Wine Reviews

2040120400ItalyMade with 100% Moscato grapes, this opens with scents of dried fruit, pressed white flower and a whiff of Mediterranean scrub. On the full-bodied palate, white almond accents candied orange peel, apricot and a note of dark honey. Just enough fresh acidity prevents it from being cloying.Hermes8937Sicily & SardiniaIsola dei NuraghiKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTenute Soletta 2007 Hermes Moscato (Isola dei Nuraghi)MoscatoTenute Soletta
2040220401ChileLightly herbal, stalky aromas of berry fruits and eucalyptus are classic Chilean characteristics. This Cabernet Sauvignon-led blend feels a bit short on foundation. Chunky, inky flavors of blackberry and oak are a touch green and herbal, while this is tannic and tastes of tobacco and herbs on the finish.Family Selection8929Curicó ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachAresti 2011 Family Selection Red (Curicó Valley)Red BlendAresti
2040320402ItalyAromas of black currant, fig, dark spice and tobacco unfold on this blend of Nero d'Avola, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The round, chewy palate offers a core of ripe black cherry while ground pepper and cloves provide the backdrop. Soft tannins provide a loose knit framework. Drink soon.C'D'C'8918Sicily & SardiniaTerre SicilianeKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBaglio del Cristo di Campobello 2014 C'D'C' Red (Terre Siciliane)Red BlendBaglio del Cristo di Campobello
2040420403USHuge in structure and monolithic in flavor, this young, rough-cut wine will need until at least 2020 to show its best stuff. This variety is known for aging well, so it's not much of a gamble. The color is black with a dark, smoky rim, the aromas are like charcoal and blackberry jam, and the flavors seem saturated with fine tannins.Estate Grown8922CaliforniaMendocinoJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsBarra of Mendocino 2011 Estate Grown Petite Sirah (Mendocino)Petite SirahBarra of Mendocino
2040520404USGossamer-light in texture, this delicate Gewürztraminer seems to whisper tones of apricot, blossom and peach on the nose and palate. A shade off dry, it's an elegant, mineral-toned wine. Drink now to enjoy its ephemeral beauty.1866 Reserve8932New YorkSeneca LakeFinger LakesAnna Lee C. IijimaBellangelo 2013 1866 Reserve Gewürztraminer (Seneca Lake)GewürztraminerBellangelo
2040620405New ZealandGiven the great potential of the 2015 vintage, it's reassuring to see that some big brands have scored successes like this. Explosive aromas of lime, tangerine and pink grapefruit burst from the glass, followed by ample citrus flavors. There's a hint of herbaceousness that grounds it in Marlborough, along with a long, passion fruit finish.8914MarlboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzBrancott 2015 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough)Sauvignon BlancBrancott
2040720406FranceTight and stalky, this wine has considerable acidity. Firm tannins in the background give some promise of aging. At this stage, the wine is more about structure than fruit and thus is very early in its development. Drink from 2019.89BordeauxMargauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Brane-Cantenac 2013 MargauxBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Brane-Cantenac
2040820407FranceThis is a concentrated wine, full of blackberry fruits with acidity and spice. The wood-aging character is balancing out well, giving structure without dominating the fruit. Drink from 2020. Grapes are vinified by variety and plot from the 60-acre vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Merlot (40%) and Petit Verdot (5%). The property was purchased by Jean-Christophe Mau in 2004.8950BordeauxPessac-LéognanRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Brown 2013 Pessac-LéognanBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Brown
2040920408FranceThis wine is round, smooth and rich. The palate brings a tangy, herbal texture, but this is balanced by the ripe apricot and white peach flavors. The aftertaste reveals a more spicy flavor.89BordeauxPessac-LéognanRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Gazin Rocquencourt 2013 Pessac-LéognanBordeaux-style White BlendChâteau Gazin Rocquencourt
2041020409AustriaYeast and pear combine in a savory body that shows hints of lemon zest and fresh white pepper. With time in glass, a fruitier core appears that holds even more yeasty, herbal spice. More pepper on the finish. Very refreshing.Kirchlissen8925NiederösterreichAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoH. & M. Hofer 2014 Kirchlissen Grüner Veltliner (Niederösterreich)Grüner VeltlinerH. & M. Hofer
2041120410USThis estate-grown wine mixes earthy strawberry and raspberries against a tannic backbone that lends plenty of strength. Let it unwind a while in the glass.Hendry Vineyard8933CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneHendry 2013 Hendry Vineyard Pinot Noir (Napa Valley)Pinot NoirHendry
2041220411AustriaCreamy notes introduce an earthier dimension to this lemon-scented wine that has an equally lemon-focused core and a rather slender body. This is slight and cannot make up its mind whether it wants to be sharp or creamy—so it oscillates between these poles.Steinhaus Reserve8930KamptalAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoHiedler 2014 Steinhaus Reserve Riesling (Kamptal)RieslingHiedler
2041320412AustriaFleshy, primary notes of juicy, luscious plum have little shimmers of white pepper here and there. The palate is soft but not without structure, and the nature of this spells playfulness and fruity fun.Hillside8929BurgenlandAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoHillinger 2013 Hillside Red (Burgenland)Red BlendHillinger
2041420413AustriaEarthy notes blend into hints of pear and yeast on the nose, while the palate puts more force on gentle peach and a concentrated, slender core with fitting, precise freshness. The finish is tangy and lip-smacking.Alte Point Smaragd8929WachauAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoHutter 2013 Alte Point Smaragd Grüner Veltliner (Wachau)Grüner VeltlinerHutter
2041520414AustriaWaves of crunchy, ripe red cherries on the nose mellow into cinnamon-spiced fruitiness on the palate. This Zweigelt is sumptuously winter-spiced, with soft, ample-fruited generosity and smooth tannins, but it never loses its freshness.Kohloss8929NiederösterreichAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoKohl 2013 Kohloss Zweigelt (Niederösterreich)ZweigeltKohl
2041620415USThis estate-grown wine comes from one of Livermore's best boutique wineries. A generous mouthfeel and plenty of ripe fruit flavors make this youthful and full-bodied wine easy to taste and swallow. Hints of milk chocolate ride along with solid cherry and blueberry flavors.Estate Reserve8965CaliforniaLivermore ValleyCentral CoastJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsLas Positas 2012 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Livermore Valley)Cabernet SauvignonLas Positas
2041720416FranceFresh and fruity, this wine is also lightly herbal and shows touches of wood. It is crisp, tangy with its yellow-fruit flavors mingling with the citrus acidity. The wine will be ready to drink from late 2016.8945BordeauxBordeaux BlancRoger Voss@vossrogerLe Nardian 2013 Bordeaux BlancBordeaux-style White BlendLe Nardian
2041820417USPrickly acidity marks the entry of this wine, blowing off over time to reveal cucumber, dill and a layering of black cherry, clove and tobacco. The thicket of tannins softens in the glass.Link Vineyard8859CaliforniaKnights ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneHensteeth 2011 Link Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Knights Valley)Cabernet SauvignonHensteeth
2041920418SpainEarthy berry, tomato, vanilla, herb and spice notes are textbook Rioja. This is drawing but sturdy in feel, with a mix of dry oak, tomato, plum and currant flavors. A salty tasting, tangy finish is in good shape.Cincuenta8817Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachHeredad Ugarte 2011 Cincuenta (Rioja)TempranilloHeredad Ugarte
2042020419USThe aromas show notes of chocolate and raspberries, sprinkled with violets and fresh herbs, not seeming to have fully blossomed. The palate is elegant and refined, displaying a lovely sense of restraint. Smoked-meat flavors linger on the finish. It doesn't always come off as entirely varietal but brings a lot of enjoyment.Estate Wine Middleton Petty Vineyard8840WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportJ & J 2013 Estate Wine Middleton Petty Vineyard Merlot (Walla Walla Valley (WA))MerlotJ & J
2042120420USAromas of toffee-covered caramel apple, crème brûlée and a touch of petrol combine forcefully to invite one into this otherwise light-bodied, expressive wine, the texture salty and sublime.8822CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneJoseph Carr 2014 Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast)ChardonnayJoseph Carr
2042220421USLight pink in color, this wine offers aromas of strawberry, bubblegum, cherry and melon. It drinks off dry, with mouthwatering fruit flavors.Rosé The Benches at Wallula8816WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportJulia's Dazzle 2015 Rosé The Benches at Wallula Pinot Gris (Horse Heaven Hills)Pinot GrisJulia's Dazzle
2042320422USLight and straightforward on the nose with squeezed lemon and sharper kumquat, this simple and easy wine shows why this grape can be a great quaffer. The palate offers minerality, touches of dill and other dried herbs, and more citrus-apple fruit.8819CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannKoehler 2014 Sauvignon Blanc (Santa Ynez Valley)Sauvignon BlancKoehler
2042420423FranceCrisp and fruity, this is an immediately attractive win from the fourth generation of the Bonhur family. It has bright acidity, a herbal edge and perfumed apple and lemon flavors. The wine is totally ready to drink.Château Terres Douces8810BordeauxBordeaux BlancRoger Voss@vossrogerVignobles Bonhur 2015 Château Terres Douces (Bordeaux Blanc)Bordeaux-style White BlendVignobles Bonhur
2042520424FranceBordeaux has always had Malbec in its vineyards although it is rare. This unusual wine shows how, in a fruity year, the grape can work well. The tannins are soft, giving a juicy black-fruited wine that is forward and delicious to drink now for its succulent fruit.En Mémoire du8814BordeauxBordeauxRoger Voss@vossrogerVignobles Raymond 2014 En Mémoire du (Bordeaux)MalbecVignobles Raymond
2042620425SpainSavory, spicy aromas of leathery berry, oak and graphite set up a medium-full palate that's dense, blocky and burly. Dark, peppery flavors of plum and prune finish with a cool, herbal, minty sensation.Lagar de Robla8821Northern SpainVino de la Tierra de Castilla y LeónMichael Schachner@wineschachVinos de Arganza 2013 Lagar de Robla Mencía (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León)MencíaVinos de Arganza
2042720426USSmoky, nutty aromas blend well with rich, baked-fruit flavors and baking spices in this broadly built, velvet-textured and full-bodied wine.Estate8829CaliforniaShenandoah Valley (CA)Sierra FoothillsJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsWilderotter 2013 Estate Barbera (Shenandoah Valley (CA))BarberaWilderotter
2042820427ItalyAromas of toast, ripe berry, clove and mocha lead the nose. The palate shows tart cherry, raw strawberry, anise and a hint of espresso alongside tightly wound, fine-grained tannins that grip the finish.Monrobiolo di Bussia8872PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBric Cenciurio 2012 Monrobiolo di Bussia (Barolo)NebbioloBric Cenciurio
2042920428ItalyDelicately scented with white spring blossom and a whiff of tropical fruit, this medium-bodied white offers pineapple, ripe melon and nectarine zest. Lively acidity brightens the enveloping texture.88Central ItalyKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCantina Fratelli Pardi 2015 Trebbiano SpoletinoTrebbiano SpoletinoCantina Fratelli Pardi
2043020429ItalyShowing the heat of the vintage, this opens with aromas of stewed fruit, toast, truffle, underbrush and a hint of cooking spice. The palate offers cherries marinated in spirits, espresso and a green note of sage alongside assertive tannins that leave an astringent finish.Preda8870PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCascina Adelaide 2012 Preda (Barolo)NebbioloCascina Adelaide

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