Wine Reviews

7221172210South AfricaSoft aromas of grass, lemon leaf and chalk dance on the nose of this mellow wine, with similarly light flavors of melon rind and orange peel that unfold on the palate. Light weight and easy drinking, this is best enjoyed now.1685 Grande Cuvée8616Coastal RegionLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzBoschendal 2014 1685 Grande Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc (Coastal Region)Sauvignon BlancBoschendal
7221272211USThis proprietary combination of 43% Roussanne, 43% Pinot Gris and 14% Viognier is creamy and robust, although it did not spend time in oak. Apple, apricot and an intensity of tart lemon make up the flavor characteristics, the body round and full.Haley Margaret8638CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneCairdean Estate 2012 Haley Margaret White (Napa Valley)White BlendCairdean Estate
7221372212USEngagingly perfumed with scents of rosewater, this turns a bit stiff and tight in the mouth. There's crisp raspberry fruit and a lick of chocolate, and the flavors stop abruptly in a hard finish. Extended aeration is recommended.Estate Bottled8624OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Cardwell Hill 2012 Estate Bottled Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirCardwell Hill
7221472213SpainSimple lemon-lime aromas are easy and fresh. This feels round and regular; flavors of apple, green herbs and lemon-lime end with citric kick and pointy malic acidity.Brut Reserva8615CataloniaCavaMichael Schachner@wineschachCava Blanca NV Brut Reserva Sparkling (Cava)Sparkling BlendCava Blanca
7221572214FranceRipe and jammy, this is a soft, rounded wine with rich berry fruits. The generous texture comes over more vividly than the acidity. The wine is fruity, ready to drink.8618BeaujolaisBrouillyRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau des Tours 2014 BrouillyGamayChâteau des Tours
7221672215FranceBased in Fleurie in northern Beaujolais, this domaine also has a few acres of old vines in Saint-Jean d'Ardières in the Beaujolais appellation. This wine with its cherry flavor has a tangy, mineral character while relying on fresh fruit and crisp acidity for its lively, bright effect. Drink now.Vieilles Vignes8615BeaujolaisBeaujolaisRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine des Marrans 2014 Vieilles Vignes (Beaujolais)GamayDomaine des Marrans
7221772216USThe faux French name and labeling notwithstanding, this is a no-frills Oregon Chardonnay, fruity and clean. Simple flavors of melon and apple carry the palate, with no suggestion of oak.Willamette8616OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Domaine Loubejac 2014 Willamette Chardonnay (Willamette Valley)ChardonnayDomaine Loubejac
7221872217FranceEarth dominates the citrus fruit notes on the nose. On the equally lemony palate there is a touch of bitterness and some earthy notes, but the finish is clean, fresh and invigorating.Prestige8623AlsaceCrémant d'AlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoDomaine Saint-Rémy 2012 Prestige Chardonnay (Crémant d'Alsace)ChardonnayDomaine Saint-Rémy
7221972218USFleshy in cantaloupe and pear, this subtle, low-impact white has a touch of acidity that keeps it fresh and refreshing. While the backbone is light bodied, it finishes clean and lean.8618CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneFranciscan 2014 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley)Sauvignon BlancFranciscan
7222072219FranceThis wine has tight fruit, crisp cherry flavors and acidity. The structure comes from the fruit skins rather than tannins. It is ready to drink.Château de Nevers8620BeaujolaisBrouillyRoger Voss@vossrogerGeorges Duboeuf 2014 Château de Nevers (Brouilly)GamayGeorges Duboeuf
7222172220SpainBig and dark, with cola, forest floor and other dark, secure aromas. The palate is young and burly, with ripe blackberry, cola and coffee flavors. As you'd expect, it's a bit more narrow than Matallana's top wine, but it's still round, long and not difficult to like. Classic modern RDD; dark and sultry. Drink now through 2011.M2 de Matallana9148Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachTelmo Rodríguez 2005 M2 de Matallana (Ribera del Duero)Tempranillo BlendTelmo Rodríguez
7222272221ItalyCascina Ferrero is a beautiful and linear wine with cooling acidity and lingering aromas of chopped herb, redwood, leather, tobacco, old spice, cola, linseed oil and balsam notes. This is a very vertical and buoyant wine that would pair well with fatty foods such as roast suckling pig. It evolves nicely in the mouth to offer polished tannins and a firm close.Cascina Ferrero91PiedmontBaroloTenuta Carretta 2004 Cascina Ferrero (Barolo)NebbioloTenuta Carretta
7222372222ItalyTebavio Barolo from La Morra opens with a pretty garnet color and segues to bold aromas of sweet spice, clove, ground ginger, road tar, licorice and black fruit. It's a linear and dry wine with a brooding personality and tannins as tight as nails. It doesn't have huge volume in the mouth, nor does it need it. Drink after 2012.Tebavio91PiedmontBaroloTenuta L'Illuminata 2004 Tebavio (Barolo)NebbioloTenuta L'Illuminata
7222472223AustraliaAlthough there is only 5% Cab Franc in the blend, it appears to have quite an impact on this wine's aromas, which are intriguingly perfumed and contain some minty, leafy notes. Flavors also hint at mint with some subtle cedary notes, although the primary fruit is blueberry. Like the 2005 Georgia's Paddock, it's full-bodied and creamy-textured, although this wine adds a slightly more tannic edge to the finish. Drink 2010–2020.Emily's Paddock Shiraz-Cabernet Franc91125VictoriaHeathcoteJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzJasper Hill 2005 Emily's Paddock Shiraz-Cabernet Franc Shiraz (Heathcote)ShirazJasper Hill
7222572224ItalyParafada offers a bouquet of prickly fruit such as wild berry, bramble and underbrush. You'll also recognize pretty tones of white truffle, moist earth, new leather and coffee. The wine is bright but still raw in the mouth and ends with mineral notes, a blast of menthol and an interesting powdery texture.Parafada91100PiedmontBaroloMassolino 2005 Parafada (Barolo)NebbioloMassolino
7222672225ItalyThis vintage of Damilano's Cannubi cru Barolo is very impressive. Chocolate fudge and hazelnut are lavished over very good integrity of fruit. You can make out aromas of red currant, spice and blueberry. The tannins are thick and chewy but will unwind with five to 10 more years in the bottle.Cannubi9193PiedmontBaroloDamilano 2005 Cannubi (Barolo)NebbioloDamilano
7222772226USA reserve that is also a finesse wine. De Ponte's regular 2006 Pinot Noir packs plenty of juicy power; what's added here is not more jam, but more detail. The wine is layered, the tight berry and currant fruit flavors threaded with mineral and chocolate, spice and coffee. Delicious already, it should cellar well for another 8–10 years.Baldwin Family Reserve9170OregonDundee HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine De Ponte Cellars 2006 Baldwin Family Reserve Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills)Pinot NoirDe Ponte Cellars
7222872227USElegance is the keyword for all the wines of DDO, with the added bonus of structure that almost begs for cellaring. This lovely Pinot Noir effortlessly captures the essence of the grape without any heavy-handed oak, alcohol or over-ripeness. Truly Burgundian, a moderate 14% alcohol, it offers seamless integration of berry and plum fruit, natural acids and lightly applied oak accents of sandalwood and toasted cracker.9145OregonOregonOregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Domaine Drouhin Oregon 2006 Pinot Noir (Oregon)Pinot NoirDomaine Drouhin Oregon
7222972228ItalyHere's a soft and supple Barbaresco from winemaker Renato Vacca that ups the ante in terms of intensity, texture and pulpy density. The aromas are ripe and fruit-forward, focusing mainly on soft cherry and creamy vanilla. Yet, the wine's tight tannins and bitter cranberry aftertaste reminds you that this is a true Barbaresco. Drink after 2012.9155PiedmontBarbarescoCantina del Pino 2005 BarbarescoNebbioloCantina del Pino
7223072229ItalyCamp Gros Martinenga is located on the lower part of Rabajà at the heart of Barbaresco and produces wines with excellent expansion and staying power. This wine does an excellent job of highlighting elegance and tradition. It is streamlined and firm in the mouth with bright highlights of red currants, pressed violets and dried spice.Camp Gros Martinenga9185PiedmontBarbarescoTenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Gresy 2004 Camp Gros Martinenga (Barbaresco)NebbioloTenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Gresy
7223172230SpainA tiny production wine with class and style. It's toasty and dark, with bold black cherry and cassis aromas offset by ample minerality. From the town of Torroja, this 233-case wine is full of molasses, black cherry and other rich, brandied flavors. And it finishes warm, with caramel, coffee and other major-league attributes. Hold until 2010, if possible.9175CataloniaPrioratMichael Schachner@wineschachTerroir Al Límit 2005 Red (Priorat)Red BlendTerroir Al Límit
7223272231ItalyHere's a dark and brooding Barolo with thick notes of hickory, smoke, dusty earth, plum, prunes and dark fruit. It's an austere and, yes, “old fashion” wine with a beautifully polished mouthfeel and tight tannins. Hold onto this one for a few more years and drink with pheasant in a wild chestnut sauce.Leon9140PiedmontBaroloCascina Luisin 2004 Leon (Barolo)NebbioloCascina Luisin
7223372232USAlways a joy to drink, the latest vintage of DDO's Arthur combines richness and elegance in a seamless and fascinating whole. Cucumber and melon, apple and pear fruit is the base, which expands into wet stone and mineral, then butter cookie. It's a one-wine seminar in how to make great Chardonnay, expressing the acid-driven elegance of Burgundy with some of the lushness of New World grapes. Tasted even better on the second day.Arthur9138OregonDundee HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Domaine Drouhin Oregon 2007 Arthur Chardonnay (Dundee Hills)ChardonnayDomaine Drouhin Oregon
7223472233USMade to commemorate the winery's 20th vintage, this smooth and polished effort combines choice lots from the Shea, Freedom Hill, Temperance Hill and Vista Hills vineyards. Sweet cherry fruit carries interesting suggestions of ash, smoke, anise and toasted almond, buffed and buttressed by crisp acids.20th Anniversary Reserve9160OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Panther Creek 2006 20th Anniversary Reserve Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirPanther Creek
7223572234ItalyThe Bric Turot expression delivers sweet aromas of mature berry fruit, spice, mocha, nutmeg and cedar. The generous mouthfeel is round and plush with velvety impressions of melted chocolate and creamy vanilla. Drink after 2010.Bric Turot9175PiedmontBarbarescoPrunotto 2005 Bric Turot (Barbaresco)NebbioloPrunotto
7223672235ItalySlightly sweet aromas of Christmas spice, ginger, almond paste, cherry and plum cake characterize this luminous Barbaresco from Rizzi. The mouthfeel, however, is completely dedicated to elegance: it is compact and tight with bright acidity and long staying power. Drink after 2010.Nervo Fondetta9148PiedmontBarbarescoRizzi 2005 Nervo Fondetta (Barbaresco)NebbioloRizzi
7223772236ItalyThis is a warm, earthy interpretation of Barolo with seductive aromas of black fruit, cured meats, white mushroom, ash and blue flowers. The wine shows character and power with firm, full tannins and fleshy fruit flavors. Pair it with succulent meat or aged cheese.91PiedmontBaroloTenimenti Ca' Bianca 2004 BaroloNebbioloTenimenti Ca' Bianca
7223872237SpainSince Torres launched Celeste a few years ago, the wine has gotten better and better with each passing vintage. The 2006 is friendly and complete, with no outlying or iffy aromas or flavors. This is textbook Ribera; it has smoothness and size along with intriguing black cherry, plum, herbs, tea and tobacco. A bottling for pretty much any wine lover.Celeste Crianza9124Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachTorres 2006 Celeste Crianza (Ribera del Duero)Tempranillo BlendTorres
7223972238PortugalIt's the French wood aging that gives this wine its Plus moniker. It brings out elegant perfumes, the black fruits rich and smooth, although there is always a core of Douro dry tannins. In its richness, it is possible to see a link with Port. On the finish, though, the acidity and dry tannins remind us of table wine.Domini Plus9140DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerJosé Maria da Fonseca 2005 Domini Plus Red (Douro)Portuguese RedJosé Maria da Fonseca
7224072239ItalyThe La Serra cru lies right above Cerequio and offers a glorious panoramic view of the town of Barolo. Poderi Marcarini has a long association with this vineyard and has carefully harnessed the natural aromatic intensity of the fruit grown here. Blackberry, cassis and raspberry are enhanced by spice and vanilla. It's a tight, firm wine. Drink after 2018.La Serra9166PiedmontBaroloMarcarini 2004 La Serra (Barolo)NebbioloMarcarini

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