Wine Reviews


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2094120940USThe esteemed Hyde Vineyard is in Carneros, and is the source for some incredible Syrahs from winemakers like Joseph Phelps and the Hyde Vineyard label itself, and Mira now joins that list. The wine is wonderful. Made from 100% Syrah, it's high in alcohol, offering rich, dense waves of blackberry and blueberry jam, chocolate, peppercorn and vanilla.Hyde Vineyard9248CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaMira 2009 Hyde Vineyard Syrah (Napa Valley)SyrahMira
2094220941FranceSimple earthy notes interspersed with faint cherry aromas open this pleasant, good-value Pinot Noir from the south of France. The blueberry-flavored palate shows riper fruit than is typical for Burgundy and may appeal to those who find California Pinots to be a bit overwhelming. Tannins are in abundance here but are fine enough not to interfere with tuna or swordfish in a delicate sauce.8410Languedoc-RoussillonVin de Pays d'OcGala Rouge 2006 Pinot Noir (Vin de Pays d'Oc)Pinot NoirGala Rouge
2094320942ItalyA luminous hue segues to aromas of stone fruit and honey to create a well-priced white wine from Friuli. The wine feels lean and tonic in the mouth and has pretty fruit flavors.8410Northeastern ItalyFriuli IsonzoBlason 2007 Friulano (Friuli Isonzo)FriulanoBlason
2094420943FranceA beautiful nose full of classic garrigue-infused herbaceousness is supported by notes of raspberry-sage preserves and sweet spiced baked fruit. The mouth lacks a certain vibrancy, though, with a lighter than expected weight and acidity. The finish falls a little short, with a somewhat jarring sweet sharpness.La Coste d'Aleyrac Pic Saint-Loup8416Languedoc-RoussillonCoteaux du LanguedocLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzChâteau de Lancyre 2005 La Coste d'Aleyrac Pic Saint-Loup Red (Coteaux du Languedoc)Rhône-style Red BlendChâteau de Lancyre
2094520944FranceThis impressive value from Bordeaux house Yvon Mau shows that Languedoc-Roussillon is capable of turning out serious Syrah/Shiraz at a reasonable price. Seared meat, black pepper and raspberry scents make for a nice opening while cherry and white pepper flavors permeate the moderately intense palate. Short finish; drink up.847Languedoc-RoussillonVin de Pays de L'AudeYvon Mau 2005 Shiraz (Vin de Pays de L'Aude)ShirazYvon Mau
2094620945AustriaCharacteristic spiciness and grape flavors show well in this dry wine. There is an apple leanness about the texture, but the acidity gives it freshness, and a crisp aftertaste.Kosher847BurgenlandRoger Voss@vossrogerHafner 2007 Kosher Muskat Ottonel (Burgenland)Muskat OttonelHafner
2094720946USGrilled beef, slathered in BBQ sauce, will soften and sweeten this hearty red from the Sierra Foothills. By itself, it's tannic and hard-edged. Shows rich flavors of black currants, cassis, raisins and dark chocolate.8425CaliforniaShenandoah Valley (CA)Sierra FoothillsC.G. di Arie 2006 Petite Sirah (Shenandoah Valley (CA))Petite SirahC.G. di Arie
2094820947USA little harsh in mouthfeel, with some minty green notes that give it the flavor of sweet-and-sour cherry and currant sauce. Needs a cheeseburger to tame it.8415CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastCastoro Cellars 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles)Cabernet SauvignonCastoro Cellars
2094920948USThis 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon blend is a fruity, rustic wine, with broad mixed berry and cherry flavors. They lead into an earthy and tannic (and short) finish.SageCliffe 100 Red8422WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Cave B 2005 SageCliffe 100 Red Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Red BlendCave B
2095020949FranceA firm, smoky wine, with tannins that verge on too dry. The fruit is not totally ripe, giving awkward astringency.84BordeauxPomerolRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Beauregard 2006 PomerolBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Beauregard
2095120950FranceA simple fruity Bordeaux, attractively layering black currants, firm and dry tannins and fresh, juicy acidity. It's light, already drinkable. Screwcap.8411BordeauxBordeauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau la Moulinière 2006 BordeauxBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau la Moulinière
2095220951FranceA solid, straightforward red that is immediately approachable and extremely drinkable. It's satiny in texture, with red fruit aromas and flavors of cherry, raspberry and rhubarb supported by hints of cocoa and eucalyptus. Mild tannins and a lighter weight followed by a clean, shorter finish make this easy-drinking wine an excellent choice for rich duck or heavily spiced lamb dishes.Cuvée Merville8411Languedoc-RoussillonCorbièresLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzChâteau Les Palais 2004 Cuvée Merville Red (Corbières)Rhône-style Red BlendChâteau Les Palais
2095320952ChileTrue bargains are hard to come by, so drop your guard for this $8 SB and you may wind up happy. Xplorador from Concha Y Toro is peachy and simple, with light grassiness and green notes. But it does have a plump, neutral palate and likable pineapple and apple flavors. Inoffensive and not flashy, but good for the money.Xplorador848Central ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachConcha y Toro 2008 Xplorador Sauvignon Blanc (Central Valley)Sauvignon BlancConcha y Toro
2095420953USSoft and honey-sweet, this Syrah-based southern Rhône blend offers easy flavors of cherry and raspberry jam, vanilla, white chocolate and pepper.Heritage Rosé8416CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastCurtis 2007 Heritage Rosé Red (Santa Barbara County)Rhône-style Red BlendCurtis
2095520954FranceThis example shows a bit more character than many Pays d'Oc Chardonnays. Pretty scents of lemon and honeysuckle lead to a palate with above-average concentration and lovely lemon meringue pie flavors. Tangy acidity renders this a good choice for salmon.South of France8420Languedoc-RoussillonVin de Pays d'OcRobert Skalli 2005 South of France Chardonnay (Vin de Pays d'Oc)ChardonnayRobert Skalli
2095620955AustriaStrong aromatics introduce an oily-textured wine, very typical of this grape. The flavors are of bergamot, superripe lychee and sweet spice. This is definitely exotic.8414BurgenlandRoger Voss@vossrogerRosenhof 2006 Muskat Ottonel (Burgenland)Muskat OttonelRosenhof
2095720956GermanyBoasts pristine if somewhat one-dimensional fruit aromas of green apples and limes and the flavors follow a similar pattern. It's sweet yet tart, showing decent balance in a lemonade-like way. A lawnmower wine, refreshing but simple.8414Mosel-Saar-RuwerJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzSchloss Saarstein 2007 Riesling (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer)RieslingSchloss Saarstein
2095820957ItalyThis is a ripe and jammy expression of Nero d'Avola with plush cherry fruit and thick aromas of blackberry, prune and cassis syrup. It's a simple, no-fuss wine with bold fruit flavors.Baglio di Serramarrocco8421Sicily & SardiniaSiciliaTenuta di Serramarrocco 2007 Baglio di Serramarrocco Nero d'Avola (Sicilia)Nero d'AvolaTenuta di Serramarrocco
2095920958ItalyMarmorelle, a blend of Chardonnay and Malvasia Bianca, delivers an awkward, slightly thorny bouquet of chopped sage and mint. You'll also get background notes of white stone and drying talc powder.Marmorelle8414Southern ItalySalentoTenute Rubino 2007 Marmorelle White (Salento)White BlendTenute Rubino
2096020959USSoft and sweetly gentle, this everyday wine has likeable flavors of black cherries, raspberries, chocolate, dates and black pepper. Blend is Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah.Divinity8427CaliforniaHigh ValleyTwo Angels 2006 Divinity Red (High Valley)Rhône-style Red BlendTwo Angels
2096120960USFront-loaded with gooseberry and feline aromas and flavors, this Sauvignon Blanc will appeal to those who like those New Zealand-like notes. It also has richer flavors of Meyer lemons and limes.Reserve8420CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaKenwood 2007 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma County)Sauvignon BlancKenwood
2096220961USNot a dry table wine, but sweet and dessert-like, although it's not classified as late harvest. Shows apricot, peach, pineapple and honeysuckle flavors set off by crisp acidity.Estate8414CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastKoehler 2007 Estate Riesling (Santa Ynez Valley)RieslingKoehler
2096320962GermanyMedium-bodied and nearly completely dry, this is a stony, minerally expression of Riesling that even folds in some slightly earthy-peaty notes. Hints of citrus fall a bit short on the finish.8421Mosel-Saar-RuwerJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzMaximin Grünhäuser 2007 Riesling (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer)RieslingMaximin Grünhäuser
2096420963USSoft, with smooth, sweet tannins and flavors of black currants, cherries and mocha that have a tinge of overripe raisins. Drink now.8430CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaMerriam 2004 Merlot (Russian River Valley)MerlotMerriam
2096520964ItalyRed berry white pepper and saline aromas carry through to the simple light-bodied palate along with a hint of almond. It's fresh and easy drinking, with bright acidity. Enjoy soon.8518VenetoBardolino ChiarettoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeSartori 2016 Bardolino ChiarettoRed BlendSartori
2096620965USWaxy plum and a surprising characteristic of watermelon provide a subtle freshness to this otherwise hugely tannic, concentrated wine. Tar and yeast play a role as well.Estate8545CaliforniaCalistogaNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneSummers 2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Calistoga)Cabernet SauvignonSummers
2096720966UruguayAromas of grape skins and raspberry are mild. This rosé of Tannat feels chunky, with mild acidity. Salty saucy berry flavors finish with a grabby, rubbery feel and very little to no residual flavor.Tannat8514CanelonesMichael Schachner@wineschachArtesana 2016 Tannat Rosé (Canelones)RoséArtesana
2096820967PortugalThe wine is slightly off dry, with an attractively perfumed character from the Moscatel Roxo in the blend. Its acidity and ripe strawberry fruit are warm and smooth with just the lightest orange-peel zest at the end. Drink now.Serras de Azeitão85Península de SetúbalRoger Voss@vossrogerBacalhôa Wines of Portugal 2016 Serras de Azeitão Rosé (Península de Setúbal)RoséBacalhôa Wines of Portugal
2096920968AustraliaInitial aromas are volatile yet attractive in dried autumn leaves, cola, baking spices and red currants, while the palate slaps you in the face with vice-like tannins and tart, mouth-puckering acidity. A bitter oak finish, without the fruit or structure doesn't hold it all together.85South AustraliaMcLaren ValeBlackbilly 2015 G-S-M (McLaren Vale)G-S-MBlackbilly
2097020969PortugalThe wine is full of the warmth of the Alentejo sun. While it does have a crisp and juicy side, it is the richness and concentration that makes it attractive. Black fruits and toast from the oak aging are balanced and cut through with acidity. Drink now.Monte das Promessas8515AlentejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerCasa Santos Lima 2015 Monte das Promessas Red (Alentejano)Portuguese RedCasa Santos Lima

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