Wine Reviews

6207162070ItalyGualdo del Re's honey-toned Vermentino offers rich saturation and density thanks to the Tuscan sunshine. The wine is thick and glossy with warm notes of peach, nectarine and apricot. The finish is creamy and rich and would stand up to cheese-based dishes.Valentina8729TuscanyVal di Cornia SuveretoGualdo del Re 2007 Valentina Vermentino (Val di Cornia Suvereto)VermentinoGualdo del Re
6207262071ItalyVilla Prandone Navicchio is a pretty expression of Pecorino from Central Italy with resiny aromas of mature apricot, cola and white peppercorn. There's depth and personality here and the wine offers a unique experience.Villa Prandone Navicchio87Central ItalyOffida PecorinoIl Conte 2007 Villa Prandone Navicchio (Offida Pecorino)PecorinoIl Conte
6207362072ChileMore than decent; this is good SB with no bells and whistles but lots of straight-ahead competence. The nose is dusty and plump, while the palate has roundness, weight and likable citrus, green melon and other common, fresh flavors. Sometimes the basics are more than enough; this is a casein point.Reserva875Aconcagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachIn Situ 2008 Reserva Sauvignon Blanc (Aconcagua Valley)Sauvignon BlancIn Situ
6207462073AustriaThis firmly structured wine brings out the spiciness of Blaufränkisch, boosting its structure. Beck's entry-level wine is finely crafted, the tannins and ripe berry fruits balancing well with the freshly grated nutmeg and final sweetness. Screwcap.8723BurgenlandRoger Voss@vossrogerJudith Beck 2007 Blaufränkisch (Burgenland)BlaufränkischJudith Beck
6207562074USCrisp in acidity and delicious, with honeyed flavors of pineapples, green apples, Meyer lemons, vanilla and peppery spices. Finishes a bit sugary sweet, which detracts from pure balance.La Cruz Vineyard8730CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaKeller Estate 2007 La Cruz Vineyard Pinot Gris (Sonoma Coast)Pinot GrisKeller Estate
6207662075ChileThis is a perfectly good and honest wine, with aromas of fresh lettuce yet not a whole lot of vivid fruit. So in that sense, it is like many SBs from cool-climate Limarí. But if the nose is shy, the palate offers nice, cheerful apple and melon flavors. Smooth enough and almost round, withno edgy acidity or overt zap.Block Selection Reserve8711Limarí ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachLa Playa 2008 Block Selection Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Limarí Valley)Sauvignon BlancLa Playa
6207762076USHere's a good, rich, savory young Zin to get those tastebuds whistling. Clean acidity and smooth tannins frame Zinny flavors of wild berries, teriyaki and Asian spices. Drink now.Saini Farms Old Vine8722CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaLake Sonoma 2006 Saini Farms Old Vine Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelLake Sonoma
6207862077FranceAppealing for its serious plum, barnyard, black pepper and licorice aromas. A bit simpler in the mouth, with some grippy tannins and just enough acidity to keep the dense, woodsy palate from feeling heavy.Nord Sud8713Languedoc-RoussillonVin de Pays d'OcLaurent Miquel 2006 Nord Sud Syrah (Vin de Pays d'Oc)SyrahLaurent Miquel
6207962078ItalyThis smooth and supple Chardonnay from northeast Italy boasts steadfast intensity and pretty aromas of citrus blossom, peach, honey and a touch of fresh vanilla bean. The wine's creamy density makes for a natural companion to pasta and lasagna.Jurosa87Northeastern ItalyVenezia GiuliaLis Neris 2006 Jurosa Chardonnay (Venezia Giulia)ChardonnayLis Neris
6208062079ChileNice and welcoming on the nose, with melon, citrus and other punchbowl aromas. The palate is graced with fine acidity, which amplifies the wine's standard green apple and lime flavors. Clean and showing no glaring issues. Textbook everyday Chilean SB; we could drink this stuff forever.Classic Series8712Casablanca ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachMontes 2008 Classic Series Sauvignon Blanc (Casablanca Valley)Sauvignon BlancMontes
6208162080USA good, rich, dry bubbly, with a creamy, leesy taste and long finish. The flavors of figgy vanilla and praline are unusual for a bubbly, but nonetheless are delicious.Stelline di Moscato8718CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastMosby NV Stelline di Moscato Orange Muscat (Santa Barbara County)Orange MuscatMosby
6208262081ItalyRipe fruit tones and layers of spice (clove, cinnamon and black pepper) fold seamlessly together as one. The wine represents a hardy blend of Negroamaro and Montepulciano and offers the solid structure and firmness that you should expect from these two masculine indigenous grapes.8720Southern ItalyGalatinaValle dell'Asso 2006 Negroamaro (Galatina)NegroamaroValle dell'Asso
6208362082USHere's a lush young Petite Sirah brimming with blackberry jam, cherry liqueur, dark chocolate and licorice flavors that taste a little sweet. It's tannic and immature now, but should age well for up to a decade.Estate8745CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastVenteux 2006 Estate Petite Sirah (Paso Robles)Petite SirahVenteux
6208462083USThis very rich, unctuous Syrah is immature and not especially subtle at this time. It's acidic and gooey in jammy blackberries and cherries and milk chocolate, with obvious oak influences. The idea seems to be ageworthiness, but that's a gamble. Could surprise.Ulises Valdez Vineyard8765CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVice Versa 2005 Ulises Valdez Vineyard Syrah (Napa Valley)SyrahVice Versa
6208562084ItalyPinot Bianco from the Collio region of northeast Italy generally tends to deliver firm structure and texture. This wine is an excellent example of the variety because it balances density and heat versus elegance of aromas. Pair it with Thai or Chinese chicken dishes.8734Northeastern ItalyCollioVilla Russiz 2007 Pinot Bianco (Collio)Pinot BiancoVilla Russiz
6208662085USWaterstone's non-reserve Cabernet is often quite good and the '05 is just about their best ever. It's a fine wine, dry and full-bodied and rich in black currants, smoky oak and spices. Drink now and for the next several years.8726CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaWaterstone 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonWaterstone
6208762086ItalyHere's a Sicilian Nero d'Avola with heft and dimension: Aromas include allspice, cinnamon, cherry and sweet almond. It has a chewy, succulent feel and polished tannins on the close. The wine is made by Prosecco producers Villa Sandi.Carrivàli87Sicily & SardiniaSiciliaAgroArgento 2005 Carrivàli Nero d'Avola (Sicilia)Nero d'AvolaAgroArgento
6208862087ItalyMade with organically grown grapes, this 100% expression of Nero di Troia offers cheerful aromas of cherry, blackberry, spice and tobacco. The mouthfeel is dense and sandy because of the firm nature of the tannins.8720Southern ItalyPugliaAntica Enotria 2006 Nero di Troia (Puglia)Nero di TroiaAntica Enotria
6208962088South AfricaThis friendly wine starts with a spicy and aromatic nose and leads into floral, honeyed flavors, a balanced acidity and a touch of minerality underneath. Pretty and poised, it will pair well with shellfish and spicy Asian cuisine.8729FranschhoekSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaBoekenhoutskloof 2005 Sémillon (Franschhoek)SémillonBoekenhoutskloof
6209062089USTight and tart, wrapped up in a core of smoky black currant fruit. The acids seem a bit adjusted, and the wine needs time to breathe open, but the main thing is that it's a clean and well-defined evocation of the almost 40-year-old vineyard, the oldest in the Rattlesnake Hills.Morrison Vineyard8730WashingtonRattlesnake HillsColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Bonair 2006 Morrison Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Rattlesnake Hills)Cabernet SauvignonBonair
6209162090ItalyThis dark wine is characterized by jammy notes of blackberry marmalade and sweet Christmas spice. It's lean and compact in the mouth with long-lasting flavors of blueberry and black currant.Fidelis8718Southern ItalyAglianico del TaburnoCantina del Taburno 2005 Fidelis (Aglianico del Taburno)AglianicoCantina del Taburno
6209262091ItalyMostly Negroamaro (with 5% Malvasia Nera), this is a sweet-smelling wine with candy-like aromas of Christmas bread, allspice and plum cake. The wine delivers dense, firm structure with nicely aged fruit flavors on the close.Riserva8715Southern ItalyCopertinoCantina Sociale Cooperativa di Copertino 2001 Riserva Negroamaro (Copertino)NegroamaroCantina Sociale Cooperativa di Copertino
6209362092ChileVarietally correct, with familiar prickly aromas along with citrus and sweat. It's pretty much all you could ask for at under $10, and with honest lemon and pineapple flavors its committed and alive. Good mouthfeel with grab and body only secures its standing as a white wine Best Buy.879Curicó ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachCarmen 2008 Sauvignon Blanc (Curicó Valley)Sauvignon BlancCarmen
6209462093USThe highlight of a thin lineup, Cave B's Sauvignon Blanc brings tart fruit flavors of lemon and lime, grapefruit and melon. Thankfully, no oak was applied; this winery has a heavy hand with barrels. This new bottling is young enough to retain the crispness and liveliness of the natural fruit.8719WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Cave B 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley (WA))Sauvignon BlancCave B
6209562094FranceHeavily dominated by new wood, the wine is toasty, with a burnt edge to it. The fruit shows some juicy character, but it is not given a chance with the wood.87BordeauxMargauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Boyd-Cantenac 2006 MargauxBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Boyd-Cantenac
6209662095FranceAn immediately attractive wine that carries its ripe fruit easily. Both the fruit and the structure are dense, with flavors of dried raisins balanced by fresh acidity. It is already maturing, so drink in 2 years.87BordeauxPomerolRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Lafleur-Gazin 2006 PomerolBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Lafleur-Gazin
6209762096FranceRipely juicy wine, its soft tannins lifted by fresh blackberry flavors. The crisp acidity in the juice shows prominently. It has some dry structure, but this is enveloped in this berry fruit character, which suggests it will mature quickly.87BordeauxListrac-MédocRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Lestage 2006 Listrac-MédocBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Lestage
6209862097FranceRipe fruit stars, with swathes of tannin. The fruit is juicy, with the typical 2006 freshness, jelly and jam textures giving sweetness. Generous, rich, and likely to be ready in the next 2–3 years.87BordeauxSaint-ÉmilionRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Moulin du Cadet 2006 Saint-ÉmilionBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Moulin du Cadet
6209962098FranceRich, jammy aromas set the scene for an exuberant black fruited wine, with generous soft texture. The tannins have dried fruit and fig flavors, lifted by attractive freshness.Fugue de Nenin87BordeauxPomerolRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Nenin 2006 Fugue de Nenin (Pomerol)Bordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Nenin
6210062099FranceFirm, tense and dryly tannic, this is a solid wine, foursquare, its edges a little rough at present. The berry fruits are black, spicy from wood, creating a rich feel. In the end, black currant acidity and freshness finish the wine with a lift.8725BordeauxMédocRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Patache d'Aux 2006 MédocBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Patache d'Aux

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