Wine Reviews

5943159430South AfricaGrassy herbal aromas offer a fresh, appealing start to this accessible Chenin/Sauvignon Blanc blend. On the palate, it's a mix of flinty and round fruit, and the finish is clean and lively. Simple, but good.Chenin Blanc - Sauvignon Blanc8510StellenboschSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaBradgate 2007 Chenin Blanc - Sauvignon Blanc White (Stellenbosch)White BlendBradgate
5943259431USThis particular bottling is a work in progress by veteran Brutocao. It's a step forward in their attempt to master Cabernet. The wine still has a rustic edge, with blackberry jam flavors wrapped into firm tannins, and a sweet finish.Hopland Ranches8522CaliforniaMendocinoBrutocao 2005 Hopland Ranches Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendocino)Cabernet SauvignonBrutocao
5943359432FranceFruit from old vines go into this freshly fruity, black currant-flavored wine. There is some wood, but the tannins in this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated wine come mainly from the fruit, leaving a wine which is light but with a dry core.8520BordeauxGravesRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Toumilon 2005 GravesBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Toumilon
5943459433AustraliaPeach, pear and melon notes on the nose and in the mouth are tinged with some slightly herbal (fennel?) notes, turning tart and citrusy on the finish. It's a pleasant, medium-bodied quaff for the summer months.Shadow's Run Unwooded8517South AustraliaMcLaren ValeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzFox Creek 2007 Shadow's Run Unwooded Chardonnay (McLaren Vale)ChardonnayFox Creek
5943559434SpainA little rubbery and wild on the nose, but the palate is sturdy if a bit tangy. Flavors of red fruits, while not that sweet, are cleansing and fresh, and for a leaner-bodied, more racy young wine, this fits the bill. And it definitely seems food-friendly.8513Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachLegón 2006 Ribera del DueroTempranilloLegón
5943659435South AfricaClean, balanced and simply refreshing, this Sauvignon Blanc from Sebeka fits perfectly within their line of good, affordable wines. Crisp, clean, but flavorful with tropical fruit, it makes for a dependable summertime classic on the patio.8510Western CapeSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaSebeka 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (Western Cape)Sauvignon BlancSebeka
5943759436USVery ripe and fruity, this is sort of a second wine from Malibu Estate, with good acidity that makes it crisp. It's an easy sipper with enough peach, pear, pineapple and spicy creamy flavors to satisfy Chard aficionados.8520CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastSurfrider 2006 Chardonnay (Central Coast)ChardonnaySurfrider
5943859437USOf Loring's dozen single-vineyard Pinots released this season, this is one of the softest, sweetest and simplest. It's pretty good, with polished cherry pie filling, cola, carob, licorice and spice flavors. But it could have a firmer structure.Durell Vineyard8550CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaLoring Wine Company 2006 Durell Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)Pinot NoirLoring Wine Company
5946059459TurkeyA ruby color in the glass, this wine offers a bouquet of raspberry and chocolate. It's soft on the palate, with mellow tannins that mingle with flavors of black cherry, pomegranate and mocha, leading to a smooth finish.Reserve9027AnkaraMike DeSimone@worldwineguysVinkara 2014 Reserve Kalecik Karasi (Ankara)Kalecik KarasiVinkara
5943959438South AfricaLush tropical fruit and a zippy minerality give this wine both character and lift. Fresh, inviting, and not too complicated, this wine will make a fantastic summer sip at a very reasonable price.8510Coastal RegionSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaMAN Vintners 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (Coastal Region)Sauvignon BlancMAN Vintners
5944059439SpainYear in and year out this is a consistent wine that's dry, traditional and confident but also rather reserved. The palate shows classic but quiet cherry, raspberry and tobacco flavors, while the finish is warm and offers a dash of molasses and balsamic vinegar. Drink now.Crianza8511Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachMontecillo 2004 Crianza (Rioja)TempranilloMontecillo
5944159440USHoneyed and very rich, with opulent apricot, peach, pear, tropical fruit, vanilla cream and spice flavors. There's a crispness that's a welcome balance to the powerful fruit.Cinq D'Blanc85CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastHunt Cellars 2005 Cinq D'Blanc White (Central Coast)White BlendHunt Cellars
5944259441USRobust and fruity, almost rustic in its sandpapery texture, this Merlot, from inland Mendocino County, has berry, cherry and spice flavors, with a deep streak of earth. Bone dry, it's a well-balanced wine that will go well with a nice steak.8518CaliforniaRedwood ValleyLolonis 2005 Merlot (Redwood Valley)MerlotLolonis
5944359442AustraliaAn effusively fruity, unoaked style of Chardonnay, with bold flavors of pear, apple and citrus and maybe even a touch of mango. Its charms are upfront for all to see, as it loses a bit of intensity and lacks length on the finish.Dragon8514Western AustraliaMargaret RiverJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzXanadu 2006 Dragon Chardonnay (Margaret River)ChardonnayXanadu
5944459443USMade in the easy, crisp and affordable style that has made this variety so popular, this Pinot Grigio has fruity flavors of peaches, apricots, apples, pineapples, tangerines and vanilla, with a spicy, honeyed finish.856CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherBarefoot Cellars NV Pinot Grigio (California)Pinot GrigioBarefoot Cellars
5944559444FranceThis wine has certainly been wood aged, the easy fruit well balanced with the layers of wood tannin, which come through in the aftertaste. Ripe, ready to drink.8512BordeauxBordeauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau du Bois Chantant 2005 BordeauxBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau du Bois Chantant
5944659445FranceA lean, fresh style of Bordeaux, with red fruits balancing on dry tannins and a top layer of acidity. It is almost austere, but it's rescued by the freshness of the fruit and underlying structure.8512BordeauxBordeaux SupérieurRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Trocard 2005 Bordeaux SupérieurBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Trocard
5944759446USAn easy Chard, with good varietal character and a nice, dry finish. Crisp acids and a rich coating of oak enhance the modest pineapple, peach and pear flavors.8515CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaBeaulieu Vineyard 2006 Chardonnay (Napa Valley)ChardonnayBeaulieu Vineyard
5944859447USThis Cab already has nearly five years on it, but it still has tough, bitter tannins. That raises the question: will it age? Fruit-wise, it's rich in blackberries, cherries and currants, with an exotic cassis finish. The acidity is crisp and zesty. But those acids and tannins are likely to outlive the fruit.8548CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaBroman 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonBroman
5944959448FranceA smooth, rich wine that wears its lightness and freshness with grace. There are plenty of crisp black currant and plum skin flavors, along with wood tannins that add spice and dryness. Not hugely rich, but attractively fresh.Elevé en Fûts de Chêne8522BordeauxBordeauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Fongrave 2005 Elevé en Fûts de Chêne (Bordeaux)Bordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Fongrave
5945059449USThis blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Pinotage is complex yet restrained from start to finish. Aromas of red cherry, cranberry and grape fold into vanilla, smoke, fig presserves and a sanguine character. On the palate, these are met with a smooth tannic structure and a rooibos tea note. It is lush and silky in mouthfeel and boasts a long, harmonious finish.Josie's Knoll Rotunda9020VirginiaMonticelloCarrie DykesLovingston 2015 Josie's Knoll Rotunda Red (Monticello)Red BlendLovingston
5945159450USBright red-fruit tones of hibiscus and pomegranate meet with dried fennel on the complex nose of this bottling from the winery owned by pioneering vintner Louis Lucas and his friend, Judge Royce Lewellen. It's light bodied, but with a grippy texture, showing candied rose petal, thyme and roasted red-fruit flavors.Estate Vineyards Goodchild High 9 Vineyard9035CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannLucas & Lewellen 2015 Estate Vineyards Goodchild High 9 Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley)Pinot NoirLucas & Lewellen
5945259451PortugalThis superrich blend of Antão Vaz, Arinto and Roupeiro was tank fermented to keep the crispness and fruit of the blend. It is certainly rich but it has fine acidity as well—juicy and full of apple flavors. Drink the wine from 2018.Monte do Carrapatelo Colheita Seleccionada9018AlentejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerLuis Duarte 2016 Monte do Carrapatelo Colheita Seleccionada White (Alentejano)Portuguese WhiteLuis Duarte
5945359452USThis tradition-bucking blend of 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Viognier, 20% Sémillon and 20% Roussanne from three different vineyards is very subtle and clean on the nose with aromas of yellow apple, crisp pear, ripe grapefruit skins and the lightest hint of honey. The crisp palate is very grippy in texture, with pear and light lemon spray flavors. It will likely age well, due to strong acidity.Aurora9020CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannLuna Hart 2016 Aurora White (Santa Barbara County)White BlendLuna Hart
5945459453AustraliaThis is a herbaceous expression of Shiraz from the under appreciated Heathcote region of Victoria, and made by Emily Laughton, daughter of the well-regarded Jasper Hill family. Mint and green herbs mingle with potpourri, juicy fruit, and charred oak characters. Tannins are tightly wound at the moment, but the wine is well balanced and here for the long haul. Drink 2020–2032.9062VictoriaHeathcoteOccam's Razor 2014 Shiraz (Heathcote)ShirazOccam's Razor
5945559454USRoasted plum, smoke and a hint of licorice emerge from this lightly styled blend of 38% Grenache, 37% Tempranillo and 25% Mourvèdre. It's bright and lightweight on the palate, with tart berry flavors, making for a brisker entry to this winery's typically rich portfolio.Mad Crush9048CaliforniaTempleton Gap DistrictCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannONX 2015 Mad Crush Red (Templeton Gap District)Red BlendONX
5945659455AustraliaA red cherry aroma is interwoven with violets and dried herbs. The supple palate of juicy fruit is balanced by silky tannins and a medium mouthfeel, followed by a herbal finish.The Experiment Estate Single Vineyard9036South AustraliaMcLaren ValePenny's Hill 2015 The Experiment Estate Single Vineyard Grenache (McLaren Vale)GrenachePenny's Hill
5945759456AustraliaComplexity and longevity are the name of the game here. This shows a restrained nose of melon, smoke, nuts and a little buttery oak. The palate is really where it's at, weaving those same flavors seamlessly together. With a chalky texture and a good lick of acidity, everything is in balance here, setting this wine up for plenty of years of life. Drink now–2025.Finisterre9030Western AustraliaMargaret RiverRobert Oatley 2016 Finisterre Chardonnay (Margaret River)ChardonnayRobert Oatley
5945859457USBlack cherry, kola nut, licorice, clove and mulling spices show on the nose of this bottling from the high-elevation vineyard. The flavors are pure and easy, with tart cherry, thyme and peppery spice, all wrapped in an earthy overcoat.Bailey's Branciforte Ridge9032CaliforniaSanta Cruz MountainsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannSanta Cruz Mountain Vineyard 2013 Bailey's Branciforte Ridge Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mountains)Pinot NoirSanta Cruz Mountain Vineyard
5945959458USVery crisp, refreshing and nicely dry, this light copper-colored wine surrounds a core of fresh raspberry flavors with light spicy nuances and a texture that turns vibrant bubbles into a creamy sensation on the finish.Brut Rosé Excellence9023CaliforniaMendocino CountyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsScharffenberger NV Brut Rosé Excellence Sparkling (Mendocino County)Sparkling BlendScharffenberger

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