Wine Reviews

1470314702USStrong aromas of blueberries and blue flowers show on this rich and penetrating wine from the eastside of Paso Robles. Thick and chalky tannins coat the palate, delivering more blueberry and ripe grape flavors, cut by a strong acidity.Di Ranchita Vista8941CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannLe Vigne 2014 Di Ranchita Vista Petite Sirah (Paso Robles)Petite SirahLe Vigne
1470414703FranceThis blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier combines richness with tight, crisp acidity. It has a softer side, recalling ripe apples, with a Pinot Noir-like structure and taut, mineral edge. A great Champagne for food.Extra Brut8945ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerLiebart-Régnier NV Extra Brut (Champagne)Champagne BlendLiebart-Régnier
1470514704USAromas of dark plum, blue fruit and spice lead to full fruit flavors that show intensity, with vanilla flavors on the finish. The tannins show a slight grittiness that softens over time.8913WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportLone Birch 2014 Syrah (Yakima Valley)SyrahLone Birch
1470614705USThis 100% varietal wine brings aromas of black tea, cocoa, herb, coffee, spice and black cherry. The palate is elegantly styled, with abundant vanilla accents and lightly gritty tannins. It needs time to stretch its legs.Eagle & Plow Block 93 Cavalie89100WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportMercer 2014 Eagle & Plow Block 93 Cavalie Cabernet Sauvignon (Horse Heaven Hills)Cabernet SauvignonMercer
1470714706USPale in color, this wine offers bright aromas of potpourri and strawberry. The red-fruit flavors are full in feel, seeming overweighted at times but still bringing enjoyment, with a mouthwatering finish.8936WashingtonAncient LakesColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportPalencia 2015 Pinot Noir (Ancient Lakes)Pinot NoirPalencia
1470814707USThis pure varietal expression of the grape is a steely svelte spicy red with unusual complexity. The tart and tangy fruit could be any wild-picked red berry, and the acids are like a squirt of citrus. But there's extra depth and interest from the hints of herb, seed, stone and metal that reward your attention. This should drink quite well now through the mid-2020s.8930OregonApplegate ValleySouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Plaisance Ranch 2014 Mourvèdre (Applegate Valley)MourvèdrePlaisance Ranch
1470914708ItalyAromas of wild berry, espresso, dark spice and French oak take center stage while the firmly structured palate delivers raspberry jam, licorice, tobacco and coffee along with a slightly green note of powdered sage. Assertive fine-grained tannins provide an austere backbone. Drink 2019–2027.8931Southern ItalyAglianico del VultureKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeDonato D'Angelo 2012 Aglianico del VultureAglianicoDonato D'Angelo
1471014709USA pale copper color, this is not a rosé, but it shows the effect of a cold soak prior to pressing, capturing the light blush color natural to the grape. Smooth and demonstrating suggestions of strawberry, it brings up pear-skin phenolics in the finish, adding texture, length and some sassy bite.8920OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Emerson 2015 Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley)Pinot GrisEmerson
1470114700ChileChocolaty oak aromas rest heavily atop notes of scrub brush, briar patch and red fruits. This Pinot feels juicy but scouring and grating. Flavors of buttery oak, plum and raspberry are both woody and tart, while this is punchy on the finish. Give this another year or two and it may knit together better than now.Alazan8936Casablanca ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachKingston Family 2015 Alazan Pinot Noir (Casablanca Valley)Pinot NoirKingston Family
1471114710SpainFleshy tropical aromas are mature and not that lively or kicking. In the mouth, this single-vineyard wine feels tight and acidic but also oily and full in body. Salty citrus and stone-fruit flavors are braced by core acidity, while this offers another helping of salty nectarine flavors on a full, dense finish. Drink now.Selección Finca Monte Alto8926GaliciaRías BaixasMichael Schachner@wineschachFillaboa 2014 Selección Finca Monte Alto Albariño (Rías Baixas)AlbariñoFillaboa
1471214711FranceFrom the heart of the Marne Valley, this 100% Pinot Meunier bottling is ripe and yeasty. It has a rich, soft character and hints of toast from the 30% reserve wine in the blend. Balanced dosage gives a soft, smooth aftertaste. Drink now.Tradition Brut8950ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerGérard Loriot NV Tradition Brut Pinot Meunier (Champagne)Pinot MeunierGérard Loriot
1471314712GermanyInitially plush, rounded sweet yellow apple and lemon drop flavors get a kick of acidity on the midpalate of this bright, fruity wine. Fresh and precisely framed, its finish is piercing and linear. Drink now through 2019.Rhein8919GermanyAnna Lee C. IijimaJ. Bäumer 2015 Rhein Riesling (Germany)RieslingJ. Bäumer
1471414713USRipe red fruits mingle gracefully, along with suggestions of toasted coconut, from aging in one-quarter new barrels. There is a metallic streak running through the finish as well, which might suggest that you give it some extra aeration before drinking.Dundee Hills Cuvée8939OregonDundee HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine J. Christopher 2014 Dundee Hills Cuvée Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills)Pinot NoirJ. Christopher
1471514714AustraliaIt's nice to see high-quality dry Riesling at such a reasonable price. This does show some riper, peachier aromas and flavors than truly classic Eden Valley Riesling, but it remains true to the regional style, just more approachable. Drink now.The Y Series8913South AustraliaBarossaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzYalumba 2015 The Y Series Riesling (Barossa)RieslingYalumba
1471614715ChileBaked earthy black-fruit aromas are followed by a blocky palate with jagged tannins and bold acidity. Blackberry, chocolate, coffee and raw-oak flavors finish with black cherry and plum notes as well as some hollowness.Trisquel Series Altitud8921Curicó ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachAresti 2015 Trisquel Series Altitud Merlot (Curicó Valley)MerlotAresti
1470214701FranceThis is a rich style of Chablis that has the crispness of 2014 while showing a more creamy, yellow fruit character. Part wood-aged and part matured in tank, it's balanced and ready to drink.La Sereine8924BurgundyChablisRoger Voss@vossrogerLa Chablisienne 2014 La Sereine (Chablis)ChardonnayLa Chablisienne
1471714716USThe nose is a tad reductive at this point this wine's life, so it will probably only improve in the year to come. But it's exciting now as well, with candied lemon and dewy oregano on the nose leading into a racy palate full of sizzling acidity and grippy texture that clings to the mouth. A candied apple component flashes at the finish.Buttonwood Vineyard8922CaliforniaCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannBrander 2015 Buttonwood Vineyard Sauvignon BlancSauvignon BlancBrander
1471814717USBig and robust in ripe black cherry and a richness of vanilla, this wine is full-bodied and then some, imparting plenty of tannin and structure. Forest floor, spicy cardamom and smoky cola give definition to the weight.Estate Bottled8960CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneChalk Hill 2014 Estate Bottled Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirChalk Hill
1471914718USGood idea, but the execution isn't there. Watery, thin and charmless; like orange candy diluted with lemon juice.Dry8218WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Locati Cellars 2009 Dry Orange Muscat (Columbia Valley (WA))Orange MuscatLocati Cellars
1472014719USSimple, sweet and rustic. Shows candied flavors of cherries, with hard, drying tannins. The blend is Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Syrah.Ruby8230CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastSan Marcos Creek 2009 Ruby Red (Paso Robles)Red BlendSan Marcos Creek
1472114720SpainA bit off course as Verdejo goes, with spritz to the palate and then mealy citrus and persimmon flavors. Lingers but doesn't do or say much on the finish. Not bad but it doesn't click.Organic828Spain OtherSpainMichael Schachner@wineschachVicente Gandia 2010 Organic Verdejo (Spain)VerdejoVicente Gandia
1472214721USAn indifferent wine, hot and baked, with jammy sweet berry flavors.Lot 2508210CaliforniaNapa CountyNapaCameron Hughes 2009 Lot 250 Meritage (Napa County)MeritageCameron Hughes
1472314722UruguayHard cherry and nail polish aromas rise up from the glass. The palate is high in acid and clampy, with tart, leafy, rubbery berry fruit flavors. Dry and reasonably fresh on the finish.Don Pascual Reserve8212JuanicoMichael Schachner@wineschachFamilia Deicas 2008 Don Pascual Reserve Tannat (Juanico)TannatFamilia Deicas
1472414723UruguayForceful, edgy aromas of cherry and drugstore perfume precede a cloppy, choppy palate with red plum and red berry flavors. Scouring and with friction on the back side, but with lots of racy red flavors.Parcela Vieja8220San JoseMichael Schachner@wineschachCastillo Viejo 2007 Parcela Vieja Cabernet Franc (San Jose)Cabernet FrancCastillo Viejo
1472514724SpainSmacky and hard right away, with compact black cherry aromas. Shows lots of gusto in the mouth but no elegance or touch. Tastes short and condensed, a blah mix of red berry and burnt candy.Cartesius8226Northern SpainEmpordàMichael Schachner@wineschachCeller Arché Pagès 2005 Cartesius Red (Empordà)Red BlendCeller Arché Pagès
1472614725USSoft, sugary-sweet and simple, like a fruit juice made from apricots, peaches and pineapples.River Junction8210CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherMcManis 2010 River Junction Chardonnay (California)ChardonnayMcManis
1472714726BrazilBell pepper and sharp red fruit aromas provide a shaky start, which is followed by cranberry, tart cherry and other pointed flavors. The feel is racy and tight, with gritty acids. Airing does improve it somewhat. Tasted twice; this is a review of the better bottle. Cabernet, Merlot, Cab Franc and Carmenère is the blend. From Brazil.Proprietary Red8210Serra GaúchaMichael Schachner@wineschachAurora Cellars 2004 Proprietary Red Red (Serra Gaúcha)Bordeaux-style Red BlendAurora Cellars
1472814727PeruApple and citrus aromas struggle to hold it together. Citrusy acids control the palate, yielding grapefruit, orange and pithy flavors. Feels unruly. Sauvignon, Sémillon, Chenin Blanc and Viognier.Gran Blanco8210IcaMichael Schachner@wineschachTacama 2010 Gran Blanco White (Ica)White BlendTacama
1472914728USMade in the modern style, a predictable Chardonnay with too much oak riding on top of too thin fruit, finishing sweet and cloying.Swallowtail8220CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaTruett Hurst 2010 Swallowtail Chardonnay (Dry Creek Valley)ChardonnayTruett Hurst
1473014729USOvertly sweet, like orange tea with a couple spoons of white sugar.827CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherBackhouse 2010 Pinot Grigio (California)Pinot GrigioBackhouse

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