Wine Reviews

5058150580ArgentinaJammy berry fruits, violet notes and graham cracker define the bouquet on this high-quality, good-value Malbec. The palate isn't huge but it's well structured, and the flavors are exotic and out of the ordinary, with an emphasis on Middle Eastern spice and blue-fruit flavors. On the finish, it's chocolaty and spicy but loses steam quickly.9018Mendoza ProvinceUco ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachBenvenuto de la Serna 2009 Malbec (Uco Valley)MalbecBenvenuto de la Serna
5058250581USResplendent in white pepper, aromatically defined by it in fact, with a touch of cedar, this is a smooth, full-bodied Syrah that's mighty good, a duet of cool and warm-climate character. Pair with braised meats thick in earthy mushrooms.9022CaliforniaLake CountyVirginie Boone@vbooneBriceland 2010 Syrah (Lake County)SyrahBriceland
5058350582USMore than half Merlot with the balance Cabernet Sauvignon (39%) and Syrah (10%), it's immediately appealing and freshly flavored with notes of bittersweet chocolate, cherry and dried herbs supported by a backbone of grainy tannins.9025WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportBrowne Family Vineyards 2010 Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Red BlendBrowne Family Vineyards
5058450583USThis 100% Cabernet was aged in new French oak. That potent combo gives it an intensity of black currants and sweet buttered toast. The tannins are hard and the alcohol level is high. It's a bit predictable in the modern style, but delicious.Le Petit Vice9055CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVice Versa 2010 Le Petit Vice Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonVice Versa
5058550584USA decent effort, with notes of spice, brambly wild berries, smoke and licorice mingling together. It doesn't quite snap into focus, but there's never a dull moment. The finish gets chalky as the tannins take over.8310WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Snoqualmie 2006 Syrah (Columbia Valley (WA))SyrahSnoqualmie
5058650585USTough and gritty, with edgy tannins framing rustic flavors of blackberries and sweetened berry tea.Lot #108332CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaTangley Oaks 2006 Lot #10 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonTangley Oaks
5058750586USOvertly sweet, like sugared blackberry tea with a squeeze of cassis and a bite of milk chocolate. Good flavors, but should be drier and firmer in structure as a table wine.Fess Parker's Vineyard8330CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastJC Cellars 2006 Fess Parker's Vineyard Syrah (Santa Barbara County)SyrahJC Cellars
5058850587USHeavy and dull, like cherry pie filling, dusted with cinnamon and cocoa, without the pie shell. That baked crust provides the crunchy structure, which this fruit bomb lacks.Aubaine Vineyard8350CaliforniaSan Luis Obispo CountyCentral CoastLoring Wine Company 2007 Aubaine Vineyard Pinot Noir (San Luis Obispo County)Pinot NoirLoring Wine Company
5058950588USTart, dry and simple, this Cab will happily wash down tri-tip at your next tailgate party. The flavors are of grilled blackberries and dark, unsweetened chocolate.839CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherMontevina 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (California)Cabernet SauvignonMontevina
5059050589SwitzerlandA soft blackberry, vanilla and plum nose is followed by a rustic mélange of dried tea, berry and spice flavors in this Merlot. Tannins are firm and the overall flavors good, but the wine needs a little more cohesion.Carato8338TicinoSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaDelea 2004 Carato Merlot (Ticino)MerlotDelea
5059150590LebanonSimple, solid aromas of cherry, cinnamon and spice are followed by like flavors in this good everyday red from Lebanon. The wine has a soft touch but plenty of character, and its lingering berry and spice finish add to the appeal. A solid overall performance.Hochar Père et Fils8325Bekaa ValleySusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaChâteau Musar 2002 Hochar Père et Fils Red (Bekaa Valley)Red BlendChâteau Musar
5059250591ArgentinaAfter a few nice vintages of Sol Huarpe from this San Juan producer, the 2007 is sharp and weighed down by rhubarb and burnt field aromas. The palate is thin, while the flavors are mildly vegetal and soupy. Finishes crisp and citrusy. Blame it on the vintage.Sol Huarpe8317OtherZonda ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachXumek 2007 Sol Huarpe Malbec (Zonda Valley)MalbecXumek
5059350592USThere's a lot of new oak in the nose, and it's tannic and has a fair amount of the volatile aromas that are found in several of the Hogue reds. The midpalate is soft to a fault, but shows hints of the spice and pepper of the grape. It finishes with volatility and unusually soft tannins. Tasting room exclusive.Terroir Andrews Vineyard8325WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Hogue 2005 Terroir Andrews Vineyard Malbec (Horse Heaven Hills)MalbecHogue
5059450593USFor the price, you get a fair deal with this dry, clean wine. It has flavors of cherries and oak and spice, and goes down nice and easy.8310CaliforniaLodiCentral ValleyIronstone 2006 Cabernet Franc (Lodi)Cabernet FrancIronstone
5059550594USA bit rustic, with firm tannins and sweet currant and chocolate flavors side by side with greener, minty ones. Acidity is low, making the mouthfeel soft. Not going anywhere.8332CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastKoehler 2006 Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley)SyrahKoehler
5059650595USA bit green, with thin flavors of citrus and herbs. Although it's dry and crisp, this Roussanne lacks richness.McGinley Vineyard8330CaliforniaSanta BarbaraCentral CoastLionheart 2007 McGinley Vineyard Roussanne (Santa Barbara)RoussanneLionheart
5059750596ArgentinaReserved on the nose, with a hint of rhubarb and bramble. But where this wine really fails to impress is on the palate. It's sharp and underdeveloped, with tart cherry aromas and piercing acidity. Some mocha and vanilla come on late to help things along, but by then the wine has defined itself as borderline sour and miserly. Unusually short on fruit for Luigi Bosca, a winery we've come to like. Imported by Multiple U.S. Importers.Reserva8321Mendoza ProvinceLuján de CuyoMichael Schachner@wineschachLuigi Bosca 2006 Reserva Malbec (Luján de Cuyo)MalbecLuigi Bosca
5059850597USPreviously called Cuvée Le Blanc, this Rhone-style white blend is 62% Viognier, 26% Roussanne and 12% Marsanne. The wine is a bit dull, as if the fruit has already begun oxidizing. The finish falls off a cliff.Masterpiece Reserve White Wine83WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Kana 2007 Masterpiece Reserve White Wine White (Yakima Valley)White BlendKana
5059950598USPretty basic red wine, with a tough, tannic mouthfeel and not much fruit, but dry and balanced, with lots of pepper. Sipped from a plastic cup at a big party with pizza and Buffalo wings, it's fine.836CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherLeaping Horse 2007 Shiraz (California)ShirazLeaping Horse
5060050599USDry and toughly tannic, with currant and oak flavors that have an edge of overripe raisins and prunes. Drink now.Reserve8336CaliforniaLivermore ValleyCentral CoastMcGrail 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Livermore Valley)Cabernet SauvignonMcGrail
5060150600USTastes a bit medicinal, with a sweet-sour quality of lemons and pineapples, and is quite acidic. Lacks richness, but it's a decent everyday Chardonnay.8314CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastCastoro Cellars 2007 Chardonnay (Central Coast)ChardonnayCastoro Cellars
5060250601ChileSlightly sharp and brambly on the nose, with muddled fruit aromas. The palate is both lactic and snappy, with spiky acidity mixed with buttery, creamy notes. Finishes kind of pasty, with bite and grab. Even at $10 this Maule Valley Pinot struggles with the pleasure factor.Reserva8310Maule ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Carolina 2007 Reserva Pinot Noir (Maule Valley)Pinot NoirSanta Carolina
5060350602ItalyA neon pink color segues to an equally loud palate of cotton candy, cherry soda and bubblegum. The intensity is there and you might pair this wine with hearty fish soup to lose that synthetic edge.Rosato8316Central ItalyColli PeruginiChiorri 2008 Rosato Rosé (Colli Perugini)RoséChiorri
5060450603USTart and jammy, with acidic, one-dimensional flavors of pineapples, vanilla and butterscotch.Discovery Series8320CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaDan Aykroyd Wines 2007 Discovery Series Chardonnay (Sonoma County)ChardonnayDan Aykroyd Wines
5060550604USAcidic and tart, with cherryskin, orange pekoe tea, thyme and spice flavors that finish dry.Steinbeck Vineyard Syrah8316CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastEberle 2007 Steinbeck Vineyard Syrah Rosé (Paso Robles)RoséEberle
5060650605ChileA reedy and odd-smelling wine. No matter how many times you come back to it, there's the scent of latex and a strange perfume to the nose. In the mouth, it's tannic and blocky, with saturated black cherry and a funky, unfamiliar twist. And it finishes with rubber, plastic, cotton candy and coconut notes. Can't say this does much to push Carmenère's status.8312Central ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachoops 2007 Carmenère (Central Valley)Carmenèreoops
5060750606USHot and harsh, with semi-sweet flavors of black currants, chocolate and pepper. Drink this rustic wine with barbecue.8315CaliforniaEl DoradoSierra FoothillsPerry Creek 2006 Syrah (El Dorado)SyrahPerry Creek
5060850607USThis Merlot has less than ripe green mint flavors along with the cherries and oak. It's fully dry, with a nice acid-tannin balance.Lot #88315CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaTangley Oaks 2006 Lot #8 Merlot (Napa Valley)MerlotTangley Oaks
5060950608ItalyThis is one of those delicious amber-colored desserts wines that will put a smile on your face. The nose is richly redolent of dried apricot, honey, bee's wax, yellow rose and toasted almond. The mouthfeel is satin-like with cheerful sweetness and bright acidity.Domus Aurea Passito9135Central ItalyAlbana di RomagnaStefano Ferrucci 2006 Domus Aurea Passito (Albana di Romagna)AlbanaStefano Ferrucci
5061050609ChileLooking for a juggernaut red that cries out for steak? Give this lush, stylish, nearly flawless Carmenère a shot and you won't be disappointed. The nose opens with toast, mineral, herbs, olive and berry fruit, and the palate is more of the same. In terms of feel, it's smooth and elegant, yet ripe and forceful. Finishes crusty and long. A winner from a winery that up until now hasn't shown much.Cuvée9120Rapel ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachMisiones de Rengo 2007 Cuvée Carmenère (Rapel Valley)CarmenèreMisiones de Rengo

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