Wine Reviews

46184617ItalyAmarone Capitel de' Roari delivers a crisp, lean expression that showcases Valpolicella winemaking tradition. The only out-of-place elements are the oak shadings that comes across as toasted nut, leather and dried tobacco.Capitel de' Roari8735VenetoAmarone della Valpolicella ClassicoLuigi Righetti 2007 Capitel de' Roari (Amarone della Valpolicella Classico)Corvina, Rondinella, MolinaraLuigi Righetti
46194618ItalyNew leather, pressed rose, violet, baking spice and crushed herb are just some of the aromas you'll find in this textbook Barolo. Firm yet loaded with finesse, the palate offers red cherry, strawberry compote, cinnamon and clove notes set against a backdrop of youthfully austere tannins and bright acidity. A licorice note lingers on the finish. Give it time to fully bloom. Drink 2023–2033.Cannubi9466PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeFrancesco Rinaldi 2013 Cannubi (Barolo)NebbioloFrancesco Rinaldi
46204619USQuite light in color, the aromas bring initially locked up but then broadly expansive notes of peat, green olive, white pepper, strawberry, Stargazer lilies, mineral and herb, showing a lot of complexity. The palate is textured, bringing a profound mixture of fruit and savory flavors that intertwine effortlessly on the long finish. It brings a sense of tension, texture and finesse that is completely captivating.La Paciencia Vineyard9475OregonWalla Walla Valley (OR)Oregon OtherSean P. Sullivan@wawinereportNo Girls 2014 La Paciencia Vineyard Grenache (Walla Walla Valley (OR))GrenacheNo Girls
45914590USShows the classy elegance of all Qupe's Syrahs, although it's thinner and rougher than the more expensive bottlings. Still, for the price, this wine is nicely dry and intricate in blackberry and crushed pepper flavors.8718CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastQupé 2008 Syrah (Central Coast)SyrahQupé
45924591USA bit thin and acidic, but charming for its dryness and firm tannins, which call for rich, marbled beef. The pepper-inspired blackberry and cassis flavors are fine. Not an ager, but will benefit from a few hours of decanting.York Creek8730CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherRidge 2008 York Creek Zinfandel (California)ZinfandelRidge
45934592USMade from 100% Syrah and aged in 100% new French oak, this wine is currently hard, astringent and oaky, with caramel, vanilla and buttered toast aromas and flavors. The actual Syrah itself is clean and pure in ripe blackberry jam. Might do something over the years, but probably best now, with a decant.Waxing Poetic8775CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherSanguis 2006 Waxing Poetic Syrah (California)SyrahSanguis
45944593ItalyAged in large oak casks, this fresh Ripasso makes good use of minimal wood intervention that comes forth as light spice and cinnamon. The core of this wine, however, consists of pulsing black fruit and mature cherry.8726VenetoValpolicella Superiore RipassoSanta Sofia 2007 Valpolicella Superiore RipassoCorvina, Rondinella, MolinaraSanta Sofia
45954594ItalyVigneti di Montegradella is a well-priced Valpolicella with more intensity and density than you'd expect. In fact, the wine offers determination and personality with enough natural extraction to pair with bean soup or barbecued hamburgers.Vigneti di Montegradella8714VenetoValpolicella Classico SuperioreSartori 2006 Vigneti di Montegradella (Valpolicella Classico Superiore)Corvina, Rondinella, MolinaraSartori
45964595USThis is a fresh, lively Pinot Noir for drinking now. It's elegantly silky and dry, with crisp acids and pure flavors of cherries, cola, spices and oak. A touch of oak adds smoky richness.8739CaliforniaArroyo SecoCentral CoastScott Family 2008 Pinot Noir (Arroyo Seco)Pinot NoirScott Family
45974596USGood price for a nicely complex Cabernet for drinking now. Dry and smooth in tannins, it shows ripe blackberry, cherry, licorice and herb flavors, with a kiss of oak.8722CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaSt. Francis 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma County)Cabernet SauvignonSt. Francis
45984597ItalyIn the past, Allegrini adopted a vocal stand against Ripasso (a middle ground wine between Amarone and Valpolicella) and for this reason Corte Giara Ripasso comes as a big surprise. Despite the controversy, this historic producer presents a very acceptable wine with pretty tones of sweet spice and bright berry.Corte Giara8720VenetoValpolicella RipassoAllegrini 2008 Corte Giara (Valpolicella Ripasso)Corvina, Rondinella, MolinaraAllegrini
45994598USA shade off the 2005, being leaner and more tannic, and more akin to the 2001. It's a dry, taut Cab, marked by a drying astringency accompanying the blackberry and mineral flavors. Drink now–2012.8740CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaArger-Martucci 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonArger-Martucci
46004599USThis 100% Viognier shows the variety's exotic side, with delicious tropical fruit, citrus, pear, melon, lychee and smoky oak flavors. It's a bit one-dimensional, but appeals for its fresh acids and richness.Saralee's Vineyard8730CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaArrowood 2008 Saralee's Vineyard Viognier (Russian River Valley)ViognierArrowood
46014600USHints of smoke and wet stone combine with sweet Granny Smith apple and stonefruit aromas on the nose of this inviting dry Riesling. Smoke seeps through on the palate as well, melding with brighter flavors like orange peel and underripe tangerine, making for a refreshing yet deeply compelling sip.Dry8716New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaAtwater 2008 Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes)RieslingAtwater
46024601USThough richly perfumed with rose petals and elderflower, the flowery aromatics are reined in by bright lemon and citrus peel notes. The palate is plush and rich with flavors evocative of earl grey tea served with rose petal jam, with a gentle acidity to keep things fresh.8717New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaAtwater 2008 Gewürztraminer (Finger Lakes)GewürztraminerAtwater
46034602USThe components of this wine are all over the place, with blackberry and currant fruit, 100% new oak, brisk tannins and acidity needing to come together for harmony. Whether or not they will is a guess. Right now it's rustic, but dry and complex enough to drink after a good decant.Law of Proportions8738CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherAutonom 2007 Law of Proportions Syrah (California)SyrahAutonom
46044603USQuite good and rich in jammy berry, cherry, cassis and oak flavors, but there's a certain obvious appeal that lacks complexity, and it's not what you expect from a wine of this reputation and price. This bottling has been falling off from the glories of the 1990s for some years now. A pity. Hopefully the trend will reverse. Production was 9,008 cases.Private Reserve87115CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaBeringer 2007 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonBeringer
46054604SpainRubbery and roasted, but not too much so. Otherwise one should look for medicinal berry aromas followed by flavors of baked plum, prune and black pepper. The finish is dense, a touch flat, and chocolaty; overall this is a chunky, sweet performer.878LevanteJumillaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Tarima 2009 Monastrell (Jumilla)MonastrellBodegas Tarima
46064605FranceA blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, this is another example of the fine values coming out of the Costières de Nîmes. It's a medium-bodied wine with a velvety texture and a fine balance between herbs and raspberry fruit on the one hand and dark berries and earth on the other. Drink it over the next 2–3 years.8712Rhône ValleyCostières de NîmesJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzChâteau Grande Cassagne 2008 Grenache-Syrah (Costières de Nîmes)Grenache-SyrahChâteau Grande Cassagne
46074606ChileA highly aromatic wine. Lychee is the prime scent along with white flowers, and the palate is oily but right, with lychee, ginger, spice and orange flavors. Plump but short on the finish, but clean as a whole. Very nice for Chilean Gewürz.Visión8713Casablanca ValleyCono Sur 2009 Visión Gewürztraminer (Casablanca Valley)GewürztraminerCono Sur
46084607ItalyA drying mineral note of slate or graphite runs through the middle of this plush and rich red Ripassato wine from Valpolicella. Background notes of spice and cherry cola come through as well, especially in the mouth where the wine boats a soft, compact feel. Pair this wine with lamb or light beef dishes.Podere Bertarole Ripassato8725VenetoValpolicella Classico SuperioreCorteforte 2007 Podere Bertarole Ripassato (Valpolicella Classico Superiore)Corvina, Rondinella, MolinaraCorteforte
46094608ItalyRipasso Cicilio shines bright with personality and freshness. This territory-driven wine boasts clean aromas of berry fruit, light shadings of spice and a touch of sweet cinnamon. It's easy, crisp mouthfeel washes clean over the palate.Cicilio8720VenetoValpolicella Classico Superiore RipassoDegani 2008 Cicilio (Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso)Corvina, Rondinella, MolinaraDegani
46104609USVery dense in the mouth and full-bodied, with a dry, soft feeling. Lots of toasty oak, too. Feels somewhat inert, but the delicious cherries, toast and spices make it a pleasant sipper.8732CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastDierberg 2007 Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley)SyrahDierberg
46114610FranceFrom the family behind Bosquet des Papes in Châteauneuf, this is a solid Côtes du Rhône, with modest tannins but decent structure and typical notes of leather, dried cherries, chocolate and cinnamon. Drink it over the next few years.8716Rhône ValleyCôtes du RhôneJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzDomaine Nicolas Boiron 2008 Red (Côtes du Rhône)Rhône-style Red BlendDomaine Nicolas Boiron
46124611SpainBeefy, stocky aromas also bring herb, tomato and berry notes. The palate is jumpy and slightly medicinal, with currant, tomato, herb and plum flavors running the show. Medium in size, with level tannins and a juicy, good overall feel to it.Baltos8717Northern SpainBierzoMichael Schachner@wineschachDominio de Tares 2007 Baltos Mencía (Bierzo)MencíaDominio de Tares
46134612SpainYellow-gold in color, with baked fruit, butterscotch, creamed corn and wood resin aromas. Forcefully oaked and massive in the mouth, with enough sporty acidity to prop up the woodspice, nutmeg and resiny flavors that render the fruit secondary. Much like chewing on an oak plank, structured and layered.Blanco8735Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachFinca Allende 2008 Blanco White (Rioja)White BlendFinca Allende
46144613SpainSlightly fiery and hot on the nose, but there's enough berry, cherry and dusty leather to keep it positive. The palate is more sheer and sharp than expected, with piercing raspberry, razor's edge acidity and only a touch of back-end sweetness. Juicy but short and searing.Ecològic8741CataloniaPrioratMichael Schachner@wineschachGenium Celler 2006 Ecològic Red (Priorat)Red BlendGenium Celler
46154614USThis late-release Riesling from Seneca Lake wafts with the delicate perfume of sweet peas, ripe stonefruits and a petrol undertone. Dry, but with a touch of white peach sweetness, refreshing lime juice flavors and a high toned acidity keep this wine refreshing and brisk.Oughterson Family Estates8713New YorkSeneca LakeFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaHighland Cellars 2007 Oughterson Family Estates Riesling (Seneca Lake)RieslingHighland Cellars
46164615USDry and refreshing with clean, pure notes of white peach, orange blossoms and petrol on the nose and palate, this shows off Riesling's pristine side. A splash of tart, underripe starfruit and fresh limes on the palate combine with a brisk acidity and wet stone minerality, giving this wine an invigorating feel.Falling Man Vineyard Dry8718New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaKeuka Lake Vineyards 2008 Falling Man Vineyard Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes)RieslingKeuka Lake Vineyards
46174616ChileA lively, surprising bargain made from Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. That it costs merely $8 makes the melon and apple aromas and flavors all the better. Citrusy as it evolves, and clean throughout, with no wavering. A very nice white quaffing wine.Viognier-Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay878Lontué ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachKorta 2009 Viognier-Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay White (Lontué Valley)White BlendKorta

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