Wine Reviews

93619360SpainBig and sweet, with ripe berry aromas, candy and leather on the nose. This wine is a classic fruity joven; it's bulky and easygoing, with black cherry, raspberry and chocolate. If you aren't looking for miracles, this is fine within the young Ribera del Duero category.Joven8411Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachArroyo 2006 Joven (Ribera del Duero)TempranilloArroyo
93629361SpainRusty in color with a neutral, light-styled nose. This wine shows all of its age via lean apple skin and cherry flavors. It's a bit acidic and stripped down, but deep inside there's adequate tobacco, leather and coffee notes.Gran Reserva8415Central SpainValdepeñasMichael Schachner@wineschachViña Albali 1999 Gran Reserva Tempranillo (Valdepeñas)TempranilloViña Albali
93639362USFor an affordable, everyday red, this is a pretty good investment. It's dry and full-bodied, with berry, earth, mocha and spice flavors.8410CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastGrayson 2006 Merlot (Paso Robles)MerlotGrayson
93649363SpainOsborne is now in Ribera del Duero, and if this wine is an indication of what to expect, then work needs to be done. It has a cheesey nose with no real fruit character. The palate has acidic freshness but also a dearth of substance and a grabby feel. It's not bad wine per se, but in RDD the competition is stiff and this isn't going to draw many converts.Señorio del Cid Crianza8421Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachOsborne Selección 2003 Señorio del Cid Crianza (Ribera del Duero)TempranilloOsborne Selección
93659364South AfricaThis wine offers clean, minerally aromas and a palate of honey and apples. Pair with poultry or fresh seafood. Not overly elegant, but a good wine from a great producer.Chenin Blanc - Sauvignon Blanc8412OverbergSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaSlowine 2007 Chenin Blanc - Sauvignon Blanc White (Overberg)White BlendSlowine
93669365SpainFairly rough and gaseous at first (and we tried two different samples), although it does soften with time. The mouth and palate are pretty good: Raspberry and plum flavors are tasty, and the acidity is not lacking. Finishes with earth and a touch of burnt coffee.Crianza8411Central SpainLa ManchaMichael Schachner@wineschachCondesa de Leganza 2003 Crianza Tempranillo (La Mancha)TempranilloCondesa de Leganza
93679366AustraliaMarked by simple pineapple and citrus flavors, this plump, fleshy-textured Chard turns unexpectedly crisp and slighly metallic on the finish.Unwooded8417South AustraliaBarossaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzSchild Estate 2007 Unwooded Chardonnay (Barossa)ChardonnaySchild Estate
93689367USPowerful in pungent gooseberry flavors, this wine will appeal to aficionados of New Zealand Sauvignons, but will leave those craving riper, lusher fruit flavors out in the cold. The acidity is very high, almost making the wine what the French call pétillant, or fizzy.8421CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaSt. Supéry 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley)Sauvignon BlancSt. Supéry
93699368USThis is the least successful Judd's Hill Cabernet in recent memory. The current '04 bottling is lean, with cherry tea and mint flavors. A disappointment.8442CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaJudd's Hill 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonJudd's Hill
93709369USCarneros isn't ideal for Cabernet, as it's too cool. Even in this hot vintage, Truchard's '04 bottling has an unripe, vegetal streak beside the cassis, chocolate and new oak flavors.Estate8335CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaTruchard 2004 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Carneros)Cabernet SauvignonTruchard
93719370SpainEveryone who follows Spain and the Mediterranean basin knows that 2002 was a cool, miserly year. But still, this wine is offering almost nothing. It's tart, limited and borderline sour. There isn't much middle or body to it, so expect scratchy red fruit and lots of wayward acidity.Tinto Reserva8349Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachPago de los Capellanes 2002 Tinto Reserva (Ribera del Duero)TempranilloPago de los Capellanes
93729371SpainYoung, rambunctious Toro is what this is. It's leathery and raw on the nose, with barrel char to boot. The palate is sweet, unctuous and creamy, with candied berry flavors and caramel. And the tannins are typically huge and grabby.Azul8315Northern SpainToroMichael Schachner@wineschachEstancia Piedra 2006 Azul (Toro)Tinta de ToroEstancia Piedra
93739372SpainVibrant to the point of spritzy, with more tartness than cushion. This is a sharp rendition of Viura that emphasizes grapefruit and lemon. It stretches astringency to its limit, and yet some may like it because it will never be confused for plodding.Solaz Blanco8310Central SpainVino de la Tierra de CastillaMichael Schachner@wineschachOsborne 2006 Solaz Blanco Viura (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla)ViuraOsborne
93749373AustraliaShows some rather lactic overtones to go with ample citrus and guava flavors. Medium-bodied, with a fresh, lemony finish.Signature8315VictoriaYarra ValleyJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzMarquee 2006 Signature Chardonnay (Yarra Valley)ChardonnayMarquee
93759374USOverly ripe and sugary sweet, this Merlot, with a splash of Cab, has a rustic feeling. There is ripe fruit and fine tannins, but the sweetness is a problem.8325CaliforniaPaicinesCentral CoastDonati 2005 Merlot (Paicines)MerlotDonati
93769375USThis is a 100% estate wine from the producer's cool-climate sites near the town of Freestone. Black pepper and a nutty entry invite one in to explore further, this wine having many stories to tell as it develops. Soft and mellow, it's also feral and funky, with a strong essence of mushroomy forest floor.Quarter Moon Vineyard9375CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneJoseph Phelps 2013 Quarter Moon Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)Pinot NoirJoseph Phelps
93779376USThis is a beautiful and beguiling wine, so different from many of its counterparts in its sizzling, citrus-driven acidity and persistent freshness. Tangerine and grapefruit are the stars, unexpectedly keeping this light-bodied vineyard-designate alive and inviting on the palate.Sweetwater Springs Vineyard9345CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneBrick & Mortar 2014 Sweetwater Springs Vineyard Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayBrick & Mortar
93789377FranceThe top rosé from old vines at Grand Boise, this is a ripe, well-structured and balanced wine. The fruit is right up front, raspberries and red plums along with a lightly herbal element. The high-altitude vineyard (up to 2,000 feet) gives a cool, crisp aftertaste to this impressive wine.Cuvée Jadis9330ProvenceCôtes de ProvenceRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Grand Boise 2015 Cuvée Jadis Rosé (Côtes de Provence)RoséChâteau Grand Boise
93799378AustriaAnother study in citrus: bergamot peel mixes with fragrant citrus foliage on the nose. The palate brings further harmony with notes of orange and tangerine. The juicy freshness is utterly mouthwatering. The dry, slender palate is seriously playful and playfully serious. Only Riesling can achieve this. Utter joy and supreme refreshment.Terrassen Federspiel9319WachauAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoDomäne Wachau 2015 Terrassen Federspiel Riesling (Wachau)RieslingDomäne Wachau
93809379AustriaAloe vera balminess is promised on the zesty, aromatic nose. The palate fulfills this easily: this is supple and flowing, concentrated and fluid. White pepper, grapefruit zest, juicy pear and greenish leafiness all gather around the central seam of freshness. Elegance, poise and total refreshment is the result.Wechselberg9320KamptalAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoEichinger 2015 Wechselberg Grüner Veltliner (Kamptal)Grüner VeltlinerEichinger
93819380USBright, fresh and vivacious, this bottling from the historic vineyard offers white flowers, sea salt, lemons and buttered white peaches on the nose. Apple flesh and lime rind sizzles into the citrus-driven palate, where a touch of lemon verbena adds complexity to this straightforward and delicious wine.Bien Nacido Vineyard9337CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannFess Parker 2014 Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley)ChardonnayFess Parker
93829381ArgentinaBlackberry, cassis, mocha and chocolate aromas are typical of fine, modern Malbec, even if this contains 18% Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. A flush, widespread mouthfeel expands across all corners of the palate, while savory, toasty flavors of blackberry and licorice finish with a reprise of char as well as hickory and coffee notes. Drink this beefy wine through 2022.Phi Single Vineyard9370Mendoza ProvinceValle de UcoMichael Schachner@wineschachFinca El Origen 2011 Phi Single Vineyard Red (Valle de Uco)Red BlendFinca El Origen
93839382USIt's the stem inclusion that shows itself first, with aromas of olive and herb in front of violets, red fruit, pepper, earth and whiffs of coffee and smoked meat. The flavors are reserved, supple and polished, with bright acids keeping it all in focus. It demands food alongside it to be properly appreciated.John Lewis9385WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportGramercy 2013 John Lewis Syrah (Walla Walla Valley (WA))SyrahGramercy
93849383USBlack cherries, leather, dried rose petals, rustic cinnamon, bloody meat, graphite, cherry cola and vanilla bean show on the wondrously layered nose of this Steve Clifton bottling. It's still a tad young on the palate, which is grippy with sticky tannins, but shows cola, brown spice, cinnamon, cardamom cream, tart plum fruit and a lasting dried mint element. Drink 2018 through 2028.Sisquoc9360CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannPalmina 2008 Sisquoc Nebbiolo (Santa Maria Valley)NebbioloPalmina
93859384USThe aromas of cocoa, vanilla, coconut and dried herbs are still quite locked up, with the oak out front. The cherry flavors are dense, plush and layered, with vanilla and other barrel spices speckled throughout. It provides plenty of immediate appeal but will only benefit from some time in the cellar; best after 2019.9365WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportPursued by Bear 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonPursued by Bear
93869385USRipe, rich fruit and bold, mouth dampening tannins express the rugged muscularity of this wine. A blend of classic Bordeaux grape varieties, it highlights pristine black cherry and cassis against a backdrop of spice, cedar, barnyard and tobacco complexities. It needs a few years to ease off its brawniness, but should improve beautifully through at least 2023.Primo Reserve Estate Bottled9375New YorkNorth Fork of Long IslandLong IslandAnna Lee C. IijimaRaphael 2013 Primo Reserve Estate Bottled Red (North Fork of Long Island)Bordeaux-style Red BlendRaphael
93879386USGrown on the producer's 1,800-foot-high, dry-farmed property west of St. Helena from 40-year-old vines, this is a great wine, structured and elegantly designed to highlight cassis, clove and cigar. Thick, heady tannins soften in the glass, allowing room for enviable structure and a black pepper-dotted finish.9348CaliforniaSpring Mountain DistrictNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneSmith-Madrone 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (Spring Mountain District)Cabernet SauvignonSmith-Madrone
93889387USGiven slightly less new oak (60%) than the producer's Les Sommets bottling, this is an equally rewarding wine, blended with 12% Merlot. Red fruit dominates atop a soft grip of leather, pencil lead and cedar. The considerable density of the tannins and overall firm texture suggest this will benefit from further aging; drink 2018–2022.9365CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneLes Belles Collines 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonLes Belles Collines
93899388USThis is a Westside Road site known for its rocky soils, and the wine presents sassafras, cherry-berry and roses on the entry before laying down a tightly woven mix of sour, salty cranberry and blood orange. It is softly voluptuous and velvety, though young, with a biting chewiness that should mellow in the cellar. Drink now through 2028.Flax Vineyard9357CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneMerry Edwards 2013 Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirMerry Edwards
93909389USVery dark and inky in color, this bottling by Matthias Pippig shows baked black plum and black cherry on the nose as well as a dusting of cocoa and elegant forest spices of juniper and pine. More baked plum and rich blueberry show on the palate, but with a considerably earthy edge of black tea, juniper, coffee and dark chocolate.My Soul Is Rested93CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannSanguis 2013 My Soul Is Rested Red (Central Coast)Red BlendSanguis

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