Wine Reviews

91519150PortugalThis earthy wine has black-currant acidity, awkward dry tannins and a tough texture. The aftertaste is medicinal and herbal.Porta Velha83Trás-os-MontesRoger Voss@vossrogerValle Pradinhos 2010 Porta Velha Red (Trás-os-Montes)Portuguese RedValle Pradinhos
91529151BrazilThis opens with dusty dried-apple aromas. High acidity preserves its composure even though the fruit is marginal and vacillates between flavors of apple and lemony citrus.Brut8331Santa CatarinaMichael Schachner@wineschachVillaggio Grando 2011 Brut Sparkling (Santa Catarina)Sparkling BlendVillaggio Grando
91539152ChileFor wine drinkers who don't mind briny aromas, here is a wine with a funky-oyster quality on the nose. This adequate wine tastes of orange, brine, asparagus and pickled beans. It's juicy and plump on the tail end.Selección8312Maipo ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachViña Chocalan 2011 Selección Sauvignon Blanc (Maipo Valley)Sauvignon BlancViña Chocalan
91549153USThis feels rustic in the mouth, with edgy tannins and a streak of green mint. Still, it's dry and silky, with enough raspberry and cherry fruit to satisfy.8311CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherMcManis 2011 Pinot Noir (California)Pinot NoirMcManis
91559154ChileCrusty on the nose, this has an asphalt note that transitions into hard spice and sour berry notes. It has flavors of creamy, minty oak and medicinal berry fruit. A lasting flavor of oak-driven spice and a hint of green carry some heat.8310Central ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachoops 2011 Red (Central Valley)Red Blendoops
91569155ItalyThis sweet sparkler presents a cheerful and informal side of the fragrant Moscato grape. It bursts open with aromas of rose, jasmine and sweet honey. The soft bubbling is creamy and smooth.Salvatore Principe Mi Amore8312Italy OtherItalyAstoria NV Salvatore Principe Mi Amore Moscato (Italy)MoscatoAstoria
91579156ChileMeaty and rubbery smelling, this has a wide and dilute mouthfeel. It tastes stalky and a little burnt, with red fruit flavors on the fringe. The finish is herbal, with some heat.Reserve8315Curicó ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachCuevas del Sur 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Curicó Valley)Cabernet SauvignonCuevas del Sur
91589157USRipe and forward in blackberry and cherry jam, this Sangiovese-based blend (with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) is a simple wine to drink with burgers.Baci's Bin 328324CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaCerruti 2009 Baci's Bin 32 Red (Napa Valley)Red BlendCerruti
91599158USAll the Brick House wines are certified organic and Biodynamic. Les Dijonnais spent 15 months in 30% new French oak. The opening aromas lead with fresh, lively, buoyant notes of cherry fruit. With more exposure to air its tannins get a bit chewy, and the wine shows impressive strength through a long finish.Les Dijonnais9252OregonRibbon RidgeWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Brick House 2012 Les Dijonnais Pinot Noir (Ribbon Ridge)Pinot NoirBrick House
91609159FranceThis is turning into an impressive wine as it finds its way between solid tannins and ripe, full black fruits. It is dark and dense at this stage with tannins that dominate. A more juicy character will develop as the wine ages. Drink from 2017.9229BordeauxMoulis-en-MédocRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Dutruch Grand Poujeaux 2012 Moulis-en-MédocBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Dutruch Grand Poujeaux
91619160FranceThis solid and powerful wine comes from a chateau right in the walls of Saint-Émilion. A dense texture brings out tannins and the wood-aging flavors. Spice, black currant fruitiness and a dark, dense character all promise aging. Drink from 2018.9240BordeauxSaint-ÉmilionRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Villemaurine 2012 Saint-ÉmilionBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Villemaurine
91629161USThough more focused on Bordeaux varieties, the Daou brothers produce a fantastic Pinot Noir to chew on, with rich aromas of cherry pie set in a anise-flecked crust. The wine is soft and plush once sipped, with black cherries, root beer and strong black licorice elements.9265CaliforniaEdna ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannDaou 2012 Pinot Noir (Edna Valley)Pinot NoirDaou
91639162USDavies has been making Pinot Noir since 2009. Firm, lively acidity and generous tannins in this complex wine lift up the distinctive cherry and clove flavors. A sharp balance means the fruit flavors and fine structure fill each other out for a harmonious whole.Londer Vineyards9255CaliforniaAnderson ValleyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsDavies 2012 Londer Vineyards Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley)Pinot NoirDavies
91649163SpainMonastrell (with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon) has rarely smelled this perfumed, rich and inviting. This is an ultraripe Levante bruiser, with a jammy yet defined structure and huge flavors of baked blackberry, exotic spice, dusty mineral and toasty oak. Herbs, espresso and toast flavors propel this rich red to a lush finish. Drink through 2017.Clio9245LevanteJumillaMichael Schachner@wineschachEl Nido 2011 Clio Red (Jumilla)Red BlendEl Nido
91659164ItalyToasted bread crust, citrus and apple are just some of the aromas that characterize this lovely sparkler. A blanc de noirs made with 100% Pinot Nero, it offers a vibrant palate that delivers nectarine, roasted almond, pastry cream and mineral alongside persistent bubbles and fresh acidity. It also boasts enough structure to age for several years. Drink through 2017.Perlé Nero9278Northeastern ItalyTrentoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeFerrari 2007 Perlé Nero Pinot Nero (Trento)Pinot NeroFerrari
91669165USBilly Wathen and Dick Dore pick this cofermented blend of 85% Syrah and 15% Viognier together on the same day. The result is very savory, with resinous herbs and root beer on the nose. Once sipped, a rainbow of dark flavors emerges: chopped Italian herbs, creosote, black olive, fennel, soy and orange pith, reminiscent of a North African tagine.Toasted Rope9244CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannFoxen 2012 Toasted Rope Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley)SyrahFoxen
91679166ItalyCrushed blue flower, new leather, ripe black fruit and incense aromas jump out of the glass. The palate is surprisingly fresh for the vintage, displaying juicy plum, blackberry and cinnamon balanced by firm but smooth tannins.Terre di San Zeno9255VenetoAmarone della Valpolicella ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCorteforte 2007 Terre di San Zeno (Amarone della Valpolicella Classico)Red BlendCorteforte
91689167USA blend of five vineyards, some of which go into single-vineyard designates, this is a well made, structured wine, offering layers of black cherry and subtle earth around soft, velvety tannins. The finish highlights black pepper spice with dark chocolate chaser.9226CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneDashe Cellars 2012 Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelDashe Cellars
91699168USOne of the many vintners proud of their forthcoming Willow Creek District appellation, Bob and Jo-Ann Dunning's Chardonnay presents delicate aromas of yellow flowers, vanilla bean, peach skin and limestone. The white rocks extend to the palate, picking up nectarine elements, too, creating a lean but flavorful wine that's refreshing enough to sip all night.Estate Wines Westside9226CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannDunning Vineyards 2013 Estate Wines Westside Chardonnay (Paso Robles)ChardonnayDunning Vineyards
91709169USThe winery makes this wine from vines planted in 1959 that it now farms organically. In this vintage, they produced a hearty, sizable wine, ripe, soft and intense, in need of time to coax the blackberry and cassis fruit forward. Enjoy through 2025.Yountville Selection Estate Grown92195CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneGrgich Hills 2010 Yountville Selection Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonGrgich Hills
91719170GermanyFreesia and tangerine rind scent this bright, aromatic wine. It's dry in style, yet luscious and ripe, streaked with tones of honey tangerines and peach. Bristling lime acidity lends cut and vibe to the finish.Kirchberg Bingen Trocken GG9269RheinhessenAnna Lee C. IijimaPrinz Salm 2012 Kirchberg Bingen Trocken GG Riesling (Rheinhessen)RieslingPrinz Salm
91729171USBold flavors and a graceful mouthfeel come together in this classic, complex and well-balanced red, made from 71% Zinfandel with other traditional California varieties. The blackberry, sage and ever-so-slightly earthy aromas continue through the flavors, where they interlace with firm tannins and supportive acidity. This could easily improve through 2019.Geyserville9238CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsRidge 2012 Geyserville Red (Alexander Valley)Red BlendRidge
91739172ItalyAromas of underbrush, leather, truffle and a balsamic note lead the nose on this lush wine. On the concentrated palate, ripe plum and blackberry take center stage while notes of vanilla, mocha, licorice and clove play supporting roles. Velvety tannins generate a smooth texture and make it extremely approachable. Drink through 2019.9240Central ItalyMontefalco SagrantinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeAdanti 2007 Montefalco SagrantinoSagrantinoAdanti
91749173USPleasantly dank aromas of smoldering pine needles, leather and gamy meats hit the nose on this 2% Viognier coferment. Flavors are reminiscent of roasted wild boar, with dark chocolate, creosote and beef crust, presented against grippy tannins.Toasted Slope Estate9242CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannAlta Colina 2011 Toasted Slope Estate Syrah (Paso Robles)SyrahAlta Colina
91759174USFrom the Napa side of Carneros, this small-production Pinot is concentrated and oaky, layered throughout in spicy black cherry tart. The strong flavors lead to a strong, emphatic finish.Paladini Vineyard9247CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneSchermeister 2012 Paladini Vineyard Pinot Noir (Carneros)Pinot NoirSchermeister
91769175USExtra time in bottle has proved rewarding for this varietally pure, aromatic, even pungent wine. A complex bouquet yields rose petals, sweet spices, coffee and cedar, and flavors follow through a subtle, penetrating finish. The spicy, brambly berry fruit carries a hint of brine. Drink now through 2025.Tribute9265OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Gypsy Dancer 2010 Tribute Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirGypsy Dancer
91779176USThere's meaty leather and sizable tannin in this mountain-grown Malbec, from an Atlas Peak vineyard sought after for many types of red grapes. Time in bottle has served it well, the bolder aspects and jammy blackberry and blueberry fruit softened by balanced acidity.Krupp Vineyard9255CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneKrutz 2010 Krupp Vineyard Malbec (Napa Valley)MalbecKrutz
91789177USDistinctly wet-earth aromas of mushroom surround a line of graphite with touches of red fruit in this impressive bottling from young winemaker Cris Carter. The umami-driven flavors of shiitake and dried figs are elegant and soft in the mouth, a great fit for lovers of earthy, savory Pinot Noir.9235CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannWeatherborne 2012 Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirWeatherborne
91799178USThis private reserve is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot, aged considerably in bottle. Rich and full-bodied, it has a vanilla-kissed nose and earthy leather pedigree, the black cherry flavor concentrated and thick.Private Reserve9299CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneTobacco Road 2008 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonTobacco Road
91809179USBaked vanilla cake, marcona almonds and pressed guava notes make for a balanced though certainly oaken nose from the appellation's pioneering property. The flavors are round and peachy, with a nice arc of smoke and butter that lead to bitter mustard and acidic zing on the finish.Lone Oak Vineyard9240CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannLucienne 2012 Lone Oak Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Lucia Highlands)ChardonnayLucienne

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