Wine Reviews

5721257211PortugalBased in the southern Alentejo, this producer has made an old-fashioned, dark, brooding wine. It's still full of tannins even after six years, although the fruit is certainly there. It is rich and concentrated, dense with plum skin and ripe fruit flavors. The aftertaste is dry. The wine needs to age another year. Drink from 2017.Reserva9050AlentejoRoger Voss@vossrogerHerdade da Capela 2010 Reserva Red (Alentejo)Portuguese RedHerdade da Capela
5721357212USA youthful wine given 50% whole-cluster fermentation, this is complex and delicate, restrained in oak while being expressive in roses and bitter black tea. Soft, pungent black fruit provides a savory element that's entirely welcome and interesting, before a freshness takes hold on the finish.Riddle Vineyard9058CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneHibou 2014 Riddle Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirHibou
5721457213USJust a couple of barrels were produced of this vineyard-designate. Tasting of lush strawberry preserves, it's nicely focused, slightly peppery, and offers skin flavors as well as fleshy fruit. Sweet barrel spices carry a hint of clove, and round off a big, delicious finish.Aroha Vineyard9032OregonUmpqua ValleySouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Iris Vineyards 2014 Aroha Vineyard Pinot Noir (Umpqua Valley)Pinot NoirIris Vineyards
5721557214USThis outstanding Riesling brings a bouquet of rose petals and peaches. There's enough bright acidity to push flavors of lime and grapefruit forward, and the wine drinks dry despite relatively low alcohol.9014OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Kings Ridge 2014 Riesling (Willamette Valley)RieslingKings Ridge
5721657215USPicked at 33 brix and fermented in new French oak, this heavy, almost oily dessert wine has a floral aroma as intense as bottled perfume. Flavors suggest orange liqueur, honey and candied apricots. It pulls together just enough acidity to avoid falling into a fat, cloying finish.Lacrima d'Oro9035OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Apolloni 2014 Lacrima d'Oro Muscat (Willamette Valley)MuscatApolloni
5721757216USThis wine starts out brawny and tannic before finding itself in a more vibrant light of cherry, cinnamon and dried herb. Aromatically, it's a field of violets on a spring day, backed by a complex structure that makes for a food-friendly companion that's fresh from start to finish.Alegria Vineyard9028CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneBailiwick 2013 Alegria Vineyard Cabernet Franc (Russian River Valley)Cabernet FrancBailiwick
5721857217SpainRipe aromas start with raisin, while tobacco notes and baked berry warmth reel you in. This blend of Tempranillo, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Vinos de Madrid region feels layered and welcoming. Earthy cherry, plum and baking spice flavors finish long, complex and slightly toasty. Drink through 2018.Tinto Roble9023Central SpainVinos de MadridMichael Schachner@wineschachTagonius 2011 Tinto Roble Red (Vinos de Madrid)Red BlendTagonius
5721957218GreeceThis wine starts with a lovely perfumed nose of jasmine, oranges and rose. The full-bodied flavors are big to be sure, but a brisk acidity keeps everything in check. Pretty and full of personality.Classic9015MantiniaSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaTselepos 2013 Classic Moschofilero (Mantinia)MoschofileroTselepos
5721157210USBrawny and concentrated in black fruit, this wine includes 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and is touted as a Cab-lover's Merlot by the winery. It indeed is, with its juicy blackberry, cherry, espresso and clove notes, while remaining varietally correct in terms of its mellowed tannins.Estate Grown9043CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneGrgich Hills 2012 Estate Grown Merlot (Napa Valley)MerlotGrgich Hills
5722057219USA grippy, powerfully concentrated wine, this is rich and full bodied in every way. It packs dense heaps of tobacco leaf with tar and baked, almost dried plum. A luxurious, decadent quaff from a Calistoga-based producer, it shows the vintage well.9062CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneBennett Lane 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonBennett Lane
5722157220USSpicy strawberry and cherry hover over forest floor and a tangle of tangy acidity that keeps this wine fresh and vibrantly compelling. Full bodied and robust, it maintains a balance in the glass, making it both food-friendly and an option on its own.The Cairn9039CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneBougetz 2013 The Cairn Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)Pinot NoirBougetz
5722257221USFrom one of the older organic properties in the state, this bottling offers blackberries, blueberries and a rocky element on the nose, along with smoked beef, condensed violets and a touch of leathery tobacco. The palate is relatively light in density, but medium in tannins, with complex flavors of pencil lead, purple fruit, roasted coffee and oregano.9026CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannButtonwood 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Santa Ynez Valley)Cabernet SauvignonButtonwood
5722357222ItalyWild berry, moist earth, crushed violet and a whiff of dark baking spice meld together on this. The polished palate delivers succulent Marasca cherry, white pepper and a licorice note alongside firm, polished tannins.9022TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCarobbio 2013 Chianti ClassicoRed BlendCarobbio
5722457223PortugalA wine from the Santos Lima home estate, the wine brings together two noble varieties in a homogenous, smooth blend. The tannins that are part of the DNA of both grapes have been softened by wood aging so that the dominant character of this ripe wine is almost refreshing, juicy acidity. Drink now.Cigarra Gran Passo9026LisboaRoger Voss@vossrogerCasa Santos Lima 2014 Cigarra Gran Passo Touriga Nacional-Cabernet Sauvignon (Lisboa)Touriga Nacional-Cabernet SauvignonCasa Santos Lima
5722557224USVanilla, baking spice, dark-fruit and herb aromas are followed by elegant cranberry and raspberry flavors. Spice flavors linger on the finish. It's a pretty expression of the variety, showing impeccable balance.9036WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportBunnell 2011 Grenache (Columbia Valley (WA))GrenacheBunnell
5722657225USFrom a cool, well-known site in the new appellation, this wine offers a complexity of coconut macaroon, clove and cinnamon. Well-formed flavors and aromas accent a moderate level of acidity and tannin, providing elegant balance.Lot 5989032CaliforniaCoombsvilleNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneCameron Hughes 2013 Lot 598 Cabernet Sauvignon (Coombsville)Cabernet SauvignonCameron Hughes
5722757226ItalyAromas suggesting toast, hazelnut, camphor and mocha lead the nose. The full-bodied palate delivers ripe wild cherry, white pepper, grilled sage and anise alongside close-grained tannins that leave an assertive finish.Bricco Rocca Tistot Riserva9093PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCascina Ballarin 2010 Bricco Rocca Tistot Riserva (Barolo)NebbioloCascina Ballarin
5722857227ItalyMade with 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Sémillon, this vibrant wine offers aromas of pressed white flower and white stone fruit. The lively, elegant palate delivers white peach, grapefruit, nectarine and chopped herb alongside racy acidity. A mineral note closes the clean, crisp finish.Conte della Vipera9032Central ItalyUmbriaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCastello della Sala 2014 Conte della Vipera White (Umbria)White BlendCastello della Sala
5722957228FranceThis is a rich, smoke and tannin-filled wine. Still young, the black-plum fruits are in the background, suggesting ripe juiciness for the future. Produced from vines on the east end of the plateau of Saint-Émilion, it is full bodied and will develop well. Drink from 2018.9022BordeauxSaint-ÉmilionRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Bardoulet 2012 Saint-ÉmilionBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Bardoulet
5723057229FranceThis is a ripe concentrated wine with attractive smoky tannins as well as fresh acidity. It is perfumed with black-currant fruits that are laced with the dry structure as well as acidity. With a year or two more in bottle, this will be a finely balanced wine. Drink from 2019.9019BordeauxMédocRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Bégadanet 2013 MédocBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Bégadanet
5723157230FranceThis is an opulent, ripe wine that is full of black fruits and firm tannins. It is dense and concentrated with layers of juicy fruit piled over a drier core. It's a full-bodied wine that's still going to develop. Drink now or wait until 2017.9022BordeauxCastillon Côtes de BordeauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau de Belcier 2009 Castillon Côtes de BordeauxBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau de Belcier
5723257231FranceThis densely textured wine is ripe with blackberry fruits over firm, smoky tannins. It has a generous feel to it, rich with fruitiness while just moving into a more mature mode. Drink this wine now for its forward fruit, although it will be even better from 2017.9025BordeauxMédocRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Hourbanon 2010 MédocBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Hourbanon
5723357232FranceThis is the second wine of Labégorce, named as a remembrance of the separate château Labégorce-Zédé that was purchased in 2005. It is a firm wine, with a perfumed character from the judicious wood aging. The tannins are likely to remain part of the character of this wine, working with the black-currant fruit and the final, smoky flavor. Drink from 2017.Zédé de Labégorce9035BordeauxMargauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Labégorce Margaux 2011 Zédé de Labégorce (Margaux)Bordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Labégorce Margaux
5723457233FranceThe vineyard surrounds a 14th century castle, built by the English. The wine from organically grown grapes, is rich and full. Still with some tannins while also with rich black fruits, it is structured, ripe and generous. The wine is ready to drink, although keeping it until 2017 will make it even better.9036BordeauxPuisseguin Saint-ÉmilionRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Langlais 2010 Puisseguin Saint-ÉmilionBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Langlais
5723557234FranceA Rochet property since 1865, now Joëlle, Daniel and Fabienne Rochet manage the 210 acres. Bright, light and textured, this is a crisp and refreshing wine. Attractive lemon and green apple flavors lift the mineral texture and give a juicy, spicy character. The wine is still developing and will be better from late 2016.9025BordeauxBordeaux BlancRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Malbat 2015 Bordeaux BlancBordeaux-style White BlendChâteau Malbat
5723657235USDried herb and wood spice aromas are followed by sappy black fruit flavors backed by a light squeeze of tannins. There's no mistaking the warm vintage it comes from.The Reserve9030WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereport14 Hands 2013 The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Horse Heaven Hills)Cabernet Sauvignon14 Hands
5723757236USLight aromas of spice, graphite and sour cherry are followed by elegant, tart fruit flavors. It's a pretty expression of the variety that should sing at the dinner table.Vintner's Select Spice Cabinet Vineyard9030WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportAlmquist 2010 Vintner's Select Spice Cabinet Vineyard Sangiovese (Horse Heaven Hills)SangioveseAlmquist
5723857237USBlack pepper, black plum and blueberry show on the nose of this bottling from the nearly 900-acre vineyard atop Cuesta Grade, where it enjoys essentially its own dedicated appellation. A very full mouthfeel delivers blueberry and blackberry-paste flavors along with pencil lead, black coffee and bitter espresso. Still a tad firm in structure, this should age well and open even further in the years to come.9018CaliforniaSanta Margarita RanchCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannAncient Peaks 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Santa Margarita Ranch)Cabernet SauvignonAncient Peaks
5723957238ItalyAromas of underbrush, tilled earth, mature dark-skinned berry and rose lead the nose. The ripe, smoothly textured palate doles out raspberry jam, clove, star anise and a hint of orange peel alongside velvety tannins. Drink through 2022.Albe9038PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeG D Vajra 2012 Albe (Barolo)NebbioloG D Vajra
5724057239ItalyUnderbrush, scorched earth, toast and crushed stone aromas emerge in the glass along with a whiff of dried herb. The firm palate doles out cherries marinated in spirits, espresso, star anise and clove alongside chewy tannins.A Rina90Sicily & SardiniaEtnaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeGirolamo Russo 2014 A Rina (Etna)Red BlendGirolamo Russo

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