Wine Reviews


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1551315512FranceJuicy acidity cuts through this firmly structured, mineral wine. Great swathes of fresh citrus and ripe apricots go with the toastiness and dense texture. This is a very terroir-driven wine with a long future. Drink from 2018.Les Folatières Premier Cru93159BurgundyPuligny-MontrachetRoger Voss@vossrogerOlivier Leflaive 2012 Les Folatières Premier Cru (Puligny-Montrachet)ChardonnayOlivier Leflaive
1551415513PortugalStructured and still very young, this richly exuberant wine is bursting to get beyond its tannins. The black fruits and dark texture are piled high and laced with intense acidity. It has the mineral character that seems often to appear in wines from the remote, mountainous Beira Interior, giving the potential for considerable aging. Drink from 2018.Beyra Superior9320Beira InteriorRoger Voss@vossrogerRui Roboredo Madeira 2012 Beyra Superior Red (Beira Interior)Portuguese RedRui Roboredo Madeira
1551515514USA big, lovable Pinot Noir that is quite ripe and full of exotic fruit flavors that go beyond cherry to boysenberry and blackberry. Full-bodied, with a rounded texture and firm tannins, it is mouthfilling, generous, bombastic and delicious.The Charm9342CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsShane Wines 2012 The Charm Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirShane Wines
1551615515FranceRich and dense, this is full of ripe apple and lemon juice flavors. It's supercharged with acidity that shoots right through the fruitiness and gives a tight, crisp character. Delicious now, but it will be better in 2016.Vaillons Premier Cru9335BurgundyChablisRoger Voss@vossrogerSimonnet-Febvre 2012 Vaillons Premier Cru (Chablis)ChardonnaySimonnet-Febvre
1551715516USRound and rich, this wine takes on renewed complexity in the glass. Seductive in earthy red and black berry fruit and exotic spice, it offers naturally realized structure in a stylized package that should remain interesting for years.Durell Vineyard9365CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneThree Sticks 2011 Durell Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)Pinot NoirThree Sticks
1551115510FranceMature, toasty aromas give this wine an immediate sophistication. It is full in the mouth, showing almonds, ripe toastiness, coffee and tight acidity. It's ripe and full-bodied while keeping a more nervy character that allows it to finish with a great lift. It's ready to drink.Grand Vintage Collection Brut93140ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerMoët & Chandon 1999 Grand Vintage Collection Brut (Champagne)Champagne BlendMoët & Chandon
1551815517USFresh smoke from your grandpa's pipe swirls with aromas of cherry pie and cinnamon-vanilla cream on this wine named after the year Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was founded. Flavors range from Earl Grey tea to crushed violets and frothy blackberry sorbet. Only 22 barrels made.17729360CaliforniaEdna ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannTolosa 2012 1772 Pinot Noir (Edna Valley)Pinot NoirTolosa
1551215511FranceThe wine has so much structure and tension. It is wound up and tight, full of acidity as well as the potential for rich fruits. A steely texture powers up the concentration of this wine, which has a strongly toasty component at this stage. Drink from 2018.Abbaye de Morgeot Premier Cru93113BurgundyChassagne-MontrachetRoger Voss@vossrogerOlivier Leflaive 2012 Abbaye de Morgeot Premier Cru (Chassagne-Montrachet)ChardonnayOlivier Leflaive
1551915518FranceSmoky aromas add to the red fruits and manifest themselves on the palate as the spicy, toasty wood aging. The fruits are still developing, a series of rich berries and currants that will be ripe and generous. For the moment, the dry tannins dominate, so give this wine until 2018.Teurons Premier Cru9372BurgundyBeauneRoger Voss@vossrogerAlbert Morot 2012 Teurons Premier Cru (Beaune)Pinot NoirAlbert Morot
1552015519GermanyWhiffs of pink grapefruit, guava and blossom entice on this dry, yet lush, full-bodied Riesling. The palate is round and ripe with flavors of yellow cherry and peach, but it's slick and steely with minerality too. Finishes long with a line of focused acidity.Lorcher Schlossberger Erste Lage9360RheingauAnna Lee C. IijimaAugust Kesseler 2012 Lorcher Schlossberger Erste Lage Riesling (Rheingau)RieslingAugust Kesseler
1552115520USLush aromatics instantly alert you that this is an exceptional year for this vineyard. Aged in half new French oak, the wine takes it in stride, as it is dense with spicy red berry and plum flavors, and beautifully balanced throughout. Streaks of coffee and nut butter add to the compelling complexity, even at such a young age.Freedom Hill Vineyard9370OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Lange 2012 Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirLange
1552215521FranceThe latest vintage of Roederer Rosé shows all the finesse of which this producer is capable. It has fruit and the merest touches of bottle age. Red berries shine alongside the mineral texture and the pure line of crisp acidity. It's a beautiful Champagne that could age longer.Brut Rosé9380ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerLouis Roederer 2009 Brut Rosé (Champagne)Champagne BlendLouis Roederer
1552315522USInviting aromas of strawberry-vanilla chiffon, cinnamon and a hint of anise introduce this richly layered wine from the winemaker behind Chateau Margene, who sources these grapes from high up on Monte Nero. It's thick and creamy on the palate, with deep flavors of black licorice, beet juice and pomegranate reduction sauce.9352CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannMooney Family 2012 Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirMooney Family
1552415523ItalyIntense fragrances suggest blue flower, leather, truffle, ripe black fruit and spice. The savory palate delivers layers of sweet black cherry, crushed plum, black pepper, mocha and baking spices alongside firm, velvety tannins and fresh acidty. It's already accessible but will develop more complexity. Drink 2015–2025. North Berkeley Imports, Glazer's.Corte Vaona9370VenetoAmarone della Valpolicella ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeNovaia 2010 Corte Vaona (Amarone della Valpolicella Classico)Red BlendNovaia
1552515524USA rounded red fruit nose of pomegranate gets savory help from menthol, cinnamon and vanilla on this single clone 115 wine from the southern edge of the appellation. Dried orange rinds and smoked plums lead the broad palate, which picks up black pepper, brown spice and lingering sour cherry on the finish.Rancho La Vina9356CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannPali 2012 Rancho La Vina Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirPali
1552615525SpainRipe, loamy, rooty aromas of blackberry, cedar and marzipan are a fine draw. This is firm and juicy, with a solid foundation of acidity and integrated tannins. Robust flavors of black fruits and fig finish tight, fresh and proportional. This is good now but still evolving; drink through 2020.Aurea9352Northern SpainBierzoMichael Schachner@wineschachPittacum 2009 Aurea Mencía (Bierzo)MencíaPittacum
1552715526PortugalVery dark and concentrated, this is a powerfully rich wine. Full of juicy black fruits that give a brooding quality, it's still waiting to spring to life. A selection of the best barrels, this opulent and long-lived release will be ready to drink from 2018.Winemaker's Selection9389AlentejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerHerdade Paço do Conde 2011 Winemaker's Selection Red (Alentejano)Portuguese RedHerdade Paço do Conde
1552815527FranceFinely rounded wine, smoky wood and spice combining well with ripe yellow fruits. The acidity is rather underplayed, but all the other elements are well in place. The aftertaste shows more ripe fruit character.Domaine des Deux Roches Vieilles Vignes8930BurgundySaint-VéranRoger Voss@vossrogerCollovray et Terrier 2007 Domaine des Deux Roches Vieilles Vignes (Saint-Véran)ChardonnayCollovray et Terrier
1552915528FranceSoft, with wood and honey flavors, white flower aromas and light acidity. The wine feels warm, rich and balanced.Sur la Roche8928BurgundyPouilly-FuisséRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Barraud 2008 Sur la Roche (Pouilly-Fuissé)ChardonnayDomaine Barraud
1553015529FranceFrom a vineyard just to the north of the line of Meursault premier crus, this is a fresh, crisp wine, very citrusy, with a strong element of spice and grapefruit. The fruitiness is tamed by some wood aging.Les Grand Charrons8950BurgundyMeursaultRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Michel Bouzereau 2008 Les Grand Charrons (Meursault)ChardonnayDomaine Michel Bouzereau
1553115530FranceA soft, rounded wine, feeling generous, even opulent. The acidity is there, fitting into the folds of the rich texture.8930BurgundyPouilly-FuisséRoger Voss@vossrogerDominique Cornin 2008 Pouilly-FuisséChardonnayDominique Cornin
1553215531USVery rich, ripe and bold, in the way of Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noirs, with mouth filling cherry, raspberry, red plum and mocha flavors, enhanced with smoky oak. Tasty, but a bit ponderous, with some sharpness through the finish. Try cellaring for 4–5 years and see where it goes.Pisoni Vineyard8980CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastBernardus 2008 Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirBernardus
1553315532ArgentinaSolid, compact and full-bodied, with blackberry, licorice and warm asphalt on the nose. The structure is quite good and tight, while the flavors of blackberry and cassis are sweetened and softened by mocha and creamed coffee flavors. Powerful but under control, and not too complicated.Reserva8920Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodega Norton 2007 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendoza)Cabernet SauvignonBodega Norton
1553415533USPure Syrah from Pepper Bridge, Seven Hills and Ash Hollow vineyard fruit, this shows the maturing of Walla Walla vines, which more and more reveal the earthy, herbal, garrigue qualities of the grape. Coopered in neutral oak, it showcases the typicity and regionality of the grape. Funk, earth, seaweed, green tobacco, and a hint of pepper dominate. You might wish for more fruit, but for those who love the funk this is a fine bottle.8941WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Reininger 2007 Syrah (Walla Walla Valley (WA))SyrahReininger
1553515534USA rather delicate Viognier, still lightly yeasty and very fresh. There is an underlying minerality that suggests water over river rock, and nicely cut and defined yellow fruits. A lovely bottle to pair with a wide range of mild cheeses, or simple fish such as fresh trout.8919WashingtonLake ChelanColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Tildio 2009 Viognier (Lake Chelan)ViognierTildio
1553615535FranceSpicy, high toast wood, the wine showing a burnt character at this stage. At the same time, there is good freshness, with green fruit characters. Give it 1–2 years.Ammonites89BurgundyPouilly-FuisséRoger Voss@vossrogerJacques Simonin 2008 Ammonites (Pouilly-Fuissé)ChardonnayJacques Simonin
1553715536FranceBig, bold wine, ripe fruits pushed forward by wood, some spice, rich in character. This is lush Chardonnay, but with a good mineral edge.Genievres8916BurgundyMâcon-LugnyRoger Voss@vossrogerLouis Latour 2008 Genievres (Mâcon-Lugny)ChardonnayLouis Latour
1553815537PortugalSmooth and fresh, packed with juicy fruit, this is an immediately accessible, young wine. Black currant and plum juice, bright acidity. Drink next year.Vertente8930DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerNiepoort 2008 Vertente Red (Douro)Portuguese RedNiepoort
1553915538ItalyHere's a rich, oak-aged blend of Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla and Friuliano that shows the aromatic characteristics of Sauvignon backed by the creamy texture of Chardonnay and Ribolla Gialla. This is a thick, ripe wine that lends a touch of melon sweetness in the mouth.Klin8935Northeastern ItalyCollioPrimosic 2006 Klin White (Collio)White BlendPrimosic
1554015539FranceThis wine recreates the medieval technique used to cook the fermenting must to make it more stable. In this case, it also produces a wine that is almost black in color, dark in appearance and in flavor. There is also some elegance here, with fine tannins that are well integrated into the juicy black fruits and ripe character. It's a wine to age, although it is juicy enough to drink now. Best, though, from 2018.Clos Triguedina The New Black Wine 9450Southwest FranceCahorsRoger Voss@vossrogerJean-Luc Baldès 2012 Clos Triguedina The New Black Wine  Malbec (Cahors)MalbecJean-Luc Baldès

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