Wine Reviews

4059140590USChalk Line includes all five Bordeaux grapes along with 25% Syrah. The first sniff brings up generous red and purple fruit aromas and pretty, yet restrained, barrel toast. It's well-integrated with medium density and excellent balance.Chalk Line9025WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Guardian 2011 Chalk Line Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Red BlendGuardian
4059240591USYou'd never guess that this was rocking it so hard with 16.3% alcohol, as this wine achieves balance in the face of such boozy contents. The nose holds a blackberry core with rusty, spicier edges of star anise. These are followed by a palate of black cherry and cedar, with enough tannins to ensure evolving drinking until at least 2018.Michael's Estate Reserve9050CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannAdelaida 2011 Michael's Estate Reserve Zinfandel (Paso Robles)ZinfandelAdelaida
4059340592USAlong with the Dolcetto, this Petite Sirah tops the new releases for this micro-boutique winery. Bright and lightly toasty, it's a forward wine, with pretty cherry, cola and earth components. An appealing and supple streak of leather comes with hints of spice and butterscotch, all woven together seamlessly.9026WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Animale 2011 Petite Sirah (Yakima Valley)Petite SirahAnimale
4059440593USFull-flavored and textured, probably from the use of a Sauvignon Musque Clone for half of the wine, this is nonetheless a light wine, subtle in stone fruit, kiwi and lemon-lime. The acidity has an electricity and bubbliness that almost make it come alive. It's the right wine for fresh-shucked oysters.Estate9020CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneArmida 2013 Estate Sauvignon Blanc (Russian River Valley)Sauvignon BlancArmida
4059540594USThis tasty, toasty red wine is all Sangiovese. The tangy red berry fruit flavors carry highlights of peppery herbs. With some air time the wine smoothes out and rolls into a creamy, mocha-infused finish.Kiona Estate9029WashingtonRed MountainColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Barrister 2011 Kiona Estate Sangiovese (Red Mountain)SangioveseBarrister
4059640595FranceBig and smoky, it discloses fruit as well as solid tannins. The wine has power and density, with black fruits that show sweetness. It will be delicious but the structure does need to soften first. Drink from 2017.9055BurgundyGevrey-ChambertinRoger Voss@vossrogerBouchard Père & Fils 2011 Gevrey-ChambertinPinot NoirBouchard Père & Fils
4059740596USHoneycrisp apples come to mind at first sip, along with dollops of peach, lemongrass and caramel. The mouthfeel is fresh and flavorful, with excellent texture and length.62% Sémillon-21% Sauvignon-17% Muscadelle9025WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Buty 2012 62% Sémillon-21% Sauvignon-17% Muscadelle White (Columbia Valley (WA))White BlendButy
4059840597FranceRipe and fruity, it shows both good acidity and attractive tannins. It has weight, red cherry flavors and a structure that supports the fruitiness. It's delicious but needs more time. Drink from 2017.Le Village90BurgundySavigny-lès-BeauneRoger Voss@vossrogerHenri de Villamont 2011 Le Village (Savigny-lès-Beaune)Pinot NoirHenri de Villamont
4059940598USDark burgundy in color, it has an old-world soul, earthy and brooding in clove, mushroomy forest floor and a light texture of cherry, not what you'd expect from a big-time NASCAR guy. Restrained yet powerful.9050CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneJeff Gordon 2011 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)Pinot NoirJeff Gordon
4060040599FranceAt this stage, this wine is closed and packed with acidity. But just wait for a few years and the ripe wood and yellow fruits will emerge. It's a full-bodied, rich wine that needs to round out. Drink from 2016.Morgeot Premier Cru90112BurgundyChassagne-MontrachetRoger Voss@vossrogerJoseph Faiveley 2011 Morgeot Premier Cru (Chassagne-Montrachet)ChardonnayJoseph Faiveley
4060140600USAt first, all you sense is a heavy, operatic costume of chocolaty, smoky, coffee-like oak flavors. Underneath these, a ripe and slightly sweet boysenberry soul keeps the drama going. Like a sturdy stage set, the richly laced tannins support the fruit and oak until the curtain falls.9025CaliforniaLodiCentral ValleyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsZinhead 2011 Zinfandel (Lodi)ZinfandelZinhead
4060240601FranceRich as well as structured, it's ripe and already delicious. Berry and cherry fruits are nicely surrounded by both acidity and tannins. Full in the mouth, it's going to be an estimable wine. Drink from 2017.9030BurgundySavigny-lès-BeauneRoger Voss@vossrogerPierre André 2011 Savigny-lès-BeaunePinot NoirPierre André
4060340602TurkeyThis wine has a deep violet-red color and a nose of raspberry, vanilla and graphite. Fruit-dominant flavors of raspberry and cherry, with a touch of custard, showcase a satisfying cooperation between deep and bright notes that make for a satisfying sipping experience.Reserve Single Vineyard Bozokbag9039ThraceMike DeSimone@worldwineguysSuvla 2011 Reserve Single Vineyard Bozokbag Syrah (Thrace)SyrahSuvla
4060440603ItalyThis opens with aromas of ripe black plum, tilled soil, blue flower, leather and game. The palate is still very tight but offers black cherry and bitter prune accented by notes of black pepper, clove, graphite and nutmeg. It's all supported by a backbone of assertive tannins. Drink after 2019.Pago dei Fusi9060Southern ItalyTaurasiKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTerredora 2009 Pago dei Fusi (Taurasi)AglianicoTerredora
4060540604USHailing from a hillside estate of hand-tended grapes, this traditional Bordeaux blend begins with a menthol, roasted fennel and cinnamon-touched nose. On the palate, the herbals continue alongside ripening plum and gingerbread cake, followed by a lingering finish.Cinque9050CaliforniaSanta Cruz MountainsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannLa Rusticana d'Orsa 2010 Cinque Red (Santa Cruz Mountains)Bordeaux-style Red BlendLa Rusticana d'Orsa
4060640605USA five-grape, Bordeaux-style blend, it's still a big, tough, chewy, tannic wine with a chunky, somewhat blocky mouthfeel. Cherry, cassis and wood flavors dominate, and the tannins are quite astringent. Re-tasted over many hours it remained stubbornly hard and compact. Give this one some further bottle age.Estate Grown Seven Hills Vineyard Perigee9050WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine L'Ecole No. 41 2011 Estate Grown Seven Hills Vineyard Perigee Red (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendL'Ecole No. 41
4060740606SpainSpicy plum and berry aromas are slightly earthy and on the money. This feels full and plump, but well balanced. Spicy dry plum and berry flavors are limited but focused, while this offers a vanilla note on a finish that fades out slow and easy. Drink through 2019.Viña Real Reserva9032Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachCVNE 2011 Viña Real Reserva (Rioja)TempranilloCVNE
4060840607USFrom the famous Westside Road-adjacent vineyard, this Chardonnay shows a proclivity toward lush roundness of texture and tropical flourish in flavor. Vanilla nuttiness is complemented by pineapple, green apple and caramel, lasting long into the finish.Bacigalupi Vineyard9044CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneE16 2014 Bacigalupi Vineyard Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayE16
4060940608SpainLeafy gritty earthy berry aromas are spicy. This feels rugged but fresh, with a tolerable but strong tannic grip. Plum, boysenberry, chocolate, blackened toast and peppercorn flavors finish leafy, with firm tannins.9030Northern SpainSomontanoMichael Schachner@wineschachEnate 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Somontano)Cabernet SauvignonEnate
4061040609AustraliaThis seems a bit oaky on the nose, where scents of baking spices and cedar dominate, but those elements are balanced out on the palate, where blackberries, plums and black currants comes to the fore. This is a full-bodied, ripe-textured wine worth a look. Drink now–2025.Three Blocks9030South AustraliaMcLaren ValeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzFox Creek 2014 Three Blocks Cabernet Sauvignon (McLaren Vale)Cabernet SauvignonFox Creek
4061140610ItalyA blend of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo and 5% Colorino, this offers delicate ripe black-skinned fruit and cooking spice aromas. On the palate, ripe black cherry, espresso and clove flavors are framed by firm tannins. Drink through 2019.Riserva8930TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMangiacane 2011 Riserva (Chianti Classico)Red BlendMangiacane
4061240611AustraliaDense and rich, this is a hearty dry red for near-term drinking. Black olive and espresso aromas give way to chocolate and dark berries on the palate, while the finish is velvety and warm.8916South AustraliaMcLaren ValeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzThomas Goss 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (McLaren Vale)Cabernet SauvignonThomas Goss
4061340612AustraliaThis wine ticks all the boxes, but just lacks the excitement and drama to take it to the next level. Smoke and vanilla notes add interest to the juicy, easy-to-drink cassis fruit. There's ample but not too much weight on the palate. Supple tannins. Perhaps it just needs additional cellaring time to warrant the price, although it doesn't come across as needing it in the structural sense.Ashmead Single Vineyard89108South AustraliaBarossaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzElderton 2010 Ashmead Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Barossa)Cabernet SauvignonElderton
4061440613USDark fruit and violet aromas are muted under opulent notes of vanilla and oak. On the palate, skin-driven, dark fruit flavors combine with rough oak, while chewy tannins linger on the long, bitter finish.New World Reserve8938VirginiaMonticelloCarrie DykesTrump 2014 New World Reserve Red (Monticello)Bordeaux-style Red BlendTrump
4061540614ItalyMade of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Syrah and 10% Petit Verdot, this has aromas that recall black-skinned berries, leather and Mediterranean herbs. The palate is just as lush: black currant, tobacco and baking spice flavors, framed by supple tannins. Enjoy through 2020.Varvàra8928TuscanyBolgheriKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCastello di Bolgheri 2014 Varvàra (Bolgheri)Red BlendCastello di Bolgheri
4061640615FranceThe wine is tight with tannins and a dense texture. It has plenty of fruit underneath to allow this blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot to balance out. Perfumed and with fine acidity, the wine should be ready from 2019.Moulin du Château la Clide8989BordeauxSaint-ÉmilionRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau la Clide 2011 Moulin du Château la Clide (Saint-Émilion)Bordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau la Clide
4061740616USIt's a treat to find a well-priced Merlot that has some gutsy tannin and dark fruit to go along with its sweeter flavors and mild texture. This wine has concentrated black cherry, clove and oak spice flavors, with a firm structure and lingering finish.8913CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsChâteau Souverain 2014 Merlot (California)MerlotChâteau Souverain
4061840617FranceA very shy nose leads to a friendly palate of ripe but very tender apple fruit. The roundness and ripeness on the fresh slender body speaks of the beautiful 2015 vintage. The finish is broader and full of fruit. Drink soon.Fraîcheur Gourmande8920AlsaceAlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoDomaine Charles Frey 2015 Fraîcheur Gourmande Sylvaner (Alsace)SylvanerDomaine Charles Frey
4061940618FranceThe lovely and lively citrus-inflected nose of pear is very inviting. The palate comes across as more earthy and rounded. The body is light and easy, but has a subtle moreish texture.Barriques8928AlsaceAlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoDomaine Ostertag 2015 Barriques Pinot Blanc (Alsace)Pinot BlancDomaine Ostertag
4062040619FranceThere is a yeasty rounded freshness on the nose. The palate is also pervaded by pleasantly creamy fresh yeast notes. Again, this is about texture rather than power. This is made from one of the few vineyards of Chasselas, a rather neutral variety, that still exists in Alsace. It's a light-bodied wine made for the table and, dare I say it, for quenching thirst.Vieilles Vignes8922AlsaceAlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoDomaine Schoffit 2015 Vieilles Vignes Chasselas (Alsace)ChasselasDomaine Schoffit

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