Wine Reviews

5411454113SpainLean, dry raspberry aromas and a slight floral essence carry the nose toward a zesty, semisharp palate with crisp cherry and cranberry flavors. Not bad in a lean, stripped-back way; but there's no excess oak, weight or sweetness. Lean stuff for old-school palates nursing plates of ham or salami.Arderius8310Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Leza García 2006 Arderius (Rioja)Tempranillo BlendBodegas Leza García
5411554114SpainPickle and sweet funk on the nose give this chunky wine a nose that's less than fresh. Flavors of orange, peach and cantaloupe are sweet but flat, and in the end it tastes more like a fruit juice than a really solid dry rosé.Rosado8313Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachDarien 2007 Rosado Tempranillo (Rioja)TempranilloDarien
5411654115USDeep and dark in the glass, this bottling from a family-owned winery shows aromas of cola spice, wild cherry, cocoa dust and game. On the palate, rich black-cherry fruit is expertly cut by accents of dried sagebrush and licorice. Persistent, bountiful acidity carries it to a black raspberry-inflected finish.Estate9346CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannBoekenoogen 2015 Estate Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirBoekenoogen
5411754116USJust two barrels of this Paul Hobbs-consulted wine were made, and that focus is evidenced by its soft and lavish vanilla, mace, cocoa, white pepper and lavender aromas and its core of cassis fruit. Luxurious tannins and underlying acidity carry measured blackberry and chocolate flavors.Limited9365CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannBrave & Maiden 2014 Limited Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley)SyrahBrave & Maiden
5411854117ItalyThis lightly sparkling, terroir-driven wine is loaded with soul and finesse. It's ethereal and bone dry, with delicately alluring aromas and flavors of white spring flower, ripe apple, Bartlett pear, citrus and Alpine herb. Crisp acidity and a silky mousse provide balance and finesse while a mineral note energizes the focused finish. The sediment at the bottom of the bottle adds even more flavor to the last glass.Col Fondo9325VenetoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCa' dei Zago 2016 Col Fondo GleraGleraCa' dei Zago
5411954118FranceThis perfumed and floral wine is concentrated and dense. Its ripe black-plum and spice flavors are impressive with their intensity. Produced from biodynamically grown grapes, the wine is showing considerable aging potential. Drink this wine from 2020.Le Fondis9335Loire ValleySaint-Nicolas-de-BourgueilRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Amirault 2014 Le Fondis (Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil)Cabernet FrancDomaine Amirault
5412054119USBurnt tea, forest floor and crushed leaf aromas ride atop dense layers of turned earth and stemmy rose scents in this intriguing wine from a beloved site. Moderate acidity keeps it fresh, highlighting its succulent black cherry fruit with lavender and Asian spice notes that emerge on the finish.Keefer Ranch Vineyard9355CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneSiduri 2015 Keefer Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirSiduri
5409154090USOverly sweet, this soft wine has flavors of sugared crushed cherries, blackberries and raspberries, like high-class marmalade.8336CaliforniaTemeculaSouth CoastLeonesse Cellars 2005 Meritage (Temecula)MeritageLeonesse Cellars
5409254091USThis is the kind of fun, flirty white that won't break the bank or your brain—it's simple and sippable. The nose offers pineapple, lemon and a touch of toast, while the fruit flavors are bright and appealing. Could use a touch of acidity but overall, the wine is balanced. A good everyday choice.Miss Chevious Nautie III839New YorkNew YorkNew York OtherSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaLucas Vineyards NV Miss Chevious Nautie III White (New York)White BlendLucas Vineyards
5409354092AustraliaWith its ample body and complex touches of chocolate, plum and spice, this is clearly a serious attempt at rosé, just one that seems a bit tired at this stage of its evolution. Drink up.Saignée Rosé8315New South WalesHunter ValleyJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzMargan 2007 Saignée Rosé Shiraz (Hunter Valley)ShirazMargan
5409454093SpainBramble and burning brush on the nose, while the palate is murky as it delivers tomato leaf, baked plum and carob flavors. Seems sort of cooked and funky, with a muddled mouthfeel. The 2005 is a cleaner, more focused wine.8310Northern SpainCampo de BorjaMichael Schachner@wineschachCoto de Hayas 2006 Tempranillo-Cabernet Sauvignon (Campo de Borja)Tempranillo-Cabernet SauvignonCoto de Hayas
5409554094SpainDill, cheese and mossy fruit give this wine a less than super bouquet. The palate is light, with strawberry flavors mixed with some peppery, herbal overtones. Short on the finish; not much bang for the buck.Reserva8319Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachDiez-Caballero 2001 Reserva (Rioja)TempranilloDiez-Caballero
5409654095USSoft, rustic and slightly sweet, with jammy flavors of cherries, blackberries, pepper and smoky oak. Drink now.Grand Reserve8328CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherFrench Hill 2006 Grand Reserve Cabernet Franc (California)Cabernet FrancFrench Hill
5409754096SpainAlmost volatile, but with reduced raisin below. If you are familiar with hot-climate California Zinfandel, this is not unlike that. It has a vinegary attack and then a strange but limited sweetness lurking in the weeds. A challenged wine.Javier Asensio Tinto8310Northern SpainNavarraMichael Schachner@wineschachAsensio 2003 Javier Asensio Tinto Red (Navarra)Red BlendAsensio
5409854097ItalyThis playful rosé is marked by a saccharine, cotton candy quality that will remind you of cherry cough drops or raspberry lollipop. It's a simple, no-fuss, beautifully packaged wine with a subtle touch of bitter astringency on the close.Negroamaro83Southern ItalySalentoVilla Mottura 2007 Negroamaro Rosé (Salento)RoséVilla Mottura
5409954098SpainMeaty and very oaky, with resin, mocha and milky aromas that amount to a wood cutter's dream. Not surprisingly, the mouthfeel is more shocking and acidic than the oaky bouquet suggests; flavors are racy and tart, and then a bitter lactic quality comes on strong. Too much going on, with nothing pulling in the same direction.Crianza8315Central SpainLa ManchaMichael Schachner@wineschachGladium 2005 Crianza Tempranillo (La Mancha)TempranilloGladium
5410054099USThis bone-dry blush has flavors of pepper, herb tea and baked cherry pie filling, and finishes very dry. It tastes a little tired, despite its young age.El Jabalí Vineyard Vin Gris8320CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastAlma Rosa 2006 El Jabalí Vineyard Vin Gris Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirAlma Rosa
5410154100USWhite flowers, honey and toasted spice lead on this Riesling from New York, and on the palate, a backbone of elegant fruit prevails. Paired with the wine's sweet touch, the flavors offer a simple, appealing quaff that will pair well with spicy cuisine.Semi-Sweet8316New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaAnthony Road 2007 Semi-Sweet Riesling (Finger Lakes)RieslingAnthony Road
5410254101USSoft, sweet and simple in structure. Many wine lovers will enjoy the cherry, raspberry, vanilla and chocolate-cinnamon flavors that taste like a dessert pastry.8330CaliforniaAtlas PeakNapaArger-Martucci 2005 Syrah (Atlas Peak)SyrahArger-Martucci
5410354102SpainThe name boasts of balance but we find mostly pine needle, skunk and eventually creamy red-fruit aromas followed by lean, tangy stawberry and cherry flavors. Light fruit and simple oak is all that's here.A4 Nuestro Equilibrio8323Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachAnta 2006 A4 Nuestro Equilibrio (Ribera del Duero)Tempranillo BlendAnta
5410454103ItalyThe wine's aromas are simple and rather monothematic and recall apple cider or pear juice. There's even a slight veil in its appearance and a gritty texture that further reinforces that pear juice impression. That said, Bisceglia is an up and coming modern winery and one worth keeping an eye on in the future.83Southern ItalyBasilicataBisceglia 2006 Chardonnay (Basilicata)ChardonnayBisceglia
5410554104USAn everyday Chard, with superripe pear and apricot flavors and a thick coat of smoky oak.Reserve8310CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaNapa Family Vineyards 2005 Reserve Chardonnay (Napa Valley)ChardonnayNapa Family Vineyards
5410654105USTastes semisweet, like a lemon, lime and pineapple cough drop. But the acidity is brisk and cleansing, and lots of people will enjoy this affordable wine.837CaliforniaMonterey CountyCentral CoastHilltown 2006 Sauvignon Blanc (Monterey County)Sauvignon BlancHilltown
5410754106USThis exotic white blend from Iowa offers aromas of orange and citrus with a minerally zip, and on the palate, is a bit on the sweet and curvy side. Not terribly inspired but still pretty, it will pair well with Asian cuisine.Black Road8313IowaIowaSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaJasper NV Black Road White (Iowa)White BlendJasper
5410854107USAn awkward Chard that tastes unnaturally oaky, with medicinal flavors of toasted, sweet vanilla bean. You'll find hints of pineapples and papayas, but that oaky thing is really strong.8310CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaMagistrate 2006 Chardonnay (Napa Valley)ChardonnayMagistrate
5410954108USThe 2006 was really good, but the 2007 is a disappointment. Where that wine was complex, this is simple, tasting of watermelon, cotton candy and LifeSaver cherry flavors that finish watery and sugary.Vin Gris of8322CaliforniaAnderson ValleyMigration 2007 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley)Pinot NoirMigration
5411054109SpainVery dark and seemingly on the cooked side of the ledger. The nose is black and raisiny, while the core flavors are saucy. At least this meaty, overdone Garnacha isn't oaked, so in that sense it isn't offensive. But it is definitely soft, and without much future.Viñas Viejas8311Northern SpainCalatayudMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Agustín Cubero 2006 Viñas Viejas Garnacha (Calatayud)GarnachaBodegas Agustín Cubero
5411154110USA plucky nose of fruitcake and spice leads off. On the palate, good, robust red fruit, a solid, dry and minerally backbone and a touch of oak offer dimension and balance. A bit rough and ready, the wine will benefit from pairing with grilled meats or spicy dishes that can match its energy.Calvin Clarion8328New MexicoNew MexicoSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaCasa Rondeña Winery 2006 Calvin Clarion Red (New Mexico)Red BlendCasa Rondeña Winery
5411254111SpainAirén is a big-crop white grape that is usually distilled into brandy or made into Sherry. But here we see it as a dry white table wine, and while it is limited in scope, the wine's punch-bowl approach and cleansing lime and kiwi flavors are decent.838Central SpainVino de la Tierra de CastillaMichael Schachner@wineschachSierra Virgen 2007 Airen (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla)AirenSierra Virgen
5411354112ItalyAromas recall sweet candy, bordering on cotton candy, with peppermint powder and aromatic flowers in the background. The nose is saccharine and synthetic and the wine is watery and easy in the mouth.8321Southern ItalyLameziaStatti 2006 Greco (Lamezia)GrecoStatti

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