Wine Reviews

7338173380USThere's a mushroomy earthiness that dominates this wine's cherry and raspberry flavors. It's dry, with a silky mouthfeel and brisk, cool-climate-derived acidity. Drink now.8528CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaFlocchini 2011 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)Pinot NoirFlocchini
7338273381FranceThis is a firm wine, but it has ripe red fruit. It shows an attractive touch of smoke, and there is fine balance between the firm tannins and fragrant fruit. Drink now.Secret de Famille85BurgundyBourgogneRoger Voss@vossrogerAlbert Bichot 2010 Secret de Famille (Bourgogne)Pinot NoirAlbert Bichot
7338373382USThick, heavy and jammy now, with blackberry, cherry and raspberry flavors, balanced with good acidity. Almost rustic in the fruity concentration and tart acids. Your best bet is the cellar. Try after 2013.89175CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaThe Vineyard House 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonThe Vineyard House
7338473383USLots of juicy flavor in this dry, jammy wine. It's strong in raspberries, cherries and sweet, smoky sandalwood, with lovely Carneros acidity. Best now and for a few years for freshness and vivacity.One Acre8940CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaValerie's Vineyard 2008 One Acre Pinot Noir (Carneros)Pinot NoirValerie's Vineyard
7338573384USThis Cab Franc is considerably lighter in body than a Cabernet Sauvignon. Its silky texture frames red cherry, red currant, red licorice, cola and sandalwood flavors that finish very dry. It's a lovely wine of some charm, but give it a decant before serving.Bates' Ranch8928CaliforniaSanta Cruz MountainsCentral CoastAhlgren 2005 Bates' Ranch Cabernet Franc (Santa Cruz Mountains)Cabernet FrancAhlgren
7338673385USSearing acidity marks this wine, which tastes like it has a lot of Edna Valley fruit in the blend. It also shows bright, strong, long hangtime flavors of limes and pineapples. It's actually quite a fine Chardonnay, dry and low in alcohol. A great value at this price.8915CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastBishop's Peak 2009 Chardonnay (Central Coast)ChardonnayBishop's Peak
7338773386USThis is one of the best Pinots in a screw top you'll find. It shows elegant qualities, housing fresh, young cherry, raspberry and oak flavors in a nice, silky texture. Production was 2,328 cases.8920CaliforniaSan Luis Obispo CountyCentral CoastBishop's Peak 2009 Pinot Noir (San Luis Obispo County)Pinot NoirBishop's Peak
7338873387USThis rich, ripe Merlot offers lots of smooth flavor. Grown on the Sonoma side of Carneros, the wine is dry and soft in tannins, marked by black cherry, blueberry, toast and vanilla flavors.8935CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaBroadway Vineyards 2008 Merlot (Carneros)MerlotBroadway Vineyards
7338973388USMarked by dryness and some heat from alcohol, this wine also has a rich core of ripe cherries. It's very strong and powerful, not a Zinfandel that's shy or apologizes for its brashness. But that's the essence of Rockpile. Drink this sturdy wine now, and the ideal food pairing is barbecue.Rocky Reserve Florence Vineyard8933CaliforniaRockpileSonomaCarol Shelton 2007 Rocky Reserve Florence Vineyard Zinfandel (Rockpile)ZinfandelCarol Shelton
7339073389FranceThe nose is loaded with garrigue aromas, mostly rosemary and dried bay leaf, lifted by vibrant black cherry and black berry jam. Licorice and spice unfold in the chewy mouth, with a decadent milk chocolate infused finish.Syrah/Carignan8918Languedoc-RoussillonMinervoisLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzGérard Bertrand 2008 Syrah/Carignan Red (Minervois)Red BlendGérard Bertrand
7339173390South AfricaWith 16 months in French and American oak, it should not be a surprise that this wine is as rich and wonderfully wood-spiced as it is. Earthy spice by way of clove, cinnamon sticks, anise root and cigar box bring the typical dark fruit flavors to another level. Balanced and drinkable now with a finish reminiscent of a tanned hide.Pumphouse8922Coastal RegionLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzBacksberg 2007 Pumphouse Shiraz (Coastal Region)ShirazBacksberg
7339273391USLovely aromatics mix floral, fruit and barrel components in equal proportion. The wine has some solid tannins, and sits in the mouth with a bit of gravitas. Wild cherry, raspberry, fresh herb, and a little stiffness to the finish. Definitely a wine to age a few more years.Flat Block Estate89OregonEola-Amity HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Bethel Heights 2008 Flat Block Estate Pinot Noir (Eola-Amity Hills)Pinot NoirBethel Heights
7339373392South AfricaThe '08 Oro is Cab dominant while the '07 favored Shiraz, a difference that seems to be an improvement. Rich and concentrated with lovely dark plum, cassis and black raspberry components coupled with accents of tree bark, sweet spice and soft cigar tobacco. Fresh and lush all at once; easy to drink now or can hold for a year or two.Oro8918PaarlLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzBlack Pearl 2008 Oro Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz (Paarl)Cabernet Sauvignon-ShirazBlack Pearl
7339473393GermanyThe restrained nose shows some white peach notes, lees and stony minerality. This is complex, layered and persistent across the palate, opening up to ample stone fruit flavors, earthy notes, dried herbs and spice. Crisp, with sweetness, moderately concentrated flavors and a rich texture all in balance, if a little loose knit on the finish.Trittenheimer Apotheke Spätlese8931MoselClusserath-Weiler 2008 Trittenheimer Apotheke Spätlese Riesling (Mosel)RieslingClusserath-Weiler
7339573394GreeceThis fumé starts with aromas of peach, vanilla and spice, followed by an elegant balance of citrus fruit, toasted vanilla and lemon zest. Fresh but with added body, this SB will pair well with oilier, bolder flavored fish, cheese, cream dishes.Fumé8940EpanomiSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaGerovassiliou 2007 Fumé Sauvignon Blanc (Epanomi)Sauvignon BlancGerovassiliou
7339673395GermanyQuite ripe and precise stone fruit aromas with interesting hints of minerality. Refreshingly crisp with balanced sweetness. Ample youthful, juicy fruits dance across the palate. Moderate intensity of flavor, zesty texture and a moderately long finish.Blue Slate Kabinett8920MoselDr. Loosen 2008 Blue Slate Kabinett Riesling (Mosel)RieslingDr. Loosen
7339773396GermanyPrevailing lemony, citrus-cocktail aromas with hints of almond macaroons. Though medium sweet, it is lip-smackingly crisp and racy, with zesty citrus flavors following through on the palate. Moderately intense and reasonably taut, if a little austere.Scharzhof8925Mosel-Saar-RuwerEgon Müller 2008 Scharzhof Riesling (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer)RieslingEgon Müller
7339873397CyprusAlluring aromas of orange peel. Dried apricot, spices and cigarbox lead this historic dessert wine from Cyprus. On the palate, waves of bitter orange, cedar and sweet tobacco unfold. The finish is spicy with a honeyed sweet undertone. Fantastic with nuts.St. Nicholas8920CommandariaSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaEtko 2000 St. Nicholas Xinisteri (Commandaria)XinisteriEtko
7339973398GermanyNotes of honey and cinnamon combine with a slightly musky spice note to give this sweet auslese added interest. It's round in the mouth without being soft or flabby in the slightest, with lingering notes of baked apple on the finish.Graacher Himmelreich Auslese8919MoselJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzGräflich von Hohenthal'Scher 2007 Graacher Himmelreich Auslese Riesling (Mosel)RieslingGräflich von Hohenthal'Scher
7340073399South AfricaThis is an attractive but focused wine with loads of juicy red plum guts, mashed raspberry and blackberry preserve flavors framing licorice and sweet spice backnotes. Robust and spicy with a strong cocoa flavored finish.Roulette8940SwartlandLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzLammershoek 2006 Roulette Red (Swartland)Rhône-style Red BlendLammershoek
7340173400GermanyOn the drier side for an auslese, with the alcohol reaching 10%, this wine features hints of apricot and pineapple marmalade, but there are also less pristine earthy, fungal notes that some may read as complex while others may find them slightly dirty. Crisp and linear on the finish. Drink now–2015.Trarbacher Schlossberg Auslese 375 ml8929MoselJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzMax Wagner 2006 Trarbacher Schlossberg Auslese 375 ml Riesling (Mosel)RieslingMax Wagner
7340273401GreeceThis exotic white starts with aromas of white flowers, lemon and mint, followed by fuller-bodied flavors of peach, apricot and flowers. Balanced with a viscous mouthfeel. The wine is well-suited for robust dishes—think lobster—but also adds depth to simple grilled fish.8922HalkidikiSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaPorto Carras 2008 Malagouzia (Halkidiki)MalagouziaPorto Carras
7340373402ArgentinaA rich and creamy sort of Malbec that pours on the weight, extract and oaky, coconutty character. The palate is syrupy, with huge flavors of roasted berry, molasses and sweet spices. Arguably on the baked and heavy side, but definitely a rich, huge wine with just enough core acidity to keep it balanced.8930Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachSiesta 2007 Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecSiesta
7340473403USMuch like the winery's Pinot Gris, this estate-grown Pinot Blanc is built around mineral-infused fruit that is immaculately clean and vividly refreshing. Tart and juicy, with Asian pear, green apple, and lemon/lime acidity.Left Bank8921OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Left Coast Cellars 2008 Left Bank Pinot Blanc (Willamette Valley)Pinot BlancLeft Coast Cellars
7340573404GreeceDried herbs, spicebox and cherry on the nose show this red means business. Masculine flavors of cigarbox, black fruit and vanilla give it a serious edge. The wine's character is rich, but a dry acidity keeps it focused. Pair with red meat, hearty fish.Oenotria8937DramaSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaDomaine Costa Lazaridi 2006 Oenotria Red (Drama)Red BlendDomaine Costa Lazaridi
7340673405USA lovely dessert wine in almost every respect. It's crisp in acidity and has complex, somewhat oxidized or Madeira-like flavors of oranges, tapioca and vanilla. Could be a little more focused and intense, but very fine, although it calls for a certain appreciation of this oxidative quality.Ancient Vine Angelica89130CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastGypsy Canyon NV Ancient Vine Angelica Debit (Sta. Rita Hills)DebitGypsy Canyon
7340773406ArgentinaWoody and smelling of sawdust early, this four-grape blend eases toward roasted berry, cassis, herbal plum and molten chocolate. It's massive and structured, with a big-boned skeleton and heat on the leathery, roasted finish due to 15.5% alcohol. Big, fiery, saucy and lusty, but short on refinement and elegance.Atemporal8925Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachAlta Vista 2008 Atemporal Red (Mendoza)Red BlendAlta Vista
7340873407ItalyThis is a mammoth wine with an inky, impenetrable appearance and intense aromas of dark spice, crushed black pepper, clove and every sort of mature black fruit you can imagine. The tannins are firm and solid and the wine packs a powerful punch of concentration and alcoholic power.8950Central ItalyMontepulciano d'AbruzzoBinomio 2006 Montepulciano d'AbruzzoMontepulcianoBinomio
7340973408ArgentinaA dark and toasty specimen with a deep-purple tint and aromas of oak, butter and powerful blackberry fruit. The palate is textured and rich, with thick, smoky flavors of black fruits and peppery spice. Pours on the oak but in an integrated way; very good for varietal Cab from 2008.Catena8920Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodega Catena Zapata 2008 Catena Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendoza)Cabernet SauvignonBodega Catena Zapata
7341073409ItalyHere is a rich, dense and nicely saturated Sagrantino with lively aromas of sweet spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and dark berry or plum. You'll taste the wine's thick tannins and enjoy its spicy aftertaste. Drink after 2013.89Central ItalySagrantino di MontefalcoCantina Tudernum 2006 Sagrantino di MontefalcoSagrantinoCantina Tudernum

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