Wine Reviews


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5209952098USThis 100% varietal wine displays a mixture of fruit and barrel aromas, plus flavors of coffee, vanilla, butterscotch and cherry. It finishes candy-bar sweet ,with the oak playing a prominent part in the show.Watermill Vineyard8936OregonWalla Walla Valley (OR)Oregon OtherSean P. Sullivan@wawinereportWatermill 2012 Watermill Vineyard Cabernet Franc (Walla Walla Valley (OR))Cabernet FrancWatermill
5210052099USThis is a medium-sweet Riesling boasting Spätlese-level alcohol, that mixes soft fruit flavors of apple, peach and pear with hints of honey and tea. Give it a light chill before sipping.8914OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Willamette Valley Vineyards 2014 Riesling (Willamette Valley)RieslingWillamette Valley Vineyards
5210152100USIf a wine can caress the taste buds, this absolutely fresh and fruity one does. It smells like blackberry jam, feels soft and silky while still having full body, and gives up delicious, ripe, full fruit flavors that linger on the finish.8917CaliforniaLodiCentral ValleyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsZinPhomaniac 2013 Zinfandel (Lodi)ZinfandelZinPhomaniac
5210252101USThis Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah blend from the Warner Springs area in the mountains northeast of San Diego shows grape soda and blackberry chews on the juicy nose. The palate gains tartness accented by black pepper and crushed oregano.The Deep Six8830CaliforniaSouth CoastSouth CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannHawk Watch Winery 2011 The Deep Six Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah (South Coast)Cabernet Sauvignon-SyrahHawk Watch Winery
5210352102PortugalEven in inland Alentejo, the Portuguese think of the ocean and of seafaring. This smooth, fruity wine, with its soft tannins and touch of spice, is ready to drink. With a round texture, rich berry fruits and balanced acidity, it is a fine, fruity wine for now.Atlântico88AlentejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerHerdade de São Miguel 2014 Atlântico Red (Alentejano)Portuguese RedHerdade de São Miguel
5210452103FranceThere are both ripe yellow and pineapple fruit flavors and tight minerality in this wine. That gives it the potential to age with its structure, spice from wood and fragrant acidity. Drink from 2017.Domaine des Préauds8826BurgundyPouilly-FuisséRoger Voss@vossrogerJean-Claude Debeaune 2013 Domaine des Préauds (Pouilly-Fuissé)ChardonnayJean-Claude Debeaune
5210552104USThe aromatics shine here, sending up a happy mix of ripe cherries and baking spices. The fruit carries the midpalate, with medium density and appealing, though blocky, flavors. This is not a complex wine, but most enjoyable.Suzanne's Estate Reserve8850OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Left Coast Cellars 2012 Suzanne's Estate Reserve Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirLeft Coast Cellars
5210652105USThis is an intriguing Merlot-dominant blend, with additions of Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage. Engaging aromas of red plum and currant take on savory herbal notes of thyme and rooibos. The plush, silky palate houses soft, mellow tannins and vibrant acidity, with flavors matching the nose. Contemplative yet approachable, enjoy this alongside a plate of charcuterie and hard cheese.Josie's Knoll Rotunda8818VirginiaMonticelloAlexander PeartreeLovingston 2013 Josie's Knoll Rotunda Red (Monticello)Red BlendLovingston
5208152080ChilePepperwood's first foray into Chilean Pinot Noir leaves a bit to be desired, even at $7. The nose is mulchy and candied, while the palate is clumsy, with candied berry, cocoa powder, vanilla and other sweet flavors.827Central ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachPepperwood Grove 2009 Pinot Noir (Central Valley)Pinot NoirPepperwood Grove
5210752106FranceVery tight and young, this is packed with acidity and lively citrus and green apple flavors. It is still too young to drink although with its tangy freshness and bright character, it has a good future. Drink from 2017.88BurgundySaint-VéranRoger Voss@vossrogerMaison Matisco 2014 Saint-VéranChardonnayMaison Matisco
5208252081ChileSimple and neutral, with sweetness to the nose. It's soft and flabby in the mouth, with candied vanilla and melon flavors. Sweet and low in intensity, and already it's dull despite being a new release.Selection826Curicó ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachQuasar 2010 Selection Sauvignon Blanc (Curicó Valley)Sauvignon BlancQuasar
5210852107ItalyRed and black berry, dark spice and Mediterranean herb aromas lead the nose on this straightforward, friendly wine. The juicy, savory palate offers crushed black cherry, black berry, dried herb and peppercorn alongside smooth, enveloping tannins.Primo Scuro8817Sicily & SardiniaCannonau di SardegnaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMesa 2013 Primo Scuro (Cannonau di Sardegna)CannonauMesa
5208352082USLots of oak on this Chardonnay, but it's awkward, and feels overworked and sweetly simple, despite some pretty pineapple jam flavors.Vintner's Selection8212CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastRock Hollow 2009 Vintner's Selection Chardonnay (Santa Barbara County)ChardonnayRock Hollow
5210952108ArgentinaLime and mango aromas stick out on an otherwise neutral, crisp bouquet. This is lean and well cut, with refreshing citric acidity. Flavors of pineapple, lime and green apple finish with zest and continuity. Drink now.Cuma Made With Organic Grapes8813OtherCafayateMichael Schachner@wineschachMichel Torino 2014 Cuma Made With Organic Grapes Torrontés (Cafayate)TorrontésMichel Torino
5208452083ChileLazy smelling, oddly spiced and off the grid in an artificial, strange sort of way. Flavors of apple, spice and banana are mulled and cidery, while the finish is grabby and hot. Not as good as prior vintages. Imported by Ecovalley Quality Wine Group and National Refrescos Import Company, LLC.Reserva Viognier-Chardonnay8216Limarí ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachTamaya 2009 Reserva Viognier-Chardonnay White (Limarí Valley)White BlendTamaya
5211052109ItalyAromas of oak extract, resin, toast and prune lead the nose. The extracted palate offers dried black cherry, baked plum, coconut and vanilla alongside abrasive tannins that leave a drying finish.Basarin8850PiedmontBarbarescoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMoccagatta 2012 Basarin (Barbaresco)NebbioloMoccagatta
5208552084FranceA disappointing effort This is earthy and dank, with dark, leathery notes contrasting sharply with bright acids on the finish.La Grivelière Tete de Cuvee8210Rhône ValleyCôtes du RhôneJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzPère Anselme 2008 La Grivelière Tete de Cuvee Red (Côtes du Rhône)Rhône-style Red BlendPère Anselme
5208652085ChileA creamy, faux-smelling-and-tasting wine with loads of bogus oak character and limited stuffing or quality backing it up. Smells like a berry marshmallow or county fair cotton candy, yet the palate is hollow and sour. A masked wine that's trying to be tricky and isn't.Reserve8214Maipo ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Ema 2008 Reserve Merlot (Maipo Valley)MerlotSanta Ema
5208752086USDisjointed, sharp, astringent and thin, this shows little of the varietal character usually associated with grapes from the outstanding Destiny Ridge vineyard. There's a whiff of funk in the nose, but only tart, generic and unripe fruit in the mouth.The Dweller8224WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Heaven's Cave 2008 The Dweller Syrah (Horse Heaven Hills)SyrahHeaven's Cave
5208852087ItalyEasy, thin and watery, this ruby-colored Valpilicella has the natural crispness to pair with pizza with sausage and mozzarella. There's a touch of bitter almond on the close that would be nicely offset by sweet butter or cheese.82VenetoValpolicellaZecchini 2008 ValpolicellaCorvina, Rondinella, MolinaraZecchini
5208952088ItalyThis is an easy, extremely thin Valpolicella that offers bright cherry and berry aromas and a lean, citrusy finish. Those informal qualities gear this wine to a pairing with cheesy pizza and sausage.8214VenetoValpolicellaBrigaldara 2008 ValpolicellaCorvina, Rondinella, MolinaraBrigaldara
5209052089USChocolate and dark cherry aromas lead to ripe plum, boysenberry and blackberry flavors that are almost sweet, very rich and full bodied. The thick texture melts in your mouth, having soft tannins. This drinks almost like a Port and should be great with chocolate or cheese.Old Vine8920CaliforniaLodiCentral ValleyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsConcrete 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi)ZinfandelConcrete
5209152090ItalyAromas of apricot and fragrant yellow flower lead the way on this medium-bodied white. Framed in fresh acidity, the bright palate doles out ripe yellow peach, green apple, almond and a hint of mineral.Elibaria8920Sicily & SardiniaVermentino di GalluraKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeContini 2014 Elibaria (Vermentino di Gallura)VermentinoContini
5209252091USMaduro cigars, cedar, beef char and pipe ash highlight the nose on this blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot from a longtime producer. It's relatively lean and light on the palate, with black peppercorns and roasted pork elements. The Cab Franc shows strongly.Proprietary8960CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannCorley 2011 Proprietary Red (Napa Valley)Bordeaux-style Red BlendCorley
5209352092FranceThis perfumed, soft wine only slowly shows a more structured character. From a well-situated vineyard just above the Serein valley, it offers yellow fruits that are cut with tight citrus and minerality. Drink from 2017.Beauroy Premier Cru8930BurgundyChablisRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Dampt Père et Fils 2013 Beauroy Premier Cru (Chablis)ChardonnayDomaine Dampt Père et Fils
5209452093ArgentinaThis Malbec-Merlot-Tannat blend from northerly Salta is bright purple in color, with compact aromas of wood smoke, graphite, ink and blackberry. The acidity is high but functions as a brace for plum, blackberry and cassis flavors. A crisp, clampy finish is edgy due to aforementioned racy acidity. Drink through 2020.Rupestre8945OtherSaltaMichael Schachner@wineschachDomingo Molina 2011 Rupestre Red (Salta)Red BlendDomingo Molina
5209552094USAll five vineyards contribute to this widely available blend. It's on the chunky side, with blocky black cherry and a frame of milk chocolate from aging 10 months in French oak. There's a dash of spice as it races through the finish.8932OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Elk Cove 2013 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirElk Cove
5209652095SloveniaThis deep garnet colored wine offers aromas of dried cherry, black raspberry and smoked sausage. It has an interesting balance of fruity and savory characteristics among raspberry, saddle leather and spicy tobacco flavors.Amfora8944Goriska BrdaJeff Jenssen@worldwineguysErzetič 2009 Amfora Cabernet Sauvignon (Goriska Brda)Cabernet SauvignonErzetič
5209752096SloveniaAromas of blackberry, farmstand, leather and smoked meats prime the taste buds for a wine whose flavors of cassis, smoked meat, leather and tobacco may be an acquired taste for some drinkers. This wine is pleasant overall, but the sophisticated taste profile may not be to everyone's liking.Amfora Rdece8944Goriska BrdaJeff Jenssen@worldwineguysErzetič 2009 Amfora Rdece Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot (Goriska Brda)Cabernet Sauvignon-MerlotErzetič
5209852097AustraliaThe nose of this wine is intriguingly complex, hinting at violets, campfire, eucalyptus and cherry, yet on the palate, the wine doesn't fully live up to that promise. It's crisp and medium bodied, with flavors that actually become simpler and more fruit-driven with airing. Drink now–2020.89VictoriaYarra ValleyJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzWarramate 2012 Shiraz (Yarra Valley)ShirazWarramate

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