Wine Reviews


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6672166720USRhubarb, turned earth and a touch of juniper show on the nose of this wine, made by the Terravant facility in Buellton. It's decently juicy and relatively complex on the palate, with licorice, crushed herbs and a long-lasting acidity.8616CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannBlue Hawk 2012 Pinot Noir (Central Coast)Pinot NoirBlue Hawk
6672266721ArgentinaWaxy apple aromas are chunky, dusty and a bit choppy. Ditto the palate, which is thick and on the full side, with moderate acidity. Apple, savory oak and spice flavors finish with a briny, saline note.Reserva8615Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodega Norton 2013 Reserva Chardonnay (Mendoza)ChardonnayBodega Norton
6672366722PortugalThis is a smooth blend of Antão Vaz and Arinto, with a shot of Alvarinho. It is bright and fruity yet also somewhat creamy. There is a lemon tang to this still young wine. Fresh and fruity at the end, drink from 2016.Mariana8615AlentejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerHerdade do Rocim 2014 Mariana White (Alentejano)Portuguese WhiteHerdade do Rocim
6672466723USThis wine is jammy blackberry and blueberry forward on the nose, with sweet baking spice notes rounding it out. The juicy palate boasts zippy red currant acidity balanced by soft, stone-ground tannins. Drink now for immediate enjoyment.Private Reserve8625VirginiaVirginiaAlexander PeartreeHorton 2013 Private Reserve Petit Verdot (Virginia)Petit VerdotHorton
6672566724USTart, barely ripe fruit flavors echo rhubarb and salmonberry. This acidic wine has some spice and lift, and finishes with scents and flavors of fresh pine needles.Estate8628OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Johan 2012 Estate Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirJohan
6672666725GermanyDusty mineral and bramble notes contrast sunny, sweet yellow peach and melon flavors in this brisk semidry Riesling. It's forward and fruity, finishing with a lingering, lacy sweetness. Not likely to improve, so drink now.8611RheinhessenAnna Lee C. IijimaJohann Falkenburg 2014 Riesling (Rheinhessen)RieslingJohann Falkenburg
6672766726USThere's size and power to this generous, slightly tangy wine, the robustness of its fruit and tannin representative of a ripe year. Black cherry and vanilla highlight the proceedings, with leather on the finish.8632CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneMadrigal 2013 Zinfandel (Napa Valley)ZinfandelMadrigal
6672866727USOak notes of dark-roast coffee, rubber and cured meat dominate on the nose. Utilizing 50% new French barrels, the medium-bodied palate shows a bit more fruit, with red cherries and dark bramble berries taking on a charred character. Burnt cinnamon rounds out the finish.Carter's Mountain Vineyard8630VirginiaMonticelloAlexander PeartreeMichael Shaps 2012 Carter's Mountain Vineyard Cabernet Franc (Monticello)Cabernet FrancMichael Shaps
6672966728ItalyThe nose on this isn't very expressive, offering aromas of sawdust and toast that follow through to the tight palate together with raw red cherry. Gritty tannins and brisk acidity provide an austere framework.Palazzina86PiedmontBarbarescoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMontaribaldi 2012 Palazzina (Barbaresco)NebbioloMontaribaldi
6673066729LebanonDeep straw in color, this blend of 60% Viognier, 25% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Chardonnay reveals little more than aromas of citrus. It is somewhat stiff on the palate, with flavors of lemon, grapefruit, guava and walnut. There is a touch of slivered almond and a quick splash of lemon that help to brighten up the finish.Grande Reserve8540LebanonMike DeSimone@worldwineguysIxsir 2010 Grande Reserve White (Lebanon)White BlendIxsir
6673166730FranceThis wine has crisp acidity and a simple message of fresh fruitiness. An attractive lemon character permeates the wine with an perfumed aftertaste. Drink now.Domaine de Fussiacus85BurgundySaint-VéranRoger Voss@vossrogerJean-Paul Paquet 2013 Domaine de Fussiacus (Saint-Véran)ChardonnayJean-Paul Paquet
6673266731USJuicy and oaky, this ripe, fleshy wine dances in black fruit and tea. Medium in weight and length, it finishes in a burst of toasted vanilla.Jason and Aiden's Block8540CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneKastania 2011 Jason and Aiden's Block Pinot Noir (Sonoma County)Pinot NoirKastania
6673366732PortugalThis is an extracted wine, with licorice and dark chocolate flavors as much as fruit. It is tough at the moment, with dry tannins dominating the black plum flavor and the acidity. Leave until 2016 in the hope it will soften.Coudel Mor Reserva8513TejoRoger Voss@vossrogerAdega Cooperativa do Cartaxo 2011 Coudel Mor Reserva Red (Tejo)Portuguese RedAdega Cooperativa do Cartaxo
6673466733FranceIn this generous, fruity wine, rich flavors are cut by grapefruit acidity and aromatic herbs. The texture is full in the mouth with good refreshing flavors as well a juicy, aftertaste.8512BurgundyMâcon-VillagesRoger Voss@vossrogerAlbert Bichot 2013 Mâcon-VillagesChardonnayAlbert Bichot
6673566734ArgentinaAromas of cantaloupe, tropical fruits and rubber lack continuity and seem a bit tired. On the palate, this rosé is chunky and lazy, with low acidity. Flavors of orange peel and stone fruits finish with sweet, citric lift and moderate zest.Carmela Benegas Cabernet Franc8513Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachBenegas 2014 Carmela Benegas Cabernet Franc Rosé (Mendoza)RoséBenegas
6673666735USA sweet, syrupy aroma and candied fruit flavors, sprinkled with baking-spice notes from oak aging, make this wine attractive in a bubble-gum way. It is fruity, medium bodied, fresh and frothy.Old Vine8515CaliforniaLodiCentral ValleyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsBrazin 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi)ZinfandelBrazin
6673766736ArgentinaToasty aromas fold in baked apple notes. Sharp, sizzling and high in acid, the palate is citric and tough to navigate. Flavors of orange, lemon and sour apple are no shock given the palate.Cuatro Mil8529Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachBudeguer 2013 Cuatro Mil Chardonnay (Mendoza)ChardonnayBudeguer
6673866737USQuite light in color, this shows an intriguing, citrusy nose of sweet lime juice and tropical passionfruit. A bubblegum ester flavor shows on the bright palate, with lemon juice and minerality. It's a quaffable wine, just not typical for the varietal.Winemaker's Reserve8530CaliforniaTemecula ValleySouth CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannCallaway 2013 Winemaker's Reserve Roussanne (Temecula Valley)RoussanneCallaway
6673966738PortugalThis is a light, crisp and fresh wine, with tight acidity and a mineral texture. It has black and red currant flavors, and needs a few months more to age; drink from the end of 2016.Cape Roca Fisherman Winemaker Selection8513DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerCasca Wines 2014 Cape Roca Fisherman Winemaker Selection Red (Douro)Portuguese RedCasca Wines
6674066739PortugalHere is a brisk and fruity wine that has bright acidity and a fresh raspberry flavor. There is an attractive crispness to the finish of this bright rosé.Dona Helena8511Península de SetúbalRoger Voss@vossrogerCooperativa Agricola de Santo Isidro de Pegoes 2014 Dona Helena Rosé (Península de Setúbal)RoséCooperativa Agricola de Santo Isidro de Pegoes
6674166740USVerve continues to rock with their new Syrah. Fire up the barbie with steak or pork chops to eat with this lusty, full-bodied red wine. It's dry and tannic, with rich, complex flavors of blackberries, black currants, pepper and a sweet, salty meaty note, like the char on a broiled steak.9224CaliforniaSonoma MountainSonomaVerve 2006 Syrah (Sonoma Mountain)SyrahVerve
6674266741USWhile this isn't in the same league as the winery's stunning Alexander reserve-style bottling of Cabernet, it's an approximation of it and, at about one-third the price, a pretty good value. The wine is rich in blackberry, currant and cedar flavors, and balanced with gorgeous tannins, showing true Napa elegance. Drink now–2012.Family Estate9242CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVolker Eisele Family Estate 2006 Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonVolker Eisele Family Estate
6674366742USThere's a very good wine in here, but the winery has released it far too early, which shifts the burden of cellaring to the buyer. Right now it's all primary fruit, acidity and oak. But the fruit is beautifully layered in tiers of roasted blackberries, grilled cherries and cola, and the oak is splendid. This dry, silky wine desperately needs to be held until at least late 2010, and should drink well through 2014.Maritime9254CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaW.H. Smith 2008 Maritime Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)Pinot NoirW.H. Smith
6674466743USFrom the In The Rocks vineyard, this Rhône white is two thirds Marsanne and one third Viognier, whole cluster fermented in neutral barrels, with no fining or filtering. It's richly textural, aromatic, scented and flavored with lemon verbena, peach, caramel and marzipan. Big and luscious in every way, this is a wine to enjoy while it's in the bloom of youth.Queen's Road White9240WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Reynvaan Family Vineyards 2007 Queen's Road White White (Walla Walla Valley (WA))White BlendReynvaan Family Vineyards
6674566744USMasses of dusty spices mark this balanced, delicious Zinfandel. It has the polished balance and rich tannins of a Napa Valley Cabernet, but with Zin's wild berries, cherries, currants, briary, brambly tones and textures, and of course all those savory spices.Luvisi Vineyard9238CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaSignorello 2007 Luvisi Vineyard Zinfandel (Napa Valley)ZinfandelSignorello
6674666745France91—93 Barrel sample. Delicate wine, very restrained, showing great fruit, balanced botrytis and some spice. Elegant.Barrel sample92BordeauxBarsacRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Coutet 2006 Barrel sample (Barsac)Bordeaux-style White BlendChâteau Coutet
6674766746France91-93 Barrel sample. Belair has been given a new name, after Christian Moueix's grandmother, in honor of its purchase by the Moueix family. The wine is ripe, with its dark tannins and perfumed fruit, lifted by a final smoky character.Barrel sample92BordeauxSaint-ÉmilionRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Bélair-Monange 2008 Barrel sample (Saint-Émilion)Bordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Bélair-Monange
6674866747France91-93 Barrel sample. Although the aromas are heavily of wood, the fruit has a fresh lift, giving some spices, with a core of tannin coming through to finish with some juiciness. A wine in the elegant style.Barrel sample92BordeauxMargauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Cantenac Brown 2008 Barrel sample (Margaux)Bordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Cantenac Brown
6674966748USA beautiful Cabernet, made in an elegantly approachable way. Dry and smooth, it shows complex flavors of blackberries, currants and dried herbs, wrapped into rich, dusty tannins. The alcohol level is quite high, but balanced, in a California way.9250CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaArrowood 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma County)Cabernet SauvignonArrowood
6675066749South AfricaBig, bold, savory and herbal, this complex Cab starts with aromas of black cherry, cedar and vanilla, rolling out into rich waves of cedar, blackcurrant, herbs and spice. Masculine and ageable, the wine has a stylish but strudy character and a lingering pepper finish. A wine for the cellar, or to drink now with a juicy steak.Peter Barlow9249StellenboschSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaRustenberg 2005 Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon (Stellenbosch)Cabernet SauvignonRustenberg

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