Wine Reviews

1998119980GermanyThis is a lithe, sinewy wine, powerful yet lean, with coiled intensity to its crisp citrus and mineral flavors. It finishes long and tart, with the bracing acids suggestive of a long evolution. Hold 3–5 years and see if it blossoms.Abtsberg Superior87Mosel-Saar-RuwerJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzMaximin Grünhäuser 2005 Abtsberg Superior Riesling (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer)RieslingMaximin Grünhäuser
1998219981PortugalFresh and perfumed, this wine offers great citric flavors, a lively crispness rare in white wines from central Portugal. Pear and some yellow fruits give roundness.8710RibatejoRoger Voss@vossrogerQuinta da Alorna 2006 White (Ribatejo)Portuguese WhiteQuinta da Alorna
1998319982USExciting, fresh and full of spicy, toasted undertones, this wine immediately calls for a food pairing of a richer seafood (think oysters, crab) or poultry. The flavors are balanced and buoyed by crispness, but the wine still offers complexity and a lingering finish.Estate Bottled Reserve8720New YorkFinger LakesFinger LakesSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaLamoreaux Landing 2006 Estate Bottled Reserve Chardonnay (Finger Lakes)ChardonnayLamoreaux Landing
1998419983USThe winery's Saralee's bottling has been variable over the years. The '06 is tasty and eminently drinkable if you want a nice, dry, crisp Pinot. It's pale in color, silky in the mouth, and direct in cherry, cola, spice and oaky flavors. Drink now.Saralee's Vineyard8742CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaLost Canyon 2006 Saralee's Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirLost Canyon
1998519984USHere's a nice, smooth-drinking red wine that's rich enough to serve with your best fare. The balance is nice, with crisp acids and tannins framing cherry, red currant and mocha flavors. Try this medium-bodied wine as an alternative to Cabernet or Merlot.8727CaliforniaEl DoradoSierra FoothillsMadroña 2004 Malbec (El Dorado)MalbecMadroña
1998619985ItalySangiovese with 25% Merlot for added softness and dimension, this wine boasts pretty notes of cherry, blue flowers, toasted almonds and exotic spice. It has nice elegance overall but is a bit compact in the mouth.Poggio alla Badiola8715TuscanyToscanaMazzei 2004 Poggio alla Badiola Sangiovese (Toscana)SangioveseMazzei
1998719986IsraelDraws you in with its brilliant ruby color and assertive bouquet of dark plum, black cherry and berry nuanced with menthol and dirt. A full, round mouthfeel and soft, fleeting tannins showcase the wine's solid balance, and the strong finish is not sweet or overdone.Kosher8724Judean HillsLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzPsagot 2004 Kosher Merlot (Judean Hills)MerlotPsagot
1998819987USWhen this hilly vineyard Cab first came out, it was very good, but quality has slipped over the years. The '04 is perfectly decent in oak-infused blackberry and currant flavors and rich tannins, and it may even improve for a few years.Landslide Vineyard8734CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaSimi 2004 Landslide Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSimi
2000520004GermanySlaty minerality frames bold pineapple and lime aromas and flavors in this medium-bodied, nearly dry Riesling. Fresh and minerally on the finish.Laumersheimer Kapellenberg Kabinett Trocken8722PfalzJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzKnipser 2006 Laumersheimer Kapellenberg Kabinett Trocken Riesling (Pfalz)RieslingKnipser
2000620005SpainThis is Cáceres' bread-and-butter red Rioja, and the '04 is fruity, light and very approachable. The nose shows some cotton candy and other bouncy red-fruit aromas, while the palate is easygoing, fleshy and balanced by a beam of juicy acidity. Along the way, you'll pull out flavors of cherry, raspberry and a finishing note of bitter coffee.Crianza8715Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachMarqués de Cáceres 2004 Crianza (Rioja)TempranilloMarqués de Cáceres
2000720006PortugalThis wine is young but ripe, with spice and blackberry fruits. It has a core of mineral tannins that are a reminder of the hard schist rocks of the Douro. With this dry structure, it needs to be aged, so drink from 2017.Charamba868DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerAveleda 2013 Charamba Red (Douro)Portuguese RedAveleda
2000820007ArgentinaThis rosado smells of red apple cider, red licorice candy and cotton candy. It's full on the palate, with helpful acidity. Flavors of grapefruit and orange are limited, but overall this rosé of Malbec makes the grade.Rosa de Argentina Rosado de8614Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachBelasco de Baquedano 2014 Rosa de Argentina Rosado de Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecBelasco de Baquedano
2000920008ArgentinaBrandied cherry aromas are a touch stalky and hot, but overall this opens well. Edgy in feel, this Cab shows baked berry flavors and scratchy acidity in front of a stalky, roasted tasting finish.Roble Oak8611Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodega Privada 2012 Roble Oak Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendoza)Cabernet SauvignonBodega Privada
2001020009ArgentinaJammy, somewhat green aromas are suggestive of tomato sauce with oregano and thyme. This feels full, creamy and thick, with earthy, herbal berry flavors that finish with creamy weight and chewy tannins.8622Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachCicchitti 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendoza)Cabernet SauvignonCicchitti
1998919988GermanyOn the dry side, this medium-bodied kabinett clocks in at 11% alcohol but seems balanced anyway, with peach and pear aromas and flavors given complexity through notes of smoke, clover blossom and mint. Crisp and refreshing on the finish.Jean-Baptiste Kabinett8719RheinhessenJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzGunderloch 2006 Jean-Baptiste Kabinett Riesling (Rheinhessen)RieslingGunderloch
1999019989SpainAn obscure Catalonian wine made from indigenous grapes, this pricey oddball starts with bubblegum and candy aromas mixed with smoke and meat. The color is dark and the wine is a bit rough. But in a country, unusual way it redeems itself with zippy cherry flavors and a fresh, tight mouthfeel. Best with food.Gaintus8749Spain OtherVino de MesaMichael Schachner@wineschachHeretat Montrubí 2004 Gaintus Red (Vino de Mesa)Red BlendHeretat Montrubí
1999119990USFans of Barbera will find the hard acids and thick tannins they love in this rustic Italian variety. The flavors are all dry: dried blackberries and cherries, dried leather, cured tobacco leaf, beef jerky, star anise. Yet there's a fruity sweetness that's charming. Great with almost anything starring sausage.Terra d'Oro8718CaliforniaAmador CountySierra FoothillsMontevina 2005 Terra d'Oro Barbera (Amador County)BarberaMontevina
1999219991ItalyLe Sughere is a well-composed wine, except for a hint of Band-Aid that blows off relatively quickly to enhance natural aromas of red fruit, root beer and toast. It offers sweet herb flavors and fresh mint on the close.Le Sughere di Frassinello8725TuscanyMaremmaRocca di Frassinello 2005 Le Sughere di Frassinello (Maremma)Red BlendRocca di Frassinello
1999319992USThis is soft, fruity and very approachable, with flavors of strawberry jam. Highlights of sassafras and a pleasing spiciness add texture and interest.8740OregonDundee HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Stoller 2005 Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills)Pinot NoirStoller
1999419993USThis is a Cab-based Bordeaux blend, and it shows Paso's ability to produce a ripe, gentle red wine that's immediately appealing. There's a nice earthiness to the cassis flavors, and a rich, tannic structure that makes you dream of a perfectly broiled steak or chop, brushed with brown butter sauce with a touch of garlic.Nikiara8730CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastSylvester 2005 Nikiara Red (Paso Robles)Bordeaux-style Red BlendSylvester
1999519994USEarthy, like some Napa Chards, with a sage and thyme edge to the pear and peach fruit. The wine also is a little soft. But there's an interesting minerality. Could develop bottle complexity over the next few years.Brosseau Vineyard8739CaliforniaChaloneCentral CoastTestarossa 2006 Brosseau Vineyard Chardonnay (Chalone)ChardonnayTestarossa
1999619995USThis small production (200 cases) Pinot Noir is a mix of older and younger estate vines, a selection of lots given 22 months in 60 and 132 gallon French oak casks. It's still tasting quite young, sharp and chewy, with spicy fruit backed up against earthy tannins. Give it plenty of breathing time.Estate Reserve8738OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine David Hill 2005 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirDavid Hill
1999719996USTart and forward, with cranberry and raspberry fruit front and center, this is a tasty, acidic and lightly spicy effort that shows some nice precision. It's not a big wine, but balanced and based upon sharp acids that carry the fruit and cut through the finish.8720OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Duck Pond 2006 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirDuck Pond
1999819997USNothing subtle about this big, ripe, oaky Chardonnay. It shows the tropical fruit richness of a fine Alexander Valley Chard, flamboyant in pineapple custard flavor, with a flinty minerality. The sweet overlay of smoky oak is perfectly in keeping with the wine's volume.Stuhlmuller Vineyard8732CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaDutcher Crossing 2006 Stuhlmuller Vineyard Chardonnay (Alexander Valley)ChardonnayDutcher Crossing
1999919998AustraliaWinemaker Nick Goldschmidt has turned out a Shiraz that seems a bit conflicted. It's only medium-bodied, yet packs in overripe flavors of cooked berries laced with dark chocolate and espresso. The peppery notes on the finish give it enough verve to pair with steaks or burgers.8725South AustraliaMcLaren ValeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzForefathers 2005 Shiraz (McLaren Vale)ShirazForefathers
2000019999PortugalFast becoming one of the hallmark blends of Portugal, this 50-50 mix of Aragonez and Touriga Nacional is a seriously structured wine, with great wild fruit and mushroom flavors alongside dark, dry tannins. The acidity is very definite. A good food wine.Aragonez and Touriga Nacional8711AlentejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerAdega Cooperativa de Borba 2006 Aragonez and Touriga Nacional Red (Alentejano)Touriga Nacional BlendAdega Cooperativa de Borba
2000120000USA grilled steak will play nicely against the tannins and acids of this Syrah, grown in the cool Carneros district north of San Francisco. The black peppercorn and blackberry flavors suggest a butter-enriched wine reduction sauce. Best now and for a couple years.8725CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaBuena Vista 2005 Syrah (Carneros)SyrahBuena Vista
2000220001ItalyHere's a simple but genuine Sangiovese from the Montepulciano area that delivers measured notes of blueberry, spice, tobacco and leather. It's a no-fuss red that is both lean and bright on the palate.Capoverso8722TuscanyToscanaCapoverso 2005 Capoverso Sangiovese (Toscana)SangioveseCapoverso
2000320002FranceA rich wine that shows plenty of berry fruits, supported by some dry but dusty tannins. This is a wine that is going to develop with its firm powerhouse of ripe fruit that is emerging from a tight period in its development.8720BordeauxGravesRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Haut Selve 2003 GravesBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Haut Selve
2000420003FranceThis grassy, very herbaceous wine is all crisp green fruits. Touched by a creamy texture under a layer of freshness, it shows some good weight and structure. There is light wood that rounds it all out.Héritage8712BordeauxBordeaux BlancRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Lamothe-Vincent 2006 Héritage (Bordeaux Blanc)Bordeaux-style White BlendChâteau Lamothe-Vincent

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