Wine Reviews

3853838537ItalyA smooth, polished performance from this 100-acre estate. The 1997 is modern in style, exhibiting huge but not too-dominant wood aromas and flavors, balancing with sweet, ripe berry fruit and black cherry jam. This is a wine that should be accessible young in four or five years, but should certainly age well over the following 10 or more.9265TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoRoger Voss@vossrogerTenuta Caparzo 1997 Brunello di MontalcinoSangioveseTenuta Caparzo
3853938538ItalyThe large 246-acre estate is owned by Countess Noemi Cinzano, of the vermouth family. With Giacomo Tachis as consultant, the vineyard has produced a powerful, rich wine that combines dryness, bitter fruits and dark tannins with generous tarry, super-ripe fruit that promises to come through and dominate as the wine ages. Drink after 7–8 years.9256TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoRoger Voss@vossrogerTenuta di Argiano 1997 Brunello di MontalcinoSangioveseTenuta di Argiano
3854038539ItalyFeaturing Cabernet, Sangiovese, and Merlot, this New World red is big and powerful, with beautiful aromas of berry fruit, smoke, orange rind and spice. The mouth is fully enveloping and downright delicious. It finishes with a blast of black coffee and toast. Big-boned and aggressive, but still fairly friendly. Drink now or hold for up to six years.Tassinaia9255TuscanyToscanaMichael Schachner@wineschachCastello del Terriccio 1998 Tassinaia Sangiovese (Toscana)SangioveseCastello del Terriccio
3854138540ItalySandro Chia's winery is known not only for its reliable and enjoyable wines, but also for the art series labels—work from his New York and Montalcino studios—for each vintage. In 1997, the estate has produced an intense wine, skillfully managing the sweet wood and rich, dark and concentrated fruit. The wine will age well—coming to maturity in 10 years or more—but will surely be drinkable in five.9255TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoRoger Voss@vossrogerCastello Romitorio 1997 Brunello di MontalcinoSangioveseCastello Romitorio
3854238541New ZealandThis blend of 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc is ambitiously priced, but the quality is in the bottle. Next time you need a ringer for a right-bank Bordeaux tasting, here's a perfect candidate. Dried spices and a smooth, rich texture are the only hallmarks left from two years of barrel aging—the mocha and black cherry fruit is rich and luscious, developing tobacco nuances on the moderately tannic finish. Drink now and over the next 10 years.Maestro9252WaiparaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzPegasus Bay 1998 Maestro Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot (Waipara)Cabernet Sauvignon-MerlotPegasus Bay
3854338542USI don't know anyone making better Pinot Gris in Oregon than this premiere property. Rich, ripe, round and sensuous, this lush and textured wine unwraps its ripe fruit in layers of pear/apricot flavor, enhanced with bright spice and finished with flavors of vanilla cream.9220OregonOregonOregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine WillaKenzie Estate 2001 Pinot Gris (Oregon)Pinot GrisWillaKenzie Estate
3854438543ItalyA firm, classic upstanding wine, with dry, firm fruit tannins that support generous ripe fruit. Aromas of violets and toasty wood are followed on the palate with flavors of herbs and dark chocolate. The finish is concentrated, firmly dry with a good backbone of rich fruit. Age for at least 10 years before drinking.9160TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoRoger Voss@vossrogerIl Poggione 1997 Brunello di MontalcinoSangioveseIl Poggione
3854538544ItalyWith an abundance of deep black-cherry, molasses and leather aromas, this is dynamite in terms of intensity and concentration. In the mouth, it's smooth and stylish, with a tight black-fruit core and a suave finish. Built like a house with a very dark interior; it'll be alive and kicking through 2008.Pancarta9132TuscanyToscanaMichael Schachner@wineschachPoggio Al Mulino 1997 Pancarta Sangiovese (Toscana)SangiovesePoggio Al Mulino
3854638545USDarker than the winery's other single-vineyard Pinot, this one shows intense raspberry/loganberry flavors, and some spice and pepper too. There is good concentration in the midpalate, with tart, tangy, tightly-wound fruit and well-integrated tannins. I would prefer a bit more new oak, but even so there is a pleasant toasty bite to the finish.Croft Vineyard9140OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine King Estate 1999 Croft Vineyard Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirKing Estate
3854738546ItalyHail the first vintage of this international-style blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from a new quality-minded producer near Arezzo. It's deep with saturated blackberry and hints of dried citrus rind and smoked meat. The round, full-bodied, ripe-fruit palate is sure to please fans of big, modern wines.Oreno9190TuscanyToscanaMichael Schachner@wineschachTenuta Sette Ponti 1999 Oreno Sangiovese (Toscana)SangioveseTenuta Sette Ponti
3854838547ItalyIn only its second vintage in the U.S., this nutty, mineral-rich, immensely fruity wine from Antinori's coastal estate is a great example of the heights that Vermentino can achieve. This version is full of lime, stone, citrus and marzipan, and is focused from beginning to endGuado al Tasso9118TuscanyBolgheriMichael Schachner@wineschachAntinori 2001 Guado al Tasso Vermentino (Bolgheri)VermentinoAntinori
3854938548ItalyThe Mazzei family, along with consultant Carlo Ferrini have produced another classic. It is immediately arresting, with aromas of dark chocolate, herbs and new wood. On the palate, it is big, ripe, serious, with black cherry fruits and new wood flavors, combined with acidity and dry tannins.Riserva91TuscanyChianti ClassicoRoger Voss@vossrogerCastello di Fonterutoli 1998 Riserva (Chianti Classico)SangioveseCastello di Fonterutoli
3855038549ItalyAt 75% Sangioveto (a particular Sangiovese clone) and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, this beauty really pops both in the nose and in the mouth. It's quite international in style, meaning the Cabernet softens the Sangiovese, yielding a sweet and ripe product that has both character and proper balance. Despite 18 months in oak, the ripe fruit of the '99 vintage remains front and center.Tinscvil9135TuscanyToscanaMichael Schachner@wineschachCastello di Monsanto 1999 Tinscvil Sangiovese (Toscana)SangioveseCastello di Monsanto
3852138520FranceThis wine is still young, tight and on the crisp acid side. That doesn't mean it won't soften and fill out, although it will probably stay ultrafresh and packed with red-currant flavors for some time. Wait to drink until 2018.Le Charmois Premier Cru8940BurgundySaint-AubinRoger Voss@vossrogerAu Pied du Mont Chauve 2013 Le Charmois Premier Cru (Saint-Aubin)Pinot NoirAu Pied du Mont Chauve
3852238521USLively aromas, an appetizing balance and just-rich-enough fruit flavors make a good combo in this medium- to full-bodied wine. It has subtle herb and kiwi aromas, crisp apple flavors, and a texture poised between supple and tangy.Made with Organic Grapes8914CaliforniaMendocino-LakeNorth CoastJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsBonterra 2014 Made with Organic Grapes Viognier (Mendocino-Lake)ViognierBonterra
3852338522SerbiaWhite flowers, eucalyptus and a slight whiff of petrol greet the nose. In the mouth, it is all about green olive, white peach and green apple. The finish is soft and elegant.Margus Margi8920ŽupaJeff Jenssen@worldwineguysBudimir 2009 Margus Margi Riesling (Župa)RieslingBudimir
3852438523ItalyWeedy underbrush, leather, mature berry and a whiff of cellar floor open. The full-bodied but somewhat evolved palate shows toast, mocha, grilled mushroom and dried black cherry alongside tightly knit tannins. Give the tannins a few years to unwind but then drink sooner rather than later to catch what fruit richness remains.Gualto Riserva89100TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCamigliano 2010 Gualto Riserva (Brunello di Montalcino)SangioveseCamigliano
3852538524USRounded, warmer notes of Gala apple, lemon rinds and flaky pastry show on the nose of this single-vineyard bottling from veteran Chuck Carlson. The palate is clean and complex, with apple bitters, orange rind and wet-stone elements.Kingsley Vineyard8920CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannCarlson 2014 Kingsley Vineyard Pinot Gris (Santa Ynez Valley)Pinot GrisCarlson
3852638525ItalyThe work of award-winning winemaker Renzo Cotarella shows through in this wine's modern, bright purple color, its new wood and ripe fruit aromas and in the juicy blackberry and berry fruit flavors. Yet it is certainly not just modern glitz: Lurking behind is the real heart of a tough, ageworthy, tannic Brunello, which promises a good 10 years at least before being ready to drink.Pian Delle Vigne9370TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoMichael Schachner@wineschachAntinori 1997 Pian Delle Vigne (Brunello di Montalcino)SangioveseAntinori
3852738526ItalyAntonio Mastrojanni has made a classic, old-style Brunello. There is a chunky solidity to the wine, with black, tarry fruit over toasty, but not new wood, flavors. It is firm, robust and, at this stage, still very dry from fruit tannins. Like many Mastrojanni vintages, it needs time—in this case, at least 10 years.9360TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoRoger Voss@vossrogerMastrojanni 1997 Brunello di MontalcinoSangioveseMastrojanni
3852838527FranceNot quite as big as the Bâtard, Latour's Corton-Charlie is the house's flagship (the company owns 10 hectares of the grand cru) and most ageable wine. The 2000 boasts aromas of gunflint, pear, smoked meat and buttered toast. White peaches emerge on the palate, but the primary flavors are of minerals and spice. Finishes with tons of citrus and an almost tannic feel. Give it two or three years to begin to soften.9290BurgundyCorton-CharlemagneLouis Latour 2000 Corton-CharlemagneChardonnayLouis Latour
3852938528ItalyModern, polished fruit and new wood flavors blend well in this wine. The fruit is clean, ripe, bright with sweetness and flavors of black cherries. The wine is generous, full and opulent, with softer tannins than many Brunellos. Despite this nod in the direction of an international style, the wine still has the classic Brunello power and potential for aging.Val di Suga9280TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoRoger Voss@vossrogerTenimenti Angelini 1997 Val di Suga (Brunello di Montalcino)SangioveseTenimenti Angelini
3853038529ItalyEmilia Nardi, daughter of Silvio Nardi, is doing all the right things at this huge estate, especially with the development of clonal selection and denser planting of the vines. Her 1997 is a modern, new wood-dominated wine, but it also shows beautifully judged ripe fruits and sweet acidity. The overall effect is of great elegance, with good long-term aging potential.9260TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoRoger Voss@vossrogerTenute Silvio Nardi 1997 Brunello di MontalcinoSangioveseTenute Silvio Nardi
3853138530ItalyAt 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot, this is a sculpted, perfumed second-vintage red with cranberry as well as cherry fruit and well-integrated oak. What makes this a winner, especially with food, is that the crystalline, racy fruit far outshadows the oak. It's not old-school, but you'd still have to call it a traditional Tuscan wine.Crognolo9232TuscanyToscanaMichael Schachner@wineschachTenuta Sette Ponti 2000 Crognolo Sangiovese (Toscana)SangioveseTenuta Sette Ponti
3853238531ItalyFantastic modern Chianti! Young but already exuding powerful berry fruit along with loads of cigar box and other attractive spices. The present tense of this wine is all about layered, climbing complexity. Its future is all but ensured, with its tight core, solid wall of tannins and a deep, black cherry finish that lasts a good two minutes.Riserva9228TuscanyChianti ClassicoMichael Schachner@wineschachBorgo Scopeto 1998 Riserva (Chianti Classico)SangioveseBorgo Scopeto
3853338532ItalyA classically powerful Riserva from Antinori, produced from the three family estates at Tignanello, Pèppoli and Badia a Passignano. Aromas of violets and cherries are followed by tobacco and spice flavors from the wood, as well as concentrated black fruits. Rich and full-bodied, it should age well over the next 10 years.Tenuta Marchese Antinori Riserva9223TuscanyChianti ClassicoRoger Voss@vossrogerAntinori 1998 Tenuta Marchese Antinori Riserva (Chianti Classico)SangioveseAntinori
3853438533ItalyThe Mariani family has produced a hugely concentrated, wood-dominated wine with powerful smoky aromas and concentrated black, ripe, chunky fruit. It's heavy on the berries, both in the rustic, brambly nose and on the deep, tight, classy palate. Toasty flavors come through the fruit, but these will soften and blend in with aging. Unlike many Brunellos, this one is drinkable right now, but could be cellared for 10 years or more.9259TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoRoger Voss@vossrogerCastello Banfi 1997 Brunello di MontalcinoSangioveseCastello Banfi
3853538534USThis reserve shows nice lime/citrus scents, hints of honey and a bit of sandalwood, which is quite interesting. It's an elegant, lightly spicy, complex and subtle wine, with delicious nuances and a dancer's balance.Reserve9225OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Ponzi 1999 Reserve Chardonnay (Willamette Valley)ChardonnayPonzi
3853638535FranceNot for the fainthearted, this is a huge, mouthfilling wine bursting with yellow plum, hazelnut and peach aromas, and accented by smoke, butter and toast. Yet for all its size, it manages to marry that power with a sense of mineral elegance. Drink now–2010.92220BurgundyBâtard-MontrachetLouis Latour 2000 Bâtard-MontrachetChardonnayLouis Latour
3853738536USIn ‘99 Adelsheim bottled two separate clonal selections; this year they have elected to combine the two. This lovely, young wine, with very ripe, tight fruit, is already showing a bit more peach, apricot and tropical scents than the previous vintage. This is a concentrated, complex and powerful style, which harnesses the oak rather than being driven by it. Delicious and exceptionally long.Stoller Vineyard9230OregonYamhill CountyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Adelsheim 2000 Stoller Vineyard Chardonnay (Yamhill County)ChardonnayAdelsheim

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