Wine Reviews

2175121750USThe 16% by volume alcohol on this Zin is high even by Wilson's standards. It gives the wine a burn that it does not wear well. The body and flavors aren't rich enough to carry the heat, the way that a proper Port can. Richly-sauced barbecue is your best bet for food pairing.Buzz8436CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaWilson 2011 Buzz Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelWilson
2175221751USVeteran chef Puck lends his name here to a quaffable wine. It's a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and several other varieties. The mouthfeel is soft with luscious flavors veering toward cherry pie. A portion of the profits goes to Alzheimer's research.Master Lot Reserve8415CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherWolfgang Puck 2010 Master Lot Reserve Red (California)Red BlendWolfgang Puck
2175321752ArgentinaA bulky, full-fruited nose is creamy and floral in character. The palate is heavy, thick and sticky, with flavors of molasses and ripe black fruits. Pepper, mint and chocolate flavors vie with big tannins on the finish.Atrevida8425Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachManos Negras 2011 Atrevida Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecManos Negras
2175421753ArgentinaAromas of blueberry and boysenberry are active and come with a whiff of animal fur. This feels chunky but not to the point of collapsing on itself. Flavors of plum, blackberry and juniper finish with clove notes and mild bitterness.Reserva Etiqueta Blanca8413Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Julia 2011 Reserva Etiqueta Blanca Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecSanta Julia
2175521754USIs this wine off-dry or dessert sweet? It straddles the border, with white sugar, peach, orange, vanilla and creamy flavors.8410CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherPasorina 2012 Moscato (California)MoscatoPasorina
2175621755USLight in color and style, this wine seems more similar to a Pinot Noir than a Merlot. There's no apparent oak influence to interfere with the notes of ash, red currant, saline and bell pepper that are supported by a light grip of tannins.847WashingtonWashingtonWashington OtherSean P. Sullivan@wawinereportPine & Post 2011 Merlot (Washington)MerlotPine & Post
2175721756USMore than three-quarters Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, the balance is Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with just pinches of Sangiovese (2%) and Zinfandel (1%), it plays on the savory and green end of the Cabernet spectrum, with notes of green olive and dried herbs along with cherry and chocolate and a tingly, gritty feel.8410WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportSix Prong 2010 Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Red BlendSix Prong
2175821757FranceWhile displaying strong herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc flavors, the wine is also rich with fruitiness, offering a delicious series of green fruits followed by pineapple and tropical flavors. It's a wine that's right up front, crisp and bright at the end.92BordeauxPessac-LéognanRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau la Garde 2012 Pessac-LéognanBordeaux-style White BlendChâteau la Garde
2175921758AustraliaThis joint venture between the Laughton (Jasper Hill) and Chapoutier families continues to impress. The 2010 is firmly built, with raspberry and boysenberry fruit notes supported by hints of mint and chocolate. The finish is long and dusty, tinged with mocha. It's approachable now, but should age well through 2020, at least.9285VictoriaHeathcoteJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzCluster M45 2010 Shiraz (Heathcote)ShirazCluster M45
2176021759SpainIntriguing aromas of boysenberry and blueberry come with smoky notes of hickory and aged cheese. This is showing a firm grip on the palate along with ripe, intense flavors of black fruits and prune. On the finish, it's tannic and loaded with licorice and toasty accents. Drink through 2019.Venta la Ossa TNT9227Central SpainVino de la Tierra de CastillaMichael Schachner@wineschachMano A Mano 2010 Venta la Ossa TNT Red (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla)Red BlendMano A Mano
2176121760ItalySavory and straightforward, it boasts a pretty fragrance of crushed violets, mint and eucalyptus. The vibrant palate doles out crushed red cherry accented with notes of sage, thyme and mocha alongside supple tannins. It's a great introduction to the vintage and is already enjoyable. Drink through 2025.9235PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMauro Veglio 2010 BaroloNebbioloMauro Veglio
2176221761AustraliaSourced entirely from Tasmania, the 2011 Yattarna shows a richer style than some other recent vintages while still retaining exceptional freshness and length. Roasted nuts and grilled citrus dominate, and the palate is plump and silky in texture. Drink now–2020. Ten cases imported.Yattarna92130TasmaniaTasmaniaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzPenfolds 2011 Yattarna Chardonnay (Tasmania)ChardonnayPenfolds
2176321762USThis is barrel-fermented in one-third new French oak. The fruit is perfectly ripe, clean and expansive, running from apple into light tropical flavors. There are light hints of honey and caramel, but, as usual, the fruit is front and center, and the barrels play a supporting role. Previous vintages of this wine have proven to be ageworthy, with a prime drinking window from 2020–2022.Caitlin's Reserve9245OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Adelsheim 2012 Caitlin's Reserve Chardonnay (Willamette Valley)ChardonnayAdelsheim
2176421763USBig and bold, this emphasizes flavor impact. Attractively deep in hue, it stays ruby-colored and fresh-looking at the rim. An oak influence shows in the vivid vanilla and light maple syrup aromas and carries over to the flavors that show a vein of ripe berry fruit, too. Full bodied and velvety in texture, it has ample tannins that help carry flavors to the finish.Donum Vineyard9285CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsCattleya 2012 Donum Vineyard Pinot Noir (Carneros)Pinot NoirCattleya
2176521764USThis offers a hint of honey in the nose, then moves into a fresh palate loaded with a full range of yellow fruits. The acidity is spot on, and a suggestion of wet cement adds a hint of mineral to the lengthy finish. Drink now through 2024.Coast Range Estate Dry9224OregonWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Trisaetum 2013 Coast Range Estate Dry RieslingRieslingTrisaetum
2176621765USThe Hatcher delivers excellent value. Concentrated black cherry fruit runs on through a delicious, cherry cola finish. It's dusted with cinnamon and sassafras, and built for cellaring through 2024.9148OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine William Hatcher 2012 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirWilliam Hatcher
2176721766SpainLemony oak, tobacco, sandalwood and berry fruit aromas come together in fine form. This is a full, heavily oaked wine with big tannins and plenty of ripeness and power. Baked black-fruit flavors are propped up by spicy oak, pepper and herb notes, while the finish is spicy, woody, dry and long. Drink through 2018.Tinto Cuvee Mosteiro9125Northern SpainValdeorrasMichael Schachner@wineschachAvanthia 2010 Tinto Cuvee Mosteiro Mencía (Valdeorras)MencíaAvanthia
2176821767USThis substantive Pinot shows definite toasted oak character along with ripe fruit, full body and firm tannins. Hints of oak smoke and caramel waft over the ripe plum aromas. The flavors go to dark cherries and coffee, the texture is attractively astringent from tannins, and the finish carries a little bite. Well done but not overdone.Outland Ridge9135CaliforniaAnderson ValleyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsKendall-Jackson 2012 Outland Ridge Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley)Pinot NoirKendall-Jackson
2176921768USRich but subtle, this medium-bodied wine is not overtly fruity or oaky, but blends complex nuances in an attractive and compelling way. The term “battonage” refers to stirring the lees while the wine ages in barrels or tanks, which can enhance the creamy texture. It smells like vanilla and nutmeg, and tastes creamy and buttery backed by ripe apple and a touch of lemon. It feels rich in texture, elegant rather than bold.Battonage9118CaliforniaEl DoradoSierra FoothillsJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsLava Cap 2012 Battonage Chardonnay (El Dorado)ChardonnayLava Cap
2177021769USMazzocco's style has settled into high alcohol, in this case 15.8%, sweet, jammy pie-filling fruit flavors, and soft tannins. If this is the kind of Zin you enjoy, it's for you.Maple8240CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaMazzocco 2006 Maple Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelMazzocco
2177121770USSoft and thick, this Syrah has simple, sugary flavors of blackberries, cherries and chocolate. Drink now.8224CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastOpolo 2005 Syrah (Paso Robles)SyrahOpolo
2177221771USYou'll find some mint and vegetal aromas and flavors side-by-side with intense, sugary sweet blackberry jam ones in this Zin. It's unbalanced to that degree.Mountain8228CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastOpolo 2006 Mountain Zinfandel (Paso Robles)ZinfandelOpolo
2177321772USToo hot and sweet, this Zin weighs in at 16.2% of alcohol. It has blackberry and cocoa flavors spiced with chile peppers.Summit Creek8219CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastOpolo 2006 Summit Creek Zinfandel (Paso Robles)ZinfandelOpolo
2177421773USTastes sweet and hot, like an inexpensive Port, with sugary cherry-berry jam flavors. The official alcohol is 16%.Warm Springs Ranch8232CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaMazzocco 2006 Warm Springs Ranch Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelMazzocco
2177521774SpainRed fruit, sucking candy and milk chocolate cover the bouquet, but the palate is sharp and raw, with spiky, semisour raspberry and cherry flavors. There isn't much to this wine. It's sharp, edgy, elastic and lean. On the plus side, it's clean.See Red8210Central SpainVino de la Tierra de CastillaMichael Schachner@wineschachTempra Tantrum 2006 See Red Tempranillo-Shiraz (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla)Tempranillo-ShirazTempra Tantrum
2177621775SpainA little strange and unusual on the nose, with a mix of grass, citrus and corn-like aromas. The palate is wayward and slightly citrusy, with a hint of grapefruit and also some vegetal flavors. Pretty good mouthfeel and acidity keep it afloat, but overall it's not going to win over too many fans.Versatus8210GaliciaRibeiroMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Campante 2007 Versatus White (Ribeiro)White BlendBodegas Campante
2177721776USThis Barbera is soft, sweet and simple. It shows the rich tannins of the variety, but isn't ageworthy. Tastes like melted blackberry jam mixed with anise, black pepper and smoke.Pauli Ranch8247CaliforniaMendocino CountyMuscardini 2006 Pauli Ranch Barbera (Mendocino County)BarberaMuscardini
2177821777USSimple and sweet, with candied, jammy flavors of cherries, blackberries and licorice. Drink now.8215CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaSonoma Vineyards 2007 Syrah (Sonoma County)SyrahSonoma Vineyards
2177921778USHeavy and dull, this dry Zin has overripe flavors of raisins and prunes, and is quite tannic. Drink now.Montafi Vineyard Old Vine8234CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaStarry Night 2006 Montafi Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel (Russian River Valley)ZinfandelStarry Night
2178021779SpainThis is the first varietal Xarello we've seen from Sumarroca and doesn't have us begging for more. The nose is neutral except for some petrol, while the palate is citric and tastes like you might expect: like orange juice. Tart and puckery on the finish. A novelty not worth your time.8213CataloniaPenedèsMichael Schachner@wineschachSumarroca 2007 Xarel-lo (Penedès)Xarel-loSumarroca

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