Wine Reviews

97099708USMade in a complex style rather than simply fruity, this smells like toasted almonds and vanilla bean. Tastes suggest not-quite-sweet Bosc pears, butter and walnuts. While the texture is luxurious the body is actually light, and the wine is not at all cloying.Estate9021CaliforniaSierra FoothillsSierra FoothillsJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsNaggiar 2014 Estate Viognier (Sierra Foothills)ViognierNaggiar
97109709ItalyA savory blend of 40% Sangiovese, 30% Monica and 30% Carignano, this vibrant red offers aromas of ripe black-skinned fruit, tilled soil, leather, cooking spice, carob and violet. The chewy palate delivers ripe black cherry, juicy blackberry, ground clove and dried Mediterranean herb alongside round, enveloping tannins that give it a velvety texture.Silenzi9015Sicily & SardiniaIsola dei NuraghiKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefePala 2014 Silenzi Red (Isola dei Nuraghi)Red BlendPala
97119710ItalyFragrant and structured, this opens with aromas of perfumed berry, rose petal and spice. The tightly woven palate offers ripe red cherry, crushed strawberry and grilled herb alongside tightly packed tannins and brisk acidity.Bricco San Giuliano9038PiedmontBarbarescoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefePasquale Pelissero 2012 Bricco San Giuliano (Barbaresco)NebbioloPasquale Pelissero
97129711ItalyScorched earth, black-skinned berry, orange zest and baking spice are some of the aromas that emerge on this vibrant red. It's still nervous, offering flavors of raw red berry, white pepper and grilled herb alongside bracing tannins. A coffee note signals the close. Drink 2018–2026.Nervo Vigna Giaia Riserva9050PiedmontBarbarescoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefePiazzo Armando 2010 Nervo Vigna Giaia Riserva (Barbaresco)NebbioloPiazzo Armando
97139712USAnother big, dense expression of the vintage, this has a softness to the tannins that makes it accessible, though the wine will benefit from time in the cellar, through 2017. Cinnamon and clove intermingle with black cherry and currant, finishing in a hint of tobacco.Barrel Select9047CaliforniaRutherfordNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneProvenance Vineyards 2012 Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford)Cabernet SauvignonProvenance Vineyards
97149713MoldovaMade from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Saperavi and 5% Rara Neagra, this wine has a nose of leather, cherry, black raspberry, fig and black plum. Flavors of fresh fig, spice and black plum slowly dissipate on the enduring finish.Negru de Purcari9038MoldovaJeff Jenssen@worldwineguysPurcari 2010 Negru de Purcari Red (Moldova)Red BlendPurcari
97159714MoldovaCrafted from 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Gris and 5% Pinot Blanc, this straw-colored wine offers aromas of lemongrass and almond blossom. It is balanced in the mouth, with flavors of tropical fruit, pineapple and understated flowers.Alb de Purcari9038MoldovaJeff Jenssen@worldwineguysPurcari 2012 Alb de Purcari White (Moldova)White BlendPurcari
97169715PortugalA big, ripe wine that is full of tannins as well as rich black plum fruit flavors. It is dark with bitter chocolate, smoky bacon flavors as well as a concentrated structure that promises aging. This 100% Touriga Nacional is still so young, still tough, so drink from 2018.Casaboa Reserva9039LisboaRoger Voss@vossrogerQuinta da Casaboa 2011 Casaboa Reserva Touriga Nacional (Lisboa)Touriga NacionalQuinta da Casaboa
96919690ArgentinaSavory, baked cassis and blackberry aromas show form and solidity, while the palate is deep and a little soft, with lush, slightly roasted berry and black currant aromas. Chocolaty on the finish yet not too heavy or forced. Not all that Syrah-like but it still smells and tastes good.Reserve8611Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachTrivento 2008 Reserve Syrah (Mendoza)SyrahTrivento
96929691USThis shows the sharper, more herbaceous side of the grape, though perhaps without being fully ripe. It seems to fall away quickly into simple lemon juice flavors, with a hint of herb.LEHM8620WashingtonChelan CountyWashington OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Vin du Lac 2008 LEHM Sauvignon Blanc (Chelan County)Sauvignon BlancVin du Lac
96939692SpainA solid but seemingly standard blend of Tempranillo, Syrah and Garnacha with berry and cherry aromas along with touches of mint and leather. The palate is woody, with spiced berry flavors and decent body and structure. Vanilla and then oak-based bitterness define the finish. A good wine but hardly a knockout.Corpus del Muni Roble8620Central SpainVino de la Tierra de CastillaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas del Muni 2008 Corpus del Muni Roble Red (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla)Tempranillo BlendBodegas del Muni
96949693SpainBegins with muddled, murky, syrupy aromas of caramel and berries. The palate is more high-toned, with lemony accents to tomato, baked fruit and savory flavors. Finishes solid albeit lightly damp and bitter. Comes around with time but always seems a bit murky.Glorioso Crianza8613Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Palacio 2006 Glorioso Crianza (Rioja)TempranilloBodegas Palacio
96959694SpainRoasted and mildly leafy, and then clacky and a bit tannic in the mouth. The fruit flavors are good and mostly pure as they settle on black cherry and blackberry, while the finish is jammy but short. For $8 this should not disappoint.868Central SpainVino de la Tierra de CastillaMichael Schachner@wineschachCapa 2008 Tempranillo (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla)TempranilloCapa
96969695USA menthol/eucalyptus note shoots through the aroma of this pleasant Cabernet. It shows quickly maturing flavors of plum and pie cherry, an easy-drinking softness throughout the mid-palate, and just a hint of heat in the finish.Barrel Select8635WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Domaine Pouillon 2007 Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonDomaine Pouillon
96979696PortugalA lean style bringing out acidity from the juicy black currant fruits. It has definite tannins supporting the fruit, while it finishes with fresh, perhaps too fresh, acidity.Barco Negro8613DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerJ. & F. Lurton 2008 Barco Negro Red (Douro)Portuguese RedJ. & F. Lurton
97179716PortugalThis Alvarinho comes from vines grown outside the classic Vinho Verde appellation in the larger Minhao region of northern Portugal, but you'd never know it. It has all the intensity and richness of the grape, with a rich texture and apricot and pineapple flavors. It's a fine wine that could age, so drink from 2016.90MinhoRoger Voss@vossrogerQuinta de Lourosa 2014 Alvarinho (Minho)AlvarinhoQuinta de Lourosa
97189717USThis unique wine offers light aromas of white pepper, bay leaf, coffee and dried leaves. The cherry flavors are elegant with a creamy feel and a tart finish, seeming a big compact at present but developing over time.Vox Poluli9050OregonWalla Walla Valley (OR)Oregon OtherSean P. Sullivan@wawinereportRasa 2013 Vox Poluli Mourvèdre (Walla Walla Valley (OR))MourvèdreRasa
97199718USThis smells toasty, spicy and nicely oaky. Rich and plummy, it tastes blackberry-like, jammy and opulent with hints of clove and cassis. Stylish and polished, it's big in flavors and full in body, with soft tannins. It's a sophisticated wine that offers plenty of enjoyment.9040CaliforniaAmador CountySierra FoothillsJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsRenwood 2012 Syrah (Amador County)SyrahRenwood
97209719USOne of the winery's special block bottlings, this shows purple aromas of blackberry, violet and lilac alongside graphite and toasted oak. The palate is meaty, bitter and spice-driven, without much overt fruit, showing anise, pencil shavings, tar and concentrated cranberry skins.Mesa9048CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannRiverbench 2013 Mesa Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley)Pinot NoirRiverbench
96989697AustraliaThe Nugan Vision Cabernet Sauvignon over-delivers for its price point. The fruit expression is bold and ripe, with intense raspberry and blackberry liqueur scents followed by tangy cherry pie filling in the mouth. Ends up on a lingering mocha note. Drink now to 2011.Vision8612New South WalesRiverinaNugan Family Estates 2008 Vision Cabernet Sauvignon (Riverina)Cabernet SauvignonNugan Family Estates
96999698SpainFresh berry aromas carry some spice notes, while the palate is rugged and a little hot. Juicy berry flavors are forward but not overly evolved or complex, and the the finish is tight and aggressive. Spunky and clean, with honest flavors.Urban Ribera8614Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachO. Fournier 2008 Urban Ribera (Ribera del Duero)Tinto del PaisO. Fournier
97009699SpainAromas of balsam wood, dry leather, and slightly herbal berry fruit are generally appealing, while the palate has size, balance and a healthy feel to it. More woody and spicy than outright fruity, with a touch of zesty raspberry and strawberry at the core. Nice but simple red wine.Azagador Viñedos Propios Crianza8610Central SpainLa ManchaMichael Schachner@wineschachPago de la Jaraba 2007 Azagador Viñedos Propios Crianza Red (La Mancha)Tempranillo BlendPago de la Jaraba
97019700PortugalGoing for structure as much as fruit, this is a cool wine with black currant flavors giving high acidity. It feels light, fresh, although there are tannins and spice to give some final weight.Bridão Classico868RibatejoRoger Voss@vossrogerAdega Cooperativa do Cartaxo 2007 Bridão Classico Red (Ribatejo)Portuguese RedAdega Cooperativa do Cartaxo
97029701SpainOpens with a blast of cola and minty grass, and then comes a raisiny wave and mossy herbal notes that are typical of Navarran Merlot, which makes up 60% of this three-grape blend. Gritty in the mouth, with black cherry, licorice, herbs, raisin and lasting sweetness on the finish.Finca la Moneda8640Northern SpainNavarraMichael Schachner@wineschachAlzania 2004 Finca la Moneda Red (Navarra)Red BlendAlzania
97039702FranceSimple juicy fruit, just touched by tannins, but more driven by ripe plum juice and the brightest, delicious acidity.86BeaujolaisBeaujolais-VillagesRoger Voss@vossrogerBarton & Guestier 2008 Beaujolais-VillagesGamayBarton & Guestier
97049703SpainOpens with good berry fruit aromas, mineral notes and coconutty sweetness, which is followed by a plump, well-balanced palate of black fruits, plum and licorice. Finishes solid and warm, with enough vitality and juiciness to maintain balance. More or less what you want from affordable Monastrell.Castillo de Jumilla8610LevanteJumillaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Bleda 2008 Castillo de Jumilla Monastrell (Jumilla)MonastrellBodegas Bleda
97059704ArgentinaThis concentrated, almost syrupy Malbec smells mossy and mulchy while also displaying scents of coffee grinds, tree bark and blackberry jam. A bolt of tartaric acidity keeps it from being flabby, while flavors of blackberry and black currant are salty, woody and finish resiny. Drink through 2020.Vineyard Selection9050Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachMatias Riccitelli 2012 Vineyard Selection Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecMatias Riccitelli
97069705USA rare 100% Petit Verdot, this is dense in red and black fruit, from plum and blueberry to blackberry, ripe enough to be in a cobbler. Cinnamon dusts the top, with a puff of smoke in the background. Balanced despite its heft, it finishes soft, ready to be paired with meaty foods.Scarlett Estate Grown9050CaliforniaRutherfordNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneMcGah Family 2012 Scarlett Estate Grown Petit Verdot (Rutherford)Petit VerdotMcGah Family
97079706ItalyThis youthful, full-bodied red is restrained but slowly reveals aromas and flavors of crushed violet, bright red berry, baking spice and tobacco. The tannins are tightly packed so give it a few years to unwind. Drink 2018–2025.Asili9090PiedmontBarbarescoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMichele Chiarlo 2012 Asili (Barbaresco)NebbioloMichele Chiarlo
97089707PortugalFrom limestone and granite soils, this is a structured, mineral, textured wine. It already has a fine balance between berry fruits and their acidity and a dense, dry tannic core that gives the wine a solid character and considerable potential. Drink from 2018.90AlentejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerMonte da Ravasqueira 2013 Red (Alentejano)Portuguese RedMonte da Ravasqueira

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