Wine Reviews

2145321452PortugalWith winemakers Anselmo Mendes and Diogo Lopes, there is a good pedigree to this wine. It shows in the dark tannins, the rich fruit and the concentrated structure. The wine is rich with great power although that is mitigated by the acidity and fresh aftertaste. The wine is, of course, still young and should be drunk from 2020.Dory Reserva9328LisboaRoger Voss@vossrogerAdega Mãe 2012 Dory Reserva Red (Lisboa)Portuguese RedAdega Mãe
2145421453ItalyAromas of underbrush, sunbaked earth, ripe dark-skinned berry and cake spice slowly emerge on this structured red. Made entirely with Sangiovese, the full-bodied palate delivers juicy black cherry, cinnamon, chopped mint, leather and tobacco. Velvety tannins provide structure and a polished mouth feel. Drink 2017–2022.Iohanna Gran Selezione9360TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeLuiz Barichello 2012 Iohanna Gran Selezione (Chianti Classico)SangioveseLuiz Barichello
2145521454GermanyIntensely slatey, even smoky mineral tones distinguish Maximin Grünhäuser's Abtsberg spätlese from the Herrenberg. It shares the same sweet-tart peach and apricot fruit profile, but it's deeper, reverberating minerality gives the Absberg refined elegance. The finish is zesty and strong.Abtsberg Spätlese9338MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaMaximin Grünhäuser 2014 Abtsberg Spätlese Riesling (Mosel)RieslingMaximin Grünhäuser
2145621455GermanyFreshness abounds in this invigorating mineral spätlese. It's judiciously sweet, showcasing delicate peach and honey flavors balanced by bracing acidity and complexities of saffron and earth. The finish undulates impressively.Serrig Schloss Saarsteiner Spätlese Grosse Lage9338MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaSchloss Saarstein 2014 Serrig Schloss Saarsteiner Spätlese Grosse Lage Riesling (Mosel)RieslingSchloss Saarstein
2145721456USMike Sinor is taking his fans on an experimental ride through his new oceanview vineyard, here presenting a rich take on Syrah. It's lush on the nose with olallieberry and blackberry fruit as well as rich bacon fat, vanilla bean and milkchocolate notes. Concentrated black cherry thrives on the palate alongside caramel and vanilla cream.Black Label Bassi Vineyard9345CaliforniaSan Luis Obispo CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannSinor-LaVallee 2013 Black Label Bassi Vineyard Syrah (San Luis Obispo County)SyrahSinor-LaVallee
2145821457USMade from a slightly smaller percentage (81%) of estate fruit, with the intention of being approachable earlier, this wine has 19% blended in from Oakville Ranch, Knightsbridge and Young Inglewood, including 2% each of Malbec and Cabernet Franc. It jumps from the glass with yeasty black and red berry, a leathery, velvety mouthfeel and a fist of black pepper. Delicious now it should also age well, intense but bright in acidity.Lyndenhurst Spottswoode Estate9375CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneSpottswoode 2012 Lyndenhurst Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSpottswoode
2145921458GermanyIntense aromas of tropical mango and melon scent this elegant, slightly cream-textured dry Riesling. Sprays of white grapefruit and lime juice brighten the midpalate, extending through a long finish marked by zesty acidity and chalky, dusty mineral tones. Drink now through 2019.Trocken9325RheinhessenAnna Lee C. IijimaWittmann 2014 Trocken Riesling (Rheinhessen)RieslingWittmann
2146021459USFrom a vineyard adjacent to the Santa Lucia Highlands, this wine's wondrous nose of dense black currants, blueberries and fresh-cracked black pepper is made even more complex by black olive, gamy roasted meats and chaparral notes. Black pepper thrives on the palate in this cool-climate study, with touches of asphalt, elderberry fruit, charred meat and licorice all playing supportive roles.San Saba Vineyard9339CaliforniaMontereyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannWrath 2013 San Saba Vineyard Syrah (Monterey)SyrahWrath
2145121450USSinewy leather, tobacco and dried herb intertwine on the thick, full-bodied palate in this unfussy red that should appeal to a broad spectrum of tastes.8872CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneDuckhorn 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonDuckhorn
2146121460USRed and black licorice figure into the soul of this softly smooth and likable mountain wine. Classic in its approach, and relatively medium bodied, it's lithe and elegant in texture, with faint traces of cedar, graphite and crisp currant.Le Bijou du Roi Reserve9298CaliforniaDiamond Mountain DistrictNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneEn Garde 2011 Le Bijou du Roi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Diamond Mountain District)Cabernet SauvignonEn Garde
2146221461FranceFrom vines that surround the castle of Mercuès that crowns a rock above the River Lot, this wine is richly structured, packed with juicy black fruits as well as a firm dry core. It's a dense wine, dark with intense tannins. It is serious as well as opulently fruity. Drink this wine from 2020.Château de Mercuès9225Southwest FranceCahorsRoger Voss@vossrogerGeorges Vigouroux 2012 Château de Mercuès Malbec (Cahors)MalbecGeorges Vigouroux
2146321462GermanyDelicate morello cherry and tart red plums perfume this bright, lifted Pinot Noir. The palate is anchored by a crush of cranberry acidity and a rippling core of granite. It's a refined, exceptionally balanced wine edged by feather-soft tannins. Drink now through 2020.Neipperger Trocken9234WürttembergAnna Lee C. IijimaGrafen Neipperg 2013 Neipperger Trocken Spätburgunder (Württemberg)SpätburgunderGrafen Neipperg
2146421463AustraliaOnce past the sticker shock, enjoy this wine for its richly toasty aromas, plush tropical fruit and warm, lingering finish. It's medium to full in body, with a creamy texture and hints of vanilla. Drink now–2018.92200Western AustraliaMargaret RiverJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzCloudburst 2013 Chardonnay (Margaret River)ChardonnayCloudburst
2146521464USGrippy in sizably powerful mountain tannins, this wine is at first difficult to penetrate and will benefit from further cellaring, through 2022. In the shadows lurk full-bodied hits of floral violet and earthy cedar, with a tease of beautifully bittersweet chocolate.Segassia Vineyard92160CaliforniaMount VeederNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneHall 2012 Segassia Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Mount Veeder)Cabernet SauvignonHall
2145221451AustraliaOctavius has always been oaky, but over the years the fruit has come into better balance, and the 2009 may be one of the most successful editions yet released. It's dense and impenetrable at first, only slowly yielding hints of plum, mocha and vanilla. The texture is rich and supple enough to make the wine approachable now, but it should evolve and improve through 2020 or beyond.The Octavius93119South AustraliaBarossaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzYalumba 2009 The Octavius Shiraz (Barossa)ShirazYalumba
2146621465ItalyA blend of 80% Sangiovese, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Syrah, this concentrated wine opens with aromas of ripe black-skinned berry, exotic spice, vanilla and French oak. The rich palate offers mature black cherry, red currant, cedar and mocha alongside fine-grained tannins. It will definitely appeal to fans of French influenced Tuscan bottlings.Gran Selezione92250TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeIsole e Olena 2006 Gran Selezione (Chianti Classico)SangioveseIsole e Olena
2146721466USA potpourri of dried sage, gunpowder, black pepper and leather provide a robust, full-bodied and brawny experience in this wine crafted from vineyards across the valley. It has black fruit flavors and a savory personality wrapped in big, sturdy tannins that should mellow in due time. Drink now through 2023.9265CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneJanzen 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonJanzen
2146821467USMade entirely from estate fruit, and given time to settle in French oak puncheons, only a third of them new, this dry and complex white is easily quaffable and yet so much more. Citrus peel and dried herb complement on the nose and palate, with a lightness of being that never veers on frivolous.9235CaliforniaSt. HelenaNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneJoseph Phelps 2014 Sauvignon Blanc (St. Helena)Sauvignon BlancJoseph Phelps
2146921468USDark strawberry and red-cherry fruit shows on the nose of this bottling by the regional pioneer, leveled by scents of violets, rose petals and pencil lead. Graphite and beet juice start the sip, which evolves into black olive, dried basil and bay leaf sprinkled atop cranberry and elderberry juice.Rita's Crown Vineyard9260CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannKen Brown 2013 Rita's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirKen Brown
2147021469USSubtle fruit flavors mingle mountain berries, plums and cherries with enticing baking spices. There's a touch of herb, earth and tanned leather also, bringing complexity and texture into a lingering finish. Drink now through 2020.Merci Reserve9280OregonChehalem MountainsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Le Cadeau 2014 Merci Reserve Pinot Noir (Chehalem Mountains)Pinot NoirLe Cadeau
2147121470FranceThis is a rich and luscious wine dominated by Petit Manseng, a small berry/small-yield grape from Gascony, the home of unusual grapes. It's aromatic, ripe and honeyed with ripe peach cut by the pineapple freshness. It's a gorgeous wine now but it really should be aged so drink from 2020.Foehn9226Southwest FranceJurançonRoger Voss@vossrogerLionel Osmin & Cie 2011 Foehn (Jurançon)Gros and Petit MansengLionel Osmin & Cie
2147221471USSteely at first, this wine softens like butter on the palate, with a luxurious, silky feel, complemented by lemon zest and brine. Lighter in style, it never holds back on texture or flavor, making for a beautiful, food-friendly white.Mill Station Vineyard9235CaliforniaGreen ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneMartin Ray 2013 Mill Station Vineyard Chardonnay (Green Valley)ChardonnayMartin Ray
2147321472GermanyRiper, and more lusciously peachy and floral than the Herrenberg, the Abtsberg Superior calibrates honeyed stone fruit flavors against a spine of tart, tangerine acidity. Light-footed and harmoniously off dry, it finishes long with spicy mineral flair. Drinks well now but should continue to improve through at least 2025.Abtsberg Superior9266MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaMaximin Grünhäuser 2014 Abtsberg Superior Riesling (Mosel)RieslingMaximin Grünhäuser
2147421473GermanyAn ample dusting of saffron and spice lends umami and depth to this light-footed spätlese. Honeyed peach and apricot flavors are concentrated and sweet, yet so impacted by acidity, the finish feels lifted and dry. It's ready to drink now but will continue to please through 2024.Herrenberg Spätlese9238MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaMaximin Grünhäuser 2014 Herrenberg Spätlese Riesling (Mosel)RieslingMaximin Grünhäuser
2147521474USFrom the mountains above Lake Sonoma, this rocky, robust and ultimately rewarding wine is spicy in cinnamon and clove lined in savory layers of black pepper and leather. Brambly blackberry lies in wait to untangle in the glass, adding to the overall satisfaction of this full-bodied beauty.Rockpile Reserve9260CaliforniaRockpileSonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneMazzocco 2013 Rockpile Reserve Zinfandel (Rockpile)ZinfandelMazzocco
2147621475ItalyBaked plum, purple flower, vanilla, blackcurrant and mocha aromas unfold in the glass. The concentrated, juicy palate offers ripe, black cherry, licorice, coffee and cocoa framed in round, velvety tannins. It's already accessible and will offer fine drinking over the next several years. Drink through 2022.Riserva9255TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeNittardi 2012 Riserva (Chianti Classico)Red BlendNittardi
2147721476USThis is stunningly rich in mouthfeel, texture and overall weight. Buttered, toasted nuts and creamy fruits coat the mouth. Oranges, apples and pears roll smoothly and seamlessly along the palate, with a juicy kick to the finish.9240OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Roco 2014 Chardonnay (Willamette Valley)ChardonnayRoco
2147821477ChileWarm-vintage characteristics of earthy berry aromas require time to come into focus. In the mouth, this Cabernet Sauvignon blend feels ripe, chunky and lush. Loamy, baked plum and cassis flavors are rich and easy, but short on the complexity that Almaviva usually offers. On the finish, this is smooth, lightly herbal and spicy. Drink through 2022.92150Puente AltoMichael Schachner@wineschachAlmaviva 2012 Red (Puente Alto)Red BlendAlmaviva
2147921478USThis exuberant wine oozes with delicious black cherry and blackberry flavors, delivered on a lively texture of fine-grained tannin and fresh acidity. On subsequent sips, a light toasty, meaty flavor drifts in, adding even more complexity and interest.Sharon's Vineyard9239CaliforniaEl DoradoSierra FoothillsJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsBaiocchi Wines 2013 Sharon's Vineyard Mourvèdre (El Dorado)MourvèdreBaiocchi Wines
2148021479USAromas steadily emerge on this bottling of mountaintop grapes, with golden apple oil, condensed honeysuckles, lemon bars and dried mango slices showing the slightest hint of tropicality. The palate is equally deep, with soft white peach sliding into sea salt, dried apples and nut oil, all culminating in a warm, lengthy browned-butter finish.Homestead Block9248CaliforniaSanta Cruz MountainsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannBig Basin 2013 Homestead Block Roussanne (Santa Cruz Mountains)RoussanneBig Basin

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