Wine Reviews

7131171310USMade in a leaner, crisper style than many Chards nowadays, this Chardonnay trades power for elegance. It's almost like a Sauvignon Blanc, with citrusy acids framing flavors of limes, pineapples and green apples that have a minerally edge. New French oak adds just the right touch of richness.Calcaire9225CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaClos du Bois 2007 Calcaire Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayClos du Bois
7131271311USSuper-rich in vanilla and smoky caramelized oak, and ripe in pineapples, peaches and apples, this is a powerful Chardonnay. It's dramatic now in sheer strength, but not an ager, so drink now.Dutton Palms Vineyard9242CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaDutton Estate 2008 Dutton Palms Vineyard Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayDutton Estate
7131371312SpainA really nice, dark, modern style of Rioja from a good vintage. The nose is mildly foresty early on and robustly fruity, with stand-out black cherry and blackberry aromas. The palate is full, clean and balanced, with alert flavors of berry, spice, citrus peel and chocolate. Smooth as a glass table on the finish. Drink now through 2014.Amaren9250Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachLuis Cañas 2004 Amaren (Rioja)TempranilloLuis Cañas
7131471313USStarts out very full-bodied and rich, almost too heavy for Pinot Noir. Then the acids kick in to accent the silky texture, and you know it's a ripe, ageable Pinot Noir. With deep flavors of raspberries, cherries, red currants, licorice, cocoa and peppery spices, it should develop well over the next 4–6 years.Estate9242CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMcIntyre Vineyards 2007 Estate Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirMcIntyre Vineyards
7131571314ItalyThis is a gorgeous wine on many fronts. Firstly, its aromas of wild berry, smoke and cedar are focused and pristine. Secondly, the texture it imparts in the mouth is dense, firm but ultimately yielding and plush. Lastly, the wine's fresh flavors endure for many minutes.Rocche dell'Annunziata9255PiedmontBaroloMario Gagliasso 2005 Rocche dell'Annunziata (Barolo)NebbioloMario Gagliasso
7131671315ItalyAudace is a chewy, ripe and generous expression of Nebbiolo that offers intriguing complexity of aromas and flavorful nuances. You'll recognize tones of blueberry, cherry cola, licorice and wet earth. Polished tannins fuel a sensation of power, length and dryness in the mouth.Audace92PiedmontBaroloRoberto Sarotto 2005 Audace (Barolo)NebbioloRoberto Sarotto
7131771316ItalyThis cheerful Barolo shows many of the most common characteristics associated with the Brunate cru. Because this site has darker, denser soils, the wine shows more richness and intensity of aromas and flavors. You'll get black cherry, plum, peppercorn and Indian spice. The mouthfeel is tight and firm.Vigneto Brunate92PiedmontBaroloAndrea Oberto 2005 Vigneto Brunate (Barolo)NebbioloAndrea Oberto
7131871317USShows lots of acidity and also the firm tannins and tug of dried herbs that always accompany this bottling. Quite good, with fruity flavors of cherries, raspberries, currants and cola, but feels a little rustic. Could harmonize over the next 6–8 years.Weir Vineyard9256CaliforniaYorkville HighlandsNorth CoastWilliams Selyem 2007 Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir (Yorkville Highlands)Pinot NoirWilliams Selyem
7131971318SpainJust right on the nose, with a smoky, attractive set of deep berry aromas. The palate is pure and composed, with a pure, tasty mix of berry fruit, cocoa and mild oak. Smooth, long and creamy on the finish, and delicious overall. Best wine to date from Emina. Drink now into 2012.Prestigio9228Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachEmina 2006 Prestigio (Ribera del Duero)TempranilloEmina
7132071319USNot quite as ripe as previous vintages, with an earthy, herbal edge, but that works to the wine's advantage, highlighting its elegance and class. Smooth, smoky oak frames the blackberry and currant flavors. Should develop bottle complexity over the next 6–8 years.9135CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaTruchard 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (Carneros)Cabernet SauvignonTruchard
7132171320SpainFull, heavy, chunky wine with a powerful bouquet of black fruit and chocolate. The palate is about as full and concentrated as they come, but there's good balance and aging potential along with cassis, blackberry and mild herbal shadings. Savory and strong as it is long on the finish. Drinkable now but better from 2011–2014.VS Reserva91100Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachVal Sotillo 2004 VS Reserva (Ribera del Duero)Red BlendVal Sotillo
7132271321USDry and silky, a very proper Pinot Noir from this fine, cool vintage. It's marked in youth by brisk acids and forward, somewhat one-dimensional flavors of cherries, cola and spices, with the smoky sandalwood of barrel age. Could develop all kinds of surprises over the next 4–6 years.Salzgeber Vineyard9150CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaWesMar 2007 Salzgeber Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirWesMar
7132371322ItalyDense and chewy, this highly nuanced example offers up an enticing combination of animal notes (sweaty saddle, leather) and vibrant fruit (raspberry, cherry). The abundant tannins and ambitious level of oak will benefit from five to 10 years aging.Serraboella9175PiedmontBarbarescoCigliuti 2004 Serraboella (Barbaresco)NebbioloCigliuti
7132471323FranceThis is a fresh, open and very accessible wine. Crisp acidity cuts through the green apple flavors and tangy, mineral texture. With juicy fruitiness, it is a light wine that is ready to drink.8732BurgundyChablisRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Gérard Duplessis 2014 ChablisChardonnayDomaine Gérard Duplessis
7132571324ArgentinaDespite showing a yellow color and gritty oiliness on the nose, this feels round and complete, with tropical flavors of mango, papaya and green melon. Everything about this is mild, inoffensive and tropical. Drink now before it starts to fade.Ique8711Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachEnrique Foster 2014 Ique Torrontés (Mendoza)TorrontésEnrique Foster
7132671325SpainDon't let the gold color fool you, this is quite vital with floral, leesy, almost grassy aromas. Bracing acidity is at the core with clover, grass, quince and sour-apricot flavors. Blasting acidity is a force on the finish.Pazo Cilleiro8720GaliciaRías BaixasMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Muriel 2014 Pazo Cilleiro Albariño (Rías Baixas)AlbariñoBodegas Muriel
7132771326GermanyBlossomy and perfumed, this white wine made from red Pinot Noir grapes exudes much of the variety's smoky floral flair against the backdrop of a crisp, refreshing white wine. The palate is concentrated in pressed apple and pear notes that finish briskly. Drink now.Blanc de Noirs Rüdesheim Trocken8716RheingauAnna Lee C. IijimaCarl Ehrhard 2014 Blanc de Noirs Rüdesheim Trocken Spätburgunder (Rheingau)SpätburgunderCarl Ehrhard
7132871327FranceThis big, firm wine offers serious tannins as well as rich blackberry fruits. It's a structured, dark wine, spicy from wood aging and ripely concentrated. Drink from 2017.8718Southwest FranceCahorsRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau du Caillau 2013 Malbec (Cahors)MalbecChâteau du Caillau
7132971328IsraelFaded black cherry in the glass, this wine offers an aroma of pomegranate and brambles. Flavors of tart cranberry, green pepper and eucalyptus are pleasant enough, but this wine is a bit past its prime.Altitude 4128745GalilMike DeSimone@worldwineguysBarkan 2009 Altitude 412 Cabernet Sauvignon (Galil)Cabernet SauvignonBarkan
7133071329ArgentinaReduced rubbery aromas of blackberry and black currant come with a touch of mushroom. This is extracted, heavy and blocky on the palate, while baked blackberry flavors are massive but short on elegance. Bitter coffee flavors, rugged tannins and stickiness make for a heavy finish.La Encerrada Estate Vineyard8716Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachBenegas 2011 La Encerrada Estate Vineyard Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecBenegas
7133171330SpainStalky, soupy berry aromas come up shy on elegance. This feels clampy and hard with rocky tannins. Standard berry fruit flavors are overshadowed by gritty stalky blackened accents, while the finish is grating and uncushioned but long.Glorioso Gran Reserva8736Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Palacio 2007 Glorioso Gran Reserva (Rioja)TempranilloBodegas Palacio
7133271331ItalyThis offers aromas of oak, coconut and roasted coffee bean that carry over to the palate along with a hint of dried black cherry and a confectionary note. It lacks the fruit richness needed to stand up to the oak while raspy tannins give it an astringent finish.Gattera87PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeAlessandro Veglio 2011 Gattera (Barolo)NebbioloAlessandro Veglio
7133371332GermanyHerbaceous, lemony and a touch green, this brisk light-bodied wine is made from Elbling, one of the Mosel's little-known other grapes. Dry on the palate, it's moderately concentrated with flavors of freshly-pressed apples and pear.Nitteler Leiterchen Novum8716MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaFrieden-Berg 2014 Nitteler Leiterchen Novum Elbling (Mosel)ElblingFrieden-Berg
7133471333ItalyBracing and tightly wound, this opens with subdued aromas of pressed rose, resin and a whiff of exotic spice. The evolved palate isn't in sync with the nose, offering raisin and a touch of anise as well as aggressive, astringent tannins that give it an abrupt, raspy finish. It's already drying out so drink now.Roggeri Riserva8770PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCiabot Berton 2008 Roggeri Riserva (Barolo)NebbioloCiabot Berton
7133571334ArgentinaWoody and dense at first, this smells bright and fruity as it opens. A solid palate houses lightly toasted flavors of blackberry that turn more peppery and toasty on a fairly oaky finish.Estate8715Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachDoña Paula 2013 Estate Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecDoña Paula
7133671335GermanyLuscious honeyed tangerine and yellow peach notes are offset by a streak of minerality in this easy, off-dry Riesling. It's delicate in body yet juicy and refreshing. Drink now.Kabinett8713RheinhessenAnna Lee C. IijimaDr. Volkmar 2013 Kabinett Riesling (Rheinhessen)RieslingDr. Volkmar
7133771336ItalyThis slowly reveals aromas of pressed rose, star anise, ripe berry and a menthol note. On the firm, straightforward palate, hints of licorice and clove add interest to dried black cherry. Give the bracing tannins a few more years to unclench and then drink up to capture the remaining fruit.8740PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCollina San Ponzio 2011 BaroloNebbioloCollina San Ponzio
7133871337AustraliaPie cherry and rhubarb notes make a bright impression on the nose, followed by tart flavors bundled in a mocha-tinged wrapper. The texture is almost syrupy on the midpalate, but turns dry and dusty on the finish. This is a bit disjointed at this stage, so perhaps it will improve with cellaring. Try after 2018.Bicheno Single Site8765TasmaniaTasmaniaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzDalrymple 2012 Bicheno Single Site Pinot Noir (Tasmania)Pinot NoirDalrymple
7133971338FranceThis is a well-balanced wine with honeyed ripeness contrasted with attractive, crisp acidity. Pineapple and baked-apple flavors are given a texture by the zing of the honey. It is ready to drink.Les Deux Cèdres8715Southwest FranceCôtes de GascogneRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine d'Arton 2012 Les Deux Cèdres Gros Manseng (Côtes de Gascogne)Gros MansengDomaine d'Arton
7134071339GermanyA blossomy, perfumed edge lends lift and vibe to earthier notes of pressed apple and pear in this light-footed medium-sweet Riesling. It's racy and sharp in mouthfeel with a finish that's brisk and bright.Oppenheimer Sachträger Spätlese8716RheinhessenAnna Lee C. IijimaDr. Heyden 2014 Oppenheimer Sachträger Spätlese Riesling (Rheinhessen)RieslingDr. Heyden

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