Wine Reviews

7173171730USThis is a big, rich, dramatic Cabernet, marked with flavors of ripe blackberry and black currant. It's clearly a pedigreed wine, yet it's young and aggressive in tannins, making it astringent. Cellar it for a good eight years, to see what it can do.Helena Montana9375CaliforniaKnights ValleySonomaAnakota 2008 Helena Montana Cabernet Sauvignon (Knights Valley)Cabernet SauvignonAnakota
7173271731USThis southern Rhône-style blend includes 10% each Marsanne and Roussanne. It's flat out lovely and silky smooth, with scents and flavors of honey-laced flowers. Lemon, lime and grapefruit dominate the palate, with superb balance and persistence. Certainly one of the best Washington State Viogniers I have ever tasted.9319WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine AntoLin Cellars 2010 Viognier (Yakima Valley)ViognierAntoLin Cellars
7173371732USAnother terrific Signature Cabernet from Chappellet. This has primary blackberry and cherry-jam flavors, with an additional note of toasty oak. The tannins and acids are excellent, lending structure to the richness. The result is a wonderfully-complex Napa Cabernet that should develop over the next six years.Signature9349CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaChappellet 2009 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonChappellet
7173471733USRight on the heels of the excellent 2008, this estate-grown Bordeaux-style blend is equally compelling. Bright and tasty fruit flavors of blueberry and black cherry introduce a lively, polished wine with a firm, complex and layered structure. Seventeen months in French oak, roughly half new, has wrapped the fruit in a nicely-layered, textural finish with highlights of mineral, licorice, black olive and spice.Seven Hills Vineyard9360WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Pepper Bridge 2009 Seven Hills Vineyard Red (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendPepper Bridge
7173571734USMarked by crisp, zingy acidity that gives the lemon and lime fruit a mouthwatering tartness, this voluminous Chardonnay is perfect for drinking now, as a cocktail or with rich shellfish dishes. It's really elegantly constructed and stylish, a great restaurant wine.9340CaliforniaHowell MountainNapaFreemark Abbey 2010 Chardonnay (Howell Mountain)ChardonnayFreemark Abbey
7173671735USGreat Pinot Noir, dry, silky and crisp in acidity, yet with enormously complex flavors. The cherries and pomegranates have an earthy connection by way of minerals and sweet herbs. Only an infant now, this elegantly polished wine should develop over the next six years.Jenkins Vineyard9370CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaLynmar 2010 Jenkins Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirLynmar
7173771736AustriaThis has the typical character of Sauvignon Blanc and its purity of fruit. But it is the minerality, the sense of vineyard that sets it apart. This fruity, rich wine has a creamy texture that's worth aging for several years more.Grassnitzberg Erste Lage93SüdsteiermarkRoger Voss@vossrogerManfred Tement 2010 Grassnitzberg Erste Lage Sauvignon Blanc (Südsteiermark)Sauvignon BlancManfred Tement
7173871737AustriaThe vineyards of the Benedictine monastery of Göttweig are now run by the Stadt Krems winemaking team. The quality is now impeccable, as this gorgeous, opulent Riesling shows. With weight and a fine balance between fruit and structure, this will age over many years.Silberbichl Erste Lage Reserve9332KremstalRoger Voss@vossrogerStift Göttweig 2010 Silberbichl Erste Lage Reserve Riesling (Kremstal)RieslingStift Göttweig
7173971738SpainAn excellent effort given that 2008 was by no means an excellent vintage. This Tempranillo is loaded with alluring aromas of sous-bois, marzipan, cola, moss and black-fruit aromas. The feel is thorough and pure, with blackberry, black licorice, graphite and chocolate flavors. It's textured and deep, but not overly tannic or hard on the finish. Drink now through 2015.El Albar Lurton Excelencia9355Northern SpainVino de la Tierra de Castilla y LeónMichael Schachner@wineschachFrançois Lurton 2008 El Albar Lurton Excelencia Tempranillo (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León)TempranilloFrançois Lurton
7174071739USThere's a lot of complex, youthful charm in this Cabernet-based wine, which was grown in both of St. Supery's estate vineyards, Rutherford and Dollarhide. It's very rich and ripe in blackberries, cassis, blueberries and dark chocolate, with a savory spiciness. This really defines the Napa style, and demonstrates the great success of the 2007 vintage.Élu Red Wine9365CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaSt. Supéry 2007 Élu Red Wine Red (Napa Valley)Bordeaux-style Red BlendSt. Supéry
7174171740AustriaThis concentrated wine hits the palate like the shock of a cold shower. As the fruit settles, it shows depth of flavor, with notes of green apples and honey. Young and crisp, this is worth aging for another year at least.Gaisberg Erste Lage Reserve93KamptalRoger Voss@vossrogerEichinger 2010 Gaisberg Erste Lage Reserve Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal)Grüner VeltlinerEichinger
7174271741AustriaOne of a series of great single-vineyard wines from Geyerhof, this is as impressive as the rest. It has weight, complexity and richness. Its perfumed fruits provide a delicate counterpoint to the acidity, taut minerality and herbal edge. For aging over at least five years.Kirchensteig Erste Lage Reserve9340KremstalRoger Voss@vossrogerGeyerhof 2010 Kirchensteig Erste Lage Reserve Riesling (Kremstal)RieslingGeyerhof
7174371742AustriaThis Riesling is light, delicate and perfumed, revealing the minerality of the vineyard and the wine's aging potential. Keep for 5–10 years. Screwcap.Zöbinger Heiligenstein Erste Lage93KamptalRoger Voss@vossrogerHirsch 2009 Zöbinger Heiligenstein Erste Lage Riesling (Kamptal)RieslingHirsch
7174471743AustriaRipe and perfumed, this has almond, apple and baked-pear flavors that are layered with notes of nutmeg and pepper. It's a concentrated wine, with acidity that has become rounded. Made from a top Kamptal vineyard, this has the potential for aging further. Screwcap.Kammerner Lamm Reserve9357KamptalRoger Voss@vossrogerHirsch 2010 Kammerner Lamm Reserve Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal)Grüner VeltlinerHirsch
7174571744ItalyThis cool-climate Merlot opens with aromas of bright cherry, chocolate and a shading of toasted espresso. It's opulent and complex, with length and intensity—but it's never over the top.MMVIII9348Northeastern ItalyAlto AdigeAlois Lageder 2008 MMVIII Merlot (Alto Adige)MerlotAlois Lageder
7174671745USA very herbal, red-fruit-infused Cabernet, from, as the name says, just one clone: Clone 30. This blockbuster California Cab has leather, tobacco and dusty dark-chocolate-layered tannins, that still somehow taste softened and are accompanied by a note of black licorice. Cellar it for 10–12 years and the fruit should get along even better with the tannins.Ghielmetti Vineyard Clone Thirty93100CaliforniaLivermore ValleyCentral CoastVirginie Boone@vbooneSteven Kent 2008 Ghielmetti Vineyard Clone Thirty Cabernet Sauvignon (Livermore Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSteven Kent
7174771746USA brooding bottle of tobacco and dark chocolate with ever-present tannins that go down easy and stay awhile. This single-vineyard designate from Livermore will impress Napa Valley Cab fans and encourage them to get to know this producer. Smith Ranch has body for miles, bolstered by flavors and aromas of blackberry, black plum and fig. This wine will develop further over the next 5–7 years.Smith Ranch9360CaliforniaLivermore ValleyCentral CoastVirginie Boone@vbooneSteven Kent 2008 Smith Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon (Livermore Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSteven Kent
7174871747USGrenache makes up half of this wine, with the rest equal parts Counoise and Cabernet Sauvignon. Herb, cherry, clove and pencil-eraser aromas lead to plump yet delicate red-fruit flavors that linger on the finish. It's a very pretty wine.La Previa9035WashingtonSnipes MountainColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportRobert Ramsay 2013 La Previa Red (Snipes Mountain)Red BlendRobert Ramsay
7174971748USThe name references a type of soil. The flavors combine red berries and a whiff of mushroom, along with spice, orange peel and citrus. The wine seems to tighten up through the midpalate, which leaves the finish feeling a bit restrained. Try giving it a good long decanting, or cellar till 2020.Laurelwood Blend9036OregonChehalem MountainsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Ruby 2015 Laurelwood Blend Pinot Noir (Chehalem Mountains)Pinot NoirRuby
7175071749FranceThis soft, finely structured and salmon-hued wine has an explosive mousse. Its attractive strawberry fruit is balanced by rich acidity. Ripe, mouth-filling and softly creamy, it's ready to drink now and has a rounded aftertaste.Brut Rosé9077ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerRuinart NV Brut Rosé (Champagne)Champagne BlendRuinart
7175171750USThis wine is a blend of Dionysus Cabernet Sauvignon and Benches Merlot (25%). Aromas of cedar, savory herb, barrel spice and cherry are followed by plush yet tart cranberry flavors. The finish lingers.Sommelier Series9035WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportScript 2013 Sommelier Series Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonScript
7175271751USThis offers great value for the quality, a mix of salty brine, stone and caramel apple that delves into more voluptuous dabs of pineapple. Light-bodied and food-friendly, it shows focused acidity and restrained oak.9019CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneSimi 2015 Chardonnay (Sonoma County)ChardonnaySimi
7175371752USThere is a gentle side to this medium-bodied wine, as it offers aromatic complexity with slightly restrained fruit flavors. Light aromas like cedar shavings and black pepper give way to a smooth texture supported by moderate tannins, and pretty plum and pomegranate flavors.Eighteen Sixty-One9032CaliforniaEl DoradoSierra FoothillsJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsSkinner 2013 Eighteen Sixty-One Red (El Dorado)Rhône-style Red BlendSkinner
7175471753PortugalThis blend of wines from Dão, Bairrada and Lisboa is ripe, full of black fruits and with subtle signs of the wood aging. Named to celebrate the Portuguese mariners who sailed to the spice islands of the East Indies, it is warm with its own spiciness as well as a juicy aftertaste. Drink now.Silk & Spice9015Portuguese Table WineRoger Voss@vossrogerSogrape 2015 Silk & Spice Red (Portuguese Table Wine)Portuguese RedSogrape
7175571754ItalyHeady aromas of honeysuckle, jasmine and white peach set the tone on this refreshing savory white. The bright creamy palate doles out green apple, yellow pear and white almond alongside tangy acidity. It finishes clean and fresh.9016TuscanyVernaccia di San GimignanoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTenuta Le Calcinaie 2015 Vernaccia di San GimignanoVernacciaTenuta Le Calcinaie
7175671755ItalyMade with organically grown Sangiovese grapes and without added sulfites, this offers aromas of blackberry, black tea and thyme. The juicy savory palate tastes of blackberry jam, raspberry and clove framed in smooth, supple tannins and fresh acidity. Drink soon to enjoy the succulent fruit flavors.SoNo9015Central ItalyRomagnaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTre Monti 2015 SoNo Sangiovese (Romagna)SangioveseTre Monti
7175771756USThis astringent mineral-soaked wine gathers itself around tart raspberry fruit. Youthful and compact, it shows little trace of the 18% new oak in which it was aged. This seems likely to show further improvement with additional bottle age and softening.Hirschy Vineyard Reserve9055OregonWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Tumwater 2014 Hirschy Vineyard Reserve Pinot NoirPinot NoirTumwater
7175871757ChileGritty aromas of tire rubber, burnt meat and herbal black fruits introduce a grabby palate with lightly herbal but heavily oaked flavors of plum and berry. A firm snappy finish tastes a touch salty as well as minty. Drink through 2024.Ecos de Rulo Single Vineyard El Chequén Estate9020Colchagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachViña Bisquertt 2014 Ecos de Rulo Single Vineyard El Chequén Estate Merlot (Colchagua Valley)MerlotViña Bisquertt
7175971758USJuicy and smoky, this robust wine is thickly textured and earthy in dusty dried herb. Blackberry, tar and leather provide ample additional intrigue, with a pleasing taste of strawberry jam and supportive, toasty oak.Estate Grown9050CaliforniaCalistogaNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneKenefick Ranch 2013 Estate Grown Merlot (Calistoga)MerlotKenefick Ranch
7176071759USA half of this wine is made from Petit Verdot, the remainder consisting of 30% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Together they offer a full-bodied, richly ripe grip of big body, tannin and blueberry jam.Pickett Road Red Estate Grown9055CaliforniaCalistogaNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneKenefick Ranch 2013 Pickett Road Red Estate Grown Red (Calistoga)Bordeaux-style Red BlendKenefick Ranch

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