar is probably all it requires.Reserve8928OregonRogue ValleySouthern OregonMichael Schachner@wineschachPaschal 2000 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Rogue Valley)Cabernet SauvignonPaschal
3807838077USFruit is redder than it is black, with prominent plum, cherry and even raspberry fruit; one reviewer found an offputting hint of greenness. Smooth and supple in the mouth, it's a solid, well-built Cab that should be drunk sooner than later.Howell Mountain8970CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaSt. Clement 1999 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSt. Clement
3807938078USAtypically ripe, weighty and intense for a Finger Lakes wine, with pear and peach notes buttressed by minerally dry extract. The mouthfeel is thick and viscous and the alcohol level a relatively high 13.1%, but it finishes long and elegantly, with tongue-tingling acids.Estate Bottled8912New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzStanding Stone 2002 Estate Bottled Riesling (Finger Lakes)RieslingStanding Stone
3808038079SpainRich and pure, with warm saddle-leather aromas as well as scents of toffee and hard cheese. The palate runs sweet and rich, with plenty of brown sugar and spice galore. As a whole it's a rather forward and approachable wine that might lack some complexity but not exuberance.Amontillado Sherry8917AndaluciaJerezMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Dios Baco S.L. NV Amontillado Sherry Sherry (Jerez)SherryBodegas Dios Baco S.L.
3808138080USSouthern Oregon, unlike the northern Willamette Valley, is warm and conducive to growing Bordeaux varieties, as evidenced by this hearty, tannic blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cab Franc. Right away you get kirsch and cassis from this heavyweight, and that's followed by a ripe palate that blasts loudly with plum and chocolate. Along the way there are some drying tannins and pulsating acids, so either lay it down for a couple of years or decant and serve with grilled meats.Del Rio Vineyard8930OregonRogue ValleySouthern OregonMichael Schachner@wineschachCana's Feast 2000 Del Rio Vineyard Red (Rogue Valley)Bordeaux-style Red BlendCana's Feast
3808238081USTerrific structure on this well made wine. You'll be impressed by the rich tannins and fine acids. Caresses the palate with gentle smoothness. But be forewarned, this wine is lean on fruit. It's herbal and earthy. But it shows that a Napa red doesn't have to be fruit bomb to be elegant and delicious.Hilltop Selection8952CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaCrane Family 2000 Hilltop Selection Merlot (Napa Valley)MerlotCrane Family
3808338082ItalyThis traditionally styled Barolo is loaded with tobacco, underbrush and leather aromas. The palate shows juicy wild-cherry flavors layered with spice and roasted walnut. This is tannic, but doesn't have enough acidity for lengthy aging so enjoy it soon.San Giuseppe9052PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefePecchenino 2009 San Giuseppe (Barolo)NebbioloPecchenino
3808438083ItalyThis lovely Dolcetto is delicious, fresh and utterly drinkable. It has a classic fragrance of strawberry, cherry and licorice, all of which carry over to the palate, along with earthy notes and a hint of almond. Made to be enjoyed young, this pairs perfectly with pasta dishes and pizza.San Luigi9013PiedmontDoglianiKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefePecchenino 2012 San Luigi (Dogliani)DolcettoPecchenino
3808538084GermanyThere's subdued elegance to this dry, lushly textured Riesling. The nose is delicately aromatic with whiffs of stonefruit and smoke that build on the palate. Intensely minerally and bright with lime acidity, it finishes long with a rich, slightly viscous mouthfeel.Liebfrauenstift-Kirchenstück Trocken8963RheinhessenAnna Lee C. IijimaWeingut Liebfrauenstift 2010 Liebfrauenstift-Kirchenstück Trocken Riesling (Rheinhessen)RieslingWeingut Liebfrauenstift
3808638085ItalyThis structured Barolo offers fragrances of forest floor, mushroom, toasted oak and a whiff of leather. The palate shows ripe berry, with spice notes and hints of well-integrated oak. It has bracing but ripe tannins and is a bit shy on length.Bricco Ambrogio8965PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeNegretti 2009 Bricco Ambrogio (Barolo)NebbioloNegretti
3808738086ItalyThis earthy and spicy Barbera possesses an intense fragrance of black cherry, plum, clove and herb. The palate shows ripe black cherry, raspberry, white pepper and hints of well integrated oak and roasted coffee beans.Quass8928PiedmontBarbera d'AlbaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefePecchenino 2011 Quass (Barbera d'Alba)BarberaPecchenino
3808838087GermanyDusty, stony minerality penetrates from start to finish on this dry, full-bodied Riesling. The palate is austere in flavor with bristling notes of lemon pith and dried herbs, but the mouthfeel is rich and round with a luscious mineral-oil viscosity.Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Spätlese Dry8932MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaMarkus Molitor 2010 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Spätlese Dry Riesling (Mosel)RieslingMarkus Molitor
3808938088USThis is a Bordeaux-style blend, 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, with Cabernet Franc and Merlot filling it out. All the fruit comes from the Stillwater Creek Vineyard. The initial aromas are dominated with sweet, toasty, pretty new French oak, with the irresistible flavors of mocha following. As good as it is, the fruit seems light and submerged, with little depth. This is a wine to enjoy in its youth.Arctos8943WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Baer 2010 Arctos Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendBaer
3809038089ItalyThis elegant Nebbiolo d'Alba has a lovely, bright character and heady aromas of rose petal, strawberry and mineral. The palate is vibrant and refined, offering strawberry, cherry and mineral notes. Will pair perfectly with pasta topped with porcini mushrooms.Valmaggiore8940PiedmontNebbiolo d'AlbaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBruno Giacosa 2011 Valmaggiore (Nebbiolo d'Alba)NebbioloBruno Giacosa
3809138090FranceThis exotic, spicy wine's wood flavors give it a lively character. This is a medium-bodied wine, not heavy in any sense, its fruitiness and attractive acidity producing a wine that will soon be ready to drink.8920BordeauxHaut-MédocRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Larose-Trintaudon 2011 Haut-MédocBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Larose-Trintaudon
3809238091FranceThis is a bright, ripe wine. It has a sense of lightness, attractive acidity and black currant flavors. This delicious, juicy wine will be ready to drink in another few months.8915BordeauxBordeauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Rauzan Despagne 2011 BordeauxBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Rauzan Despagne
3809338092USCrisp and bright in lemon and apple, Atrea also has a honeyed richness to it, especially on the finish. A blend of almost equal Roussanne and Viognier, the latter comes from Lolonis's very old, dry-farmed vines. Refreshing, this wine is begging for spicy food.The Choir8920CaliforniaMendocino CountyVirginie Boone@vbooneAtrea 2012 The Choir White (Mendocino County)White BlendAtrea
3809438093ItalyThis classic Barolo delivers a lovely rose and violet fragrance and rich cherry flavors accompanied by hints of truffle and tobacco leaf. Still tough and tannic, this may soften a bit, but isn't structured for lengthy cellaring.Cannubi8935PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBorgogno F.lli Serio e Battista 2009 Cannubi (Barolo)NebbioloBorgogno F.lli Serio e Battista
3809538094AustraliaThis wine shows an intriguing touch of flinty, fumé character as well as ample melon and fig fruit. It's reasonably full bodied and textured for a wine of its ilk.8916Western AustraliaMargaret RiverJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzCape Mentelle 2012 Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon (Margaret River)Sauvignon Blanc-SemillonCape Mentelle
3809638095AustraliaOne of the best unoaked Aussie Chardonnays I've come across, this is surprisingly full bodied and lush, boasting ample pineapple and peach fruit. If it lacks a bit of texture and complexity for not having any oak, the price more than compensates. Drink it over the next several months.Omrah8915Western AustraliaWestern AustraliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzPlantagenet 2011 Omrah Chardonnay (Western Australia)ChardonnayPlantagenet
3809738096USThis Rhône-style blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Cinsault is a good followup to the winery's 2011 vintage. It's delicate and dry, with subtle dried fruit, herb and spice flavors, and the acidity is nice and crisp. What a tremendously versatile food wine.Rosé du Tusque8918CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaSanglier Cellars 2012 Rosé du Tusque Rosé (Sonoma County)RoséSanglier Cellars
3809838097ChileThis is black in color, and on the nose it's jammy and intense, with slightly reduced blueberry and exotic cumin scents. The palate offers a smooth texture, depth and balance alongside toasty, blackened flavors of berry, cassis and pepper. A chocolaty, lightly toasted finish is a fine ending to this lively, tasty Malbec.Reserva de Familia8920Rapel ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Carolina 2010 Reserva de Familia Malbec (Rapel Valley)MalbecSanta Carolina
3809938098USDirect and appealing with notes of dried herbs, cherry, and toast. It's broad in feel with good depth and structure with dry tannins the only thing holding it back.Limited Release8925WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportNorthwest Collection 2010 Limited Release Merlot (Horse Heaven Hills)MerlotNorthwest Collection
3810038099AustriaPer Due, as in a wine for sharing between two people, is a fruity, fragrant, refreshing wine. It has great acidity, lively green apple flavors and just a touch of spice. Very refreshing. Screwcap.Per Due8912KremstalRoger Voss@vossrogerHermann Moser 2012 Per Due Grüner Veltliner (Kremstal)Grüner VeltlinerHermann Moser

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