Wine Reviews

5244152440USConsistent with past versions of this reserve-level Cabernet, this new vintage is smooth and sweetly fruity, with plenty of new oak aging under its belt. The tannins are ripe and svelte, and a streak of iron and licorice runs right down the spine. Drink now through 2020.VR Special9053WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Dusted Valley 2011 VR Special Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonDusted Valley
5244252441USThis is a polished Chardonnay, fruity in Meyer lemon and lime yet mellow and honeyed on the palate, buoyed by tight acidity and just enough spice. There's a balance of depth and breadth to this wine, and a lengthy finish. Some fruit comes from 40-year-old vines planted to Heritage Selections of the Robert Young clone.Estate Vineyard9027CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneGundlach Bundschu 2012 Estate Vineyard Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast)ChardonnayGundlach Bundschu
5244352442FranceWith flavors of wood aging in the background, this is a rich while structured wine. It has firm tannins, spice and layers of acidity that come from the mineral texture. Drink this ripe and concentrated wine from 2016.9025BeaujolaisFleurieRoger Voss@vossrogerYohan Lardy 2013 FleurieGamayYohan Lardy
5244452443FranceProperly structured, this is a solid wine. Great swathes of plum fruits are partnered with firm tannins. It is dark and firm, with a dense character. Touches of chocolate and roasted coffee go with the rich plums. Drink from 2015.9019BeaujolaisMorgonRoger Voss@vossrogerHenry Fessy 2012 MorgonGamayHenry Fessy
5244552444USLightly off dry, this graceful and beautifully balanced wine blends in about 7% Gewürztraminer, elevating the aromatics. Key lime, pink grapefruit and a touch of lemon zest are in play, with a finish that recalls a sip of English breakfast tea.9011WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Hogue 2013 Riesling (Columbia Valley (WA))RieslingHogue
5244652445USThis has fresh oak and ripe boysenberry aromas and flavors. A thick but not harsh texure wraps around the tongue and keeps the flavors lingering on the finish. It's appropriately tannic and appetizingly dry, needing rich food or a drinker who loves this kind of delicious density.Whiplash9015CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsJamieson Ranch 2011 Whiplash Red (California)Red BlendJamieson Ranch
5244752446ChileThis opens with plum and floral aromas, with freshness coming up from the bouquet. A zesty palate runs along a beam of bright acidity, while spicy raspberry core flavors finish peppery and with a burst of toasty oak. Just 50 cases made.Alazan CJ's Barrel9038Casablanca ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachKingston Family 2012 Alazan CJ's Barrel Pinot Noir (Casablanca Valley)Pinot NoirKingston Family
5244852447ChileJammy, baked, raisiny aromas convey a strong sense of ripeness. Voluminous and big in the mouth, this five-grape blend shows herbal flavors of olive, carob and roasted berry fruits. A spicy finish with graphite and lasting herbal notes is a touch green. Drink through 2018.Axel Primero9030Colchagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachLa Playa 2011 Axel Primero Red (Colchagua Valley)Red BlendLa Playa
5244952448FranceThis wine contains a rather high (for Hermitage) 30% Roussanne in the blend (the balance is Marsanne). It's full bodied and luscious on the palate yet somewhat neutral in flavor. Fleeting hints of toasted nuts and stone fruit on the nose are followed by subtle oak and citrus notes, while the long finish features touches of mocha and flamed orange peel.9074Rhône ValleyHermitageJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzMaison Nicolas Perrin 2011 Marsanne-Roussanne (Hermitage)Marsanne-RoussanneMaison Nicolas Perrin
5245052449SpainSoft, baked aromas of rooty, dark-berry fruits are easier going than the wine's high-toned, acid-driven palate. Flavors of vanilla, coconut, tobacco, prune and spiced berry fruits finish with length and structure along with tobacco and nutmeg accents. Drink through 2020.La Dama9043Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachAldonia 2007 La Dama (Rioja)Tempranillo BlendAldonia
5245152450USSoothing menthol and green floral notes lend vibe to crisp sour-cherry flavors in this bold, penetrating Bordeaux-style blend. It's rich and brawny on the palate with juicy, primary cherry and plum flavors, yet streaked with delicate touches of oak and earth.Dieci9035New YorkNorth Fork of Long IslandLong IslandAnna Lee C. IijimaAnthony Nappa 2010 Dieci Red (North Fork of Long Island)Bordeaux-style Red BlendAnthony Nappa
5245252451New ZealandWith its attractive aromas and flavors of ripe cherries and subtle notes of pine and dried mint, this wine is immediately accessible without being simple. Likewise, in terms of texture, it's sturdy enough to last a few years, but not so tough as to be off-putting. Complex, flavorful and supple, it should be at its best through at least 2016.Province9029MarlboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzAstrolabe 2011 Province Pinot Noir (Marlborough)Pinot NoirAstrolabe
5245352452ItalyPretty aromas of underbrush, crushed blue flower and perfumed berries lead the nose on this robust Rosso. The dense palate delivers succulent black cherry, raspberry, mocha and sweet cake spices alongside firm tannins. It's not an ager so enjoy soon.9018TuscanyRosso di MontalcinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBaricci 2012 Rosso di MontalcinoSangioveseBaricci
5245452453USA strong, vibrant texture of crisp acidity and firm tannins energizes this flavorful and distinctive wine. Red cherry and raspberry aromas lead to crisp cranberry and cherry flavors. An appealing dry finish brings you back for another sip.9012CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsBogle 2012 Pinot Noir (California)Pinot NoirBogle
5245552454ItalyMade from a blend of 85% Sangiovese and 15% Merlot, this ripe wine delivers soft plum, black currants, clove and cracked pepper sensations accented with coffee and espresso notes. A backbone of firm tannins give structure. Drink now through 2019.Riserva9030TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCastello San Donato in Perano 2009 Riserva (Chianti Classico)Red BlendCastello San Donato in Perano
5245652455USGreat balance in this fruit-forward yet well-structured wine. It's not a monster, but firmly in the lunch and dinner wine category because of appetizingly fresh raspberry and strawberry flavors and good acidity. It's medium-bodied, firm-textured and dry.9018CaliforniaMendocino CountyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsGraziano 2011 Zinfandel (Mendocino County)ZinfandelGraziano
5245752456South AfricaA big and bold Shiraz, dark fruit aromas and flavors of fig, black cherry and plum abound. Glimmers of sweet spice and smoke unfold softly, showing the promise of additional complexities and nuance that should continue to develop with time. Firmly structured tannins help to frame the lush, ripe palate, and prodive a gripping texture to the long close. Try after 2015 and beyond.The Stork91114StellenboschLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzHartenberg 2008 The Stork Shiraz (Stellenbosch)ShirazHartenberg
5245852457SpainThis single-vineyard Tempranillo is masculine and dark, as evidenced by aromas of licorice, pepper, blackberry, coconut and campfire. It's mouthfilling and oaky, with toasty, dark, baked-fruit flavors that lead to a finish defined by licorice and clove. Overall it's black, spicy and impressive; drink from 2015–2020.Selección Finca El Grajo Viejo91115Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachProtos 2009 Selección Finca El Grajo Viejo (Ribera del Duero)TempranilloProtos
5245952458South AfricaSoft foliage notes lead on the nose of this wine, with supporting aromas of strawberry, raspberry and stewed rhubarb. The medium-weight mouth offers moderate tannins and a good streak of lifting acidity, resulting in a texture like crushed satin. Fruit-skin flavors linger on the medium-length close alongside accents of pepper and sweet spice.9130StellenboschLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzRudi Schultz 2009 Syrah (Stellenbosch)SyrahRudi Schultz
5246052459ItalyThis Brunello opens with inky, dark concentration and definitely shows a chewy, almost raw quality of cherry fruit that will most likely disappear withdonn just two or three more years of cellar aging. Cola, spice, leather and smoke fill in the rear and the wine ends with crisp acidity.Vigna Piaggia9160TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoAbbadia Ardenga 2008 Vigna Piaggia (Brunello di Montalcino)Sangiovese GrossoAbbadia Ardenga
5246152460ItalyAltesino is part of an elite group of vintners that really put Montalcino on the international wine map. Its 2008 Brunello shows some of the nervous acidity that is typical of the vintage, but it also delivers soft tones of cherry fruit, spice and chocolate that round off any sharp edges.9165TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoAltesino 2008 Brunello di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoAltesino
5246252461USPenetrating notes of melon, stone fruit and white florals set apart this lavish Riesling from Anthony Road. Semisweet in style with honeyed fruit flavors, it's balanced by bracing lime acidity and crushed-stone minerality that extends the finish.Martini Reinhardt Selection9130New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaAnthony Road 2009 Martini Reinhardt Selection Riesling (Finger Lakes)RieslingAnthony Road
5246352462ArgentinaOnce again, this Malbec-Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Norton excels. The nose is a bit grapy and candied, but there's depth and a level of intensity that bodes well for the future. The palate is deep and concentrated, with blackberry, prune, stewed plum, graphite and coffee flavors in front of a mellow, smooth finish. Drink now through 2016.Privada9123Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodega Norton 2010 Privada Red (Mendoza)Bordeaux-style Red BlendBodega Norton
5246452463ItalyHere's a pretty Brunello that shows interesting complexity and bright aromas that really distinguish this wine from other 2008s. The aromas lean toward herbal and menthol tones, with accents of cola and black licorice. There's more fruit in the mouth, especially cherry, with crisp freshness too.Molino della Suga91TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoBonacchi 2008 Molino della Suga (Brunello di Montalcino)Sangiovese GrossoBonacchi
5246552464ItalyThis selection offers balance and integrated aromas of spice, dark fruit, leather, tobacco, cola and rum cake. The wine shows power and heft both in terms of alcohol and consistency. Smoothly polished, fine tannins appear on the close.9155TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoCastello Banfi 2008 Brunello di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoCastello Banfi
5246652465FranceA very structured, firm wine with excellent acidity and dark, dry tannins. The alcohol does show through, but the wine is firm and very dense, a big success from this Lurton family owned property.9130BordeauxPessac-LéognanRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Bouscaut 2010 Pessac-LéognanBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Bouscaut
5246752466FranceA big, ripe and juicy wine packed with black fruit notes and laced with acidity. The tannins offer a contrast to the fruitiness, bringing balance and structure. This is an impressive wine, the smoky aftertaste bringing out the wood aging.9125BordeauxBlaye Côtes de BordeauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Manon la Lagune 2010 Blaye Côtes de BordeauxBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Manon la Lagune
5246852467ItalyBright fruit tones of cherry, pomegranate and red currant give this Brunello a pristine and youthful personality. The quality of those red fruit aromas is remarkable and the wine shows well-integrated spice, leather and tobacco notes. A very welcome splash of sweet-fruit flavor helps smooth out Sangiovese's natural acidity.9144TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoCollelceto 2008 Brunello di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoCollelceto
5246952468ItalyThere's a savory, almost chewy side to this Brunello that is enhanced by aromas of tobacco, spice, dark cola, licorice, blackberry and currant. The wine shows balance and intensity with a soft, plush feel in the mouth that stands in pleasing contrast against to wine's young tannins and acidity.9175TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoConti Costanti 2008 Brunello di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoConti Costanti
5247052469SpainGran is a step up from Mora's crianza. The nose deals marzipan, blackberry, raisin and chocolate aromas in front of a smooth, layered palate with toasted berry, vanilla and chocolate flavors. There's a ton of oak on this wine, creating a vanilla and caramel character on the finish. Drink now through 2017.Gran9190Northern SpainToroMichael Schachner@wineschachElias Mora 2009 Gran (Toro)Tinta de ToroElias Mora

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