Wine Reviews

4569145690FranceClos Windsbuhl in Hunawihr is the northernmost of Zind-Humbrecht's collection of vineyards. In 2012, it has produced an impressive wine that has all the right spice of Pinot Gris along with acidity and a fresh edge. That gives this rich wine a great lift, with a waft of pear to go with the yellow-fruit flavors. Drink from 2016.Clos Windsbuhl Hunawihr9280AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Zind-Humbrecht 2012 Clos Windsbuhl Hunawihr Pinot Gris (Alsace)Pinot GrisDomaine Zind-Humbrecht
4569245691USThere is a deeply sanguine sense to the nose of this appellation blend by the Buellton-based winery, with bloody meats and graphite giving way to ripe raspberry fruit, brown spices and chopped herbs. It's very spicy once sipped, with black pepper, mocha and red fruits upholding more iron and pencil-shaving flavors on the palate.9244CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannDragonette 2012 Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirDragonette
4569345692USOne of the winery's tasty bottlings that are odes to Bill Foley's Texas ranch roots, this offers aromas of crushed chalk, fresh apple blossoms and a ruby-red grapefruit peel tartness. The flavors surround a very clean line of lemon juice and lime pith, with more chalk, ripe apples and brisk nectarine. It's still tight and will age well.JA Ranch9245CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannFoley 2012 JA Ranch Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills)ChardonnayFoley
4569445693GermanyLavishly perfumed with hints of honeysuckle, musk melon and pear, this animated Riesling exhilarates the senses. Juicy and fresh with pristine stone-fruit flavor, it glides effortlessly yet endlessly on the palate. Enjoy now for its gorgeous perfume, but save a few bottles through 2020 to let the stately elegance shine through.Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Spätlese9244MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaFritz Haag 2013 Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Spätlese Riesling (Mosel)RieslingFritz Haag
4569545694USA Merlot-based blend with accompanying components of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, this estate-grown wine excels in its subdued, smoky and toasty oak surrounded by juicy blackberry and a hint of graphite and leather. Textured and structured, it needs time, and will be happy in the cellar through 2026.Elevage9295CaliforniaStags Leap DistrictNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneChimney Rock 2011 Elevage Red (Stags Leap District)Bordeaux-style Red BlendChimney Rock
4569645695USSaitone is a supremely historic vineyard, planted originally in 1895 in the thick of the Russian River Valley's Olivet Bench, a coveted spot these days for Pinot Noir. The wine offers supple, soft tannins around a juicy intensity of grenadine and berry crumble. The structured backbone of minerality is remarkable.Saitone Vineyard Olivet Bench9245CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneDe Loach 2012 Saitone Vineyard Olivet Bench Zinfandel (Russian River Valley)ZinfandelDe Loach
4569745696FranceThis medium-sweet wine shows the weight of the clay soils in the vineyard. It's rich, full of spice with a touch of honey as well as lychee and pomegranate. The wine is ready to drink, although it will be better from 2016.Rosenberg9227AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Barmès-Buecher 2012 Rosenberg Gewurztraminer (Alsace)GewürztraminerDomaine Barmès-Buecher
4569845697FranceThis is an intensely spicy wine, full of lychee and peppered pineapple flavors. It's rich, also showing a strong mineral texture. Medium sweet in style, it is packed with ripe fruit with a touch of honey. The aftertaste shows a fresher side. Drink from 2016.Sonnenglanz Grand Cru9246AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Bott-Geyl 2012 Sonnenglanz Grand Cru Pinot Gris (Alsace)Pinot GrisDomaine Bott-Geyl
4569945698FranceGold in color, this beautiful wine combines intense spice and fruit with a fresh, mineral character. It is off dry, hinting almost at honey and botrytis. The acidity brings out all the complex textures and flavors. Drink from 2016.Rangen de Thann Grand Cru Clos Saint-Théobald9254AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Schoffit 2013 Rangen de Thann Grand Cru Clos Saint-Théobald Gewurztraminer (Alsace)GewürztraminerDomaine Schoffit
4570045699FranceSituated in Turckheim just below the Brand Grand Cru vineyard, Heimbourg is a great vineyard for Gewurztraminer. This wine is dense, rich, poised and balanced. The intense fruitiness is balanced by the structure and a crisp edge to its sweetness. Drink from 2017.Heimbourg9260AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Zind-Humbrecht 2012 Heimbourg Gewurztraminer (Alsace)GewürztraminerDomaine Zind-Humbrecht
4570145700USThis powerful blend of 23% Malbec, 20% Carmenere, 20% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 7% Petite Verdot delivers layered aromas of olallieberry, grape candy, sage, anise and lava rocks. Purple fruits dominate the palate, with complexity provided by creosote and violets, along with ample tannins and acidity.Reconciliation9275CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannDubost 2010 Reconciliation Red (Paso Robles)Red BlendDubost
4570245701FranceCaramel aromas lead to a wine that is soft, ripe and rich. It has sweetness, a generous texture and ripe spicy fruits. Tantalizing hints of honey go with the smooth yellow fruits and opulent character. It's still young for a wine of this stature, so drink from 2017.Pfersigberg Grand Cru9259AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerEmile Beyer 2013 Pfersigberg Grand Cru Gewurztraminer (Alsace)GewürztraminerEmile Beyer
4570345702ItalyLicorice, dark berry, toast and orange-peel aromas take shape in the glass and carry over to the palate, along with grilled herb, mocha and cinnamon. Firm, polished tannins provide balance and support while a mineral vein drives the finish.Cavanera Rovo delle Coturnie Rosso9238Sicily & SardiniaEtnaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeFirriato 2010 Cavanera Rovo delle Coturnie Rosso (Etna)Red BlendFirriato
4570445703USDark golden-yellow, this opens with inviting notes of toasted caramel. It remains bright in citrus on the palate, getting riper and steamier as it goes, developing deeper, richer flavors of preserved lemon and baked pear. From the winery's estate, this is a small-production wine well worth seeking.Estate Elevage9239CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneFog Crest 2012 Estate Elevage Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayFog Crest
4570545704GermanyThe best Mosel Rieslings of the difficult 2013 vintage all juxtapose plump, luscious yellow fruit against spine-tingling acidity. Dancing and delicate, this is a classic example of the style. It seems demure in stature, yet packs a punch of complexity and flavor from start to finish.Brauneberger Juffer Spätlese9238MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaFritz Haag 2013 Brauneberger Juffer Spätlese Riesling (Mosel)RieslingFritz Haag
4570645705ItalyAromas recall ripe berry and blue flower with a balsamic note. The structured but seemingly weightless palate delivers layers of ripe raspberry, juicy dark cherry, clove and licorice alongside firm, fine-grained tannins. An intense mineral note signals the close. Drink 2017–2027.San Lorenzo Rosso9258Sicily & SardiniaEtnaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeGirolamo Russo 2012 San Lorenzo Rosso (Etna)Red BlendGirolamo Russo
4570745706ItalyNamed after Etna's most infamous eruption that lasted for 10 years, this elegant wine offers aromas of rose, violet and red berry. The silky, subtle palate delivers wild cherry, raspberry and white pepper flavors alongside supple tannins. Drink through 2018.Eruzione 16149234Sicily & SardiniaSiciliaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefePlaneta 2012 Eruzione 1614 Nerello Mascalese (Sicilia)Nerello MascalesePlaneta
4570845707USThis is both intense and rarified. The intensity shows in the deep garnet color, the concentrated berry fruit, and the depth of flavor. The acidity elevates it further, lending sharp details and further brightness.Passiflora9255OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Antiquum Farm 2012 Passiflora Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirAntiquum Farm
4570945708ItalyVery pretty aromas suggest lychee, Spanish broom, Mediterranean brush and a balsamic sensation. The linear palate delivers nectarine, creamy green apple and savory herb while edgy acidity generates a crisp, clean finish. It closes on an energized mineral note.Bianco Superiore9223Sicily & SardiniaEtnaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBarone di Villagrande 2013 Bianco Superiore (Etna)White BlendBarone di Villagrande
4571045709ItalyAt age 20, this fantastic wine proves the serious aging potential of top Etna Biancos. Boasting intriguing depth and complexity, it delivers layers of lemon drop, dried apricot, ginger, dried Mediterranean herb and star anise with an intriguing balsamic note and a mineral-driven finish.Pietramarina Bianco Superiore92195Sicily & SardiniaEtnaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBenanti 1994 Pietramarina Bianco Superiore (Etna)CarricanteBenanti
4571145710ItalyStill remarkably fresh, this polished, structured wine is loaded with finesse, delivering layers of dark cherry, crushed raspberry, Mediterranean herb, tobacco and licorice sensations. Velvety tannins provide framework for the juicy palate.Krasi Riserva Rosso9259Sicily & SardiniaEtnaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCantine Russo 2007 Krasi Riserva Rosso (Etna)Red BlendCantine Russo
4571245711USSanta Barbara-raised Steve Gerbac makes a winning white wine with aromas of scorched lemons, browned butter and vanilla, sliced down the middle with white rock minerality. Broad, oak-driven flavors at the tip of the palate quickly tighten into a line of lime zest acidity that lingers, with white pepper and chamomile spices emerging in the midpalate.Reserve9232CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannRusack 2013 Reserve Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley)ChardonnayRusack
4571345712ArgentinaStout aromas of ripe blackberry and cassis come with mocha and dry spice notes on the nose of this Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon blend. A firm mouthfeel with grinding tannins is a good set up to oaky, ripe berry flavors accented by wood grain, cocoa and cinnamon notes. Plenty of oak graces a long, ripe, solid finish. Drink through 2018.Gran Vu Blend92120Mendoza ProvinceUco ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSalentein 2011 Gran Vu Blend Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon (Uco Valley)Malbec-Cabernet SauvignonSalentein
4571445713USBright aromas of raspberry and dried rose petals highlight this wine from the southwestern corner of the county, along with black tea, sage and shiitake mushrooms. The flavors are supple and elegant, with light strawberry, pencil shavings and sagebrush making for a fun, energetic wine that really lets the vineyard shine.Reserve9240CaliforniaSanta Clara ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannSarah's Vineyard 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir (Santa Clara Valley)Pinot NoirSarah's Vineyard
4571545714USFrom this particular block all the vines are the Pommard clone, which keeps it distinctive from the other Shea cuvées. Smooth, silky, slightly smoky and showing a supple mouthfeel, this mixes brambly berry, nougat and caramel notes, with a finishing flourish of toasted hazelnuts.Block 239260OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Shea 2012 Block 23 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirShea
4571645715USAustria-trained, Santa Barbara County-based winemaker Graham Tatomer is causing a Riesling renaissance, thanks to wines like this with aromas of orange blossom, citrus rinds and hints of gasoline. With flavors of toasted nuts, lemon juice, tangerine pith and chalky grip, this is a great canvas for cellar aging to paint a remarkable wine. Drink 2018–2030.Vandenberg9225CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannTatomer 2012 Vandenberg Riesling (Santa Barbara County)RieslingTatomer
4571745716ItalyDelicate aromas of perfumed berry, underbrush, anise and Mediterranean herb come together in the glass. The palate offers wild cherry, raspberry, toasted oak and vanilla alongside tightly knit, fine-grained tannins. It ends on a licorice note. Drink 2016–2022.Feudo di Mezzo Rosso9240Sicily & SardiniaEtnaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTenuta delle Terre Nere 2012 Feudo di Mezzo Rosso (Etna)Red BlendTenuta delle Terre Nere
4571845717ItalyThis elegant, full-bodied red opens with a lovely fragrance of red berry and violet. The juicy palate doles out crushed wild cherry, mocha, grilled sage and cake spice alongside firm, polished tannins and fresh acidity. Drink 2015–2025.Musmeci Riserva9250Sicily & SardiniaEtnaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTenuta di Fessina 2010 Musmeci Riserva (Etna)Red BlendTenuta di Fessina
4571945718New ZealandSmoke and custard notes accent scents of wet stone and citrus, while the palate delivers white peach, lime and vanilla flavors. This is plump and full in the mouth, yet still finishes with mouthwatering precision.Coddington9245KumeuJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzKumeu River 2012 Coddington Chardonnay (Kumeu)ChardonnayKumeu River
4572045719USFrom the Frediani Vineyard, this is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Cabernet Franc. Perfumed in lavender and a grip of blackberry jam, it also imparts characteristics of plum and clove, allowing both varieties to speak. Smooth on the finish, it's robustly full bodied and fleshy to the end.Integrity90100CaliforniaCalistogaNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneVermeil 2013 Integrity Red (Calistoga)Red BlendVermeil

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