Wine Reviews

38713870FranceA finely crafted wine, its tight acidity generating a very fresh profile. There is an intensity of fruit as well as a mineral texture. For aging. Screwcap.Clos de Saint-Yves91Loire ValleySavennièresRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine des Baumard 2007 Clos de Saint-Yves (Savennières)Chenin BlancDomaine des Baumard
38723871GermanyThe Thanisch wines from the Doctor vineyard rarely stand out in our magazine's blind tastings, making their value proposition questionable. That said, this is a finely elegant wine, with floral details on the nose and enduring stony notes on the finish that mark it as something special. At only 7.5% abv, you'd expect an intensely sweet wine, but the sugars are amply buffered by acids and minerality, so the overall impression is one of richness without excessive weight rather than sugary sweetness.Berncasteler Doctor Auslese9184MoselJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzDr. H. Thanisch (Erben Thanisch) 2009 Berncasteler Doctor Auslese Riesling (Mosel)RieslingDr. H. Thanisch (Erben Thanisch)
38733872USA real bruiser of a Zinfandel, dark in color, dry and tannic, brimming with massive flavors of wild blackberries, blueberries, dark chocolate and pie spices. The tannins are hard, in the way of this mountain. Drink Now–2013 before it loses fresh fruit.9137CaliforniaHowell MountainNapaElyse 2007 Zinfandel (Howell Mountain)ZinfandelElyse
38743873USA blend of Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier, this was made in the passito style—grapes were dried to concentrate sugars, then pressed and fermented. The result is a terrific and unusual dessert wine, with candied fruits mixing papaya, guava, banana, Meyer lemon and more. The center is simply lush and fruity; the finish tails off gently with a honeyed kiss.Passito9128OregonOregonOregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Francis Tannahill 2008 Passito White (Oregon)Rhône-style White BlendFrancis Tannahill
38753874USSmooth as silk, all estate-grown, this classy Pinot lists five Dijon clones, Pommard, Wadenswil and “Suitcase clone La Tache” on its tech sheet. Vibrant and spicy, with cherries galore (sounds like a James Bond heroine) and a round, full, lush and satisfying mouthfeel. This is the one to drink now, while you cellar the Cuvée Giselle.Lachini Family Estate9145OregonChehalem MountainsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Lachini 2008 Lachini Family Estate Pinot Noir (Chehalem Mountains)Pinot NoirLachini
38763875ItalyNamed for a beautifully restored castle and boutique hotel in Abruzzo, this beautiful Italian white (made with Trebbiano grapes) shows a delicious creamy texture with abundant aromas of stone fruit, honey and toasted almond. The wine is thick and textured on the close.Castello di Semivicoli9150Central ItalyTrebbiano d'AbruzzoMasciarelli 2007 Castello di Semivicoli (Trebbiano d'Abruzzo)TrebbianoMasciarelli
38773876USA nice, everyday Pinot, with a properly silky texture. The cherry, cola, red licorice and bacon flavors are satisfyingly rich, with elaborate oak overtones. It's a pretty good value in an under-$20 Pinot Noir.Reserve8618CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaCastle Rock 2008 Reserve Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirCastle Rock
38783877FranceSomewhat hard-edged wine, showing the sharpness of young Chenin Blanc. It has a future, though, as this edge drops away, because there is some good weight as well as bright fresh final acidity. Keep for several months.Brut8617Loire ValleyCrémant de LoireRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Moncontour NV Brut Chenin Blanc-Chardonnay (Crémant de Loire)Chenin Blanc-ChardonnayChâteau Moncontour
38793878USVery rich, ripe and oaky, but something of a fruit-oak bomb. Blasts the palate with pineapple jam, toasty meringue, caramel and buttered toast aromas and flavors. Lacks subtlety.8636CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaDerbes 2006 Chardonnay (Carneros)ChardonnayDerbes
38803879USWith no oak, this wine's inherent fruit stars, showing citrus, melons and peaches. With crisp acidity, it's clean, brisk and entirely dry, despite relatively low alcohol. But it's strong in those perfumed pyrazines that turn some people off.8618CaliforniaRutherfordNapaFrog's Leap 2009 Sauvignon Blanc (Rutherford)Sauvignon BlancFrog's Leap
38813880AustraliaJuicy and extracted, with bright jam tones and an open-knit structure. There's plenty of berry fruit here and a nice plum tone to the palate that carries over to the fleeting finish. A good choice for a big crowd.8612South AustraliaSouth AustraliaHellbent 2008 Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon (South Australia)Shiraz-Cabernet SauvignonHellbent
38823881USAt 2.3% residual sugar, this is nicely balanced between sweet and dry. The fruit links peach, apricot and pear with a honey in tea streak that carries into the finish.8610WashingtonWashingtonWashington OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Washington Hills 2008 Riesling (Washington)RieslingWashington Hills
38833882PortugalGreat nutty aromas come from the glass and follow into the palate of this sweeter style of white Port. It is rich, packed with almonds and a tangy orange zest edge.White Reserva86PortRoger Voss@vossrogerRamos-Pinto NV White Reserva (Port)White PortRamos-Pinto
38843883ItalyHere's a light and refreshing Rosso di Montalcino with sharp notes of berry, cherry, wet earth and violets. You'll also get some distant mineral tones that add dimension and personality. Pair this easy-drinking wine with your favorite home-cooked pasta dishes.86TuscanyRosso di MontalcinoSesti 2008 Rosso di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoSesti
38853884USThis red wine, named for the chef at the winery restaurant, is fruity and high-toned, with lots of cherry and berry flavor. All neutral oak, soft tannins, ready to drink.Frank Chiullino Chef Blend Red8655WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Tagaris 2007 Frank Chiullino Chef Blend Red Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Red BlendTagaris
38863885SpainAromas of fresh tomato, citrus peel and red fruits are a touch austere, but the mouth and flavors are more generous. The palate is well balanced and the flavors run sweet, ripe and chewy, with berry fruit and creamy licorice notes on the finish. A blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Garnacha from Catalonia.8612CataloniaTerra AltaMichael Schachner@wineschachLas Colinas Del Ebro 2008 Syrah-Grenache (Terra Alta)Syrah-GrenacheLas Colinas Del Ebro
38873886AustraliaA solid value, the Marquee Victoria Chardonnay has an appealing restraint, hitting pretty high notes on the nose but turning serious and weighty in the mouth. The cream and papaya flavors reach a nice intensity before fading to a mouthwatering finish of guava and pine nuts. Drink now.Classic8612VictoriaVictoriaMarquee 2008 Classic Chardonnay (Victoria)ChardonnayMarquee
38883887SpainDefinitely an herbal wine, with tomato, oregano, pizza sauce and savory aromas. The palate has good snap and verve to it, while the feel is on the lean side. Flavors of baked berry, earth, caramel and coffee ring true, and the dry, toffee-tinged finish is a nice ending. Ready to go now.Reserva8612Central SpainValdepeñasMichael Schachner@wineschachAnciano 2003 Reserva Tempranillo (Valdepeñas)TempranilloAnciano
38893888USAs with the Avery Lane Merlot, this is a rather complex blend, here including Syrah, Cab Franc and Lemberger. Fruity and spicy, with strawberry and cherry candy flavors. Very pleasing picnic wine.8610WashingtonWashingtonWashington OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Avery Lane 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington)Cabernet SauvignonAvery Lane
38903889USA nice, rich Sauvignon Blanc for drinking now with lots of different kinds of foods. With some new oak, it has fruity-sweet flavors of limes, Meyer lemons, apricots and lemongrass, with a tang of gooseberry.Estate8623CaliforniaSonoma ValleySonomaBeltane Ranch 2009 Estate Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma Valley)Sauvignon BlancBeltane Ranch
38913890SpainTight and largely neutral white fruit aromas show a little apple but little more. The palate is friendly and easy, with melon as the lead flavor. Turns more citrusy and weighty on the finish, which fades fast.Viña do Campo8618GaliciaRibeiroMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Docampo 2008 Viña do Campo White (Ribeiro)White BlendBodegas Docampo
38923891PortugalA fresh-faced wine, bright with berry fruits, a light layer of tannins and a soft, easy texture. There is some stalkiness but this is great as a delicious, easy wine.Chaminé8612AlentejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerCortes de Cima 2009 Chaminé Red (Alentejano)Portuguese RedCortes de Cima
38933892USRich in berry, cherry, cola, pepper and sandalwood flavors, but a bit off in texture. Feels jagged and angular, with some green tannins. Ready now.Crane Ranch Vineyard8636CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaCrane Brothers 2006 Crane Ranch Vineyard Syrah (Napa Valley)SyrahCrane Brothers
38943893USVery oaky and very ripe, offering a flood of pineapple jam, pear, vanilla and toasty oak flavors. Crisp acidity provides needed balance and a clean, brisk mouthfeel.Cool Coastal Vineyards8618CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaDe Loach 2008 Cool Coastal Vineyards Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayDe Loach
38953894FranceShowing pure tropical fruits with a squeeze of lemon, this is a ripe, tasty wine, maybe a little short on acidity, but bringing out ripe lychee and mango flavors.Les Bornés86Loire ValleyMenetou-SalonRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Henry Pellé 2008 Les Bornés (Menetou-Salon)Sauvignon BlancDomaine Henry Pellé
38963895SpainDarker and earthier than most basic Garnachas, with aromas of compost, baked earth, crusty black fruits and leather. The palate has a nice, ripe, bodied feel, while flavors of blackberry and boysenberry bring just the slightest hint of herbal green. Toasty and solid on the finish.Kickass8613Northern SpainCariñenaMichael Schachner@wineschachEl Burro 2008 Kickass Garnacha (Cariñena)GarnachaEl Burro
38973896USShowing the hard tannins and dryness of a young Petite Sirah, this is the kind of wine you normally would cellar. But there's a little streak of green unripeness that suggests aging will lead nowhere. So drink it now with big, lusty fare.Fazekas8634CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaEnkidu 2006 Fazekas Petite Sirah (Napa Valley)Petite SirahEnkidu
38983897SpainOpens with common berry fruit aromas as well as a medicinal, minty note. The palate has short length and definition along with bouncy medium-depth berry flavors. Warm, simple touches of licorice and mint define the finish. A blend of 60% Monastrell with 20% each Syrah and Tempranillo.Roble8615LevanteYeclaMichael Schachner@wineschachValle de Salinas 2008 Roble Red (Yecla)Red BlendValle de Salinas
38993898USA very nice, likeable and super-drinkable Sauvignon Blanc, at an everyday price. Nicely crisp and just slightly sweet, it shows fruity flavors of citrus and tropical fruits, pears and melons.8612CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastVilla San Juliette 2008 Sauvignon Blanc (Paso Robles)Sauvignon BlancVilla San Juliette
39003899USBarrel-fermented in neutral wood, this gives a quick whiff of buttered croissant, then dives into a moderately ripe palate with lime, pineapple and lemon rind. It's an all-purpose and appealing wine that is drinking nicely right now.Barrel Fermented8725OregonApplegate ValleySouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Plaisance Ranch 2014 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay (Applegate Valley)ChardonnayPlaisance Ranch

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