Wine Reviews

6480164800USSomewhat raisiny and bitter. Tastes like press wine, with harsh, grapeskin tannins that make it feel astringently dry. Pretty good flavors, though, of blackberries and currants. Drink up.Bella Novello8525CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaPaoletti 2007 Bella Novello Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonPaoletti
6480264801SpainA clean, nice, regular Tempranillo with normal black cherry and berry aromas that offer hints of rubber and bacon. The palate is tannic and grabby but balanced for the most part, with pure, basic blackberry and cherry flavors. Modest in its scope, but fresh and untainted.Organic Wine8512LevanteUtiel-RequenaMichael Schachner@wineschachSpartico NV Organic Wine Tempranillo (Utiel-Requena)TempranilloSpartico
6480364802USYoung, yeasty, almost to the point of being beery, this thin Sauvignon Blanc recalls a Vinho Verde. Cucumber and fennel flavors dominate, along with plenty of acidity.Drawing A Blanc8518OregonColumbia Gorge (OR)Oregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Springhouse Cellar 2008 Drawing A Blanc Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Gorge (OR))Sauvignon BlancSpringhouse Cellar
6480464803USThis pretty good everyday Chardonnay shows slightly sweet flavors of peaches, pineapples and mangoes brightened with crisp acidity. You could even make a summertime wine cooler with it.8520CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastThree Saints 2008 Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley)ChardonnayThree Saints
6480564804AustraliaDespite the presence of Shiraz and Mataro in the blend, this shows some of Grenache's shortcomings in its straightforward, almost confected red berry aromas and flavors. It's a bold mouthful of fruit that's a bit syrupy in texture.Cuvée Juveniles8522South AustraliaBarossa ValleyJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzTorbreck 2008 Cuvée Juveniles Red (Barossa Valley)Rhône-style Red BlendTorbreck
6480664805FranceOpens with a classic nose of cream, citrus and spice, giving way to cotton candy, cardamon and café latte in the mouth. The crisp, dry finish of roasted nuts is attractive but doesn't really linger.Kaefferkopf Vielles Vignes Grand Cru8555AlsaceAlsaceJean-Baptiste Adam 2007 Kaefferkopf Vielles Vignes Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace)RieslingJean-Baptiste Adam
6480764806FranceSimple but charming, with uncomplicated black fruit upfront followed by cherry and garrigue in the mouth, this is a good choice for a Labor Day barbecue; the fresh acidity and soft tannins put us in mind of something in the pork or veal family.8513ProvenceCoteaux VaroisDomaine Saint Andrieu 2007 Red (Coteaux Varois)Rhône-style Red BlendDomaine Saint Andrieu
6480864807USMade in a leaner, drier style than many, this Cabernet's blackberry and cherry flavors have an edge of mint and tobacco. Turns quite tart on the finish. Drink now.8539CaliforniaRutherfordNapaBeaver Creek 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford)Cabernet SauvignonBeaver Creek
6480964808USFrom the Columbia Valley AVA in Oregon, this is quite different from Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. It's a warmer, drier climate, and the wine has tighter flavors, with sharp tannins. There's cherry fruit and chocolate from barrel aging, with a hard, slightly bitter finish.8526OregonColumbia Valley (OR)Oregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Cathedral Ridge 2008 Pinot Noir (Columbia Valley (OR))Pinot NoirCathedral Ridge
6481064809AustraliaKnown more for its red wines, Wolf Blass nevertheless makes a creditable Chardonnay for $12. hints of vanilla and toasted almond mark the nose, while the fruit flavors veer toward citrus and stay there, turning lemony on the finish.Yellow Label8512South AustraliaSouth AustraliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzWolf Blass 2009 Yellow Label Chardonnay (South Australia)ChardonnayWolf Blass
6481164810ChileComes across like a straightforward warm-climate Viognier, meaning it's full and waxy, with peach and nectarine aromas and flavors, a touch of searing heat, and pithiness to the back palate and finish. It's also juicy and zesty due to plenty of acids.8510Colchagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachCono Sur 2009 Viognier (Colchagua Valley)ViognierCono Sur
6481264811FranceA medium-sweet, spicy wine that offers good fresh guava flavor to balance the ripe texture. The finish is fresh. Screw cap.8519AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Zinck 2008 Gewürztraminer (Alsace)GewürztraminerDomaine Zinck
6481364812SpainOpens with burnt, rubbery aromas that eventually cede to asphalt, roasted peanut and leather. The palate is soft and a bit hollow in the middle, with earthy, rubbery flavors of black plum and berry. Finishes with cola, bitter coffee and root beer flavors. Decent and full overall, but rubbery.Gotín del Risc8514Northern SpainBierzoMichael Schachner@wineschachAbad 2008 Gotín del Risc Red (Bierzo)Red BlendAbad
6481464813ChileBasic and aromatic, but not what you'd label complex. This is easygoing Gewürz with a sweet, honeyed set of flavors that offer a modicum of spice. Honeysuckle and spice notes work the finish, and as a whole it's a nice wine for simple occasions.Estate Selection8511Curicó ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachAresti 2009 Estate Selection Gewürztraminer (Curicó Valley)GewürztraminerAresti
6481564814USSoft and forward, with jammy flavors of cherries, berries and herbs. Tastes a bit overripe toward the finish, with some raisins. Drink now.8520CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaBeringer 2007 Merlot (Napa Valley)MerlotBeringer
6481664815SpainMildy green tobacco aromas lead the way along with forest floor, fern notes and standard berry aromas. The palate opens with forceful acidity, while the flavors are a bit underdeveloped as they lean toward blackberry. Mild bitterness is also part of the picture as the wine flattens out on the back side.Dama de Toro8513Northern SpainToroMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Fariña 2008 Dama de Toro (Toro)TempranilloBodegas Fariña
6481764816ItalyThis cheerful, screw cap Valpolicella offers crisp raspberry and cherry flavors over a lean, compact body. It's a lightweight, easy-going wine that would pair with soups or sandwiches.La Roverina8518VenetoValpolicellaSperi 2007 La Roverina (Valpolicella)Corvina, Rondinella, MolinaraSperi
6481864817ItalyBright and correct with clean berry flavors, this is a perfect red wine to pair with meat appetizers or pâtè. It delivers a thin, watery feel with loads of crisp berry freshness in the mouth.La Roverina8518VenetoValpolicellaSperi 2008 La Roverina (Valpolicella)Corvina, Rondinella, MolinaraSperi
6481964818USA little sharp in acidity, and the white pepper spice adds to the impression of zippiness in this bone-dry Zin. It's deep and likeable in raspberry, cherry, blackberry and sandalwood flavors.8510CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastTamás Estates 2007 Zinfandel (Central Coast)ZinfandelTamás Estates
6482064819PortugalWith its earthy aromas and soft palate, this is a rustic wine, the sort designed for pairing with grilled meat. It has black plum flavors along with spice and bright red fruits. Drink now.Tâmara8510TejoRoger Voss@vossrogerFalua 2009 Tâmara Red (Tejo)Portuguese RedFalua
6482164820ItalyThis friendly Ripasso opens with sweet and slightly overripe aromas of strawberry, spice, honey-roasted nut, cassis syrup, new leather and cola. It's simple and straightforward in the mouth however with a raw, sharp feel.8522VenetoValpolicella Classico Superiore RipassoLa Giaretta 2007 Valpolicella Classico Superiore RipassoCorvina, Rondinella, MolinaraLa Giaretta
6482264821AustraliaPineapples, pears and citrus fruits fall over each other in this soft, fruit-driven Chardonnay. It's medium in body, with just enough citrus on the finish to keep it together. A solid effort, especially for the price.Reserve8512Australia OtherSouth Eastern AustraliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzYellow Tail 2008 Reserve Chardonnay (South Eastern Australia)ChardonnayYellow Tail
6482364822ItalyMonte Tombole Valpolicella opens with easy cherry and blueberry aromas backed by light nuances of spice and sweet vanilla. The wine is fresh, lean and crisp on the close.Monte Tombole8525VenetoValpolicella SuperioreVilla Erbice 2007 Monte Tombole (Valpolicella Superiore)Corvina, Rondinella, MolinaraVilla Erbice
6482464823PortugalAlicante Bouschet gives a definite farmyard character to this wine. It also offers juicy berry fruits and balanced acidity. The two characteristics put the wine firmly on a food friendly side.Tinto da Talha Grande Escolha8514AlentejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerRoquevale 2007 Tinto da Talha Grande Escolha Red (Alentejano)Portuguese RedRoquevale
6482564824SpainEarthy and rubbery on the nose, and rather dark for a $10 Rioja. The palate is jammy and solid, with berry flavors, a hint of toast and heat. The finish is somewhat burning, but overall it's a legit blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha that fits the “value” mold.Solnia8510Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachIlurce 2009 Solnia (Rioja)Red BlendIlurce
6482664825USA modern, popular Chardonnay made with very ripe tropical and pear fruit flavors and a strong oaky influence. Not very subtle, but will satisfy fans of the style.8520CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastInception 2009 Chardonnay (Santa Barbara County)ChardonnayInception
6482764826ChileOpens with aromas of burnt leaves and gritty berry fruit. The palate is fleshy and simple, with herbal roasted-berry flavors. Finishes with more herbal flavor and a lightly scratchy feel. Good enough for the money, but a little short in ripeness, character and structure.Barrel Selection Reserve8513Lontué ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachKorta 2007 Barrel Selection Reserve Syrah (Lontué Valley)SyrahKorta
6482864827FranceA typical medium-bodied Côtes du Rhône, the 2007 Bastide de Beauvert features aromas of cherry, clove and sweaty leather, and flavors that run along similar lines. Mature; drink now.Bastide de Beauvert8511Rhône ValleyCôtes du RhôneJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzLes Vignobles Foncalieu 2007 Bastide de Beauvert Red (Côtes du Rhône)Rhône-style Red BlendLes Vignobles Foncalieu
6482964828USA nice Cab for the price due to the full-bodied richness and ripe fruity flavor. It's big in blackberry jam and spices, with a coating of smoky oak. Easy to find, with 115,000 cases produced.8511CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherMcManis 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (California)Cabernet SauvignonMcManis
6483064829AustraliaCitrus and pear notes lead the way in this bargain-priced Chardonnay from Down Under. It's reasonably tight and crisp for a wine in this bracket, carrying hints of well integrated vanilla through the lemony finish. Drink now.859Australia OtherSouth Eastern AustraliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzSt. Kilda 2009 Chardonnay (South Eastern Australia)ChardonnaySt. Kilda

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