Wine Reviews

5604156040SpainSweet melon and peach aromas are candied. In the mouth, this is awkward, fizzy and cloying. The flavor profile has little positive to offer, while the finish turns bitter and grassy tasting.2348017Northern SpainSomontanoMichael Schachner@wineschachEnate 2013 234 Chardonnay (Somontano)ChardonnayEnate
5604256041USA barrel fermented Chardonnay that is uncharacteristically soft and fruity. Aromas of bananas and bubble gum lead to slightly sweet, uncomplicated flavors. The texture and body are light.8010CaliforniaLodiCentral ValleyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsCampus Oaks 2012 Chardonnay (Lodi)ChardonnayCampus Oaks
5604356042SpainThe cold, rainy conditions of 2008 must have affected this wine. Vegetal aromas, vinegar and green notes drive the nose, while the flavor profile is briny and pickled to an extreme. High acidity and green flavors draw down the finish.Reserva8040Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachFinca Valpiedra 2008 Reserva (Rioja)Tempranillo BlendFinca Valpiedra
5604456043PortugalThis is the latest release of Portugal's most iconic wine. It's made only in selected years (the last vintage was 2000) from Ferreira's Quinta da Leda in the Douro Superior. This new vintage is superb. It's a richly tarry wine laden with dark plum fruits and tannins that are just beginning to mature. It's a ripe and luscious, demanding attention, yet will still age for many years. Drink now, or hold until 2020.Barca Velha99426DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerCasa Ferreirinha 2004 Barca Velha Red (Douro)Portuguese RedCasa Ferreirinha
5604556044USFrom first sniff this exquisite wine grabs you and won't let go. Brambly berries, redolent with rich umami notes of spice and pine needle cascade into a wine densely packed with fruit and herbs. It lingers, opens and becomes more and more expressive, with soil-generated flavors of forest floor.Abbott Claim Vineyard9765OregonWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Ken Wright 2012 Abbott Claim Vineyard Pinot NoirPinot NoirKen Wright
5604656045USThe Freedom Hill selection from Ken Wright has never been better than this exceptionally rich, dark and dense Pinot Noir. Black cherry, smoke, earth and chocolate intertwine in a remarkably smooth, long, complex and extended finish. A sensational wine to enjoy right now.Freedom Hill Vineyard9665OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Ken Wright 2012 Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirKen Wright
5604756046PortugalProperly old gold in color, this is a wine from a single year, aged in casks. It's poised between amazing fruit and a wonderful velvet texture that is shot through with acidity. A feeling of lightness comes from the acidity that gives great freshness as well as complex flavors. It's ready to drink.Very Old Single Harvest95588PortRoger Voss@vossrogerTaylor Fladgate 1964 Very Old Single Harvest (Port)PortTaylor Fladgate
5604856047USThis boasts a brilliant, linear progression from pepper to lush cherry and berry fruit. It's spicy and floral in nuanced, beautiful ways, with perfectly balanced acidity. Creamy and silky, this wine lingers, building complexity as it coats the palate.Perli Vineyards9540CaliforniaMendocino RidgeVirginie Boone@vbooneDonkey & Goat 2011 Perli Vineyards Syrah (Mendocino Ridge)SyrahDonkey & Goat
5604956048FranceSweet fruit dominates this attractive, spicy wine. It has ample acidity, giving a fine, fresh black-currant character and tannins that are already melding into the wine. For medium-term aging of 3–5 years.8826BordeauxHaut-MédocRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Lamothe-Cissac 2011 Haut-MédocBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Lamothe-Cissac
5605056049FranceDense and concentrated and still very young, the wine has ripe blackberry flavors, a sense of ripeness and a dry wood-and-tannin core. Give the wine at least 4–5 years.8818BordeauxCadillac Côtes de BordeauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Tanesse 2011 Cadillac Côtes de BordeauxBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Tanesse
5605156050USThe cherry, red currant and smoky oak flavors on this wine are delicious, and with the light, silky texture and vibrant acidity, you might think it was Pinot Noir. Beautiful to drink now with your favorite Italian-inspired beef entrée, but stay away from tomatoes.Alegria Vineyard8833CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaAcorn 2010 Alegria Vineyard Dolcetto (Russian River Valley)DolcettoAcorn
5605256051USThis wine is showing excessive oakiness at the moment, but it's so young that it could easily meld into the fruit with another few months in the bottle. Sharp and youthful, it has some real fruit power from the Gamache vineyard grapes. Apple and citrus rind dominate, with a touch of butter in the finish.Gamache Vineyards8819WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine AntoLin Cellars 2011 Gamache Vineyards Chardonnay (Columbia Valley (WA))ChardonnayAntoLin Cellars
5605356052ItalyA delicious, classic Barbera with a dense core of rich black cherry and spice balanced by fresh acidity. Well made, with a long, clean finish, this is a perfect match for barbecued meats.8820PiedmontBarbera d'Alba SuperioreKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBorgogno F.lli Serio e Battista 2009 Barbera d'Alba SuperioreBarberaBorgogno F.lli Serio e Battista
5605456053USBorra's Fusion is 90% Viognier and 10% Gewurztraminer and the two varieties bring out nice things in each other here, the floral aromas at the wine's opening evolving into a crisp, soft, creamy center on the mid-palate, a taste of citrus and honeydew standing out.Fusion8817CaliforniaLodiCentral ValleyVirginie Boone@vbooneBorra 2012 Fusion White (Lodi)White BlendBorra
5605556054ChileThis is an earthy, somewhat flat wine with herbal berry aromas that fall away in quiet form. A full, grabby palate brings berry, raisin and tobacco flavors, all supported by a modest beam of acidity. A finish of earth, tobacco and mulchy flavors announce that 2009 was indeed a hot vintage in Chile.Erasmo8830Maule ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachCaliboro Estate 2009 Erasmo Red (Maule Valley)Red BlendCaliboro Estate
5605656055USA first-rate Sauvignon Blanc, delightful to drink now for its crisp fruitiness. Lovely acids highlight citrus, tropical fruit and gooseberry flavors that finish long and spicy.8818CaliforniaSt. HelenaNapaCharles Krug 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (St. Helena)Sauvignon BlancCharles Krug
5605756056FranceJust beginning its secondary phase, the wine has weight, dark tannins and complex dried fruit, licorice and spice. A stylish, elegant wine with some of the freshness of the vintage still in place.8825Southwest FranceMontravelRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau le Raz 2008 MontravelBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau le Raz
5605856057AustriaFrom vines on the slopes of the north-west corner of Lake Neusiedl, this is a broad, juicy wine. It has red cherry flavors, soft, generous tannins and attractively balanced acidity. It's not a wine for long-term aging and is likely to be at its best in three years. Glass stopper8837BurgenlandRoger Voss@vossrogerGernot and Heike Heinrich 2011 St. Laurent (Burgenland)St. LaurentGernot and Heike Heinrich
5605956058AustraliaThis full-bodied Shiraz is bulky and a bit loosely knit. The overtly smoky notes persist on the palate, vying with maple syrup and dark fruit flavors. It's a big, flavorful wine that needs time to come together, so consume over the next few years.St. Andrews8850South AustraliaClare ValleyJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzWakefield 2006 St. Andrews Shiraz (Clare Valley)ShirazWakefield
5606056059GermanyThe fruit profile on this Riesling is crisp and fresh with elegant hints of underripe peach and pineapple. Dry and full bodied with a broad, feathery texture on the palate, it's brisk with minerality and a delicate lime acidity.Dry8819RheinhessenAnna Lee C. IijimaWeingut Liebfrauenstift 2011 Dry Riesling (Rheinhessen)RieslingWeingut Liebfrauenstift
5606156060USThis is half Syrah (from Chandler Reach) and half Cabernet Sauvignon (from Stillwater Creek), aged in 100% new French oak. The plush fruits are ripe and well-matched, and there are nuanced highlights of herb, leaf, bark and beet root. The tannins are tight and stiff, so some extra breathing time is a good idea.Double Vision Red8845WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Woodinville Wine Cellars 2010 Double Vision Red Syrah-Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Syrah-Cabernet SauvignonWoodinville Wine Cellars
5606256061GermanyWhile expressive on the nose with scents of dried cherries, potpourri and spice, the palate on this Pinot Noir is rather savory and austere. Fresh with green herbs and a tart sour-cherry profile, it makes a brisk companion to an array of light meat and game dishes.Malterdinger Trocken8849BadenAnna Lee C. IijimaHuber 2010 Malterdinger Trocken Pinot Noir (Baden)Pinot NoirHuber
5606356062USJust what a Dry Creek Zin should be. It's dry, furry in tannins, heady in alcohol and with enough acidity to give brightness to the wild berry, currant, dark chocolate, tobacco and spice flavors. Classic in its way, and nice to drink now.Voigt Family Vineyards8824CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaJ. Rickards 2010 Voigt Family Vineyards Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelJ. Rickards
5606456063USShows lots of structure, with brisk acids, firm, granitic minerals and even a dusting of tannins. The flavors are evenly divided between sweet citrus fruits and new oak. Not an ager, but a wine of finesse and elegance.Black Mountain8824CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastJoyce 2011 Black Mountain Chardonnay (Santa Lucia Highlands)ChardonnayJoyce
5606556064USThis is a red wine for white wine drinkers. It's silky and vibrantly crisp in acidity, like a Sauvignon Blanc, except the flavors are pure Pinot, suggesting sour cherry candy, persimmons and tart cranberries. Drink now–2017.Tondre Grapefield8835CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastJoyce 2011 Tondre Grapefield Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirJoyce
5606656065ChileThis Pinot is aromatic; rhubarb, dried raspberry, rubber, prickly herbal notes and spice scents all vie for attention. This is solid and creamy in feel, with cutting acidity and herbal, lightly leafy flavors of dried, spicy red fruits. A lightly herbal tasting finish is the finale.Single Vineyard Las Brisas Vineyard8822Leyda ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachLeyda 2011 Single Vineyard Las Brisas Vineyard Pinot Noir (Leyda Valley)Pinot NoirLeyda
5606756066AustriaThis is an intensely herbaceous wine that's very crisp, green and mineral driven. It's a textured wine that's tangy, nervy and full of fruit. Delicious to drink now for its freshness, but it will age for 2–3 years. Glass stopper.Steirische Klassik88SüdoststeiermarkRoger Voss@vossrogerManfred Tement 2012 Steirische Klassik Sauvignon Blanc (Südoststeiermark)Sauvignon BlancManfred Tement
5606856067IsraelHere's a robust and jammy selection that offers assertive notes of black plum, blackberry and cassis on the nose and in the mouth. The texture is like crushed velvet, with additional nuances of licorice, fruitcake spice and light char, adding depth to the palate and length to the finish.Kadita Single Vineyard8875GalileeLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzMargalit 2010 Kadita Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Galilee)Cabernet SauvignonMargalit
5606956068USBlended from several of Happy Canyon's best vineyards, this Sauvignon Blanc expresses the appellation's essence. It's rich and fruity in citrus and tropical fruits, with a honeyed richness and brisk acidity.Sybarite8821CaliforniaHappy Canyon of Santa BarbaraCentral CoastMargerum 2012 Sybarite Sauvignon Blanc (Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara)Sauvignon BlancMargerum
5607056069ChileAromas of graphite, chocolate, olive, herbs and berry fruits open this cool-climate Syrah. Laser-beam acidity comes on like gangbusters, while those sharp acids create racy, almost tart flavors of currant and huckleberry. The finish is more flashy and racy than generous and tasty, and thus crispness is the defining character of this wine.EQ8843San AntonioMichael Schachner@wineschachMatetic 2011 EQ Syrah (San Antonio)SyrahMatetic

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