Wine Reviews

6858168580PortugalA deliciously rich and spicy wine, very much in the style of the new Douro wines, softly perfumed, with black plums, sweet and dusty tannins, only a hint of dryness. The wine is balanced, with great fruit and acidity to go with the structure.Três Bagos9118DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerLavradores de Feitoria 2005 Três Bagos Red (Douro)Portuguese RedLavradores de Feitoria
6858268581USFormerly the Goldschmidt vineyard, Winderlea is under new ownership, and has been replanted. This is a light vintage, but beautifully rendered here, with sweet cherry fruit, bracing acidity and a lively mouthfeel that invites further sipping. The underlying minerality carries a hint of toasted cracker.Estate9160OregonDundee HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Winderlea 2007 Estate Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills)Pinot NoirWinderlea
6858368582USEarns high praise for its deep, complex flavors that suggest fully ripened grapes, well-treated by the winemaker. Waves of blackberries, cherries, herbs, violets, pepper and spices flood the palate, leading to a long, rich, tannic finish. Best opened soon for its freshness.9138CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastMark Moretti 2007 Syrah (Santa Barbara County)SyrahMark Moretti
6858468583USNavarro continues at the head of the Gewurz pack, while keeping their prices modest. There's no mistaking the varietal character of this wine, with its brilliant array of dusty Asian spices, pineapple brûlée, peach, wildflower and litchi, folded into a creamy texture that's bone dry and crisply acidic.9119CaliforniaAnderson ValleyNavarro 2008 Gewürztraminer (Anderson Valley)GewürztraminerNavarro
6858568584USZin doesn't get bigger or riper than this. Floods the mouth with flamboyant blackberries, cherries, currants, cola, black pepper, anise and sandalwood. It's tannic and dry, but so fruity it's almost sweet. High alcohol aids in the impression of sweetness. Oaky, too, in the way of a Cabernet. Delicious and classic Dry Creek.Timbercrest Farms9145CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaPapapietro Perry 2007 Timbercrest Farms Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelPapapietro Perry
6858668585USThis is an enormously fruity Zinfandel that offers a flood of flavor, making it instantly likeable. Dry, full-bodied and tannic, it's powerful in briary blackberries, cherries, currants, cola, anise, pepper and cinnamon, with an edge of sweet, smoky oak and cocoa. Should develop over the next 6–8 years.Bradford Mountain Vineyard9132CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaPeterson 2005 Bradford Mountain Vineyard Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelPeterson
6858768586USA new effort from winemaker Isabelle Dutartre, who also oversees winemaking at De Ponte Cellars. This first release from her own 1789 label brings the stamp of Chehalem Mountains terroir into crisp focus. The fruit is wild and brambly, the acids sharp, the wine spicy with a peppery cast. Persistent and concentrated, with a hint of Dr. Pepper streaking through it.9148OregonChehalem MountainsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine 1789 Wines 2007 Pinot Noir (Chehalem Mountains)Pinot Noir1789 Wines
6858868587USRich and dramatic, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petite Sirah offers smooth, unctuous flavors of cherries, black raspberries, chocolate and pepper. It's a seductively appealing wine, with thick, refined tannins and a dry finish. Should gain in the bottle over the next 4–6 years. Great price for the quality.The Sum9120CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapa75 Wine Co. 2007 The Sum Red (Napa Valley)Red Blend75 Wine Co.
6859768596USHere's a very rich, elaborate wine that defines the modern, ripe style of Zinfandel. You certainly can't complain about the fruit, which is massive in red and black berry and stone fruit flavors, sprinkled with black pepper, cinnamon and star anise. It's a little hot and sweet in alcohol, but then again, this is an Alexander Valley Zin.Estate9028CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaStuhlmuller Vineyards 2009 Estate Zinfandel (Alexander Valley)ZinfandelStuhlmuller Vineyards
6858968588FranceA dense wine, very much in the line of powerful wines from Haut-Bailly. Flavors of bitter chocolate, sweet berry fruits and richness are dominant, the acidity a fine balancing act to give a burst of freshness.9158BordeauxPessac-LéognanRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Haut-Bailly 2007 Pessac-LéognanBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Haut-Bailly
6859068589FranceAn elegant expression of Tannat, with plum skin spice and a delicious juiciness showing well. The acidity, the wood and a smoky flavor add complexity. Age this balanced wine for another 2–3 years.Ode d'Aydie9025Southwest FranceMadiranRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau d'Aydie 2008 Ode d'Aydie Tannat (Madiran)TannatChâteau d'Aydie
6859868597ItalyPinot Grigio Unterebner offers a beautiful contrast between cool-climate aromas of white flower and passion fruit and spicy, oak-driven aromas of vanilla and cinnamon bun. Pair this wine with a savory appetizer strudel filled with spinach, cheese and pine nuts.Unterebner9031Northeastern ItalyAlto AdigeTramin 2010 Unterebner Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige)Pinot GrigioTramin
6859168590FrancePerfumed, minty wine, very solidly structured, while also showing delicious red berry fruits. The tannins have a distinct mineral character, chewy although well integrated with the fruit.Prestige9040Southwest FranceCahorsRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Saint-Sernin 2006 Prestige Malbec (Cahors)MalbecChâteau Saint-Sernin
6859268591USHard to explain why this Cabernet is so good at such an affordable price, but there you are. It's dry, smooth and complex in blackberry, black currant, mineral and oak flavors that are a joy to drink now with your best beef dish. Easy to find, with almost 31,000 cases produced.9025CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaDecoy 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonDecoy
6859968598ItalyThis oak-aged blend of equal parts Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay opens with a beautifully intense bouquet of vanilla bean, peach cobbler and citrus mousse. White almond and toasted spice make for rich accents on the long fresh finish.Batàr9090TuscanyToscanaAgricola Querciabella 2009 Batàr White (Toscana)White BlendAgricola Querciabella
6859368592USLabeled dry and tasting very much so, this clean, floral-scented Gewürztraminer has a pleasingly dusty aspect; rose petals with a thin veneer of incense. Long and complex.Dry9014OregonRogue ValleySouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Foris 2009 Dry Gewürztraminer (Rogue Valley)GewürztraminerForis
6859468593USA beautiful wine, rich, dry and crisp, offering waves of satisfying flavor. Raspberries, cherries, red licorice and cola flood the mouth, accented with sweet, smoky new French oak, and wrapped into firm, dusty tannins. Drink it over the next four years.SLH Estate9035CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastHahn 2010 SLH Estate Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirHahn
6859568594South AfricaCedar plank-grilled meat and herbal accents jazz up the heady black fruit core of this wine. Rich and dark, flavors of black berry, plum flesh, cigar box, licorice and pepper dance in the mouth and stay through the solid finish. Fine but firm tannins provide structure and texture, and the wine, though delicious now, should age nicely through 2014.Reserve9033Simonsberg-StellenboschLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzRemhoogte 2007 Reserve Merlot (Simonsberg-Stellenbosch)MerlotRemhoogte
6860068599FranceStill very young with its tannins dominant, this will nevertheless be a richly fruity wine as it develops. The black fruits are all there, along with licorice and bitter chocolate. Final acidity brings a lift to the dense texture.Château de Flore90Southwest FranceCahorsRoger Voss@vossrogerJean-Luc Baldès 2009 Château de Flore Malbec (Cahors)MalbecJean-Luc Baldès
6859668595South AfricaA solid Cab at an attractive price. There's a lot going on in this structured and well-balanced wine. Aromas of black currant and licorice dominate the nose alongside secondary glimmers of black pepper and crushed violets, all framed with a sweet oak streak. Flavors of juicy black raspberry linger well into the finish, which gradually fades into gorgeous white pepper spice.Unfined and Unfiltered9027StellenboschLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzStark-Condé 2008 Unfined and Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon (Stellenbosch)Cabernet SauvignonStark-Condé
6860168600South AfricaThe name of this wine doesn't lie; if you like mint, then this one's definitely for you! Gorgeous notes of fresh eucalyptus take center stage to the blackberry and boysenberry fruit backbone. The menthol continues on in the mouth, with a gripping and structured finish that tastes like Thin Mint crumbles.Mint Haven9024Simonsberg-StellenboschLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzMorgenhof 2009 Mint Haven Cabernet Sauvignon (Simonsberg-Stellenbosch)Cabernet SauvignonMorgenhof
6860268601ItalyThis is a gorgeous Italian white (made with Pinot Bianco grapes) that shows promising food pairing potential thanks to its silky, creamy mouthfeel and non-intrusive aromas. The wine offers a steady flow of stone fruit, melon and honey-like flavors.Penon9020Northeastern ItalyAlto AdigeNals Margreid 2010 Penon Pinot Bianco (Alto Adige)Pinot BiancoNals Margreid
6860368602USYoung winemaker Collin Cranor's best Cabernet to date, intense and rounded by savory black cherry, still wound tight but already showing off its oak, sage and tobacco goodness. The wine is well-structured and rich in vanilla and blackberry, a testament to the winemaker's close workings with grower Julio Covarrubias.Casa De Vinas, Reserve9052CaliforniaLivermore ValleyCentral CoastVirginie Boone@vbooneNottingham Cellars 2009 Casa De Vinas, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Livermore Valley)Cabernet SauvignonNottingham Cellars
6860468603USSoft and unctuous, this wine has sweet flavors of ripe fruits, glycerine and new oak, balanced with crisp acidity. Pinotage is the South African cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, and the wine has a silky texture and luscious flavors of cherries, red currants, vanilla and pepper spice. Terrific with mushroom risotto.Wholer Vineyard9035CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaLongboard 2007 Wholer Vineyard Pinotage (Russian River Valley)PinotageLongboard
6860568604GermanySchiefer means “slate,” but this wine's stoniness is softer, less severe than that, cushioned under layers of superripe pear and spices that resemble cinnamon or clove and ginger. There's ample weight and richness on the palate despite a sense of dryness, and the wine finishes long, with hints of ripe peach.Schiefer9035MoselJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzVilla Huesgen 2010 Schiefer Riesling (Mosel)RieslingVilla Huesgen
6860668605USThere remains a hard, tight, tannic shell around this young Pinot; it seems to have slid into a bit of a dumb phase. But peeking through is clean, ripe, black cherry fruit, with excellent concentration. A smoky finish adds complexity.Tualatin Estate9045OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Willamette Valley Vineyards 2009 Tualatin Estate Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirWillamette Valley Vineyards
6860768606USAn elegant, restrained, yet lovely Pinot Noir from a much-maligned vintage. Soft, round cherry fruit is wrapped in sandalwood and mocha flavors. Fully ripe with fine tannins and lovely integration of the barrel notes.Reserve9035OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Zimri Cellars 2007 Reserve Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirZimri Cellars
6860868607ItalyVintner Elena Walch offers this fine Sauvignon that shows the best of northern Italian winemaking. Crisp, clean and cheerfully fragrant of passion fruit and wild flower, this wine is layered and fresh at the same time.Castel Ringberg9036Northeastern ItalyAlto AdigeElena Walch 2009 Castel Ringberg Sauvignon (Alto Adige)SauvignonElena Walch
6860968608ItalyElena Walch produces one of the finest Pinot Grigios available (aged 25% percent in oak and the rest in stainless steel) with citrus, peach and almond paste aromas. The wine stands out both for the quality and the intensity of its beautiful bouquet.Castel Ringberg9022Northeastern ItalyAlto AdigeElena Walch 2010 Castel Ringberg Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige)Pinot GrigioElena Walch
6861068609AustriaAs much rich as sweet, this is a honey- and dry botrytis-flavored wine, with tropical mango flavors complementing lemon acidity. It's a complex, intense wine, textured and ageworthy. Screwcap.Cuvée Beerenauslese9035BurgenlandRoger Voss@vossrogerEsterházy 2009 Cuvée Beerenauslese White (Burgenland)Austrian white blendEsterházy

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