Wine Reviews


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6732167320USThis affordable, straightforward white wine is fresh and crisp, buoyed up with tart acids and flavors of citrus rind, pears, and green apples. It has a bit more concentration than its budget-priced Washington competitors, and the vibrant, clean fruit flavors match well with a wide variety of summer dishes.879WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Hogue 2007 Pinot Grigio (Columbia Valley (WA))Pinot GrigioHogue
6732267321USA very nice Cab, a little dry and brittle by itself, but with a rich core of black currants, cherries and herbs framed in rich tannins. All it needs is a good steak to make it sing.8722CaliforniaSonoma ValleySonomaKunde 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma Valley)Cabernet SauvignonKunde
6732367322USTastes riper and oakier than in previous vintages, giving it a somewhat flamboyant personality, but lovers of this California style will be impressed by the pineapple custard, butterscotch, crème brûlée and smoky oak flavors.Sangiacomo Vineyard8740CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaAcacia 2006 Sangiacomo Vineyard Chardonnay (Carneros)ChardonnayAcacia
6732467323USNoteworthy for lush, slightly sweet flavors of mashed black cherries, espresso and dark chocolate, this gooey Grenache is from a well-known vineyard. It's smooth as velvet, with a polished mouthfeel. The alcohol is very high, but the wine handles it well.Byron Vineyard Delta8735CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastAmpelos 2005 Byron Vineyard Delta Grenache (Santa Maria Valley)GrenacheAmpelos
6732567324USThis blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah is too ripe and obvious for its own good. It's very good, offering a vast wealth of pie filling blackberries, cherries, cassis, licorice and chocolate flavors, but you find yourself wishing that, at this price, it had greater structure and was a little more aloof and tantalizing.Blend 258749CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaB Cellars 2005 Blend 25 Red (Napa Valley)Red BlendB Cellars
6732667325FranceWith its deep pink color, this wine enjoys a fresh strawberry flavor, with some sweetness and a fruit candy freshness. In the mouth, it is full, the mousse is tight and the acidity is not completely balanced with the fruit, which will almost certainly need more time to blend together.Fleur de Rosé Brut87ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerBeaumont des Crayères 2003 Fleur de Rosé Brut (Champagne)Champagne BlendBeaumont des Crayères
6732767326USHere's a textbook California Chardonnay made in a ripe, oaky style that pleases for its richness. The pineapple pie flavors have a toasted meringue edge, and the finish is dry and spicy.8728CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaCosentino 2006 Chardonnay (Napa Valley)ChardonnayCosentino
6732867327ItalyInky and black, this dense Amarone boasts thick layers of ripe fruit, mesquite wood, black stone and root beer. The wine has a raw, fresh quality and closes with thick, gritty tannins.87100VenetoAmarone della ValpolicellaFattoria Garbole 2004 Amarone della ValpolicellaCorvina, Rondinella, MolinaraFattoria Garbole
6734367342ItalyRipe berry, clove, espresso and menthol aromas lead the nose on this hearty wine. The dense, concentrated palate delivers dried cherry, steeped plum, coffee, vanilla, licorice and toasted oak alongside bracing tannins. The heat of evident alcohol throws this wine off balance.89139TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTassi 2010 Brunello di MontalcinoSangioveseTassi
6734467343USLighter in color, this wine offers aromas of vanilla, cocoa, tobacco leaf, spice and red fruit. On the palate, it shows a pleasing mixture of fruit and barrel flavors.Howling Wolfe Reserve8930WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportThurston Wolfe 2012 Howling Wolfe Reserve Zinfandel (Horse Heaven Hills)ZinfandelThurston Wolfe
6734567344USThis takes a rich, complex approach, with spicy, honey-like and almost meaty aromas, ripe Bosc pear and almond flavors and a hefty texture. Medium to full bodied, it has some crisp acidity in the background and a sense of luxuriousness to drinking it.8924CaliforniaAnderson ValleyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsBalo 2013 Pinot Gris (Anderson Valley)Pinot GrisBalo
6734667345ItalyAromas of toasted oak, dark-skinned fruit, leafy underbrush and roasted coffee bean come together in the glass. The palate offers dried black cherry, espresso, mocha, licorice and powdered sage alongside astringent but not very persistent tannins. Drink through 2020.Poggio alle Mura8986TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBanfi 2010 Poggio alle Mura (Brunello di Montalcino)SangioveseBanfi
6734767346ItalyBottled by a leading Prosecco and grappa firm from Veneto, this has aromas of red berry, grilled herb, blue flower and a hint of leather. The palate offers wild cherry, orange zest, mocha, cinnamon, anise and coffee alongside tightly wound tannins. Drink 2018–2028.Il Vino dei Poeti89TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBottega 2010 Il Vino dei Poeti (Brunello di Montalcino)SangioveseBottega
6734867347FranceThe initial impression of this wine is almost dry. That comes from the dense structure as well as the complex interplay between botrytis and acidity. Yellow fruits and bitter oranges show well, giving both acidity and final sweetness. Drink from 201889BordeauxBarsacRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Caillou 2011 BarsacBordeaux-style White BlendChâteau Caillou
6734967348FranceUnder the same ownership as Château la Dominique in Saint-Émilion, Clément-Pichon has produced a richly juicy 2012. Firm structure underlies the generous fruits, while the acidity and the dry core of tannins promise good aging. Drink from 2017.8925BordeauxHaut-MédocRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Clément-Pichon 2012 Haut-MédocBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Clément-Pichon
6735067349FranceWhile this has some lean tannins, the wine offers ripe red fruit and berry character to balance. It's structured, still young and getting its tannins together. Drink this fresh, structured and juicy wine from 2018.89BordeauxPessac-LéognanRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Lafargue 2012 Pessac-LéognanBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Lafargue
6732967328USCrisp and flavorful, a delicious Chardonnay designed for rich fare like scallops or shrimp in saffron, coconut milk and butter sauce. The flavors of pineapples, mangoes, nectarines, peaches and smoky oak are complex and have a honey-sweet finish.Estate Vanumanutagi Vineyard8730CaliforniaSanta Cruz MountainsCentral CoastFernwood 2006 Estate Vanumanutagi Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Cruz Mountains)ChardonnayFernwood
6733067329USFeels a bit heavy-handed, with forward, ripe flavors of cherries, root beer, currants, cedar and Asian spices. Could be going through an awkward phase. Made entirely from Dijon clone 667.Rancho Santa Rosa Vineyard8744CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastFlying Goat Cellars 2006 Rancho Santa Rosa Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirFlying Goat Cellars
6733167330USVery ripe and a little heavy, this Pinot has impressive flavors of crushed blackberries and cherries, with a spicy, licorice and cola finish. Drink now through 2010.Leras Vineyard8737CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaNapoma 2006 Leras Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirNapoma
6733267331USSmall amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Syrah have been added to the blend, perhaps to amp up the color and cut the acids. This has pretty toast and strawberry tartness, light and lively. The finish hints at green pepper and herb.Stillwater Creek Vineyard8725WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Novelty Hill 2005 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Sangiovese (Columbia Valley (WA))SangioveseNovelty Hill
6733367332FranceThere is just a hint of a pale blush in the color of this wine, and the delicate flavors follow the same light, fresh style. It is not dry, however, and red berries do give softness. To finish, a touch of caramel adds ripeness to the acidity.Springtime Brut Rosé87ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerPommery NV Springtime Brut Rosé (Champagne)Champagne BlendPommery
6733467333USTextbook RRV Pinot Noir, a red wine for Cab and Merlot lovers who want to graduate to this great grape. Dry and full-bodied, it actually has some pronounced tannins, with currant and bitter cherry skin flavors and darker, complex notes of pine sap, balsamic and black pepper.Estate Vineyards8735CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaRussian Hill 2006 Estate Vineyards Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirRussian Hill
6733567334USTasting a bit tight and candied now, this Pinot might just need a little time in the bottle to knit together. It has that jammy, young wine taste of fresh cherries and raspberries, and mouthwatering acidity. Give it until mid-2009.Tina Marie Vineyard8750CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaSavannah-Chanelle 2006 Tina Marie Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirSavannah-Chanelle
6733667335USYou won't miss the taste of oak one bit, because this Chard is so rich and crisply stimulating on its own. It floods the palate with pineapple jam, peach pie, green apple butter, vanilla and cinnamon-honey granola flavors that are clean and pure.Oak Free8725CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaSt. Supéry 2007 Oak Free Chardonnay (Napa Valley)ChardonnaySt. Supéry
6733767336USThis is a sweet and round and forward Merlot, at least upon entry. Then it takes a right angle turn, adding more astringent flavors of rock and earth and green tea. It's not quite Jekyll & Hyde, but it's not entirely pulled together. It needs a substantial piece of grilled meat to help soften those finishing tannins.8727WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Bergevin Lane 2005 Merlot (Columbia Valley (WA))MerlotBergevin Lane
6733867337USSurprising scents of clover and mint rise up from the glass, leading into a round, fruity, substantial wine with good cherry fruit and some earthy tannins from the 5% Cabernet Franc in the blend. The wine has not completely knit together, but a good steak could fix that.8725WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Canoe Ridge 2005 Merlot (Horse Heaven Hills)MerlotCanoe Ridge
6733967338ArgentinaPlenty of charcoal, toast and resin work the bouquet, while the fruit seems a little candied. There's a mix of black berry notes and oak, which results in a creamy mouthfeel and lingering vanilla and sweetness. A complete Malbec, but one that's neither unique nor overly special.Gran Reserva8719OtherNeuquénMichael Schachner@wineschachChaltén 2006 Gran Reserva Malbec (Neuquén)MalbecChaltén
6734067339USVery fruity and fresh but also smooth and supple, this full-bodied wine smells like ripe raspberries. Likewise, tastes recall raspberries and red cherries. and feel firm and grippy enough to counterbalance the ripeness and body. It's a very sleek but very big mouthful.Premier Old Vine8920CaliforniaAmador CountySierra FoothillsJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsRenwood 2012 Premier Old Vine Zinfandel (Amador County)ZinfandelRenwood
6734167340ItalyAromas of stewed fruit, leather, tilled soil and a whiff of game take shape in the glass. The austere palate shows bright red berry, ground white pepper and menthol alongside chewy tannins and brisk acidity. It has the breeding to evolve and improve through 2025 or so.8980TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeSan Carlo 2010 Brunello di MontalcinoSangioveseSan Carlo
6734267341USThreads of dark char, nuts and spice meander throughout this rich, deeply concentrated Bordeaux-style blend. Plump black cherry and cassis flavors are luscious on the palate, but invigorated by a bright flash of acidity and spice on the finish.Optimus8925New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaSwedish Hill 2012 Optimus Red (Finger Lakes)Bordeaux-style Red BlendSwedish Hill

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