Wine Reviews

6090160900USMade in a bone dry, acidic style, what this Chardonnay lacks in richness it makes up for in elegance. Fans of sweet, buttery Chards won't like it, but true aficionados will appreciate the austere citrus and mineral flavors.8921CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastDeep Sea 2009 Chardonnay (Central Coast)ChardonnayDeep Sea
6090260901FranceExpect ripe and open fruit from this Faiveley owned vineyard in Mercurey. The wine tastes soft, the tannins well integrated into the ripe cherry and berry fruits. It could age, but it is ready to drink now.Clos des Myglands Premier Cru8940BurgundyMercureyRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Faiveley 2009 Clos des Myglands Premier Cru (Mercurey)Pinot NoirDomaine Faiveley
6090360902ItalyThis plump Rosso di Montalcino offers ripe, succulent fruit notes of black cherry, blueberry and fresh plum, rounded by toasted espresso and almond. All that results in a soft, round and smooth mouthfeel.8925TuscanyRosso di MontalcinoFossacolle 2009 Rosso di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoFossacolle
6090460903FranceJust an edge of butter gives this wine roundness and extra richness. Along with this character comes ripe peach fruit, lifted with acidity. Ready to drink. Screwcap.Kimmeridgien8918BurgundyBourgogneRoger Voss@vossrogerJean-Marc Brocard 2010 Kimmeridgien (Bourgogne)ChardonnayJean-Marc Brocard
6090560904AustraliaThis is a classically styled Coonawarra Cab, with ample cassis, cedar and mint wrapped up into a balanced, well-proportioned whole. The Katnook style favors silky tannins over power, making this elegant Cabernet one to drink over the next several years.Founder's Block8920South AustraliaCoonawarraJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzKatnook Estate 2009 Founder's Block Cabernet Sauvignon (Coonawarra)Cabernet SauvignonKatnook Estate
6090660905USRound, ripe and quite pretty cherry fruit flavors, showing a hint of loam and a briny note. Tannins have smoothed out, and the length is better than average. Score could improve with further bottle age.Boushey Grande Côte Vineyard8936WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine McCrea Cellars 2007 Boushey Grande Côte Vineyard Syrah (Yakima Valley)SyrahMcCrea Cellars
6090760906USThis is a rich, ripe Syrah, with deep, long-lasting chocolate, blackberry jam and oak flavors. Impresses for its sheer razzle dazzle. Probably best over the next few years.Fox Family Vineyard8945CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastBlair Fox 2009 Fox Family Vineyard Syrah (Santa Barbara County)SyrahBlair Fox
6090860907ItalyBig and bold, but a bit disjointed aromatically. Ripe fruit and pipe tobacco vie with a fine note of graphite or lead pencil. It seems soft, with a touch of sweetness, but crisp tannins. Give it a few more years to unwind. Finishes thick and chewy.89TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoBonacchi 2007 Brunello di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoBonacchi
6090960908AustraliaThis 60-40 blend combines Shiraz's blackberry fruit with Cab's slightly herbal notes to make a pretty marriage. It shows enough firmness to stand up to rich, fatty meats now, or to sustain it through up to a decade of cellaring.Mountain Estate8914Australia OtherCentral RangesJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzInkberry 2009 Mountain Estate Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon (Central Ranges)Shiraz-Cabernet SauvignonInkberry
6091060909ItalyThis wine strikes a nice balance between sweet and savory spice on the nose, with ripe fruit, prune and leather in the background. This is a velvety, warm, earthy wine with a broad aromatic delivery and bold Brunello style. It's smooth and round, without any of the sharp acidic accents you sometimes find in Sangiovese Grosso.8940TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoLa Colombina 2007 Brunello di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoLa Colombina
6091160910ItalyThis Brunello shows elegant aromatic restraint in its tight aromas of wild berry and red currant. Dark flavors of barbecue spice, cured meat, leather and tobacco layer the midpalate, then turn fine and full on the finish.8980TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoLe Gode 2007 Brunello di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoLe Gode
6091260911South AfricaDusty dark cherry and blackberry fruit dominate the nose, with secondary aromas of game, peppery spice and tobacco. The dark fruit character continues on the palate, transitioning into the finish, which is laced with hints of mocha and spice. Medium weight, with nice vibrancy in the mouth. Drink now-2015.Silkbush Mountain Vineyards8918BreedekloofLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzLions Drift 2009 Silkbush Mountain Vineyards Pinotage (Breedekloof)PinotageLions Drift
6091360912SpainPretty to sniff, with aromas of lemon, fresh white fruits and minerals. Feels crisp, chiseled and racy, with blazing acidity propelling green apple, lime, green melon and saline flavors. Long on the finish. Drink now.Pazo Barrantes8919GaliciaRías BaixasMichael Schachner@wineschachPazo de Barrantes 2010 Pazo Barrantes Albariño (Rías Baixas)AlbariñoPazo de Barrantes
6091460913GermanyThis wine is a shining example of the glorious minerality that singles out Mosel Riesling. The nose shows really appealing pear and gardenia scents overlaying wet stone notes. The mouthwatering acidity wakes up your palate and is in perfect balance with the substantial residual sugar. Drink now (with sushi) or hold five or more years for even more complexity.Erdener Treppchen Spätlese9130MoselDr. Loosen 2008 Erdener Treppchen Spätlese Riesling (Mosel)RieslingDr. Loosen
6091560914New ZealandSupple but structured, this is only the third vintage for Felton Road's Cornish Point Pinot and it is really starting to hit its stride. Touches of hickory smoke and mocha accent the dark plum and savory fruit, finishing long, spicy and with a note of brown-sugar sweetness.Cornish Point9165Central OtagoJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzFelton Road 2008 Cornish Point Pinot Noir (Central Otago)Pinot NoirFelton Road
6091660915SpainA smooth and coaxing Sherry with almond and dried fruit aromas that lead perfectly to toffee and almond flavors. There's more dryness than fruit here, with peanut brittle accents and then a long, smoky finish that doesn't lose focus. Graceful Oloroso, with a nice individual character.Cristina Oloroso Abacado9118AndaluciaJerezMichael Schachner@wineschachGonzález Byass NV Cristina Oloroso Abacado Sherry (Jerez)SherryGonzález Byass
6091760916ItalyCheerful and bright, this luminous sparkler offers dried fruit aromas with yeast and baked bread tones as well. It has aged nicely over the past five years but maintain the freshness and crispness you look for in an Italian sparkling wine.Satèn9147LombardyFranciacortaQuadra 2005 Satèn Chardonnay (Franciacorta)ChardonnayQuadra
6091860917USAs classy a bottle as you might expect from veteran winemaker Laurent Montalieu. Once again the fruit is crystal clear, setting up fresh pear, green apple and pink grapefruit flavors against crisp, juicy acidity. The finish is lively and spicy.9120OregonOregonOregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Soléna 2008 Pinot Gris (Oregon)Pinot GrisSoléna
6091960918New ZealandThis is a medium-dry Riesling with plenty of weight and richness, but also wonderfully perfumed aromatics of citrus blossom. Lime and green apple fruit carries the palate, and finishes long, with an almost tactile sense of minerality.9121MarlboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzSpy Valley 2009 Riesling (Marlborough)RieslingSpy Valley
6092060919GermanySerious and earthy, like walking into a wall of minerality. The fruit takes a back seat here, but is lusciously peachy and fresh while the long finish is sparked by hints of exotic spices. Give this two to three years to show its best.Graacher Himmelreich Spätlese91MoselJoh. Jos. Prüm 2008 Graacher Himmelreich Spätlese Riesling (Mosel)RieslingJoh. Jos. Prüm
6092160920USSerious Cabernet, rich and complex and full bodied, made from Knights Valley and Alexander Valley fruit, with a few grapes from Atlas Peak and Mount Veeder. Dense and tannic now, but high toned, with waves of black currants, black cherries and oak. A good price for a Cabernet of this quality. Drink now–2012.Grand Reserve9130CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaKendall-Jackson 2007 Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma County)Cabernet SauvignonKendall-Jackson
6092260921USStill quite young yet unmistakably lush, this bottling immediately shows fresh apples, white peach and plenty of new oak from 100% barrel fermentation. The lip-smacking acidity keeps fruit and oak in balance; all that is needed is a bit more bottle age. Decant it if you plan to drink it immediately.Caitlin's Reserve9140OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Adelsheim 2008 Caitlin's Reserve Chardonnay (Willamette Valley)ChardonnayAdelsheim
6092360922New ZealandGibbston is the coolest of Central Otago's subregions, and this wine reflects that in its delicate floral and herbal notes, even a touch of rhubarb. But there's also ample cherry fruit and a wonderfully lacy, silky texture. Long and crisp on the finish. Best from 2012–2018.Gibbston Vineyard9155Central OtagoJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzValli 2008 Gibbston Vineyard Pinot Noir (Central Otago)Pinot NoirValli
6092460923SpainA genuinely attractive, well-made old vines red with earthy, minerally aromas along with violet petal and blackberry. The palate has a fine feel to it, depth and complexity, while flavors of dry berry and baking spices work wonders. Dry, pure and long on the finish, and really quite excellent for a vino de tierra. Drink now through 2014.Dominus Gran Selección Viñedos Viejos9150Northern SpainVino de la Tierra de Castilla y LeónMichael Schachner@wineschachYllera 2004 Dominus Gran Selección Viñedos Viejos Red (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León)Tempranillo BlendYllera
6092560924ItalyThere's a nice mineral vein that helps keep this wine focused. Beyond that, you'll taste fresh fruit and some distance notes of roasted almond and sourdough. The mouthfeel is clean and crisp and the bubbles are soft and creamy.Soul Satèn91LombardyFranciacortaContadi Castaldi 2001 Soul Satèn Chardonnay (Franciacorta)ChardonnayContadi Castaldi
6092660925SpainDense and heavy, and maybe a touch dull on the nose in terms of fruit aromas. But once it hits the palate the wine shines with intense black fruit, sugar beet and chocolate flavors. The finish is toasty and warm, with saturation and texture. Almost over the edge as far as ripeness, but not quite. Drink now through 2012.Vendimia Seleccionada9159Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachGarcía Figuero 2005 Vendimia Seleccionada (Ribera del Duero)TempranilloGarcía Figuero
6092760926USThis soft and seductive wine is reminiscent of a good Chassagne-Montrachet from a relatively warm year. It has the same ripe, lightly tropical fruit, inflected with citrus and buoyed by firm acidity. The use of oak is restrained, the balance perfect, and the finish long and satisfying.Cuvée Forêts Diverses9135OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Hamacher 2007 Cuvée Forêts Diverses Chardonnay (Willamette Valley)ChardonnayHamacher
6092860927USPowerful scents mix dried herb, wet grass and petrol—it could be mistaken for Sauvignon Blanc in a blind tasting, and it has that much density and extract. The label says dry, and it is certainly that, much in the Australian style. Big, concentrated, high acid and quite cellarworthy.Dry9120OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Amity Vineyards 2008 Dry Riesling (Willamette Valley)RieslingAmity Vineyards
6092960928FranceWhile not strictly part of the Haut-Médoc Château Cambon la Pelouse, this small parcel in Margaux is under the same ownership and vinification. The wine has weight, some solid fruit, with the wood adding polish but not dominating. A well-structured wine for medium-term aging.L'Aura de Cambon9140BordeauxMargauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Cambon la Pelouse 2007 L'Aura de Cambon (Margaux)Bordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Cambon la Pelouse
6093060929FranceNow owned by Château Labégorce-Margaux, this classed growth is beginning to come back to life. With this vintage, perhaps the wood flavor is too much, but the fruit has weight, dark spicy character and solid tannins. Age for 5–6 years for the wood to soften.91BordeauxMargauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Marquis d'Alesme 2007 MargauxBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Marquis d'Alesme

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