Wine Reviews

14821481USWith quite a bit of residual sugar, this Riesling is sweet, but balanced with crisp acidity that makes it clean and zesty. The flavors are of peaches, apricots, candied ginger, honeysuckle and vanilla. Low alcohol makes it easy to drink.Valley Oaks859CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherFetzer 2006 Valley Oaks Riesling (California)RieslingFetzer
14831482ArgentinaRather sweet and medicinal; the wine comes into form on the palate, which is fairly bright and forward as it pushes raspberry and cherry flavors. Acidity is on the high side, so the feel and finish have some burn. Could use some pizza or meat to help it along.Altosur8510Mendoza ProvinceTupungatoMichael Schachner@wineschachFinca Sophenia 2006 Altosur Cabernet Sauvignon (Tupungato)Cabernet SauvignonFinca Sophenia
14841483FranceA light wine, somewhat unfocused and lacking fruit intensity. But it is certainly pleasant, clean and fresh, with a definite green tinge and a citrus aftertaste.Fournier8519Loire ValleyMenetou-SalonRoger Voss@vossrogerFournier Père et Fils 2006 Fournier (Menetou-Salon)Sauvignon BlancFournier Père et Fils
14851484New ZealandShows plenty of weight on the palate, but also an overall lack of intensity to its slightly vegetal—green pea—flavors. Still, there's enough passion fruit and grapefruit to provide a sense of balance and a crisp, clean finish.Arona8511MarlboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzBarker's Marque 2007 Arona Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough)Sauvignon BlancBarker's Marque
14861485USThe vineyard is on Howell Mountain. It's an awkward wine, with lots to like, but some problems. On the plus side is enormous cassis, cherry and chocolate fruit flavor and rich, fine tannins, and the 100% new oak seems proper given the wine's volume. But there's too much sugary sweetness in the finish, almost like a dessert wine.Bancroft Ranch Vineyard8575CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaBeringer 2004 Bancroft Ranch Vineyard Merlot (Napa Valley)MerlotBeringer
14871486HungaryThe rich, spicy and savory nose evoke the food for which the country is known, and this wine would undoubtedly pair well with full-bodied, spiced meats and stews. Its full, spicy nose leads into dependable flavors of red berry, wooded spice and pepper, with a slightly bitter, smoked edge. Not a terribly complex wine, but solid and tasty nonetheless.Cuvée Barrique8548VillánySusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaBock 2000 Cuvée Barrique Red (Villány)Bordeaux-style Red BlendBock
14881487USShows a beautiful Pinotesque mouthfeel, all silk and satin, with that elegant Carneros acidity. But the flavors could be more concentrated. The cherries, cola and pomegranates feel a little watered down.Reserve8522CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaCarneros Creek 2006 Reserve Pinot Noir (Carneros)Pinot NoirCarneros Creek
14891488ItalyThis is a bold and powerful wine with distinctive green notes that recall dried grass, black pepper and spice. It also has bitter chocolate, cardamom and cumin and its tannins are so strong, they literally leave your palate parched and dry.8535Central ItalySagrantino di MontefalcoCasale Triocco 2003 Sagrantino di MontefalcoSagrantinoCasale Triocco
14711470USExtremely luscious on the nose, this bottling is redolent of baked black cherries, vanilla, smoke and wet riverstones. That fruit-forward style carries over to the palate, with cherry pie and baking spice flavors, backed by a solid and an expertly balanced acidity that holds those rich flavors in check.Hollister Edna Ranch93100CaliforniaEdna ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannTolosa 2015 Hollister Edna Ranch Pinot Noir (Edna Valley)Pinot NoirTolosa
14721471ItalyMature plum, ripe berry, baking spice, underbrush and a balsamic note are some of the aromas you'll find on this full-bodied wine. On the chewy palate, notes of cinnamon, clove and licorice add depth to dried cherry and raspberry. Velvety tannins give it just enough tension and texture. Drink 2018–2024.Riserva9385TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeVilla Poggio Salvi 2011 Riserva (Brunello di Montalcino)SangioveseVilla Poggio Salvi
14731472USThis varietal Cabernet Sauvignon hails from the producer's organic Chiles Valley estate. It's muscular and lushly layered, with spicy leather and tobacco notes accented by a delicate touch of violet and supported by firm, grippy tannin. Drink now through 2033.Sievers Reserve9380CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneVolker Eisele Family Estate 2013 Sievers Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonVolker Eisele Family Estate
14741473ChileThere's no shortage of heavily charred oak, and early on it may seem a bit mulchy and leathery. But as it knits together and the fruit rises, you'll see that there's a compact, serious wine laying in wait. Flavors of blackberry, licorice and herbs are authentic and powerful. Clacky tannins make food almost mandatory.Reserva8612Colchagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachTerraNoble 2006 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon (Colchagua Valley)Cabernet SauvignonTerraNoble
14751474ItalyThis blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Sagrantino is a simple, fruit-forward wine with loads of red cherry, blueberry, cedar wood and exotic spice. It has a gritty, spicy mouthfeel and big, powerful tannins.Riserva8618Central ItalyMontefalco RossoTerre de Trinci 2003 Riserva (Montefalco Rosso)Red BlendTerre de Trinci
14761475ItalyOpens with a pretty shade of gold that denotes more sophisticated extraction and in fact that impression is carried through to the nose and mouth where the wine exhibits ripe fruity aromas, honey, almond skin, dried herbs and natural rubber. The mouthfeel is thin, but remains a step above the commercial Pinot Grigio that is so commonly available. The wine is packaged with a real vine clipping around the bottle neck.Pinot Grigio8615Northeastern ItalyColli Orientali del FriuliMosolo Gleni 2006 Pinot Grigio Pinot Grigio (Colli Orientali del Friuli)Pinot GrigioMosolo Gleni
14771476USThis has light but sweet fruit flavor, leaning heavily toward strawberry and Bing cherry candy. The fruit is a bit mismatched to the tannins, which are thick and chewy, but with additional bottle age the middle may fill out somewhat. It's got a pretty, fruity entry and a substantial, slightly earthy finish; it's just that midpalate that falls a bit short.8620WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Arbor Crest 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonArbor Crest
14781477ChileA solid wine with a good mix of herbal, cola and red-fruit aromas. It deals spanking red fruit flavors and a sprinkle of vanilla and chocolate on the racy finish. For a short, fresh and clean wine, Aresti's Cab makes the grade.Reserve8614Rio ClaroMichael Schachner@wineschachAresti 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Rio Claro)Cabernet SauvignonAresti
14901489ItalyHere's a delicate, feminine Sangiovese with a thin consistency and mature aromas of forest berry, raspberry, black olive and spice. It's a bit thorny in places with sour notes on the finish but it would pair well with pasta or pizza.8512TuscanyToscanaCastello di Monastero 2004 Sangiovese (Toscana)SangioveseCastello di Monastero
14911490New ZealandOffers herb, cranberry and cherry aromas upfront, followed by a medium-bodied palate that's cedary and herbal, but also shows some chunky cherry fruit. Finishes on oaky notes of coffee and chocolate.8523MarlboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzKonrad 2006 Pinot Noir (Marlborough)Pinot NoirKonrad
14921491ItalyHere's a lean, almost colorless, citrus-driven Grigio from sunny Umbria that has a bit of candy and cola on its sweet, fragrant nose. There are peppermint renderings and dried hay in the background. It's watery and lean in the mouth and would pair with appetizers or simple vegetable dishes.Pinot Grigio8515Central ItalyUmbriaLungarotti 2006 Pinot Grigio Pinot Grigio (Umbria)Pinot GrigioLungarotti
14931492New ZealandA soft, easy-to-drink Pinot Noir—even for Marlborough. Tannins are developed and supple, while the flavors lean toward caramel, cherry and sandalwood. Drink now.8516MarlboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzMana 2006 Pinot Noir (Marlborough)Pinot NoirMana
14941493ArgentinaLight, floral and somewhat out of the mold. Flavors of apricot, peach and mango are both fresh and fleshy, while the finish lingers for quite some time. Fairly forceful but restrained enough.Coleccion8512OtherCalchaquí ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachMichel Torino 2007 Coleccion Chardonnay (Calchaquí Valley)ChardonnayMichel Torino
14951494USMade from authentic Port varieties, this dessert wine is quite sweet. The residual sugar is about 9.5%, giving a honeyed finish to the blackberry and chocolate flavors. It doesn't have the complexity for aging, so drink now.Vintage Port8534CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastRobert Hall 2005 Vintage Port Port (Paso Robles)PortRobert Hall
14961495USA blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, with a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon, this tannic, dry wine has flavors of cherries, vanilla and smoky oak. It may develop some additional complexities over time.Trompettes8565CaliforniaMount VeederNapaRubissow 2004 Trompettes Red (Mount Veeder)Bordeaux-style Red BlendRubissow
14971496ArgentinaRound, nutty and smooth, with melon, citrus and apple flavors. In this wine's case, organic does not equal complexity. That said, what's here is clean and balanced, and there's more than enough fruit and intensity to satisfy.Organica8510Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Julia 2007 Organica Chardonnay (Mendoza)ChardonnaySanta Julia
14981497ArgentinaTiming is everything with this full-bodied PG. Get at it right away and it will still be almost viscous, but it should also show ripe tropical fruit flavors, core acidity and lots of personality. Just don't let it hang around for long, especially not at room temperature.858Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Julia 2007 Pinot Grigio (Mendoza)Pinot GrigioSanta Julia
14991498ItalyThis Pinot Grigio is a bit more fragrant and floral in essence with aromas of stone fruit and peach blossom. It has a fresh, almost piquant edge but it also has that characteristic watery mouthfeel you'll likely encounter with this variety.8516Northeastern ItalyCollioRonco Blanchis 2006 Pinot Grigio (Collio)Pinot GrigioRonco Blanchis
15001499ChileThe oak on this wine gives it a strong resin and cinnamon character. Along the way there's floral berry aromas, cherry and plum flavors, and finishing notes of root beer, chocolate and cough drops. A bit woody and tannic but it gets the job done.Castillo de Molina Reserva8512Cachapoal ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSan Pedro 2006 Castillo de Molina Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon (Cachapoal Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSan Pedro
14791478AustraliaThis 60-40 blend features gentle aromas of vanilla and cassis in a medium-bodied, creamy-smooth format. It's not powerful or complex, but offers pure cassis and vanilla flavors tinged with chocolate on the finish. Good value.Yellow Label8512South AustraliaSouth AustraliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzWolf Blass 2005 Yellow Label Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon (South Australia)Shiraz-Cabernet SauvignonWolf Blass
14801479ChileBig, bold, wild and dark, with mild burnt aromas backed by broad blackberry and plum flavors. This represents the fruity, thick style of Syrah, with additional notes of black olive and savory meat pie. It's not flawless but its pounding fruit character will earn its share of fans.Reserva859Maule ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachChilensis 2006 Reserva Syrah (Maule Valley)SyrahChilensis
14811480ChilePungent and sharp, and that's exactly the style that Los Vascos has mastered in recent years. This wine tastes very much like a coastal, Casablanca Chardonnay yet it hails from Colchagua. The nose is pithy and citric, and the palate is more of the same. Good mouthfeel and fresh, but green, citrusy and too much like Sauvignon Blanc.Los Vascos8512Colchagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachDomaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) 2007 Los Vascos Chardonnay (Colchagua Valley)ChardonnayDomaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite)

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