Wine Reviews


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1296112960USIt's a good thing Garagiste Festival cofounder Stewart McLennan caught the winemaking bug. This delicious bottling shows black currant, plum, blueberry, fennel, lavender, vanilla and gingerbread spice on the nose. Elegant purple-flower elements kick off the palate, and then come waves of blueberry-chiffon cake, blackberry juice, sea-salt caramel and a touch of vanilla.9455CaliforniaPaso Robles Willow Creek DistrictCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannGolden Triangle 2013 Syrah (Paso Robles Willow Creek District)SyrahGolden Triangle
1296212961USPlush black-currant aromas meet with light licorice and a plum-pudding note on the nose of this 70% Grenache, 28% Syrah, 1% Mourvèdre and 1% Viognier blend. It dries up tightly on the palate, showing blackberry alongside strong licorice and violet elements, all framed by a chalky structure.WCS Jack John9475CaliforniaPaso Robles Willow Creek DistrictCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannJada Vineyard & Winery 2014 WCS Jack John Red (Paso Robles Willow Creek District)Rhône-style Red BlendJada Vineyard & Winery
1296312962USThis 100% varietal wine from the Lewelling Vineyard is a blockbuster, providing a showy demonstration of ripe richness that's gorgeously lush. Christmas plum pudding, clove and cinnamon lurk behind a chalky underbelly of firm tannin and black licorice, finishing fresh in the glass.94108CaliforniaSt. HelenaNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneB Cellars 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (St. Helena)Cabernet SauvignonB Cellars
1296412963USFrom the only producer to source Zin from this famous vineyard, this wine is abundant in a complexity of baked bread, blackberry jam and vanilla, with endless depth on the palate. Fresh and juicy, it balances its fruitiness with mountain-sized tannin strength and concentration.Stagecoach Vineyard9452CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneRobert Biale 2014 Stagecoach Vineyard Zinfandel (Napa Valley)ZinfandelRobert Biale
1296512964USThe eponymous winemaker of this brand is based in San Francisco, from which, in this bottling, he turns out a stunner. Focused, intense, energetic and yet delicate, the nose is full of just-ripe raspberries, bay leaf, thyme, eucalyptus and chipped slate. A sip reveals crushed herbs galore, from oregano to anise, set against tart pomegranate and red plums. Menthol shows on the finish.Solomon Hills Vineyard9443CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannRyan Cochrane 2014 Solomon Hills Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley)Pinot NoirRyan Cochrane
1296612965AustriaThe gloriously intense lift of fresh lemon zest rises immediately. The concentrated palate is so precise, so taut and has so much tension that you can almost feel the citrus flavors exploding in your mouth. This is wonderfully aromatic Riesling that comes with a panoply of both ripe and tart citrus. Gloriously long, ripe and fresh.Pfaffenberg Reserve9451KremstalAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoSalomon-Undhof 2015 Pfaffenberg Reserve Riesling (Kremstal)RieslingSalomon-Undhof
1296712966USThis smoky, earthy, soft and delicate wine comes from an estate vineyard planted in 1999 in the Occidental Hills. Rose petals and cranberry mingle effortlessly on the silky palate, while a bite of black tea and tannin tease on the finish.MK Vineyard9482CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneSmall Vines 2014 MK Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)Pinot NoirSmall Vines
1296812967FranceA firm and structured cru wine from 100-year-old vines that has layers of firm fruits and tannins. It is a wine that is likely to mature well, with its wood aging and dry core. A blend from four parcels, it is concentrated and with a rich black-cherry character. Drink this exceptional wine, from old-vine hunter Stéphane Aviron, starting in 2020.9424BeaujolaisMoulin-à-VentRoger Voss@vossrogerStéphane Aviron 2015 Moulin-à-VentGamayStéphane Aviron
1297212971ChileCan't-miss aromas of juniper, olive and tree bark dominate lesser notes of lemon peel and blackberry. This feels taut and rubbery, with tomatoey acidity. Woodsy, herbal, gritty flavors of currant and cranberry finish tart and with a note of minty green.Barrel Select8412Cachapoal ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Ema 2011 Barrel Select Syrah (Cachapoal Valley)SyrahSanta Ema
1296912968USFrom heritage clones of Wente and Mt. Eden, this top-end Chardonnay from the Foley family offers salted peaches, hazelnuts and crushed sea shells on a nose that recalls a steady sea breeze. It's light and brisk on the palate, with yellow pear, nectarine and lemon salt, all wrapped by a grippy texture. Excellent by itself, it would pair with foods from shellfish to roasted chicken.Courtney's Vineyard9455CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannTwo Sisters 2014 Courtney's Vineyard Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills)ChardonnayTwo Sisters
1297312972AustraliaThis plump, medium-bodied Pinot Noir lacks for fruit, instead showcasing savory notes of underbrush, smoke and roasted vegetables. Drink up.8414VictoriaYarra ValleyJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzShoofly 2012 Pinot Noir (Yarra Valley)Pinot NoirShoofly
1297012969USRoasted and raw beef, dried strawberry, crushed marjoram and salt-and-pepper seasonings show on this Syrah. Extremely dark in the glass, it's bolstered by 4% Grenache, 4% Mourvèdre and 2% Viognier. Elderberry fruit kicks off the palate, following by pepper, coffee grinds, espresso beans and dark-chocolate sauce, surrounded by grippy tannins.Toasted Slope Estate9448CaliforniaAdelaida DistrictCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannAlta Colina 2013 Toasted Slope Estate Syrah (Adelaida District)SyrahAlta Colina
1297112970USThis wine is aromatically untoward with notes of seabreeze, green herbs, citrus and wood. It's medium bodied, somewhat gritty in feel, with barnyard flavors.Flintlock8420WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportDed.Reckoning 2012 Flintlock Merlot (Yakima Valley)MerlotDed.Reckoning
1297412973ChileHoney blossom and grassy aromas are all right, but struggle to offer much fruit. An oily, full palate is home to honeyed flavors of peach, nectarine and melon. Bitterness is a major player on a chunky finish. The blend is 45% Riesling, 43% Chardonnay and 12% Viognier.Ona Special Reserve Riesling-Chardonnay-Viognier8417Leyda ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachAnakena 2013 Ona Special Reserve Riesling-Chardonnay-Viognier White (Leyda Valley)White BlendAnakena
1297512974ChileScratchy aromas of red plum and currant are herbal and rubbery. In the mouth, this is tart and shows sharp acidity. Herbal plum and raspberry flavors finish with minty, green notes.Reserva8413Maule ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachApaltagua 2013 Reserva Malbec (Maule Valley)MalbecApaltagua
1297612975FranceBright and herbaceous the wine is on the cusp between cool, fresh flavors and more tropical richness. It has a perfumed character, bright and crisp citrus and warmer apricot fruits. Drink now.Ferran Pradets8412Southwest FranceCôtes du MarmandaisRoger Voss@vossrogerCave du Marmandais 2013 Ferran Pradets Sauvignon Blanc (Côtes du Marmandais)Sauvignon BlancCave du Marmandais
1297712976FranceBright, soft and herbaceous, this has a touch of sweetness as well fresh fruit. Citrus and gooseberries abound with only the lightest structure to hold it together.8414Southwest FranceCôtes de GascogneRoger Voss@vossrogerl'Escargot 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (Côtes de Gascogne)Sauvignon Blancl'Escargot
1297812977FranceNutty and honeyed, this is a young, apple-fruited Chenin Blanc with lively acidity and a crisp character that's filled out with a touch of sweetness. It's ready to drink.8413Loire ValleyVouvrayRoger Voss@vossrogerMarquis de Goulaine 2012 VouvrayChenin BlancMarquis de Goulaine
1297912978USThis has earthy aromas and sun-dried tomato flavors, full body, but a soft balance and smooth texture.Pauli Ranch8436CaliforniaMendocino CountyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsMuscardini 2010 Pauli Ranch Sangiovese (Mendocino County)SangioveseMuscardini
1298012979USHints of toast, mushroom and black coffee lend a savory, earthy tone to ruddy black cherry and plum flavors. A bit clumsy and fading on the palate, it's showing its age, so best to drink up soon.8417New YorkNew YorkNew York OtherAnna Lee C. IijimaPalaia Vineyards 2007 Merlot (New York)MerlotPalaia Vineyards
1298112980USHints of popcorn and buttered toast accent flavors of pressed apple and pear on this easygoing semisweet Cayuga. It's delicate in frame, finishing with a bright burst of lemon-candy acidity.Pearl8414New YorkNew YorkNew York OtherAnna Lee C. IijimaPalaia Vineyards NV Pearl White (New York)White BlendPalaia Vineyards
1298212981USIt's rather understated in flavor, and more smooth and round than typical for the variety. This is a good, rich-textured, medium-bodied wine with straightforward flavors.8410CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsPomelo 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (California)Sauvignon BlancPomelo
1298312982FranceA blend of Cabernet and Merlot, this has red fruit notes, a light structure and plenty of final acidity. It finishes with caramel as well as freshness.Colombelle L'Originel848Southwest FranceCôtes de GascogneRoger Voss@vossrogerProducteurs Plaimont 2013 Colombelle L'Originel Rosé (Côtes de Gascogne)RoséProducteurs Plaimont
1298412983USThis opens with a strong sense of coconut that abruptly hits pomegranate and cranberry on the palate. The sweetness of the coconut dissipates on the finish, which veers slightly sour.Estate Bottled8475CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneSpring Mountain Vineyard 2011 Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSpring Mountain Vineyard
1298512984ItalyAromas recall cellar floor, dried black fruit and a hint of black pepper. The palate tastes old, offering prune and clove alongside angular tannins but without much fruit richness.Matervitae8410Southern ItalyPugliaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTorrevento 2012 Matervitae Primitivo (Puglia)PrimitivoTorrevento
1298612985FranceThe latest releases from Clos Triguedina aim to create wines for early drinking. Elegant is soft, juicy and fruity—perhaps so soft, it has lost any sense of Malbec character. Even so, it is a gentle red wine that is ready to drink.Elegant8416Southwest FranceCahorsRoger Voss@vossrogerJean-Luc Baldès 2012 Elegant Malbec (Cahors)MalbecJean-Luc Baldès
1298712986USThere's a funky herbal, slightly green quality to this wine, possessed of plenty acidity, as the variety is known for, yet muted in its typical floral aromatics and bright fruit.Destination Series8430CaliforniaSonoma ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneKunde 2011 Destination Series Barbera (Sonoma Valley)BarberaKunde
1298812987ItalyAromas of charred earth, tire rubber, allspice and oak lead the nose. The palate seems older than it is, showing toasted oak and tertiary flavors of flint, mineral and black pepper along with steeped prune. The fruit is already dried up leaving only evident alcohol and oak sensations.Santufili8462Southern ItalySalentoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMocavero 2008 Santufili Primitivo (Salento)PrimitivoMocavero
1298912988ChileDusty white-fruit and vanilla aromas are leesy and sweet smelling. The palate on this unoaked Chardonnay is light, with modest acidity. Ripe honeydew melon and apple flavors finish soft and simple.Select Terroir Unoaked8410Maipo ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Ema 2014 Select Terroir Unoaked Chardonnay (Maipo Valley)ChardonnaySanta Ema
1299012989ChilePlum and wintergreen aromas are earthy but flat. This has a chunky, jammy, flabby feel along with flavors of stewed plum, green herbs and raw oak. Baked berry flavors with green notes control the finish, which has a stewy character.Reserva8413Rapel ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Rita 2011 Reserva Carmenère (Rapel Valley)CarmenèreSanta Rita

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