Wine Reviews

6285162850South AfricaThe browning rim, light tannins and fair acidity make this a wine for drinking now. The notes of earth, spiced plum, toast and sweet, stewed rhubarb are complimented throughout with vanilla and cinnamon.Unfiltered8515Coastal RegionFleur Du Cap 1998 Unfiltered Merlot (Coastal Region)MerlotFleur Du Cap
6285262851USNot bad for everyday quaffing, with some rich blackberry flavors and nice, dry tannins. It has a country-style edge of roughness to it, but all in all, this is a pretty good value in Cabernet.8510CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherChumeia 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon (California)Cabernet SauvignonChumeia
6285362852USThere's lots of good varietal character in this pleasant wine. It has correct flavors of blackcurrants, olives and herbs, and is wrapped in delicately soft tannins. The finish is dry and fruity. Not a lot of stuffing going on, but will be nice with roast beef.8512CaliforniaLodiCentral ValleyLeonardo Family Vineyards 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon (Lodi)Cabernet SauvignonLeonardo Family Vineyards
6285462853South AfricaFragrant notes of spiced plum, cherry and milk chocolate are met with toast and herbs on the palate. The acidity is a façade to smooth, sheer tannins and the finish is layered in oak and cocoa.8514StellenboschRust en Vrede 2001 Merlot (Stellenbosch)MerlotRust en Vrede
6285562854USThis Beaver State answer to Moscato d'Asti is sweet, sweet and more sweet. Who knows what the actual residual sugar reading is? That said, the lemon-lime aromas with notes of basil and tarragon are nice, and the wine is currently quite fresh (although it likely won't last long). Not too bubbly or aggressive, and pretty in the mouth due to fairly snappy acids. Drink now with fruit-based desserts or frosted cake.Early Muscat - Semi Sparkling8514OregonOregonOregon OtherMichael Schachner@wineschachSilvan Ridge 2002 Early Muscat - Semi Sparkling Muscat (Oregon)MuscatSilvan Ridge
6285662855USLight in weight, but quite tart and zesty in the mouth, this wine's green apple and lime flavors deliver a touch of sweetness despite the "dry" moniker.Dry8511New YorkCayuga LakeFinger LakesJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzKnapp 2002 Dry Riesling (Cayuga Lake)RieslingKnapp
6285762856AustraliaFeels rather full in the mouth, but the flavors aren't as big as its body. Dry, citrusy notes (lemon peel, lemonade) play on the palate and the finish. Nose offers lots of toast and butterscotch.8430South AustraliaCoonawarraBalnaves of Coonawarra 1999 Chardonnay (Coonawarra)ChardonnayBalnaves of Coonawarra
6285862857AustraliaRather dry in the mouth, with a minerally feel; flavors are similarly dry—think red apple skin, plus some pear. Has clarified butter and a plastic- or resin-like note on the nose, and toffee and cream on the finish.8423South AustraliaAdelaide HillsElysian Fields 2000 Chardonnay (Adelaide Hills)ChardonnayElysian Fields
6285962858South AfricaThe insubstantial nose of this wine is spotted with dried herbs, baking spices and a whiff of pickle jar. The palate is thin, the tannins are sheer, but the flavors are of sweet, fresh red plum and cinnamon.848Western CapeRobert's Rock 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot (Western Cape)Cabernet Sauvignon-MerlotRobert's Rock
6286062859USHard to get lushness and complexity into a Chard at this price, but this wine tries hard. It's a cool climate wine, to judge from the crisp, upfront acidity. Flavors veer toward apples and citrus fruits, and if there's any oak, it doesn't show. Finishes clean and lean.8410CaliforniaMontereyCentral CoastMaddalena 2001 Chardonnay (Monterey)ChardonnayMaddalena
6286162860New ZealandAn solid introduction to the world of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, it's off-dry in style, with melon and honey flavors given structure by lime-like acids. Pleasant, and even if it is a bit simple, it's easy to like.8415MarlboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzGrove Mill 2001 Riesling (Marlborough)RieslingGrove Mill
6286262861South AfricaThe thin, tart palate displays cranberry-plum fruit and the nose is of newsprint, driftwood and currants. This sensory combo is not as odd as it sounds, but the wine could use more depth.8410RobertsonSinnya 2001 Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon (Robertson)Merlot-Cabernet SauvignonSinnya
6286362862USGreat structure, with crisp, supportive acids and a fine overlay of oak that seasons but doesn't overwhelm. The flavors are quite lean. The winemaker calls them mineral-like, but it's more like grapefruits and lemons. The main problem with this well-made wine is, in fact, this lack of flavor.Estate Bottled8423CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaStuhlmuller Vineyards 2000 Estate Bottled Chardonnay (Alexander Valley)ChardonnayStuhlmuller Vineyards
6286462863ArgentinaSmells good, with berry- dominated aromas. The palate is solid but acidic at the core, with sharpness on the palate that creates a juicy, crisp set of raspberry and plum flavors. Flattens out on the finish, where moderate oak-based butter notes rise up.Seleccionada8618Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachAlma del Sur 2008 Seleccionada Bonarda (Mendoza)BonardaAlma del Sur
6286562864USUnderneath the oak is a modest, crisp Pinot Noir, dry and appealing in raspberry, cherry, cola and mushroom flavors. The oak is a little heavy-handed, though, making the wine feel heavy and finish sweet.8620CaliforniaMonterey CountyCentral CoastBridlewood 2008 Pinot Noir (Monterey County)Pinot NoirBridlewood
6286662865USTastes pretty sweet, with a sugar and honeysuckle richness. But the tangerine fruit flavor is deep and impressive, and the vanilla and buttered toast notes from oak are what consumers like.8615CaliforniaMonterey CountyCentral CoastBridlewood 2009 Chardonnay (Monterey County)ChardonnayBridlewood
6286762866PortugalA pear-and pineapple-flavored wine, lifted with bright fresh acidity. There is a smooth texture that comes from ripe fruit. Drink now to enjoy its crispness.Branco86AlentejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerCasa de Santa Vitoria 2010 Branco White (Alentejano)Portuguese WhiteCasa de Santa Vitoria
6286862867FranceA warm-feeling wine, lined with dry tannins and then filled with juicy red plum and pepper flavors, and an attractive green pepper hint.8612ProvenceCôtes de ProvenceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Houchart 2008 Red (Côtes de Provence)Rhône-style Red BlendDomaine Houchart
6286962868FranceFrom his base above Cornas, Jean-Luc Colombo has reached toward the Mediterranean to blend this crisp, refreshing blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre and Counoise. There's a touch of strawberry, but more citrus, with a mouthwatering finish. Drink now.Cape Bleue8612France OtherVin de Pays de la MéditerranéeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzJean-Luc Colombo 2010 Cape Bleue Rosé (Vin de Pays de la Méditerranée)RoséJean-Luc Colombo
6287062869USTastes fruitier and sweeter than past vintages from this winery, with sugar candy flavors of raspberries and cherries, dusted with vanilla. Rich, but lacks dryness and nuance.8640CaliforniaSonoma MountainSonomaKorbin Kameron 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma Mountain)Cabernet SauvignonKorbin Kameron
6287162870USAlready showing some bricking around the rim, this estate-grown Pinot Noir mixes spicy strawberry and some residual fermentation flavors of biscuit and blood. Difficult to know how this one is going to age.Lux8635OregonWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Luminous Hills 2009 Lux Pinot NoirPinot NoirLuminous Hills
6287262871ArgentinaRoasted at first, with smoked ham and bacon aromas along with clove and other hard spice notes. The palate is oaky, with chewy tannins and a thick texture; flavors of blackberry are meaty and rich, while clove and more dry spices reappear on the finish. A different breed for Mendoza.Passo Doble Malbec-Corvina8617Mendoza ProvinceUco ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachMasi Tupungato 2009 Passo Doble Malbec-Corvina Red (Uco Valley)Red BlendMasi Tupungato
6287362872USLots of ripe, sweet jammy cherry and raspberry fruit in this polished Pinot. Crisp acidity gives it a fortunate balance. It's for drinking now.Poseidon's Vineyard8630CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaMolnar Family 2009 Poseidon's Vineyard Pinot Noir (Carneros)Pinot NoirMolnar Family
6287462873ArgentinaMuch better than prior vintages, when it was known as Finca El Portillo. The nose is jammy and shows black fruit aromas, while the palate is complete and full but juicy, with plum and black cherry flavors. Pepper and toast flavors infiltrate the finish.Portillo Estate Bottled8610Mendoza ProvinceUco ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSalentein 2009 Portillo Estate Bottled Merlot (Uco Valley)MerlotSalentein
6287562874USNicely dry and crisp, with pleasant citrus, lemongrass, mineral, honey and vanilla flavors. Could be a bit more concentrated, but it's a clean, savory cocktail sipper.8614CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaSimi 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma County)Sauvignon BlancSimi
6287662875ItalySuavia's base Soave Classico opens with an initial hint of sulphur but then finds purity in the form of peach, honey and herbal aromas. In fact, the wine shows very nice fruit characteristics on the close.8617VenetoSoave ClassicoSuavia 2010 Soave ClassicoGarganegaSuavia
6287762876ItalyThis vintage-dated Prosecco beautifully captures ambient light within its luminous appearance. Persistent perlage and cheerful aromas of white flower, pear and peach seal the deal.Millesimato Brut Rive di Refrontolo86VenetoConegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco SuperioreToffoli 2009 Millesimato Brut Rive di Refrontolo (Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore)GleraToffoli
6287862877ItalyFrom the local Italian word for “to work the soil,” Runcaris represents an easy, fresh expression of Soave Classico with lingering aromas of citrus, yellow rose, honey, jasmine and dried herbs.Runcaris8615VenetoSoave ClassicoFattori 2010 Runcaris (Soave Classico)GarganegaFattori
6287962878USLots of acidity in this Pinot, maybe too much, as it gives a sour edge to the sweet raspberries and cherries. The end result is candied cough drop. Decant before serving.SLH Estate8635CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastHahn 2009 SLH Estate Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirHahn
6288062879South AfricaAn interesting wine composed of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir. The bouquet offers notes of ripe red apple and soft toast alongside nuances of small red berries. Medium-weight with good balance and a dry but nutty finish. Drink now.Chardonnay-Pinot Noir8617FranschhoekLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzHaute Cabrière 2009 Chardonnay-Pinot Noir Rosé (Franschhoek)RoséHaute Cabrière

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