Wine Reviews


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4050840507USIf you're curious about California Grenache Blanc, check out this one. It shows beautifully varietal flavors of oranges, pineapples and honey, with vital Santa Ynez acidity. So rich, it's hard to believe it never saw any oak.Tourmaline8824CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastCoghlan 2010 Tourmaline Grenache Blanc (Santa Ynez Valley)Grenache BlancCoghlan
4050140500AustriaThe Loisium is the wine museum in Langenlois in which the Steininger family is partner. This wines comes from the vineyard next to the museum. It's brightly fruity, a delicately layered wine, full of citrus and apricot fruit flavors, lively and ready to drink. Screwcap.Loisiumweingarten Reserve8824KamptalRoger Voss@vossrogerSteininger 2012 Loisiumweingarten Reserve Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal)Grüner VeltlinerSteininger
4050240501IsraelThis fifty-fifty blend is rich and ripe, with forward aromas and flavors of red plum, blueberry and blackberry. Secondary accents of licorice root, black pepper and light toast add depth and interest. Silky and accessible, this is a surprisingly approachable selection that's ready to drink now.Yogev8815SamsonLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzBinyamina 2011 Yogev Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz (Samson)Cabernet Sauvignon-ShirazBinyamina
4050940508ChileConcentrated blackberry, leather and loam aromas are big, bold and bullish. This is saturated and heavy in the mouth, with leather, roasted berry and meaty flavors. A round finish comes with just enough snappy acidity to keep it lively, although there is some choppiness and grit to it.Marques de Casa Concha8826PeumoMichael Schachner@wineschachConcha y Toro 2011 Marques de Casa Concha Carmenère (Peumo)CarmenèreConcha y Toro
4050340502FranceTight and firm, this wine's herbal character and black currant fruit bring out the dry character of the wine and intense acidity on the finish.8815BordeauxBordeauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Bel Air Perponcher 2011 BordeauxBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Bel Air Perponcher
4050440503FranceMade by the same team as Château de France in Pessac-Léognan, this is an attractive, forward wine. It shows the juicy character of the vintage, although the tannins do give it structure and some weight. A wine for medium-term aging: 4–5 years.8835BordeauxPessac-LéognanRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Coquillas 2011 Pessac-LéognanBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Coquillas
4051040509USStill quite young and showing an herbal side to the sharply-defined red fruits, this Cabernet will need a bit more bottle age to soften the rough edges. Nonetheless, the complex weave of bark, herb, earth and wild berry is balanced and effective; just give it more time.8830WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Sineann 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonSineann
4050540504FranceThere is fine acidity here, black currant fruit and firm tannins. The combination works well, giving fruitiness and structure. The result is a wine with aging potential, freshness and an attractive, juicy aftertaste.Château Dubory8817BordeauxBordeaux SupérieurRoger Voss@vossrogerChateau de Launay 2011 Château Dubory (Bordeaux Supérieur)Bordeaux-style Red BlendChateau de Launay
4051140510USSobon's Old Vines Zinfandel is seamless in bright red fruit and soft tannins, with a tempered spiciness on the finish. A great value and go-to wine for a crowd, this is ideal to stock up on for outdoor gatherings, or just to get through the winter.Old Vines8813CaliforniaAmador CountySierra FoothillsVirginie Boone@vbooneSobon Estate 2011 Old Vines Zinfandel (Amador County)ZinfandelSobon Estate
4050640505FranceRipe and sweetly fruity, this is a black-currant and berry-flavored wine, with balanced juiciness and a judicious use of wood. Full-bodied, it's likely to age well over the medium term.8818BordeauxBlaye Côtes de BordeauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Monconseil-Gazin 2011 Blaye Côtes de BordeauxBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Monconseil-Gazin
4051240511USThe combination of a cool growing region and a cool vintage have made this wine very tart, with low alcohol. Don't look for fat, opulent tropical fruits here. Instead, you'll find lemons, limes and mangoes, complex and mouthwatering.8821CaliforniaSan Luis Obispo CountyCentral CoastStolo 2011 Chardonnay (San Luis Obispo County)ChardonnayStolo
4050740506USWith residual sugar measuring 17 g/L, this puts the emphasis on fruit flavors that are forward, round, ripe and slightly sweet. It's right down the heart of the plate in terms of Washington styles; apple and peach the main flavors.8810WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Riesling (Columbia Valley (WA))RieslingChateau Ste. Michelle
4051340512AustriaThis is a sweet, lightly sparkling wine—think Moscato d'Asti, or honey and lemon. It's a great aperitif with spice and citrus adding to the pleasure of this delicate, fruity wine. Screwcap.Frizzante88SteiermarkRoger Voss@vossrogerStrauss NV Frizzante Gelber Muskateller (Steiermark)Gelber MuskatellerStrauss
4051440513AustraliaThis mouth-filling Shiraz features plenty of weight and texture and bold, plummy flavors tinged with mocha and black olive. It'll go great with a charred steak off the grill.8821VictoriaPyreneesJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzTaltarni 2009 Shiraz (Pyrenees)ShirazTaltarni
4051540514USWhat a nice Sauvignon Blanc this is. It's crisp and delicately structured, with light, airy flavors of limes, dried hay, pineapple zest and white pepper.8819CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastTower 15 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (Paso Robles)Sauvignon BlancTower 15
4051640515ChileRoasted berry and cassis aromas are basic and familiar. The palate on this varietal Cabernet is grabby yet solid, with sweet, baked flavors of cassis, berry and chocolate. Hints of toast and darkness rise up on what amounts to a rubbery feeling finish.Aliwen Reserva8813Maipo Valley-Colchagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachUndurraga 2011 Aliwen Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon (Maipo Valley-Colchagua Valley)Cabernet SauvignonUndurraga
4051740516ChileSavory aromas of grilled meats and barbecue sauce come with resiny oak and carob notes. This feels solid in the mouth, with an oak-driven texture that's cut by nice acidity. Core flavors follow the nose: savory berry with resiny oak, herbs and BBQ notes. Spearmint flavors and racy acidity drive the finish.Queulat Gran Reserva Single Vineyard8818Maipo ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachVentisquero 2010 Queulat Gran Reserva Single Vineyard Carmenère (Maipo Valley)CarmenèreVentisquero
4051840517USLike Petite Sirah's rustic power? You'll love this lusty wine. It's dark, tannic and dry, with massive blackberry, blueberry, dark chocolate and oak flavors that finish with hints of bacon and black pepper. Will age forever, but your window is now and through 2018.Brown Barn Vineyard8824CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaJ. Rickards 2010 Brown Barn Vineyard Petite Sirah (Alexander Valley)Petite SirahJ. Rickards
4051940518USThe oak is strong on this blend of three of the winery's best vineyards. It shows up as buttered toast, with a distinctive, charry-sweet note of toasted marshmallows. The wine is strong in pineapples and oranges. An eccentric Chardonnay for drinking now.Cuvée de Trois8829CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaJoseph Swan Vineyards 2011 Cuvée de Trois Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayJoseph Swan Vineyards
4052040519USThis vineyard is known for Pinot Noir, but the cool climate has yielded here a crisp, mouthwatering Riesling. Most California Rieslings have a touch of sweetness, but not this dry one, which accentuates the tartness of the grapefruits and limes. With some complexity, it's a wonderful cocktail sipper to get the evening started.Tondre Grapefield8823CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastJoyce 2012 Tondre Grapefield Riesling (Santa Lucia Highlands)RieslingJoyce
4052140520AustraliaThis wine's bright berry notes make it very accessible—the raspberry perfume is virtually irresistible. Those berries are capably framed by cedary elements, but on the palate, the structure of the wine is taut, wiry and crisp. Drink it over the next few years for its fruity appeal.Art Series8835Western AustraliaMargaret RiverJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzLeeuwin Estate 2010 Art Series Shiraz (Margaret River)ShirazLeeuwin Estate
4052240521AustriaThis aromatic and fruity wine is ripe and full of peach and pear flavor. The wine balances nicely between crisp fruitiness and a more rounded, full-bodied texture. Clean, fresh, soft and ready to drink. Glass stopper.Steirische Klassik88SüdoststeiermarkRoger Voss@vossrogerManfred Tement 2012 Steirische Klassik Weissburgunder (Südoststeiermark)WeissburgunderManfred Tement
4052340522SpainSpiced berry, dry oak and a note of latex define the nose on this ripe, likable, friendly Tempranillo. The wine is lively on the palate, with candied, jumpy flavors of berry fruits that finish with some foxiness and a wet-fur note. The emphasis here is on fresh fruit more than power or oakiness.Vendimia Seleccionada8932Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachResalte 2011 Vendimia Seleccionada (Ribera del Duero)TempranilloResalte
4052440523USLots of elegance in this Cabernet. It's dry, full bodied and rich in tannins, with a good depth of black currants and sweet, toasty oak. Won't age, but who cares: Pop the cork and drink it now.8928CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaRobert Mondavi 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonRobert Mondavi
4052540524USAn intriguing combination of almost equal parts Malbec, Mourvèdre and Petit Verdot, Rock Wall's Romancer hails from Clarksburg's small Heringer Vineyard, and is bright, fruity and juicy with blackberry and strawberry flavors. Aromatic lavender and jasmine notes against a backdrop of meaty tobacco make the presence of Mourvedre apparent.Romancer-Heringer Vineyard8930CaliforniaClarksburgCentral ValleyVirginie Boone@vbooneRock Wall 2011 Romancer-Heringer Vineyard Red (Clarksburg)Red BlendRock Wall
4052640525USGreen peppercorns give a hard edge to the blackberry, currant and anise flavors on this Cabernet. Despite firm tannins, the palate shows lots of finesse and has a rewardingly chewy mouthfeel. An interesting wine hinting at the promise of this appellation.8944CaliforniaHappy Canyon of Santa BarbaraCentral CoastStar Lane Vineyard 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara)Cabernet SauvignonStar Lane Vineyard
4052740526USInvigorating scents of lime zest and crisp apple introduce this nervy, dry Riesling. It's brisk with lime acidity, but builds in weight and texture with hints of petrol and lanolin that linger on the palate.Dry8916New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaAnthony Road 2011 Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes)RieslingAnthony Road
4052840527USThis Pinot could certainly withstand a few years of aging, but there's really no reason to cellar it. It's all about rich, ripe, flamboyant fruit in the way of cherries, persimmons and raspberries. For all the forward fruitiness, the wine finishes dry and firm in acids and tannins.8935CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaWindsor Oaks 2011 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirWindsor Oaks
4052940528ItalySubtle aromas of dark fruit and leather give this wine a measured and timid first approach. The intensity builds with each swirl of the glass and the wine shows that typical Sangiovese Grosso tightness and acidity on the close.Riserva8952TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoLa Collina dei Lecci 2007 Riserva (Brunello di Montalcino)Sangiovese GrossoLa Collina dei Lecci
4053040529ItalyHere is an easygoing and crisp Brunello from the cool 2008 vintage that shows lively berry nuances backed by savory touches of spice and black pepper. It's tight and compact without too much pulp or softness on the close.8958TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoLa Palazzetta 2008 Brunello di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoLa Palazzetta

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