Wine Reviews

3945139450USShows very bright acidity and a firm minerality, which gives it a tangy, mouthwatering vitality. Rich, too, in lemondrop candy, pineapple jam and spice flavors. The oak has been tastefully applied, with just- right notes of buttered toast. A flattering, balanced, elegant Chardonnay for drinking soon.Sanford & Benedict Vineyard9330CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastAu Bon Climat 2008 Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Ynez Valley)ChardonnayAu Bon Climat
3945239451USA burst of black cherry fruit and spice announces this rich, complex young Pinot. Shows great structure in the fine tannins, brisk acids and firm minerality. Brims with power and assertiveness, and should develop over the next six years.Melville Vineyard9350CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastBonaccorsi 2008 Melville Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirBonaccorsi
3945339452ItalyThis impressive blend of Sangiovese and Merlot offers rich softness and a smooth texture backed by ripe aromas of red fruit, cinnamon spice, chocolate and mocha. The tannins also show softness and the wine would pair with choice cuts of succulent meat.Filippone9330TuscanyToscanaCanneto 2007 Filippone Red (Toscana)Red BlendCanneto
3945439453ItalyFrom fashion designer Roberto Cavalli's wine estate (run by his son Tommaso), this elegant super Tuscan blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Alicante Bouschet opens with compelling intensity and pristine aromas of ripe blackberry, spice, leather and dark chocolate.9345TuscanyToscanaCavalli Tenuta degli Dei 2007 Red (Toscana)Red BlendCavalli Tenuta degli Dei
3945539454SpainA big, balanced, bombastic Montsant made from one-third each of Mazuelo, Garnacha and Syrah. On the bouquet it's the fruit that endears but mocha and vanilla stick out. The flavor profile sees lemony oak, blackberry, blueberry and minerality. Spicy and long late with size and grip. Drink now through 2015.Mas de Can Blau9345CataloniaMontsantMichael Schachner@wineschachCan Blau 2007 Mas de Can Blau Red (Montsant)Red BlendCan Blau
3945639455FranceThe 2008 Cornas from Colombo have turned out very nicely, led by this effort. Scents of cracked pepper, bold blackberries and a hint of coffee presage a big-fruited wine, but one with ample complexity of savory notes. It's full bodied and richly textured, with a long, chewy finish. Drink 2015–2025.La Louvée Syrah9384Rhône ValleyCornasJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzJean-Luc Colombo 2008 La Louvée Syrah (Cornas)SyrahJean-Luc Colombo
3945739456AustriaThe pair to this wine is Nummer 3 in the Kracher 2008 series. This smoother version has touches of toast to go with the intense ginger cake and spice as well as considerable acidity. A rounded, pure nectar of a wine.Nouvelle Vague Nummer 4 Kollektion L08B93AustriaRoger Voss@vossrogerKracher NV Nouvelle Vague Nummer 4 Kollektion L08B Rosenmuskateller (Austria)RosenmuskatellerKracher
3945839457USAn impressive young Cabernet that shows plenty of classic Oakville character. It's dry and balanced, with firm, complex tannins and a solid core of ripe blackberry and currant fruit, as well as a fine overlay of sweet, smoky oak. Feels fine and important in the mouth, and should benefit from aging through at least 2017.TKO9380CaliforniaOakvilleNapaRockroom Winemaking Cooperative 2007 TKO Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville)Cabernet SauvignonRockroom Winemaking Cooperative
3946639465USA wine to cellar. With powerful tannins and near perfect balance, it's extraordinarily ripe and rich in blackberries and currants, with hints of minerals and spices. Very dry, it feels vital from the first taste to the long finish. The vineyard is north of Yountville, which puts it in a cooler area. Should develop bottle complexity over the next decade.Missouri Hopper Vineyard93100CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaJanzen 2008 Missouri Hopper Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonJanzen
3945939458ItalyThis super Tuscan blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon shows richness and softness followed by aromas of red cherry, chocolate and toasted hazelnut. The tannins are firm but smooth, and the wine would pair with game meats or spicy pork ribs.Spirto93TuscanyToscanaSant Agnese dei F.lli Gigli 2004 Spirto Red (Toscana)Red BlendSant Agnese dei F.lli Gigli
3946039459USA lush, opulent Cabernet for drinking now. Shows classic Napa structure, with firm, fine tannins housing ripe flavors of blackberries, currants, cassis and herbs, touched by smoky oak.Reserve9345CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaSummers 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSummers
3946139460SpainLicorice, schist, wild herbs and spicy berry fruit form an alluring bouquet. The palate is jammy but firm, with mouthfilling tannins and schisty flavors of blackberry that come with a fine herbal streak. Meaty and tannic but balanced and deep; a classy taste of Priorat to drink now through 2018.Clos de l'Obac9395CataloniaPrioratMichael Schachner@wineschachCosters del Siurana 2007 Clos de l'Obac Red (Priorat)Red BlendCosters del Siurana
3946239461USA beautiful Pinot, authoritative and masculine, with firm tannins, hard acidity and a bone-dry finish. The core of black cherries, cola, spices and sweet oak is irresistibly good. Compelling now right out of the bottle, and should develop over the next six years.Julia's Vineyard9356CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastFoxen 2009 Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley)Pinot NoirFoxen
3946339462USWith 50% new oak, there's a lot of buttered toast and smoky vanilla on this Chard, but the fruit easily handles it. Fabulously rich in pineapple, honey and crème brûlée. Soft and fat in the mouth, maybe with a touch of botrytis. Very fine, extraordinary opulence. Drink now.Nielsen Vineyard9340CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastBonaccorsi 2008 Nielsen Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley)ChardonnayBonaccorsi
3946439463ItalyThe price is right and the blend is excellent. Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon are mixed in equal parts resulting in excellent integration and aromas that express the characteristics of both varieties. Blackberry and cassis is followed by spicy tones and bright freshness.Perlato del Bosco9330TuscanyToscanaTua Rita 2008 Perlato del Bosco Red (Toscana)Red BlendTua Rita
3946739466USKevin Furtado is a sommelier in Vail who owns this brand. The grapes come from some of Bien Nacido's best blocks. The wine is exceptionally lush and complex, showing flashes of tropical fruits, honey and minerals, tightly wound together in a firm structure. A really fine Chardonnay that should hold for up to 6 years.Bien Nacido Vineyards9329CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastK. Furtado 2009 Bien Nacido Vineyards Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley)ChardonnayK. Furtado
3946839467ArgentinaBlackberry, raisin, cola, moss and spice aromas form a potpourri of Malbec excellence. This is super deep and dense stuff; it's tight and ripped with tannins and acids. Flavors of licorice, blackberry, dark plum and oak are layered and serious. The first Mai made by Kaiken, and it's ready now through 2016.Mai9385Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachKaiken 2007 Mai Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecKaiken
3946939468USA dark, big, potent Pinot, as Laetitia tends to produce. It shows the tannin structure of its cool climate vineyard, and is completely dry, with a refreshing squirt of acidity. Deep down inside is a rich core of cherries and cola. A dramatic wine that needs serious decanting, and should develop in the bottle over the next six years.Reserve du Domaine9340CaliforniaArroyo Grande ValleyCentral CoastLaetitia 2009 Reserve du Domaine Pinot Noir (Arroyo Grande Valley)Pinot NoirLaetitia
3947039469AustriaA powerful wine, a serious conversation between ripe fruits, spice, a smooth creamy texture and underlying minerality. With its edge of toast, pepper and final acidity, it is a wine for aging. Screwcap.Berg Reserve9350TraisentalRoger Voss@vossrogerMarkus Huber 2010 Berg Reserve Grüner Veltliner (Traisental)Grüner VeltlinerMarkus Huber
3947139470SpainComposed and not the least bit pushy or punishing on the bouquet, this has gorgeous berry and spice aromas. It feels a bit racy and high in acidity, but that will only serve the wine well in the long run. Plum and boysenberry flavors lead to a racy, high-acid finish. Drink now–2020.Casta Diva Recóndita Armonía Sweet9130LevanteAlicanteMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Gutiérrez de la Vega 2007 Casta Diva Recóndita Armonía Sweet Monastrell (Alicante)MonastrellBodegas Gutiérrez de la Vega
3947239471ItalyThis blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah shows a decadently soft side thanks to its aromas of black cherry, tobacco, chocolate and subtle spice. It delivers density and substance on the finish and would pair with pasta and creamy porcini sauce.Cum Laude9131TuscanyToscanaCastello Banfi 2009 Cum Laude Red (Toscana)Red BlendCastello Banfi
3947339472FranceThis super bargain reflects the charm of the 2011 vintage in its supple tannins and forward fruit. It's lush and creamy textured, with expressive notes of kirsch, spice and cocoa. Drink now–2017.9116Rhône ValleyCôtes du RhôneJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzSélection Laurence Féraud 2011 Red (Côtes du Rhône)Rhône-style Red BlendSélection Laurence Féraud
3947439473FranceThis is Les Vins de Vienne's upscale Crozes, and it's very successful in 2009, featuring bold, concentrated blackberry fruit supported by hints of vanilla and toast. It's full bodied and richly textured, with a long, layered finish. Drink now–2020.Les Palignons9140Rhône ValleyCrozes-HermitageJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzLes Vins de Vienne 2009 Les Palignons (Crozes-Hermitage)SyrahLes Vins de Vienne
3947539474SpainThis is dark and tarry at first, with aromas of freshly laid asphalt, pepper, fine herbs, burnt toast and roasted berry. This feels racy, healthy and balanced, with a creamy quality to the palate. It tastes natural and correct, with plum, berry, vanilla and spice flavors. On the finish, it's smooth with a strong oak-based vanilla flavor. Drink now through 2012.y Llanahermosa9145Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachMontecastro 2007 y Llanahermosa (Ribera del Duero)TempranilloMontecastro
3947639475ArgentinaSpunky right off the bat, this has floral and fresh fruit aromas that fall squarely into the wild berry category. It feels lively on the palate, with spiked acidity but enough weight and depth to absorb it. This tastes like a mix of plum, blackberry and chocolate, and the finish darkens up with notes of pepper and spice. Drink now–2017.Privada9130Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodega Norton 2009 Privada Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecBodega Norton
3947739476USThough low in alcohol even by David Hill standards, this excellent Pinot Gris does not lack fruit or flavor. Ripe and tasting of pretty pear and orange fruit, it shows evidence of some well-balanced residual sugar. Vivid acidity cuts through to a satisfying finish.Estate9117OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine David Hill 2011 Estate Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley)Pinot GrisDavid Hill
3947839477FranceFull bodied and plush in texture, with extremely supple tannins alongside flavors of raspberry, plum and clove. The juicy beam of fresh fruit lingers nicely on the finish. Drink now–2018.Cuvée de Nalys9020Rhône ValleyChâteauneuf-du-PapeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzKirkland Signature 2010 Cuvée de Nalys Red (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)Rhône-style Red BlendKirkland Signature
3947939478USAt first taste, this is a difficult wine to evaluate because of its tight, compact and tannic structure. Pomegranate and strawberry fruits slowly emerge from a shell of earthy tannins, suggesting that with a few more years in the bottle this will evolve into a broader, more expressive wine.Cuvée Giselle9065OregonChehalem MountainsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Lachini 2008 Cuvée Giselle Pinot Noir (Chehalem Mountains)Pinot NoirLachini
3948039479ItalyThis superconcentrated red delivers savory aromas of cured meat, wild mushroom, exotic spice with bold fruit tones of prune, plum and dried blackberry. It's a bold wine that would pair with fire-grilled steak.Toralco90Central ItalyUmbriaLungarotti 2007 Toralco Red (Umbria)Red BlendLungarotti
3946539464FranceCrafted from the vines of the old Jean-Louis Grippat estate, this is a wonderfully complex yet elegant rendition of Saint-Joseph. Smoky notes of cured meat and cracked pepper entwine perfumed, plummy fruit in this full-bodied, creamy-textured wine that should drink well for at least the next 10 years.Lieu-Dit Saint-Joseph93108Rhône ValleySaint-JosephJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzE. Guigal 2007 Lieu-Dit Saint-Joseph (Saint-Joseph)SyrahE. Guigal

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