Wine Reviews

5292152920USThis bottling from an extremely cool-climate vineyard is light and easy on the nose, with ripe apples, sharp herbs, moss and an inherent grassy character deep within. It's extremely lively on the palate, with compellingly delivered acidity and a lime-skin tension carrying flavors of dried dill and sharp lemony citrus. It's one of the better Sauv Blancs of the vintage.9226CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannPresqu'ile 2016 Sauvignon Blanc (Santa Maria Valley)Sauvignon BlancPresqu'ile
5292252921SpainAlluring aromas of cocoa powder, berry fruits, graphite and raw oak lead to a jammy palate with density and weight. This old-vines Monastrell tastes of chocolaty oak and herbal blackberry. On the finish, it's tight and rugged, with mildly scratchy tannins and a saucy aftertaste. Drink through 2022.Pie Franco9270LevanteJumillaMichael Schachner@wineschachCasa Castillo 2014 Pie Franco Monastrell (Jumilla)MonastrellCasa Castillo
5292352922ChileA nose led by aromas of fine oak, raspberry and mild spices opens this blend of 80% Carmenère and 20% Malbec. In the mouth, it's nicely built, with delicate layering and not too much weight. Toasty, spicy red-fruit flavors include a tobacco note and the wine tastes a bit chocolaty on the tail end. Drink through 2023.Sucesor9225Maule ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachCasa Donoso 2013 Sucesor Red (Maule Valley)Red BlendCasa Donoso
5292452923ItalyAlluring Nebbiolo aromas of dark berry, purple flower, baking spice, truffle and herb slowly unfold in this wine. The savory, succulent palate doles out Marasca cherry, raspberry compote, cinnamon and licorice flavors against a backdrop of firm, refined tannins and bright acidity.Asili9275PiedmontBarbarescoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCascina Luisin 2014 Asili (Barbaresco)NebbioloCascina Luisin
5292552924ItalyFragrant and loaded with finesse, this boasts enticing blue flower, wild berry and cake spice scents. The fresh, elegant palate evokes strawberry, raspberry, candied nectarine and ginger, the flavors framed by vibrant acidity. It finishes crisp and dry.Vigna del Cristo9218Central ItalyLambrusco di SorbaraKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCavicchioli 2016 Vigna del Cristo (Lambrusco di Sorbara)Lambrusco di SorbaraCavicchioli
5292652925USIn this opulent, layered and full-bodied wine, a smoky beefy aroma and a melt-in-the-mouth texture come with flavors of dark maraschino cherries, dark chocolate and baking spices. It's very mouth filling and mouth coating as well as firmly tannic, but the richness of the flavors helps it to drink very smoothly.Naylor Vineyard9229CaliforniaEl DoradoSierra FoothillsJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsCedarville Vineyard 2014 Naylor Vineyard Petite Sirah (El Dorado)Petite SirahCedarville Vineyard
5292752926FranceStructured and dense with tannins, this is a big wine with a big future. Its black fruits, acidity and solid texture all point to its weight and richness. It is going to be a rich fruity wine. But wait until 2023.9232BurgundySavigny-lès-BeauneRoger Voss@vossrogerChanson Père et Fils 2015 Savigny-lès-BeaunePinot NoirChanson Père et Fils
5292852927FranceFrom selected parcels of the Ollières estate, this wine is impressive. It has weight but that is balanced by the acidity and the generous black fruits and acidity. This is certainly a wine that has been well aged, although it would pay to wait another year before drinking. So drink this very fine wine from 2018.Haut de l'Hermitage9240ProvenceCoteaux Varois en ProvenceRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau d'Ollières 2013 Haut de l'Hermitage Red (Coteaux Varois en Provence)Provence red blendChâteau d'Ollières
5292952928USThis bottling, which is balanced by 16% Cabernet Franc and 9% Merlot, rides the savory edge of the grape, with aromas of underbrush and dried herbs giving depth to the black-olive and black-currant aromas. The palate offers a mix of red and darker fruits, including cranberry, plum and blackberry, with touches of thyme and anise.Reserve9284CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannChateau Margene 2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles)Cabernet SauvignonChateau Margene
5293052929FranceThe Suremain family winery in the main street of Mercurey has cellars going back to the 17th century. This wood-aged wine will have been kept here, where it has developed into a structured and firm wine, full of dry tannins as well as ripe red-berry fruits. Drink from 2023.Les Crêts Premier Cru9238BurgundyMercureyRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine de Suremain 2015 Les Crêts Premier Cru (Mercurey)Pinot NoirDomaine de Suremain
5293152930FranceA blend from different parts of the Fleurie appellation, this wine is elegant and floral. Crisp red fruits are sustained by acidity and by a juicy character. As often with this appellation, it is a wine to age and will be better from 2018.La Chanaise9220BeaujolaisMorgonRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaines Dominique Piron 2015 La Chanaise (Morgon)GamayDomaines Dominique Piron
5293252931FranceProduced from 100-year-old vines, this wine has been aged for nearly three years and has lost its intense fruitiness. Wood and spice flavors are present along with a perfumed intensity and toastiness. Drink this wine now.Aux Bouthières9238BurgundyPouilly-FuisséRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Pascal et Mireille Renaud 2014 Aux Bouthières (Pouilly-Fuissé)ChardonnayDomaine Pascal et Mireille Renaud
5293352932SpainAppealing black-fruit aromas include notes of tobacco and chocolate. This is a brooding, deep Tinto Fino with grippy tannins. Ripe berry, plum and cassis flavors are flush, while this wine finishes dark, with a reprise of young, rubbery tannins. Best from 2019–2030.Parada de Atauta9230Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachDominio de Atauta 2015 Parada de Atauta (Ribera del Duero)Tinto FinoDominio de Atauta
5293452933SpainThe 2015 harvest produced a bumper crop of excellent Bierzo wines, Baltos included. Aromas of black fruits and violets are full and floral, with a hint of nicely scented candle. There's balance to the palate along with toasty, blackened flavors of blackberry and spice. Toasty notes persist on a well-balanced finish. Drink this fairly dense and wholly delicious Mencía trough 2020.Baltos9216Northern SpainBierzoMichael Schachner@wineschachDominio de Tares 2015 Baltos Mencía (Bierzo)MencíaDominio de Tares
5293552934USVery fresh although not particularly fruity aromas of raspberry mesh with allspice, thyme and tarragon on the nose of this block-designate bottling from the historic vineyard. Energetic and lighter red-fruit flavors like pomegranate show on the sip, where fennel is the dominant spice.Block 43 Bien Nacido Vineyard9265CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannFoxen 2015 Block 43 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley)Pinot NoirFoxen
5293652935USThis estate-driven wine combines 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 6% Merlot. Made in a classical Old-World style, it offers chalky tannin around composted earth, blackberry and cassis. The texture is firm and grippy, with supportive acidity at its core.Amaino9249CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneG & L Lurton 2013 Amaino Red (Sonoma County)Bordeaux-style Red BlendG & L Lurton
5293752936USWiemer's Cuvée Brut is fresher and more forward than the producer's longer-aged blanc de blanc. Yet amidst the cutting green apple and lemon, there's plenty of autolytic character, expressed as whispers of toast, rising dough and burnt sugar. It's vibrantly balanced by tiny, penetrating bubbles and a lingering, fresh finish.Cuvée Brut9232New YorkSeneca LakeFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaHermann J. Wiemer 2013 Cuvée Brut (Seneca Lake)Champagne BlendHermann J. Wiemer
5293852937USThis wine comes from one of Washington's top vineyards, best known for Cabernet Sauvignon, however this Malbec seems to shine as well. Almost 100% varietal, it boasts vibrant plum, coffee, clove, vanilla and herb aromas. The palate is loaded with plump, creamy fruit and an oak note of lingering espresso.Champoux Vineyard9240WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportJanuik 2014 Champoux Vineyard Malbec (Horse Heaven Hills)MalbecJanuik
5293952938FranceThis wine has the weight that is typical of this appellation. It is full bodied, ripe with melon and yellow fruits. Contrasting with that, a crisper edge brings out minerality and a nervy texture. Drink from 2022.Les Macherelles Premier Cru9269BurgundyChassagne-MontrachetRoger Voss@vossrogerRoux Père et Fils 2015 Les Macherelles Premier Cru (Chassagne-Montrachet)ChardonnayRoux Père et Fils
5294052939FranceThis is a structured, full-bodied wine that has solid tannins and concentrated fruitiness. It is packed with red-berry flavors, ripe tannins and spice from the wood aging. The wine will take time to develop. Drink from 2022.Les Lavières Premier Cru9236BurgundySavigny-lès-BeauneRoger Voss@vossrogerSeguin-Manuel 2015 Les Lavières Premier Cru (Savigny-lès-Beaune)Pinot NoirSeguin-Manuel
5294152940ItalyThis wine's truffle, underbrush, dark berry and baking spice aromas take center stage. Still young and primary, it shows unripe red berry, sage, ground clove, truffle and star anise flavors on the palate, structured with bracing tannins and vibrant acidity. Give it time to fully come together. Drink 2021–2028.Currà9270PiedmontBarbarescoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeSottimano 2014 Currà (Barbaresco)NebbioloSottimano
5294252941USA layered, somewhat delicate nose of rose petals, purple flowers, cola spice and raspberry-laced chocolate serves as the introduction to this bottling. Cherry, cranberry and raspberry emerge subtly on the sip, lifted by potpourri and sagebrush that fit into a chalky and tight structure. This will age very well.Bien Nacido Vineyards9242CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannStephen Ross 2015 Bien Nacido Vineyards Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley)Pinot NoirStephen Ross
5294352942USThis is a big, bold and dry wine that will pair well with roast lamb chops or grilled steaks. Spice rack aromas and generous blackberry, boysenberry and black-cherry flavors ride a velvety texture of fine-grained tannins. It has good concentration, layers of flavor and a lip-smacking texture.The Smuggler's Son9235CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsThe Smuggler's Son 2014 The Smuggler's Son Red (California)Red BlendThe Smuggler's Son
5294452943USClassic Sonoma Zinfandel, dry, spicy and elegant, with briary, brambly wild berry, tobacco, leather and pepper flavors. It's dry and rich in dusty tannins, and will hold for a good six years.Lone Redwood Ranch8826CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaJoseph Swan Vineyards 2004 Lone Redwood Ranch Zinfandel (Russian River Valley)ZinfandelJoseph Swan Vineyards
5294552944USGiven 22 months in new French oak, this reserve Pinot Noir still brings the fruit front and center. Blackberries rule here, but there is a strong menthol/mint streak as well, which leaves the palate feeling as if a curiously strong breath mint has recently passed through. Kason seems to have great fruit sources, packaged in a rather rustic style, but offering quite delicious and bold flavors at moder prices.Old Vine Reserve8829OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Kason 2006 Old Vine Reserve Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirKason
5294652945SpainFor an off vintage, this is a nice wine. It has a touch of leafiness on the nose but also dark fruit, shoe polish and style. Gets better as it airs out, and thus the raspberry and plum flavors take on a forward, easygoing likability. Textured on the finish, and definitely not dilute or choppy like so many others from 2002.Reserva8818Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachLuis Cañas 2002 Reserva (Rioja)Tempranillo BlendLuis Cañas
5294752946SpainDark in color, with licorice, kirsch, mineral and prune aromas. This registers as a ripe wine with a soft frame. It's not flabby but it does seem a bit oily and rich, with black cherry and baked plum flavors. Finishes a touch short, but also a little thick. Drink now through 2010.Finca El Puig8838CataloniaPrioratMichael Schachner@wineschachFuentes 2004 Finca El Puig Red (Priorat)Red BlendFuentes
5294852947ItalyThis base Barolo offers upfront aromas of tealeaf, moist tobacco, apple skin, cedar wood, white cherry and wild berry. Those notes are overlapped and tangled yet the wine finds balance in the mouth thanks to the supporting role of tannins and acidity. Overall, this is a fresh, traditional and direct expression of Nebbiolo.8860PiedmontBaroloGiribaldi 2004 BaroloNebbioloGiribaldi
5294952948USShows wonderfully ripe, pure Pinot Noir fruit flavors, with black and red cherries and currants elaborated with exotic Asian spices and sweet, smoky sandalwood. Very tasty and elegant now and for the next several years.8825CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaBuena Vista 2006 Pinot Noir (Carneros)Pinot NoirBuena Vista
5295052949ItalyHere's a traditional interpretation of Nebbiolo by Giuseppe Marengo with immediate aromas of ginger, root beer, pencil shaving and Spanish cedar. The wine is compact yet not overconcentrated and offers a bright mouthfeel with spice tones and rock-hard tannins. Drink with stewed meats or pasta with wild boar.8874PiedmontBarbarescoCa'Romè 2006 BarbarescoNebbioloCa'Romè

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