Wine Reviews

6411464113ItalyTilled earth, mature black-skinned fruit, leather, eucalyptus and truffle aromas come together on this concentrated wine. The firm palate offers dried black cherry, blackberry jam, coffee and licorice aromas alongside brooding tannins. Drink 2016–2021.Riserva9135TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTenuta di Lilliano 2011 Riserva (Chianti Classico)Red BlendTenuta di Lilliano
6411564114USThe winery's larger production offering, this is made from a handful of vineyards, including many used in vineyard-designates. Blending prowess shows in this wine that explodes in plum and clove. Tight, bright acid buoys flavors of strawberry, cranberry and orange, with a twisted funk of earth on the finish.9134CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneMacRostie 2013 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)Pinot NoirMacRostie
6411664115USStructured, with a juicy backbone of fruit, this full-bodied, 100% varietal wine features aromas of baked bread joined by a taste of blackberry jam. Jolts of cedar and green herb provide a classical touch to the lengthy finish. Drink now through 2020.Estate9170CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneMadrigal 2012 Estate Cabernet Franc (Napa Valley)Cabernet FrancMadrigal
6411764116USWinemaker Mike Callahan's small Riesling project is packed with promise. This bottling shows tight yellow grapefruit pith, wet stones, crushed sea shells and richer Key lime notes on the nose. A touch of fresh oregano flashes on the palate, alongside chalk, white flowers and lemon oil laid upon a brisk but waxy mouthfeel.Lafond Vineyard9122CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannMaidenStoen 2014 Lafond Vineyard Riesling (Sta. Rita Hills)RieslingMaidenStoen
6411864117ItalyUnderbrush, chopped aromatic herb, wild berry and a hint of new leather are the main scent notes. The bright, structured palate is full of layers of juicy red cherry, crushed raspberry, cinnamon, mint and tobacco set against a backbone of chewy tannins. It's already accessible, and while not loaded with complexity, it is delicious. Drink through 2020.9150TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMarchesato degli Aleramici 2011 Brunello di MontalcinoSangioveseMarchesato degli Aleramici
6411964118LebanonDeep garnet to the eye, this Rhone-style blend has a nose of cherry and aniseed. Flavors of cherry, blueberry preserves, fennel bulb, anise and violet are set in a framework of smooth tannins that gently coats the mouth beyond the bright finish.Terrasses de Baalbeck9127Bekaa ValleyMike DeSimone@worldwineguysMassaya 2012 Terrasses de Baalbeck Red (Bekaa Valley)Rhône-style Red BlendMassaya
6412064119USThis blend has 80% Viognier, which adds a peach and apricot streak that adds interest to the lemony, grapefruity flavors. Drinks tart, bone dry and clean, with sleek acidity. A terrific, elegant wine, perfect for a first course, and a great offering from this top producer. Editors' Choice.T bar T Cuvée R9019CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaIron Horse 2001 T bar T Cuvée R White (Alexander Valley)White BlendIron Horse
6412164120ItalyAromas of ripe pears and peaches jump out of the glass, and the flavors follow suit, bouncing across the palate in a display of stone fruits. It's relatively full bodied, but a garnish of grapefruit zest on the finish keeps it balanced and lively. Best Buy.9014VenetoSoave Classico SuperioreJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzPieropan 2001 Soave Classico SuperioreWhite BlendPieropan
6411164110ItalyFirm and fragrant, this opens with scents of violet, iris, ripe plum and sweet baking spice. The chewy palate delivers dried plum, ripe black cherry, white pepper, anise and clove while fine-grained, polished tannins provide support.Riserva9130TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefePanzanello 2011 Riserva (Chianti Classico)Red BlendPanzanello
6411264111SpainThis Catalonian sparkler is attractive from the start. Aromas of bready yeast, crisp white fruits and white flowers feed into a full but friendly palate with smooth bubbles and nothing caustic. Complex flavors of citrus, nectarine and mustard finish with intensity and character.De La Finca9143CataloniaPenedèsMichael Schachner@wineschachRaventós I Blanc 2011 De La Finca Sparkling (Penedès)Sparkling BlendRaventós I Blanc
6411364112ItalyMade with 80% Sangiovese, 10% Pugnitello and 10% Colorino, this savory, firmly structured wine offers aromas that recall baked plum, prune, resin, blue flower, leather and a balsamic note. The chewy, concentrated palate delivers juicy black cherry, mature blackberry, vanilla, cinnamon and mocha. Dusty tannins provide support. Drink through 2021.Poggio Rosso Gran Selezione9150TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeSan Felice 2011 Poggio Rosso Gran Selezione (Chianti Classico)Red BlendSan Felice
6412264121USOnly 94 cases of this first-ever wine from Gary Franscioni, of Garys' Vineyard. Not for fans of delicate Pinot Nor, this is a big, ripe, outsized wine stuffed with flavors ranging from cherries and raspberries to cola, chocolate, Oriental spices and tobacco. Silky in the mouth, although the acids are young and sharp.9031CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastRoar 2001 Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirRoar
6412364122ItalyPiccini's top wine is this super Tuscan that puts 60% Sangiovese with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot in a successful blend of tobacco, earth and dark fruit flavors. The '99 is firmer in structure than the '97, a reflection of the vintage.Vino in Musica9040TuscanyToscanaValiano 1999 Vino in Musica Sangiovese (Toscana)SangioveseValiano
6412464123ItalyPinot Grigio grape berries aren't actually gray; instead they are tinged with pink or purple. Maybe it is just the power of suggestion, but this wine even seems to taste pink, showcasing ripe berries and apples that are backed by tangy acids and great length. Classy stuff.9023Northeastern ItalyFriuli Venezia GiuliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzLivio Felluga 2002 Pinot Grigio (Friuli Venezia Giulia)Pinot GrigioLivio Felluga
6412564124USPretty cedar, spice, cherry, herb, chocolate and anise flavors are smoothly integrated. It's rich and dynamic on the palate, a mix of creamy smooth texture and firm acidity that adds interest. Long on the finish.Sara Jean's Vineyard9045CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMarguerite-Ryan 2000 Sara Jean's Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirMarguerite-Ryan
6412664125ItalyShows a rich blend of citrus and stone fruits on the nose and on the palate, easily combining grapefruit, passion fruit and nectarines into a cohesive package. Finishes long, with tangy, lip-smacking acids that beg you to give this wine some time in the cellar. It's tasty now, but should be better in 2005.Vintage Tunina9049Northeastern ItalyVenezia GiuliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzJermann 2001 Vintage Tunina White (Venezia Giulia)White BlendJermann
6412764126ItalyMario Schiopetto and his sons, Carlo and Giorgio, draw astonishingly intense flavors from the lees contact this wine has until bottling.It is powerful with rich, spicy fruit and flavors of pepper, vanilla and apricot.9035Northeastern ItalyCollioRoger Voss@vossrogerMario Schiopetto 2001 Pinot Bianco (Collio)Pinot BiancoMario Schiopetto
6412864127USA nice Russian River Pinot from Green Valley, it is marked by berry-earthy flavors, firm tannins and supportive acids, and is very dry. The particular flavors are of cherries with a rich streak of sweet tobacco and herbs. Marked by a bouyancy of texture and a silkiness that glides over the palate, although it finishes quick and may not be an ager.Keefer Ranch9038CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaFailla Jordan 2001 Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirFailla Jordan
6412964128ItalyThis relatively full-bodied Pinot Grigio leans toward warm, baked-apple scents and flavors, blending ripe fruit with dried cinnamon and folding in hints of peach on the long finish. Has a lovely, caressing mouthfeel that underscores its comforting flavors.9027Northeastern ItalyVenezia GiuliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzJermann 2001 Pinot Grigio (Venezia Giulia)Pinot GrigioJermann
6413064129ItalyThere's smoke, pink grapefruit, graphite and just a hint of asparagus on the nose, but virtually nothing to indicate this wine is over 10 years old. Honeyed grapefruit flavors feature a liberal dusting of minerals on the long finish.Riserva9095Northeastern ItalyAlto AdigeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzCantina Terlano 1992 Riserva Sauvignon Blanc (Alto Adige)Sauvignon BlancCantina Terlano
6413164130ItalyPungent and smoky, filled with minerals and grapefruit, this is top-flight Sauvignon Blanc. The mouthfeel is smooth, silky and slightly creamy; the finish, long and delicate.Quarz9043Northeastern ItalyAlto AdigeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzCantina Terlano 2001 Quarz Sauvignon Blanc (Alto Adige)Sauvignon BlancCantina Terlano
6413264131ItalyThis is a rare example of a successful wood-aged Sauvignon Blanc. The fruit comes from the Lafoa vineyard in Cornaiano. Half the wine has new oak barrel fermentation, the other was kept in stainless steel, cutting the wood flavors to an elegant balance with the floral and mineral flavors.Lafoa9035Northeastern ItalyAlto AdigeRoger Voss@vossrogerProduttori Colterenzio 2001 Lafoa Sauvignon Blanc (Alto Adige)Sauvignon BlancProduttori Colterenzio
6413364132USChocolaty and spicy, loaded with cinnamon and anise, and backed by sturdy plum-flavored fruit. The mouthfeel is creamy and rich; the finish, long and oaky.Cherryblock9070CaliforniaSonoma ValleySonomaSebastiani 1999 Cherryblock Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSebastiani
6413464133ItalyElena Walch's fantasy wine is a blend of Chardonnay and four other varieties that she does not reveal. Eighteen months in oak give the wine a fine, toasty character and creamy fruit, but still leaves the hallmark Alto Adige crispness and freshness.Beyond the Clouds9040Northeastern ItalyAlto AdigeRoger Voss@vossrogerElena Walch 2001 Beyond the Clouds White (Alto Adige)White BlendElena Walch
6413564134ChileLapostolle's basic Cab scores big in the fine '01 vintage. It features a deep nose of tire rubber, blackberry and rusticity. The palate is high-octane and deep, with plenty of ripe, tannic black fruit. And the finish is round and lengthy. It should age well for a couple of years. Editors' Choice.Estate Bottled9012Rapel ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachLapostolle 2001 Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon (Rapel Valley)Cabernet SauvignonLapostolle
6413664135USA cool coastal Pinot with powerful aromatics and silky tannins. Flavors veer toward sweet ripe cherries, with earthy complexities of tobacco and espresso. Dry and stylish, a youthful wine that's not built for the cellar, but is delicious now. A new label from Caymus.9030CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastBelle Glos 2001 Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley)Pinot NoirBelle Glos
6413764136ChileRich and aromatic, with a full blast of fragrant toasty oak and plenty of tropical fruit. The apple, mango and pear fruit that coats your mouth is round and ripe but not too thick or grabby. And the finish is perfectly smooth. Sure, it's a bit buttery and full, so no one will confuse it for Chablis. But in its class it's one of the best out there.Alpha9020Casablanca ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachMontes 2001 Alpha Chardonnay (Casablanca Valley)ChardonnayMontes
6413864137ItalyThere's a slight coppery tinge to this wine's color, which sets it apart from the vast majority of other Grigios on the market. And maybe it's just the suggestion of the hue, but it seems to taste "pink" as well, showcasing ripe berries and appples backed by tangy acids and great length. Classy stuff.9024Northeastern ItalyFriuli Venezia GiuliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzLivio Felluga 2001 Pinot Grigio (Friuli Venezia Giulia)Pinot GrigioLivio Felluga
6413964138USAging quietly in 70% new French oak, the 2001 is potentially the winery's finest Cherryblock ever. Crammed with berry fruit and tasting softer and plusher than earlier efforts, if the oak integrates into the wine it may merit an even higher score on release.Cherryblock9070CaliforniaSonoma ValleySonomaSebastiani 2001 Cherryblock Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSebastiani
6414064139ItalyThis is still a closed, young wine, but the potential of the spicy, ripe, but still light and elegant fruit is going to be great. Intense concentration seems to be the hallmark of the wines made by Gianni Menotti at this great estate.9022Northeastern ItalyCollioRoger Voss@vossrogerVilla Russiz 2002 Tocai (Collio)TocaiVilla Russiz

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