Wine Reviews

7023170230SpainRaisiny, inky aromas are ripe but not overly sophisticated. On the palate, grabby tannins are drawing and heavy. Flavors of raisin and prune carry over from the nose, while the finish is chewy, jammy, raisiny and offers a licorice/anise note.Junior8820CataloniaMontsantMichael Schachner@wineschachTossals 2012 Junior Red (Montsant)Red BlendTossals
7024670245FranceA terrific example of Corbières terroir at an unbeatable price. The wine, a traditional Rhône-style blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan, is so loaded with aromas and flavors of the surrounding garrigue you might think that they threw in a bouquet garni during maturation. Sage, rosemary,menthol, thyme and bay leaves all abound while rich, dark fruit and oak aging (Élevé en Fûts de Chêne means aged in oak barrels) provides support and structure. Silky texture, approachable tannins and a long finish bring it all together.Élevé en Fûts de Chêne9013Languedoc-RoussillonCorbièresLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzDomaine Serres Mazard 2004 Élevé en Fûts de Chêne Red (Corbières)Rhône-style Red BlendDomaine Serres Mazard
7023270231ItalyDeeply golden in color, this opens with aromas of dried chamomile flower, hay, lightly toasted oak and a butterscotch note. The palate delivers dried apricot, mature apple, candied ginger, mineral and almond alongside racy acidity.Vigneti di Foscarino8824VenetoSoave ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeInama 2013 Vigneti di Foscarino (Soave Classico)GarganegaInama
7024770246USFruit compote—plum and strawberry—is melded to light toast and coffee. The wine has juicy acids and a thickly satisfying midpalate whose fruit flavors linger on, adding a little peppery spice as the wine evolves in the mouth. Just a whisp of chocolate leaves you ready for the next sip.Métier Red Wine9036WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Doyenne 2006 Métier Red Wine Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Red BlendDoyenne
7023370232USThis wine is fairly austere in taste, restrained in oak on the front palate before offering thick tannin structure on the back palate and finish. In between, expect cranberry, raspberry and clove to compete for affection, integrating well with one another.8851CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneJack Nicklaus Wines 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonJack Nicklaus Wines
7024870247GermanyFor being a goldkap, this is not especially lush or botrytized. Instead, it features a fine balance of acidity, which enlivens the green apple and citrus flavors and gives them extra poignancy. This is crisply balanced and mouthwatering on the finish.Saarburger Rausch Auslese Goldkap9046Mosel-Saar-RuwerJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzDr. Wagner 2006 Saarburger Rausch Auslese Goldkap Riesling (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer)RieslingDr. Wagner
7023470233USThis brand continues to impress in terms of quality-to-price ratio. This blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot comes from a great appellation and is ready to enjoy now. Raspberry, black cherry and cranberry serve as the finesse side of the equation, before a brawny, chewy sense of power wanders in.Signature Series8820CaliforniaStags Leap DistrictNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneKirkland Signature 2012 Signature Series Cabernet Sauvignon (Stags Leap District)Cabernet SauvignonKirkland Signature
7024970248AustraliaThe oak in this wine is nicely integrated into the fruit, making it barely detectable amid the bold peach and melon flavors. Full and round in the mouth, then long and citrusy on the finish. Drink now.Sexton Vineyard9030VictoriaYarra ValleyJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzGiant Steps 2006 Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay (Yarra Valley)ChardonnayGiant Steps
7023570234ItalyA blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, this opens with aromas of cut grass, bell pepper and red currant. The easygoing, savory palate offers crushed black cherry, spiced plum and black pepper alongside lithe tannins.Vertigo Rosso8825Northeastern ItalyDelle VenezieKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeLivio Felluga 2012 Vertigo Rosso Red (Delle Venezie)Red BlendLivio Felluga
7023670235PortugalMulticastas, or many grape varieties, holds a blend of five grapes. It's a young, fruity wine that has ripe tannins and a soft texture, but still manages a dry core. It would be good to drink now for its fruit, but will be better from 2016.Multicastas88Península de SetúbalRoger Voss@vossrogerLobo 2012 Multicastas Red (Península de Setúbal)Portuguese RedLobo
7025070249USThis is bright, hot, spicy and (initially at least) showing some high tones that lift the flavors but also attenuate the midpalate. It's aromatic, with sweet cherry fruit, hot and spicy tannins and enough new oak (60%) to add butter and butterscotch to the finish.The Pixie9045WashingtonRed MountainColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Gorman 2006 The Pixie Syrah (Red Mountain)SyrahGorman
7023770236USAll five of the major Bordeaux red varieties are represented here, with Merlot the largest percentage at 44%. The wine offers black pepper, clove, cassis and blackberry around a huge structure of dry, mouth-coating tannins that make this a good pairing with red meat, the juicier the better.LDC8842CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneLuke Donald 2011 LDC Red (Napa Valley)Bordeaux-style Red BlendLuke Donald
7025170250USA picture-perfect mix of fruit, acid, stone and tannin. The fruit is sweet and ripe, the acid provides a natural underpinning, the tannins are polished and there are hints of minerality, along with tobacco, licorice and chocolate. Nicely done; this is a new winery to watch.Chalk Line Red9035WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Guardian 2006 Chalk Line Red Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Red BlendGuardian
7023870237USTaut, tart and tangy, this well-built wine was fermented in neutral oak. It's got a pleasant creaminess in the mouth, sharply defined citrus fruits, notably grapefruit and Meyer lemon, and supporting acidity.8818OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Lundeen 2013 Chardonnay (Willamette Valley)ChardonnayLundeen
7025270251USSpicy and a little hot right after opening, this wine breathes into shape, firming up with classic Red Mountain fruit flavors of plum and cherry, laced with graphite and accented with new oak. This is as muscular and authoritative as Merlot can get, and priced at a third of what comparablebottles from California cost.Artz Vineyard9025WashingtonRed MountainColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Barrister 2005 Artz Vineyard Merlot (Red Mountain)MerlotBarrister
7023970238ItalyAromas suggest pressed white flower, citrus and beeswax. The palate offers citrus zest, dried apricot and lemon drop. It has nice depth but drink soon to capture the remaining fruit.8820Southern ItalyFalanghina del SannioKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMastroberardino 2013 Falanghina del SannioFalanghinaMastroberardino
7024070239ItalyAromas suggest spring blossom, banana and tropical fruit. The vertical palate offers citrus zest, passion fruit and mineral together with note of white almond.Foscarin Slavinus8825VenetoSoave Classico SuperioreKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMonte Tondo 2012 Foscarin Slavinus (Soave Classico Superiore)GarganegaMonte Tondo
7024170240ItalyVibrant, this opens with aromas of almond cream, toasted nut, Mediterranean herb and orchard fruit. The firm palate delivers juicy green apple, lemon zest and sage alongside a persistent perlage. It's balanced with bright acidity.Brut Metodo Classico8829LombardyLuganaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeOlivini 2010 Brut Metodo Classico (Lugana)TurbianaOlivini
7024270241USGrenadine and flavors of red cherry provide a brightness to this wine that is otherwise characterized by juicy texture and mild-mannered use of oak. Enjoyable and soft, it's priced well and is worth stocking up on for everyday meals.8810CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherVirginie Boone@vbooneOne Leaf 2012 Merlot (California)MerlotOne Leaf
7024370242USBased in Carmel, this producer ventures north to Napa and Sonoma for grapes. It crafts this earthy, ethereal wine from Russian River fruit and donates part of its sales proceeds to a handful of charities. Mushroom, licorice, tea and cherry are all well-represented, wrapped in a conservative idling of oak.Sublime8828CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vboonePeace Water 2012 Sublime Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirPeace Water
7024470243USOne of the winery's upper-end bottlings, this shows strawberries, dried fennel stalks and an earthy minerality on the nose. The flavors prove a bit cooked, with stewed berries, char, dark tobacco, dark chocolate and black pepper.Vortex8838CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannPeachy Canyon 2012 Vortex Zinfandel (Paso Robles)ZinfandelPeachy Canyon
7024570244USSoft and gentle and very rich, with waves of red cherry, currant, chocolate, licorice and sweet spice flavors that go on and on. Really nice to drink with a grilled steak.9038CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastLone Madrone 2006 Syrah (Paso Robles)SyrahLone Madrone
7025370252FranceBeychevelle's style is for elegance, and this wine epitomizes that character. It is sweet, soft, with light tannins, achieving a balance of black fruits and acidity, light in structure and depth.90BordeauxSaint-JulienRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Beychevelle 2006 Saint-JulienBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Beychevelle
7025470253FranceRounded, relatively soft wine, but one that shows balance. Sweet fruit plays with black currant acidity, giving density, even if the tannins are lightweight. Clerc-Milon, made by the team that also produces Mouton-Rothschild, has become a delicious Pauillac.90BordeauxPauillacRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Clerc Milon 2006 PauillacBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Clerc Milon
7025570254FranceThis is already developing fast, its balance right in place. While that does not suggest much aging potential, the dry tannins, sweet fruit and smoky wood give it richness and concentration. To drink in five years.90BordeauxMargauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Lascombes 2006 MargauxBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Lascombes
7025670255FranceA light, balanced wine, with floating lemon acidity, freshness and intense orange and honey flavors. With its vibrant character, this is poised, likely to develop quickly, but be delicious all the way.90BordeauxBarsacRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Suau 2006 BarsacBordeaux-style White BlendChâteau Suau
7025770256USA beautiful wine that has the character of a modern, ripe, cult-style wine, but maintains balance and elegance. The black currant and cedar flavors are enormously satisfying, while the wine is entirely dry.Estate Grown9078CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaClark-Claudon 2005 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonClark-Claudon
7025870257South AfricaA savory nose with hints of balsamic and smoke, balanced by cassis and cedar, start this wine out right. In the mouth, it's complex and assertive, with flavors of anise, spice and plum. Pronounced tannins need some time to age, but overall the wine is excellent now.Classique9037StellenboschSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaEikendal 2004 Classique Red (Stellenbosch)Bordeaux-style Red BlendEikendal
7025970258ItalyThis 70-30 blend of Nero di Troia and Montepulciano shares some characteristics of a deeply extracted Cabernet Sauvignon. The aromas are thick and penetrating but also have green accents of sage and chopped herbs. It's a nervous, edgy wine that also pulls off opulence and sophistication.Riserva Il Falcone9033Southern ItalyCastel del MonteRivera 2004 Riserva Il Falcone Red (Castel del Monte)Red BlendRivera
7026070259GermanySmoky, slaty and oily, this is a mineral-driven, “terroir” wine, without obvious fruit notes, yet not lacking for fruit, if that makes any sense. It's medium-bodied, with just a touch of apparent sugar, and finishes long, with just a touch of citrus.Erbach Marcobrunn Edition Marianne Erstes Gewächs9060RheingauJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzSchloss Reinhartshausen 2006 Erbach Marcobrunn Edition Marianne Erstes Gewächs Riesling (Rheingau)RieslingSchloss Reinhartshausen

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