Wine Reviews

4036340362FranceProduced from old vines, this textured, solid wine has a tight and firmly tannic character. Underneath, red cherry fruits are already releasing a fragrant side and the potential of bright fruitiness. Drink from 2016.Les Vaumuriens91BurgundyPommardRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Chantal Lescure 2011 Les Vaumuriens (Pommard)Pinot NoirDomaine Chantal Lescure
4036440363FranceFrom vines just to the north of Nuits Saint-Georges, this firm and structured wine features ripe fruits, red berries and bitter cherry flavors. Both dark in texture and perfumed, it's powerful and does need some aging. Drink from 2017.Aux Chaignots Premier Cru91112BurgundyNuits-St.-GeorgesRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Faiveley 2011 Aux Chaignots Premier Cru (Nuits-St.-Georges)Pinot NoirDomaine Faiveley
4036540364FranceThe 60% new wood aging is showing strongly in this structured wine. Rich and rounded, it offers hints of spice, red cherry fruits and a firmly, tannic edge. The aftertaste brings out a jammy richness. Drink from 2017.Les Porets Saint-Georges Premier Cru91101BurgundyNuits-St.-GeorgesRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Faiveley 2011 Les Porets Saint-Georges Premier Cru (Nuits-St.-Georges)Pinot NoirDomaine Faiveley
4036640365FranceHerbal accents of thyme and rhubarb and a dash of pomegranate molasses give this dark-fruited wine an exotic edge, although it finishes with hints of creosote and espresso. It's full-bodied and supple in texture, making for a wine that should drink well through 2025.Les Baptaurels9180Rhône ValleyChâteauneuf-du-PapeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzDomaine la Mereuille 2010 Les Baptaurels Red (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)Rhône-style Red BlendDomaine la Mereuille
4035140350USCoffee, spice, vanilla and pencil lead aromas are followed by rich, luscious, full-bodied fruit and barrel flavors. It's hedonistic and pulls no punches but shows balance: an equal mix of fruit and barrel.Estate Riverbend Vineyard9236WashingtonWahluke SlopeColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportFielding Hills 2013 Estate Riverbend Vineyard Merlot (Wahluke Slope)MerlotFielding Hills
4036740366ItalyThis concentrated blend of Nero d'Avola and other grapes opens with aromas of earth, game, underbrush and mature black fruit. The dense palate offers velvety tannins and doles out juicy black cherry flavor layered with fig, chocolate, white pepper, carob and mint.Mille e Una Notte9185Sicily & SardiniaContessa EntellinaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeDonnafugata 2008 Mille e Una Notte (Contessa Entellina)Red BlendDonnafugata
4035240351PortugalOne in a series of single varietal wines, this brings out the richness of Alicante Bouschet. The dark color comes from the red juice of the grapes. The flavors show richness, dense black fruits and a dark series of tannins. Drink this concentrated wine from 2018.AB9239AlentejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerHerdade do Esporão 2012 AB Alicante Bouschet (Alentejano)Alicante BouschetHerdade do Esporão
4035340352USDelicate aromas of lemon blossom, ripe Asian pear and a touch of yellow melon show on the nose of this versatile and tasty bottling. Grippy tension consumes the palate, led by lemon rind, but there's also a richer yellow-apple and pear core as well as a bit of pineapple.October Night9225CaliforniaArroyo SecoCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannJ. Lohr 2014 October Night Chardonnay (Arroyo Seco)ChardonnayJ. Lohr
4036840367USA new cuvée for this winery, this is an equal mix of 30% Merlot, Cab Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon; plus 10% Petite Sirah. It offers generous and juicy pie fruit flavors of berry and cherry. The acidity, tannins and lightly tasted herbal notes are in perfect proportion. On balance it's a fruit-packed little gem that is immensely enjoyable.Cuvée No. 4399132WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Dumas Station 2011 Cuvée No. 439 Red (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Red BlendDumas Station
4035440353USA dash of spicy oak suggests nutmeg and cinnamon in the aroma of this well-balanced, rich and flavorful wine. Cherry, red currant and touches of mint and cedar fill out the palate, and the texture is just firm enough, with fine tannins for great balance.9250CaliforniaAnderson ValleyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsLa Crema 2013 Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley)Pinot NoirLa Crema
4035540354USSlightly reductive in style, this wine shows aromas of lime skins and Brie-cheese rind before opening a bit toward lemon blossoms and raw cashews. The palate possesses a stunningly grippy and chalky texture, with sharp flavors of Key-lime rind and pomelo pith.Unoaked9225CaliforniaArroyo SecoCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannLepe 2014 Unoaked Chardonnay (Arroyo Seco)ChardonnayLepe
4035640355USFresh on the nose with black plum, dried tarragon, hot asphalt, potpourri and a touch of Earl Grey tea, this is a well-priced wine with great versatility for all sorts of foods. The palate is vibrant and bursting with energy, juicy enough for a summer day but made serious with firm tannins. It could hold up to steak as well as complementing roasted fish.9220CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannPalmina 2013 Dolcetto (Santa Ynez Valley)DolcettoPalmina
4035740356USA light toasty, meaty aroma and savory flavors help this wine stand out from the pack. Full bodied, it's well structured due to firm tannins and acidity. It should be best after 2018.Primo's Hill Estate Grown9255CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsPoseidon 2013 Primo's Hill Estate Grown Pinot Noir (Carneros)Pinot NoirPoseidon
4035840357PortugalAged for a year in oak, this rich wine is a blend that includes Touriga Nacional and Alfrocheiro. It has a fine structure that brings in dense tannins as well as a darker, firmer character that will allow it to age further. Drink from 2018.Lote9216DãoRoger Voss@vossrogerQuinta das Marias 2014 Lote Red (Dão)Portuguese RedQuinta das Marias
4035940358USThis wine offers immediate appeal, opening with aromas of black olive, funk, flowers and moist earth. It does not disappoint, with soft fruit and savory flavors that coat the palate. Meaty flavors add to the enjoyment and the balance is spot on.9232WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportSaviah 2013 Syrah (Walla Walla Valley (WA))SyrahSaviah
4036040359USFrom the estate vineyard of a winery founded in 1994 by Silicon Valley mogul TJ Rodgers of Cypress Semiconductor, the grapes must be picked by a special tractor-on-wires because they are so steeply planted. Like the other 2009s, this Pinot Noir is characterized by strong tannins, meaning that it will last. Unlike the others, this one boats a more mushroom-driven nose between shiitake and porcini, with a touch of mocha. The palate reveals caramelized raspberry, graphite and silty flavors.Domaine Lois Louise Cote Sud9162CaliforniaSanta Cruz MountainsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannClos de la Tech 2009 Domaine Lois Louise Cote Sud Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mountains)Pinot NoirClos de la Tech
4036140360ItalyThis earthy Taurasi opens with aromas of ripe black fruit, blue flower, wet soil and leather. The ripe, structured palate doles out fleshy black cherry accented by cracked black pepper and balsamic herbs. With bracing tannins, give this time to fully develop depth and complexity; drink after 2019. Oliver McCrum, Polaner.Coste9170Southern ItalyTaurasiKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeContrade di Taurasi - Lonardo 2009 Coste (Taurasi)AglianicoContrade di Taurasi - Lonardo
4036240361FranceThis textured wine shows wood flavors from its 30% new wood. To balance it has great ripe fruits and a tight texture of acidity. The wine is still nervy, closed up with minerality. It needs time, so drink from 2016.Les Chouacheux Premier Cru91BurgundyBeauneRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Chantal Lescure 2011 Les Chouacheux Premier Cru (Beaune)Pinot NoirDomaine Chantal Lescure
4036940368US100% varietal from one of Washington's most esteemed vineyards, it's tightly wound and slow to reveal its charms. Notes of clove, woodspice, raspberry and cherry re supported by firm, slightly dry tannins that need time to soften.Champoux Vineyard9155WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportFidelitas 2010 Champoux Vineyard Merlot (Horse Heaven Hills)MerlotFidelitas
4037040369USPinot Noir specialist Norm Yost hits the varietal's geeky purists with a straight clonal take, pulling just Clone 2A to deliver this wine. The nose is lighter, with cranberry, leather, butter, vanilla and root beer aromas. Meanwhile the palate is stronger—soft but a tad tannic on entry, with licorice and charred pepper steak on the finish. Equally elegant and forceful.Rio Vista Vineyard Clone 2A9142CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannFlying Goat Cellars 2010 Rio Vista Vineyard Clone 2A Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirFlying Goat Cellars
4037140370USA vibrant minerality consumes the aromas on this bottling from an extremely coastal vineyard. On the palate, strawberry and sagebrush flavors emerge, all couched in a clean, crisp and refreshing acidity with appropriate bitterness as well. Ready to drink now.Salisbury Vineyard9138CaliforniaSan Luis Obispo CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannFlying Goat Cellars 2010 Salisbury Vineyard Pinot Noir (San Luis Obispo County)Pinot NoirFlying Goat Cellars
4037240371USThere's a slightly pink hue to this wine from Lompoc's Norman Yost. The nose is bright and minerally, with strawberry, apple cider and slight watermelon aromas. There's even more going on once sipped, with pear spritzer and citrus zest playing along with gray rocks and elements both bitter and sour. It's a refreshing take on a grape that doesn't always get the rock star treatment.Sierra Madre Vineyard9122CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannFlying Goat Cellars 2013 Sierra Madre Vineyard Pinot Gris (Santa Maria Valley)Pinot GrisFlying Goat Cellars
4037340372USThis oak-tank-fermented Chardonnay is light and nuanced with notes of toast, pear and green apple. The palate is densely flavored, creamy in feel, speckled with mineral notes and a streak of tart acidity throughout.91WashingtonColumbia Gorge (WA)Washington OtherSean P. Sullivan@wawinereportFoundry Vineyards 2012 Chardonnay (Columbia Gorge (WA))ChardonnayFoundry Vineyards
4037440373USA lighter style Zinfandel, it's also lighter in color. Aromas align more with fresh minerality than deep fruit, though there is tobacco, plum jam and some pepper on the nose. Once sipped, cranberry and pomegranate compete for the fruit side, while cedar and pepper form the spice element. It's great for sipping on the porch and shows how Zinfandel can be impressively lean, even with 14.7% alcohol.9124CaliforniaSan Benito CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannPessagno Winery 2011 Zinfandel (San Benito County)ZinfandelPessagno Winery
4037540374ItalyThere's a reason why this finessed bottling is one of Sicily's most iconic whites. It doles out juicy yellow apple, mature pear, white grapefruit, yellow peach and tropical fruit accented by notes of vanilla and hazelnut, with fresh acidity. Subtle oak adds complexity and structure.9142Sicily & SardiniaSiciliaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefePlaneta 2011 Chardonnay (Sicilia)ChardonnayPlaneta
4037640375USThis family-owned winery comes out swinging with this blend of 81% Zinfandel backed by bits of Grenache, Petite Sirah and Syrah, casting aromas of boysenberry, cola and freshly cut grilled rib eye. On the palate, it's smooth and evenly balanced with blackberry pie, vanilla and milk chocolate, offering the perfect partner for barbecued ribs and flame-broiled steak.9152CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannProulx 2011 Zinfandel (Paso Robles)ZinfandelProulx
4037740376USMade with 54% Merlot and 46% Cabernet Franc, it spent 23 months in one-third new French oak. The overall structure is impressive, with firm acidity and streaks of iron and mineral around tight, taut black fruit. It will get even better with ample breathing time and/or further cellaring.Archimage9152WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Sleight of Hand 2011 Archimage Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendSleight of Hand
4037840377USThere's a fascinating presence of herb-roasted chicken to the well-balanced nose of this Chardonnay from the historic Brousseay Vineyard, alongside chalky minerality, golden apple and Asian pear. Once sipped, it's very easy on the palate, with baked apple, wet stone, slight kiwi and a noticeable salinity.Brosseau Vineyard9145CaliforniaChaloneCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannTestarossa 2012 Brosseau Vineyard Chardonnay (Chalone)ChardonnayTestarossa
4037940378FranceThe great fruit produces a delicious wine that is also structured with a strong steely element. It is full of yellow fruits, layers of wood and juicy acidity. The aftertaste is as bright as a button.9135BurgundyPouilly-FuisséRoger Voss@vossrogerTrenel Fils 2012 Pouilly-FuisséChardonnayTrenel Fils
4038040379USThis young wine is classic and spicy, with still-yeasty aromas of pear and apple. The flavors are focused, with vivid, lightly lemony acidity underscoring highlights of beeswax and flowers.9118WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Woodinville Wine Cellars 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley (WA))Sauvignon BlancWoodinville Wine Cellars

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