Wine Reviews


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1845118450USConcentrated aromas of violets and rose buds meet with black raspberry on the nose of this bottling. Quite light in the glass, it's full of tart red-fruit flavors, from cranberry to red-plum skins, with herbal tones on the midpalate: oregano, marjoram and dried lavender. The finish is grippy and driven by menthol.John Sebastiano Vineyard9242CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannPoint & Line 2015 John Sebastiano Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirPoint & Line
1845218451USShowing great restraint and structure, this wine is complex, savory and brings a welcome change from the usual fruity soft California wine. It smells lightly spicy, beefy and earthy, tastes mild but deep, with fascinating flavors like smoked meat, tea, raspberry and cola.Estate Bottled9228CaliforniaKelsey Bench-Lake CountyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsPrima Materia 2014 Estate Bottled Nebbiolo (Kelsey Bench-Lake County)NebbioloPrima Materia
1845318452USRobustly concentrated, this is a rich rewarding wine exuberantly layered in black raspberry and blackberry flavor. Boldly structured, with depth and length for days, it hits the palate with pleasing jolts of cinnamon, clove and black licorice.Anderson Ranch9242CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneQuivira 2015 Anderson Ranch Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelQuivira
1845418453USWaxy plum, cherry and a thread of oak accent a full-bodied warmth of soft tannin in this lovely wine, which also unfurls savory elements of cedar and graphite. Succulent, it shows the remarkable acidity for which the site is known.Limerick Lane Vineyard9258CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneRobert Biale 2015 Limerick Lane Vineyard Zinfandel (Russian River Valley)ZinfandelRobert Biale
1845518454ItalySteeped plum, exotic spice, crushed mint and underbrush aromas take center stage. The palate is still youthfully austere, offering dried cherry, star anise and pipe tobacco framed in firm fine-grained tannins. Give it time to fully bloom. Drink after 2022.Carapace9238Central ItalyMontefalco SagrantinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTenute Lunelli 2012 Carapace (Montefalco Sagrantino)SagrantinoTenute Lunelli
1845618455USThis blend of four vineyards, which spent 34 months in older French oak, shows cranberry, pomegranate, cherry pie and exotic Turkish spices on the nose. It's light and easy on the palate, with hints of plum, violet, rosewater and white pepper—much like drinking a bouquet of flowers.9240CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannTercero 2013 Mourvèdre (Santa Barbara County)MourvèdreTercero
1845718456USTangy aromas of lemon curd meet with warmer touches of Marcona almonds and cider-laced popcorn on the dynamic nose of this bottling. The palate starts with a melted butter richness before tangy citrus peels and savory sea salts combine for a long finish, where both butterscotch and vanilla also make an appearance.Courtney's Vineyard9240CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannTwo Sisters 2015 Courtney's Vineyard Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills)ChardonnayTwo Sisters
1845818457ItalyRose, underbrush, dried berry and balsamic notes lead the nose. The taut structured palate evokes juicy strawberry, crushed cherry, star anise and cake spice framed in tightly woven fine-grained tannins. It's elegant and well balanced, with fresh acidity. Drink 2023–2033.Margheria9295PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeAzelia 2013 Margheria (Barolo)NebbioloAzelia
1845918458PortugalThis is an impressive Touriga Nacional from its home region. Aged for 12 months in wood, it has mint and eucalyptus flavors to add to the dark tannic fruit. Blackberries and juicy acidity are combined with the core of tannins to deliver a powerful statement that needs some more time to mature. Drink from 2019.Fonte do Ouro Reserva Especial9240DãoRoger Voss@vossrogerBoas Quintas 2015 Fonte do Ouro Reserva Especial Touriga Nacional (Dão)Touriga NacionalBoas Quintas
1846018459USThis beloved annual bottling by Randall Grahm blends 39% Mourvèdre, 33% Grenache, 26% Syrah and 2% Cinsaut to create a very savory, Old World-style expression, with aromas of roasted game, pencil shavings, dried red fruits and blood. The palate is very iron-rich and rustic, with uncrushed black peppercorns and raw and dried meat flavors.Le Cigare Volant Reserve9260CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannBonny Doon 2012 Le Cigare Volant Reserve Red (Central Coast)Rhône-style Red BlendBonny Doon
1846118460UruguayDried blackberry aromas include welcome notes of cigar box and tar. This moderately complex Tannat is lush, round and smooth. Flavors of black plum and blackberry are supported by toasty oak, while this tastes blackened and spicy on a silky smooth finish. Drink through 2022.B6 Parcela Única9243CanelonesMichael Schachner@wineschachBouza 2015 B6 Parcela Única Tannat (Canelones)TannatBouza
1846218461USGreat balance and a charming lighter character make this lightly floral wine especially enjoyable. The orange blossom aromas and ripe melon flavors are vivid but not heavy as they weave through a smooth yet crisp texture and linger on the finish.Spirit Canyon Vineyard9221CaliforniaMendocino CountyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsBriceland 2016 Spirit Canyon Vineyard Arneis (Mendocino County)ArneisBriceland
1846318462USClassic and compelling aromas of rose petal, candied boysenberry, hibiscus reduction and vanilla brioche show on the nose of this wine from a rugged appellation east of the Salinas Valley. The firmly structured palate shows rose petals and tart berries, dusted by fennel pollen, white pepper and chaparral spice.Estate Grown9230CaliforniaChaloneCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannChalone 2013 Estate Grown Grenache (Chalone)GrenacheChalone
1846418463FranceThe second wine from the Saint-Julien estate, this is every bit as elegant as the grand vin, its black currant fruit developing to envelop the fine tannins. There is fine fruit, plenty of acidity and a rich texture. It needs time, so drink from 2020.L'Amiral de Beychevelle9260BordeauxSaint-JulienRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Beychevelle 2015 L'Amiral de Beychevelle (Saint-Julien)Bordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Beychevelle
1846518464FranceA mineral texture gives this ripe wine an edge while its full, red berry fruit offers some solid tannins and concentration. It's smoky and full-bodied and will be ready to drink from 2019.9235BordeauxCastillon Côtes de BordeauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Joanin Bécot 2015 Castillon Côtes de BordeauxBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Joanin Bécot
1846618465FranceMaturity comes slowly to a Sauternes, but this wine is almost there. Its fine sweetness is balanced by a lemon curd-like acidity while its rich botrytis is finely integrated with the opulent texture. Drink now.Cuvée Exceptionelle9240BordeauxSauternesRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Simon 2010 Cuvée Exceptionelle (Sauternes)Bordeaux-style White BlendChâteau Simon
1846718466FranceRich and dense, this generous wine has considerable botrytis as well as perfumed apricot and bitter orange flavors. It's ripe and full of fruit and honey. Drink from 2020.Symphonie9229BordeauxSauternesRoger Voss@vossrogerClos Haut-Peyraguey 2014 Symphonie (Sauternes)Bordeaux-style White BlendClos Haut-Peyraguey
1846818467FranceThe Loin de l'Oeil grape lends itself easily to creating this rich, honeyed wine. It's intense, with a viscous texture and opulent apricot and bitter marmalade flavors. Drinkable now for its concentration, it will get even better from late 2018.Renaissance Vendanges Tardives9230Southwest FranceGaillacRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Rotier 2014 Renaissance Vendanges Tardives Loin de l'Oeil (Gaillac)Loin de l'OeilDomaine Rotier
1846918468AustraliaDespite the broad South Australia appellation listed on the label, this small-batch wine is from a single vineyard located between Barossa and the Adelaide Hills. It's meaty and stalky, with raisiny dark fruit, cocoa powder and Dr. Pepper notes. The palate changes directions but is equally delicious in juicy cranberry, earth and herbs, with tightly grained tannins and lively acidity.9228South AustraliaSouth AustraliaEss & See 2014 Tempranillo (South Australia)TempranilloEss & See
1847018469USFragrant, floral and pretty in every way, this wine is also meaty in intense texture and beauty, with a bold beguiling entry that mellows on the midpalate. Balanced acidity supports notes of honey, honeysuckle and pear, with a bite of green apple on the finish.9255CaliforniaBennett ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneFlanagan 2016 Viognier (Bennett Valley)ViognierFlanagan
1847118470ItalyMenthol, licorice and woodland berry aromas follow over to the luminous, elegant palate, along with white pepper and wild cherry. Bright acidity and firm, refined tannins lend both balance and finesse. Drink 2020–2033.Vigna La Rosa92119PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeFontanafredda 2013 Vigna La Rosa (Barolo)NebbioloFontanafredda
1847218471USWith additions of Syrah and Pinot Noir, this blush wine is full-bodied and a little heavy. It has flavors of raspberries, cherries and tangerines, with a needed bite of acidity, and the finish is sweet.Rosé of Grenache8618CaliforniaEdna ValleyCentral CoastTolosa 2010 Rosé of Grenache Rosé (Edna Valley)RoséTolosa
1847318472SpainEvery wine from this house has exotic aromas and flavors that aren't matched elsewhere, which isn't to say that Valdelana's wines offer fool-proof likability. This wine smells funky and tastes of tobacco, butter and cumin. Lean on the finish, but interesting for its unique character, aromas and flavors.Reserva8623Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachValdelana 2004 Reserva (Rioja)Tempranillo BlendValdelana
1847418473SpainOpens with a warm, baked nose of raisin, roasted plum and tobacco. The palate is scouring and crisp due to sharp acids, and thus the flavors follow suit in that they're lean and tart and focus on pie cherry and red plum. Lean, zesty and lively Rioja to drink now.Vendimia Seleccionada Crianza8617Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Muriel 2005 Vendimia Seleccionada Crianza (Rioja)TempranilloBodegas Muriel
1847518474SpainCherry and leather aromas show a stemmy, brambly element. The mouthfeel is sharp and scratchy, while the flavors are a mix of reedy tobacco, raspberry and cherry. Choppy but juicy and lively on the finish. A blend of Mazuelo, Syrah and Garnacha.Can Blau8616CataloniaMontsantMichael Schachner@wineschachCan Blau 2008 Can Blau Red (Montsant)Red BlendCan Blau
1847618475FranceWarm, plummy and inviting, with plum and black cherry fruit framed by crisp acidity. The combination makes for a juicy, mouthwatering finish in this fine everyday red.Cuvée Tradition8613Rhône ValleyCôtes du RhôneJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzDomaine de la Bastide 2009 Cuvée Tradition Red (Côtes du Rhône)Rhône-style Red BlendDomaine de la Bastide
1847718476SpainAromas of sweet black cherry and dark plum form a good bouquet. The palate has smack and acidic bite, but the flavors are forward and clean, with a focus on plum and black cherry. Finishes full and long, with licorice as well as leftover acidity.8615Northern SpainCampo de BorjaMichael Schachner@wineschachGranate 2008 Garnacha (Campo de Borja)GarnachaGranate
1847818477ArgentinaForward berry aromas are regular but solid. The palate has a ripe but choppy mouthfeel and juicy, firm flavors of blackberry and dark toast. Burns a bit on the finish, with extended toasty flavors and peppery accents.Seleccionada8618Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachAlma del Sur 2008 Seleccionada Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecAlma del Sur
1847918478SpainReddish in color and big on the bouquet, with sweet berry and cherry aromas. The palate is full and fun, with acidity and heavier, sweeter flavors of strawberry, raspberry and sweet plum. Handles its size well. Made from 80% Garnacha and 20% Graciano (for acidity).Rosado8610Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachIlurce 2010 Rosado Rosé (Rioja)RoséIlurce
1848018479ArgentinaStandard-issue berry and plum aromas turn warm and leathery with airing. The palate on this Malbec-Bonarda-Syrah blend is juicy, but it comes with a choppy feel. Tastes brambly and wild, with red berry fruit and a briary, leathery finish.Cocina Tinto8615Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachLa Posta 2009 Cocina Tinto Red (Mendoza)Red BlendLa Posta

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