Wine Reviews

7389173890ItalyAlmost too much of a good thing, Passo is a thick, jammy and modern blend of traditional Italian grapes and international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This is a bold, big wine with a thick, chewy mouthfeel that should be paired with aged cheese or succulent meat.Passo8835VenetoRosso del VeroneseStefano Accordini 2008 Passo Red (Rosso del Veronese)Red BlendStefano Accordini
7389273891ArgentinaHits the stage with lemon-lime, melon and flowery aromas that are followed by a crisp mouth with jousting acids, lime and tangerine flavors, and finally a crystal-clear finish with zest and length. Very nice for this variety; drink right away.Reserve8811Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachTrivento 2010 Reserve Torrontés (Mendoza)TorrontésTrivento
7389373892ArgentinaSmoke, leather and game aromas mix with blackberry, while the palate is juicy, with plenty of crispness. Like many A-F wines, Quimera, a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot, is tangy and lively. Flavors of red currants and cherry have a high-toned personality, and the finish is bold. Drink now through 2014.Quimera8850Mendoza ProvinceMendozaAchaval-Ferrer 2008 Quimera Red (Mendoza)Red BlendAchaval-Ferrer
7389473893ArgentinaQuite good and honest, with full raspberry, cherry and tea aromas along with a hint of grassiness. The palate is dark and full-bodied, with toasty cherry and herbal tea flavors. Finishes long, full and several steps ahead of most of the competition. Drink now.8830Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachAlma Negra 2008 Pinot Noir (Mendoza)Pinot NoirAlma Negra
7389573894ItalyThis Barbera d'Alba opens with dark, sophisticated aromas of exotic spice, black fruit, toasted nut, cherry, root beer and licorice. There's a touch of natural rubber at the back and the wine offers some sweet fruit flavors as well.Bricco dei Merli8823PiedmontBarbera d'AlbaAzienda Agricola Cogno 2008 Bricco dei Merli (Barbera d'Alba)BarberaAzienda Agricola Cogno
7389673895FranceLightly laced with wood, this attractive ripe wine shows pear and peach flavors and vivid acidity. It is well textured, with a streak of apple and pear skins. Fine grained wine, with attractive final acidity.Marly Domaine Hamelin8825BurgundyChablisRoger Voss@vossrogerXavier Flouret 2008 Marly Domaine Hamelin (Chablis)ChardonnayXavier Flouret
7389773896AustraliaPicked relatively early—the finished alcohol level is only 11%—this is suprisingly soft and round while remaining light in body: It's a charming sylph. The only quibble is that the lime-like flavors fade relatively quickly on the finish.The Love Symbol Single Site Savignin Blanc8815South AustraliaLanghorne CreekJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzZonte's Footstep 2009 The Love Symbol Single Site Savignin Blanc Savagnin (Langhorne Creek)SavagninZonte's Footstep
7389873897FrancePure Sauvignon Blanc, this is herbal while also crisp, very fruity, bright and lively. Gooseberry juice dominates this intense wine.Element Terre8816Loire ValleyTouraineRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine des Pierrettes 2009 Element Terre Sauvignon Blanc (Touraine)Sauvignon BlancDomaine des Pierrettes
7389973898SpainThis five-grape blend is dark and concentrated, but also a touch soupy and mulchy. Interestingly, the palate shows snappy acidity along the edges, yielding crisp flavors of cherry, raspberry and spice. Finishes dry, herbal and spicy, but needs a boost of fruit to equal previous efforts.8827Central SpainVino de la Tierra de CastillaMichael Schachner@wineschachFinca Coronado 2006 Red (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla)Red BlendFinca Coronado
7390073899ItalyFoja Tonda, also known as “Casetta,” is an extremely rare grape variety found in the Trentino area of northern Italy that shows ripe fruit and plum aromas with soft, mellow tannins. It provides enough density and concentration to pair with winter meat dishes.Foja Tonda Casetta88Northeastern ItalyTrentinoAlbino Armani 2005 Foja Tonda Casetta Red (Trentino)Red BlendAlbino Armani
7390173900USLabeled off dry but with little or no sweetness, this is a unique effort, a rosé style with unusual length and focus. Chill this wine and drink it as an apéritif. It is most unusual—dusty, musky, and concentrated, with a fine finish that resonates with a Grand Marnier note.8810WashingtonRattlesnake HillsColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Hyatt 2009 Black Muscat (Rattlesnake Hills)Black MuscatHyatt
7390273901USDry, rugged and brambly. You might almost think it was Zinfandel, it's so peppery, leathery and briary in wild berry flavors and sandpapery tannins. It's quite good, in a Dry Creek way. Drink soon for freshness and vitality.8845CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaMartorana 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (Dry Creek Valley)Cabernet SauvignonMartorana
7390373902SpainFruity, sweet, a touch rubbery, and very much what you should expect from a good, ready, well-made Garnacha from Aragón. The palate is lush and full, with snappy blackberry, raspberry and plum flavors. Round on the finish, with size and texture. Drink now through 2012.8811Northern SpainCariñenaMichael Schachner@wineschachMonfil 2009 Garnacha (Cariñena)GarnachaMonfil
7390473903ItalyHere's a very rich and intense expression of Barbera d'Alba with aromas of black fruit, toasted nut, vanilla bean, espresso and cherry cola. It's a modern, smooth wine that would pair with lasagna or rolled pork with prune.San Pancrazio8815PiedmontBarbera d'AlbaPelassa 2007 San Pancrazio (Barbera d'Alba)BarberaPelassa
7390573904ItalyHere's a pungent and intense Italian sparkler (made with Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Nero) that opens with bright aromas of apricot, mature melon, white almond and yellow rose. The wine is smooth and silky, and there's a ripe, warm quality to the fruit flavors.Brut8830LombardyFranciacortaRonco Calino NV Brut Sparkling (Franciacorta)Sparkling BlendRonco Calino
7390673905ItalyAlmost too much of a good thing, Passo is a thick, jammy and modern blend of traditional Italian grapes and international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This is a bold, big wine with a thick, chewy mouthfeel that should be paired with aged cheese or succulent meat.Passo8835VenetoRosso del VeroneseStefano Accordini 2007 Passo Red (Rosso del Veronese)Red BlendStefano Accordini
7390773906ItalySantomè is a pretty expression of Raboso (a native grape of northeast Italy) with mouth-coating tannins and bright aromas of black cherry, old leather, spice and clove. That firm structure suggests a pairing with succulent red meat.Santomè8835VenetoPiaveTenuta Santomè 2004 Santomè Raboso (Piave)RabosoTenuta Santomè
7390873907AustraliaAfter recently tasting a knockout bottle of the 2005, this was disappointing. Ample cinnamon and mocha notes accent slightly pruny flavors; the tannins are soft, while the acids provide a lemony edge to the finish.The Pict88135South AustraliaBarossa ValleyJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzTorbreck 2007 The Pict Mataro (Barossa Valley)MataroTorbreck
7390973908SpainSweet, ripe, rich and a little baked on the bold bouquet, with a good mouthfeel, layered blackberry and plum fruit, and then a long, robust and clean finish. As value-priced Garnacha from Spain goes, this is on the dot.Menguante8812Northern SpainCariñenaMichael Schachner@wineschachViñedos y Bodegas Pablo 2008 Menguante Garnacha (Cariñena)GarnachaViñedos y Bodegas Pablo
7391073909AustraliaSmooth, easy-drinking and lushly textured, this Verdelho features peach and grapefruit notes that stay refreshingly clean and crisp on the finish. It should work well as an apéritif or with many fish dishes.Sea Mist Single Site8815South AustraliaLanghorne CreekJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzZonte's Footstep 2009 Sea Mist Single Site Verdelho (Langhorne Creek)VerdelhoZonte's Footstep
7391173910FranceThe piles of rocks taken from the vineyard and heaped around the edge are what give the bizarre name of this vineyard. To taste, the wine is soft, sweetly ripe with an attractive, ripe creamy character, lifted by toast.Les Murgers des Dents de Chien Premier Cru88BurgundySaint-AubinRoger Voss@vossrogerMaison Champy 2008 Les Murgers des Dents de Chien Premier Cru (Saint-Aubin)ChardonnayMaison Champy
7391273911ChileA lot of ripe apple, creamy butter and pear aromas make for a friendly opening, while the palate is plump and weighty, with toasty melon, citrus and buttered pear flavors. Tropical throughout, but with character and toasty spice on the finish. Ready to drink.Alpha8824Casablanca ValleyMontes 2008 Alpha Chardonnay (Casablanca Valley)ChardonnayMontes
7391373912USThe wine is easy-drinking, smooth and tasty, really needing no further aging to show its stuff. Polished tannins, round sweet fruit, plenty of baking spices and a chocolaty finish—what's not to like?Conner Lee Vineyard8832WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine :Nota Bene 2007 Conner Lee Vineyard Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red Blend:Nota Bene
7391473913ItalyNative Corvina and Croatina grapes are air-dried (the so-called passimento process) to create a distinctly concentrated and powerful red wine from the Verona area of northern Italy. The wine shows smooth, soft tannins and round fruit flavors.Villa Borghetti Metodo Passimento88VenetoVenetoPasqua 2007 Villa Borghetti Metodo Passimento Red (Veneto)Red BlendPasqua
7391573914ItalyYeasty aromas of bread crust and mature white stone fruit lift out of the glass. Rounded and refreshing, the vivacious palate shows ripe yellow apple and Bartlett pear alongside bright acidity and a firm perlage.Extra Dry8816VenetoValdobbiadene Prosecco SuperioreKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCanevel 2016 Extra Dry (Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore)GleraCanevel
7391673915ItalyAromas evoking spring wild flower and ripe orchard fruit open on the nose while the vibrant straightforward palate offers green apple and a citrusy note. Bright acidity and a soft persistent perlage provide the backdrop.Vigna del Cuc Brut8818VenetoValdobbiadene Prosecco SuperioreKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCase Bianche 2016 Vigna del Cuc Brut (Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore)GleraCase Bianche
7391773916USThis popular bottling offers the tropical fruit salad array it always has, with honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple, guava and banana aromas. Yet, this particular vintage has a refreshing zestiness. Steely structure and lime-like acidity drive the palate, balancing its buttercream and peach custard flavors.Stainless8818CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannChamisal Vineyards 2016 Stainless Chardonnay (Central Coast)ChardonnayChamisal Vineyards
7391873917USChocolate notes fill the aroma of this rich, luscious wine, and blackberry jam and maple syrup flavors follow on the palate. It's sweet, soft and full bodied and may be just the thing to quiet down an especially spicy Korean barbecue.8815CaliforniaContra Costa CountyCentral CoastJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsCline 2015 Mourvèdre (Contra Costa County)MourvèdreCline
7391973918FranceA very creamy nose almost has hints of butter. The same creamy richness appears on the palate where it is countered by frothy foam and a light body. There is just a hint of citrus but it makes its freshness felt on the dry finish.8825AlsaceCrémant d'AlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoDomaine Zinck NV Sparkling (Crémant d'Alsace)Sparkling BlendDomaine Zinck
7392073919USFermented in concrete tanks, using whole-clusters and wild yeast, this is not a mainstream wine. Light bodied and tangy, it has has aromas and flavors that recall sour cherries, plus earthy, meaty accents, prominent acidity and a firmly tannic finish.The Prospector8830CaliforniaEl DoradoSierra FoothillsJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsDonkey & Goat 2015 The Prospector Mourvèdre (El Dorado)MourvèdreDonkey & Goat

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