Wine Reviews

4962149620AustraliaChocolate and prune aromas and flavors come across as somewhat generic, then finish on a drying, astringent note.8214Australia OtherSouth Eastern AustraliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzTerra Australis 2007 Shiraz (South Eastern Australia)ShirazTerra Australis
4962249621USNeutral oak, 100% varietal. These three new releases from Cave B all taste of extremely young fruit, perhaps overcropped? In any event, without much going on. This is acidic, tastes like cranberry juice, with some volatility also.Estate8222WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Cave B 2007 Estate Barbera (Columbia Valley (WA))BarberaCave B
4962349622USA bit harsh in the mouth and soft, which emphasizes the extracted fruit and makes the wine taste syrupy in blackberries and licorice.The Climber8217CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherClif Family 2006 The Climber Red (California)Red BlendClif Family
4962449623USDry and crisp in acidity, but a little tired, even though it's less than three years of age. Shows dried fruit and tobacco flavors that are turning mushroomy.8222CaliforniaMontereyCentral CoastJoullian 2006 Chardonnay (Monterey)ChardonnayJoullian
4962549624PortugalA sweet, soft, clean wine, anonymous almost. Yes, there is freshness, lightness, but all the time the awkward, unbalancing sweetness pulls it down. Drink very chilled.825Vinho VerdeRoger Voss@vossrogerLagosta 2008 White (Vinho Verde)Portuguese WhiteLagosta
4962649625SpainA tough wine to enjoy. The nose has a cheesy top layer, while the base aromas are of bell pepper and lettuce. It's very tangy and juicy in the mouth, with searing red-cherry flavors and green accents. Snappy and whispy to the max.Crianza829Northern SpainNavarraMichael Schachner@wineschachPríncipe de Viana 2005 Crianza Red (Navarra)Tempranillo BlendPríncipe de Viana
4962749626USAs sweet as Port, with chocolate and prune flavors. Feels as hot as a chile pepper, with nearly 17% alcohol.Reserve West Dry Creek8150CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaMazzocco 2006 Reserve West Dry Creek Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelMazzocco
4962849627USDespite 15.1% alcohol, this is dull, one dimensional and rather light. The tannins are a little beefed up, but there's marginal fruit and everything seems a bit out of whack.Barrel Select8114WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Mount Baker Vineyards 2005 Barrel Select Merlot (Yakima Valley)MerlotMount Baker Vineyards
4962949628ArgentinaGold in color and heavy, with melony aromas and citrusy, melony flavors that end fast and veer toward bitter. Quite heavy and seemingly on the fade; there aren't many reasons to go here, chief among them the weird blend of Chardonnay and Sémillon.8113Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachAconcagua 2006 Chardonnay-Semillon (Mendoza)Chardonnay-SemillonAconcagua
4963049629USDry and crisp, but so watered down, there's practically nothing there. Shows the barest hint of of citrus and flower flavors.819CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherSurf Point 2007 Pinot Grigio (California)Pinot GrigioSurf Point
4963149630ArgentinaPast its sell-by date, with mealy aromas and dull flavors of apple and banana. The feel is flat, the acidity is not there, and the finish is bland and a little bitter.8110Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachCarlos Basso 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (Mendoza)Sauvignon BlancCarlos Basso
4963249631AustraliaRubbery and rhubarby on the nose, then confected and frankly sweet-tasting on the palate, with a short finish.8110Australia OtherSouth Eastern AustraliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzFriday Monkey 2006 Merlot (South Eastern Australia)MerlotFriday Monkey
4963349632AustraliaStarts with some odd aromas of burnt rubber, charred plum and scorched marshmallow, then delivers slightly sweet, caramelly flavors. It's thick and viscous in texture yet without much in the way of tannin.8115South AustraliaSouth AustraliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzPatritti 2007 Shiraz (South Australia)ShirazPatritti
4963449633ArgentinaOff the grid and strange smelling, with jumbled aromas that are hard to describe. Exceedingly sour and lean on the palate, with a vegetal finish.Grand Reserve8020OtherSan JuanMichael Schachner@wineschachGraffigna 2005 Grand Reserve Malbec (San Juan)MalbecGraffigna
4963549634AustraliaThis inexpensive Aussie Shiraz seems to have deteriorated in recent vintages. The 2007 tastes sweet, filled with candied fruit and turning a bit cloying on the finish.8012South AustraliaSouth AustraliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzRed Knot 2007 Shiraz (South Australia)ShirazRed Knot
4963649635USSoft and syrupy, with semisweet flavors of berries and anise.Rosso Di California8010CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherCa' Momi 2007 Rosso Di California Red (California)Red BlendCa' Momi
4963749636ArgentinaHeavy hayfield aromas are oxidized, and the flavors of almond peel, citrus pith and baked banana do nothing to impress. Not a fresh or healthy wine, if it ever was. Past its prime.8012Mendoza ProvinceMichael Schachner@wineschachAlfredo Roca 2007 Sauvignon BlancSauvignon BlancAlfredo Roca
4963849637FranceWonderfully aromatic, this sure-to-be legendary wine offers richness, ripeness, and pure yellow fruits, peaches and apricots, all alongside a structured strain of chalky minerality. It is a wine for long aging, the wood spice just becoming integrated, the fruit still in its first vibrancy. But even now, it fills the mouth with generous fruits, and a great finish of citrus.97BordeauxPessac-LéognanRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine de Chevalier 2007 Pessac-LéognanBordeaux-style White BlendDomaine de Chevalier
4963949638USDark, viscous and monumental, this Cabernet-based Bordeaux blend detonates on the palate with black currants, chocolate and cedar concentration, wrapped into the most perfect tannins. Outstanding, and should age for many years. Only 277 cases of this wine, which was grown on steep hillsides, were produced.Highland Estates Trace Ridge97125CaliforniaKnights ValleySonomaKendall-Jackson 2006 Highland Estates Trace Ridge Red (Knights Valley)Bordeaux-style Red BlendKendall-Jackson
4964049639USThe vineyard is in the interior part of the appellation, toward Carneros, and the wine displays the firm, acidic minerality of that cool, foggy region. It has fantastic limpidity. The oak is remarkable for the purity of vanilla and smoky honey, while the underlying flavors of Meyer lemons, pineapples, nectarines and kumquats are decadently good. A masterpiece of Chardonnay.Stone Côte Vineyard9660CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaHartford Court 2007 Stone Côte Vineyard Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast)ChardonnayHartford Court
4964149640USThis is from a block of younger vines made from Dijon clones within the larger Arrendell Vineyard. The wine is quite full-bodied and robust, almost rustic, which is mainly due to the powerful, young tannins. With explosive berry, currant and mocha flavors, this powerful wine should hit its stride in mid-2010.Hailey's Block9560CaliforniaGreen ValleySonomaHartford Court 2007 Hailey's Block Pinot Noir (Green Valley)Pinot NoirHartford Court
4964249641AustriaA Riesling that hovers deliciously between Alsace and the German Rheingau. It has the richness of Alsace, but the structure of the Rheingau. And it brings more, because the tight soils of the Hochrain vineyard, with its stony subsoil, brings an intense minerality, which is surrounded by opulent apricot and pineapple fruits. A great wine with enormous potential.Hochrain Smaragd9574WachauRoger Voss@vossrogerFranz Hirtzberger 2007 Hochrain Smaragd Riesling (Wachau)RieslingFranz Hirtzberger
4964349642AustriaOne of Austria's great wines, this intense expression of an imposing vineyard explodes in the mouth. Its perfumed, floral character quickly gives way to a taut, tight mineral structure, a coiled spring with its white fruits, citrus and bright acidity all waiting to race out as the wine ages. Keep for at least five years.Singerriedel Smaragd95126WachauRoger Voss@vossrogerFranz Hirtzberger 2007 Singerriedel Smaragd Riesling (Wachau)RieslingFranz Hirtzberger
4964449643USHigh acidity marks this vibrant wine, which is from one of Kendall-Jackson's coolest coastal vineyards. The crispness lends a vibrant tension to the intense flavors of Meyer lemons, orange blossom and minerals, while oak adds softer, spicy notes. Feels racy and nervy all through, in a delicious way.Seascape Vineyard9465CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaHartford Court 2007 Seascape Vineyard Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast)ChardonnayHartford Court
4964549644USThis wine sports a green-apple and pear nose with some extra weight from barrel fermentation. Well-balanced and right on the border between stainless- steel and barrel-fermented styles: steel meets butter on the palate. Best Buy.8810WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Covey Run 1998 Chardonnay (Columbia Valley (WA))ChardonnayCovey Run
4964649645USClear, bright and fragrant, with a soft and seductive nose. This is a wine that can only be called pretty, with a light floral component to it—roses maybe. There’s lots of ripe black-cherry fruit, some raspberries, and a chocolaty edge. It’s made for drinking right away, but structured enough for near-term aging.8825WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Canoe Ridge 1998 Merlot (Columbia Valley (WA))MerlotCanoe Ridge
4964749646USBarrel fermentation, with the full malolactic treatment, yields a ripe, buttery wine that sets up rich and plush on the palate. Despite the fat, buttery style it isn't overblown or flabby, and lingers through a clean, polished finish.Vintner's Select8820WashingtonWashingtonWashington OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Bookwalter 1997 Vintner's Select Chardonnay (Washington)ChardonnayBookwalter
4964849647USBright orange-blossom scents mingle with spices and limes; there's plenty of acid despite the 1.9% residual sugar. Soft fruit on the palate, where it's elegant, in a sensual way. A perfect summer white.888WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Seven Hills 1999 White Riesling (Columbia Valley (WA))White RieslingSeven Hills
4964949648USHas very tight fruit, but it's deeply appley, with opulent cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger spice. Also drinks spicy and rich. Has a wonderfully deft, supple mouthfeel, and is quite dry. A fine example of a North Coast Chard that's clean and well crafted.Block Collection Big River Ranch8823CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaGeyser Peak 1998 Block Collection Big River Ranch Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayGeyser Peak
4965049649USToasty, smoky aromas from new oak come close to concealing shy apples and citrus fruits, but the strong spicy flavors assert themselves on the palate. A very long finish completes the picture.Kinneybrook Vineyard8820CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherKunde 1998 Kinneybrook Vineyard Chardonnay (California)ChardonnayKunde

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