Wine Reviews

4254142540USRipe fruit flavors of berry and plum are enveloped in spice-cake highlights. The citrus-infused acids bring in a hint of grapefruit and lemon. This is a complex wine, with fascinating components, and beginning to pull itself together.Darkness9056WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Sparkman 2009 Darkness Syrah (Columbia Valley (WA))SyrahSparkman
4254242541USThis is a five-grape blend, with leafy flavors of garden-fresh herbs as well as ripe strawberries and vanilla cream. It's a smooth and immediately pleasing wine, with a velvety finish.Wilderness9028WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Sparkman 2009 Wilderness Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Red BlendSparkman
4254342542ItalyAged in large oak casks, this gorgeous Pinot Bianco shows lively aromas of white flower, pear, Golden Delicious apple and stone fruit. It's a tight, well-compacted wine, with enormous length and elegance on the finish.Passion Riserva9033Northeastern ItalyAlto AdigeSt. Pauls 2008 Passion Riserva Pinot Bianco (Alto Adige)Pinot BiancoSt. Pauls
4254442543USA Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet, Malbec and Merlot, this bright and grapy effort pleasingly integrates slightly rougher notes of earth, leaf and stem. It all works here, adding texture and detail to the tart berry fruits. Drink in the next 3–5 years.Nalin9027WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Adamant Cellars 2008 Nalin Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendAdamant Cellars
4254542544USThis young wine brims with fresh acidity and primary cherry, blackberry and cola flavors. The complexity is considerable and so is the elegance. It feels graceful and silky in the mouth, despite the power of the fruit. Should hit its peak in two or three years.9025CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastAmpelos 2010 Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirAmpelos
4254642545ItalyThis hearty blend boasts a dark, inky color, with bright aromas of black fruit, cola, dried rosemary, black olive and spice. The finish is thick, concentrated and long lasting.Turriga9080Sicily & SardiniaIsola dei NuraghiArgiolas 2005 Turriga Red (Isola dei Nuraghi)Red BlendArgiolas
4254742546USAn eccentric Chardonnay, with botrytis-like flavors of apricot jam and honey dominating, but there also are rich notes of buttered toast and tropical fruit. It's dry and creamy and a little warm. Drink over the next 3 years.The Mentor9045CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastBabcock 2010 The Mentor Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills)ChardonnayBabcock
4254842547USThank goodness this rosé is bone dry for a change, when so many California blushes are sugary sweet. It also shows a bite of acidity and tannins. The flavors range from mineral and rose petal to cherry and herb tea.Rosé of Pinot Noir9018CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaBalletto 2011 Rosé of Pinot Noir Rosé (Russian River Valley)RoséBalletto
4254942548FrancePink fruited and light, with an attractive herbal character. The crisp acidity cuts right through the rich mouthfeel.Bright and lively, the finish has a grapefruit note that lends lift.Les Belles Bastilles9018ProvenceCoteaux VaroisRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau de l'Escarelle 2011 Les Belles Bastilles Rosé (Coteaux Varois)RoséChâteau de l'Escarelle
4255042549FranceThis is a rich style of rosé, full-bodied and packed with ripe strawberry fruit. As a happy contrast to this richness, it also has a spice and orange zest element that adds both piquancy and final crispness.9023ProvenceCôtes de ProvenceRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau les Valentines 2011 Rosé (Côtes de Provence)RoséChâteau les Valentines
4255142550USYou can call this blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Mourvèdre and Grenache a Rhône blend, but it's like nothing that ever came from France. Distinctly Californian in softness and ripeness, it has jammy, slightly sweet flavors of cherries, blackberries and chocolate.Heritage Vintage Red Wine8430CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastSan Antonio 2004 Heritage Vintage Red Wine Red (Paso Robles)Rhône-style Red BlendSan Antonio
4255242551USBlueberry and cherry on the nose and palate of this medium-bodied red are cheerful and likeable, though overall the wine lacks dimension. An enticing wave of pepper and spice adds to the package. A Cabernet Franc with personality.8417New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaSheldrake Point 2005 Cabernet Franc (Finger Lakes)Cabernet FrancSheldrake Point
4255342552USThis has all of the easygoing, good raspberry and blueberry flavors that a Cabernet Franc should. The nose is rich in raspberry and pepper, and on the palate, the wine has good structure and length. Pair with lasagna or a spiced meat dish for extra appeal.Estate Bottled8420ConnecticutWestern Connecticut HighlandsSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaHopkins Vineyard 2005 Estate Bottled Cabernet Franc (Western Connecticut Highlands)Cabernet FrancHopkins Vineyard
4255442553FranceA bright, slightly confected rosé blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, this is flavorful but a bit short.84ProvenceVin de Pays VarJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzLe Saint-André 2007 Rosé (Vin de Pays Var)RoséLe Saint-André
4255542554USThis wine illustrates why most vintners prefer to use Petit Verdot as a blender for its dark color, thick tannins and heavy mouthfeel. It can give weight and body to Cabernet or Merlot. The wine itself has dark, brooding flavors of black currants, tobacco and unsweetened baker's chocolate.8430CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastOpaque 2005 Petit Verdot (Paso Robles)Petit VerdotOpaque
4255642555ItalyThere's not much intensity here but this simple Grigio works just fine for informal occasions. Aromas include honey, stone fruit and citrus and the wine offers a fresh, lean texture accented by zesty crispness.8415Northeastern ItalyColli Orientali del FriuliConte d'Attimis-Maniago 2006 Pinot Grigio (Colli Orientali del Friuli)Pinot GrigioConte d'Attimis-Maniago
4255742556PortugalA full, ripe vanilla- and strawberry-flavored wine that hits the spot for the summer, with an emphasis on dryness, but with a soft, fruity, food-friendly aftertaste.Conde de Vimioso Vinho Rosé849RibatejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerFalua 2007 Conde de Vimioso Vinho Rosé Red (Ribatejano)Portuguese RedFalua
4255842557USThis has a balance and elegance that recommends it above many New York wines of the same variety. An expressive nose of red berry, coffee, some spice leads into balanced, appetizing flavors of cherry and pepper with a smoky, rich edge. Dry and food-friendly, this has class.8424New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaAtwater 2005 Cabernet Franc (Finger Lakes)Cabernet FrancAtwater
4255942558ItalyWildflower, citrus and grapefruit color the aromatic profile of this easy, no-fuss Grigio. It has soda-like flavors of lemon and lime and is an easy and quick-drinking wine overall.84Northeastern ItalyFriuli GraveCastello di Porcìa 2007 Pinot Grigio (Friuli Grave)Pinot GrigioCastello di Porcìa
4256042559ChileRooty and on the verge of being overripe, this is yet another 2006 Cabernet from Chile with hot-weather signatures draped all over it. The nose is baked, while the fruit is all sweet black plum and berry with heat on the finish.Sibaris Reserva Especial8417Maipo ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachUndurraga 2006 Sibaris Reserva Especial Cabernet Sauvignon (Maipo Valley)Cabernet SauvignonUndurraga
4256142560ChileClean but neutral, with decent lift, zest and body. The flavors run sweet to tropical, with pithy notes and a hint of green vegetables on the finish. Very basic and worthwhile, but regular in every sense of the word.Estate Bottled8410Maule ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachValle Frio 2007 Estate Bottled Sauvignon Blanc (Maule Valley)Sauvignon BlancValle Frio
4256242561USMade in an inexpensive Aussie style, this Shiraz is dry and rich in blackberry, currant, tobacco, Dr. Pepper, mocha and peppery spice flavors. At this price, it's great for barbecues.8410CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherVirgin 2005 Shiraz (California)ShirazVirgin
4256342562USAn alluring nose of plum, leather and spice leads on this red, and on the palate, structured, big fruit flavors follow. It's jammy but has grip, and though slightly one dimensional, the wine has character. A good showing.8420New MexicoNew MexicoSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaVivác Winery 2006 Tempranillo (New Mexico)TempranilloVivác Winery
4256442563USA little rough in texture and stemmy, with a sugary sweet finish, but with enough cherry, blackberry and currant flavors to satisfy everyday red wine drinkers.Dante8430CaliforniaSonoma ValleySonomaVJB 2005 Dante Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma Valley)Cabernet SauvignonVJB
4256542564USChardonnay Port? It's nothing remotely like anything that ever came out of Portugal, but it is sweet and crisp in tangerine, peach, vanilla and honey flavors.Baci di Famiglia Chardonnay8428CaliforniaSonoma ValleySonomaVJB 2006 Baci di Famiglia Chardonnay Port (Sonoma Valley)PortVJB
4256642565USThe alcohol level of nearly 16% is the star, or the villain, of the show. It gives this Zin a hot, peppery mouthfeel, not to mention going to your head. On the other hand, the wine is dry and richly flavored in wild berries and spices, and the tannic quality is very fine.Reserve8440CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaWilson 2005 Reserve Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelWilson
4256742566ItalyThis Sauvignon is tuned down in terms of its aromatics and not very intense overall. You will encounter measured notes of acacia flower, honey and exotic fruit and the wine is fresh and informal in delivery.8420Northeastern ItalyColli Orientali del FriuliZorzettig 2007 Sauvignon (Colli Orientali del Friuli)SauvignonZorzettig
4256842567USSlow to air off a sulfury aroma, this finally revealed itself to be dry, soft and vigorous, with modest alcohol and deep flavors of black currants, blueberries, cocoa and grilled meat. And then there are the big-time tannins that are so large a part of Petite Sirah's personality.8420CaliforniaLodiCentral ValleyTeresina 2005 Petite Sirah (Lodi)Petite SirahTeresina
4256942568ItalyThe aromas here are very mature and recall ripe apricot, melon, honey and almond skin. In fact, this wine shares little in common with your typical Italian Sauvignon, offering soft, slightly sour tones instead. At 14.5% alcohol, the wine also delivers big power and warmth.8422Northeastern ItalyColli Orientali del FriuliAquila del Torre 2006 Sauvignon Blanc (Colli Orientali del Friuli)Sauvignon BlancAquila del Torre
4257042569ItalyHere's a light, easy Chardonnay from Friuli in Northern Italy that offers measured aromatic intensity and notes of stone fruit, flowers and white mineral. The wine would wash down an easy salad thanks to its lean consistency and fresh finish.849Northeastern ItalyFriuli GraveCabert 2007 Chardonnay (Friuli Grave)ChardonnayCabert

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