Wine Reviews

4944149440ItalyMorgante's Don Antonio is a wine that faithfully mirrors the growing success of Sicily. It's been around long enough to provide a model for younger vintners and it's quality remains excellent, thanks to a dense, inky texture and bright aromas of dark cherry and toasted almond.Don Antonio9140Sicily & SardiniaSiciliaMorgante 2006 Don Antonio Nero d'Avola (Sicilia)Nero d'AvolaMorgante
4944249441AustraliaFeatures an admirably lean, elegantly fine line of acids from start to finish, off of which hang notes of crushed stone, green apple and lime, with just the merest hints of riper fruit, like nectarine. Crisp and long, this should develop well over the next 5–10 years.Bin 519120South AustraliaEden ValleyJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzPenfolds 2010 Bin 51 Riesling (Eden Valley)RieslingPenfolds
4944349442PortugalA big, bold, black vintage Port, already enticingly perfumed, packed with as much rich fruit as tannin. It's in the sweet vintage Port arena, an immediately attractive wine, yet layered with enough structure to keep it maturing for many years. The final sense is all richness.Vintage9175PortRoger Voss@vossrogerPoças 2009 Vintage (Port)PortPoças
4944449443USThis wine is marked by exceptionally ripe, forward flavors of blackberry jam and black currants, with a sweet coating of smoky oak. In fact, flavor is what drives this wine, although it also shows fine, complex Diamond Mountain tannins that give it a dramatic structure. Seems best now and for the next three years.Estate9171CaliforniaDiamond Mountain DistrictNapaReverie 2009 Estate Petite Verdot (Diamond Mountain District)Petite VerdotReverie
4944549444USFragrant with pretty berry scents, this compact wine rewards some hours of breathing time. The tangy fruit is complemented by streaks of herb, mineral and citrus peel, all woven together into a gently fading finish that adds a lick of dark chocolate.9128WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Amavi 2009 Syrah (Walla Walla Valley (WA))SyrahAmavi
4944649445ItalyLusirà is Sicilian dialect for “Syrah” grape and this hearty expression opens with inky dark concentration and intense aromas of ripe blackberry, blueberry, cinnamon, leather and smoked bacon fat. It shows a rich, chewy feel in the mouth.Lusirà9138Sicily & SardiniaSiciliaBaglio del Cristo di Campobello 2009 Lusirà Syrah (Sicilia)SyrahBaglio del Cristo di Campobello
4944749446SpainThick and potent on the nose, with aromas of prune, cola and fig. Feels dense and syrupy, with dulce de leche, cocoa and integrated citrus flavors. An unbridled winner with richness, length and raw value; how many $15 wines rank this high? Not many.Oxford 1.9709115AndaluciaJerezMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Dios Baco S.L. NV Oxford 1.970 Pedro Ximénez (Jerez)Pedro XiménezBodegas Dios Baco S.L.
4944849447USReserve caliber fruit—a throat-coating mix of blueberry, cherry and cassis—rolls into a rich, full throttle wash of barrel flavors. Toast, smoke, espresso and dark chocolate give the wine depth and gravitas. Ageworthy to be sure, but also enjoyable right now.Cold Creek Vineyard9128WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Chateau Ste. Michelle 2008 Cold Creek Vineyard Merlot (Columbia Valley (WA))MerlotChateau Ste. Michelle
4944949448USThe first Washington wine to be released from the 2011 vintage hits the ground running, with ripe, round, rich flavors of honeyed pears and peaches. Succulent and fruity, it cuts its sharp acidity with 2% residual sugar, making for a wine with fine concentration and length.Drizzle9117WashingtonRed MountainColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Convergence Zone 2011 Drizzle Pinot Gris (Red Mountain)Pinot GrisConvergence Zone
4945049449USSweet and luscious, with powerful raspberry and cherry fruit. Made from 100% Syrah grown in the Moorman Vineyard, it was aged for nearly two years in French oak, much of it new. The alcohol is fairly high, giving the wine a full-bodied, glyceriney mouthfeel.9135CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastEpiphany 2009 Syrah (Sta. Rita Hills)SyrahEpiphany
4945149450ItalyMade with a blend of Nerello Mascalese from different vineyard sites, or contrade, as well as various vintages, this special "Vigna Alta" Etna red shows elegant tones of small berry, black pepper and crushed stone. The wine represents the best of a natural, biodynamic and organic winemaking tradition that is taking hold in Sicily.Munjebel 7 VA9150Sicily & SardiniaEtnaFrank Cornelissen NV Munjebel 7 VA (Etna)Nerello MascaleseFrank Cornelissen
4945249451ItalyThe Tasca family shows a deft hand with Cabernet Sauvignon, and has worked hard to match this international variety to the unique Sicilian territory. This beautiful vintage opens with nicely ripened dark fruit, cola, root beer, cured meat and Teriyaki sauce. The wine's texture is polished, smooth and firm.Tenuta Regaleali9150Sicily & SardiniaSiciliaTasca d'Almerita 2008 Tenuta Regaleali Cabernet Sauvignon (Sicilia)Cabernet SauvignonTasca d'Almerita
4945349452USOne of the best Malbecs on the market. It's perfect for drinking now despite big tannins. Shows vast, deep blackberry, blueberry, dark chocolate, currant and anise flavors, with a long, spicy finish. Grill up a steak and pop the cork.Gist Ranch9150CaliforniaSanta Cruz MountainsCentral CoastThomas Fogarty 2007 Gist Ranch Malbec (Santa Cruz Mountains)MalbecThomas Fogarty
4945449453USAnother outstanding value from Three Rivers, this powerfully-built wine mixes ripe berry and plum fruit with polished, astringent tannins. It opens well, but really hits its stride on the back palate, with the balance and concentration to age. That said, it's drinking awfully well right now.9119WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Three Rivers 2009 Merlot (Columbia Valley (WA))MerlotThree Rivers
4945549454USThere's no disrespect to say this Cabernet is fun to drink. It is, for the soft, charmingly interesting mouthfeel and rich, sweetly forward blackberry, cherry, chocolate, cassis, anise and oak flavors. Few Cabernets in the world get this ripe and exotic. Enjoy it now.Jean Louis Vermeil Frediani Vineyard9185CaliforniaCalistogaNapaVermeil 2008 Jean Louis Vermeil Frediani Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Calistoga)Cabernet SauvignonVermeil
4945649455SpainTight and edgy but ultimately oaky and generous on the nose, with earth, vanilla, dried cheese and blackberry notes. Feels cushioned and complete, with depth of feel and flavor; tastes of deep berry, mild herbs and finally a toasty wave of coffee and chocolate takes over. Impressive for a 2008; drink now through 2014.Viñas de Gain9130Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachArtadi 2008 Viñas de Gain (Rioja)TempranilloArtadi
4945749456USLovely and rich, drinking beautifully, this limited reserve celebrates the 10-year collaboration of Tom Waliser (grower) and Tom Glase (winemaker). Fleshy strawberry, mulberry and cherry fruit leads smoothly into a broad midpalate with notes of leaf and herb. Silky tannins wrap into a clean and delicious finish.TomFoolery Red91WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Beresan 2006 TomFoolery Red Red (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Red BlendBeresan
4945849457FranceA finely balanced wine with toast and ginger flavors peeking through the ripe peach and apricot fruits. It is striated with minerality giving an intense ageworthy texture. The acidity shows through strongly at the end.Les Embazées Premier Cru91100BurgundyChassagne-MontrachetRoger Voss@vossrogerChartron et Trébuchet 2009 Les Embazées Premier Cru (Chassagne-Montrachet)ChardonnayChartron et Trébuchet
4945949458USPossibly the best Walter Clore to date, this is firm, with substantial dark-fruit flavors swathed in swirls of loam, blood, sweet tomato and red licorice. The relative coolness of the vintage seems to have allowed extra details to emerge, and the barrel aging has been handled sensitively.Walter Clore Private Reserve Red Wine91WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Columbia Crest 2008 Walter Clore Private Reserve Red Wine Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendColumbia Crest
4946049459ItalyCOS is a natural, biodynamic and organic wine estate in southern Sicily and a leader in the rising popularity of the Cerasuolo di Vittoria denomination. This expression is particularly delicate and expressive, with nuanced layers of wild berry, white chocolate and cola.9130Sicily & SardiniaCerasuolo di Vittoria ClassicoCOS 2008 Cerasuolo di Vittoria ClassicoRed BlendCOS
4946149460ItalyUnderbrush, black-skinned fruit, exotic spice, leather and balsamic aromas emerge on this full-bodied red. The austere structured palate offers dried black cherry, star anise, tobacco and clove framed in bracing, fine-grained tannins. Don't even attempt it for another few years. Drink 2021–2031.Piano di Montevergine Riserva9270Southern ItalyTaurasiKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeFeudi di San Gregorio 2011 Piano di Montevergine Riserva (Taurasi)AglianicoFeudi di San Gregorio
4946249461USA classically styled, beautifully made red, this is defined by its well-chiseled structure and sanguine characteristics, as well as notes of cranberry, dried herb and anise. Lush and full-bodied, it has additional elements of pencil shavings and meaty game, complex and interesting to the end. Enjoy best 2022 through 2032.Sycamore Vineyard92125CaliforniaRutherfordNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneFreemark Abbey 2012 Sycamore Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford)Cabernet SauvignonFreemark Abbey
4946349462GermanyWhile more mineral than fruit-forward on the nose, this pretty, dry Riesling is quite yielding, suggesting ripe, rich pink grapefruit and white peach on the palate. It's feather light but silky in texture, balanced by a strike of lemon acidity that lingers on the finish.Trocken9222MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaFritz Haag 2015 Trocken Riesling (Mosel)RieslingFritz Haag
4946449463USAromas of fresh high-toned mortared herbs, raw meat, dried flowers, spice and dark fruit lead to broad yet elegant fruit and savory flavors. It brings a lovely sense of texture and freshness.Forgotten Hills Vineyard9260WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportGramercy 2014 Forgotten Hills Vineyard Syrah (Walla Walla Valley (WA))SyrahGramercy
4946549464USBold and spicy, this vineyard selection impresses with dusty tangy red and purple fruits. They are elevated with pineapple and citrus flavors from supporting acidity. The length and complexity are excellent, as is the entire lineup of 2014 Pinots from J. Christopher.Abbey Ridge9260OregonDundee HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine J. Christopher 2014 Abbey Ridge Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills)Pinot NoirJ. Christopher
4946649465USThe addition of 5% Merlot softens this wine, a lovely representation of the wild mountain appellation from a vineyard 2,000-feet up. Juicy and layered, the wine shows restraint and elegance amidst a woodsy forest component of lean, tart fruit and cocoa powder.Le Roi Soleil9290CaliforniaMount VeederNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneY Rousseau 2013 Le Roi Soleil Cabernet Sauvignon (Mount Veeder)Cabernet SauvignonY Rousseau
4946749466USThis wine is a blend of Grenache (45%), Mourvèdre (36%) and 19% Syrah. Reserved aromas of dark berry and herb lead to vibrant fruit flavors that display a lovely sense of texture and detail. The balance and combination of richness and restraint is exquisite, as is the finish. It impresses.Justine9240WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportAvennia 2014 Justine Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Rhône-style Red BlendAvennia
4946849467ItalyTruffle, blackberry, dark spice, dark chocolate and new-leather aromas take center stage on this delicious full-bodied red. The smooth, enveloping palate doles out juicy Marasca cherry, ripe plum, vanilla and a confectionery note framed in velvety tannins. It's structured but also remarkably easy drinking and a fantastic value. Drink through 2022.Teodosio9219Southern ItalyAglianico del VultureKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBasilisco 2012 Teodosio (Aglianico del Vulture)AglianicoBasilisco
4946949468USThe aromas jump out of the glass, with notes of dried orange peel, fresh white flowers, herb, smoked meat, moist earth and potpourri. The palate is plush and lush with abundant fruit and savory flavors, with floral and gravel notes threaded throughout. It's as much about feel as flavor.Ankleroller Block Stoney Vine Vineyard9250WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportBlock Wines 2014 Ankleroller Block Stoney Vine Vineyard Syrah (Walla Walla Valley (WA))SyrahBlock Wines
4947049469FranceAged at the estate for five years before release, this wine shows fine toasty character paired with youthful mineral texture. It's dry and crisp with apple fruit, edged with a more mature yeasty note. This fine Champagne is ready to drink.Brut Cuvée de Réserve9254ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerBoude Baudin NV Brut Cuvée de Réserve Chardonnay (Champagne)ChardonnayBoude Baudin

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