Wine Reviews

6444164440USFrom the producer's line of wines meant to showcase higher-elevation sites, this one is almost all varietal, with small percentages of Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Aged in both French and American oak, it impresses from the get-go, with intense notes of blackberry, black licorice and dark chocolate. It's dense yet balanced on the finish.Jackson Estate9030CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneKendall-Jackson 2012 Jackson Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley)Cabernet SauvignonKendall-Jackson
6444264441FranceAromas of peach and freshly cut apple peel turn into rounder notes of ripe, yellow plum on the palate. Citrus freshness brightens and highlights the fruit that finishes dry. The citric linearity lingers and finishes with layered apple notes.Trois Chateaux9026AlsaceAlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoKuentz-Bas 2013 Trois Chateaux Riesling (Alsace)RieslingKuentz-Bas
6444364442USCrisp and appetizing lemon and grapefruit flavors do their job very well in this vivid, refreshing and medium-bodied wine. Its bright acidity makes the mouth water and will help it pair beautifully with a wide variety of foods.9020CaliforniaLake CountyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsLake and Vine Cellars 2014 Sauvignon Blanc (Lake County)Sauvignon BlancLake and Vine Cellars
6444464443USThis 100% varietal wine is instantly compelling, ripe and juicy in all the right ways, a mix of black and red fruit with an herbal underbelly and hits of peppercorn. Chalky tannins and a dry finish complete the picture, while the high amount of alcohol distracts. Drink now and beware its potency.Communication Block90100CaliforniaMount VeederNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneLampyridae 2012 Communication Block Cabernet Sauvignon (Mount Veeder)Cabernet SauvignonLampyridae
6444564444USMade by Jordan Fiorentini of Epoch in Paso Robles, this boutique bottling shows red apple flesh, yellow pears, salted lime skins and scratched lemon aromas. There is bright energy to the sip, with flavors of stony chalk and apples drizzled with pink lemonade.Vogelzang Vineyard9028CaliforniaHappy Canyon of Santa BarbaraCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannMagna Mater 2014 Vogelzang Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara)Sauvignon BlancMagna Mater
6444664445USA young, 100% varietal and estate-farmed wine, this is a soft, thick and dusty gathering of chocolate and blackberry jam, filled in with wild game and leather. Robust and still tightly wound, it needs to open in the glass to unveil further complexities of texture and black pepper.Paolo's Vineyard Estate Grown9038CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneMontemaggiore 2013 Paolo's Vineyard Estate Grown Syrah (Dry Creek Valley)SyrahMontemaggiore
6444764446ItalyThis offers aromas of candied cherry, cake spice, charred earth, cured meat and a whiff of underbrush. On the rich palate, notes of vanilla and black pepper accent chocolate covered cherry, raspberry and raisin accompanied by velvety tannins.Alfio Moricone Selection Capitel della Crosara9052VenetoAmarone della Valpolicella ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMontresor 2009 Alfio Moricone Selection Capitel della Crosara (Amarone della Valpolicella Classico)Red BlendMontresor
6444864447USDespite its unoaked nature, this wine reveals elements of baked and dried fruit, and an unexpected voluptuousness of full-bodied richness. Pear, apple and lemon interplay on the palate, while tangy acidity provides a satisfying end note.Unoaked9020CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vboonePellegrini 2013 Unoaked Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayPellegrini
6444964448USOne of the champions of the old Mission grape varietal, this winery continues to make strides in showcasing its potential in modern winemaking, This blend of 75% Mission, 15% Syrah, 5% Grenache, 4% Zinfandel and 1% Cinsault shows classic watermelon and bubblegum aromas on the nose, leading into a well-balanced palate of strawberry fruit, lime tang and a chalky minerality.Willow Creek Farm Rose of9016CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannProulx 2014 Willow Creek Farm Rose of Mission (Paso Robles)MissionProulx
6445064449USA quite dense and brooding nose of boysenberry jam, caramel whiskey and black plum opens this powerful bottling. The palate is also composed of dark, nearly syrupy fruit, with solid grip, bright acid, crushed herbs and a peppery spice holding it all together.9036CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannMansfield-Dunne 2013 Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirMansfield-Dunne
6445164450USCocoa, coffee, spice and dark fruit aromas are followed by smooth fruit flavors. The barrel influence is primary but this still brings plenty of enjoyment, with good balance and depth of flavor.Spice Cabinet Vineyard9028WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportMercer 2012 Spice Cabinet Vineyard Malbec (Horse Heaven Hills)MalbecMercer
6445264451USFrom century-old grapevines found on Santa Cruz Island, this bottling offers concentrated raspberry and a touch of strawberry, lifted by eucalyptus and lavender notes. The palate is enlivening, with tight cranberry fruit, elderflower and pencil-lead flavors.Estate9045CaliforniaBallard CanyonCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannRusack 2013 Estate Zinfandel (Ballard Canyon)ZinfandelRusack
6445364452USExtended time in the bottle, as well as 18 months in French oak, lend gravitas and elegance to this Cabernet Sauvignon. Hints of maturity—whiffs of truffle and wet soil—lend delightful complexity to sweet-tart black currant and cherry flavors. The finish is bristling and bright, lingering long on a puckering cranberry tone.9060New YorkNorth Fork of Long IslandLong IslandAnna Lee C. IijimaRaphael 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (North Fork of Long Island)Cabernet SauvignonRaphael
6445464453FranceBright, friendly and pure mandarin flavors make for a very appetizing, fruit-forward wine. The same friendly, sunny mandarin fruit fills the palate with its tension between citrus tartness and luscious sweet freshness. Bruised apple peel makes an attractive appearance on the lasting finish that concludes with lots of freshness.Harth9022AlsaceAlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoRobert Karcher et Fils 2013 Harth Riesling (Alsace)RieslingRobert Karcher et Fils
6445564454FranceThe nose gives little away but the palate shows plump, rounded, ripe pear, edged with pleasantly phenolic bitterness. The balance is beautifully held. At the basis, something clean and poised leads beautifully to the dry finish.Tradition9022AlsaceAlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoSipp Mack 2013 Tradition Pinot Gris (Alsace)Pinot GrisSipp Mack
6445664455USHaving spent time in both oak and stainless steel, this wine offers intense golden toast flavor and focused acidity, the fruit recalling grapefruit pith and melon.8829CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneWebster Cellars 2016 Sauvignon Blanc (Dry Creek Valley)Sauvignon BlancWebster Cellars
6445764456GermanyRipe yellow apple and peach abound in this bold, big-bodied Pinot Gris. Yielding acidity and a plush, creamy mouthfeel augment its lusciousness, but a bristle of tannins lends structure to the finish. Enjoy while young.Guntersblumer Steig-Terrassen Spätlese Trocken8823GermanyAnna Lee C. IijimaWeingut Frey 2015 Guntersblumer Steig-Terrassen Spätlese Trocken Pinot Gris (Germany)Pinot GrisWeingut Frey
6445864457FranceTart red berries like red currant and strawberry dominate the nose. They also play on the palate where frothy lively fizz foams and disperses the flavors across the light dry palate. This is vivacious and very refreshing.Brut Rosé8817AlsaceCrémant d'AlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoWillm NV Brut Rosé Sparkling (Crémant d'Alsace)Sparkling BlendWillm
6445964458SpainLeathery, scratchy black-fruit aromas are striated and minty, with a note of oak. This Monastrell feels grabby, hefty and on the bold and bulky side. Jammy blackberry flavors come with minty green notes, while this tastes mildly grassy and feels a bit hot on the finish.Elo8836LevanteYeclaMichael Schachner@wineschachAlberto Orte 2012 Elo Monastrell (Yecla)MonastrellAlberto Orte
6446064459USSoft red fruit adorns this light-bodied take on the variety. From the heart of the appellation, it has moderate acidity and a flavor profile characterized by rose petal, orange and cherry.Winery Block8842CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneBalletto 2015 Winery Block Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirBalletto
6446164460New ZealandOrange peel, melon, and green aromas are muted by a sulphuric overtone. The palate offers balanced acidity and a grainy texture, finishing on spice and lemon peel tones.Arona Certified Sustainable8814MarlboroughBarker's Marque 2016 Arona Certified Sustainable Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough)Sauvignon BlancBarker's Marque
6446264461FranceAs is often the case when a rosé has been made taking the color from the skins rather than the more usual addition of red wine, this perfumed Champagne is dark colored—very pink. The fruit of this dry wine gives a red-currant flavor, with lively acidity and a crisp, tang aftertaste.Rosé de Saignée Premier Cru Brut8854ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerBertrand-Delespierre NV Rosé de Saignée Premier Cru Brut (Champagne)Champagne BlendBertrand-Delespierre
6446364462FranceThe merest hint of red currant plays on the subtle nose. The tender red-currant fruit is enhanced by the very lively frothy mousse that fizzes away on the palate. This is light, fruit-driven, refreshing and easy—ideal as an enlivening apéritif.Brut Rosé8821AlsaceCrémant d'AlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoJoseph Cattin NV Brut Rosé Sparkling (Crémant d'Alsace)Sparkling BlendJoseph Cattin
6446464463USThis Carmel Valley-based winery has modernized its label without losing its classic appeal. It's reserved on the nose at first, with tightly wound seared lemon peel, Gravenstein apple and marmalade aromas. Rounded lemon curd, browned butter and orange cream flavors show on the palate, with a strong honeysuckle element and a caramelized finish.Highland Vineyard8835CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannJoullian 2015 Highland Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Lucia Highlands)ChardonnayJoullian
6446564464USForward with pretty raspberry and cherry fruit, this delightful, easy-drinking wine has a pleasantly earthy underpinning. It's young and tart, immediately enjoyable but can cellar through 2021.The Grape Republic8825OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Lachini 2014 The Grape Republic Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirLachini
6446664465FranceBased in Epernay, this Champagne house specializes in bone-dry Champagnes. Like this bottling, they need some time before the acidity calms down. This has the potential to be delicious, crisp, and full of a bright mineral texture and citrus fruitiness. Drink from 2018.Extra Brut Premier Cru8845ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerLombard et Cie NV Extra Brut Premier Cru (Champagne)Champagne BlendLombard et Cie
6446764466USFairly reserved on both the nose and palate, this bottling begins with roasted apple, peach and chalk scents. The palate offers lemon and grapefruit peel and Gravenstein apple flavors.Lone Oak Vineyard8840CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannLucienne 2015 Lone Oak Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Lucia Highlands)ChardonnayLucienne
6446864467USThis is a bright, spicy bowl of red fruits, with penetrating flavors and buoyant acidity. It's clean and sharply etched, with a strong tannic base. Such a young wine should improve over the next couple of years; drink up by 2021.Motley Rose Vineyard8835OregonEola-Amity HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Martin Woods 2016 Motley Rose Vineyard Gamay (Eola-Amity Hills)GamayMartin Woods
6446964468USSlightly browned apples, crisp nectarine and salted white peach aromas show on the nose of this easy-to-like bottling from the Wagner family. Apple, peach and guava flavors arise on the palate, where they're lightly spiced with clove and nutmeg. A very approachable wine.8817CaliforniaMonterey CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannOld Cannery Row 2015 Chardonnay (Monterey County)ChardonnayOld Cannery Row
6447064469USThe age on this bottling is starting to show, so drink up. Slightly sour plum scents meld with rose petal, violet and dried blueberry notes on the nose. The palate is quite interesting, with dried strawberry, mocha and cappuccino flavors, culminating in a caramel-inflected finish.Irick Vineyard8835CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannOpaque 2012 Irick Vineyard Malbec (Paso Robles)MalbecOpaque

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