Wine Reviews


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4518245181USFrom 10-year-old vines at a vineyard in the foothills of the Blue Mountains east of town, this is a lush and loamy Syrah, smelling and tasting of moist earth, game and blood. There are some roasted tomato flavors along with light red fruits, but this is no wimpy wine; in fact, it gathers strength and concentration as it sits in the mouth, suggesting that it needs more years in the bottle to fully emerge from its shell.Forgotten Hills Vineyard9040WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Waters 2006 Forgotten Hills Vineyard Syrah (Walla Walla Valley (WA))SyrahWaters
4518345182ItalyCampo del Drago is an intense and expertly extracted wine with plush layers of cherry, spice, coffee and chocolate fudge. The mouthfeel is smooth, supple and this wine would pair with all red meat dishes.Campo del Drago90TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoCastiglion del Bosco 2003 Campo del Drago (Brunello di Montalcino)Sangiovese GrossoCastiglion del Bosco
4518445183ItalyThis lively Vino Nobile hits all the right chords. The wine is vibrant and fresh but it's sophisticated and complex at the same time. Fruit-forward aromas include succulent cherry, white almond and sweet spice. The structure is firm, smooth but powerful.90TuscanyVino Nobile di MontepulcianoDei 2004 Vino Nobile di MontepulcianoPrugnolo GentileDei
4518545184FranceOpen and soft, with rich, attractive flavors of caramel, milk custard and peaches. There is ripeness in abundance, followed by great intensity of flavor. Subtle wood underlies the wine.9038BurgundyMâcon-VerzeRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Leflaive 2006 Mâcon-VerzeChardonnayDomaine Leflaive
4518645185ItalyThis special vineyard selection offers depth and personality in the form of black stone, granite, balsam, cola, mature blackberry and background renderings of spice and toast. It's among the most flavor-rich Brunellos of the vintage with pretty tones of cherry fruit and chewy density.Piancornello90TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoPianCornello 2003 Piancornello (Brunello di Montalcino)Sangiovese GrossoPianCornello
4518745186USLots of new, smoky oak stands out on this polished Cab. Give it a little time in a decanter before you drink, as it pulls together, becoming more powerful and accenting the blackberry and cherry flavors. Should develop for a decade.Cask9075CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaRubicon Estate 2005 Cask Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonRubicon Estate
4518845187AustriaWith its light touch and fresh acidity over the delicate honey flavors, this is an immediately delicious dessert wine that doesn't dominate by knock-out richness, but by its finesse. Acidity goes hand in hand with the ripe pineapple and peach flavors. Worth aging, maybe 4–5 years. Glass stopper.Undhof Auslese9035KremstalRoger Voss@vossrogerSalomon-Undhof 2007 Undhof Auslese Riesling (Kremstal)RieslingSalomon-Undhof
4518945188USComplex and rich, with a wealth of black currant, blackberry and cedar flavors wrapped into softly firm tannins. There's an herbal quality that makes the wine suited to stews and casseroles. Drink now through 2011.Usibelli Vineyard9033CaliforniaRutherfordNapaSanctuary 2005 Usibelli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford)Cabernet SauvignonSanctuary
4518145180USRipe and direct in cherry, currant, anise and cola flavors, this Pinot Noir has a brisk mouthfeel due to crisp acidity. Could be more full-bodied, but it's a nice glassful of red wine.Saralee's Vineyard9042CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaLost Canyon 2007 Saralee's Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirLost Canyon
4519045189ItalyThis bold Cabernet Sauvignon from Tuscany offers thick layers of chocolate folded within equally thick layers of black cherry. The wine is dense and rich with smooth tannins and a succulent, chewy finish. Drink it with grilled meats marinated in olive oil, garlic and rosemary.90TuscanyToscanaTenuta di Trecciano 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (Toscana)Cabernet SauvignonTenuta di Trecciano
4519145190ItalyThis is a gorgeous Brunello that proudly defies the difficulties associated with this hot vintage. The wine exhibits freshness and buoyancy in the form of crisp cherry and blueberry. It also offers deep layers of cola, coffee and mineral and although the mouthfeel is chewy, there's enough silky softness to even it out.9060TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoTenuta La Fuga 2003 Brunello di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoTenuta La Fuga
4519245191USPretty astringent in young tannins now, this Syrah has a tough, lockdown quality that suggests aging. You could have it with beef and barbecue, but it really wants three or four years of cellaring to start to mellow and show off the black currants and cherries.Great Oak Vineyard9038CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaJoseph Swan Vineyards 2005 Great Oak Vineyard Syrah (Russian River Valley)SyrahJoseph Swan Vineyards
4519345192ChileDark, dense and very modern in style, with captivating aromas and obvious richness. At 14.5%, this is big, New World Pinot Noir. But its flavors of black cherry, raspberry and cola nut are elevated and brush up against world class. With a cool finish, steady acidity and tannins, and fine purity, Alazan ranks as one of South America's few top-tier Pinot Noirs.Alazan9030Casablanca ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachKingston Family 2007 Alazan Pinot Noir (Casablanca Valley)Pinot NoirKingston Family
4519445193FranceThe relatively unknown Côte de Léchet vineyard is on the southern bank of the Serein river, which gives it a cool exposure. The result in 2006 is a wine that is light, delicate, floating on fresh green fruits and honeyed toast. It needs food, with its crisp, fine finish.Côte de Léchet Premier Cru9030BurgundyChablisRoger Voss@vossrogerLa Chablisienne 2006 Côte de Léchet Premier Cru (Chablis)ChardonnayLa Chablisienne
4519545194USAggressively tannic, this is an earthy red wine with a lot of barrel influence. The fruit vanishes into a mélange of pepper, clove, coffee and tannin.Low Man8433WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Northwest Totem Cellars 2007 Low Man Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Red BlendNorthwest Totem Cellars
4519645195ItalyThere's a beefy, meaty element on the nose that is not completely masked by the sweet nature of the fruit and cherry aromas also present. The wine's texture is thick and slightly gritty.Cerretello84TuscanyChianti SuperiorePieve de' Pitti 2007 Cerretello (Chianti Superiore)SangiovesePieve de' Pitti
4519745196USTropical on the nose with lots of melon, guava and pineapple, this is reminiscent of fruit cocktail on both the nose and palate. Despite it's juicy profile, however, it lacks in intensity, but a clean minerality and bright, citrusy acidity keep it refreshing.8419New YorkNorth Fork of Long IslandLong IslandAnna Lee C. IijimaPalmer 2009 Sauvignon Blanc (North Fork of Long Island)Sauvignon BlancPalmer
4519845197IsraelConcentrated and rich with strong kirsch and raspberry jam flavors that fill the medium-weight mouth. A touch of spice appears on the close, but otherwise this is a straightforward and easygoing quaff.Yarden Kosher8425GalileeLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzGolan Heights Winery 2005 Yarden Kosher Syrah (Galilee)SyrahGolan Heights Winery
4519945198SpainLight on fruit but loaded with mocha and milk chocolate aromas. The palate is lean to average in feel and lightly stewed tasting, with creamy, soupy red berry flavors as the backdrop. Finishes with a persistent baked flavor and a final dollop of milk chocolate.Reserva8411Central SpainValdepeñasMichael Schachner@wineschachViña Albali 2006 Reserva Red (Valdepeñas)Tempranillo BlendViña Albali
4520045199ChileThe nose delivers solid, generally clean berry aromas with lift. The palate is bouncy, shows decent acidity, and bumps along while offering standard red berry flavors in front of a light, medicinal finish. Good everyday Cab for the price.847Central ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachPepperwood Grove 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Central Valley)Cabernet SauvignonPepperwood Grove
4520145200ChileRubber and earth aromas lead to a mix of berry fruit scents and a pinch of vinegar. It's firm in the mouth, with cranberry and herbal raspberry flavors. Gives about as much as it can but at the same time it shows a tart, basic, mildly herbal DNA.Selected Terroir8410Maipo ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Ema 2009 Selected Terroir Cabernet Sauvignon (Maipo Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSanta Ema
4520245201PortugalSmoky, meaty aromas, with bacon flavors, bitter coffee and spice. It is rustic, its texture ragged around the edge. A wine that demands spicy barbecue food.Tinto8413AlgarveRoger Voss@vossrogerPaxá Wines 2009 Tinto Red (Algarve)Portuguese RedPaxá Wines
4520345202SpainSmells like air freshener and white flowers. The palate is spongey and a bit low on life, while the flavors lean toward citrus but lack purity and zap, which is further drilled in on the waxy finish. Once upon a time Basa was a leading white value from Spain; lately it has been average at best.Basa Blanco8415Northern SpainRuedaMichael Schachner@wineschachTelmo Rodríguez 2009 Basa Blanco White (Rueda)White BlendTelmo Rodríguez
4520445203FranceBerry fruits and very soft tannins mark this wine. It has a green pepper edge to it, allied to high acidity. Drink within two years.84BordeauxBordeaux SupérieurRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Grand Rolland 2008 Bordeaux SupérieurBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Grand Rolland
4520545204USSo acidic, it's almost sour, and the cherry and cranberry fruit isn't rich enough to offset that tartness. As a result, it feels unbalanced and uncomfortable.HMR Estate Vineyard8435CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastAdelaida 2008 HMR Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (Paso Robles)Pinot NoirAdelaida
4520645205SpainThis is an unusual white blend from Mallorca that uses the native Premsal grape along with 15% Muscat. It smells a little funky and sweaty, and while the feel is angular the palate isn't bad. Tastes sort of fruitless, with a bit of green melon. O.K. for a weird wine, but it's hollow and short on flavor.Quíbia8415Spanish IslandsVi de la Terra MallorcaMichael Schachner@wineschachÀnima Negra 2009 Quíbia White (Vi de la Terra Mallorca)White BlendÀnima Negra
4520745206USA very light Syrah, with pleasant watermelon and raspberry fruit, that hangs in there until the fairly soft tannins take over.Rivers Bend Vineyard8428WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Lake Chelan 2008 Rivers Bend Vineyard Syrah (Columbia Valley (WA))SyrahLake Chelan
4520845207USAn off-dry blend of Viognier, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Riesling, this has a full midpalate with plenty of peach and apricot fruit. From there it stays simple and slightly sweet right through the finish.Stormy Mountain White8418WashingtonLake ChelanColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Lake Chelan 2009 Stormy Mountain White White (Lake Chelan)White BlendLake Chelan
4520945208New ZealandThis starts off nicely enough, with hints of cherries, rose petals and cedar, but the promise isn't quite fulfilled on the palate, which is lightweight and simple, with cedar- and coffee-tinged oak gradually taking over.8434Central OtagoJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzMaude 2008 Pinot Noir (Central Otago)Pinot NoirMaude
4521045209USFreshly squeezed lemons, lime and pretty white florals perfume this dry, medium-bodied Pinot Grigio. The palate is clean with juicy white grapefruit flavors and some interesting minerality, but it's a bit lacking in concentration.8416North CarolinaSwan CreekAnna Lee C. IijimaRaffaldini 2009 Pinot Grigio (Swan Creek)Pinot GrigioRaffaldini

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