Wine Reviews

51305129CanadaThe Okanagan has the capability to produce delicate, almost ethereal Pinot Noirs, and this fine example proves the point. Fragrant and feminine, its strawberry and cherry fruit ripe enough to suggest fresh pastry, it's simply delicious, offering complexity and persistence as well as immediate enjoyment.9232British ColumbiaOkanagan ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Burrowing Owl 2014 Pinot Noir (Okanagan Valley)Pinot NoirBurrowing Owl
51015100ChileDespite showing dusty plum and cherry aromas, this comes across lean on the bouquet, a defining characteristic that's confirmed on the palate via zesty, crisp acids and raw, tangy, herbal red-fruit flavors. A dry finish turns hot, an appropriate ending to this tightly wound Pinot Noir.Max Reserva8620Casablanca ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachErrazuriz 2011 Max Reserva Pinot Noir (Casablanca Valley)Pinot NoirErrazuriz
51025101AustriaThis perfumed, juicy wine exhibts attractive red plum and blackberry flavors. Touches of herbs show a fragrant side to the wine, while acidity acts as a foil to the ripe fruits. Ready to drink now. Screwcap.Classic8624ThermenregionRoger Voss@vossrogerFischer 2009 Classic St. Laurent (Thermenregion)St. LaurentFischer
51035102USThis 100% Sauvignon Blanc isn't fully ripe yet it's dry and crisp, with a mouthwatering cleanness. There's an edge to the Meyer lemon, lime, green melon and vanilla flavors.Vogelzang Vineyard8620CaliforniaHappy Canyon of Santa BarbaraCentral CoastBaehner Fournier 2012 Vogelzang Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara)Sauvignon BlancBaehner Fournier
51045103USAn aromatically appealing wine with notes of cinnamon, chocolate and cherry. Unfortunately, it's quite tart with grainy, somewhat bitter tannins.Reserve8624WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportCanoe Ridge 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Horse Heaven Hills)Cabernet SauvignonCanoe Ridge
51055104ChileDespite cold conditions in 2011, this Pinot is dark in color and full on the nose, where heavy, raisiny black-fruit aromas hold court. Flavors of toasty oak, plum, berry and raisin finish peppery, oaky and with vanilla and prune notes. Drink now.Pequeñas Producciones Estate Bottled8641Casablanca ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachCasas del Bosque 2011 Pequeñas Producciones Estate Bottled Pinot Noir (Casablanca Valley)Pinot NoirCasas del Bosque
51065105USIn Spain, Albariño is usually a steely, bone dry, sea-inflected white wine. Here it is made in an off-dry style, with 10 g/L residual sugar. The sweetness masks any apparent varietal specificity, resulting in a pleasant, but generic white wine.8622WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Castillo De Feliciana 2012 Albariño (Columbia Valley (WA))AlbariñoCastillo De Feliciana
51075106USThe winery doesn't tell us what the blend is, but it tastes vaguely Rhônish. It's dry, velvety and forward in cherry pie, mocha and spice flavors, wrapped into firm tannins. It's a little hot in alcohol. Drink up.Lampyridae Vineyards8650CaliforniaMount VeederNapaCommunication Block 2010 Lampyridae Vineyards Red (Mount Veeder)Red BlendCommunication Block
51085107ChileMinty aromas rest on top of scratchy raspberry scents. This feels a touch raw and choppy, with grating tannins pumping up herbal berry flavors that come with a carob-influenced aftertaste. A short, lightly herbal finish feels good and solid.Natura8611Central ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachEmiliana 2011 Natura Cabernet Sauvignon (Central Valley)Cabernet SauvignonEmiliana
51095108USRaspberry jam and oak are the flavors of this drink-me-now wine. Brisk acidity gives it a mouthwatering cleanness. The single-clone angle has resulted in a certain one-dimensionality.Pommard Clone8655CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastFess Parker 2011 Pommard Clone Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara County)Pinot NoirFess Parker
51105109AustriaOne of the classic, simple, attractive Grüners to come out of Austria, this brings forward lively green fruits, a touch of spice and crisp acidity. It's totally ready to drink. Screwcap.Hugo8613NiederösterreichRoger Voss@vossrogerMarkus Huber 2012 Hugo Grüner Veltliner (Niederösterreich)Grüner VeltlinerMarkus Huber
51115110AustriaThis is a soft, creamy, strawberry- and caramel-flavored wine with lively acidity and a very crisp, citrusy aftertaste. It's an ideal apéritif-style wine, perfect for the summer.Hugo Rosé Sparkling8615Österreichischer SektRoger Voss@vossrogerMarkus Huber NV Hugo Rosé Sparkling Sparkling (Österreichischer Sekt)Sparkling BlendMarkus Huber
51125111USThis straddles the border between an off-dry table wine and a dessert wine. It's crisp in acidity, with candied orange, golden apricot and honey flavors. You could certainly drink it with cookies and fruits, but it's just dry enough to stand up to squash baked with brown sugar, and a piece of grilled chicken.Allegro8612CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherMartin & Weyrich 2011 Allegro Moscato (California)MoscatoMartin & Weyrich
51135112ItalyThis full-bodied Barbera has ripe black-cherry aromas nuanced with toast and coffee notes. The palate is structured, with dark fruit flavors, pepper, toasted oak and espresso notes, but the drying wood tannins result in an abrupt finish. Grape Expectations and Massanois Imports.Epico8645PiedmontBarbera d'Asti SuperioreKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefePico Maccario 2010 Epico (Barbera d'Asti Superiore)BarberaPico Maccario
51145113ItalyThis is a straightforward and pleasant Barbera exhibiting ripe dark-fruit flavors, spice and fresh acidity. Cries out for food, and will pair beautifully with soups, pastas and white meats. Grape Expectations and Massanois Imports.Lavignone8617PiedmontBarbera d'AstiKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefePico Maccario 2012 Lavignone (Barbera d'Asti)BarberaPico Maccario
51155114USPinot Grigios like this helped make the variety one of America's most popular wines. While it's basically dry and crisp in acidity, it offers jammy green apple, lemon and lime Lifesaver candy and vanilla notes that appeal to consumers.Private Selection8611CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastRobert Mondavi 2012 Private Selection Pinot Grigio (Central Coast)Pinot GrigioRobert Mondavi
51165115USThis is the inaugural vintage for this producer, a husband-and-wife team in partnership with winemaker Maayan Koschitzky, who also works with Philippe Melka. The vineyard-designate is lush and powerful, a full-bodied, tannic representative of an amazing growing year. Mint, black olive, blackberry and cigar highlight the sensual texture, enriched in dark chocolate.Taylor Family Vineyard9285CaliforniaStags Leap DistrictNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneBrilliant Mistake 2013 Taylor Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Stags Leap District)Cabernet SauvignonBrilliant Mistake
51175116AustriaThere is something both earthy and berry fruited on the nose: both dried and fresh fruit shine with richness. There is a totally unusual, lovely bitter edge to this fruit, like a marzipan richness at the edge of tart but with ripe fruit. Take this into your treasure chest of vinous curiosities: It more than deserves its place. This is dry but rich, tart but generous, and comes with its very own strong and forceful personality.Satzing9240ThermenregionAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoJohanneshof Reinisch 2015 Satzing Rotgipfler (Thermenregion)RotgipflerJohanneshof Reinisch
51185117USSoftened by 10% Merlot, 3% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot, this is a medium-bodied, elegant wine, with highlights of coffee, cedar and cherry-vanilla. Classic elements of cedar and dried herb complement firm, solid tannin.9270CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneLes Belles Collines 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonLes Belles Collines
51195118USCandied cranberry and grape meet with light nutmeg, gingersnap cookies and wet slate on the rich, interesting nose of this wine by Lompoc-based Brian Loring. The palate is power-packed and spicy, with boysenberry, sandalwood, cedar, incense, star anise and black-tea touches.Sierra Mar Vineyard9254CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannLoring Wine Company 2015 Sierra Mar Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirLoring Wine Company
51205119USRhubarb, ripe cherry and wet slate show on this wine, one of the many higher-end, single-vineyard expressions that winemaker Paul Clifton makes for the Hahn family. Hearty beet juice and lots of star anise show on the sip that is redolent with dark, wild berries.Hook Vineyard9250CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannLucienne 2014 Hook Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirLucienne
51215120USBaked black cherry, rare roast beef and light sage aromas show on the dynamic, earthy nose of this bottling by Winemaker Paul Clifton. Garrigue is prominent on the tip of the sip, with strong but not overripe black cherry and plum flavors. These lead into forest floor, juniper, pine needle and mulling spice on the finish.Smith Vineyard9250CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannLucienne 2014 Smith Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirLucienne
51225121USConcentrated, well structured and not too full bodied, this is an almost architectural wine in how it fills out the palate and clings to the taste buds. It has an appetizing texture due to fine-grained tannins, a sense of ripeness without overripeness, plus deep and layered fruit, coffee and black-pepper nuances.Strummer9225CaliforniaSierra FoothillsSierra FoothillsJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsLynch Wines 2013 Strummer Syrah (Sierra Foothills)SyrahLynch Wines
51235122USFrom a block planted in 1910 consisting of hearty portions of mixed blacks, this wine is abundantly floral in rose petals, with a plummy core dusted in smoky oak. The tannin structure is sizable, while the wine is full of leather, cigar box and black pepper accents that weave within the ripe fruit.Tina's Block Maple Vineyards9248CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneArmida 2014 Tina's Block Maple Vineyards Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelArmida
51245123AustriaThere are a number of intriguing notions on the nose: There is something nutty and rich, something mellow and yeasty, something green and lively, all tinged with the juicy ripeness of yellow-stone fruit. Not one of these impressions dominates, all of them catch your attention in a merry haze of flavors delivered against a firm backbone of freshness and concentration.Spiegel9262WagramAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoBernhard Ott 2015 Spiegel Grüner Veltliner (Wagram)Grüner VeltlinerBernhard Ott
51255124FranceNamed after the medieval rulers of the village, this cru wine is firm and structured in the solid style of the appellation. It has rich black cherry and black-plum fruits that come with juicy acidity. At the same time, the tannins and the dry core promise considerable aging. Drink from 2019.Les Capitans9225BeaujolaisJuliénasRoger Voss@vossrogerTrenel Fils 2015 Les Capitans (Juliénas)GamayTrenel Fils
51265125USAn oxidative style of Chardonnay seems to match the old-vine character in this bottling that is a nutty yellow in color and shows crushed hazelnuts, dried lemon, sourdough and croissant on the nose. Lemon rinds, tangerine and walnut flavors appear on the sip, which is rich and nutty but not unctuous.Old Vines9224CaliforniaEdna ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannWolff 2014 Old Vines Chardonnay (Edna Valley)ChardonnayWolff
51275126AustriaThe nose is tightly closed, yet there is the suspicion of fine fruit. The grippy palate brims with peppery dark-plum fruit and very fine distinct tannins that give this a taut, rigid frame that still needs to relax. This is unusual in so far that it is a Cabernet Franc from Austria, grown on slate. It works well: The tannic structure and fruit are fully expressed. This needs bottle age and will blossom into a far more relaxed and fruitful wine. Drink 2020–2030.Gillesberg9247BurgenlandAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoGunter Triebaumer 2014 Gillesberg Cabernet Franc (Burgenland)Cabernet FrancGunter Triebaumer
51285127USThis sultry, big-boned wine offers deft aspects of black pepper and dried herb atop a softly layered touch of brown sugar. Richness is there, as is a voluptuous flirtatiousness, yet it remains dry and dusty on the palate and classically varietal.Indian Springs Ranch Reserve9234CaliforniaSonoma ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneHaraszthy 2013 Indian Springs Ranch Reserve Zinfandel (Sonoma Valley)ZinfandelHaraszthy
51295128AustriaVery subtle notions of nettle and ripe, yellow mirabelle plum play on the nose. The palate displays the same juicy notions and bounces with the ample fruit of 2015, tempered by spicy grapefruit zestiness. This offers a wonderful interplay of ripeness and just the right amount of refreshing tartness.Ried Schnekenbichl Reserve92KamptalAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoHiedler 2015 Ried Schnekenbichl Reserve Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal)Grüner VeltlinerHiedler

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