Wine Reviews

4920149200FranceVery firm tannins coming from ripe black fruits give this structured wine, produced by the winemaking team from Château Montrose, a solid, dense feel. The core of dryness is surrounded by rich fruits and bright acidity. The wine presents the possibility of good aging; drink from 2018.92BordeauxSaint-EstèpheRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Tronquoy-Lalande 2011 Saint-EstèpheBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Tronquoy-Lalande
4920249201AustriaSubtle notes of white currant, lime peel and Conference pear mingle on nose and palate, framed by a linear, tight and toned body. This comes across as elegant, straight-backed and poised, showing off breeding and refinement. Refreshing, pure and very long.Alte Reben Weisser Burgunder9237NiederösterreichAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoEbner-Ebenauer 2012 Alte Reben Weisser Burgunder Weissburgunder (Niederösterreich)WeissburgunderEbner-Ebenauer
4920349202USDrinking at its prime, the Isabella blends 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Malbec and 11% Petit Verdot. Muscular and solid, the fruit flavors of cherry and plum are framed with ripe tannins. Accents of toasted walnuts, coffee and cream complete a thoroughly satisfying finish.Isabella9238WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Elsom Cellars 2009 Isabella Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Red BlendElsom Cellars
4920449203USA long-time producer of great Chardonnay, Flora Springs hits a new level with this reserve commemorative bottling. The wine is spectacularly rich in tropical fruits, green apples and limes, with elaborate buttered toast and vanilla flavors from new oak, and a wonderfully creamy, leesy complexity.Flora's Legacy9270CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaFlora Springs 2012 Flora's Legacy Chardonnay (Napa Valley)ChardonnayFlora Springs
4920549204USThis is Londer Vineyard fruit though the vineyard is no longer a designation of its own. Still, like vintages past, Fulcrum has worked its magic with the long-coveted spot, crafting an herbal, savory Pinot that's mouth-filling in blueberry fruit. Voluptuously soft, this is a great wine for the table, perhaps paired with a pork roast dripping in mushrooms.9254CaliforniaAnderson ValleyVirginie Boone@vbooneFulcrum 2011 Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley)Pinot NoirFulcrum
4920649205USA single-vineyard Sangiovese made Chianti-style, meaning it's dry as dust with pronounced acidity. Pretty rich in flavor, though, with a ripe streak of cherries and sweet chocolate. Dry, dusty tannins kick in in the finish.Alegria Vineyards8716CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaAcorn 2000 Alegria Vineyards Sangiovese (Russian River Valley)SangioveseAcorn
4920749206USThis Gallo brand exploits extensive new Pinot plantings in the appellation to produce a wine that's clean and correct, rather than exciting. The flavors range from cranberries to black cherries, and the tannins are silky. Will improve with a year or so in the cellar.8724CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaFrei Brothers 2001 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirFrei Brothers
4920849207USThis is tasty stuff, not only because it has the prettiest lemon and lime tastes, but the crisp acidity makes it lively on the palate. It's dryish, with a honeyed, ripe sweetness that lasts long into the finish.Estate Grown & Bottled8711CaliforniaMonterey CountyCentral CoastLockwood 2000 Estate Grown & Bottled Sauvignon Blanc (Monterey County)Sauvignon BlancLockwood
4920949208ItalyStarts off with fresh but simple aromas of apple wedges, greens and limes, but shows altogether more interesting flavors—the apple and citrus are complemented by hints of oil or shale. Turns minerally on the finish.8713Northeastern ItalyFriuli GraveJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzBanear 2001 Pinot Grigio (Friuli Grave)Pinot GrigioBanear
4921049209ChileSmooth and richly aromatic, with pear and apple notes to go with the full allotment of oak and butter. This is Bisquertt's attempt at a top-shelf Chard, and it isn't a bad effort. The palate deals plenty of pear and mango flavors, while the finish is warm and oaky. Well made, yet a bit flat. Drink this year for best results. Best Buy.Estate Bottled Reserve8712Colchagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachChâteau La Joya 2001 Estate Bottled Reserve Chardonnay (Colchagua Valley)ChardonnayChâteau La Joya
4921149210ItalyThis blended white combines Tocai Friulano (60%) with Pinot Bianco (25%) and Pinot Grigio (15%) in a tasty, corpulent wine well worth its modest price. Bold flavors of oranges, pink grapefruits and ripe cherries mingle in the mouth; the only quibble is that it finishes a little short.Pino & Toi8710VenetoVenetoJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzMaculan 2002 Pino & Toi White (Veneto)White BlendMaculan
4921249211ChileThe nose is a tiny bit pickled, probably a sign of American oak, but there's also raspberry and garden-like freshness. The palate is ripe and juicy, with plenty of sweetness. As a whole it's tasty, balanced and expressive. For a day-to-day Cabernet, this one is recommended.877Central ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachMorandé 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon (Central Valley)Cabernet SauvignonMorandé
4921349212ChileThe bouquet kicks up hints of graham cracker, iodine and earth. The mouth is fat and broad, with a goodly amount of typical plum and cherry flavors. The finish is simple yet clean, with tight tannins and moderate length. Good and well made; a wine for everyday consumption.Reserve8714Maipo ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Ema 2001 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Maipo Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSanta Ema
4921449213USThe Cherryblock Cabs seem to share a common minty characteristic that's particularly noticeable in this vintage. There's also a decent amount of cassis, earth and tobacco, and the finish remains firmly tannic. Drink or hold.Cherryblock87120CaliforniaSonoma ValleySonomaSebastiani 1992 Cherryblock Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSebastiani
4921549214USPlenty of flavor, with tastes of black raspberry jam, cherry, tobacco and pepper. Has a nice texture, satiny and velvety, with good acidity. Straddles the border between simple and complex, but it's certainly tasty with a good, long finish.Bien Nacido Vineyard8733CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastBenziger 2000 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley)Pinot NoirBenziger
4921649215ItalyFrom one sniff, you know this is Gewürz, its rose-petal and lychee aromas erupting out of the glass. But the flavors are less expansive, picking up notes of peppery spice on the finish.Lunare8743Northeastern ItalyAlto AdigeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzCantina Terlano 2001 Lunare Gewürztraminer (Alto Adige)GewürztraminerCantina Terlano
4921749216ItalyA full, rich, concentrated wine, with fat, ripe fruit and a touch of acidity. Big and powerful, it has a fresh, clean aftertaste.8713Northeastern ItalyAlto AdigeRoger Voss@vossrogerCantina Tramin 2002 Pinot Bianco (Alto Adige)Pinot BiancoCantina Tramin
4921849217ChileOpens with lofty, airy aromas of flowers and pears, and then in the mouth comes a full rush of grapefruit and orange pith. Finishes nicely, tasting of tangerine with hints of licorice and tarragon. In terms of mouthfeel, it's a plump, medium-acid wine, so drink it now. Best Buy.878Maule ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachCasa Julia 2001 Sauvignon Blanc (Maule Valley)Sauvignon BlancCasa Julia
4921949218ItalyFrom what is claimed to be the highest vineyard in Europe, at 3,000 feet, comes this surprisingly ripe, full-flavored Müller-Thurgau, with soft acidity and a fine, crisp, green finish.Feldmarschall von Fenner8727Northeastern ItalyAlto AdigeRoger Voss@vossrogerTiefenbrunner 2002 Feldmarschall von Fenner Müller-Thurgau (Alto Adige)Müller-ThurgauTiefenbrunner
4922049219ItalyA single-vineyard Sangiovese from Piccini's top estate, Poggio Teo offers up aromas of black tea and anise balanced by flavors of black fruit. It's smooth in the mouth, but not particularly lush, finishing with plenty of juicy acidity.Poggio Teo8720TuscanyChianti ClassicoJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzValiano 1999 Poggio Teo (Chianti Classico)SangioveseValiano
4922149220ItalyThis sleek, easy-to-drink wine starts off with aromas of plum and lack cherry allied to subtle scents of sandalwood. The wood continues on the palate, but just as an accent—the emphasis is on the fruit.8715TuscanyChianti ClassicoValiano 2001 Chianti ClassicoSangioveseValiano
4922249221ItalyAn intense, herbaceous wine that also manages to be light. Acidity and green fruits keep the poise and the freshness, while the flavors of green plums and gooseberries are balanced with some structure.8722Northeastern ItalyCollioRoger Voss@vossrogerVilla Russiz 2002 Sauvignon Blanc (Collio)Sauvignon BlancVilla Russiz
4922349222ChileWoody aromas smell much like warm cedar, and that's backed up by some nice cherry and cassis. There's plenty of pleasant red fruit on the palate, and not a hint of green. Some chocolaty earthiness makes it all the more cheerful. It's an easy drinker that delivers solid Cab character without a lot of fuss and heavy extraction.Reserve8716Rapel ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachViña Casas del Bosque 2001 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Rapel Valley)Cabernet SauvignonViña Casas del Bosque
4922449223PortugalWith its flamboyant aromas of oranges, tangerines and apricots, this screams “Muscat” at the top of its lungs. The plump flavors of tropical and citrus fruits make it easy to like and easy to drink. Great as an apéritif.Muscat of Alexandria8710Terras do SadoJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzJoão Pires 2001 Muscat of Alexandria Muscat (Terras do Sado)MuscatJoão Pires
4922549224ChileThis is a late release, but it's in good shape. The nose is earthy and dense, with just a nip of wet fur and forest floor. The palate is all about sweet berries and ripeness, while the finish is warm and lengthy. It's solid and without any obvious flaws even if it doesn't thump its chest and overwhelm you.Estate Reserve8710Colchagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachLa Playa 1999 Estate Reserve Merlot (Colchagua Valley)MerlotLa Playa
4922649225ItalyInviting aromas of butter, almond and citrus open into a rich, thickly textured wine studded with peach, almond butter and citrus pith. The slightly bitter notes echo through the finish, providing a welcome sense of balance to round mouthfeel and fatty flavors.878Northeastern ItalyDelle VenezieJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzLagaria 2001 Chardonnay (Delle Venezie)ChardonnayLagaria
4922749226ItalyNot a typically fruity Grigio, this one relies more on spices and minerals to make a palate impression. Hints of almond and dried cinnamon start things off, followed by stony, mineral flavors backed by pears and allspice.8711Northeastern ItalyFriuli GraveJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzVilla Carra 2001 Pinot Grigio (Friuli Grave)Pinot GrigioVilla Carra
4922849227USA pleasant wine, with mild melon, mineral, citrus, peach and herb flavors. Light textured, medium bodied and quite refreshing. Clean on the finish.8713CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaChateau St. Jean 2001 Fumé Blanc (Sonoma County)Fumé BlancChateau St. Jean
4922949228ChileConcha y Toro is making a big, burly Merlot for this line and it should have mass appeal given how rich, extracted and oaky it is. The nose is dense as chocolate cake and deep as a well. The mouth is chewy and thick, with chocolate-covered berries and another whack of wood.Marques de Casa Concha8714PeumoMichael Schachner@wineschachConcha y Toro 2001 Marques de Casa Concha Merlot (Peumo)MerlotConcha y Toro
4923049229ItalyA soft, rounded wine with hints of oak from the one-third barrel aging. Concentrated and firm, it is already well in balance, with soft, creamy flavors.Kastelatz8723Northeastern ItalyAlto AdigeRoger Voss@vossrogerElena Walch 2002 Kastelatz Pinot Bianco (Alto Adige)Pinot BiancoElena Walch

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