Wine Reviews

1809118090USThis is a big, tannic and dry Cabernet, but it's very elegant, and shows the pedigree of Alexander Valley at its best. Impeccably balanced in acidity and tannins, the fruit is pure blackberries and black currants, with a wonderful earthiness suggesting dried sage and thyme. Should develop nicely over the next 6–8 years.Reserve9147CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaGeyser Peak 2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley)Cabernet SauvignonGeyser Peak
1809218091USDeep and refined, this beautifully integrated Syrah opens with scents of briar, berry, and cherry. Details of light pepper, iron and earth are buoyed by vivid acids. Complex, aromatic and graceful.9130WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Tulpen 2006 Syrah (Columbia Valley (WA))SyrahTulpen
1809318092ItalyThis is a well-integrated super Tuscan blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, although the 2005 vintage doesn't have quite the same intensity as 2004. The wine is well defined and sharp in the mouth with a tonic and bright quality of fruit.Balifico9160TuscanyToscanaVolpaia 2005 Balifico Red (Toscana)Red BlendVolpaia
1809418093PortugalWith its dense color and sweet fruits, this is wine that works well, with a great rich, soft texture. There is a concentrated juicy and jammy character, with final approachable spice and acidity.Late Bottled Vintage9122PortRoger Voss@vossrogerW. & J. Graham's 2005 Late Bottled Vintage (Port)PortW. & J. Graham's
1809518094PortugalDelicious sweet raisin and mulled wine fruit, full of herbs and nutmeg spice. This is a ripe wine, but too heavy, showing some austerity, but no sign of tiring.Late Bottled Vintage9135PortRoger Voss@vossrogerSmith Woodhouse 1999 Late Bottled Vintage (Port)PortSmith Woodhouse
1809618095FranceAme means the spirit, the soul, and Alain Rotier believes this wine expresses the true nature of his Gaillac estate. On that basis, it's a place of great perfumes, coming through in the wine from wood as well as chunky black fruits. It is a relatively soft wine, the concentration in the dense fruit rather than the tannins.L'Ame du Domaine9140Southwest FranceGaillacRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Rotier 2007 L'Ame du Domaine Duras (Gaillac)DurasDomaine Rotier
1809718096FranceClassic botrytis sweet and dry flavors bring out the rich honey and lemon juice. The wine also has freshness, a tight edge of orange and sweet chutney spice. A great example of sweet Gaillac.Renaissance Doux9130Southwest FranceGaillacRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Rotier 2007 Renaissance Doux Loin de l'Oeil (Gaillac)Loin de l'OeilDomaine Rotier
1809818097South AfricaA full-bodied wave of savory spice and rich fruit. Aromas of tobacco, mint, cassis and mocha lead, followed by smooth, luscious flavors of plum, smoke, and tobacco. Ageable but delicious now, the wine has a soft character that makes it good for solo sipping. It also will pair nicely with steaks and soft cheeses.Liber II9151DurbanvilleSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaEmineo 2007 Liber II Red (Durbanville)Red BlendEmineo
1809918098USA beautiful Viognier that showcases the variety's rich, exotic side. Offers a mouthburst of ripe grilled peaches, pineapples, green apples, honeysuckle and vanilla wrapped into a creamy, buttery texture. Try as an offbeat alternative to Chardonnay.9127CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaFreemark Abbey 2008 Viognier (Napa Valley)ViognierFreemark Abbey
1810018099ItalyHere's a rich, chocolaty Sangiovese (with 10% Cabernet Sauvignon) from central Tuscany with cheerful notes of wild berries and cherries that make for a sophisticated but cheerful wine. It boasts good intensity and power and has enough body and natural crispness to match most meat dishes.Gagliole9185TuscanyColli della Toscana CentraleGagliole 2007 Gagliole Sangiovese (Colli della Toscana Centrale)SangioveseGagliole
1810118100ItalyHere's a lively Tuscan Merlot with soft layers of spice and cola lavished over a solid core of black fruit. The aromas are pristine and focused and the wine makes an equally excellent impression in the mouth thanks to its soft, yielding tannins and sweet cherry flavors.Poggio ai Merli9175TuscanyToscanaCastellare di Castellina 2007 Poggio ai Merli Merlot (Toscana)MerlotCastellare di Castellina
1810218101FranceAn intriguing blend of Négrette, Syrah and Malbec, this wine is a selection of the best lots of the vintage. It has purity of blackberry fruit, edged with an earthy, barnyard character. It is ripe, generous, but not overweight.Le Bouissel9126Southwest FranceFrontonRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Bouissel 2005 Le Bouissel Red (Fronton)Red BlendChâteau Bouissel
1810318102ItalyHere's a beautifully fragrant Vino Nobile di Montepulciano with well-integrated oak aromas of spice and cigar box followed by blackberry and chocolate. This is a proud, modern wine with loads of intensity and personality. Pair it with lamb or pork roast.9130TuscanyVino Nobile di MontepulcianoPoliziano 2006 Vino Nobile di MontepulcianoPrugnolo GentilePoliziano
1810418103USA lovely Cabernet that shows the soft tannins and earthy herbaceousness of Alexander Valley. On a fruitier note are the cherries and red currants that are accented by sweet, smoky oak. Spicy and dry, this polished wine wants a few years in the cellar. 2011–2015.Reichel Vineyard9148CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaRespite 2006 Reichel Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley)Cabernet SauvignonRespite
1810518104USA bit hard in tannins and stinging in acidity, but the lush, ripe flavors make up for it. Offers waves of black and red cherries, cola, licorice and bacon flavors, accented with sweet, smoky oak. Good now, and should develop for a few years.9129CaliforniaSan Luis Obispo CountyCentral CoastSinor-LaVallee 2007 Pinot Noir (San Luis Obispo County)Pinot NoirSinor-LaVallee
1810618105USThis is the first time a Cabernet Franc has been made at Spring Valley since 2003. It's rich and earthy, tannic and concentrated, with plum and black cherry dusted with light mocha. Smooth and supple in the mouth, it glides into a tasty finish with toasted almonds.Katherine Corkrum9150WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Spring Valley Vineyard 2007 Katherine Corkrum Cabernet Franc (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Cabernet FrancSpring Valley Vineyard
1810718106PortugalInitially it seems very dry, but there is freshness as well. The wine has a sweet, jelly core, with soft tannins, well balanced. Raisins and black figs dominate, with the aftertaste bringing a firming of tannins and structure. Powerful and impressive.Late Bottled Vintage9125PortRoger Voss@vossrogerTaylor Fladgate 2003 Late Bottled Vintage (Port)PortTaylor Fladgate
1810818107USLots of new oak on this young Merlot, and the wood dominates, sending out waves of toast, clove and vanilla-buttered toast aromas. Oak tannins join the grapeskin tannins in making the mouthfeel hard and astringent. The underlying flavors are of blackberries, black cherries, red licorice and unsweetened baker's chocolate. It's a good wine that should develop bottle complexity through 2012.9190CaliforniaHowell MountainNapaW.S. Keyes 2006 Merlot (Howell Mountain)MerlotW.S. Keyes
1810918108USThere are few varietal Petit Verdots in Washington, and even fewer pure varietals such as this, which goes right to the front of the pack. The fruit is sweet, tangy, grapey and young, with plum and cassis filling out the midpalate. The acids are juicy and natural, and the tannins—often aggressive and herbal with this grape—are polished and smooth.9137WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Olsen Estates 2007 Petite Verdot (Yakima Valley)Petite VerdotOlsen Estates
1811018109USBlended with 10% Syrah, this is a voluptuous, rich wine, dry and full-bodied. It has blackberry, blueberry, chocolate, bacon and sweet oak flavors. Clearly the winery's best, albeit most expensive Cabernet ever, it's gorgeous to drink now.Signature Series9037CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaOne Hope 2009 Signature Series Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonOne Hope
1811118110ArgentinaThis Cab opens with mellow, woody aromas on top of cassis and berry scents. The palate is a bit choppy and drying, but there's good structure to it along with attractive flavors of moss, earth, baked berry and light herbs.8922Mendoza ProvinceMaipúMichael Schachner@wineschachLuigi Bosca 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Maipú)Cabernet SauvignonLuigi Bosca
1811218111FranceNot just old vines, but ancient vines, this is a juicy, concentrated and ripe wine. It is sufficiently rich and textured to need some aging to bring out the full fruits even more. Drink from 2014.Anciennes Vignes8926Loire ValleyMenetou-SalonRoger Voss@vossrogerPatient Cottat 2012 Anciennes Vignes (Menetou-Salon)Sauvignon BlancPatient Cottat
1811318112USElysium is crafted from Black Muscat grapes grown in the Central Valley near Madera and it tastes of raspberry jam and citrus peel, thick in texture but holding on to enough acidity to balance itself out. The residual sugar is 17.52%. Mix with Champagne for a California-style Kir Royale, the bubbles will really make it pop.Elysium8925CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherVirginie Boone@vbooneQuady 2012 Elysium Black Muscat (California)Black MuscatQuady
1811418113USCold-fermented in stainless steel after being harvested at 31.4 degrees Brix, this Late-Harvest Riesling is ripe in apple and honey, with a sustained level of rich earth notes from the 134 g/L residual sugar. Crisp and light, it's balanced and ideal for after-dinner cheeses or poached pears.Late Harvest8930CaliforniaLake CountyVirginie Boone@vbooneSchug 2012 Late Harvest Riesling (Lake County)RieslingSchug
1811518114ArgentinaRoot beer, marzipan and wood-accented berry aromas lead to a pleasant, medium-bodied palate with cassis and blackberry flavors that are robust at first but hollow out with time. Toast, dark chocolate and herbal flavors ride high on a fresh, driving finish.Lassia Select8914OtherPatagoniaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodega Patritti 2010 Lassia Select Red (Patagonia)Red BlendBodega Patritti
1811618115USWith almost half of this wine aged in new French oak, it's barrel forward with notes of char and caramel along with tropical fruit. This fruit expression helps to retain a sense of elegance that carries through the finish.Canoe Ridge Estate8922WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportChateau Ste. Michelle 2011 Canoe Ridge Estate Chardonnay (Horse Heaven Hills)ChardonnayChateau Ste. Michelle
1811718116SpainThis inaugural barrel-fermented white blend is gold in color and toasty on the nose, with baked apple, a pinch of sweat and heavy raw-oak aromas. A resiny mouthfeel leads to a savory palate with more wood and corn flavor than fruit. The finish has a smooth feel and lasting oaky flavors.Tres Viñas Blanco Reserva Viura-Malvasia-Garnacha Blanca89Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachBaron De Ley 2008 Tres Viñas Blanco Reserva Viura-Malvasia-Garnacha Blanca White (Rioja)White BlendBaron De Ley
1811818117SpainEarthy berry and gritty toast and leather aromas form a strong, masculine bouquet. This feels flush but also jagged due to hard tannins. Flavors of blackberry, fine coffee, mint and oak lead to a spicy, peppery tasting finish with oaky notes and power. Drink through 2016.Adaro de Prado Rey89Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachPradorey 2010 Adaro de Prado Rey (Ribera del Duero)Red BlendPradorey
1811918118SpainA wiry, minty nose with aromas of herbs, compost and strawberry is pushy and direct. In the mouth, this feels grabby and tight, with driving tannins. Flavors of baked berry, carob and herbs finish with a prune-driven character, heat and choppy tannins.8925CataloniaPrioratMichael Schachner@wineschachNita 2011 Red (Priorat)Red BlendNita
1812018119USA very nice wine, showcasing the Napa style of lush, plush opulence. It's softly tannic, with ripe blackberry, raspberry, mocha and cedar flavors. Not an ager—drink by 2015.Double Lariat8945CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaJamieson Ranch 2011 Double Lariat Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonJamieson Ranch

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