Wine Reviews

5448154480FranceWith good density, this is a success for the vintage. It has ripe, smooth fruit, flavors of black berry, the tannins well integrated. Age for a year.Thomas Barton Réserve8715BordeauxSaint-ÉmilionRoger Voss@vossrogerBarton & Guestier 2007 Thomas Barton Réserve (Saint-Émilion)Bordeaux-style Red BlendBarton & Guestier
5448254481ItalyFiano is a versatile grape that when executed in a fresh, easy style (as in this expression) makes a perfect companion to shellfish or seafood. Aromas include stone fruit, pink grapefruit and melon and there's a touch of heat or power on the close.Tenute di Altavilla87Southern ItalyFiano di AvellinoVilla Matilde 2009 Tenute di Altavilla (Fiano di Avellino)FianoVilla Matilde
5448354482USMade in an off-dry, almost sweet style, this polished Riesling is marked first and foremost by ripe fruit. Green apples, tangerines, Key lime pie and golden mangoes flood the mouth, made bright and clean with citrusy acidity. The alcohol is a refreshingly low 13%.8714CaliforniaMonterey CountyCentral CoastCarmel Road 2009 Riesling (Monterey County)RieslingCarmel Road
5448454483FranceTight acidity layers a wine that has freshness and a stalky character. Flavors of currants and acidity highlight its light fruitiness.87Loire ValleySaumur-ChampignyRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau de Villeneuve 2009 Saumur-ChampignyCabernet FrancChâteau de Villeneuve
5448554484FranceFrom a tiny, seven-acre property in Saint-Estèphe, this is a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated wine with black currant fruit and good, firm fruit tannins. There is a smoky wood element to balance the lively, youthful acidity.8745BordeauxSaint-EstèpheRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Graves de Pez 2009 Saint-EstèpheBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Graves de Pez
5448654485FranceA full, spicy wine, with weight from wood and attractive fruits. There is a touch of stalkiness here, a sign of the vintage, but the wine is maturing well in a food-friendly way.87BordeauxFronsacRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Haut Ballet 2007 FronsacMerlotChâteau Haut Ballet
5448754486USRich, dry and tannic, this Syrah has elaborate flavors of dried plums, blackberries, coffee, dark bitter chocolate and black pepper. It's a complex wine, compromised only by the heat of 15.4% alcohol.Sextant Vineyard8736CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastCinnabar 2008 Sextant Vineyard Syrah (Paso Robles)SyrahCinnabar
5448854487USVery dry and tannic. Treads the line between elegant and boring. Some good cherry and blackberry flavors erupt midpalate, but it's really a fairly lean, earthy Cabernet. The score reflects where it could end up in, say, eight years.8735CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaClos du Val 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (Carneros)Cabernet SauvignonClos du Val
5448954488USHard to say just why this Chard isn't better. It's nicely dry, with decent acidity, good oak and a mineral background to the citrus and peach flavors. There's just a heaviness that keeps the wine from getting airborne.Reserve8745CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaClos du Val 2008 Reserve Chardonnay (Carneros)ChardonnayClos du Val
5449054489USAt the age of 5 1/2 years, this Cabernet is still very forward and sweet in blackberry, cherry, anise and cedar flavors. The tannins are rich and thick, in the way of mountain grapes. The wine tastes a bit one-dimensional, although it could be going through an awkward phase.8744CaliforniaAtlas PeakNapaCobblestone 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (Atlas Peak)Cabernet SauvignonCobblestone
5449154490ChileTropical fruits and a mix of grass and green herbs make for a nice bouquet. The palate on this Casablanca wine is juicy and round, not pointy, with citrus and nectarine flavors. Finishes with green apple tang; definitely gets the job done.Visión8715Casablanca ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachCono Sur 2010 Visión Sauvignon Blanc (Casablanca Valley)Sauvignon BlancCono Sur
5449254491ChileAn earthy, dense four-grape blend that issues floral, cherry aromas in front of a creamy, candied palate that sports generic but nice plum, berry and cherry flavors. A smooth wine but one without much complexity; seems to have lost some of its identity in the blending process.Hacienda Araucano Clos de Lolol8723Lolol ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachFrançois Lurton 2008 Hacienda Araucano Clos de Lolol Red (Lolol Valley)Red BlendFrançois Lurton
5449354492USShows the Farrell mark of elegance, with balanced ripeness and acidity. Bigtime flavors of pineapples and tangerines mingle with caramelized oak, with additional buttered toast and vanilla richness. A crowd-pleasing Chardonnay that shouldn't be consumed too cold.Russian River Selection8732CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaGary Farrell 2008 Russian River Selection Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayGary Farrell
5449454493USDark and heavy for a Pinot Noir, although it's certainly well made and delicious. Floods the mouth with cherry and raspberry pie-filling fruit, and the smoky, caramelized oak has a granola sweetness. Drink now.8765CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaGuarachi Family 2009 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)Pinot NoirGuarachi Family
5449554494GermanyThe intensely warm 2015 vintage goes full force in this off-dry Riesling. It's gorgeously sunny, with forward scents of guava and white peach and plump in flavors of apricot and tangerine. Approachable and easy, yet irresistibly charming.Fritz Willi9018MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaFriedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium 2015 Fritz Willi Riesling (Mosel)RieslingFriedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium
5449654495ItalyRich and creamy, this has alluring aromas of ripe orchard fruit, toasted bread crust and a whiff of honey. The smooth palate doles out mature yellow apple, candied nectarine zest and toasted hazelnut framed in fresh acidity and an elegant mousse.Cuvée 60 Mesi Metodo Classico Riserva9060PiedmontAlta LangaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeGancia 2008 Cuvée 60 Mesi Metodo Classico Riserva Sparkling (Alta Langa)Sparkling BlendGancia
5449754496FranceLifted notes of ripe, juicy apple are foremost on the nose. They also shine on the palate, where they are countered by a fine, gentle and creamy mousse and lovely freshness. This is beautifully composed, understated, fresh and elegant. The dry finish shines with lemon and echoes long.Brut9017AlsaceCrémant d'AlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoLucien Albrecht NV Brut Sparkling (Crémant d'Alsace)Sparkling BlendLucien Albrecht
5449854497USFruity in stewed plum and cherry, this is a robustly full-bodied, concentrated wine, with accents of violets on the nose. Integrated tannin makes way for a smooth texture dotted in black pepper and licorice staring at a precipice of overripe heat. Enjoy with meaty, grilled foods.Lawrence Vineyard9055CaliforniaSt. HelenaNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneMersenne 2013 Lawrence Vineyard Cabernet Franc (St. Helena)Cabernet FrancMersenne
5449954498SpainDark berry aromas turn earthy and oaky. The mouthfeel on this crianza is edgy and a touch choppy, with prodding acidity. Blackberry and dark-plum flavors are subdued, while the finish is mild and healthy, but a touch abrupt. Drink through 2021.Crianza9024Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachObalo 2012 Crianza (Rioja)TempranilloObalo
5450054499USThe earthy aromas suggest fresh compost, and wrap around ripe raspberry and cherry fruit that tastes like a fresh baked pie. The mouthfeel remains light, almost airy, with a nod to Beaujolais. Drink this over the next two or three years.Kalita Vineyard9050OregonWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Panther Creek 2014 Kalita Vineyard Pinot NoirPinot NoirPanther Creek
5450154500FranceThe Côte des Bar is the source of grapes for this Aube-based producer, now in the family's eighth generation. This dry rosé gets its richness from ripe red Pinot Noir cut with refreshing citrus acidity from the Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. The Pinot Noir also adds texture. Drink now.Grains de Celles Rosé Extra Brut9056ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerPierre Gerbais NV Grains de Celles Rosé Extra Brut (Champagne)Champagne BlendPierre Gerbais
5450254501SpainStony aromas include notes of peach and honeydew. This feels round but fit, with zesty acidity. A mild honeyed character lends a note of sweetness to peach and melon flavors, while the finish is round and smooth, with a hint of bitterness around the edges.Isabelino9025Northern SpainRuedaMichael Schachner@wineschachReina de Castilla 2015 Isabelino Verdejo (Rueda)VerdejoReina de Castilla
5450354502USThis is pure, focused Russian River Valley at its most exuberant, full bodied and dark in color. Textured layers of pear, honey and melon dance around good, tight acidity, allowing for a balance of decadent pleasure.Estate Grown9050CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneRochioli 2014 Estate Grown Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayRochioli
5450454503USCompared to the winery's crisp and light 2014 bottling, this oxidative, skin contact-driven style, which is golden in color, is a bit weird at first, but immediately easy to enjoy. Candied orange rinds pop off the nose, and rich dried-apple flavors show on the palate along with orange syrup, almond oil and honey. But it stays lively and fresh, making for an intriguing sip.9024CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannSaint K 2015 Grenache Blanc (Paso Robles)Grenache BlancSaint K
5450554504AustriaMossy, yeasty savoriness signals Grüner Veltliner on the nose of this Austrian sparkler. Soft bubbles burst on a creamy and frothy yet dry palate that offers up hints of spice and green pear peel. A lovely streak of freshness courses through this and lifts the dry finish.Brut Méthode Traditionelle9020Österreichischer SektAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoSchlumberger Wein- und Sektkellerei 2014 Brut Méthode Traditionelle Grüner Veltliner (Österreichischer Sekt)Grüner VeltlinerSchlumberger Wein- und Sektkellerei
5450654505USCabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend together well in this hearty red, which shows a healthy percentage of new French oak (80%), the wine made by Denis and May-Britt Malbec. Soft and easygoing, it shows a full-bodied balance of dark brooding black fruit and leathery spice.Estate Blend9095CaliforniaCoombsvilleNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneSodaro 2013 Estate Blend Red (Coombsville)Cabernet BlendSodaro
5450754506SpainA fresh, pure, comfortable nose with nothing pushy or out of place opens this layered, balanced Rioja that doesn't wow but definitely impresses. Plum, berry, tomato and spice flavors finish with peppery notes, staunch tannins and an overall sense of quality. Drink now through 2022.Reserva9018Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachSonsierra 2012 Reserva (Rioja)TempranilloSonsierra
5450854507ItalyFull bodied and juicy, this forward, friendly version of Nebbiolo offers aromas of ripe berry, exotic spice, Alpine herb and a floral note. The chewy, no-frills palate delivers crushed raspberry, black cherry and licorice alongside solid tannins. Drink 2017–2024.9030PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeSordo 2012 BaroloNebbioloSordo
5450954508USThis wine offers big-shouldered notions of black cherry and damson plum, the fruit providing juicy succulence on the palate. Softly approachable tannins give it texture without distraction, while the entire experience is balanced in weight and body.Reserve9045CaliforniaKnights ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneSummers 2014 Reserve Merlot (Knights Valley)MerlotSummers
5451054509ItalyMade with 70% Nebbiolo, 20% Croatina and 10% Vespolina, this has enticing scents of rose, pressed violet, wild berry and a hint of menthol. The bright, silky palate delivers juicy red cherry, crushed raspberry and white pepper alongside polished tannins. Drink through 2021.9032PiedmontBramaterraKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTenute Sella 2011 BramaterraRed BlendTenute Sella

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