Wine Reviews


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5613156130USThe smoke, herb, vanilla, wood spice and black cherry aromas are barrel forward but still provide appeal. The flavors are medium bodied, bringing a bit of grittiness to the tannins while finishing green.8939WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportKontos 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonKontos
5613256131FranceThis wine shows hints of tar or rubber when first poured, so decant it for best effect. Once past those, berry and citrus aromas and flavors emerge, lingering on the long, mocha-tinged finish.Les Lauzeraies8915Rhône ValleyTavelJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzLes Vignerons de Tavel 2016 Les Lauzeraies (Tavel)RoséLes Vignerons de Tavel
5613356132AustriaA subdued nose carries just a hint of pear fruit. The slender, dry palate gives a little more green pear and fresh zestiness alongside peppery edges of herbs. This is light and easy but has lasting freshness.Crazy Creatures8918KremstalAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoMalat 2016 Crazy Creatures Grüner Veltliner (Kremstal)Grüner VeltlinerMalat
5613456133AustriaA flinty touch of reduction appears first on the nose. On the palate, there is a little lack of definition but lemony freshness takes over on the slender and light body. The wine is refreshing and wonderfully light.Furth-Palt8920KremstalAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoMalat 2016 Furth-Palt Grüner Veltliner (Kremstal)Grüner VeltlinerMalat
5613556134ItalyForest floor, new leather, tobacco and crushed herb aromas emerge in the glass. It's youthfully austere and a bit lean, with sour cherry, pomegranate, sage and white pepper framed in vibrant acidity and assertive fine-grained tannins. Drink 2023–2035.Bussia89PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeArnaldo Rivera 2013 Bussia (Barolo)NebbioloArnaldo Rivera
5613656135USFairly sweet aromas of marzipan, honeysuckle, candied apricot and honeyed orange slices show on the nose of this bottling from a longtime winegrowing family in the Watsonville area. It's much tighter and brighter on the sip, with flavors of slightly sour green-pear skins and poached apple, and a touch of caramel on the finish.Regan Vineyards Reserve8930CaliforniaSanta Cruz MountainsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannBargetto 2015 Regan Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay (Santa Cruz Mountains)ChardonnayBargetto
5613756136ItalyRed berry, underbrush, crushed herb and a whiff of porcini mushroom aromas lead the way. Linear and rather straightforward, the palate offers juicy sour cherry, cranberry and clove alongside polished tannins. It won't take years to come around. Drink 2019–2025.8946PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBatasiolo 2013 BaroloNebbioloBatasiolo
5613856137ItalyStewed prune and cake spice aromas lead the nose along with a balsamic note. Showing the intense heat of the vintage, the warm palate offers dried cherry, raisin, powdered sage and a hint of clove alongside polished tannins. Drink soon to capture the remaining fruit and freshness.San Pietro Riserva8995PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeViberti 2011 San Pietro Riserva (Barolo)NebbioloViberti
5613956138FranceA coniferous lift weaves through tart red-cherry notes. The slender, translucent and crunchy palate is pervaded by the same aromas and a lot of freshness. This is a light-bodied aromatic red wine that is ideal for lunch, for picnics or for serving chilled.8919AlsaceAlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoJoseph Cattin 2015 Pinot Noir (Alsace)Pinot NoirJoseph Cattin
5614056139USSourced from an experimental vineyard planted in the early 1970s, this blends eight different varieties, all picked on the same day and co-fermented. At least one red grape (Cabernet Sauvignon), adds a touch of amber to the wine. It could be called rosé, though it's listed as a white wine. In any event, it's unique, with concentrated flavors of tree fruits, citrus peel and anise. Try it with charcuterie.Field Blend Wings of Desire8928OregonWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Love & Squalor 2014 Field Blend Wings of Desire WhiteWhite BlendLove & Squalor
5614156140USA nod to the winery's co-owner Judge Royce Lewellen, this bottling is full of campfire smoke, red cherry, hibiscus and roasted pork aromas. That smoky character, which is pleasant if a tad overbearing, follows through to the palate, accenting the plum and black pepper flavors.Judge's Reserve8958CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannLucas & Lewellen 2014 Judge's Reserve Merlot (Santa Barbara County)MerlotLucas & Lewellen
5614256141ItalyBlue flower, ripe plum, baking spice and pine forest scents lead the nose. The palate is still tense and tightly drawn, showing tart sour cherry, star anise and a hint of espresso through flexed, fine-grained tannins that leave a firm finish. Drink after 2020.Varco 848948TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMolino di Sant'Antimo 2012 Varco 84 (Brunello di Montalcino)SangioveseMolino di Sant'Antimo
5614356142USRipe fruit flavors and chocolate accents give opulent character to this full-bodied wine. The flavors are suggestive of late-picked grapes, raisins and ripe figs, while the texture is easy and almost soft, with no tannic bite.Vista Luna8926CaliforniaCentral ValleyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsNeyers 2015 Vista Luna ZinfandelZinfandelNeyers
5614456143ItalyMade of 85% Sangiovese and 15% Canaiolo, this opens with violet and leather aromas. The savory, straightforward palate offers mature black cherry, sage and anise flavors, supported by lithe tannins. Enjoy through 2020.Riserva8925TuscanyChiantiKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefePietro Beconcini 2013 Riserva (Chianti)Red BlendPietro Beconcini
5614556144USThis is aged four years prior to release, which proves a benefit here, as it helps tame the spicy wild-berry flavors. The aromatics offer an olfactory tapestry of orange peel, violets, sandalwood, cherry cola and more. It's balanced and sophisticated, offering many subtle pleasures.Le Cadeau Vineyard Lot 508965OregonChehalem MountainsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Rocky Point 2011 Le Cadeau Vineyard Lot 50 Pinot Noir (Chehalem Mountains)Pinot NoirRocky Point
5614656145SpainA big oaky can't-miss blast of clove and wood spice is more dominating than secondary berry aromas. This is resiny and full in body, with ample acidity. Oak plays a lead role on the flavor profile, which includes toast, mint and herbal black plum. A peppery toasty finish benefits from moderate juicy acidity. Drink through 2021.Reserva8930Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachTamaral 2011 Reserva (Ribera del Duero)TempranilloTamaral
5614756146ItalyForest floor, truffle, new leather and woodland berry scents mingle in the glass. The palate is linear, taut and austere, offering sour cherry, licorice and sage notes, framed by firm acidity and assertive, close-grained tannins that grip the finish. Drink after 2019.8930TuscanyVino Nobile di MontepulcianoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTenuta Valdipiatta 2013 Vino Nobile di MontepulcianoRed BlendTenuta Valdipiatta
5614856147SpainAromas of burnt wood and spice cover rugged gritty berry scents. This is a tight minerally wiry Garnacha that's oaky on the palate. Oak-rich plum flavors finish with strong tannins, residual grit and lasting wood-based notes. Drink through 2022.Roca Roja89255CataloniaPrioratMichael Schachner@wineschachMarco Abella 2013 Roca Roja Garnacha (Priorat)GarnachaMarco Abella
5614956148USBright lemon and crisp apple aromas lead to similar but richer flavors, supported by firm acidity for balance. It makes for a lively but flavorful package that both tastes great and is versatile with food.8913CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsSimple Life 2015 Chardonnay (California)ChardonnaySimple Life
5615056149ItalyThis all-Sangiovese Chianti opens with black-skinned fruit, allspice and new leather aromas. Polished tannins lend structure to the dried black cherry, licorice and a tobacco flavors on the palate. Drink through 2022.Riserva8925TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTenuta di Capraia 2012 Riserva (Chianti Classico)SangioveseTenuta di Capraia
5615156150USLeather and meat mark the entry of this brooding, brambly wine, offering shocks of black pepper on the lightly textured palate. Soft and sleek on the finish, it's benefitted from time in bottle and is ready to enjoy now.Estate8942CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneUptick Vineyards 2010 Estate Syrah (Russian River Valley)SyrahUptick Vineyards
5615256151SpainGritty cassis aromas are oaky and challenging, which is what you can get when a wine spends more than three years in oak. In the mouth, this is wiry and rubbery. Foxy plum and cherry flavors finish clampy and herbal. Very good but with a few holes and pitfalls.Cerro Añon Gran Reserva8938Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Olarra 2010 Cerro Añon Gran Reserva (Rioja)Tempranillo BlendBodegas Olarra
5615356152ItalyLeather, truffle, ripe berry and a whiff of oak-derived spice lead the nose of this 100% Sangiovese wine. The taut palate delivers mature plum, black cherry and licorice flavors, its fine-grained tannins leaving a firm, dry finish.Messer Ridolfo Riserva8934TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCantalici L'Antica Fornace di Ridolfo 2011 Messer Ridolfo Riserva (Chianti Classico)SangioveseCantalici L'Antica Fornace di Ridolfo
5615456153ItalyThis wine's new leather, menthol, steeped prune and French oak aromas seemingly fill the glass to brimming. The firmly structured palate offers dried Morello cherry, chopped mint and licorice flavors framed by bracing, close-grained tannins.Vigna La Casina Riserva8960TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCasina di Cornia 2011 Vigna La Casina Riserva (Chianti Classico)SangioveseCasina di Cornia
5615556154USThis wine has a unique, earthy fig aroma and flavor, full body and a broad, mouth-filling texture. Its slight rustic character is interesting to explore and doesn't overwhelm the palate. An enjoyable and different expression that's also reasonably priced.8916CaliforniaAmador CountySierra FoothillsJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsAndis 2013 Zinfandel (Amador County)ZinfandelAndis
5615656155USDark fruit flavors with a welcome sense of ripeness make this full-bodied wine feel generous and easy on the palate. It has soft tannins that let its black plum and blueberry flavors fan out and linger on the finish.Hawk Creek Vineyard8925CaliforniaSierra FoothillsSierra FoothillsJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsAndis 2014 Hawk Creek Vineyard Cabernet Franc (Sierra Foothills)Cabernet FrancAndis
5615756156ItalyThis 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot blend has herb-laced blackberry aromas. The dense palate doles out raspberry jam, toast and clove flavors through close-grained tannins that grip the finish. Drink through 2018.N'Antia8942TuscanyToscanaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBadia di Morrona 2012 N'Antia Red (Toscana)Red BlendBadia di Morrona
5615856157SpainBerry and plum aromas are so ripe that raisin enters the picture. This feels medium to full, with soft acidity. Flavors of chocolate and wood spice share space with ripe berry fruit, while a full, long finish deals mocha and raisin notes.Faustino V Reserva8918Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Faustino 2011 Faustino V Reserva (Rioja)TempranilloBodegas Faustino
5615956158USCherry pie, cherry candy and dried ginger notes converge for a very approachable and inviting nose on this bottling from a sprawling vineyard in eastern Paso Robles. It's light in body, but solid red cherry, cedar and smoked chocolate flavors keep it lively.Reserve8948CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannBroken Earth 2013 Reserve Merlot (Paso Robles)MerlotBroken Earth
5616056159ItalyDelicate black-skinned berry and baking spice scents lift out of the glass. The dense, ripe palate offers dried black cherry, white pepper and leather notes, framed by mature tannins. Drink through 2021.Riserva89100TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBrunelli Martoccia 2011 Riserva (Brunello di Montalcino)SangioveseBrunelli Martoccia

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