Wine Reviews

1614116140USMade from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in equal parts, this wine aims for the fences and largely succeeds. It's stupendously delicious and addictively drinkable, bearing blackberry and blueberry jam, mocha, anise and sandalwood flavors. It will probably pick up bottle nuances in a few years, but why wait?Fifty/Fifty Red Wine9385CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaPeju 2009 Fifty/Fifty Red Wine Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot (Napa Valley)Cabernet Sauvignon-MerlotPeju
1614216141USEnormously ripe and rich—this is honeyed, with citrus and tropical fruit flavors. It's creamy, too, with a butterscotch accent. The magic comes on the finish with a swirl of acidity and dry mineral. Decadent but never cloying, this defines the ripe California style.Mitsuko's Vineyard9328CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaClos Pegase 2010 Mitsuko's Vineyard Chardonnay (Carneros)ChardonnayClos Pegase
1614316142ItalyDespite the difficult vintage, this is a fantastic wine. It opens with bright, bold aromas of ripe fruit, blackberry, tobacco, cedar, licorice and dried rosemary. There's a pleasurable touch of chocolate fudge that backs the smooth, rich tannins. This wine should last long in your cellar.Liste9386PiedmontBaroloDamilano 2008 Liste (Barolo)NebbioloDamilano
1614416143USThis is arguably Firestone's best Chardonnay in many years—maybe ever. It's rich, creamy and powerful in Chardonnay flavor, flooding the mouth with flavors of ripe tropical fruit, apricot, buttered toast, vanilla cream and spice.Reserve9327CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastFirestone 2010 Reserve Chardonnay (Santa Ynez Valley)ChardonnayFirestone
1614516144FranceThis is a ripe and full-bodied; it benefitted from the warm vintage, offering rich yellow-fruit flavors to go with its touches of toast and sweet herb. On the finish, acidity and minerality come forward to suggest its aging potential.Sancerre d'Antan9359Loire ValleySancerreRoger Voss@vossrogerHenri Bourgeois 2009 Sancerre d'Antan (Sancerre)Sauvignon BlancHenri Bourgeois
1614616145FranceFull in the mouth, this is a rich wine with its yellow fruit and buried acidity. It is laden with wood and ripe fruit, and is dense and cushioned. A nutmeg flavor shows through slowly to add to the exotic, opulent aftertaste.93BordeauxPessac-LéognanRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Smith Haut Lafitte 2009 Pessac-LéognanBordeaux-style White BlendChâteau Smith Haut Lafitte
1614716146ItalyThis is beautiful with bright aromas of wild berry, dried raspberry, citrus zest, ginger and cherry cola. A smoky touch of tobacco or toasted nut is nicely integrated within the smooth and silky texture. Hold for 10–20 years.San Pietro Riserva93PiedmontBaroloViberti 2006 San Pietro Riserva (Barolo)NebbioloViberti
1614816147FranceRounded, but with just the right amount of herbaceousness to give a vivid fruity character. The wine is rich, sun-soaked while still retaining its sense of balance and elegance.92BordeauxPessac-LéognanRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Olivier 2009 Pessac-LéognanBordeaux-style White BlendChâteau Olivier
1615116150USPure, almost crystalline in its expression of fruit, this 100% Malbec captures the essence of mountain berries. Juicy and perfectly balanced, it suggests a range of notes from tangerine to blueberry to wild raspberry, with lightly peppery, fine-grained tannins.9225WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Seven Hills 2009 Malbec (Walla Walla Valley (WA))MalbecSeven Hills
1614916148ChileThis is the third consecutive year this wine has been rated 92 points. It is dense and potent, with aromas of cola, pencil lead and wild berry. It feels smooth, polished and finessed, with cola, vanilla, baking spice and vibrant black-fruit flavors. It finishes with licorice, toast and cola notes. Drink now–2017.La Cumbre92120Aconcagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachErrazuriz 2009 La Cumbre Syrah (Aconcagua Valley)SyrahErrazuriz
1615016149ChileThis is dense, lusty and attractive from the beginning, with rich black-fruit, coconut, tobacco and pine aromas. It feels pure and deep, with ribald acids that keep the pulse up and push blackberry, plum and savory cured-meat flavors. The finish remains savory and saucy. Drink this Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend now–2017.Alfa Centauri Cabernet Sauvignon-Cabernet Franc-Merlot9245Maule ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachO. Fournier 2008 Alfa Centauri Cabernet Sauvignon-Cabernet Franc-Merlot Red (Maule Valley)Bordeaux-style Red BlendO. Fournier
1615216151USThis is unusually smooth and silky for Petit Verdot, which is often used in small amounts for blending. This is 100% varietal, with the floral aroma of the grape matched to deep flavors of cassis and smoky espresso. The tannin management is spot on.9232WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Seven Hills 2009 Petite Verdot (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Petite VerdotSeven Hills
1615316152USA superior Syrah for its dryness, firm texture and restrained yet powerful flavors. Feels really fine in the mouth, with complex, rolling tannins that support waves of blackberry, bacon and sandalwood flavors, as well as something floral—violets, perhaps. Distinguished all the way through, it's fine for drinking now with foods like duck, game, steak or roasted chicken.9234CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastLongoria 2009 Syrah (Santa Barbara County)SyrahLongoria
1615416153USThis elegant, sophisticated wine confirms Longoria's reputation as one of the premier Albariño producers in California. As in past vintages, the wine is bone dry and crisp in acidity, with mineral, citrus zest and apricot flavors that finish with a honeyed richness.Clover Creek Vineyard9223CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastLongoria 2011 Clover Creek Vineyard Albariño (Santa Ynez Valley)AlbariñoLongoria
1615516154ItalyThis shows some of the heat of the 2005 vintage. It is bold and black, with enduring aromas of cherry, prune, leather, spice and licorice. The mouthfeel is smooth and rich.Bricco Ambrogio9270PiedmontBaroloNegretti 2005 Bricco Ambrogio (Barolo)NebbioloNegretti
1615616155ItalyElvio Cogno shows a deft hand with the difficult Nebbiolo grape. This delivers tones of cassis, tobacco and moist earth. What sets this wine apart is its bright acidity and overall intensity.Bordini9240PiedmontBarbarescoElvio Cogno 2008 Bordini (Barbaresco)NebbioloElvio Cogno
1615716156ChileAt first it almost smells too Port-like, but then peppery spice enters the picture and it takes off. And while it weighs a ton and shows some aggression, it's lovable for its pure blackberry and complex spice and chocolate flavors. Long and grabby on the finish, with big tannins. Drink now, or hold through 2020.Lacruz9255Colchagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachEstampa 2008 Lacruz Red (Colchagua Valley)Red BlendEstampa
1615816157ItalyA delicate firmness opens the bouquet of this elegant Barolo, with delicate aromas of wild berry, cola and licorice that come together as one. The palate delivers intensity and staying power. Drink after 2018.Vigneto Cerequio9275PiedmontBaroloBeni di Batasiolo 2007 Vigneto Cerequio (Barolo)NebbioloBeni di Batasiolo
1615916158FranceGolden pear and citrus fruit shimmer in the glass. The palate is ripe and fresh, made taut by citrus but glowing with ripe juicy pear and red apple. There is a lovely textured midpalate that is reminiscent of chalk, shot through with freshness that underlines the ripe fruit of 2015 even more. This is tangy and refreshing, concentrated and dry with a lovely long and whistle-clean aftertaste.Cote de Rouffach9330AlsaceAlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoRené Muré 2015 Cote de Rouffach Riesling (Alsace)RieslingRené Muré
1616016159USGrown in what might be the coolest climate Syrah vineyard in the state, this bottling is ferociously peppery on the nose, where tar, elderberry and seedy huckleberry scents add to its dark aromatic profile. Pepper and tar show on the palate as well, alongside purple flower and espresso bean flavors, with a slight caramel touch on the finish.Presqu'ile Vineyard9338CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannSaint K 2013 Presqu'ile Vineyard Syrah (Santa Maria Valley)SyrahSaint K
1616116160USA concentrated white peach element plays strongly on the nose of this coveted bottling, with touches of sea salt and a sharp tangerine-like edge. Ripe peach and cherimoya flavors show on the palate, but a crescendoing citrus-driven acidity cuts through the richness and allows more savory components like salt and smoked nut to blossom on the finish.9360CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannSea Smoke 2014 Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills)ChardonnaySea Smoke
1616216161USThis is a deep, intense and focused wine sourced from 40-year-old vines. Its 28 g/l of residual sugar is all but buried in bright acids, creating tension and depth. Grapefruit, lime and pineapple flavors burst through, making this highly cellar-worthy wine irresistible already.Medici Vineyard9320OregonChehalem MountainsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Timothy Malone 2015 Medici Vineyard Riesling (Chehalem Mountains)RieslingTimothy Malone
1616316162ItalyThis opens with subtle aromas of wild flower and a whiff of exotic fruit. The bright fruity palate offers white peach, apple and a hint of honeydew melon. It's straightforward and refreshing.Ventidue9335Southern ItalyFiano di AvellinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeVilla Raiano 2014 Ventidue (Fiano di Avellino)FianoVilla Raiano
1616416163ItalyElegant and finely structured, this creamy fragrant white opens with heady scents of jasmine, honeysuckle and white stone fruit. The smooth delicious palate delivers green melon, white peach, cantaloupe, grapefruit and orange zest while a saline note lifts the lingering finish.De La Tour9355Northeastern ItalyCollioKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeVilla Russiz 2015 De La Tour Sauvignon (Collio)SauvignonVilla Russiz
1616516164PortugalThis 100% Touriga Nacional comes from the government-owned estate in the north of Tejo. Named after the barn owl that is found in the woods, the wine is structured with dense tannins as well as concentrated black fruits. It is balanced with its fruit and structure already working well together, but it will need time. Drink from 2019.Companhia das Lezirias Tyto Alba9336TejoRoger Voss@vossrogerWines & Winemakers 2014 Companhia das Lezirias Tyto Alba Touriga Nacional (Tejo)Touriga NacionalWines & Winemakers
1616616165PortugalThis fine low-production wood-aged wine is almost Burgundian in its creamy richness. The toast is nicely judged giving a wine that has just enough acidity and has plenty of textured apple and grapefruit flavors. The wine is named after the year of the creation of the Companhia das Lezirias.Companhia das Lezirias 1836 Grande Reserva Branco9377TejoRoger Voss@vossrogerWines & Winemakers 2015 Companhia das Lezirias 1836 Grande Reserva Branco Fernão Pires (Tejo)Fernão PiresWines & Winemakers
1616716166FranceThis small production wine has a crisp crackly character with great fruitiness, as well as a tight mineral texture from the chalk soil. Its citrus and herbal flavor is balanced with taut acidity. The wine, one of two from this producer reflecting different soil types, is young. Drink from 2019.Cuvée Calcaire9324Loire ValleySancerreRoger Voss@vossrogerMichel Vattan 2015 Cuvée Calcaire (Sancerre)Sauvignon BlancMichel Vattan
1616816167USCompost, earth and spicy cardamom notes provide the savory intrigue of this full-bodied, expressive wine, with additional pine forest, pomegranate and orange peel flavors that add to its complexity and appeal. Sourced from several vineyards in the heart of the appellation, it represents the vintage and the location well.Reserve9345CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneRodney Strong 2014 Reserve Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirRodney Strong
1616916168USJuicy, tart and crisp with acidity, this is a standout vineyard designate with a bold, velvety texture. Blue fruit-driven, it's full-bodied and fleshy in all the best ways, with a plush finish that teases with cardamom and tea.Barbieri Vineyard9350CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneSiduri 2015 Barbieri Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirSiduri
1617016169ItalyMade from old vines, this stunning wine opens with heady aromas of ripe apple and fragrant white flower. Round and creamy, the palate delivers Bartlett pear, white peach and nectarine zest alongside fresh acidity. A white-almond note graces the persistent finish.Vigne di Catullo Riserva9324LombardyLuganaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTenuta Roveglia 2014 Vigne di Catullo Riserva (Lugana)TurbianaTenuta Roveglia

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