Wine Reviews

5487154870USFew Chardonnays in California exhibit this fruit power. It's explosive in apricots, oranges, mangoes, lime and Meyer lemons, all enriched with sweet, toasty oak. With brisk acidity, it's a balanced wine, but too massive to appreciate now. Drink in 2–3 years.Edward James Estate9375CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaPaul Hobbs 2011 Edward James Estate Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayPaul Hobbs
5487254871USAlways a compelling wine, the 2011 Upper Barn shows the estate's classic acidity and minerality that give it such linear elegance. There is, however, nothing shy about the flavors, which are an explosion of oranges, peaches, limes, honey and new oak. This wine is not for aging, so drink now through 2015.Upper Barn9375CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaStonestreet 2011 Upper Barn Chardonnay (Alexander Valley)ChardonnayStonestreet
5487354872USThe mystery of how to make a Chardonnay, is solved with this wine; fruity, rich and creamy, yet one that finishes so dry and crisp in acidity. Who else holds back a Chardonnay five years except Jim Clendenen? Low in alcohol and balanced despite being aged in 100% new French oak, it's just now beginning a long journey of excellence. It has a soft, lilting mouthfeel and incredible complexity that will only improve with time.Le Bon Climat9350CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastClendenen 2008 Le Bon Climat Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley)ChardonnayClendenen
5487454873SpainBrandied berry, coconut and marzipan aromas are ripe and heady for CVNE, but super inviting. In the mouth, this is structured and firm, with plenty of acidic cut and snap. Coconut and balsamic berry are the lead flavors, while the finish is herbal and shows a pinch of saltiness along with a dry feel. Drink through 2025.Viña Real Gran Reserva9359Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachCVNE 2006 Viña Real Gran Reserva (Rioja)Tempranillo BlendCVNE
5487554874SpainLosada wines are dark, dense, heady creatures. This high-end version delivers deep mineral and lead aromas alongside cassis, berry and toasted notes. The palate is upright like a good cadet, with lively acidity, blackberry and spice flavors. This is big and modern but not extreme. Drink through 2023.Altos de Losada9340Northern SpainBierzoMichael Schachner@wineschachLosada 2009 Altos de Losada Mencía (Bierzo)MencíaLosada
5487654875ArgentinaUntil this four-man group effort produces something that's less than outstanding, LTU will rank as a go-to producer of excellent full-bodied Malbec. This vintage is ripe on the nose, then saturated yet proportionally balanced on the palate. Plum, wild berry, roasted notes, licorice and herbal flavors finish big and ready. This doesn't need much time in bottle; drink now through 2016.9365Mendoza ProvinceUco ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachLTU 2009 Malbec (Uco Valley)MalbecLTU
5487754876FranceIt hurts to say this, but $78 qualifies as a decent value in Côte Rôtie these days. This is delicately floral on the nose, while vibrant raspberry fruit carries through on the palate. A hint of creaminess marks the texture, turning to fine silk on the finish. Drink now–2023.9378Rhône ValleyCôte RôtieJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzMaison Nicolas Perrin 2010 Côte RôtieRhône-style Red BlendMaison Nicolas Perrin
5487854877USThis is 100% Riesling, but with less than half the residual sugar of the winery's 2011 vintage. Sourced from the Evergreen Vineyard in the up-and-coming Ancient Lakes AVA, it has great acidity and purity of fruit, along with the minerality for which the region is known. Dense flavors of lime, grapefruit and pineapple are at the core of this wonderfully concentrated, expressive Riesling.The Magician Evergreen Vineyard White Wine9318WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Sleight of Hand 2012 The Magician Evergreen Vineyard White Wine Riesling (Columbia Valley (WA))RieslingSleight of Hand
5487954878USThis is a reserve-style bottling based on barrel selections of the winery's extensive portfolio. It's extravagant in tangerine, mango, peach and oak flavors, with leesy notes of yeast, new oak and buttered toast. With brisk acidity, it's a rich wine that should be enjoyed now.Diana's9359CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherTestarossa 2011 Diana's Chardonnay (California)ChardonnayTestarossa
5488054879USOne of Testarossa's best 2011 Pinot Noirs, of 14 released, this wine is, in a word, gorgeous. First off is the silky texture, as airy as a cloud. Then there are the flavors, complex and lush in raspberries, cherries, brown sugar, cinnamon and oak. The wine is so delightful to drink now, you might miss out on cellaring it until 2018 to see where it goes.Doctor's Vineyard9362CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastTestarossa 2011 Doctor's Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirTestarossa
5488154880USA Grenache-driven blend with 28% Syrah and 9% Mourvèdre, this is a substantial, concentrated wine generous in leather, pipe tobacco and blackberry pie, accented teasingly in clove. With a big, meaty presence and long, grippy finish, it should stand the test of cellaring, through 2020.Entanglement9036CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneV. Sattui 2012 Entanglement G-S-M (Napa Valley)G-S-MV. Sattui
5488254881FranceWith almost zero dosage, this is dry but it doesn't feel at all unbalanced because of the ripe, fragrant fruitiness. The wine is full in the mouth, with lively acidity. It is ready to drink, particularly with food.Brut Nature90ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerVincent Couche NV Brut Nature (Champagne)Champagne BlendVincent Couche
5488354882USThe aromas of toast, pear, pineapple and spice are nuanced and reserved. Flavors are light, focused and textured, displaying both varietal and winemaker intent.Reserve9017WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportWaterbrook 2013 Reserve Chardonnay (Columbia Valley (WA))ChardonnayWaterbrook
5488454883AustriaAn intriguing headiness of red cherry promises an unadulterated purity of fruit. On the palate there is pepper, too, and more of that ripe, red cherry. This is fruit-forward, refreshing and simple but at the same time very balanced, fresh-faced and wonderfully authentic: Its honesty shines alongside the pure cherry fruit.Classic9016WagramAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoWeingut Groiss 2013 Classic Zweigelt (Wagram)ZweigeltWeingut Groiss
5488554884USRhubarb, cranberry and strawberry mix on the nose in this richly inviting wine that is textured and not overwhelming in weight. Featuring electric acidity, the wine finishes boldly in blackberry and licorice.Kaufman Sunnyside Vineyard9042CaliforniaSonoma MountainSonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneWillowBrook Cellars 2012 Kaufman Sunnyside Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Mountain)Pinot NoirWillowBrook Cellars
5488654885USA blend of Cinsault, Counoise and Grenache, this very pretty salmon-colored wine offers aromas of strawberry, melon, soda water and spice. It drinks dry but the fruit flavors are sweet, with tart acids finishing it off.Pink Pape Blackrock Vineyard9018WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportTranche 2014 Pink Pape Blackrock Vineyard Rosé (Yakima Valley)RoséTranche
5488754886SpainApple and citrusy aromas of lemon and lime are pure and clean. This feels crisp and citric, with zesty, tangy lime and tangerine flavors. In general, this is a simply presented Albariño, but one with class and clarity.Torre la Moreira9017GaliciaRías BaixasMichael Schachner@wineschachMarqués de Vizhoja 2014 Torre la Moreira Albariño (Rías Baixas)AlbariñoMarqués de Vizhoja
5488854887ItalyMade with Sangiovese and 10% other varieties, this offers scents of dark berry, purple flowers and a whiff of allspice. The firm palate delivers black cherry, toasted oak, espresso and white pepper alongside fine-grained tannins.Fonterutoli9028TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMazzei 2013 Fonterutoli (Chianti Classico)Red BlendMazzei
5488954888AustriaConcentrated grapefruit zestiness dominates the palate while the nose remains rather closed. This is streamlined, refreshing and firmly located in the green citrus spectrum of flavor—eminently refreshing with a clean, brisk finish.Dornleiten9029NiederösterreichAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoNigl 2014 Dornleiten Riesling (Niederösterreich)RieslingNigl
5489054889ItalyYou'll find aromas of ripe dark-skinned fruit, espresso, brown spice and sun-baked earth on this medium-bodied red. The palate delivers dried black cherry, blackberry licorice, coffee and ground black pepper set in a framework of packed, fine-grained tannins.Vigna Doghessa9033TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeNittardi 2012 Vigna Doghessa (Chianti Classico)SangioveseNittardi
5489154890USThis unoaked Chardonnay highlights a remarkable intensity of fruit flavors—from zesty tangerine and lime to ripe, rich yellow cherry and peach. While refreshingly crisp and sprightly on the palate, it boasts a long, blossomy finish.Festival9019New YorkNorth Fork of Long IslandLong IslandAnna Lee C. IijimaPaumanok 2014 Festival Chardonnay (North Fork of Long Island)ChardonnayPaumanok
5489254891USWalla Walla Valley-designated whites are a rarity. Here aromas of vanilla, toast, honeysuckle and peach show nuance and detail and lead to sweet, light bodied, lightly spritzy stone-fruit flavors with a long finish that commands attention.Estate Grown9030WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportAbeja 2014 Estate Grown Viognier (Walla Walla Valley (WA))ViognierAbeja
5489354892FranceIn its weight and richness allied to scents of garrigue and sun-warmed stones, this speaks of its Tavel terroir. The berry fruit is subdued, with spice, weight and warmth carrying the wine to a long finish.Le Crétacé9025Rhône ValleyTavelJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzAlain Jaume et Fils 2014 Le Crétacé (Tavel)RoséAlain Jaume et Fils
5489454893ItalyAromas of ripe plum, roasted coffee bean and espresso come together in the glass. A blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot, the firm palate offers dried black cherry, espresso, toasted oak and grilled herb alongside assertive but fine-grained tannins.Rocca Guicciarda9029TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBarone Ricasoli 2012 Rocca Guicciarda (Chianti Classico)Red BlendBarone Ricasoli
5489554894USYoung and still intensely oaked, this wine holds undeniable promise in its fleshy, viscous and smooth layers of stone fruit and guava—an untrammeled expression of the Napa Valley's ability for generosity and structure. The finish is bittersweet in Meyer lemon.Limited Release9035CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneBlack Stallion 2013 Limited Release Chardonnay (Napa Valley)ChardonnayBlack Stallion
5489654895USThis delicious spicy white has an almost Latin flair. It smells like mango and cilantro, tastes crisp and peachy, and finishes with a sensation of mild chili peppers. It's fun to encounter something so arresting and unusual to drink.Unto the Breach Dry9019CaliforniaLake CountyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsBodkin 2014 Unto the Breach Dry Muscat Canelli (Lake County)Muscat CanelliBodkin
5489754896USHeavy and concentrated vanilla-cherry cola and gingerbread spice notes power the dense nose on this blend of 45% Mourvèdre, 37% Grenache and 18% Syrah. The dried cherries and vanilla bean character extends to the palate, where it also shows Vietnamese coffee flavors mixed with creamy mocha.Tres Violet9048CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannCalcareous 2012 Tres Violet Red (Paso Robles)Rhône-style Red BlendCalcareous
5489854897ItalyEnticing aromas of violet, iris, wild berry, forest floor and cooking spice lead the nose of this savory blend of Sangiovese and Canaiolo. The sleek, easy-drinking palate doles out juicy black cherry, ripe plum, mocha and anise alongside polished tannins. Drink through 2016.9019TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCastello d'Albola 2012 Chianti ClassicoRed BlendCastello d'Albola
5489954898ItalyStructure and finesse come together nicely on this sleek red. It opens with aromas of baked earth, underbrush and blue flowers while the palate delivers ripe plum, dried black cherry, mint and tobacco. Firm, fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity carry the savory flavors. Drink through 2018.Campopazzo9019TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCastello di Monterinaldi 2012 Campopazzo (Chianti Classico)Red BlendCastello di Monterinaldi
5490054899FranceThis is a tangy wine, packed with fruit, orange and lemon zest and a background hint of herbaceousness. A tight, steely texture gives both acidity and the promise of aging. Drink from early 2016.9015BordeauxBordeaux BlancRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau la Verrière 2014 Bordeaux BlancBordeaux-style White BlendChâteau la Verrière

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