Wine Reviews

7539175390USWhiffs of sour Asian plums and briar patch add complexity to the fleshy cherry aromas of this composed, full-bodied wine. Brisk acidity and hints of spice, wet earth and soy sauce lend a sweet and savory tone to it's black-cherry-flavored finish.Reserve8725New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaMcGregor 2007 Reserve Cabernet Franc (Finger Lakes)Cabernet FrancMcGregor
7539275391USScents of lemongrass, white flower, bees wax and pear are perky and well etched. Between the wine's keen acids and lemony flavor, this remains a bright, uplifting effort, with a clean, tangy finish.Johannisberg8715VirginiaShenandoah ValleyShenandoah Vineyards 2011 Johannisberg Riesling (Shenandoah Valley)RieslingShenandoah Vineyards
7539375392USRipe mango perfume extends from the nose to the palate of this bright, tropical, medium-sweet Riesling. Concentrated, with loads of sweet fruits and sunny yellow flowers, it's a straightforward yet irresistibly juicy sip.Semi-Dry8715New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaDr. Konstantin Frank 2011 Semi-Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes)RieslingDr. Konstantin Frank
7539475393ItalyElegant and streamlined, this opens with subtle tones of dried fruit, prune, raisin and cassis. It also delivers savory layers of spice and cured meat flavors, with a note of tobacco and a spicy pinch of white pepper.Le Quare8719VenetoValpolicella Classico Superiore RipassoGamba 2009 Le Quare (Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso)Corvina, Rondinella, MolinaraGamba
7539575394USSweet in blackberry, blueberry marmalade and cassis flavors, this has notable acidity that provides a scouring mouthfeel. It's a bit rustic now, especially with its jagged tannins, but the finish is dry and long. Sometimes these wines mellow and age well, but this one doesn't seem destined to benefit from cellaring.Single Vineyard87100CaliforniaYountvilleNapaGhost Block 2009 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Yountville)Cabernet SauvignonGhost Block
7539675395USUsing grapes sourced from an older vineyard on the Wahluke Slope, this pure Cabernet mixes blackberry and black cherry fruit with a lightly smoky core. It thins out quickly, and shows a hint of green in its tannins.Doc Stewart Vineyard8728WashingtonWahluke SlopeColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Gilbert Cellars 2009 Doc Stewart Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Wahluke Slope)Cabernet SauvignonGilbert Cellars
7539775396SpainOpen, fresh and peachy on the nose, becoming citrusy and leaning toward the acidic side on the palate. Flavors of tangerine, lemon and orange keep it moving, and the finish, while short, is fresh and cleansing.8716GaliciaRías BaixasMichael Schachner@wineschachLícia 2011 Albariño (Rías Baixas)AlbariñoLícia
7539875397USThis is very sweet in honey flavor, with fruity notes of apricot and orange. It could benefit from greater acidity to balance the sweetness, but it sure is a decadent dessert sipper.Wein der Eisbox Tondre Vineyard8740CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMaestral 2011 Wein der Eisbox Tondre Vineyard Riesling (Santa Lucia Highlands)RieslingMaestral
7539975398FranceThis is a fresh, fruit-driven white loaded with pineapple and pear aromas and flavors. It's medium bodied, making it suitable for pairing with a wide array of dishes, and finishes crisp and clean.Belleruche8613Rhône ValleyCôtes du RhôneJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzM. Chapoutier 2007 Belleruche White (Côtes du Rhône)Rhône-style White BlendM. Chapoutier
7540075399USA good, although somewhat tough and gritty, Pinot Noir that just wants a steak to cut through its tannins and acids. Shows a dry, silky texture with flavors of cherries, tobacco and peppery spices.8626CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastManzoni 2007 Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirManzoni
7540175400USSlightly unripe, with an herbaceousness that interferes with the blackberries and currants, making the oak stick out uncomfortably. Sharp, too. But it's good and richly tannic, and dry. Made from all five traditional Bordeaux varieties.Double T8625CaliforniaOak Knoll DistrictNapaTrefethen 2007 Double T Red (Oak Knoll District)Bordeaux-style Red BlendTrefethen
7540275401ItalySome toasted notes of smoke and campfire emerge at the tail end of forest berries and blackberries. The wine is tonic and tight in the mouth with crisp acidity and a pleasantly easy feel overall. Nebbiolo grapes are called Spanna in the Colline Novaresi appellation.Spanna8618PiedmontColline NovaresiDessilani 2005 Spanna Nebbiolo (Colline Novaresi)NebbioloDessilani
7540375402GreeceThis sultry dessert wine offers dried fid, orange rind and spice on the nose, and on the palate, lemon, spice, dried dates and fig. A masculine profile that pairs well with cheeses, nuts, and fruit.Nectar8622SamosSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaSamos 2005 Nectar Muscat (Samos)MuscatSamos
7540475403USThis Bordeaux blend, made from the five classic varieties, is tough and resilient, compared to the standard Napa bottling. It's dry, tannic and herbal, yet with enough cherry-berry flavors to establish varietal character. The challenge for the vintner is greater richness.Mon Amour8645CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastCoquelicot 2006 Mon Amour Red (Santa Ynez Valley)Bordeaux-style Red BlendCoquelicot
7540575404SpainMagenta-colored, berry loaded and fresh, all of which help what could be a pedestrian wine reach a higher plane. Sweet cherry and plum flavors mix with snappy acidity and good structure, and overall you get a refreshing, satisfying wine with genuine appeal.Protocolo867Central SpainTierra de CastillaMichael Schachner@wineschachDominio de Eguren 2007 Protocolo Red (Tierra de Castilla)Red BlendDominio de Eguren
7540675405USThis is a good, everyday Zin with some extra features of fanciness. It's dry and tannic and full-bodied, the way you want Zin to be, with modest flavors of cherries, currants, mint, pepper and tobacco.8611CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherGoats Trail 2007 Zinfandel (California)ZinfandelGoats Trail
7540775406USThis is a very ripe wine stuffed with blackberries, cherries and cocoa, but it's also pretty tannic, although sweet oak softens the blow. Feels lush and good, but rustic around the edges. Drink now with beef dishes.8616CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastHahn Estates 2007 Meritage (Central Coast)MeritageHahn Estates
7540875407USTastes briary and brambly and peppery, almost like a Zinfandel, with flavors of black currants and cola and a hint of oak. This dry, well-structured and rustic wine will pair well with smoky tri-tip.8618CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastHarmony Cellars 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles)Cabernet SauvignonHarmony Cellars
7540975408PortugalA wood-aged white with light toast character to complement the creamy pear and melon flavors. It is full in the mouth, rounded and soft.Vila Santa8610AlentejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerJ. Portugal Ramos 2008 Vila Santa White (Alentejano)Portuguese WhiteJ. Portugal Ramos
7541075409USA good, sound Cabernet, well-made and clean, with proper varietal flavors of blackberries, cocoa and smoky new oak. Yet it's somewhat soft, with a jammy-candy taste, and seems to lack complexity. Could be going through an awkward phase.8660CaliforniaHowell MountainNapaLa Jota Vineyard 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mountain)Cabernet SauvignonLa Jota Vineyard
7541175410USA good Cabernet, but outclassed in a flight by its more concentrated and attractive competitors. Taste too fruity, in a jammy sense, and over-oaked, showing lots of upfront vanilla extract and buttered toast. Could well develop bottle character after 2012, but it's a dice throw.8650CaliforniaRutherfordNapaLieff 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford)Cabernet SauvignonLieff
7541275411USA little weedy and green, but dry and very elegantly constructed, with good balance. Shows pleasant flavors of herbs, cherries, licorice and pepper. Represents a very nice wine for ten bucks or less.8610CaliforniaNorth CoastNorth CoastLine 39 2007 Petite Sirah (North Coast)Petite SirahLine 39
7541375412USThis estate-grown Syrah brings forward red fruits and a wash of chocolaty barrel, simple, round and appealing.8620OregonUmpqua ValleySouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Melrose 2006 Syrah (Umpqua Valley)SyrahMelrose
7541475413SpainBanana, lemon curd and sawdust are the prime aromas on this oaky, creamy, candied style of Chard from Navarra. The palate is soft and modern, with decent core acidity propping up papaya, melon and green banana flavors. Resiny on the finish, but smooth.8614Northern SpainNavarraMichael Schachner@wineschachVega Sindoa 2008 Chardonnay (Navarra)ChardonnayVega Sindoa
7541575414SpainPerfectly drinkable Monastrell year after year despite the silly name. Plum and roasted berry aromas and flavors are sweet, ripe, clean and on the generic side of the fence. A little rugged and hot at 15%, but lusty and good for the price.868LevanteJumillaMichael Schachner@wineschachWrongo Dongo 2008 Monastrell (Jumilla)MonastrellWrongo Dongo
7541675415USA bit thin and astringent, yet with a powerful, clear focus that conjures up straight cranberry fruit flavors. Baking spices and a hint of cocoa penetrate through the hard shell of acid and tannin. Needs more time.Jordan Block8640OregonMcMinnvilleWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Youngberg Hill Vineyards 2007 Jordan Block Pinot Noir (McMinnville)Pinot NoirYoungberg Hill Vineyards
7541775416USModeled after an Italian Pinot Bianco, this tart, citrusy wine sports fresh-cut green apple fruit flavors. It's done in stainless steel, nicely balanced but definitely made to go with spicy Pacific Rim foods.Estate8615OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Apolloni 2008 Estate Pinot Blanc (Willamette Valley)Pinot BlancApolloni
7541875417FranceLight, soft and easy wine. It has some attractive smokiness, followed by spice and bright fruit flavors. But the tannins are muted and the wine lacks weight.86BordeauxMargauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Rauzan-Gassies 2007 MargauxBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Rauzan-Gassies
7541975418USThis is a super-fresh, fruity wine meant to dazzle in sheer deliciousness now, not something to age. It's almost candied, with raspberry, cherry, blackberry and mocha flavors that are exuberant and easy to understand.3CV8624CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastCimarone 2008 3CV Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley)SyrahCimarone
7542075419GreeceThe lush nose of Viognier—fresh flowers, honey and spice—leads here. On the palate, the wine has an opulent, floral character—broad and inviting. Not terribly complex, but pretty and appealing. The viscous mouthfeel means it will handle richer dishes well—think lobster, cream dishes.8645EpanomiSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaGerovassiliou 2007 Viognier (Epanomi)ViognierGerovassiliou

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