Wine Reviews

5196151960USRobustly structured and concentrated, this wine is tight-grained in tannin and firm on the palate, with meaty elements of leather, tobacco and clove. The dark personality traits continue on the black pepper-seasoned finish, which begs for steak.Firehouse Vineyard9389CaliforniaRutherfordNapaVirginie Boone@vboonePiña 2013 Firehouse Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford)Cabernet SauvignonPiña
5196251961USBoysenberry, black fruit, bay leaf, plum and spice aromas are followed by intense but still well-balanced dark-fruit flavors. It stretches out on the finish, drinking extremely well now, but its best days are in front of it. Best from 2023–2030.Père de Famille9375WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportBetz Family 2014 Père de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonBetz Family
5196351962USSmoky bacon and a bittersweet element of black tea make for an exotically spicy, complex and full-bodied wine from the mighty vineyard site overlooking the Petaluma Gap. Black cherry, pomegranate and cardamom are wrapped in a swaddling of toasted oak, while the mouthfeel is dense and concentrated.Gap's Crown Vineyard9360CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneBlack Kite 2014 Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)Pinot NoirBlack Kite
5196451963USMade entirely from Pinot Noir grapes, this is a light, ethereal and lovely sparkling wine, faintly pink in hue with high-toned, nuanced layers of red cherry and orange. This is one to enjoy on its own or at the table, picnic blanket or tailgating from the back of a truck, preferably with soft cheeses.Rosé de Noir Dutton Ranch9355CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneDavis Family 2014 Rosé de Noir Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirDavis Family
5196551964USThis wine is a blend of Merlot (58%), Cabernet Sauvignon (36%), Cabernet Franc (5%) and Petit Verdot. Vibrant aromas of cherry meats, raspberry, dried herb and barrel spice are followed by a fruit-forward flavorful palate backed by firm tannins. It has a high yum factor.D29348WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportDeLille 2014 D2 Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendDeLille
5196651965FranceThis wine is still young, reveling in its bright fruit and mineral texture. Drawn from Côte des Blancs vineyards, it's tight, tense and loaded with citrus fruit. With its finely crisp aftertaste, it's delicious now for its fruit but will also be great from 2020, once its toasty character develops more fully.Blanc de Blancs Brut9380ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerDeutz 2010 Blanc de Blancs Brut (Champagne)Champagne BlendDeutz
5196751966USThe winery holds back its wines to good effect. There's no sign of fatigue here, just well-integrated complex meaty flavors. It's dusky and dark, with aromas of smoke, tobacco and espresso. Flavors include all of the above around black fruits and slightly gritty tannins. It's dense and delicious and ready to drink.Three Sleeps Vineyard Sketches of Spain9328OregonColumbia Gorge (OR)Oregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Dominio IV 2012 Three Sleeps Vineyard Sketches of Spain Tempranillo (Columbia Gorge (OR))TempranilloDominio IV
5196851967USThis bottling, from seven cool climate vineyards, makes a great intro into savory Syrah, showing all that peppery might without shoving it down the throat. Cracked peppercorn is redolent on the nose and palate, with the latter also showing raw lamb and beef char. The sip tends toward soy and leather, but with a core of dried blackberry fruit that's familiar to most palates. The texture is tightly woven.Seven9345CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannDragonette 2014 Seven Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley)SyrahDragonette
5196951968FranceThis is a relatively new Champagne for Gosset, which has traditionally focused on Pinot Noir. Drawing mainly from Côte des Blancs vineyards, it's crisply elegant with a fine mineral texture and taut character. It's poised for further development in bottle. Drink from 2018.Grand Blanc de Blancs Brut9385ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerGosset NV Grand Blanc de Blancs Brut Chardonnay (Champagne)ChardonnayGosset
5197051969ItalyAromas of smoke, charred earth, dark spice and black-skinned berry lift out of the glass. The concentrated firmly structured palate offers dried black cherry, blackberry extract, ground pepper and a hint of tobacco framed in fine-grained tannins. Drink 2019–2029.Primum Riserva93180Southern ItalyTaurasiKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeGuastaferro 2011 Primum Riserva (Taurasi)AglianicoGuastaferro
5197151970FranceProduced from two parcels on the Montagne de Reims, this dry yet soft wine is ripe and richly fruity. Still young, its minerality and bright fruitiness are firmly intact. It will be a delicious Champagne as it matures. Drink from 2019.Inattendue Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs9355ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerHuré Frères 2011 Inattendue Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Chardonnay (Champagne)ChardonnayHuré Frères
5197251971USThis combines nearly proportional percentages of all five Bordeaux varieties, grown on the founder's estate, allowing each room to speak. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot together make up the majority, paving the road to full-bodied ripeness with supportive acidity, the highlights being smoky plum, blackberry and mocha.Founder's Reserve Estate Grown93150CaliforniaCalistogaNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneKenefick Ranch 2012 Founder's Reserve Estate Grown Red (Calistoga)Bordeaux-style Red BlendKenefick Ranch
5197351972PortugalOne of the top wines from this producer, this blend of at least 10 grape varieties comes from its estate. The wood aging has added sophistication to this already concentrated wine. With black fruits to the fore and firm tannins, it will age well. Drink from 2019.Confidencial Reserva9226LisboaRoger Voss@vossrogerCasa Santos Lima 2014 Confidencial Reserva Red (Lisboa)Portuguese RedCasa Santos Lima
5197451973USBaked black plum, dark strawberry and baking spice show on the well-integrated and elegant nose of this bottling by New Zealand-raised winemaker Fintan du Fresne. A chalky mouthfeel carries forth flavors of bright boysenberry fruit, loam and more brown spice, elements that are sure to gather more power with extended bottle age.Califa9260CaliforniaEdna ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannChamisal Vineyards 2014 Califa Pinot Noir (Edna Valley)Pinot NoirChamisal Vineyards
5197551974USWinemaker Bruno Corneaux keeps a tight grip on alcohol levels, without sacrificing ripeness, flavor or balance. This aromatically compelling wine jumps up with scents of sea breeze, toasted nuts and buttered popcorn. Flavors follow, with apples, vanilla and toast coming to a full-bodied lingering finish. There's ample length and tension to age gracefully for another decade.9250OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Domaine Divio 2015 Chardonnay (Willamette Valley)ChardonnayDomaine Divio
5197651975USFrom a vineyard that's actually west of the already coastal Sta. Rita Hills, this wine offers rounded red fruits of strawberry, plum and even watermelon on the nose, along with cinnamon and graphite touches. The palate combines cherries, hibiscus, rose petals and tangy cranberry, sailing through herbal touches into a dried mint flavor that carries deep into the finish.Duvarita Vineyard9260CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannDragonette 2014 Duvarita Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara County)Pinot NoirDragonette
5197751976USThere's a slight bit of pleasant funk to the nose of this appellation blend, as well as graphite, sour cherry, soy and shiitake mushroom aromas. The palate is wound around tight acidity, with wild raspberry flavors lifted by incense and pine forest elements.9245CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannDragonette 2014 Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirDragonette
5197851977USThis wine is a blend of fruit from Bacchus, Phinny Hill and Loess vineyards. Brooding aromas of black cherry, herb and barrel spice are followed by pitch-black blackberry and game flavors, backed by tightly coiled tannins. It comes off as a bit richer than the norm for this winery but still delivers the goods. Best after 2022.Reserve9295WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportGramercy 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonGramercy
5197951978USThis is a powerful bottling, as is expected by this producer, showing fresh boysenberry, purple flower potpourri, tart black plums and a touch of rosemary on the nose. It's undeniably delicious at first sip, with caramelized blackberry and hints of thyme and rosemary. The texture is squeaky and sticky, and it's a bit sweet and boozy, but a definite Paso crowd-pleaser.Intrepid92750CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannLaw 2013 Intrepid Syrah (Paso Robles)SyrahLaw
5198051979USThe name refers to the rocks in this section of the estate vineyard, and they can be felt as well as tasted in the wine. The mouthfeel is slightly astringent, with hints of metal and stone, and the alcohol is muted, allowing the more subtle suggestions of citrus and beet and truffle and wild strawberry to emerge. All in all it's the most complex and intriguing of the winery's offerings, and merits your full attention.Rocheux9250OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Le Cadeau 2015 Rocheux Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirLe Cadeau
5198151980GermanySunny tangerine acidity highlights the rounded, slightly creamy mouthfeel of this light-bodied dry Riesling. Bright grapefruit and quince flavors are forward and fresh, offset by stony mineral tones that linger on the finish. It's a delicate yet richly balanced wine to enjoy now though 2025.Herrenberg9242MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaMaximin Grünhäuser 2015 Herrenberg Riesling (Mosel)RieslingMaximin Grünhäuser
5198251981ChileThis blend of 78% Carignan, 18% Syrah and 4% Chardonnay deals a complete aromatic package of marzipan, fine oak and smooth berry fruits. A compact wall-to-wall palate is boldly acidic but balanced by pulpy berry fruit. Flavors of black plum, blackberry and burnt toast finish under control, with elegance and length. Drink through 2023.Vigno Old Vines Dry-Farmed9230Maule ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachMorandé 2013 Vigno Old Vines Dry-Farmed Carignan (Maule Valley)CarignanMorandé
5198351982USA blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Zinfandel and 5% Petit Verdot, a block and barrel selection of the producer's best lots, this is a well-made, impressive wine. Leather saddle and robust tannin is accented by dried herb, espresso and smoke, making for a burly explosion of blackberry and cherry.X2 Estate9295CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneParaduxx 2013 X2 Estate Red (Napa Valley)Red BlendParaduxx
5198451983USMedium in weight and structure, this wine shows a tempting leanness at first, balancing its ripeness with complex notions of clove, cola and black cherry. Twisted in tannin and oak on the midpalate, its youthfulness on full display, it has a succulent finish.92175CaliforniaRutherfordNapaVirginie Boone@vboonePatel 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford)Cabernet SauvignonPatel
5198551984USThe winery has stuck with a deeply austere, penetrating and rather Germanic style of dry Riesling—which is difficult to do this well. Though built for acid freaks, it's also layered with complex flavors, blending citrus pith and rind, wet stone, green apple and green pineapple. It's drinking well already, and likely to hold steady for up to a decade.Bone Dry9226OregonUmpqua ValleySouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Paul O'Brien 2015 Bone Dry Riesling (Umpqua Valley)RieslingPaul O'Brien
5198651985ChileComposed, cool aromas of marzipan, vanilla, boysenberry and cassis are touched up by controlled oak. This feels cushioned but with pop and tannic grab. Dark peppery herbal black-fruit flavors come with a chocolaty component, while this tastes of herbs and chocolate cake on a bold oaky finish. Drink through 2022.9223MarchigueMichael Schachner@wineschachPolkura 2013 Syrah (Marchigue)SyrahPolkura
5198751986USVery tasty and large in scale, it sports a huge nose of dark plum and heavy cedar, along with cinnamon and vanilla accents wrapped in very toasty oak. Very dark fruit with licorice shadings and an elegant, supple mouthfeel add to the appeal. The dark flavors and heavy toast continue on the long finish, which doesn't want to quit.Clone 692130CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaBeaulieu Vineyard 1997 Clone 6 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonBeaulieu Vineyard
5198851987FranceExemplary in all areas, from the smoke, mushroom and berry nose to the exotic undertones of island spice and fine oak supporting vibrant raspberry fruit. It's one of those wines that's a pure pleasure to drink, and it's ready out of the gate. For very good Burgundy that clicks on all cylinders, this is it.Premier Cru Les Vergelesses9233BurgundyPernand-VergelessesMichael Schachner@wineschachLaleure-Piot 1998 Premier Cru Les Vergelesses (Pernand-Vergelesses)Pinot NoirLaleure-Piot
5198951988USA full load of berry fruit in the nose, black-currant flavors and extremely even balance. It features an attractive set of cherry and cassis flavors, and the heavy tannins that hit home on the long finish, while fairly starching, don't stand in the way of the overall pleasure it gives.9278CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaClark-Claudon 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonClark-Claudon
5199051989USBlackberry aromas have a Port-like character and a smoky undertone. Big extraction leaves a thick, weighty mouthfeel and the essence of Cabernet's sweetness. Some mineral, coffee and meat on the lengthy finish. A good mix of finesse and wildness.Dollarhide Ranch Limited Editi9270CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaSt. Supéry 1997 Dollarhide Ranch Limited Editi Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSt. Supéry

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