Wine Reviews

1044110440ArgentinaCrusty, rubbery aromas smell a bit burnt, while leather and berry aromas, rest below the surface. The palate is full, edgy and a little tangy, with red plum, herb and tomato flavors. Mild and saucy tasting on the finish.Reserva8513Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachTamarí 2010 Reserva Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecTamarí
1044210441ArgentinaOpens with minerally, almost metallic aromas, along with rubber and berry mixed in. Feels fresh and ready, with plum, berry and chocolaty flavors. Finishes with a smooth feel, but maybe it could use a bit more cut and tannic structure. A wine that falls squarely in the middle zone.Clasico8518Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachTierra Prometida 2008 Clasico Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecTierra Prometida
1044310442USA sound Cabernet, fruit-forward and somewhat one-dimensional, with cherry, blackberry and raspberry fruit. Oak adds sweet notes of caramel.8518CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaSebastiani 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma County)Cabernet SauvignonSebastiani
1044410443USA solid effort, fruity in blackberries, currants and oak, with a smooth mouthfeel. Not especially complex, but a polished wine for drinking now.8525CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaStonegate 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonStonegate
1044510444ArgentinaOpens with a pinch of green as well as more standard cassis and berry aromas. Borderline sheer in the mouth, with pointed acidity and raspberry and plum flavors. Feels slightly abrasive, but on the plus side it's fresh and juicy.8515Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachTapiz 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendoza)Cabernet SauvignonTapiz
1044610445South AfricaA bit muted and shy on the nose, with faint accents of fresh grass, sweet citrus and just-ripe gooseberry. The palate offers a pithy-citrus flavor, adding a touch of bitterness to the clean close.Sutherland8515ElginLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzThelema 2010 Sutherland Sauvignon Blanc (Elgin)Sauvignon BlancThelema
1044710446South AfricaSoft sweet spice and black tea characters mingle with black cherry and plum flesh aromas and flavors. Medium weight and approachable, with dusty tannins and a clean, licorice-kissed finish. Drink now.8510Western CapeLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzTwo Oceans 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot (Western Cape)Cabernet Sauvignon-MerlotTwo Oceans
1044810447USA ripe Chardonnay, big and full, with fistfuls of oak influence and a spoonful of sugar to help it go down. Find some rich crab cakes in a creamy sauce and enjoy.Reserve8520CaliforniaLivermore ValleyCentral CoastVirginie Boone@vbooneConcannon 2010 Reserve Chardonnay (Livermore Valley)ChardonnayConcannon
1044910448FranceAn earthy wine with rich, red fruits along with a barnyard flavor. The wine is ripe and jammy, the juicy acidity coming through at the end.8527BurgundyBourgogneRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Thierry Mortet 2009 BourgognePinot NoirDomaine Thierry Mortet
1045010449USButterscotch and pineapple and peach jam flavors mark this Chardonnay. Fortunately, it's balanced with crisp acidity and a certain minerality. It's an obvious crowd pleaser, and would score higher except for the seemingly sweet finish.8515CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaGarnet 2010 Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast)ChardonnayGarnet
1045110450South AfricaSuggestions of soft spice and bark jazz-up the dark fruit center of this blend, made with 75% Syrah, 13% Cinsault, 7% Mourvèdre, 4% Carignan and 3% Grenache. Mouthwatering black cherry and raspberry sauce flavors flood the mouth and stay through the solid finish. Drink now.Red8510Western CapeLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzGoats do Roam Wine Co. 2010 Red Red (Western Cape)Red BlendGoats do Roam Wine Co.
1045210451ItalyThere's a sweet, sticky quality to this Moscato d'Asti that would match cream puddings or cooked fruit desserts. Fragrant aromas of yellow flower, honey, apricot and tangerine emerge on the bouquet.8516PiedmontMoscato d'AstiVino dei Fratelli 2011 Moscato d'AstiMoscatoVino dei Fratelli
1045310452ItalyFragrant and foamy, this soft and plush Moscato d'Asti opens with orange blossom, honeysuckle and peach cobbler aromas. It's smooth and sweet, with creamy mousse on the finish.Ferlingot85PiedmontMoscato d'AstiArbiola 2010 Ferlingot (Moscato d'Asti)MoscatoArbiola
1045410453ArgentinaA medicinal quality comes at you right away, followed by chocolate-coated cherry, creamy oak and a distant note of paint or chemical. Feels round and voluminous, with minty, rubbery flavors of oaky, berry and chocolate. Finishes dry and oaky, with a buttery aftertaste.Reserve8515Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachCaligiore 2010 Reserve Bonarda (Mendoza)BonardaCaligiore
1045510454ArgentinaPeach, scented candle wax and matchstick make for a solid bouquet. Feels good, maybe a touch cloying, but not too much. Flavors of crystallized mango and pineapple mix with fresh melon, and the finish is clean. About all you could hope for from an $8 Argentine Moscato.858Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachCasa de Campo 2011 Moscato (Mendoza)MoscatoCasa de Campo
1045610455ItalyAged only in stainless steel, this blend of Sangiovese and Alicante combines bright fruit nuances of cherry and blueberry with a lean, crisp mouthfeel. It's got enough acidity to cut through cheesy pizza.Albatrello8518TuscanyMontecuccoPieve Vecchia 2009 Albatrello (Montecucco)Red BlendPieve Vecchia
1045710456USA good, everyday Zinfandel, robust in blackberry, raisin and chocolate flavors, wrapped into firm tannins. With its sweet finish, it will be a good companion to tomato-based barbecue.Estate8518CaliforniaLake CountyQuackenbush 2009 Estate Zinfandel (Lake County)ZinfandelQuackenbush
1045810457USPure Nebbiolo from the Elerding Vineyard, aged 40 months in a mix of French and American oak. Nebbiolo does not have much color to begin with, and this seems a bit washed out, with acids and barrel flavors overtaking the fruit. Astringent and aggressively oaky.8542WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Stottle 2007 Nebbiolo (Horse Heaven Hills)NebbioloStottle
1045910458USHeavy and dull, with a soft texture framing cherry, berry and spice flavors. Pinot's famously silky texture is there, but the wine isn't offering much else.Vintners Select8535CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastSummerland 2010 Vintners Select Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara County)Pinot NoirSummerland
1046010459ArgentinaIt opens with raisin and stewed aromas, so its freshness is questionable. In the mouth, it's actually round, subtle and fairly well structured, with oaky vanilla accenting lightly herbal berry and cassis flavors. Herbal as well on the finish, with a lasting flavor of coffee.Gran Reserva8525Mendoza ProvinceMichael Schachner@wineschachTango Reàl 2008 Gran Reserva Cabernet SauvignonCabernet SauvignonTango Reàl
1046110460USNo doubt Michael-David is going for a certain style with Earthquake, describing it as “over the top and shattering to the veins.” Indeed. This Lodi Zin will knock your socks and several other pieces of clothing off with its smoky, greasy, hot and sweet berry pie flavors, with a side of bacon to boot. True to its style, this is one very big boy.8526CaliforniaLodiCentral ValleyVirginie Boone@vbooneEarthquake 2010 Zinfandel (Lodi)ZinfandelEarthquake
1046210461ArgentinaSlightly herbal plum and berry aromas come with a pinch of spice and meatiness. Feels medium-bodied and crisp, with juicy red-fruit flavors of plum, tomato and raspberry. Dries out on the finish, where it becomes more herbal and roasted.Limited Edition Reserve8510Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachEspuela del Gaucho 2010 Limited Edition Reserve Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecEspuela del Gaucho
1046310462USThe aromas of boysenberry, black pepper and roasting game are reminiscent of Syrah in this tasty bottling from brother-vintners David and William Vondrasek. The palate offers a lot of zing, followed by flavors of tobacco ash, olallieberry and peppery bacon.9035CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannArtisan Uprising 2012 Petite Sirah (Paso Robles)Petite SirahArtisan Uprising
1046410463USMinty blackberry fruits mix with black loam and fudge on the nose of this wine from a winery in West Paso along Vineyard Drive. It's hearty on the palate, with dark chocolate syrup, extract espresso, black pepper beef jerky and deep purple fruits held together by lingering acidity.Reserve9058CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannBrecon Estate 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles)Cabernet SauvignonBrecon Estate
1046510464USFor those who enjoy substantial flavors of toasty oak with their Chardonnays, this is a good choice. Full-bodied and instantly appealing, it's got ripe fruit flavors of peach, banana and apricot, underscored with green apple acidity. The toastiness comes through in the finish, with a lick of salted caramel tickling the back of the throat.9045OregonMcMinnvilleWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Hyland 2013 Chardonnay (McMinnville)ChardonnayHyland
1046610465ItalyMade with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and a drop of Petit Verdot, this deeply colored wine offers aromas black plum, dried cherry and clove. The round, ripe palate doles out mature black cherry, blackberry, licorice and black pepper alongside firm, chewy tannins.Dulcamara9060TuscanyToscanaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeI Giusti e Zanza 2012 Dulcamara Red (Toscana)Red BlendI Giusti e Zanza
1046710466FranceBased in nearby Cornas, Colombo has fashioned a medium-bodied Condrieu that's a bit oily in texture while remaining very drinkable. Mint, melon and apricot notes mark the aromas and flavors, while the finish is clean and refreshing.Amour de Dieu9085Rhône ValleyCondrieuJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzJean-Luc Colombo 2012 Amour de Dieu (Condrieu)ViognierJean-Luc Colombo
1046810467SpainPower and precision are accounted for on a deep, minerally nose that's loaded with cassis and blackberry aromas. A tight, rounded-by-oak palate offers flavors of coconut, vanilla, buttered toast, blackberry and cassis, while toast and vanilla flavors steer a potent finish. Aged six months in oak; drink through 2016.Abadia de San Quirce9016Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Imperiales 2012 Abadia de San Quirce (Ribera del Duero)Tempranillo BlendBodegas Imperiales
1046910468FranceCoudoulis is an up-and-coming estate in Lirac. This is only a Côtes du Rhône, but it's an excellent effort, combining generous black cherry fruit with hints of pie crust and baking spices. It's full-bodied and plush, with a velvety texture and long, licorice-tinged finish. Drink now–2018.9012Rhône ValleyCôtes du RhôneJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzDomaine Coudoulis 2013 Red (Côtes du Rhône)Rhône-style Red BlendDomaine Coudoulis
1047010469GermanyThis bang-for-your-buck spätlese shows off the surprisingly tropical side of Nahe, one of Germany's sunniest wine regions. Ripe, rich mango and pineapple flavors are soothing and mouthcoating, brightened by squirts of sunny grapefruit and tangerine.Monzinger Frühlingsplätzchen Spätlese9019NaheAnna Lee C. IijimaWeingut Weber 2012 Monzinger Frühlingsplätzchen Spätlese Riesling (Nahe)RieslingWeingut Weber

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