Wine Reviews

6075160750AustraliaThis wine may lack the dramatic power of its top-flight brethren, but it still satisfies, delivering reasonably complex notes of cherries, rhubarb and olive carried by silky tannins and moderate alcohol. Drink this terrific value over the next year or two.8912South AustraliaSouth AustraliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzMilton Park 2009 Shiraz (South Australia)ShirazMilton Park
6075260751ArgentinaOpens with horsey, leathery aromas that are funky and wild, but are surrounded by solid berry-fruit scents. Picks up steam on the palate, which is easygoing, solidly built and just firm enough. Tastes of blackberry, cola, spice and chocolate, then finishes smooth and creamy.B Crux8925Mendoza ProvinceUco ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachO. Fournier 2008 B Crux Red (Uco Valley)Red BlendO. Fournier
6075360752South AfricaThis Chenin seems to have an older soul than its peers, with mature notes of honeyed almond and sweet spice that infiltrate the Anjou pear and hard peach flavors. Citrus pith adds a touch of bitterness to the otherwise toasty, sweet spice-infused finish.De Tradisie8919StellenboschLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzRudera 2009 De Tradisie Chenin Blanc (Stellenbosch)Chenin BlancRudera
6075460753USLots of nice blackberry, cassis, plum and new oak flavors in this dry, tannic Cabernet. It hews to an old-fashioned style, with an earthiness that suggests time in the cellar. Try after 2014.89100CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaSilver Oak 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSilver Oak
6075560754ItalyTalenti's Rosso is an impressive expression of Sangiovese, with bold brushstrokes of ripe berry, spice, blue flower, toasted nut and dried herb. This is a compelling red wine from Tuscany that would pair well with lasagna or cheesy pasta.89TuscanyRosso di MontalcinoTalenti 2010 Rosso di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoTalenti
6075660755ItalyA bold, inky-black style that is slightly overdone and a touch overripe. Despite aromas of blackberry preserves, prune and rum cake, this is a strongly masculine wine that puts its savory side first. The close is packed tight with smoked bacon and cured beef aromas. Textured tannins create some astringency on the finish.8948TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoLa Rasina 2007 Brunello di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoLa Rasina
6075760756ItalyThis wine has a more vinous nose with bold cherry and raspberry aromas followed by leather, spice and Spanish cedar. Textured and firm, bright and fresh.Riserva8980TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoLa Torre 2006 Riserva (Brunello di Montalcino)Sangiovese GrossoLa Torre
6075860757ArgentinaClean, pure and uncomplicated on the nose, showing depth and clarity. Smells and tastes much like a good Malbec or Cabernet might; it's sweet and fruity, with black cherry, pastry, baking spices and a certain rubbery quality that seems to come with Bonarda. On the money for this variety.Reserve Old Vine8916Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachMaipe 2010 Reserve Old Vine Bonarda (Mendoza)BonardaMaipe
6075960758ItalyAn aging wine with a garnet-ruby color and bricking at the rim. Aromas of barbecue smoke, cured meat, leather, tobacco and dark fruit give way to tight, finely textured tannins on the palate.8945TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoVilla Poggio Salvi 2007 Brunello di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoVilla Poggio Salvi
6076060759AustraliaNot the darkest, biggest or richest Shiraz to ever come out of Australia, this is nevertheless a delightful wine. A green peppercorn note accents red raspberry and cherry fruit, with just a hint of vanilla in the background. Drink it over the next year or two.Made with Organic Grapes8916South AustraliaSouth AustraliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzYalumba 2010 Made with Organic Grapes Shiraz (South Australia)ShirazYalumba
6076160760SpainA meaty, bulky, earthy style of Ribera with smoky, charred, new-oak aromas setting up a reduced-seeming palate with roasted, sweet flavors of black fruits and cured meats. Feels rich, sticky and candied on the finish. Needs a couple of years to knit together; may improve with bottle age.María89102Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachAlonso del Yerro 2008 María (Ribera del Duero)Tinto FinoAlonso del Yerro
6076260761ArgentinaDeep purple in color, with a dense, compact bouquet showing ripe blackberry, density and heat. Full-force on the palate, with drying tannins along with prune, blackberry, licorice and peppery flavors. Serious and tannic, with richness, extract and power.8920Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachAngulo Innocenti 2010 Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecAngulo Innocenti
6076360762USRich and oaky, with pineapple jam, tangerine juice, buttered toast and vanilla spice flavors. It's a big, opulent wine, but a little in your face. Drink now.8937CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaCakebread 2010 Chardonnay (Napa Valley)ChardonnayCakebread
6076460763ItalyHere's a really pretty Rosso with a bright, fruit-driven bouquet. It opens with notes of raspberry and wild berry, with background tones of cinnamon and crushed clove. The finish is acidic and crisp.8918TuscanyRosso di MontalcinoCastelli Martinozzi 2010 Rosso di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoCastelli Martinozzi
6076560764AustraliaThis wine almost quivers with freshness when first sniffed, it's so vibrant and citrusy. Then it broadens out nicely on the palate, delivering ripe melon and apple flavors and ample weight. Drink it now and over the next few months.8923South AustraliaKangaroo IslandJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzHazyblur 2010 Pinot Gris (Kangaroo Island)Pinot GrisHazyblur
6076660765USA screwcapped, Rhône-style white, blends 43% Viognier, 39% Roussanne and 18% Marsanne in a tightly wound, fresh, lively wine. Spicy apple and pear fruit flavors run into a medium long finish with some near-term aging potential.Lightning White8820WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Airfield Estates 2010 Lightning White White (Yakima Valley)Rhône-style White BlendAirfield Estates
6076760766USThis has a soft entry, its fruit beginning to show secondary flavors of bakery pastries. Mulberry and prune, soft and spicy, make for a pleasing, accessible wine that finishes with a lick of cinnamon. It is already drinking well.8832WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Airfield Estates 2010 Pinot Noir (Yakima Valley)Pinot NoirAirfield Estates
6076860767USLots of ripe blackberry and cherry fruit in this Cabernet, accented with notes of licorice and oak. It's a good wine, full-bodied, tannic and dry. Very good now, especially after a brief decant, but too dependent on fruit for a higher score, and doesn't seem like an ager.Terraced Hillside Estate8845CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaAmizetta 2009 Terraced Hillside Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonAmizetta
6076960768ItalyThere's a dark smoky element to this hearty Brunello that recalls cured beef, moist earth, cedar, leather and rum cake. The wine is silky and smooth, with a noticeably clean quality to the finish.88TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoArmilla 2007 Brunello di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoArmilla
6077060769ItalyThis wine's ripe cherry fruit and milk chocolate notes suggest softness and roundness. But the wine shows astringency and firmness on the close.8859TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoBellaria 2007 Brunello di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoBellaria
6077160770SpainOpens with grainy, whispy aromas of reedy raspberry and smoky blackberry. Feels tannic and aggressive, so it punches ahead with lively, firm flavors of raspberry, plum and strawberry. Finishes oaky, with vanilla and dill notes. Bold Rioja to drink now.Conde de Valdemar Reserva8820Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Valdemar 2006 Conde de Valdemar Reserva (Rioja)Tempranillo BlendBodegas Valdemar
6077260771USFusion blends 79% Syrah, 15% Petite Sirah, 5% Zinfandel and 1% Alicante Bouschet a delicious case in point. Gamy, with flavors of dark earth, thick blackberry jam and dark plum, it's the tobacco kicker on the finish that'll bring you back.Fusion8819CaliforniaLodiCentral ValleyVirginie Boone@vbooneBorra 2009 Fusion Red (Lodi)Red BlendBorra
6077360772USThis blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah and 20% Merlot has a fruity nose, the Syrah's leathery-ness is quite strong, surrounded by raspberry sweetness and red cherry from the Cab and Merlot. Although it's been in bottle some time, the finish is grippy and strongly tobacco-infused.Confluence8825CaliforniaHumboldt CountyNorth CoastVirginie Boone@vbooneCabot Vineyards 2007 Confluence Red (Humboldt County)Red BlendCabot Vineyards
6077460773SpainThis seems to be an attempt to mock the Moscato d'Asti style from Italy, but it doesn't quite pull it off. The nose is powdery and full of gardenias, but the feel is thick and it doesn't have that clean, ethereal personality that the best Moscatos exhibit. Not a bad wine by any means, and probably best with desserts.Flare Método Charmat8412LevanteValenciaMichael Schachner@wineschachAnecoop NV Flare Método Charmat Moscatel (Valencia)MoscatelAnecoop
6077560774SpainThe bouquet seems nutty and salinic, and overall this extra dry (meaning fairly sweet) focuses on soft and sugary mango and melon flavors. It's not as lively as it needs to be to balance the sweetness, so ultimately the wine comes up a touch flat. Imported by Freixenet USA.Aria Estate Extra Dry8412CataloniaCavaMichael Schachner@wineschachSegura Viudas NV Aria Estate Extra Dry Sparkling (Cava)Sparkling BlendSegura Viudas
6077660775USOther than a sugary sweetness, this wine shows all the hallmarks of a very nice Pinot Noir from this famed vineyard. The raspberry, cherry and vanilla flavors are accented by dusty spices, and the texture is silky. But the wine just doesn't taste dry.Bien Nacido Vineyard Grand Reserve8425CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastVilla Mt. Eden 2005 Bien Nacido Vineyard Grand Reserve Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley)Pinot NoirVilla Mt. Eden
6077760776USEither there's some residual sugar or the high alcohol, 15.8%, gives this wine a sweet taste, or both. Either way, it tastes like liquified raspberry, cherry and blackberry jam, with a squeeze of chocolate syrup. One-third new oak adds caramel and butterscotch.Marian's Vineyard8428CaliforniaLodiCentral ValleySt. Amant 2005 Marian's Vineyard Zinfandel (Lodi)ZinfandelSt. Amant
6077860777USThis wine has a ridiculous alcohol of 16.3%, which makes it prickly, and the dryness makes it taste even hotter, since there's no sugar to balance and soften. It's got extremely ripe blackberry-pie flavors. Be careful if you drink this; a little goes a long way.Soucie Vineyard Old Vine8322CaliforniaLodiCentral ValleyM2 2004 Soucie Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi)ZinfandelM2
6077960778USThe vineyard has had a mixed record of producing reds, usually expensive, not always great. This Syrah is too sugary sweet, with jammy berry and fruit flavors and lots of caramelly oak.Stagecoach Vineyard8365CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaBlack Bart 2005 Stagecoach Vineyard Syrah (Napa Valley)SyrahBlack Bart
6078060779USCall it country-style, with the minty sharpness and slightly sweet, candied raspberry, cherry and blackberry flavors. The acidity reprises on the finish, accentuating and harshening the tannins.8320CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastHahn 2005 Cabernet Franc (Central Coast)Cabernet FrancHahn

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