Wine Reviews

7365173650FranceMineral and young, this tight, nervy wine needs to develop. Apple and pear flavors are ripe while also bringing out attractive acidity. The texture is still firm and steely, needing time. Drink from 2016.8929BurgundyPouilly-FuisséRoger Voss@vossrogerCave des Grands Crus Blancs 2013 Pouilly-FuisséChardonnayCave des Grands Crus Blancs
7365273651ItalyAromas of tobacco, coffee, mocha and plum cake lead the nose on this brawny wine. The dense, one-dimensional palate delivers chocolate-covered cherry, vanilla and bitter prune alongside polished tannins. Drink through 2017.Vigneti di Jago8970VenetoAmarone della Valpolicella ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeDomìni Veneti 2007 Vigneti di Jago (Amarone della Valpolicella Classico)Red BlendDomìni Veneti
7365373652FranceWith some good maturity, this is a rich, fruity Champagne. It comes from the southern Aube region, which endows a more tropical feel, bringing out melon and apricot fruit flavors as well as crisper citrus. A great apéritif style, it will also go with food.Carte d'Or Brut8942ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerDrappier NV Carte d'Or Brut (Champagne)Champagne BlendDrappier
7365473653SpainEarthy, raisiny aromas fold in Priorat's patented schist on a ripe bouquet. This is jammy and a bit overdone with respect to mouthfeel. Earthy, dense flavors of raisin, cassis and licorice finish more weighty than bright. Drink now.Món Clàssic8930CataloniaPrioratMichael Schachner@wineschachFrancesc Sanchez Bas 2010 Món Clàssic Red (Priorat)Red BlendFrancesc Sanchez Bas
7365573654ItalyLeafy underbrush, wet soil, prune and spicy plum cake aromas lead the nose on this robust wine. The palate delivers ripe black plum, blueberry extract, black pepper and bitter dark chocolate alongside chewy tannins. It finishes with a graphite note.Le Quare8950VenetoAmarone della Valpolicella ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeGamba 2010 Le Quare (Amarone della Valpolicella Classico)Red BlendGamba
7365673655FranceWith vineyards in Aÿ on the southern slopes of the Montagne de Reims, Goutorbe is well placed with grand and premier cru sites. This is a premier cru wine, concentrated and with bottle age. Touches of toastiness are balanced by the continuing fresh, fragrant acidity and crisp citrus. The bottling is ready to drink.Cuvée Prestige Premier Cru Brut8936ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerHenri Goutorbe NV Cuvée Prestige Premier Cru Brut (Champagne)Champagne BlendHenri Goutorbe
7365773656USThis wine's nose has a sharply spiced tinge, with wet herbs, cola, and cranberry aromas. At first, it's a bit muddy on the palate, but then the strong acidic backbone presents both herbal tones and tart cranberry against an earthy core.Peterson Vineyard8948CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannMansfield-Dunne 2012 Peterson Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirMansfield-Dunne
7365873657FranceExhibiting the natural richness of a Chambolle wine, this is a work in progress. Tannins are still integrating with the generous red fruits and acidity to give the ripe and rounded wine it will become. Drink from 2017.8980BurgundyChambolle-MusignyRoger Voss@vossrogerManuel Olivier 2012 Chambolle-MusignyPinot NoirManuel Olivier
7365973658FranceStill young, this is potentially a full and rich wine. It has the structure typical of Morey, with firm tannins and a good depth of cherry and red fruit flavors topped by acidity. The tannins are still firm and the wine needs to age, so drink from 2017.8950BurgundyMorey-Saint-DenisRoger Voss@vossrogerManuel Olivier 2012 Morey-Saint-DenisPinot NoirManuel Olivier
7366073659USRipe fruit flavors and an easy but refined foamy texture make this light salmon-colored bubbly taste generous, complete, fruity and fresh. A touch of sweetness in the cherry and berry flavors keep the impression smooth and the flavors fruity through the finish.Cuvee Brut Rosé8932CaliforniaPotter ValleyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsMcFadden NV Cuvee Brut Rosé Sparkling (Potter Valley)Sparkling BlendMcFadden
7366173660ItalyUnderbrush, tobacco, black cherry and grilled herb aromas waft from the glass of this dense wine. The warm palate offers prune marinated in spirits, raisin, black pepper and mocha alongside bracing tannins that leave a drying finish.8955VenetoAmarone della Valpolicella ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMonteci 2009 Amarone della Valpolicella ClassicoRed BlendMonteci
7366273661ItalyThis robust wine has aromas of blackberry, plum, espresso and spice. The palate offers fleshy black cherry, raisin, roasted coffee bean and mocha notes alongside chewy tannins and soft acidity.8940VenetoAmarone della ValpolicellaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefePasqua 2011 Amarone della ValpolicellaRed BlendPasqua
7366373662USRedhawk makes an interesting lineup of value-oriented Pinots, this one just a cut above their popular Grateful Red. Medium bodied, it carries fruit flavors of raspberry and plum, with a hint of dark chocolate from aging 13 months in 20% new oak.8920OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Redhawk 2012 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirRedhawk
7366473663USUnmistakably Sauvignon Blanc, it carries notes of herbs, citrus and guava. It's lightly spritzy and drinks dry with mouthwatering citrus flavors. Try it with shellfish.Prayer Rock Vineyards Talitha Cumi Bloc8923OregonUmpqua ValleySouthern OregonSean P. Sullivan@wawinereportReustle 2013 Prayer Rock Vineyards Talitha Cumi Bloc Sauvignon Blanc (Umpqua Valley)Sauvignon BlancReustle
7366573664ItalyThis well-priced sparkler opens with aromas of toast, yellow apple, nut butter and a hint of honey. On the palate, fine bubbles and crisp acidity balance the pear, citrus zest and roasted walnut flavors.Brut8913Northeastern ItalyTrentoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeRotari NV Brut Chardonnay (Trento)ChardonnayRotari
7366673665USViolets and rose petals lead the nose, followed by ripe blackberries and, with a bit of patience, some warm pie crust. The flavors are pleasant but hard to pin down, with flashes of licorice, red currant, allspice and orange peel.Reserve8940CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannRusack 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirRusack
7366773666USThis limited-edition wine has an extra dollop of tannin and full-bodied black cherry fruit. It's a bit blocky and veers toward simplicity.Helen's8970OregonDundee HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Stoller 2011 Helen's Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills)Pinot NoirStoller
7366873667GermanyThe nose of this dry Riesling is demure with delicate scents of lime and lemon, but the palate is succulent and ripe with juicy pink grapefruits, cherries and nectarines. It's lush with fruit yet squarely balanced with brisk acidity and a zesty mineral finish.Junge Reben Trocken8928RheingauAnna Lee C. IijimaAugust Kesseler 2012 Junge Reben Trocken Riesling (Rheingau)RieslingAugust Kesseler
7366973668SpainGrapefruit, passion fruit, cactus pad and stony aromas make for a textbook Verdejo bouquet. The palate on this fresh, crisp white is compact and clean. Flavors of nectarine and lime finish a touch salty yet refreshing.Señorio de Garci Grande8914Northern SpainRuedaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Garci Grande 2013 Señorio de Garci Grande Verdejo (Rueda)VerdejoBodegas Garci Grande
7367073669USA direct reflection of the 2012 vintage, with notes of wild strawberry, sarsaparilla, clove and cinnamon. The flavors are medium bodied in style, juicy and appealing.Ferris Wheel Estate Vineyard8938OregonElkton OregonSouthern OregonSean P. Sullivan@wawinereportBrandborg 2012 Ferris Wheel Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (Elkton Oregon)Pinot NoirBrandborg
7367173670GermanyOrange blossoms and honey tangerines scent this elegant, aromatic dry Riesling. It's ripe and rich with white peach and yellow cherry nectar, yet refreshingly honed and steely through the finish. It's a full bodied, yet focused wine.Foster Pechstein Dry8932PfalzAnna Lee C. IijimaVilla Wolf 2012 Foster Pechstein Dry Riesling (Pfalz)RieslingVilla Wolf
7367273671USThis winery produces a slew of Pinot Noirs each year, and this specific clonal study shows clove and cardamom on the somewhat subdued nose. The flavors are more forward, dominated by black tea and cherry, with a touch of tannin.Pommard Clone8955CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannFess Parker 2012 Pommard Clone Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirFess Parker
7367373672FranceGrown on chalk soil, this has a steely core that cuts through the more rounded, ripe tropical fruits. It's full and rich, balancing acidity and the full fruits. The aftertaste combines toast and freshness.Les Cloux Premier Cru8939BurgundyRullyRoger Voss@vossrogerOlivier Leflaive 2012 Les Cloux Premier Cru (Rully)ChardonnayOlivier Leflaive
7367473673USKicks off with gobs of chocolate and spice aromas, then fans out to reveal layers of black currant, blackberry, coffee, herb and spice flavors. A touch of acidity accentuates the tannins, but the wine is richly textured, full bodied and delightful nonetheless. Full, ripe and distinctive.Peterson Family Vineyard9248CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaSwitchback Ridge 1999 Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot (Napa Valley)MerlotSwitchback Ridge
7367573674USThis is a big, rich Chardonnay, another monster lineup in Testarossa's single-vineyard series. Shows tightly knit apple and peach flavors very generously oaked, with the requisite additions of smoke, vanilla, and woody spices. There's something minerally in the middle that seems likely to preserve the wine, if you wish to age it. Very fine quality, and a super-good food wine.Michaud Vineyard9235CaliforniaChaloneCentral CoastTestarossa 2001 Michaud Vineyard Chardonnay (Chalone)ChardonnayTestarossa
7367673675USStill a baby, and easy to misunderstand, but this is one serious puppy. Youthful tannins and acids frame juvenile, primary fruit flavors of blackberries, and oak has been tastefully applied. But the rich core of fruit, and overall balance, urge longterm aging for a good ten years.Old Vine Reserve9255CaliforniaSanta Cruz MountainsCentral CoastMount Eden Vineyards 1999 Old Vine Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Santa Cruz Mountains)Cabernet SauvignonMount Eden Vineyards
7367773676USAnother terrific Napa ‘99, this one packed with opulent flavors of cassis, green olives and herbs, wrapped generously in fine toasty oak. The wine is very dry and the tannins are fine and complex. The delicious finish goes on and on.9240CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaSurh Luchtel 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSurh Luchtel
7367873677USA thick, dark Merlot, cloaked in smooth, fat tannins and redolent of cherry, licorice, blackberry, plum, spice, coffee, sage, thyme and hints of orange peel. Long and sleek, with toasty oak on the finish. Just a hint of tartness at the end, but still a terrific wine.Peterson Family Vineyard9248CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaSwitchback Ridge 2000 Peterson Family Vineyard Merlot (Napa Valley)MerlotSwitchback Ridge
7367973678USProfoundly rich and complex, a blend of all five Bordeaux varietals. This results in a melange of flavors including blackcurrants and cassis, olives and sweet roasted peppers, dried herbs, and cured tobacco. The tannins are soft, but there is a boost of firm acidity that suggests ageability.Wetzel Family Estate9250CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaCyrus 1999 Wetzel Family Estate Red (Alexander Valley)Bordeaux-style Red BlendCyrus
7368073679USBig and rich in the mouth, with gorgeous, velvety tannins. Offers a juicy plum and cassis core, with oak, tobacco and earth accents, and a char and cocoa notes on the back end. As compelling as the flavors are, it'll be the mouthfeel that wins you over (this is one of those Cabs that could taste like eggs Benedict and still be delicious—its mouthfeel is that good).Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard92110CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaChappellet 1999 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonChappellet

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