Wine Reviews

7428974288SloveniaA noble tribute to his Bordeaux training, winemaker Jean Michel Morel's namesake blend is beautifully concentrated with rich, sweet black fruit, with hints of violet, savory mushroom, cured meat and clay. A textured and powerful wine with vibrant acidity, it finishes long, with a swathe of velvety tannins.Cuvée Morel9040Goriska BrdaAnna Lee C. IijimaKabaj 2006 Cuvée Morel Red (Goriska Brda)Bordeaux-style Red BlendKabaj
7429074289USThis is one of the bigger Syrahs out there, generously proportioned and calling out for equally rich fare. Try beef short ribs or coq au vin, using the same wine for the dish. It's tannic and enormous, with flavors of ripe black cherry and teriyaki sauce.Black Bart Stagecoach Vineyard9060CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaKrupp Brothers 2008 Black Bart Stagecoach Vineyard Syrah (Napa Valley)SyrahKrupp Brothers
7429174290USThe translucent color and light body warn against aging this wine, but why would you want to? It's delicious right out of the bottle. Rich in black currant, cherry, violet and cedar, it's a blend of all five of the classic Bordeaux varieties.9024CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaWaterstone 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonWaterstone
7429274291ItalyThis sees long months of oak aging that help to shape the dark, savory aromas of cured meat, spice and worn leather. The tannins are textured, exhibiting a dusty, polished feel.Riserva90TuscanyVino Nobile di MontepulcianoTenuta Valdipiatta 2005 Riserva (Vino Nobile di Montepulciano)Prugnolo GentileTenuta Valdipiatta
7429374292SpainThis is extremely fruity, with an exotic bouquet of blueberry, cardamom, nutmeg and earth aromas. It feels smooth, collected and fairly rich, with savory, lightly baked flavors of black fruit. The finish remains savory, where graham cracker sweetness and roasted qualities dominate.Xipella9015CataloniaCatalunyaMichael Schachner@wineschachClos Mont-Blanc 2009 Xipella Red (Catalunya)Red BlendClos Mont-Blanc
7429474293FranceThis is an exceptionally rich wine, its fruit exploding from the glass. The richness gives a spicy, peppery edge to the ripe white fruit, and its acidity is almost an afterthought in this mélange of full-bodied fruit and texture.Rosenberg90AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Barmès-Buecher 2010 Rosenberg Pinot Blanc (Alsace)Pinot BlancDomaine Barmès-Buecher
7429574294FranceThis is a structured wine, showing the firm tannins of a 2010 Beaujolais. Under the dry surface, the rich, juicy fruit is there, balanced with acidity, red fruit and a dense texture. Age for at least another year.La Chapelle des Bois9039BeaujolaisFleurieRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Chasselay 2010 La Chapelle des Bois (Fleurie)GamayDomaine Chasselay
7429674295FranceThis is a brooding selection, with layers of dark fruits (think blackberry, plum and cherry), chewing tobacco and bay leaf alongside a hint of vanilla bean. The palate is rich and dense, with a texture like crushed satin. Tight and flavorful now, this would benefit from a bit more time in the cellar; try after 2015.9024Languedoc-RoussillonMauryLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzDomaine de la Coume du Roy 2008 Grenache (Maury)GrenacheDomaine de la Coume du Roy
7428174280ItalyVery creamy and rich, this is a truly beautiful rendition of Chardonnay. It shows intense layers of apricot, vanilla, lemon zest, honeysuckle and exotic fruit. It lingers long on the palate and imparts dense fruit flavors that are followed by fresh acidity.Vigna Bosco Alto9026LombardyCurtefrancaRicci Curbastro 2009 Vigna Bosco Alto Chardonnay (Curtefranca)ChardonnayRicci Curbastro
7428274281AustriaThis wood-aged effort shows its wood flavors strongly. In the future, the rich blackberry flavor will take over, yielding a complex, ripe wine that will always have tannins, but it will also have a concentrated structure. Age for at least four years.Jois9039BurgenlandRoger Voss@vossrogerScheiblhofer 2010 Jois Blaufränkisch (Burgenland)BlaufränkischScheiblhofer
7429774296FranceA blend of 13 different grape varieties, some rare, this is a delicious, honeyed wine, with rich baked apple flavor and crisp acidity, topped with a creamed spice note. Its pure line of citrus provides a lively finish.9020AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Marcel Deiss 2010 White (Alsace)White BlendDomaine Marcel Deiss
7428374282USThe Frederick bottling is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 31% Merlot, with other Bordeaux grapes filling in the rest. Chewy and tannic, it seems to have a green edge to its fruit and tannins. Nonetheless, there are plenty of flavors of berry, spice and black pepper, with highlights of coffee and cacao. This has lots to chew on, plus good length.Frederick Estate Grown Red Wine9050WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Spring Valley Vineyard 2009 Frederick Estate Grown Red Wine Red (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendSpring Valley Vineyard
7428474283USThere's a tough, peppery leatheriness to this wine that's by no means undistinguished. Bone dry, with firm tannins, it's more European than Californian in style, with hints of dried berry, charred meat bone, earth, herb and spice. It shows real control and nerve. The blend is Syrah and Petite Sirah.The Climb9030CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastTercero 2008 The Climb Red (Santa Barbara County)Red BlendTercero
7428574284FranceFor a wine without a reputation for aging, this is surprisingly good. It's very lush and honeyed, with a viscous texture and a long, sweet finish. Try it with desserts rather than as an apéritif.Balma Venitia9019Rhône ValleyMuscat de Beaumes de VeniseJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzVignobles La Coterie 2006 Balma Venitia (Muscat de Beaumes de Venise)MuscatVignobles La Coterie
7429874297USSmooth and almost buttery, this new Cabernet from Randy Dunn has plenty of blackberry and black cherry flavors, along with silky tannins. The midpalate fades a bit, though perhaps the wine is just in need of a bit more bottle age.9055WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Feather 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonFeather
7428674285USThere's a robust heartiness to this Rhône-style blend that makes it perfect for drinking on cold nights with spicy barbecue or stew. Mainly Syrah and Petite Sirah, it's rich in blackberry, bacon and black pepper flavors. Bone dry and moderate in alcohol, it represents great quality for the price, and it should be relatively easy to find, with nearly 12,000 cases produced.Red49017CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastVina Robles 2010 Red4 Red (Paso Robles)Red BlendVina Robles
7429974298USRoughly three-fifths Merlot and two-fifths Cabernet, this well-made red has thick, supple, generous fruit. It seems to have been aged in a hefty amount of new oak, but it balances the fruit and and spice well. Look for plum, black cherry, smoke and toast notes on the full, round palate.Estate Red9029WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Golden Ridge 2009 Estate Red Red (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendGolden Ridge
7428774286HungaryShades of crushed stone and granite add a penetrating minerality to the ripe, rich raspberry and cherry flavors of this nervy wine. A hint of dried herb and velvety tannins round out the finish that's long and lingering.9025VillányAnna Lee C. IijimaVylyan 2008 Pinot Noir (Villány)Pinot NoirVylyan
7428874287FranceHere's a wine that is fine and fresh as well as structured. Apple skin and citrus juice flavors are cut through with mature toast flavors. The result is rich, its mouthfeel full and its aftertaste tight and tangy.Dessus le Mont Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Brut9089ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerJ. Dumangin Fils NV Dessus le Mont Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Brut Chardonnay (Champagne)ChardonnayJ. Dumangin Fils
7430074299USFruity, spicy and brightly acidic, the Sol Duc represents the estate's best barrels. It's a generous wine, full bodied and lush, with cherry and cassis flavors. Light touches of leaf and herb come through as well.Sol Duc Goose Ridge Estate Vineyard9050WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Goose Ridge 2008 Sol Duc Goose Ridge Estate Vineyard Meritage (Columbia Valley (WA))MeritageGoose Ridge
7430174300USThere's a fleshy mouthfeel and a taste of green olive that make this Zinfandel atypical, but which add to its appeal. The varietal flavors show up in the form of ripe, robust blackberry, cola, tobacco and spice, while Napa's lovely tannins give it an elegant framework. Drink it over the next few years for maximum freshness.Block 289035CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaHendry 2009 Block 28 Zinfandel (Napa Valley)ZinfandelHendry
7430274301USTangy cranberry and wild strawberry fruit, and spice and grip, highlights this clean, pure and fruit-driven Malbec. The addition of 20% Merlot may account for a sense of near-raisiny ripeness. The tannins carry a hint of dried leaf.Defiance Vineyard9030WashingtonLake ChelanColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Nefarious 2010 Defiance Vineyard Malbec (Lake Chelan)MalbecNefarious
7430374302USVery dark in both color and flavor, this single-vineyard Syrah is loaded with smoke, earth, licorice, espresso and cacao notes. There is enough tight, tangy black fruit to create balance in the focused midpalate. A lick of citrus adds lift to the finish.Aah9036WashingtonWashingtonWashington OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Palouse 2009 Aah Syrah (Washington)SyrahPalouse
7430474303USSourced from the Dineen Vineyard in the Rattlesnake Hills, this pure Cabernet sports generous plum and berry flavors that are lushly coated in dark notes of espresso, cacao and licorice. There is an underpinning of rock, adding structure and suggesting that this wine could be cellared for another decade.Red Satin9039WashingtonWashingtonWashington OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Palouse 2009 Red Satin Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington)Cabernet SauvignonPalouse
7430574304USTarry and potent, with inky tannins, this single-vineyard Petit Verdot has an array of Amarone-like, superripe, spice-laced fruit. There is a whiff of leather as well. Drink up soon.Champoux Vineyard9048WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Sineann 2010 Champoux Vineyard Petit Verdot (Columbia Valley (WA))Petit VerdotSineann
7430674305USThis huge Petite Sirah shows such powerful blackberry, raspberry and Kahlua flavors. It's deliriously rich, so don't look for subtlety.Ne Cede Malis9080CaliforniaStags Leap DistrictNapaStags' Leap Winery 2009 Ne Cede Malis Petite Sirah (Stags Leap District)Petite SirahStags' Leap Winery
7430774306ItalyPacked tight with oak-driven aromas of chocolate, leather and spice, this shows a bold and modern personality. Dark berry tones of maraschino and blackberry jam appear on the chewy, rich finish.9017TuscanyMorellino di ScansanoSuberli 2010 Morellino di ScansanoSangioveseSuberli
7430874307GermanySmoke and mineral oil tones add layers of depth to the pretty white blossom, peach and tangerine notes on this crisp, nervy Riesling. Mouthwateringly tangy with a delicious note of Sour Patch candy on the finish.Graacher Himmelreich Auslese8938MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaDr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler 2010 Graacher Himmelreich Auslese Riesling (Mosel)RieslingDr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler
7430974308ItalyBovale is a little-known red grape from Sardinia that offers smooth and rustic characteristics that recall dried tobacco, earth, black fruit and spice. The finish is long and polished, with nice concentration and intensity.Essentija8930Sicily & SardiniaIsola dei NuraghiPala 2009 Essentija Bovale (Isola dei Nuraghi)BovalePala
7431074309PortugalThis is a dry wine still full of ripe fruit. It has a rich texture, tasting floral and fragrant. The result is a generous, black-fruited wine for short-term aging.Vintage89PortRoger Voss@vossrogerRozes 2009 Vintage (Port)PortRozes

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