Wine Reviews

5121751216USHalf Cabernet Franc and 25% each Tannat and Malbec, this rough-and-tumble red is tannic and earthy. That tannic stiffness might subside with further bottle age, but this wine may be best opened soon and served with spicy, hearty food.Running Bare Mae's Vineyard8542OregonApplegate ValleySouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Day 2013 Running Bare Mae's Vineyard Red (Applegate Valley)Red BlendDay
5121851217USRich, dark and concentrated, this hearty red is somewhat reduced and grippy, with a layering of wild strawberry and earth overlaid in solid oak. It'll appeal to fans of bigger-bodied wines.8525CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneEducated Guess 2013 Pinot Noir (Carneros)Pinot NoirEducated Guess
5121951218USNectarine flesh and a hint of guava combine for a rather tropical-leaning nose on this wine from the famed Hollywood director's collection. A straightforward and very ripe Gala apple character characterizes the palate, boosted by honeysuckle and tangerine, laid across a decently grippy texture.Diamond Collection Gold Label8516CaliforniaMonterey CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannFrancis Coppola 2014 Diamond Collection Gold Label Chardonnay (Monterey County)ChardonnayFrancis Coppola
5122051219SpainApple and melon aromas are mild, straightforward and devoid of oak. A chunky melony palate doesn't have much stuffing, while this tastes of mild peach, papaya and other tropical fruits. Overall, this is inoffensive but hollow.30558415CataloniaPenedèsMichael Schachner@wineschachJean León 2014 3055 Chardonnay (Penedès)ChardonnayJean León
5122151220FranceThe name, Haut Païs means high country in the local southwest dialect and this wine comes from the hills of the eastern Dordogne. It is light and fruity, a cool wine with some attractive, ready-to-drink red fruits and just a touch of structure.84Southwest FrancePérigordRoger Voss@vossrogerLe Haut Païs 2014 Red (Périgord)Bordeaux-style Red BlendLe Haut Païs
5122251221SpainWaxy peach and apple aromas come with a leesy cookie-like component. This is 50% each Sauvignon Blanc and Garnacha Blanca, and it feels both plump and watery. Flavors of quince and apple are diluted and distant, while the finish is mild.Organic8412Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachNavardia 2014 Organic White (Rioja)White BlendNavardia
5122351222FranceWhile this wine has hints of a green herbal character, its main character conveys creamed apples and even riper fruits such as white peach. It is soft and lightly textured with just a touch of final acidity. Drink now.8414Loire ValleyVal de LoireRoger Voss@vossrogerNicolas Idiart 2014 Sauvignon Blanc (Val de Loire)Sauvignon BlancNicolas Idiart
5122451223ItalyRiserva Colle Secco, made from the Montepulciano grape, opens with aromas of raw wood chips and sawdust. The palate is dominated by aggressive oak and espresso with hints of black fruit muffled in the background.Riserva Colle Secco8414Central ItalyMontepulciano d'AbruzzoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCantina Tollo 2009 Riserva Colle Secco (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo)MontepulcianoCantina Tollo
5122551224USSlick and supple upfront, this Cabernet Franc gains muscle as it evolves toward the tangy, savory finish, which comes with a hint of mocha.8429VirginiaVirginiaLost Creek 2011 Cabernet Franc (Virginia)Cabernet FrancLost Creek
5122651225SpainA mash of coffee, turned earth, Band-Aid and charred, baked berry aromas are funky and lead to a wide, flabby palate with briny berry and red-fruit flavors. That charred character from the nose persists on the finish, which tastes roasted and feels pinched.8425GaliciaRibeira SacraMichael Schachner@wineschachPonte da Boga 2011 Mencía (Ribeira Sacra)MencíaPonte da Boga
5122751226ChileMajor olive and charred aromas ride on top of herbal black-fruit scents. This is loud on the palate, with probing acidity and mild tannins. The flavor profile is herbal, with stewed plum and blueberry accounting for the fruit components. On the finish, this feels solid and tastes minty.Reserva8413Maule ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachViña Casas Patronales 2011 Reserva Carmenère (Maule Valley)CarmenèreViña Casas Patronales
5122851227ChileWhat a difference a year makes. In the warm '09 vintage, this was ripe and delicious. But in 2010, a much cooler year in Chile, the wine came out dry and leafy, with aromas of green herbs that strengthen with airing. Flavors of mint and green herbs are dominant, while plum and spice flavors form the underbelly. A scratchy feeling finish confirms this wine's abrasive DNA.8419Casablanca ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachPeñalolen 2010 Cabernet Franc (Casablanca Valley)Cabernet FrancPeñalolen
5122951228USFragrant in raspberry with an achingly light texture, this Tempranillo has notes of tobacco, rose water and pepper and a quick, dry finish.Toro Tinto8429CaliforniaLake CountyVirginie Boone@vbooneVino Vargas 2011 Toro Tinto Tempranillo (Lake County)TempranilloVino Vargas
5123051229USMade in the popular style, this Chardonnay shows simple oak, pineapple, mango and peach flavors. It finishes with notes of vanilla and honey.Light Horse8414CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherJamieson Ranch 2012 Light Horse Chardonnay (California)ChardonnayJamieson Ranch
5123151230ChileThis is almost brutally austere. The nose expresses nothing but grass and zest, and the palate is sharp in feel, with chiseled, raw power and pithy, stony flavors of lemon, grapefruit and sour orange. This is overpowering and clipped; it has merits but needs to be more friendly.Costa8425Colchagua CostaMichael Schachner@wineschachKoyle 2012 Costa Sauvignon Blanc (Colchagua Costa)Sauvignon BlancKoyle
5123251231USHeavy flavors of vanilla syrup coat the tongue, obscuring the fruit but not quite hiding the green tannins. Though such flavors are not unusual in many inexpensive Merlots, it's a little disappointing from a grower with such excellent fruit to work with.Traditions8416WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Milbrandt 2010 Traditions Merlot (Columbia Valley (WA))MerlotMilbrandt
5123351232USSimple, with flavors of apricot, peach and mango, with oak and alcohol complications.8418CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaMossback 2012 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayMossback
5123451233USWhatever the blend is on this wine, it's sweet and simple. It tastes like heavily sugared orange and herb tea, with a squirt of lime juice.Bianco di Napa8318CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaCa' Momi 2012 Bianco di Napa White (Napa Valley)White BlendCa' Momi
5123551234SpainTropical aromas are friendly but basic. A melony feeling palate is low on acidity, thus flavors of honeydew and mango seem mushy. A soft, mealy finish with a papaya-like flavor is the last act. Year after year this unoaked Chardonnay barely gets by.El Cerezo Unoaked8312Northern SpainNavarraMichael Schachner@wineschachCastillo de Monjardin 2012 El Cerezo Unoaked Chardonnay (Navarra)ChardonnayCastillo de Monjardin
5123651235ChileAromas of forced oak, plastic and berry fruits don't forecast how tight, shrill and acidic the palate is. Snappy flavors of red plum and red currant teeter on being sour, while acidity is what keeps this cranking through a sharp, oaky finish.Culpeo Made with Organic Grapes8310Curicó ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachViña La Fortuna 2011 Culpeo Made with Organic Grapes Cabernet Sauvignon (Curicó Valley)Cabernet SauvignonViña La Fortuna
5123751236SpainWhereas once Ochoa produced some of Navarra's best rosés, lately the wines have been marginal. This is awkward, with aromas of chemicals and rubber gloves. The palate is wan in flavor and feel, while the finish tastes burnt and medicinal.Rosado8314Northern SpainNavarraMichael Schachner@wineschachOchoa 2012 Rosado Garnacha (Navarra)GarnachaOchoa
5123851237SpainAn aromatic opening of raisin and prune is a clarion announcement that this is on the overripe side. The mouthfeel, which is heavy and chunky but also fruity, is confirmation of the wine's ripeness level. Flavors of baked plum, raisin and chocolate finish deep and raisiny.Antaño Crianza8310Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachJ. Garcia Carrion 2009 Antaño Crianza (Rioja)Red BlendJ. Garcia Carrion
5123951238USHere's solid, everyday red wine here, rugged and fruity, but there's something about it that makes you think of pizza and burgers. The blend is Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah.Red Table Wine839CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherKitchen Sink NV Red Table Wine Red (California)Red BlendKitchen Sink
5124051239USThis Riesling is fruit forward yet simple, with watered-down apricot, lime and orange fruit flavors. If sweetness is your thing, you'll find it here at an everyday price.838CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherWoodbridge by Robert Mondavi 2012 Riesling (California)RieslingWoodbridge by Robert Mondavi
5121151210USThis is an intense, somewhat unformed vineyard-designate, ripe with sweet tannins that takes on considerable barrel flavors of vanilla and caramel.Thornton Vineyard8539CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneAcacia 2013 Thornton Vineyard Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast)ChardonnayAcacia
5121251211PortugalBig and bold, this is a massive Touriga Nacional, emphasizing the structure as much as the fruit. It has a rich black plum character that is paired with firm wood and fruit tannins and a ripe juicy aftertaste. It could do with a year's aging, so drink from early 2017.Senses8515AlentejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerAdega Cooperativa de Borba 2013 Senses Touriga Nacional (Alentejano)Touriga NacionalAdega Cooperativa de Borba
5121351212USMade from 100% varietal grapes, this vineyard-designate offers minty eucalyptus and leather in a medium- to light-bodied package, with streaky tannins and low oak. The fruit is elusive behind the savory meat and flinty gunpowder.Juliana Vineyard8532CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneArchival 2013 Juliana Vineyard Petite Sirah (Napa Valley)Petite SirahArchival
5121451213FranceThis soft, juicy and fruity wine has an attractive perfumed, cigar-box character. It is full of blackberry fruits with a soft, gentle aftertaste.85Southwest FranceBergeracRoger Voss@vossrogerChêne Peyraille Tradition 2014 Cabernet Franc (Bergerac)Cabernet FrancChêne Peyraille Tradition
5121551214FranceThis fruity, ready-to-drink wine is crisp and packed with citrus and grapefruit flavors. With bright final acidity, it is refreshing and herbal.Buissonnier8515BurgundyBourgogne AligotéRoger Voss@vossrogerVignerons de Buxy 2014 Buissonnier (Bourgogne Aligoté)AligotéVignerons de Buxy
5121651215PortugalThis is an attractive wine that is crisp while also having a soft background texture. It is fruity, perfumed and balanced. Drink now.Tres Castas8510Vinho VerdeRoger Voss@vossrogerCampelo 2014 Tres Castas White (Vinho Verde)Portuguese WhiteCampelo

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