Wine Reviews

8751187510ItalyThis has aromas of black cherry and spice. The palate shows ripe blackberry and spice flavors, along with evolved tannins. This has instant appeal, so drink soon.8718VenetoValpolicella Classico Superiore RipassoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeVigneti Villabella 2010 Valpolicella Classico Superiore RipassoRed BlendVigneti Villabella
8751287511FranceCombine two herbaceous grapes in a cool climate and you get this crisply fresh, and certainly herbaceous wine. It is bright and fruity with an undertow of lemon and orange zest giving a more textured character.879Southwest FranceCôtes de GascogneRoger Voss@vossrogerVilla Dria 2012 Colombard-Sauvignon Blanc (Côtes de Gascogne)Colombard-Sauvignon BlancVilla Dria
8751387512USA fine Zin, rich and sweet in raspberries and cherries, with spicy notes of cinnamon, pepper and Chinese Five-spice. It's a lusty, delicious wine for drinking now with beef, pork, chicken or even a veggie lasagna.Old Vine8716CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherXYZin 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel (California)ZinfandelXYZin
8751487513USRather delicate flavors of green melon, apple and fresh cut grass infuse this elegant Sauvignon Blanc. The precision and balance are impressive; the price and overall lightness make it an excellent, mealtime quaffer.8713WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Airfield Estates 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (Yakima Valley)Sauvignon BlancAirfield Estates
8751587514USA sound, everyday Zin that has extra features lifting it above the ordinary. It's terrifically spicy and slightly overripe, with sweet raisin and current flavors, edged with smoky oak. It's a bit rough in the mouth, but rich, fatty meats and cheeses will balance that right out and allow it to express itself.8717CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastAncient Peaks 2011 Zinfandel (Paso Robles)ZinfandelAncient Peaks
8751687515FranceThere's a slight warmth throughout this wine, complementing the amazingly ripe and lush black plum and cherry notes. Accents of leather and tobacco leaf add depth to the medium-weight palate, transitioning into flavors of chocolate and toasted spice on the close.Château les Pines8724Languedoc-RoussillonCôtes du Roussillon VillagesLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzVignobles Dom Brial 2008 Château les Pines G-S-M (Côtes du Roussillon Villages)G-S-MVignobles Dom Brial
8751787516USThis is a simple, clean, well-balanced, all-purpose Chardonnay. Light streaks of honey, lemon and vanilla run through crisp, apple-flavored fruit. Nothing fancy, but solid and reliable.8711WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Hogue 2012 Chardonnay (Columbia Valley (WA))ChardonnayHogue
8751887517USThis Syrah-Cabernet Sauvignon blend, in roughly equal proportions, is soft and sweet in black currants, dark chocolate, beef jerky and new oak flavors, wrapped into strong but pliable tannins. Drink now.India Ink8735CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaKuleto Estate 2010 India Ink Red (Napa Valley)Red BlendKuleto Estate
8751987518ItalyThis charming Pinot Grigio has a pretty nose of pear and white peach that carries through to the palate alongside lively citrus notes. This is simple but delicious, with crisp acidity that leaves a clean, dry finish. A perfect partner for pastas or grilled fish dishes.Drago8715Northeastern ItalyTrentinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeLechthaler 2012 Drago Pinot Grigio (Trentino)Pinot GrigioLechthaler
8752087519FranceA rich, velvet textured wine, full of dense, dusty tannins and sweet black Merlot fruits. The wine is concentrated, ripe and powerful, with a dark texture that is both impressive and ageworthy. Give this wine at least 5–6 years.Caractère9223BordeauxCôtes de BourgRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau de la Grave 2010 Caractère (Côtes de Bourg)Bordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau de la Grave
8752187520FranceA complex, rich and ripe wine. It shows both a tannic edge and full red fruit flavors. With acidity cutting through, this is finely balanced, a delicious and serious wine that would benefit from a few more months in bottle.9222ProvenceCoteaux d'Aix-en-ProvenceRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Vignelaure 2012 Rosé (Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence)RoséChâteau Vignelaure
8752287521USBased on Cabernet Sauvignon, this Bordeaux-style blend will make you take a second look at Paso Robles. It's softly tannic and enormously complex, offering waves of black cherries, currants, licorice, mocha and sweet oak. Really beautiful to drink now, and should develop bottle complexities over the next six years.Soul of a Lion92100CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastDaou 2010 Soul of a Lion Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles)Cabernet SauvignonDaou
8752387522US100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Wallula Vineyard, this brooding wine screams of the Horse Heaven Hills with notes of dusty earth, black currant, and bittersweet chocolate. It's tightly coiled and largely about structure with its firm tannins supporting concentrated cherry flavors. Needs time to come into its own but has the stuffing to lay down for a decade or more.Andreas Cabernet Sauvignon Wallula Vineyard9280WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportDen Hoed 2009 Andreas Cabernet Sauvignon Wallula Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Horse Heaven Hills)Cabernet SauvignonDen Hoed
8752487523USThis wine is silky and well-balanced in acids and tannins, with judicious oak influences framing complex cherry, red currant and spice flavors. Feels very rich, yet the alcohol is a modest 13.7% by volume. Coming after the high-scoring 2010 vintage, Dolina's 2011 is fine to drink now, and should develop bottle notes over the next six years or so.Rio Vista Vineyard9230CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastDolina 2011 Rio Vista Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirDolina
8752587524GermanyEverything about this dry, voluptuous Riesling is intense and penetrating. The palate is concentrated with stonefruit and yellow flower notes, and bristling with lemon-lime acidity. Rich layers of crushed stone and mineral oil linger deliciously on the finish.Wallhausen Johannisberg GG Trocken92NaheAnna Lee C. IijimaPrinz Salm 2010 Wallhausen Johannisberg GG Trocken Riesling (Nahe)RieslingPrinz Salm
8752687525USThis is a huge wine, that's insanely rich and concentrated. It tastes like the ripest summer blackberries, still warm from the sun, mashed and drizzed with crème de cassis and chocolate syrup. The estate vineyard is on Paso Robles' west side, and quite high in elevation in the southern spur of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The wine is ungainly now, and needs time to develop. Better after 2017.Jack of Hearts Petit Verdot9250CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastJada Vineyard & Winery 2010 Jack of Hearts Petit Verdot Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles)Cabernet SauvignonJada Vineyard & Winery
8752787526USLovely aromatics introduce this subtly powerful Pinot Noir. Floral highlights lead into tart cherry fruit that seems to gather strength as it flows across the palate. There are hints of mineral and a splash of coffee in the lingering finish.Hyland Vineyard9255OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine King Estate 2010 Hyland Vineyard Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirKing Estate
8752887527USThe alcohol on this bottling is lower than most Fe Ciegas have been in the past, reflecting the cool vintage. The wine seems more austere than in the past, withholding a bit of the early appeal it used to show. Nonetheless, it's wonderfully structured in acids and tannins and very dry, with a judicious application of oak, and there are intricate flavors of cherries, red currants and herbs. Seems like it could shine with age, so give it six years in the cellar.Fe Ciega Vineyard9248CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastLongoria 2010 Fe Ciega Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirLongoria
8752987528USThe blend of these four Rhône white grapes—47% Grenache Blanc, 32% Marsanne, 16% Roussanne, 5% Picpoul—outshines their individual bottlings. Some sort of magic accrues. The Sirocco is supple, creamy and packed with aromas and flavors of citrus blossom, flesh and rind. It's got a peaches-and-cream mouthfeel, and a lick of butterscotch in the lush finish.Boushey Vineyard Sirocco Blanc9225WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine McCrea Cellars 2010 Boushey Vineyard Sirocco Blanc White (Yakima Valley)Rhône-style White BlendMcCrea Cellars
8753087529USCalifornia rosé is awfully hard to get right. It's usually too sweet, too heavy or both. With this Grenache-Cinsault blend, Minassian-Young knocks it out of the park. The wine is dry, delicate, modest in alcohol, and complex, with subtle peach, rosehip tea, orange zest, watermelon and spice flavors. A great bargain, but only 64 cases were produced.Grenache-Cinsault9216CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMinassian-Young 2011 Grenache-Cinsault Rosé (Paso Robles)RoséMinassian-Young
8753187530USUnique in style and sourced—these are the oldest Pinot Gris vines in the country—this young, yeasty, textural wine will surely continue to improve in the bottle. Give it a lot of breathing time, and complex layers of rock and fruit unfold. Jicama, cucumber, daikon radish...You get the idea. It tastes as clean and fresh as a mountain spring.Original Vines9222OregonDundee HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine The Eyrie Vineyards 2011 Original Vines Pinot Gris (Dundee Hills)Pinot GrisThe Eyrie Vineyards
8753287531USEverything about this Chardonnay speaks of class. It's dry and superbly structured in acids and tannins, and shows a chalky minerality that lends substance to the tropical fruit and honeysuckle flavors. Two Sisters is assembling a great track record with this bottling.Courtney's Vineyard9255CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastTwo Sisters 2010 Courtney's Vineyard Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills)ChardonnayTwo Sisters
8753387532USThis 100% Zin erupts in briary, peppery wild raspberry, blueberry and cherry flavors. The tannins are firm, and the acids crisp and savory. What a lovely Zinfandel, made in the soft, velvety style of Merlot, but with Bradford Mountain power.Bradford Mountain Vineyard9245CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaGary Farrell 2010 Bradford Mountain Vineyard Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelGary Farrell
8753487533USShows the usual Williams Selyem Chardonnay profile of huge fruit and flashy oak. This opulent wine would be over-the-top except that it's balanced by crisp, lemony acidity, and somehow retains a tight core with a gravitational tug that keeps the richness focused. Impressive now for sheer power, and should hold well for another 5–6 years.Heintz Vineyard9255CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaWilliams Selyem 2011 Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayWilliams Selyem
8753587534SpainThis is a ripe, dark but balanced Toro with pastry, prune, blackberry and vanilla aromas. The palate is fiercely tannic on the surface but not overly hard at the foundation. Flavors of burnt toast, blackberry, spice, licorice and chocolate finish warm, toasty and dark, with echoes of ripeness and hard tannins. Drink now through 2018.Termes9228Northern SpainToroMichael Schachner@wineschachNumanthia 2010 Termes (Toro)Tinta de ToroNumanthia
8753687535USThough it's not mentioned on the label, the Malbec is sourced from the Pepper Bridge vineyard, and compares favorably with high end Argentine versions. Yummy and deep, its sweet berry flavors are matched to firm, polished tannins, and finished with a touch of pretty toast.9253WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Reininger 2009 Malbec (Walla Walla Valley (WA))MalbecReininger
8753787536USAn exceptionally good Pinot, from a winery that frequently gets overlooked, perhaps because they're not charging an arm and a leg. The wine is light and silky in the mouth, with alcohol well under 14%, and marked with crisp acidity and fine-grained tannins. The flavors are classic pomegranates, rhubarbs and black cherries. Should develop over the next 4–6 years. What a great value.Estate9229CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaBalletto 2011 Estate Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirBalletto
8753887537USJosh Jensen brings his restrained hand to this very fine Chardonnay. It's notable for the excellence of all its parts, and the balanced way they co-exist. You'll find tantalizingly rich tropical fruit and peach flavors, with nuances of oak, as well as the minerality that the estate vineyard brings to all its wines, white and red.9230CaliforniaMt. HarlanCentral CoastCalera 2011 Chardonnay (Mt. Harlan)ChardonnayCalera
8753987538USThis is an elaborate wine that's dense, complex and immensely enjoyable. It has a fleshy, meaty quality, like a buttery veal piccata, alongside ripe white and yellow fruits. There's a firm, minerally quality, highlighted by crisp acidity, and the finish is bone dry. Gets more interesting as it warms up in the glass. One of the best examples of Roussanne out there.Essence de Roussanne9265CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastClos Solène 2011 Essence de Roussanne Roussanne (Paso Robles)RoussanneClos Solène
8754087539AustriaBig, rich wine, packed with spice, ripe peach and mango flavors. Designated a Library Wine by Knoll, it is complex, ageworthy, with a weight of both fruit and pepper to it. Keep this powerful wine for at least another 2–3 years.Loibner Smaragd Vinothekfüllung9279WachauRoger Voss@vossrogerEmmerich Knoll 2011 Loibner Smaragd Vinothekfüllung Grüner Veltliner (Wachau)Grüner VeltlinerEmmerich Knoll

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