Wine Reviews


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1042110420USThis wine takes time to unravel and reveal itself, rewarding the patient with a wealth of high-toned citrus and elegantly wound, medium-bodied honeyed pear and caramel. Lengthy and complex, it's one to consider aging and allowing to further mellow over time. Drink now through 2021.Paris Tasting Commemorative9193CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneGrgich Hills 2013 Paris Tasting Commemorative Chardonnay (Napa Valley)ChardonnayGrgich Hills
1042210421USFrom the relatively hot South Coast comes a big, powerful, chewy wine, with aromas of dried blackberries, light leather, some smoke and purple flowers. The real heft is on the palate, where sour tar is laced through stewed black plums, dark chocolate and herbs like dill and oregano. The tannins are a bit stiff.Signature Reserve9162CaliforniaSouth CoastSouth CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannHawk Watch Winery 2011 Signature Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (South Coast)Cabernet SauvignonHawk Watch Winery
1042310422USSourced from the oldest vines in the vineyard, this lovely wine is scented with rose petals, cranberries and sour cherries. Those flavors continue in a light, elegant framework, that gains power and focus as it works its way through the palate. Don't quit on this; it won't quit on you, finishing with a lick of sea salt caramel chocolate.Coury9160OregonMcMinnvilleWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Hyland 2014 Coury Pinot Noir (McMinnville)Pinot NoirHyland
1042410423USStrong cola, fresh pomegranate, pressed strawberry and dried spearmint notes show on the nose of this blend of 40% Tempranillo, 32% Petite Sirah, 18% Zinfandel and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from east of Los Angeles. Very intriguing, extremely minty flavors pop on the palate, spicing up the baked blueberry and meaty beef elements.Velluto9129CaliforniaCucamonga ValleySouth CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannJoseph Filippi 2010 Velluto Red (Cucamonga Valley)Red BlendJoseph Filippi
1042510424USThis combines a majority of Cabernet with 4% Malbec for a huge, powerfully made wine, aged almost two years in French oak. It is named for the block from which it is sourced atop the mighty Stagecoach. It's reflective in leathery tobacco and cedar and fully concentrated with flushes of dark chocolate and caramel. Drink now through 2022.Stagecoach Vineyard M591165CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneKrupp Brothers 2012 Stagecoach Vineyard M5 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonKrupp Brothers
1042610425FranceA pure rendition of honeysuckle blossom rises from this wine along with notes of ripe pear. The palate has something both crystalline and stony, pure and distinct. Beyond its central seam of freshness the wine shimmers with rich, earthy nuance of ripe pear on one side, of brisk zestiness on the other. Drink now and until 2020.9124AlsaceAlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoDomaine Marcel Deiss 2014 White (Alsace)Alsace white blendDomaine Marcel Deiss
1042710426FranceFresh and juicy, this wine delivers round, ripe strawberry flavors. Solid tannins don't lose sight of the freshness of the year and balance the rich, jammy aftertaste. The wine, with its attractive fruits, will develop quickly. Drink from 2019.Les Longeroies91BurgundyMarsannayRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Sylvain Pataille 2014 Les Longeroies (Marsannay)Pinot NoirDomaine Sylvain Pataille
1042810427ItalyVibrant and savory, this opens with lovely aromas of spring flower, citrus, herb and white stone fruit. The round, juicy palate offers ripe white peach, juicy grapefruit, pineapple and mineral alongside fresh acidity. A saline note backs up the finish.Sur Sur9119Sicily & SardiniaSiciliaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeDonnafugata 2015 Sur Sur Grillo (Sicilia)GrilloDonnafugata
1042910428GermanyA glaze of honey accentuates the sweetness of ripe melon, peach and tangerine flavors in this intensely fruity yet delicately balanced wine. It's ethereally light in texture, but packs a firm, tropical punch, juxtaposed by a spine-tingling streak of acidity.Berncasteler Doctor Auslese Gold Cap9189MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaDr. H. Thanisch (Erben Thanisch) 2014 Berncasteler Doctor Auslese Gold Cap Riesling (Mosel)RieslingDr. H. Thanisch (Erben Thanisch)
1043010429USMade from a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon with a sizable addition of Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, The Discussion is lovely in spicy black pepper and clove, full bodied and softly integrated in terms of tannin and oak. A brightness of red fruit shines through, along with a distinct taste of fig.The Discussion Estate Grown91135CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneDuckhorn 2011 The Discussion Estate Grown Red (Napa Valley)Bordeaux-style Red BlendDuckhorn
1043110430USThis is the first time this recently purchased vineyard has been featured as an Elk Cove designate. Planted in 2007, it's just coming into its own. The young fruit is tight and tangy—a mix of raspberry and black cherry. Forward, bright and lightly spicy, it's nicely focused effort with some high acid snap to the finish.Goodrich9160OregonWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Elk Cove 2014 Goodrich Pinot NoirPinot NoirElk Cove
1043210431USThis is an opulently lush and bold, full-bodied wine, ripe and soft on the palate with a distinct hit of oak on the entry. It evolves in the glass to reveal crisper notions of green apple, nutmeg and lemon-lime.Maldonado Vineyard Dijon Clones9139CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneVenge 2014 Maldonado Vineyard Dijon Clones Chardonnay (Napa Valley)ChardonnayVenge
1043310432USSoftly smoky, with pretty strawberry and raspberry fruit, this strikes a lovely balance. The mouthfeel is smooth and seductive, the flavors seamless and the balance spot on.Hans Clone Pommard9150OregonChehalem MountainsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Vidon Vineyard 2013 Hans Clone Pommard Pinot Noir (Chehalem Mountains)Pinot NoirVidon Vineyard
1043410433ItalyThe nose is a bit shy but the ripe, enveloping palate has impressive depth, delivering smoke, nut, candied nectarine zest, mature Bartlett pear and ginger. A honeyed mineral note closes the lingering finish. Drink through 2020.9119Southern ItalyFiano di AvellinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeVilla Raiano 2015 Fiano di AvellinoFianoVilla Raiano
1043510434USBaked mulberry, light clove spice, cola and gingerbread show on the intriguingly distinctive and delicious nose of this bottling from a boutique producer. Spicy red cherries meet with cinnamon, tangy plum skins and an encompassing tannic grip on this expression of a rarely planted grape.9130CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannWest of Temperance 2012 Aglianico (California)AglianicoWest of Temperance
1043610435SpainFloral aromas suggest rose hips, while lemony oak scents provide framing for earthy berry and cherry notes. This is reaching maturity; it's fresh and plush on the palate. Flavors of cherry, blackberry and coffee finish smooth and quick, with a touch of residual juicy acidity. Drink through 2020.Hacienda Zorita Abascal Vineyard9130Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachMarqués de la Concordia 2009 Hacienda Zorita Abascal Vineyard (Ribera del Duero)TempranilloMarqués de la Concordia
1043710436SpainCherry, blackberry and baking-spice aromas are classic for this winery and the Rioja region. Bright, elegant and just plush enough on the palate, this tastes of plum, spiced berry fruits and mocha. A composed, dry, loamy feeling finish isn't pushy or demanding. Drink this easygoer through 2021.Finca Ygay Reserva9126Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachMarqués de Murrieta 2011 Finca Ygay Reserva (Rioja)Tempranillo BlendMarqués de Murrieta
1043810437USJudicious use of new oak meets gorgeous fruit flavors in this generous, warm and softly tannic wine. It's undeniably delicious, broad and satisfying in texture and almost viscous in mouthfeel. Enjoy it now through 2023.Le Grand Pere Estate Reserve9146CaliforniaSierra FoothillsSierra FoothillsJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsNaggiar 2012 Le Grand Pere Estate Reserve Red (Sierra Foothills)Red BlendNaggiar
1043910438ItalyHere's a well-proportioned Rosso that shows notes of fresh raspberry and cherry, with an easy consistency and crisp acidity. The wine's mouthfeel is lean and crisp.8520TuscanyRosso di MontalcinoVilla Poggio Salvi 2010 Rosso di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoVilla Poggio Salvi
1044010439ItalyPackaged in an electric blue bottle, Bella Bollè is a soft, foamy sweet sparkler with bright aromas of peach blossom, dried ginger, sage, white flower and musky soap. The quality of the bubbles is creamy and rich.859PiedmontMoscato d'AstiBella Bollè 2011 Moscato d'AstiMoscatoBella Bollè
1041110410USThis is the third separate cuvée of Grüner Veltliner from Reustle, and given the name (which means emerald), it's clearly meant to be modeled after the Austrian style. For those who relish a crisp, mineral-driven wine, with ripe fruit flavors of Meyer lemon, green apple and pink grapefruit, this rings all those bells and more. The length and definition are most impressive.Smaragd9132OregonUmpqua ValleySouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Reustle 2014 Smaragd Grüner Veltliner (Umpqua Valley)Grüner VeltlinerReustle
1041210411USBurly in black fruit, leather and cigar, this is a smoky, full-bodied and powerful wine, richly textured in toasted oak and supple tannin. Blackberry and black currant play off each other to provide a juicy core of consistency. Drink now through 2020.Diamond Selection9180CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneRombauer 2012 Diamond Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonRombauer
1041310412USTangy red fruit sits atop leathery texture in this dark, brooding wine, blended with 13% Petit Verdot and 4% Malbec. Violets and blueberries play on the palate while integrated oak and tannin lend body and power to the proceedings. The finish is smoky.9160CaliforniaRutherfordNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneRound Pond 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford)Cabernet SauvignonRound Pond
1041410413ChileFresh, angular aromas of jalapeño, bell pepper, beach breeze and citrus fruits are elegant, chiseled and potent. This tingles with acidity and tastes minerally, with orange, tangerine and lime flavors. A stony, bright, pure finish confirms its high quality.1865 Single Vineyard9118Leyda ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSan Pedro 2015 1865 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Leyda Valley)Sauvignon BlancSan Pedro
1041510414USDeeply brooding notes of crushed violets, rose petals, black cherries, thyme and sagebrush make for a manly take on this often feminine grape. Elderberry fruit shows on the palate, as do more violets and lilacs, dried mint, sagebrush, menthol and pine-needle flavors.9136CaliforniaSanta Cruz MountainsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannSarah's Vineyard 2014 Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mountains)Pinot NoirSarah's Vineyard
1041610415USYoung, spicy and forward, this immediately accessible wine is a bowl of cherry candy, backed with pineapple highlights from natural acidity. It's full in the mouth, still with primary fruit flavors, but the structure to age gracefully over the next five to eight years.Hyland Vineyard9155OregonMcMinnvilleWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Soléna 2014 Hyland Vineyard Pinot Noir (McMinnville)Pinot NoirSoléna
1041710416USRounded plum and berry aromas grow more complex thanks to hints of sarsparilla bark, rose buds, cinnamon stick and nutmeg on the nose of this cool-climate bottling. The palate is quite peppery, with dried red flowers, red plums, peppercorns, strawberries and a texturally earthy core of fine-grained tannins.Jespersen Ranch9132CaliforniaEdna ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannStephen Ross 2013 Jespersen Ranch Grenache (Edna Valley)GrenacheStephen Ross
1041810417USVery strong white peach and lemon blossom aromas meet with roasted chicken, honeysuckle and chamomile on the nose of this bottling. Apple, pear and nectarine show on the palate, as does fresh cherimoya, graphite and more white peach toward the finish.Diamond T Vineyard9152CaliforniaMontereyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannTalbott 2013 Diamond T Vineyard Chardonnay (Monterey)ChardonnayTalbott
1041910418USThis is a very solid, well-structured and deeply flavorful wine from the first whiff of blackberries and black pepper to the mouth-coating but dry flavors to the lingering spicy finish. Best to drink after 2018.DTR Ranch9140CaliforniaFiddletownSierra FoothillsJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsTerre Rouge 2013 DTR Ranch Syrah (Fiddletown)SyrahTerre Rouge
1042010419USThis is a well-balanced, handsomely composed wine that is big in flavor and full in body. The aromas are spicy like black pepper and cardamom, the flavors are meaty, peppery, smoky and berry-like, for a great taste experience that goes way beyond the usual. It's made mostly from Mourvèdre grapes, with Syrah and Grenache in supporting roles.Ruben9138CaliforniaEl DoradoSierra FoothillsJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsThe Withers Winery 2013 Ruben Red (El Dorado)Rhône-style Red BlendThe Withers Winery

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