Wine Reviews

5955159550ItalyAromas of wild cherry, blue flower and a hint of cinnamon unfold in the glass. The no-frills palate offers black cherry, sage and a note of white pepper alongside soft, rather fleeting tannins. Drink through 2016.8713Sicily & SardiniaSiciliaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTasca d'Almerita 2013 Nero d'Avola (Sicilia)Nero d'AvolaTasca d'Almerita
5955259551USCrisp apple and pear aromas take a richer, riper turn towards melon and peach on the palate of this medium-sweet Riesling. Its juicy, fruity demeanor is straightforward and lush, but a punchy strike of lemon-lime acidity livens up the finish. Drink now.2nd Degree Medium Sweet8714New YorkSeneca LakeFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaThree Brothers 2014 2nd Degree Medium Sweet Riesling (Seneca Lake)RieslingThree Brothers
5955359552ChileDark and muscular up front, with a bright purple color and grapy, woody aromas, this Malbec is pleasant, albeit clipped on the palate. Short, punchy plum and boysenberry flavors finish with a barrel note or two, but not much more.Reserva8711Colchagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachAutoritas 2014 Reserva Malbec (Colchagua Valley)MalbecAutoritas
5955459553New ZealandCraggy Range has put their marketing energy in the U.S. behind this largely unoaked Chardonnay. It's clean and bright, with refreshing melon and pear notes, but not a ton of weight or complexity. Drink this medium-bodied dry white now through 2018.Single Vineyard Kidnappers Vineyard8722Hawke's BayJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzCraggy Range 2013 Single Vineyard Kidnappers Vineyard Chardonnay (Hawke's Bay)ChardonnayCraggy Range
5955559554USA new offering from this partnership, this wine brings aromas of jasmine, lime and dried Nestea Ice Tea. It tingles the palate with lightly spritzy, off-dry lemon and peach flavors with a floral finish.8713WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportCharles & Charles 2014 Riesling (Yakima Valley)RieslingCharles & Charles
5955659555FranceThis is a lively, fruity wine with good acidity and a delicious fresh and tangy streak. It is textured with acidity and a steely, youthful character. Drink soon for its full, fresh character. The property has been in the Ballande family since the early 19th century. Sémillon/Sauvignon Blanc production from 10 acres is overseen by consultant Denis Dubourdieu.8725BordeauxPessac-LéognanRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Baret 2013 Pessac-LéognanBordeaux-style White BlendChâteau Baret
5955759556FranceJuicy black currants and red berries are masked by the tannins at present, but they will fill out this wine, leaving a fresh, bright character. Drink from 2018.87BordeauxPessac-LéognanRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau d'Alix 2013 Pessac-LéognanBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau d'Alix
5955859557FranceYoung, fresh and fruity, this wine is bright and attractive. It has a strong juicy element along with red-currant liveliness and only a touch of tannins. It will mature early, so drink from the end of 2016.8720BordeauxCôtes de BourgRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Fleur de Plaisance 2014 Côtes de BourgBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Fleur de Plaisance
5955959558FranceNamed after the outcropping of gravel on which the vines are planted, this second wine of Fourcas-Dupré is Merlot-based. With its smoky tannins and strong flavors of wood, it needs to fill out with the blackberry fruits that lie in the background. That won't take long and the wine will be ready to drink from late 2016.Cuvée Hautes Terres8725BordeauxListrac-MédocRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Fourcas Dupré 2012 Cuvée Hautes Terres (Listrac-Médoc)Bordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Fourcas Dupré
5956059559FranceThis attractive and fruity wine is ready to drink now. It is bright with acidity, citrus and lively fresh-sliced apples. It's a delicious wine, all fruit with only the lightest texture. Ghislain Boutemy is the winemaker at the family estate.8730BordeauxPessac-LéognanRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Haut Lagrange 2013 Pessac-LéognanBordeaux-style White BlendChâteau Haut Lagrange
5956159560USThe LUX bottling has a bit more concentration than the other estate-grown Pinot Noir from Luminous Hills. The fruit carries much the same strawberry/citrus flavor, but with more grip and focus. The tannins are proportional, and the wine is balanced, but thins out quickly in the finish.LUX8735OregonWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Luminous Hills 2008 LUX Pinot NoirPinot NoirLuminous Hills
5956259561FranceA very oxidative style, with unusual, though intense, flavors of straw and compost intermingled with poached pear and wet stones. The high quality of the raw material comes through on the long, caramel-apple finish. Drink now.Aux Vignes Clos Rebberg8751AlsaceAlsaceMarc Kreydenweiss 2007 Aux Vignes Clos Rebberg Pinot Gris (Alsace)Pinot GrisMarc Kreydenweiss
5956359562SpainLike most base-level Garnachas, this one has a sweet, candied aromatic cover. But unlike many it has depth, purity and avoids boring, offensive sweetness. The flavors of raspberry and boysenberry are bright, and it maintains balance and integrity through the finish. A nice wine for under $10.Los Dos Old Vines878Northern SpainCampo de BorjaMichael Schachner@wineschachAlmira 2009 Los Dos Old Vines Grenache-Syrah (Campo de Borja)Grenache-SyrahAlmira
5956459563USThis unusual Chardonnay is fermented and aged sur lie in 60 gallon stainless-steel barrels. The pleasant mix of fruit includes cucumber, melon, jicama and apple, balanced and tart. The color, already a fairly deep gold, suggests that you drink it soon.Purity8720OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Boedecker Cellars 2008 Purity Chardonnay (Willamette Valley)ChardonnayBoedecker Cellars
5956559564USDoesn't say so on the label, but it's Cabernet Sauvignon. However it's utterly unlike most other Napa Cabs in the dryness and tartness. Almost like a Chianti, with bone-dry cherry, red currant and tobacco flavors, scoured with tannins, that finish with a cut of acidity.Il Barone8775CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaCastello di Amorosa 2007 Il Barone Red (Napa Valley)Red BlendCastello di Amorosa
5956659565ItalyThis Riserva Brunello shows sharp, brambly characteristics of forest berry and white cherry. Although the nose is prickly and awkward, the wine wins points in the mouth thanks to its softness and plushness.Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d'Oro Riserva8765TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoCiacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 2004 Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d'Oro Riserva (Brunello di Montalcino)Sangiovese GrossoCiacci Piccolomini d'Aragona
5956759566USGood citrus fruit flavors, along the lines of grapefruits, limes and Meyer lemons, accompanied by zesty acidity mark this bone-dry Sauvignon Blanc. It really scours the mouth clean. Very nice with puff pastry mushroom appetizers, bruschetta with goat cheese and roasted red peppers, or crudités with a garlicky sour cream dip.Rava Blackjack Vineyard8718CaliforniaMontereyCentral CoastDarcie Kent Vineyards 2009 Rava Blackjack Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Monterey)Sauvignon BlancDarcie Kent Vineyards
5956859567FranceRipe and soft. There is an attractive citrus element that gives structure, wih acidity coming through. Delicious now. Screwcap.8716AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Zinck 2009 Riesling (Alsace)RieslingDomaine Zinck
5956959568USQuite dry on the palate, this seductive Riesling exhibits aromas of honeyed ginger with a hint of smoke and petrol. Lime and apple flavors combine with a zippy acidity and subtle minerality throughout.Dry8715New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaDr. Konstantin Frank 2008 Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes)RieslingDr. Konstantin Frank
5957059569USA very pleasant offering from Duck Pond, this is lightly toasty, moderately fruity, broad on the palate, with a gentle mix of pear and apple flavors. Smooth and drinking at its peak.Desert Wind Vineyard8715WashingtonWahluke SlopeColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Duck Pond 2008 Desert Wind Vineyard Chardonnay (Wahluke Slope)ChardonnayDuck Pond
5957159570SpainSort of scratchy and generic on the nose, with reasonably fresh red fruit aromas. The mouthfeel is angular and clipped by piercing acidity, while the flavors are of nice but regular black cherry and plum. Fairly juicy and fresh as a whole.Crianza8714Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachEl Circulo 2007 Crianza (Rioja)TempranilloEl Circulo
5957259571USA spicy note in the nose carries suggestions of caraway, pepper and rye. This is a light, tart, palate-refreshing red wine, with wild red berry flavors, a hint of earth and a delicate balance.8730OregonRogue ValleySouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Folin Cellars 2006 Tempranillo (Rogue Valley)TempranilloFolin Cellars
5957359572USA good wine, dry and tannic, but a little one-dimensional in richness. Shows pretty flavors of red and black cherries, with a hint of mint and cocoa. Could be lusher and offer more layers. Call it elegant rather than opulent. Drink now.8750CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaTrinchero 2007 Cabernet Franc (Napa Valley)Cabernet FrancTrinchero
5957459573USA bit soft and lacking in bright structure, which gives the complex blackberry, currant, dark chocolate, anise, herb and cedar flavors, good as they are, a collapsed mouthfeel. The softness seems likely to limit the wine's ageability.Mario's Vineyard8750CaliforniaSt. HelenaNapaTrinchero 2007 Mario's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (St. Helena)Cabernet SauvignonTrinchero
5957559574SpainReddish in color, with solid aromas of tire rubber, cherry and plum. The palate shows fine lift and balance, and the flavors of juicy, slightly pithy and bitter raspberry and plum are just right for Navarran Garnacha-based rosé. Drink soon with salads and finger foods.878Northern SpainNavarraMichael Schachner@wineschachVega Sindoa 2009 Rosé (Navarra)RoséVega Sindoa
5957659575USDelicious in briary blackberry jam, cherry pie, currant, milk chocolate, black pepper and anise flavors, with a touch of sweet oak, and the finish is totally dry. It's a little too soft in structure, but fine if you're in the mood for Zinfandel.Altitude 2401 Fair Play Farms8725CaliforniaEl DoradoSierra FoothillsPerry Creek 2007 Altitude 2401 Fair Play Farms Zinfandel (El Dorado)ZinfandelPerry Creek
5957759576AustraliaLike the D&J; Chardonnay, this is a readily approachable, easy-drinking wine with good varietal character. Cassis fruit dominates, accented by slightly herbal notes suggestive of mint. The tannins are supple, adding an appropriately dusty edge to the finish. Drink now–2012.Darby & Joan8712South AustraliaSouth AustraliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzR Wines 2008 Darby & Joan Cabernet Sauvignon (South Australia)Cabernet SauvignonR Wines
5957859577ItalyStraightforward and honest, this bright Rosso delivers clean aromas of cherry, blueberry and subtle shadings of smoke and spice. You could pair this wine with lasagna, meat-filled ravioli or light pork or beef roasts.8723TuscanyRosso di MontalcinoSassodiSole 2008 Rosso di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoSassodiSole
5957959578USDark fruits characterize this young, vigorous wine. Black cherries, blackberries, even dark chocolate flood the palate, delicious and spicy. Yet there's a tannic, acidic tightness that makes the mouthfeel tough and gritty. One of the better Lake County Pinots out there, but work needs to be done.Christian's Vineyard8745CaliforniaLake CountySix Sigma Ranch 2007 Christian's Vineyard Pinot Noir (Lake County)Pinot NoirSix Sigma Ranch
5958059579USWhole cluster fermented in stainless steel, this is big and spicy, with a lovely textural impact. The aromas and flavors run to honeyed pears and very ripe apples; the finish is resonant and surprisingly mature for a 2009. Drink up.8714OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Spindrift Cellars 2009 Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley)Pinot GrisSpindrift Cellars

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