Wine Reviews


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1152611525USTasted in the late summer of 2010, this Cab was pretty tannic and acidic, despite some very rich and dynamic blackberry, black cherry, currant and licorice flavors. It will hit its peak sometime in the next 2–3 years.Best Barrel8640CaliforniaHappy Canyon of Santa BarbaraCentral CoastMunicipal Winemakers 2007 Best Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon (Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara)Cabernet SauvignonMunicipal Winemakers
1152711526ItalyThis dry sparkler (made with the indigenous Durello grape variety) opens with a light, golden color. It follows through with subdued aromas of dried herb, mineral and white peach. The sparkler is very drying and tight on the palate.Brut86VenetoMonti LessiniCorte Moschina NV Brut Sparkling (Monti Lessini)Sparkling BlendCorte Moschina
1152811527AustraliaA bold, aggressive wine that lacks a bit of elegance, the 2008 Galvo Garage is a big mouthful of cassis and cedar. In another few years it may settle down, but for now the overall impression is of a rather rough customer that's best suited to be poured alongside grilled steak.The Galvo Garage Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Cabernet Franc-Petit Verdot8629South AustraliaMcLaren Vale-Adelaide HillsJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzD'Arenberg 2008 The Galvo Garage Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Cabernet Franc-Petit Verdot Red (McLaren Vale-Adelaide Hills)Bordeaux-style Red BlendD'Arenberg
1152911528South AfricaThis is a fresh and easy to drink white that's perfect for pairing with salads or citrus-based grilled fish. Medium weight with prominent tart flavors of lemony citrus and green berries, and the finish offers a hint of fresh hay.Young Vines8611StellenboschLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzDeWaal 2009 Young Vines Sauvignon Blanc (Stellenbosch)Sauvignon BlancDeWaal
1153011529ItalyThis is powerful and determined, with high alcohol that covers some of the more delicate aromas of butterscotch, caramel and vanilla. Sweet candied fruit flavors and natural richness help bring balance back in the mouth.375ml86TuscanyVin Santo del Chianti RufinaFattoria di Basciano 2004 375ml (Vin Santo del Chianti Rufina)White BlendFattoria di Basciano
1153111530USSoft in the mouth, with a somewhat simple structure, this Syrah's main virtue is flavor. It's enormously rich in ripe blackberry- and cherry-pie filling, cola, licorice, mint, chocolate, bacon and pepper flavors, and is fully dry.Canterbury Vineyard8626CaliforniaSierra FoothillsSierra FoothillsBell 2007 Canterbury Vineyard Syrah (Sierra Foothills)SyrahBell
1152111520ItalyNivole, a play on the Italian word for clouds, is a fresh and floral Moscato d'Asti with foamy bubbling and delicate aromas of soapy flowers, honey and sweet peach. Although this wine should normally be consumed very young, this vintage has held up beautifully and there's a touch of creamy mint on the close.Nivole 375ml86PiedmontMoscato d'AstiMichele Chiarlo 2008 Nivole 375ml (Moscato d'Asti)MoscatoMichele Chiarlo
1153211531USA little too harsh and raw, and there's heat from high alcohol, although there are other things to like about this Zin. It's dry and spicy, with complex wild berry, currant, cola and beef jerky flavors. The alcohol is 15.4%.Heritage Selection Zen Ranch8626CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastBianchi 2007 Heritage Selection Zen Ranch Zinfandel (Paso Robles)ZinfandelBianchi
1152211521ItalyThis red Passito dessert wine from Tuscany offers bittersweet aromas of wild cherry, raspberry, cassis and cola. It makes a simple but clean impression in the mouth and would pair with chocolate brownies or cherry pie.Scalabreto 500ml8632TuscanyToscanaMorisfarms 2008 Scalabreto 500ml Red (Toscana)Red BlendMorisfarms
1153311532USA good Pinot Noir for everyday drinking. It's very dry and crisp and silky in the mouth, with complex flavors of cherries, cola, licorice and beef jerky. The acidity suggests rich, oily fare, like lamb or salmon.8625CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaSimple Math Cellars 2008 Pinot Noir (Napa Valley)Pinot NoirSimple Math Cellars
1152311522FranceTight acidity and grassy herbaceous character, the wine has crisp fruit, a flinty structure and a brittle apple skin texture. For fresh aperitif drinking.8617BordeauxBordeaux BlancRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau La Rame 2009 Bordeaux BlancBordeaux-style White BlendChâteau La Rame
1152411523ItalyHere's a simple, easy sparkling wine with some sweet flavors of peach and apricot backed by drying mineral tones and chopped garden herbs. The quality of the perlage is foamy and soft.Le Dolcirive Extra Dry86VenetoConegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco SuperioreCostaruél NV Le Dolcirive Extra Dry (Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore)GleraCostaruél
1153411533AustriaFull in the mouth, this blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Gris has a rich, spicy feel anchored in ripe fruit. Made at the Benedictine Göttweig monastery by the team from Weingut Stadt Krems, it is a fruity apéritif style with attractive ripe fruit weight.Brut86KremstalRoger Voss@vossrogerStift Göttweig 2007 Brut White (Kremstal)White BlendStift Göttweig
1152511524ItalyThis is a very likeable and approachable Prosecco with bright aromas of white flower, citrus and peach. The wine is tonic, crisp and balanced and because this is a Brut expression, the wine is dry and fresh.Brut Perlé86VenetoProseccoDal Din NV Brut Perlé (Prosecco)GleraDal Din
1153511534ArgentinaGiven the local competition, this Pinot Noir-dominated sparkler is pretty good. It has a peachy color along with creamy aromas that might be a little oxidized but are soft and easy nonetheless. The palate feel is frothy, while the flavors are of peach pits and underripe cantaloupe. Finishes dry and lively.Método Tradicional Extra Brut8616Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachViniterra NV Método Tradicional Extra Brut (Mendoza)Champagne BlendViniterra
1153611535USThough labeled simply Columbia Valley, the grapes are single vineyard, Rattlesnake Hills AVA fruit. The best of the Girly Girl lineup, though the promising beginning (cassis and berry, scented with black olive and herb) quickly fades into a forest floor finale of decaying leaves.Girly Girl8519WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Silver Lake 2007 Girly Girl Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonSilver Lake
1153711536FranceAlthough one could wish for more aromatic complexity in a Vendanges Tardives, notes of lemon poppy-seed cake are very satisfying. The intense, layered palate shows notes of candied fruit and spice and leads to a long, lush finish.Vendanges Tardives9250AlsaceAlsaceJean-Baptiste Adam 2005 Vendanges Tardives Pinot Gris (Alsace)Pinot GrisJean-Baptiste Adam
1153811537ItalyDespite its young age, this beautiful expression of the Cannubi cru from Michele Chiarlo already shows a high level of evolution and sophistication. The wine blends mineral aromas with fresh fruit, spice and licorice. It finishes on the spicy side with a toasty aftertaste and drying tannins.Cannubi92PiedmontBaroloMichele Chiarlo 2005 Cannubi (Barolo)NebbioloMichele Chiarlo
1153911538USThe first Bishop Creek designation from Erath, this dark-toned, deep and concentrated Pinot Noir is one to cellar. The fruit is seamless, sappy and dense, suggesting a mix of ripe berries. Fourteen months in French oak, about 40% new, seems just right, as the barrel notes of toast and coffee dance around the juicy berry flavors without smothering them.Bishop Creek9250OregonWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Erath 2006 Bishop Creek Pinot NoirPinot NoirErath
1154011539USHere's a supple, polished and delicious Pinot Noir, so drinkable on its own or with a nice steak. Dry and elegant, it has long, rich flavors of cherries, raspberries, cola, vanilla, cinnamon, clove and cedar. As beautiful as it is now, it should slowly evolve over the next eight years.Ramal Vineyard Swan Selection9242CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaBuena Vista 2006 Ramal Vineyard Swan Selection Pinot Noir (Carneros)Pinot NoirBuena Vista
1154111540ItalyBricco Asili Bernardot opens with a pretty garnet color and luscious aromas of fruit, leather, road tar and spice. It's a sophisticated and masculine wine with rich vanilla and oak shadings in the background that add density and staying power. The tannins are hard as nails so either drink this Barbaresco now with succulent red beef, or better yet, wait five-plus years.Bricco Asili Bernardot9278PiedmontBarbarescoCeretto 2005 Bricco Asili Bernardot (Barbaresco)NebbioloCeretto
1154211541USThis is essentially DDO's reserve Pinot Noir; it requires some patience at first, because it is quite tight, almost inscrutable. With many hours of breathing it fleshes out and opens up, revealing a wine with interesting nuances of cured meat, mushroom and light earth. The fruit is a notch more concentrated and full than the regular DDO, but retains a sense of tart berry and light cherry rather than being sweet or jammy. This absolutely must be decanted well in advance.Laurène9265OregonOregonOregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Domaine Drouhin Oregon 2005 Laurène Pinot Noir (Oregon)Pinot NoirDomaine Drouhin Oregon
1154311542ItalyThis beautifully executed wine opens with a garnet-brownish hue and follows through with an intense aromatic line-up of black currant, candied fruit, white truffle and licorice. It's a textbook example of classic Barolo with the characteristic power and intensity of Nebbiolo. Drink after 2012.92126PiedmontBaroloPoderi Aldo Conterno 2004 BaroloNebbioloPoderi Aldo Conterno
1154411543PortugalDense and powerful, this is an impressively concentrated and intense wine. It brings out rich tannins, equally rich black plum and spice flavors, a layer of smokiness plus a strong slash of minerality that cuts across the texture. For aging 5–6 years.Grande Reserva9237DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerQuinta do Portal 2006 Grande Reserva Red (Douro)Portuguese RedQuinta do Portal
1154511544ItalyLuigi Baudana presents a hedonistic Barolo that is beefed up with thick concentration and a far-reaching palette of aromas, ranging from chocolate fudge to ripe raspberry. Yes, it exhibits a big, chewy style but it also manages good complexity thanks to subdued tones of ash, cola and licorice. Drink 2015–2020.Baudana9262PiedmontBaroloLuigi Baudana 2004 Baudana (Barolo)NebbioloLuigi Baudana
1154611545ItalyHere's a wine that shows the aging potential of Nebbiolo. This Barolo offers layers of dried currant, cassis, licorice, natural rubber, white spirit and a dusty, black mineral element. It's a very linear and sharply focused wine that flaunts its power and persistency. A crisp, firm finish suggests the wine will continue to age.Riserva9284PiedmontBaroloMarchesi di Barolo 2000 Riserva (Barolo)NebbioloMarchesi di Barolo
1154711546ItalyThis Cannubi Barolo offers dark concentration and a bold personality with elements of sweet spice, black fruit, toast, chocolate fudge, licorice and anise. It's an elegant and linear wine with a direct and immediate delivery followed by jackhammer tannins and cooling freshness. Drink after 2015 with game meat and chestnut dressing.Cannubi92100PiedmontBaroloMarchesi di Barolo 2004 Cannubi (Barolo)NebbioloMarchesi di Barolo
1154811547ItalyYou pay, dearly, for quality, but rest assured you get it with Gaja. What sets this Barbaresco apart is the quality of its mouthfeel, which is lush, soft and penetrating without being one-dimensional or too obvious. The wine offers intrigue and complexity with seamless integration of fruit, mineral and toast. Drink after 2015.92210PiedmontBarbarescoGaja 2005 BarbarescoNebbioloGaja
1154911548ItalyBarolo Prapó is a chewy, fruit-driven wine with a broad array of aromas that include black cherry, chocolate powder, creamy vanilla and exotic spice. Cinnamon, clove and ginger all appear in the mouth and are powered by the wine's thick texture and deep concentration. Let it age two or three more years and pair it with roast lamb or pork.Bricco Rocche Prapó9280PiedmontBaroloCeretto 2004 Bricco Rocche Prapó (Barolo)NebbioloCeretto
1155011549PortugalRipe and spicy, this is an impressive, solid, new wood-dominated wine. The tannins come from high toast as well as the concentrated blackberry juice fruits. That makes it dry, a wine that needs to soften. But it has all the intensity that are the hallmarks of top Douro wines, so try it again in a year.Quinta das Tecedeiras Reserva9234DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerDão Sul 2005 Quinta das Tecedeiras Reserva Red (Douro)Portuguese RedDão Sul

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