Wine Reviews

8821088209USTart and tight, this young wine is still pulling itself together. The tart raspberry fruit turns quite sour, with a streak of Band-aid, then an unintegrated wash of caramel.8525WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Locati Cellars 2008 Barbera (Columbia Valley (WA))BarberaLocati Cellars
8821188210USThis 100% Cabernet is too sweet, tasting like a raspberry, mocha and caramel Starbucks drink. It's the poster child for overextracted, overoaked, high alcohol California Cabernet.8455CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaHuge Bear 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma County)Cabernet SauvignonHuge Bear
8821288211USIt hardly matters what varieties this white blend is made from. It's just fine for a ten buck wine, with sweet citrus fruit and vanilla flavors and a nice kick of acidity.8410CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastMommyJuice NV White (Central Coast)White BlendMommyJuice
8821388212USPrimary, light fruit flavors of strawberry touched with herb. Not much else going on in this young, still raw and grapey wine.8424WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Righteous 2009 Malbec (Walla Walla Valley (WA))MalbecRighteous
8821488213SpainSweet and corny on the nose, and then soft and sweet in the mouth, with candy corn and cereal flavors. Finishes candied, sort of like a glass of corn flakes topped with a sparkle.Aria Estate Extra Dry8414CataloniaCavaMichael Schachner@wineschachSegura Viudas NV Aria Estate Extra Dry Sparkling (Cava)Sparkling BlendSegura Viudas
8821588214USA little sweet and jammy in apicots, pineapples and limes, with a sugary finish. But acidity is just fine. Try with Vietnamese and Chinese pork, fish and chicken dishes whose sauces are sugared.8415CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherSeven Daughters NV Sauvignon Blanc (California)Sauvignon BlancSeven Daughters
8821688215USA little sweet and simple, but for the price, a good approximation of Pinot Noir. It's rich in raspberry and cherry jam flavor.8411CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherBogle 2009 Pinot Noir (California)Pinot NoirBogle
8821788216USYes, it's a good price, but this SB from Mendocino has loads of green pepper and peach fuzz that overpower its otherwise varietally familiar acidity and texture.8411CaliforniaMendocino CountyVirginie Boone@vbooneCastle Rock 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (Mendocino County)Sauvignon BlancCastle Rock
8820188200SpainPointy and sharp at first, with earthy, dry aromas. Edgy feeling, with heat and scour to go with peppery, herbal berry flavors. Finishes mossy and warm, with a minty burn. Improves with airing.Sangre de Toro8512CataloniaCatalunyaMichael Schachner@wineschachTorres 2008 Sangre de Toro Tempranillo (Catalunya)TempranilloTorres
8820288201SpainNeutral for the most part, with fresh acidity, light bubbles and basic apple and peach flavors. A little sweet and confected but perfectly good. Solid for simple sipping and mimosas.Carta Nevada Brut859CataloniaCavaMichael Schachner@wineschachFreixenet NV Carta Nevada Brut Sparkling (Cava)Sparkling BlendFreixenet
8820388202USQuite light, with tart rhubarb and strawberry fruit. There's more than a hint of peppery herb, and a tart, quick finish.8525WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Hawkins Cellars 2009 Sangiovese (Columbia Valley (WA))SangioveseHawkins Cellars
8820488203FranceThis is a soft, gentle wine, made for immediate consumption. It features bright cherry and pear-drop aromas and pleasant, if somewhat simple, fruit flavors. Two-thirds Grenache, with the rest being a blend of Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvèdre.Passe Colline85Rhône ValleyVentouxJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzVignobles La Coterie 2010 Passe Colline Red (Ventoux)Rhône-style Red BlendVignobles La Coterie
8820588204SpainGrainy and leathery smelling, with medicinal plum and raspberry aromas. Perky but angular in the mouth, with freshening acidity leading to light but zesty strawberry and raspberry flavors. Shows drying tannins, vanilla and spice on the back end.Vendimia Seleccionada8514Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Riolanc 2009 Vendimia Seleccionada (Rioja)Tempranillo BlendBodegas Riolanc
8820688205USA bit thin and quite acidic, with a real bite, but otherwise it's pleasant enough, with cherry, raspberry, mocha and cinnamon flavors.Lot 2518513CaliforniaArroyo SecoCentral CoastCameron Hughes 2009 Lot 251 G-S-M (Arroyo Seco)G-S-MCameron Hughes
8820788206USIcarus, in Greek myth, got too close to the sun. So did this wine from Icaria. It's not bad, but simply overripe. Has a sweet taste of raisins, in addition to the sweet smokiness from oak. Drink now.8528CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaIcaria 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley)Cabernet SauvignonIcaria
8820888207USA little too sweet and soft. Tastes almost like a melted chocolate, red cherry and anise dessert. The finish is hot, too, making this wine pretty rustic. But it sure is delicious.Estate8525CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaLa Storia by Trentadue 2009 Estate Petite Sirah (Alexander Valley)Petite SirahLa Storia by Trentadue
8820988208FranceA soft, rounded wine, with delicious plum and black cherry fruit flavors. It is rich, along with acidity, ripe tannins and an easy, light finish.St Amand Vieilles Vignes8511BeaujolaisBeaujolais-VillagesRoger Voss@vossrogerLabouré-Roi 2009 St Amand Vieilles Vignes (Beaujolais-Villages)GamayLabouré-Roi
8821888217FranceA broad, rather soft example of rosé, this blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan should be consumed over the next few months.8413Rhône ValleyCostières de NîmesJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzLouis Bernard 2010 Rosé (Costières de Nîmes)RoséLouis Bernard
8821988218USMade in the sweet, simple way, with pineapple and orange jam fruit, buttered popcorn and vanilla flavors. However, the price isn't bad, and it will appeal to a lot of your friends at parties for its California richness.8410CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastMark West 2010 Chardonnay (Central Coast)ChardonnayMark West
8822088219SpainConcentrated and smoky, with shoe polish and other black aromas. It's ultratight in the mouth, collapsing on itself more than expanding. Flavors of earth and berry are loud. Rugged feeling on the finish.Selección8424Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachMarqués de Elciego 2008 Selección (Rioja)TempranilloMarqués de Elciego
8822188220USThis young Cabernet feels thin and earthy, with little to offer in the way of fruit. Aged in American oak, roughly one third new, it is tart and unyielding.8426WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Raised By Wolves 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonRaised By Wolves
8822288221FranceThis blend of 80% Clairette and 20% Bourboulenc seems to be fading a little, losing its freshness in favor of greater palate breadth. The flavors are largely neutral, but hint at oranges. Drink up.In Fine8412Rhône ValleyVentouxJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzBourgeois Family 2009 In Fine White (Ventoux)Rhône-style White BlendBourgeois Family
8822388222USA simple wine, with sugary pineapple jam and buttered popcorn flavors, overwhelmed by sweet oak.Fermata8435CaliforniaMontereyCentral CoastWrath 2009 Fermata Chardonnay (Monterey)ChardonnayWrath
8822488223USA darkly colored red blend that tastes like coffee sweetened with blackberry liqueur and anise. It's a big, rich, thick wine that's rustic, but entirely drinkable with barbecue, burgers, pizza.8410CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastMommyJuice NV Red (Central Coast)Red BlendMommyJuice
8822588224USAn odd wine, as sweet as pear and peach fruit juice, yet with a strong dose of acidic, green gooseberry. The right salty-sweet foods will balance it.Persephone Vineyard Estate8422CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaPeju 2010 Persephone Vineyard Estate Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley)Sauvignon BlancPeju
8822688225SpainDespite an opening that features some vinegary sharpness and mulch, there's also decent berry fruit notes and milk chocolate sweetness to the nose. Feels about as you'd expect, which means it's zesty and lean, with cherry, plum and herbal flavors. Juicy and minty on the finish.Mediterranean Red846CataloniaCatalunyaMichael Schachner@wineschachRené Barbier NV Mediterranean Red Tempranillo-Merlot (Catalunya)Tempranillo-MerlotRené Barbier
8822788226FranceThis medium-bodied blend of Cinsaut, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Grenache features bright raspberry and lime notes alongside a touch of apple. Very crisp; on the lean side for a Costières de Nîmes rosé.Rhône Paradox84Rhône ValleyCostières de NîmesJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzChâteau Mas Neuf 2010 Rhône Paradox Rosé (Costières de Nîmes)RoséChâteau Mas Neuf
8822888227USGood acidity and a firm minerality provide the backbone to this citrus and tropical fruit-flavored wine. But it's too sweet, turning cloying after the first sip.Back Seat Blonde8417CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastCoquelicot 2009 Back Seat Blonde White (Santa Ynez Valley)White BlendCoquelicot
8822988228USA country-style red wine, made from indeterminate varieties. It's tough and stringy in the mouth, with earthy berry and tobacco flavors.Lucca8413CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaCourtney Benham NV Lucca Red (Napa Valley)Red BlendCourtney Benham
8823088229PeruHeavy on the bouquet, with baked, rustic black fruit aromas that turn cheesy and leathery with airing. Chunky but layered in the mouth, with thick, ripe black cherry and blackberry flavors. Sweet, lightly herbal and heavy on the finish.Quantum8420IcaMichael Schachner@wineschachTacama 2008 Quantum Petit Verdot (Ica)Petit VerdotTacama

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