Wine Reviews

6194661945AustriaFleshy blueberries are met with soft vanilla notes on this full-fruited yet light-footed red. On the palate the bursting blueberry notes are even more appetizing and joined by pleasant pepper with just a hint of tobacco. There is something rather seductive about these fruit-driven reds that deliver more than simple fruit. Utterly delicious, very elegant and dangerously drinkable.Heideboden9228BurgenlandAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoNittnaus Anita und Hans 2013 Heideboden Red (Burgenland)Red BlendNittnaus Anita und Hans
6194761946USFreshly brewed coffee, green herbs, graphite and dark fruit aromas leap up from this blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc. The flavors are sweet, with a soft, lush feel.Suspense Conner-Lee Vineyard9160WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportJ. Bookwalter 2013 Suspense Conner-Lee Vineyard Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendJ. Bookwalter
6194861947USThere's plenty of nuance on this wine's aromas and flavors of café au lait, herb, dark cherry, plum and barrel spice. The balance is pitch-perfect with a light grip of tannins that need some time in the cellar to soften.Ciel du Cheval Vineyard9145WashingtonRed MountainColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportJanuik 2012 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Mountain)Cabernet SauvignonJanuik
6194961948USMade with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 10% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot, this lightly colored wine offers aromas of freshly brewed coffee, cocoa and herbs. Flavors are elegant yet concentrated, with black fruit on the finish.Proprietor's Cuvée9150WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportLauren Ashton Cellars 2012 Proprietor's Cuvée Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendLauren Ashton Cellars
6195061949USThe aromas of tobacco leaf, herbs, milk chocolate, vanilla and dark cherries are generous on this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The flavors are equal part rich and restrained, with a delightful sense of balance along with a light grip of tannins.Apogee Pepper Bridge Vineyard9150WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportL'Ecole No. 41 2012 Apogee Pepper Bridge Vineyard Red (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendL'Ecole No. 41
6192161920USSuper-tannic, one of those dry Napa red wines that makes you wonder why you opened it now. It's just so tough and astringent, offering more pain than pleasure, which leads to the question, will it age? Well, there's good cherry-blackberry fruit. But this is Merlot, not Cabernet. Risky.Estate8650CaliforniaDiamond Mountain DistrictNapaReverie 2007 Estate Merlot (Diamond Mountain District)MerlotReverie
6192261921USBorderline rustic, with edgy tannins and tart, jammy cherry and blueberry flavors that finish in a slightly sweet swirl of black pepper. Easy to drink now with pasta, barbecue, pizza.Ponzo Vineyard8628CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherRidge 2008 Ponzo Vineyard Zinfandel (California)ZinfandelRidge
6192361922USNicely dry and very crisp, with mouthwatering acidity that scours the palate and makes it brisk and clean. It's a little too fruity, though, with jammy pineapple, lemon and lime flavors that pall after a few sips.8626CaliforniaRutherfordNapaRound Pond 2009 Sauvignon Blanc (Rutherford)Sauvignon BlancRound Pond
6192461923AustraliaThis South Eastern Australia Chard packs quite a punch for the price. The nose is fresh but subtle, with hints of hand soap and cut apples. There's a luxurious quality to the palate that melds well with flavors of almond and pear and carries over to the silky, medium finish. Winds up on a note of tropical fruit. Drink now through 2011.Estate Range869Australia OtherSouth Eastern AustraliaBeelgara 2008 Estate Range Chardonnay (South Eastern Australia)ChardonnayBeelgara
6192561924USNot badly made, just thin and wanting in flavor. The yield on these Solano and Napa county vines must have been enormous. The mouth sensation is of heat and acidity, with a bit of green strawberry thrown in for good measure.8216CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherCrystal Valley Cellars 2001 Pinot Noir (California)Pinot NoirCrystal Valley Cellars
6192661925USDull and insipid, with little Pinot character beyond some modest berry flavors and easy tannins. Turns gluey and thick on the dry finish.829CaliforniaMendocino CountyDunnewood 2000 Pinot Noir (Mendocino County)Pinot NoirDunnewood
6192761926ChileOn the nose, it's floral and sweet, with a sticky quality to the fruit. In the mouth, it's like lemon-lime soda, with some bitter green melon thrown in. And the feel is thin and acidic. A tangy, lean rendition of this potentially interesting variety.Montemar828Curicó ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachAresti 2002 Montemar Gewürztraminer (Curicó Valley)GewürztraminerAresti
6192861927ChileLight on the nose. The flavor profile leans toward cranberry, but there seems to be a faint pickled note, too. The feel is juicy and acidic, so it's fresh.Rosé828Central ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachValdivieso 2002 Rosé Cabernet Sauvignon (Central Valley)Cabernet SauvignonValdivieso
6192961928ChileThe nose is pickled and vegetal. Some cherry and raspberry fruit mix on the palate, while the finish is hot and spicy. In the mouth, this wine starts off better than it finishes, so it might be acceptable for low-care, quick consumption.Reserve8211Rio ClaroMichael Schachner@wineschachAresti 2001 Reserve Merlot (Rio Claro)MerlotAresti
6193061929ChileMeaty, woody aromas carry along some cherry and cinnamon, but those scents are distant and slightly artificial. The mouth is chunky and big, with plenty of buttery oak along with nondistinct red fruit. The feel is sharp, courtesy of strong acids, so there's a tangy, astringent final impression. –M.S.San Andrés82Lontué ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSan Pedro 2002 San Andrés Merlot (Lontué Valley)MerlotSan Pedro
6193161930ChileThe nose smells a bit like corn. The wine is round, soft and without much edge. The fruit seems a little pliable and ultimately it isn't all that structured. Finishes with a bit of banana.826Curicó ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachCalama 2002 Sauvignon Blanc (Curicó Valley)Sauvignon BlancCalama
6193261931ChileThis is Veramonte's top red. But frankly, it's green, herbal and difficult to enjoy. The nose offers plenty of green olive, while the heart of the wine is herbal and only gift-wrapped with coatings of blackberry and currant.8220Casablanca ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachPrimus 2000 Red (Casablanca Valley)Red BlendPrimus
6193361932ItalyLight, with simple pineapple flavors. Hints of green tea enliven the nose, while the finish is clean and citrusy.829VenetoSoaveJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzBolla 2001 SoaveWhite BlendBolla
6193461933ChileBig, awkward aromas of red fruit and oak are followed by simple berry and plum flavors and even more overt oak. The finish is big and warm, while late in the game the wine turns tangy. This is one of many mass-market Merlots with few glaring faults; but still it fights to rise above basic acceptability.Gato Negro825Lontué ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSan Pedro 2002 Gato Negro Merlot (Lontué Valley)MerlotSan Pedro
6193561934ItalyA bizarre blend of lime, unipe pineapple, banana and tropical fruit marks this clumsy, disjointed wine. It's not bad, but it's all elbows, with hard edges sticking out all over.829VenetoVenetoJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzSan Giuseppe 2001 Pinot Grigio (Veneto)Pinot GrigioSan Giuseppe
6193661935USA thick, pasty wine with considerable tannins and a heavy-handed mouthfeel. Flavors are weedy and generic berry. Not going anywhere.8218CaliforniaNorth CoastNorth CoastRamspeck 2001 Pinot Noir (North Coast)Pinot NoirRamspeck
6193761936ChileLean and angular in the nose, with grapefruit and pine aromas. The palate offers some grapefruit and citrus pith, and the finish is tangy, sharp and runs toward bitter. In addition, the mouthfeel is flat.Reserve8211Rio ClaroMichael Schachner@wineschachAresti 2001 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Rio Claro)Sauvignon BlancAresti
6193861937ChileThe aromas are meaty yet undefined. In the mouth, the fruit seems snappy and overly excited. The acidity is a bit out of control and it leads to questionable balance. Still the raspberry and cherry flavors are good, and the oak shadings seem about right.819Rapel ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Ema 2001 Merlot (Rapel Valley)MerlotSanta Ema
6193961938ChileThis wine from Francisco Gillmore is earthy and full of tomato and leather aromas. The palate is also a bit like tomato and herbs. The finish is tangy, courtesy of healthy acids, while the finish is tannic and a touch hot.Concepción817Maule ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachFrancisco Gillmore 2000 Concepción Cabernet Sauvignon (Maule Valley)Cabernet SauvignonFrancisco Gillmore
6194061939ChileTomato and herb aromas are followed by red fruit and peppery notes. The simple finish does nothing to hurt or improve the wine. It's very Average, but drinkable.Reserva8111Maule ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachBalduzzi 1999 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon (Maule Valley)Cabernet SauvignonBalduzzi
6194161940ChileThe bouquet is redolent of stewed tomato, dried spices and lean red fruit, while the palate is thin and tastes like strawberries mixed with oak. The finish is the definition of light and easy, yet here a hint of pickled vegetable arises.817Casablanca ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachMorandé 2002 Pinot Noir (Casablanca Valley)Pinot NoirMorandé
6194261941USThis is just over half Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. The aromas of herb, barrel spice, black cherry and coffee need time to reveal themselves fully. The dark cherry and blackberry flavors show richness and polish. Give it an extended decant if opening in the near term but it will be worth it. It will be best from 2020 to 2027.Perigee Seven Hills Vineyard Estate Grown9250WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportL'Ecole No. 41 2012 Perigee Seven Hills Vineyard Estate Grown Red (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendL'Ecole No. 41
6194361942FranceWith 80% Chardonnay in the blend, this is a mature-tasting wine, much of which comes from the Côte des Blancs. It has an enticing toasty character that has changed the initial fruitiness of the wine to one where the secondary flavors dominate. It is ripe, intense with acidity, a tangy texture, spice and almonds. Drink now.Tanagra Brut Grand Cru9260ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerLombard et Cie NV Tanagra Brut Grand Cru (Champagne)Champagne BlendLombard et Cie
6194461943ItalyA blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, this has enticing scents of fragrant blue flower, wild berry, anise and a whiff of exotic spice. The palate boasts structure and finesse, offering black cherry, cinnamon, white pepper and a hint of tobacco backed up by lithe tannins and bright acidity.Riserva9245TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMarchesi Antinori 2012 Riserva (Chianti Classico)Red BlendMarchesi Antinori
6194561944USVery dense and eminently intriguing on the nose, this wine shows aromas of turned earth, black olive, concentrated strawberry and gravel. Sagebrush and tarragon power the tip of the palate, which emerges into dense yet restrained blueberry and black cherry, all presented in a very appealing way.Estate9235CaliforniaOak Knoll DistrictNapaMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannMonticello Vineyards 2011 Estate Merlot (Oak Knoll District)MerlotMonticello Vineyards

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