Wine Reviews

6870168700USThis light-bodied, surprisingly affordable wine surprises in its lightness of color and texture, its character driven by high-strung elements of pomegranate and tangerine. On the more savory side, expect nuances of earthy mint, bay leaf and white pepper.9224CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneWillowbrook 2014 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirWillowbrook
6870268701USThis comes from a dry-farmed site, all the better to coax out its stony minerality and delicate aromas of rose garden an d geranium. Fully expressive, it's voluptuous and lushly balanced, offering wild strawberry and tons of forest floor.Hallberg Vineyard9250CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneJoseph Jewell 2013 Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirJoseph Jewell
6870368702USThe nose on this bottling from the pioneering regional winery, now run by its namesake's son, is lush and dynamic, with black cherry, cola and vanilla-laced pie crust on the nose. Finely polished tannins carry very smooth flavors of blackberry, soy-driven umami, crushed graphite, light cedar and a pinch of herbs.Small Lot9245CaliforniaSanta Cruz MountainsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannKathryn Kennedy 2014 Small Lot Cabernet Sauvignon (Santa Cruz Mountains)Cabernet SauvignonKathryn Kennedy
6870468703FranceThis wine comes from one of the coolest Premier Cru vineyards, giving it an initial austerity that then fills out as the wine breathes. It's crisp and bright with white fruit and intense, lemony acidity. Age it for a few more months and drink from 2018.Côte de Lechet Premier Cru9235BurgundyChablisRoger Voss@vossrogerLa Chablisienne 2014 Côte de Lechet Premier Cru (Chablis)ChardonnayLa Chablisienne
6870568704FranceGrapes from this lesser known Premier Cru are often blended with those from Vaillons, yet La Chablisienne has bottled it as a separate wine. The coolness of the site translates beautifully into a crisp fruit expression that's tight with acidity and minerality, ready to age. Drink from 2019.Les Lys Premier Cru9237BurgundyChablisRoger Voss@vossrogerLa Chablisienne 2014 Les Lys Premier Cru (Chablis)ChardonnayLa Chablisienne
6870668705FranceSometimes blended with grapes from the Fourchaume Premier Cru, this Vaulorent bottled on its own is a bit crisp—bright with citrus and toasty from wood aging. It will develop slowly over several years, so drink from 2019.Vaulorent Premier Cru9240BurgundyChablisRoger Voss@vossrogerLa Chablisienne 2014 Vaulorent Premier Cru (Chablis)ChardonnayLa Chablisienne
6870768706USA very deep color and smoky, meaty aromas get this full-bodied wine off to a great start, then saturated blackberry, blueberry and espresso flavors kick in. All that fruit comes in a firm package of fine-grained tannins to add welcome texture, and the concentration of flavor lingers on the finish, too.Estate9245CaliforniaLivermore ValleyCentral CoastJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsLas Positas 2013 Estate Red (Livermore Valley)Red BlendLas Positas
6870868707ItalyThanks to long maceration and fermentation on the skins, this has heady aromas of Spanish broom, acacia, yellow stone fruit, grilled herb and a whiff of baked bread. Round, savory and fresh, the intriguing palate has an impressive depth of flavors including ripe yellow peach, mature yellow apple, lemon drop, toasted almond, flinty mineral and an earthy note of tilled soil. Tangy acidity brightens the finish.Tradizionale9222TuscanyVernaccia di San GimignanoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMontenidoli 2014 Tradizionale (Vernaccia di San Gimignano)VernacciaMontenidoli
6870968708USBlended with 19% Petite Sirah and 3% Carignane, from vines averaging 50-plus-years of age, this is a bold and brambly wine, laced in elegance. Coffee, leather and a taste of caramel are seasoned in allspice and black pepper, as persistent, sinewy tannins provide weight and heft.Old Vine9232CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneDry Creek Vineyard 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelDry Creek Vineyard
6871068709USArger-Martucci hits bigtime with this Cabernet Franc-based Bordeaux-style blend. It marches in a different direction from the soft cult style, showing brisk acidity, hard tannins and relatively moderate alcohol. Yet there's nothing light about the complex blackberry, cherry and currant flavors. Wonderful to drink now, and it will reward aging over the next 5–6 years.Estate Reserve9450CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaArger-Martucci 2007 Estate Reserve Red (Napa Valley)Bordeaux-style Red BlendArger-Martucci
6871168710USFlavors of blackberry, black cherry and a streak of cola ignite the palate, with a layer of pure mineral underneath. At first a bit delicate, this never pauses, introducing umami and cinnamon highlights on the lingering finish. It's fresh and elegant, with a more gentle fade than some of the more potent Syrahs from Cayuse.En Cerise Vineyard9475OregonWalla Walla Valley (OR)Oregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Cayuse 2009 En Cerise Vineyard Syrah (Walla Walla Valley (OR))SyrahCayuse
6871268711USSomewhat aloof now, this has grippy tannins that lock down the palate. Underneath the grip are complex flavors of juicy blackberry, plum sauce and exotic spice, with brooding earthy notes and sweet, smoky oak tones. Very fine, but one for the cellar. Give it at least 6–8 years, and it could easily go for another decade beyond that, gradually becoming more delicate, supple and complex.Allen Vineyard9482CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaWilliams Selyem 2010 Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirWilliams Selyem
6871368712USThe Aurora has just a bit more texture and density than its superb companion wine, the Avellana Pinot Noir. Black cherry, cola and baking spice notes are accented with touches of iron filings and slivers of dark chocolate. Thoughtful winemaking is on display here, creating a dense wine that is nonetheless immediately accessible and delicious.Aurora94100OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Ponzi 2010 Aurora Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirPonzi
6871468713FranceMade from Tannat and aged in new wood, this is a dense and tannic selection that boasts jammy fruit and an opulent feel. Vibrant and complex, it can be aged for 4–5 more years.Château Montus Cuvée Prestige94Southwest FranceMadiranRoger Voss@vossrogerAlain Brumont 2003 Château Montus Cuvée Prestige Tannat (Madiran)TannatAlain Brumont
6871568714USRich tannins give this wine a bracing mouthfeel, but it's still drinkable now. While it's a big wine, the palate feels -elegant and silky, with spicy flavors of black cherry and licorice. The 2010s should have one of the longer shelf lives of recent vintages, holding for at least another decade.Ferrington Vineyard9465CaliforniaAnderson ValleyWilliams Selyem 2010 Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley)Pinot NoirWilliams Selyem
6871668715FranceA ripe, new-wood-dominated wine, this is smooth and polished in feel, while the powerful tannins of rich Malbec are preserved. It's dense, dark and concentrated, and the plum and blackberry fruits are layered with the dry, firm tannins and are lightened by the juicy acidity. This needs at least 6–7 years to show its best.GC94130Southwest FranceCahorsRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau du Cèdre 2009 GC Malbec (Cahors)MalbecChâteau du Cèdre
6871768716FranceConcentrated and luscious, this has notes of dried apricot and fig, with a dense texture reminiscent of honey and orange marmalade. It has a strong mineral structure that melds with the ripe generosity. Savor this intense wine alone at the end of a meal or with blue cheese.Symphonie de Novembre9424Southwest FranceJurançonRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Cauhapé 2010 Symphonie de Novembre (Jurançon)Petit MansengDomaine Cauhapé
6871868717AustriaThis wine is full and opulent, and its yellow fruit is at the fore. The ripeness is tempered by the complex notes of spice and almond as well as the taut, steely acidity. Age for at least four years.Kammerner Lamm Erste Lage Reserve94KamptalRoger Voss@vossrogerBründlmayer 2011 Kammerner Lamm Erste Lage Reserve Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal)Grüner VeltlinerBründlmayer
6871968718USMade using fruit sourced from 40-year-old vines, this elegant and detailed Pinot does not shy away from flavors of leaf and herb. But they are anchored in pure and expressive fruit, with old-vine flavors of bramble and pepper. What is most exceptional is the delicacy and length of this wine, two characteristics shared by all the Kelley Fox wines.Maresh Vineyard9460OregonDundee HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Kelley Fox 2010 Maresh Vineyard Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills)Pinot NoirKelley Fox
6872068719ItalyMade from a blend of Pallagrello Nero and Casavecchia grapes, this shows sweet aromas of chocolate fudge and maraschino, with lingering tones of tar, black licorice and almond paste. The wine is incredibly smooth, rich and long lasting.Vigna Piancastelli9470Southern ItalyTerre del VolturnoTerre del Principe 2008 Vigna Piancastelli Red (Terre del Volturno)Red BlendTerre del Principe
6872168720FranceThis is smooth, rich and elegant, with black fruits and acids that are contained within a firm, understated structure. It has power, but it's contained in a velvet glove.Aydie l'Origine9312Southwest FranceMadiranRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau d'Aydie 2010 Aydie l'Origine Tannat-Cabernet Franc (Madiran)Tannat-Cabernet FrancChâteau d'Aydie
6872268721FranceBeautifully perfumed, this has swathes of ripe cherry and plum, with a hint of wood aging. The balance is already well established, with a line of crisp acidity that sits behind the rich, sweet fruit. With its tannins, this needs to age for at least three years.Clos du Grand Carquelin93BeaujolaisMoulin-à-VentRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau des Jacques 2011 Clos du Grand Carquelin (Moulin-à-Vent)GamayChâteau des Jacques
6872368722USRich and loaded with exceptional fruit power, this is dominated by the Champoux Vineyard's classic black-cherry character. Accents of clean earth, violet, tar and caramel show extraordinary depth, framed by firm and muscular tannins.Block One9372OregonColumbia Valley (OR)Oregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Sineann 2010 Block One Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (OR))Cabernet SauvignonSineann
6872468723USStash this Cabernet in the cellar and forget about it for at least six years. Right now, the blackberry, black currant, cherry, herb and sweet cedar flavors are swamped in hard tannins. The structure is immaculate, though, and all signs point to successful future development.Amoenus9375CaliforniaCalistogaNapaTurnbull 2009 Amoenus Cabernet Sauvignon (Calistoga)Cabernet SauvignonTurnbull
6872568724USShows a certain aggressiveness, offering up vibrant raspberry and cherry fruit, cola, mocha and oak flavors, but kept aloof by its acidity and tannins. It's certainly elegant and pedigreed, but it need 3–4 years in the cellar.Georganne9357CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaMerry Edwards 2010 Georganne Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirMerry Edwards
6872668725USMade using classic Port grape varieties, this is rich and sweet, with chocolate, coffee, orange, plum and spice flavors. Crisp acidity provides needed balance. It shows a complexity that lifts it above the ordinary. Drink now–2015.Mistral9340CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastWilliams Selyem 2006 Mistral Port (Central Coast)PortWilliams Selyem
6872768726ChileThis Colchagua Valley blend smells of lead pencil, coconut, black cherry, spice and vanilla. The mouthfeel is firm, solid and complete, with dark berry, fine herbs and spice flavors. On one hand it's fresh and alert; on the other hand its dense and brooding, with coffee and dark spice accents. Drink now–2017; only 355 cases produced.9392Colchagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachEmiliana 2008 Gê Red (Colchagua Valley)Red BlendEmiliana
6872868727FranceWhile this is big, powerful and rich, it keeps a sense of proportion and elegance. A dark chocolate flavor and firm tannins show the wood influence, while the rich blueberry-compote note brings in both texture and fruitiness. This needs at least 6–7 years.Cuvée Icône du Château de Mercuès93140Southwest FranceCahorsRoger Voss@vossrogerGeorges Vigouroux 2009 Cuvée Icône du Château de Mercuès Malbec (Cahors)MalbecGeorges Vigouroux
6872968728USThis shows the finesse of the vineyard, not to mention the winemaker's talent. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, it's bone dry and brisk in acidity, with firm tannins that make it one for the cellar. It has a huge core of blackberry and black currant fruit that's waiting to emerge. Try after 2018.Maxine's Vineyard9345CaliforniaYountvilleNapaBardessono 2010 Maxine's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Yountville)Cabernet SauvignonBardessono
6873068729AustriaFull and rich, this is a beautifully concentrated wine. It's packed with apricot and citrus, but it also has a serious, mineral -driven side that gives it a taut texture. The acidity is intense, and it needs several months to soften and integrate. Keep this for 2–3 years or more.Loiser Berg Erste Lage93KamptalRoger Voss@vossrogerBründlmayer 2011 Loiser Berg Erste Lage Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal)Grüner VeltlinerBründlmayer

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