Wine Reviews

84318430ChileScattered aromas of black olive and stewed berry fruits lead to a heavy, awkward palate. This tastes strained, with burnt, leafy black-fruit flavors and a soft, low-acid finish.Gran Aracauno8535Colchagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachFrançois Lurton 2013 Gran Aracauno Cabernet Sauvignon (Colchagua Valley)Cabernet SauvignonFrançois Lurton
84328431USThere are lots of dried tones to the nose: herbs, meat and hay. The palate shows more fruit, with tart cherry and raspberry flavors giving a snappy resistance to the grippy, sandy tannins.8522NevadaNevadaAlexander PeartreeNevada Ridge 2011 Barbera (Nevada)BarberaNevada Ridge
84338432USThis brut sparkler is made from Chambourcin, a hybrid grape of uncertain parentage. Fresh figs and dates come to mind on the nose, while the linear palate is persistently citrus-driven.Franken's French Hybrid Brut8532IllinoisIllinoisAlexander PeartreeIllinois Sparkling Co. NV Franken's French Hybrid Brut Sparkling (Illinois)Sparkling BlendIllinois Sparkling Co.
84348433ChileThis Cabernet Sauvignon-Carmenère blend is a green machine with a pyrazine-led explosion of green bean and bell pepper aromas. Robust and grabby on the palate, this tastes heavily of herbal plum and canned green bean, while a minty finish includes flavors of olive and bitterness. This feels right but smells and tastes extremely green.B8539Maule ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachBalduzzi 2010 B Red (Maule Valley)Red BlendBalduzzi
84358434FranceThe lemony freshness that the nose promises is slightly unbalanced on the bright palate but the flavors are clean and invigorating. This easydrinking wine would make a perfect party apéritif.8524AlsaceAlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoGustave Lorentz 2014 Riesling (Alsace)RieslingGustave Lorentz
84368435ChileThis is an overtly oaky Cabernet with resiny, balsamic aromas that share space with baked black-fruit scents. The palate feels flabby and fat, with modest tannic grip. Jammy blueberry and cassis flavors end oaky, resiny and jammy.Gran Reserva8515Maipo ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachIndomita 2014 Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon (Maipo Valley)Cabernet SauvignonIndomita
84378436USWhiffs of nuts, dusty mineral and lemon are demure on the nose, but become more concentrated on the palate of this dry white. A blend of Chardonnay, Riesling and Grüner Veltliner, it's more minerally than fruity, but refreshing and brisk.Gratitude8514New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaInspire Moore 2014 Gratitude White (Finger Lakes)White BlendInspire Moore
84388437USSome will find this Chardonnay severe and lacking in richness as it's marked by dryness, minerality and acidity, rather than tropical fruit and sweet oak.It would not be surprising if this wine made gains in 5–6 years, but even if it doesn't, it defines a more elegant style.Albutom Vineyard Estate Grown9250CaliforniaSanta Cruz MountainsCentral CoastThomas Fogarty 2009 Albutom Vineyard Estate Grown Chardonnay (Santa Cruz Mountains)ChardonnayThomas Fogarty
84398438USThere's lots of mouthwatering acidity in this bone-dry Pinot Noir, with an ample supply of ripe fruit in the form of raspberries and cherries. There's also something wonderfully earthy, like roasted mushrooms splashed with balsamic and tamari sauce. The cool 2010 vintage was kind to Bacigalupi Vineyard, which can produce overripe wines in hot years.Bacigalupi Vineyard9239CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVon Holt 2010 Bacigalupi Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirVon Holt
84408439USA wonderful wine, one of the best Petite Verdots in California, although the truth is there aren't all that many. It's sturdy in tannins and richly textured, with delicious blackberry flavors that are a little earthier and drier than Cabernet Sauvignon.Limited Selection9235CaliforniaSonoma ValleySonomaKunde 2009 Limited Selection Petite Verdot (Sonoma Valley)Petite VerdotKunde
84418440USWhatever the blend is on this red wine, and winemaker Heidi Barrett isn't saying, it's really interesting. The bottle is old-fashioned and stubby, like something from the 1700s. The wine itself is immediately likeable for its spicy array of spices and berries. Despite its upfront appeal, there's a complexity that elevates it.Pirate TreasuRed9260CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaLa Sirena 2009 Pirate TreasuRed Red (Napa Valley)Red BlendLa Sirena
84428441USThis is White Oak's best Chardonnay in years. The wine benefited from the chilly vintage, expressing citrus and tropical fruit flavors while preserving its vital acidity. It shows real elegance.Estate Grown9224CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaWhite Oak 2010 Estate Grown Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayWhite Oak
84438442USInsanely rich, this explodes in the mouth with orange, pineapple, apricot, tropical fruit and sweet new-oak flavors. The richness is tempered with crisp acidity and a minerality that tastes like a lick of cold steel. This is a good price for a Santa Lucia Chardonnay this rich and appealing.Sarmento Vineyard9225CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastWindstream 2010 Sarmento Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Lucia Highlands)ChardonnayWindstream
84448443FranceThis is the current release from Guigal, which makes it one of the few Hermitages on store shelves that's ready to drink. It's medium to full in weight, chunky and assertive, but not overly concentrated or tannic. Instead, it delivers beefy notes of coffee, black olive and spice, backed by hints of raspberries and cedar.9290Rhône ValleyHermitageJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzE. Guigal 2006 HermitageSyrahE. Guigal
84458444USThis is made in a ripe, high-alcohol style, which gives it a little burning sensation, like Cognac. The flavors certainly are delicious, exploding with blackberries, blueberries, dark chocolate and roasted oak. The tannin-acid structure is intricate and smooth.Alisos Vineyard9235CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral Coasta-non-ah-mus 2009 Alisos Vineyard Syrah (Santa Barbara County)Syraha-non-ah-mus
84468445USThe Pocai Vineyard is a very interesting one, growing Chenin Blanc, Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, and the wines are always worth looking into. This Cabernet Franc, at four years of age, is mellowing, with the tannins turning gentle and the flavors becoming delicious and dramatic. Particularly bright in red cherries, it's a beautiful wine for drinking over the next year or two.Estate Grown Pocai Vineyard9230CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaBallentine 2008 Estate Grown Pocai Vineyard Cabernet Franc (Napa Valley)Cabernet FrancBallentine
84478446ArgentinaSmooth and polished, this bears cola, earth, blackberry and floral aromas. It shows power and precision, with silky tannins, integrated acidity and deep flavors of berry, leather and herb. This is slightly minty, smoky and spicy on the back end, where fine oak takes charge. Drink now–2015.Gran Medalla9246Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachTrapiche 2008 Gran Medalla Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecTrapiche
84488447USDelicious and crisp in acidity, this is dry despite its flavors of honey and ripe, jammy tropical fruit. How this wine achieves such a quality is magic, but the brisk acidity helps, as does its stony minerality. Ready to enjoy now.Bien Nacido Vineyards9232CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastStephen Ross 2010 Bien Nacido Vineyards Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley)ChardonnayStephen Ross
84498448PortugalEarthy aromas are a hallmark of the Baga grape, a component of this full-bodied, tannic blend. With weight and richness, a mint note and new wood flavors, it is a serious wine that still should develop over three years.Quinta das Baceladas9229BairradaRoger Voss@vossrogerCaves Aliança 2007 Quinta das Baceladas Red (Bairrada)Portuguese RedCaves Aliança
84508449ArgentinaThis opens with persuasive aromas of wild berry and cassis before cola and leather notes enter. It's a powerfully built Malbec with bright acidity, strong bones and pure, bold flavors of blackberry and black cherry. This is youthful and more fruit focused than the oakier DJN 2006 Reserva Malbec.Don Juan Nahuel9232Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachCielo y Tierra 2007 Don Juan Nahuel Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecCielo y Tierra
84518450USA consummate Russian River Pinot Noir in an accessible style. This is simply enchanting, like raspberry-infused silk dusted with brown butter, cinnamon and vanilla. Showing just beautifully now, this is soft and gentle, and it should glide through the next six years.9240CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaDavis Family 2009 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirDavis Family
84528451USA beautiful Pinot to drink now, this is elegant and supple, with crisp acidity and a delightfully light texture. However, there's nothing light about the flavors, which suggest wild forest berry, softened cola, mushroom, dried pine and spice, enhanced with a subtle jacket of sandalwood.9244CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaFreeman 2010 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirFreeman
84538452SpainFresh, floral and not overbearing on the nose, this has red berry and cassis aromas, with no interference from oak or too much extraction. It feels pure and elegant, with wild berry and cherry flavors that end on a ripe, slightly sweet-tasting finish. Good for near-term drinking.9224CataloniaPrioratMichael Schachner@wineschachClos Gebrat 2010 Red (Priorat)Red BlendClos Gebrat
84548453SpainThis smells like orange marmalade. It feels smooth and creamy, but not terribly thick due to fine acidity, with flavors of orange, honey, peach and spice. Long and creamy on the finish, this is a fresh, delicious wine that should impress anyone with a sweet tooth.Vino Dulce9228Northern SpainNavarraMichael Schachner@wineschachOchoa 2010 Vino Dulce Moscatel (Navarra)MoscatelOchoa
84558454FranceDespite this wine's thick veneer of toasty, vanilla-scented oak, it has plenty of underlying fruit, powerful enough to handle the wood. It's full bodied, dense and richly textured, with a long, velvety finish redolent of blackberries and cedar. Approachable now, but should easily age through 2025.Domaine de Thalabert9260Rhône ValleyCrozes-HermitageJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzPaul Jaboulet Aîné 2009 Domaine de Thalabert (Crozes-Hermitage)SyrahPaul Jaboulet Aîné
84568455ItalyFrom one of Italy's most important showcase designer wineries, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot lives up to its super Tuscan celebrity. It is gently redolent of dark chocolate, ripe fruit, leather, tobacco and crushed black pepper—the bouquet's elegant moderation is one of its strongest points. The mouthfeel is rich, creamy and long. Drink after 2018.Petra9280TuscanyToscanaPetra 2008 Petra Red (Toscana)Red BlendPetra
84578456ItalyThis ruby-colored Brunello opens with notes of fresh fruit, forest floor, cedar wood, exotic spice and blackberry preserves. It shows a bright berry mouthfeel, with cherry intensity and a clean, fresh finish.92TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoPietroso 2007 Brunello di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoPietroso
84588457USA beautiful Cabernet, this has all the hallmarks of a fine wine. It's dry, rich in tannins and elegant, with long, deep flavors of blackberries, currants and dark chocolate. It's already throwing some sediment, so give it a careful decant.Estate Grown9240CaliforniaSonoma ValleySonomaKorbin Kameron 2007 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma Valley)Cabernet SauvignonKorbin Kameron
84598458ItalyThis wine's most outstanding quality is the elegant and delicate manner with which the bouquet slowly reveals itself. This vineyard-designate wine is a traditional blend of Sangiovese and Canaiolo, opening with subtle aromas of red cherry, dried violet, moist earth, vanilla and cured meat.Rubesco Riserva Vigna Monticchio9257Central ItalyTorgianoLungarotti 2007 Rubesco Riserva Vigna Monticchio Red (Torgiano)Red BlendLungarotti
84608459USShowing the richness of the vineyard, this delivers huge, flamboyant flavors of apricot and tangerine jam. While it's technically dry, there's a honeyed sweetness that suggests a touch of botrytis. It's a strong wine, unafraid to command a boldness that may not be for everyone. This is distinctly Californian in style, and as it loses fruit with age, it will develop nut and earthy notes.Charles Heintz Vineyard9255CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaMigration 2010 Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast)ChardonnayMigration

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