Wine Reviews

4371143710USSo softly delicious, it's probably not an ager, but what a terrific wine to drink now and over the next few years. Really luscious, showing modern-style ripe blackberry, black cherry, cassis and mocha flavors that sink deep and last long into the finish. The tannins and overall structure lift it into classy elegance.Hillside Reserve93100CaliforniaRutherfordNapaFlora Springs 2009 Hillside Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford)Cabernet SauvignonFlora Springs
4371243711USThis is the most expensive Pinot Noir from Gundlach Bundschu in many years, maybe ever, but it's also easily their best. It's absolutely delicious in cherries, pomegranates and spices, with a wonderful earthiness that grounds it. So silky and complex, so rewarding to drink now. Great to see this veteran winery coming out with a wine this fine.Heritage Selection Estate9355CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaGundlach Bundschu 2009 Heritage Selection Estate Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)Pinot NoirGundlach Bundschu
4371343712ItalyWell etched, defined and crisp, this is a strong, determined wine with loads of power, acidity and firmness. The wine shows all the criteria for a long cellar life, softening slowly as the wine evolves. Age 10–20 more years.Riserva9349TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoCanneta 2006 Riserva (Brunello di Montalcino)Sangiovese GrossoCanneta
4371443713ItalyMore spice than ripe fruit characteristics here. There's a dark, savory note of smoked ham or bacon as well, with back-end notes of cola and root beer. Warm, wintery personality. Streamlined and polished in the mouth.9375TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoIl Paradiso di Frassina 2007 Brunello di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoIl Paradiso di Frassina
4371543714USThis wine kept improving in the glass over a period of hours, and as it did so, the score kept rising. Initial scents of Bourbon barrel gave way to rich blueberry and black cherry fruit, set in a roasted, potent mix of darker flavors. Smoke, coffee liqueur, a whiff of stem, a streak of vanilla, all tightly wound and elevated with scents of citrus peel.9332WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine JM Cellars 2009 Syrah (Columbia Valley (WA))SyrahJM Cellars
4371643715FrancePure strawberry and red cherry fruits with a twist of acidity make this a wine that is already delicious. Just under the surface is a firm wood-and-tannin character and a dense, if juicy, structure. Age for 4–5 years.Beaune Bressandes Premier Cru9344BurgundyBeauneRoger Voss@vossrogerLouis Jadot 2009 Beaune Bressandes Premier Cru (Beaune)Pinot NoirLouis Jadot
4371743716USThis block selection from the estate vineyard is planted to the old Pommard clone. It's an elegantly dry wine, dense in black and red cherry fruit, with hints of cola, wild herbs and spices. Feels very fine and silky in the mouth, and gets better with airing. Drink now and over the next six years.Earthquake Block Don Miguel Vineyard9347CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaMarimar Estate 2008 Earthquake Block Don Miguel Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirMarimar Estate
4371843717FranceA ripe and smooth wine, its wood aging softening the rough edges of the young fruitiness and bringing a touch of elegance. The wine is spicy with licorice as well as the red fruit flavors. It can be aged, so drink from 2014.Les Gravels88Southwest FranceGaillacRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Rotier 2011 Les Gravels Red (Gaillac)Red BlendDomaine Rotier
4371943718USThis Cabernet Sauvignon has enormously high alcohol that results in a glyceriney sweetness. However, in that category it's one of the best of the vintage. Hard to imagine a wine richer in currants and mocha, and the tannins are as beautiful as any Napa has ever produced. But it's difficult to see the wine aging well, so drink it soon with the most Cabernet-friendly food you can find.Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard88185CaliforniaOakvilleNapaB Cellars 2010 Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville)Cabernet SauvignonB Cellars
4372043719FranceHints of dried thyme and bay leaf accent this wine's bouncy, upfront red-fruit notes. It's medium bodied, with softly dusty tannins and crisp acids that give shape to the palate and persist through the finish. Drink now and over the next year or two.Légende des Toques8812Rhône ValleyCôtes du RhôneJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzBalma Venitia 2012 Légende des Toques Red (Côtes du Rhône)Rhône-style Red BlendBalma Venitia
4372143720ArgentinaBaked plum and berry aromas are lusty and jammy. In the mouth, this is tannic and the acidity is citric in character. Flavorwise, A Lisa is pumping out brawny berry flavors matched by lemony oak notes, and the finish is expansive, with blanketing tannic grip. This will show best in late 2014, after it's had more time to settle.A Lisa8822OtherRío Negro ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachBodega Noemía de Patagonia 2012 A Lisa Malbec (Río Negro Valley)MalbecBodega Noemía de Patagonia
4372243721ArgentinaHickory and other wood-based aromas and flavors dominate this Amarone-style blend. Amid all the smokiness there's cola and vanilla aromas and thick, heavy, meaty flavors of baked black fruits offset by toast, spice and chocolate. A sweet-tasting, jammy feeling finish closes the show.Enamore8826Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodega Renacer 2011 Enamore Red (Mendoza)Red BlendBodega Renacer
4372343722SpainA whiff of stewed berries comes across as raisin and prune on the nose of this jammy, ripe RDD. In the mouth, this is full and chewy, with chunky, earthy flavors of raisin and baked plum filtering into a minty, peppery finish that's jammy and smooth in feel. Drink before 2015.Aptus 6 Meses en Barrica8816Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachPeñalba Herraiz 2010 Aptus 6 Meses en Barrica (Ribera del Duero)Red BlendPeñalba Herraiz
4372443723FranceRoasted cherries, scorched earth, burnt coffee and dark brown sugar all mingle on the nose and palate of this wine. It's a bit rustic and old school, dusty and a bit dry on the finish. Try it in 2–3 years.Terroir d'Exception La Paillousse8845Rhône ValleyChâteauneuf-du-PapeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzPierre Amadieu 2010 Terroir d'Exception La Paillousse Red (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)Rhône-style Red BlendPierre Amadieu
4372543724USBrambly berry and wood notes lend complexity to the luscious cassis and black cherry flavors. It's intensely concentrated with fruit, but bright bursts of acidity and layers of fresh sage and thyme add balance, leading to a long, harmonious finish. Drink now–2020.8825New YorkNorth Fork of Long IslandLong IslandAnna Lee C. IijimaT'Jara 2010 Merlot (North Fork of Long Island)MerlotT'Jara
4372643725USAromas of fines herbes, chocolate and licorice follow through onto the medium- to full-bodied palate, which displays balanced acids and finessed tannins.Trinity8821VirginiaVirginiaVirginia Mountain Vineyards 2010 Trinity Red (Virginia)Bordeaux-style Red BlendVirginia Mountain Vineyards
4372743726USHints of milk chocolate and graham cracker lend a sweet-spice quality to crisp red-plum and sour-cherry flavors in this brisk but concentrated wine. It's vivaciously fresh with bursts of acidity and a pleasant herbaceousness throughout. It finishes moderately long with layers of soft, chalky tannins.Merliance8835New YorkLong IslandLong IslandAnna Lee C. IijimaLong Island Merlot Alliance 2010 Merliance Merlot (Long Island)MerlotLong Island Merlot Alliance
4372843727SpainA compact opening with reduced aromas of raisin and cassis sets up a plump, chunky palate with round, easygoing flavors of raisin, cassis and berry syrup. This is full, flashy and dark, but not particularly complex. Drink through 2015.Fusió8830CataloniaPrioratMichael Schachner@wineschachOnix 2011 Fusió Red (Priorat)Red BlendOnix
4372943728SpainLeathery aromas of earth and berry fruits are solid and round. This feels thick and jammy, with a resiny feel. Flavors of baked black fruits are ripe, chunky and chewy, while the finish is rich and a bit hot. Everyhting about this full-bodied RDD says warm year and drink now.Torre de Golbán Crianza8819Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachAtalayas de Golbán 2009 Torre de Golbán Crianza (Ribera del Duero)Tinto FinoAtalayas de Golbán
4373043729USPeach and cantaloupe notes fuse with tropical flower and blood orange on this Viognier's nose. Medium in body, this wine bears refreshing acidity and a persistent orange-flavored finish.8819VirginiaMonticelloWhite Hall 2012 Viognier (Monticello)ViognierWhite Hall
4373143730FranceThis medium-bodied wine combines grilled cherries with meaty, savory notes. It's not the biggest, baddest or boldest, but it is nicely harmonious and fruit-forward, with a long, mouthwatering finish. Drink it over the next year or two.Les Grès8815Rhône ValleyCostières de NîmesJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzDomaine de Poulvarel 2009 Les Grès Red (Costières de Nîmes)Rhône-style Red BlendDomaine de Poulvarel
4373243731FranceA delicately perfumed, full-feeling wine with bright spice and apricot and white peach fruits. It has hints of honey, almonds as well as crisp acidity that cuts through the natural ripeness of the wine. Drink from 2014.8816Southwest FranceJurançon SecRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Jolys 2012 Jurançon SecWhite BlendChâteau Jolys
4373343732USThis lovely Gewürztraminer is floral without being cloying, and carries the varietal marker often described as talcum powder. There's a hint of mint, and despite the 16 g/L residual sugar, it's crisp and fresh.8811WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Gewürztraminer (Columbia Valley (WA))GewürztraminerChateau Ste. Michelle
4373443733USThree quarters Sauvignon Blanc and the remaining Sémillon, this young and fresh wine has vivid citrus and grapefruit flavors leaning toward a hint of fresh cut pear. This is clean, crisp and leesy, with bracing acidity.Snowflake8816WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Davenport Cellars 2012 Snowflake Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon (Columbia Valley (WA))Sauvignon Blanc-SemillonDavenport Cellars
4373543734FranceRed fruit aromas, soft tannins and a warm feeling permeate this full, fruity wine. It has an open, generous texture, packed with cherry and red berry flavors and layered with acidity. The wine ends fresh and fruity with a touch of tannin.L'Enfer des Balloquets8820BeaujolaisBrouillyRoger Voss@vossrogerRobert Perroud 2012 L'Enfer des Balloquets (Brouilly)GamayRobert Perroud
4373643735USAged in equal parts new and neutral French oak along with stainless steel—the latter with no malolactic fermentation—this wine brings out notes of toast, straw and citrus. It has a thick mouth-feel while alternately delivering good concentration and length. It has a thick somewhat ponderous, lemony feel while alternately delivering good concentration and length. It doesn't quite feel entirely like Chardonnay but it's quite delicious.Celilo Vineyard8820WashingtonColumbia Gorge (WA)Washington OtherSean P. Sullivan@wawinereportSavage Grace 2012 Celilo Vineyard Chardonnay (Columbia Gorge (WA))ChardonnaySavage Grace
4373743736USAromas of cassis, dried flower and dill are accented by notes of turmeric and desiccated black fruit. Medium to full bodied, this blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon is juicy and supple, with some chalky tannins that add tension. Red fruit and espresso notes creep onto the midpalate, lending extra nuance.Winemaker's Select Bin #98838VirginiaVirginiaTarara 2010 Winemaker's Select Bin #9 Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon (Virginia)Merlot-Cabernet SauvignonTarara
4373843737USThis Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blend is a little rough in the mouth, with scoury bubbles. It's rich and ripe in raspberries, strawberries and limes, with a yeasty edge and plenty of acidity. Ready to drink now.Classic Vintage Brut8838CaliforniaGreen ValleySonomaIron Horse 2008 Classic Vintage Brut Sparkling (Green Valley)Sparkling BlendIron Horse
4373943738USThis Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine is 100% Chardonnay. It's a small production bubbly part of whose profits benefit National Geographic's ocean efforts. The wine is rich and savory in orange, lime and green apple flavors, with a yeasty edge from lees aging. The mouthfeel is scoury, so drink up.Ocean Reserve8845CaliforniaGreen ValleySonomaIron Horse 2008 Ocean Reserve Sparkling (Green Valley)Sparkling BlendIron Horse
4374043739USTake a blend of five Bordeaux grapes, toss in some Syrah, and voilà—you have your 2011 Bramble Bump Red. Smooth and silky, loaded with purple fruits set against a backdrop of licorice and dark chocolate, this delicious wine finishes with a burst of coffee.Bramble Bump Red8825WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine JM Cellars 2011 Bramble Bump Red Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Red BlendJM Cellars

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