Wine Reviews

7045770456GermanyLavishly perfumed with hints of honeysuckle, musk melon and pear, this animated Riesling exhilarates the senses. Juicy and fresh with pristine stone-fruit flavor, it glides effortlessly yet endlessly on the palate. Enjoy now for its gorgeous perfume, but save a few bottles through 2020 to let the stately elegance shine through.Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Spätlese9244MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaFritz Haag 2013 Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Spätlese Riesling (Mosel)RieslingFritz Haag
7045870457ItalyJuicy red berry, brimstone, leather, licorice, mint and thyme are just some of the aromas and flavors of this powerfully structured wine. Despite the muscular build, it's also loaded with finesse, boasting firm but noble tannins that accompany the layers of savory flavors. Drink 2016–2022.Contrada C9254Sicily & SardiniaTerre SicilianeKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefePassopisciaro 2012 Contrada C Nerello Mascalese (Terre Siciliane)Nerello MascalesePassopisciaro
7045970458USCo-fermented with about 2% Viognier, this aromatic Syrah offers a bouquet of floral, citrus and berry scents. It's clean, focused and pure, not fleshy but concentrated. The finish hits a full spectrum of dark flavors—coffee grounds, cacao, smoke, tar and black olive.9232OregonOregonOregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Penner-Ash 2012 Syrah (Oregon)SyrahPenner-Ash
7046070459USThis tastes dry, though the 12.5 g/L residual sugar does round off the mouthfeel. Powerful, juicy fruit flavors of lemon pith, orange peel, pink grapefruit and white peach abound, with a touch of honey in the finish. Two-thirds was sourced from the excellent Hyland Vineyard.9224OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Penner-Ash 2013 Riesling (Willamette Valley)RieslingPenner-Ash
7046170460USPlum and pomegranate play off each other in this monument to Howell Mountain, the wine dense and Rubenesque, suggesting further time in cellar, through 2022. With 1% Cabernet Franc blended in, the tannins and oak are well-integrated, spiking in tobacco and licorice.9290CaliforniaHowell MountainNapaVirginie Boone@vboonePine Ridge 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mountain)Cabernet SauvignonPine Ridge
7046270461ItalyElegant and structured, this opens with delicate aromas of Spanish broom, pear and Mediterranean herb. The linear, vibrant palate delivers juicy green apple, creamy pear and citrus alongside an energizing mineral and crisp acidity. This will continue to develop. Drink through 2020.Bianco9224Sicily & SardiniaEtnaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefePlaneta 2013 Bianco (Etna)CarricantePlaneta
7046370462PortugalFoot trodden in traditional open granite lagars, this is an elegant wine. Ripe black plum jelly flavors are balanced by firm tannins and a fresher edge. It's a wine that will develop over a long time, although with its fruit it's almost ready to drink now. Ideally, though, keep it until 2025.Adelaide Vintage92110PortRoger Voss@vossrogerQuinta do Vallado 2012 Adelaide Vintage (Port)PortQuinta do Vallado
7046470463PortugalIt's old-gold color says it all. This luscious, liquorous wine has a tangy edge to go alongside the acidity, the raisin fruits and flavors of long wood aging. It's not so much fresh as still very alive and poised. Drink now.40 Years Old Tawny9280PortRoger Voss@vossrogerQuinta do Vallado NV 40 Years Old Tawny (Port)PortQuinta do Vallado
7044170440GermanyA streak of grapefruit acidity lends a racy edge to sweet white-peach and Meyer-lemon flavors in this lip-smacking spätlese. It's delicately filigreed in texture, yet powerfully concentrated in fruit. Touches of mineral and herb add complexity to the lingering finish.Rüdesheimer Berg Rottland Spätlese9244RheingauAnna Lee C. IijimaJohannishof 2013 Rüdesheimer Berg Rottland Spätlese Riesling (Rheingau)RieslingJohannishof
7046570464USThis stylish, tightly wound, concentrated effort features yellow fruits adorned with layers of toast, butter and caramel. It will continue to open gracefully over a 48-hour window, suggesting that it may be cellared successfully. But if you have the patience to decant/aerate properly, it is immensely enjoyable right now, and a very fine value.9230OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Shea 2012 Chardonnay (Willamette Valley)ChardonnayShea
7046670465USSmoke, dried reed and herb tones persist throughout this earthy, semidry Riesling. Pressed apple and pear flavors are savory as well, but brightened by a shower of tart tangerine acidity on the finish.Semi-Dry8417New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaSerenity 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes)RieslingSerenity
7046770466USDemure on the nose with hints of dust, smoke and dried herbs, this is a dry, decidedly savory style of Sauvignon Blanc. It's crisp and spry on the palate with pleasant lemon-lime flavors, but finishes briskly.Estate Reserve8416New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaStony Lonesome 2013 Estate Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Finger Lakes)Sauvignon BlancStony Lonesome
7046870467USThis wine's nose is all about earth and minerality, showing iron, rust, mushrooms and eucalyptus, but in a rather pungent way. The flavors are sanguine, nearly metallic, with Indian spices and cranberry fruit combining for a sip that is lean in body but grippy with tannins.Vintner's Select8425CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannSummerland 2013 Vintner's Select Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley)Pinot NoirSummerland
7046970468USAromas arise slowly, though toasted oak, struck match and slightly sour fruits do emerge eventually. Flavors are straightforward, with scorched lemon and apple sauce.North Highlands Cuvee8430CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannManzoni 2013 North Highlands Cuvee Chardonnay (Santa Lucia Highlands)ChardonnayManzoni
7047070469FranceThis is a tough wine, packed more with tannins than fruit. A bitter chocolate character comes from over-extraction of the tannins. The fruit is slow in coming, although there are hints of juiciness. Give it until 2017.8415BordeauxHaut-MédocRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Fonsèche 2012 Haut-MédocBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Fonsèche
7044270441USThis perfumed wine is a superb expression of Oregon Pinot Gris, and the best Tikka's ever from Lemelson. Apples, oranges and ripe melons fill the fruit bowl, bright and luscious and accented with perfectly proportioned barrel notes of toasted coconut and almond.Tikka's Run9219OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Lemelson 2013 Tikka's Run Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley)Pinot GrisLemelson
7044370442USA rich, evocative, sensual aroma greets the first sniff. The mix of purple fruits, hints of baking spices, and tannins dusted with chocolate is irresistible. Sweet toast comes up next, with pretty fruit flavors in proportion, and a taste of brioche to finish. Aging until 2016–2017 should open it up further.Karen's Pommard9255OregonWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Lenné Estate 2012 Karen's Pommard Pinot NoirPinot NoirLenné Estate
7044470443GermanyEarthy whiffs of dust and pollen belie radiant flavors of mango and peach on the palate. It's a ripe, rather voluptuous beerenauslese, yet elegantly honed along a line of tart tangerine acidity. Complex and layered, it keeps the palate on its toes through a long, exciting ride.Monzinger Halenberg Beerenauslese9265NaheAnna Lee C. IijimaWeingut Weber 2011 Monzinger Halenberg Beerenauslese Riesling (Nahe)RieslingWeingut Weber
7044570444USA study in dusty tannins and crisp, classic cassis and cranberry, this wine offers plenty of the beloved herbaceousness of old-school Cabernet, along with a soft-hearted structure and compelling notes of violet and soy. Medium-bodied, it's enjoyable now but has the legs to age through 2026.92125CaliforniaOakvilleNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneAiken 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville)Cabernet SauvignonAiken
7044670445USThis blend of 45% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre and 25% Syrah from Bob and Lynn Tillman's Adelaida Road estate offers an intriguing, aromatic mix of sanguine blood elements alongside ripe black cherries and white pepper. Solid acidity and good tannins frame the palate, which delivers espresso, elderberry, licorice and forest-floor flavors.Estate9238CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannAlta Colina 2010 Estate G-S-M (Paso Robles)G-S-MAlta Colina
7044770446ItalyThe intense floral fragrance suggests dog rose, broom, violet and perfumed berry. The vibrant, linear palate offers red cherry-berry, cinnamon, white pepper, Mediterranean herb, licorice and orange zest alongside assertive but polished tannins and vibrant acidity. It's beautifully balanced, with a mineral-driven finish. Drink 2017–2025.Outis Rosso9240Sicily & SardiniaEtnaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBiondi 2013 Outis Rosso (Etna)Red BlendBiondi
7044870447FranceThis rich Gewurztraminer reflects the chalk soil of this prized grand cru. It gives a structured, firm wine, close to dry with spice and pepper flavors as well as a strongly mineral character. It needs proper aging, so drink from 2018.Hengst Grand Cru9248AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Barmès-Buecher 2013 Hengst Grand Cru Gewurztraminer (Alsace)GewürztraminerDomaine Barmès-Buecher
7044970448FranceThe chalk soil of Champagne makes a reappearance in the Pfersigberg vineyard. In this wine it shows as elegance and crispness. That's not to take away from the rich, rounded texture and exotic fruits; it adds complexity and great style. Drink from 2017.Pfersigberg Grand Cru9230AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Charles Baur 2012 Pfersigberg Grand Cru Gewurztraminer (Alsace)GewürztraminerDomaine Charles Baur
7045070449USSashi Moorman and Rajat Parr love to pick early, and it shows with aromas of stewed tomatoes, green olives, green cardamom and Eastern European spices. It's very savory and wakes up the palate with vinegar-laden flavors reminiscent of North African tagines, and would make an excellent extra-spice accompaniment to a wide variety of foods. Expect this wine to grow in complexity and approachability 2018– Cote9290CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannDomaine de la Cote 2012 la Cote Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirDomaine de la Cote
7045170450IsraelDeep ruby to the eye, this blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot has a bouquet of coffee and black currant preserves. It offers a frankly gorgeous interplay between fruit and cool herbal flavors, with black cherry joined on the palate by licorice, eucalyptus, butterscotch and flint. The drawn-out finish offers a surprisingly bright burst that inspires taking the next sip.Grand Vin9275Haut-JudeéMike DeSimone@worldwineguysDomaine du Castel 2011 Grand Vin Red (Haut-Judeé)Bordeaux-style Red BlendDomaine du Castel
7045270451FranceVery aromatic, this ripe, full-bodied wine is still young—full of spice, exotic fruits and only a touch of acidity. With a density that can only come from a Grand Cru vineyard, this powerful wine needs to age. Drink from 2017.Eichberg Grand Cru9248AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Zinck 2013 Eichberg Grand Cru Gewurztraminer (Alsace)GewürztraminerDomaine Zinck
7045370452FranceThe Goldert Grand Cru with its stone and chalk soil gives powerful wines. That's the case here with this dense, tense bottling. The spice is intense, rich and concentrated. A touch of acidity keeps everything in check. Drink from 2017.Goldert Grand Cru9248AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Zinck 2013 Goldert Grand Cru Gewurztraminer (Alsace)GewürztraminerDomaine Zinck
7045470453FranceClos Windsbuhl in Hunawihr is the northernmost of Zind-Humbrecht's collection of vineyards. In 2012, it has produced an impressive wine that has all the right spice of Pinot Gris along with acidity and a fresh edge. That gives this rich wine a great lift, with a waft of pear to go with the yellow-fruit flavors. Drink from 2016.Clos Windsbuhl Hunawihr9280AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Zind-Humbrecht 2012 Clos Windsbuhl Hunawihr Pinot Gris (Alsace)Pinot GrisDomaine Zind-Humbrecht
7045570454USThere is a deeply sanguine sense to the nose of this appellation blend by the Buellton-based winery, with bloody meats and graphite giving way to ripe raspberry fruit, brown spices and chopped herbs. It's very spicy once sipped, with black pepper, mocha and red fruits upholding more iron and pencil-shaving flavors on the palate.9244CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannDragonette 2012 Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirDragonette
7045670455USOne of the winery's tasty bottlings that are odes to Bill Foley's Texas ranch roots, this offers aromas of crushed chalk, fresh apple blossoms and a ruby-red grapefruit peel tartness. The flavors surround a very clean line of lemon juice and lime pith, with more chalk, ripe apples and brisk nectarine. It's still tight and will age well.JA Ranch9245CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannFoley 2012 JA Ranch Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills)ChardonnayFoley

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