Wine Reviews

6055260551USPretty good for a Petite Sirah with a statewide appellation. Satisfies for its lush array of flavors and for the way the sturdy tannins and brisk acidity provide a fine framework of balance. Blackberries, cherries, leather, olive tapenade, grilled beef, tamari and white pepper are just a few of the flavors.Vineyard Blend8816CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherUrsa 2004 Vineyard Blend Petite Sirah (California)Petite SirahUrsa
6055360552AustraliaStarts with scents of pear and melon, butter and spice, but takes on an ever-larger oak presence in the mouth, adding more and more wood spice and cedar. Not sure if this will ever completely integrate, so the best bet seems to be drinking earlier rather than later.M3 Vineyard8830South AustraliaAdelaide HillsJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzShaw and Smith 2005 M3 Vineyard Chardonnay (Adelaide Hills)ChardonnayShaw and Smith
6055460553SpainThis wine's nose bears an uncanny similarity to animal crackers, and along the way there's peach and melon aromas. The palate is sweet and slightly punchy, with mango and white raisin flavors. Overall, bank on sweetness and liquidy ripeness from this drink-now Albariño.8823GaliciaRías BaixasMichael Schachner@wineschachFulget 2006 Albariño (Rías Baixas)AlbariñoFulget
6055560554IsraelA formidable rival to Moscato notoriously produced in Italy, this soft sparkler is sure to please. Rose petals, sweet lychee and peach purée draw you into the creamy yet effervescent texture. The long, juicy finish ends clean and satisfying.Kosher8810GalileeLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzGolan Heights Winery 2007 Kosher Moscato (Galilee)MoscatoGolan Heights Winery
6055660555PortugalA densely tannic wine, dry with bitter dark cocoa and black fruit flavors. The concentration of fruit and tannin is impressive, and gives considerable complexity of fruit as it powers alongside the dryness. It needs aging for the rough edges to smooth out, probably 2–3 years.Montes Claros Reserva8814AlentejoRoger Voss@vossrogerAdega Cooperativa de Borba 2004 Montes Claros Reserva Red (Alentejo)Portuguese RedAdega Cooperativa de Borba
6055760556USThis is a subtle and intriguing bottle, crafted from a range of sources, offered in significant quantities (16,300 cases) and showing varietal fruit, spice and a deft touch with the barrels. Not a big wine, but balanced and quite flavorful, with more depth than you expect at this price point. Lots of chocolate and spicy burnt coffee in the finish.8826OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Argyle 2006 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirArgyle
6055860557USThis fruity Pinot is loaded with ripe strawberry preserves, mixed in with tomato leaf and slightly resiny flavors that are typical in Oregon. It's an interesting mix, both ripe and herbal at the same time, but not yet entirely melded together. It will be fun to see where it goes in the next five years.Stewart8834OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Boedecker Cellars 2005 Stewart Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirBoedecker Cellars
6055960558ItalyTenute Folonari has produced a Bordeaux blend that is definitely on the ripe side. The wine is a touch jammy, with mature cherry, strawberry, plum, blackberry tart, tobacco and chocolate fudge. The mouthfeel has a dense, gritty texture.8850TuscanyBolgheriCampo al Mare 2005 BolgheriRed BlendCampo al Mare
6054160540USThis mixes darker shades of berry and cherry fruit, with a streak of tobacco and well-managed tannins. It's polished and carries moderate weight through the finish.La Colina Vineyard8965OregonDundee HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Rocky Point 2013 La Colina Vineyard Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills)Pinot NoirRocky Point
6054260541ItalyLinear and loaded with finesse, this delicate, polished red opens with fragrant blue flower, berry and crushed herb scents. The bright, ethereal palate offers sour cherry, strawberry and a hint of baking spice, framed by silky tannins and vibrant acidity. Drink soon.8918TuscanyChianti RufinaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeSelvapiana 2014 Chianti RufinaRed BlendSelvapiana
6054360542USThe oak peeks through, set against proportionate strawberry and cherry fruit which has been lightly ripened. It's not a big wine, but it is balanced, and was barrel-aged for 18 months in a percentage of French oak. It should drink well now through 2022.Woodhall Reserve8932OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Spindrift Cellars 2013 Woodhall Reserve Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirSpindrift Cellars
6056060559FranceThis is definitely a wine in the new ripe Bordeaux style, with rich black fruits and spicy tannins. Impressively dense, dusty fruit tannins are alongside smooth, polished new wood flavors. The acidity and black currants are the reminder that this is still Bordeaux, not New World.8835BordeauxBordeauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Balestard 2004 BordeauxBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Balestard
6054460543SpainTropical aromas mixed with pear are just right, and overall this Treixadura-Godello-Torrontes blend is ripe and delicious. It's round but zesty, with pear, kiwi and honeydew flavors. It stays on message from front to back, and despite its size and ripeness it keeps everything in balance. Drink now.8919GaliciaRibeiroMichael Schachner@wineschachFinca Teira 2006 White (Ribeiro)White BlendFinca Teira
6054560544ItalyA distinctive wine with firm, brooding notes of black fruit, kirsch and dried Mediterranean herbs. This is a fine-grained and elegant wine with chiseled graphite nuances and rock-solid tannins. It has great potential: Drink after 2010.Pasticcio8989TuscanyToscanaTerralsole 2005 Pasticcio Red (Toscana)Red BlendTerralsole
6056160560FranceA fresh, citrus-dominated wine, with really crisp, lively fruit. The floral aromas are followed by a zingy character and a white fruit aftertaste. Screwcap.88BordeauxGravesRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau de Chantegrive 2006 GravesBordeaux-style White BlendChâteau de Chantegrive
6054660545USKing Estate first made their Domaine Pinot Gris in 2003, exclusively from estate-grown fruit. Constant experimentation with new clones and multiple trellis systems has brought marked, steady improvement. This is a fine effort; the fruit smacks of cut pear, pineapple and light tropical flavors. It's textural and tangy, with a pleasing citrus skin finish.Domaine8925OregonOregonOregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine King Estate 2006 Domaine Pinot Gris (Oregon)Pinot GrisKing Estate
6054760546SpainMuruve is a label worth watching in Toro. The wines are not as brawny and robust as some, and instead they offer more reserved pleasures. This reserva shows coconut and black plum aromas, with very ripe but structured black fruit flavors. Coffee and vanilla flood the finish, and overall the wine is raring to go now and over the next few years.Reserva8919Northern SpainToroMichael Schachner@wineschachMuruve 2003 Reserva (Toro)Tinta de ToroMuruve
6054860547ItalySubertum is a blend of Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot that exhibits fine aromas of spice, smoked meat, leather, milk chocolate, coffee grinds, black fruit and plum. Tones of spice and leather are recognizable and the wine delivers chewy tannins and a somewhat rustic feeling.Subertum8940TuscanyVal di Cornia SuveretoAmbrosini Lorella 2004 Subertum Red (Val di Cornia Suvereto)Red BlendAmbrosini Lorella
6056260561USThis widely available Oregon Pinot Noir has lovely aromas of berry, cherry and rose petals. Ripe but not sweet, its tart, juicy fruit is wrapped in plenty of acid and punctuated with fresh herb, resin and peppery spice. Nicely blended and balanced, it's a quintessential food wine.Signature Collection8829OregonOregonOregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine King Estate 2006 Signature Collection Pinot Noir (Oregon)Pinot NoirKing Estate
6054960548USThis debut effort from a small, family-owned winery offers light, pretty scents of Dr. Pepper, red berries, rose petals and vanilla. It's a delicate wine, sculpted to capture the nuances of Pinot, without attempting to bulk it up unnecessarily. The flavors play out sweetly across the palate, finishing with milk chocolate and spice.8924OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Atticus 2005 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirAtticus
6055060549PortugalA fine, firm, structured wine that shows richness along with elegance. Fresh, black fruits ride over dry tannins and acidity, allowing this to be a food-friendly wine that could benefit from some aging. To finish, the lifted, vibrant fruits leave a ripe, clean taste.Grande Escolha8915DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerMessias 2003 Grande Escolha Red (Douro)Portuguese RedMessias
6056360562ItalyPomino Rosso is unique within the vast world of Tuscan wines with its own special blend of mostly Sangiovese with smaller percentages of Pinot Nero and Merlot. The result is a complex wine with aromas of violets, cinnamon, vanilla and raspberry.Castello di Pomino8825TuscanyPominoMarchesi de' Frescobaldi 2003 Castello di Pomino Red (Pomino)Red BlendMarchesi de' Frescobaldi
6055160550SpainYsios is a ripe, smooth wine with polished aromas of black fruit, charred meat and vanilla. The palate has black cherry, plum, bacon and chocolate flavors, and the finish is smoky. Throughout there's a nice grilled character to the wine, which isn't very complicated and isn't likely to improve much with age. Drink now through 2010.Reserva8930Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachYsios 2002 Reserva (Rioja)TempranilloYsios
6056460563PortugalRipe and smooth, balancing dense black fruit flavors with spice, wood and acidity, this is a solid, concentrated wine. It has a good restrained power, although the pepper hints at the alcohol. It certainly demands rich food.Casa de Alorna Colheita Seleccionada8816RibatejoRoger Voss@vossrogerQuinta da Alorna 2003 Casa de Alorna Colheita Seleccionada Red (Ribatejo)Portuguese RedQuinta da Alorna
6056560564USCherries, blackberries, spicy figs, dark chocolate and licorice are just a few of the flavors you'll find in this intricately layered wine. It's fully dry, with powerful but softly sweet tannins. Cabernet Franc is a real success story of the Sierra Foothills, as this polished wine demonstrates.8823CaliforniaSierra FoothillsSierra FoothillsNaggiar 2005 Cabernet Franc (Sierra Foothills)Cabernet FrancNaggiar
6056660565USTannins are what help great Italian Nebbiolo age for many years, and this Santa Barbara expression of the variety is loaded with tannins. So much so that they lock down the palate with fierce astringency. So is it an ager? There's a polished depth of cherry and leather flavor, but it may not be enough for the long haul. Call it a work in progress.Stolpman Vineyard8833CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastNovy 2005 Stolpman Vineyard Nebbiolo (Santa Ynez Valley)NebbioloNovy
6056760566ItalyThis wine is characterized by thick concentration and mature notes of plum, prune, blackberry tart, coffee, chocolate and black licorice. The wine delivers thick consistency and dense tannins and is almost too much of a good thing. A blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.Olmata8840TuscanyToscanaPagani de Marchi 2004 Olmata Red (Toscana)Red BlendPagani de Marchi
6056860567PortugalA wood-aged, rich wine that shows big, ripe fruits and a good spice and toast element from the wood, balanced by white nectarines and currants. It is full, rounded and creamy.Falcoaria8812RibatejoRoger Voss@vossrogerQuinta do Casal Branco 2006 Falcoaria Fernão Pires (Ribatejo)Fernão PiresQuinta do Casal Branco
6056960568USSix Sigma's Cabernet is entirely unproven, but this one shows great promise. With a heavy rusticity, it has a way to go, but the blackberry and currant fruit is so rich, the tannin-acid balance so fine, that it's just a matter of time before this estate lands on the coveted map.8842CaliforniaLake CountySix Sigma Ranch 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (Lake County)Cabernet SauvignonSix Sigma Ranch
6057060569SpainCrushed floral aromas, berry-infused tea and cherry candy aromas give this wine a sweet profile. The palate, however, is anything but. It pounds with toasty black fruit, licorice and fiery menthol. The feel is a bit tannic but not terribly harsh, so maybe another three to five years will serve it well.Volvoreta Probus8825Northern SpainToroMichael Schachner@wineschachNuntia Vini 2005 Volvoreta Probus (Toro)Tinta de ToroNuntia Vini

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