Wine Reviews

2286122860FranceNamed after the Roman emperor who allowed planting of vines in Cahors (and elsewhere in France), this wine is a fine expression of rich, concentrated Malbec. It is powered by its tannins and young black fruits at this stage and needs several years to present its full, rich and concentrated potential. From 2019, this will be a serious wine.Clos Triguedina Probus9370Southwest FranceCahorsRoger Voss@vossrogerJean-Luc Baldès 2013 Clos Triguedina Probus Malbec (Cahors)MalbecJean-Luc Baldès
2286222861GermanyWhile the nose is dominated by darker mineral notes of petrol and smoke, a penetrating core of juicy white peach and melon flavors flood the palate. Silky and lush in mouthfeel, it lingers long through a slick, lip-smacking finish. Drink now through 2025.Ungsteiner Herrenberg GG9362PfalzAnna Lee C. IijimaKarl Schaefer 2013 Ungsteiner Herrenberg GG Riesling (Pfalz)RieslingKarl Schaefer
2286322862AustraliaWinemaker Virginia Willcock's latest effort shows that top-flight Margaret River Chardonnay doesn't have to cost three figures. This is fine stuff, a bit funky at first, but opening up in the glass to reveal hints of brown-sugar-glazed pineapple and fresh citrus. It's medium to full in body, with a long, almost painfully crisp finish that brings all that fruit into bright, refreshing focus.9340Western AustraliaMargaret RiverJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzVasse Felix 2013 Chardonnay (Margaret River)ChardonnayVasse Felix
2286422863AustraliaNot many $30 wines can offer fruit from 100-year-old vines, but this one does. It's full bodied and rich, with notes of plum and black cherries supported by hints of chocolate and vanilla. With its long, velvety finish, there's no reason to defer gratification, although it should drink well through at least 2020.Generation Series The Magnet9333South AustraliaMcLaren ValeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzMr. Riggs 2013 Generation Series The Magnet Grenache (McLaren Vale)GrenacheMr. Riggs
2286522864AustraliaAppropriately youthful and flashy, this is textbook Barossa Shiraz, full bodied and rich. Dusty tannins and mouthwatering acids support dark berry fruit, cedar and vanilla. It's drinkable now, but should add savoriness over the next 10 or more years.Orphan Bank9369South AustraliaBarossaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzLangmeil 2013 Orphan Bank Shiraz (Barossa)ShirazLangmeil
2286622865FranceMade from Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs, this intensely crisp and fresh wine is maturing well, although it's nowhere near ready to drink. It is a fine wine: tight, steely, mineral in character with citrus acidity balanced by warmer apricot and crisp apples. Drink from 2018. The Special Club is a group of growers who rate and taste each other's wines before release.Special Club Blanc de Blancs Brut93ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerPierre Gimonnet et Fils 2009 Special Club Blanc de Blancs Brut Chardonnay (Champagne)ChardonnayPierre Gimonnet et Fils
2286722866PortugalAged for 18 months in wood, this impressive ripe wine is full of fruit and also a firm, smoky tannic structure. The partial fermentation in open stone tanks has given the wine an extra dimension of richness. This is a fine, concentrated wine that is now ready to drink.Tinto9318LisboaRoger Voss@vossrogerQuinta de Chocapalha 2011 Tinto Red (Lisboa)Portuguese RedQuinta de Chocapalha
2286822867PortugalFrom a selection of old vines, this grand wine is rich and firmly structured. With dark tannins and powerful black plum fruit flavors, it is concentrated and with considerable aging potential. The wine is still young, packed with tannins and will not be ready to drink until 2019.Passadouro9325DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerQuinta do Passadouro 2013 Passadouro Red (Douro)Portuguese RedQuinta do Passadouro
2286922868PortugalDark ruby with tawny gold highlights, this intense wine comes from Ramos-Pinto's Bom Retiro estate. It is dried raisins, toffee with beautifully integrated spirit and acidity. It's a rich wine, with some sweetness that is freshened with the final acidity. Like any tawny, drink now.RP 20 Quinta do Bom Retiro 20 Years Old Tawny9370PortRoger Voss@vossrogerRamos-Pinto NV RP 20 Quinta do Bom Retiro 20 Years Old Tawny (Port)PortRamos-Pinto
2287022869USThis is a beautiful wine, fully expressive of the vineyard and vintage. It's showy in juicy red and black wild berries, with just-right additions of cinnamon and black pepper. Full bodied and concentrated, it remains approachable and an ideal companion to meaty fare.Monte Rosso Vineyard9345CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneRock Wall 2013 Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel (Sonoma County)ZinfandelRock Wall
2287122870USThis winery is approaching cult status, and for good reason. Rather than compete with over-extracted competitors, this bottling shows a medium richness that pairs black plum and dark chocolate with light mint and dried herbs. Oregano, thyme, sage, bay leaf and black pepper power the palate, where boysenberry fruit and pencil lead complete the fresh but layered experience.9399CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannTanner DaFoe 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (Santa Ynez Valley)Cabernet SauvignonTanner DaFoe
2287222871PortugalWhen Aveleda's Guedes family purchased Quinta da Agueira, it came with its own grand house, a 19th century folly (a great term in the British lexicon). So, being fans of follies, the family named this spicy wine after the house. This wine is dense and concentrated, with dark fruit balanced by structured tannins. Drink now–2022.Follies Casa da Agueira9313BairradaRoger Voss@vossrogerAveleda 2012 Follies Casa da Agueira Touriga Nacional (Bairrada)Touriga NacionalAveleda
2287322872USA wondrously rich and extracted nose combines layers of brown spice, dried black cherries, fragrant violets and lilacs with concentrated, almost pruney purple fruit. That ripeness expertly pairs on the palate with strong tannic structure and sparkling acidity, allowing the blackberry, blueberry, caramel and lavender notes to shine without cloying.Gabilan Mountains9344CaliforniaMonterey CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannBig Basin 2012 Gabilan Mountains G-S-M (Monterey County)G-S-MBig Basin
2287422873ItalyCorte Pavone's Rosso di Montalcino gives you a hearty drinking red that would pair with game, wild mushrooms and most meat dishes. You get plump fruit and exotic spice overtones that give the wine sophistication and personality.8822TuscanyRosso di MontalcinoCorte Pavone 2008 Rosso di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoCorte Pavone
2287522874ItalyCupano is an organic farm in Montalcino with consistent delivery of quality red wines. This less formal Rosso di Montalcino offers ripe cherry and blackberry notes followed by aromas of wet earth, leather and fresh tobacco. Pair it with Irish lamb stew.8855TuscanyRosso di MontalcinoCupano 2007 Rosso di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoCupano
2287622875South AfricaA distinctive nose of fresh fruit, spice and citrus lead this luscious Chardonnay. On the palate, apricot and lemon, backed by toasted nuts, adds to the appeal. Clean and fresh while also full of body. An elegant food wine.8812Simonsberg-StellenboschSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaLe Bonheur 2008 Chardonnay (Simonsberg-Stellenbosch)ChardonnayLe Bonheur
2287722876SpainTropical smelling, with green banana, minerality and firmness to the bouquet. The palate is clean and cleansing, which are two very different things, while the wine tastes of tangy citrus and green melon. Fresh, tropical and uncomplicated. Drink this year.8814GaliciaRías BaixasMichael Schachner@wineschachLícia 2008 Albariño (Rías Baixas)AlbariñoLícia
2287822877USGreat price for a Chardonnay of this quality. The grapes come from cool coastal areas, and the wine brims with crisp, long hangtime ripeness, accented with toasty oak. Feels rich and creamy, with pineapple, tropical fruit and vanilla flavors.8812CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherMénage a Trois 2008 Chardonnay (California)ChardonnayMénage a Trois
2287922878SpainFruity, minerally and nice, with aromas of pear, apple and pineapple that make you want to take a drink. The palate is juicy and fresh, with slate-driven green apple and citrus flavors. Quick on the finish, with a revisiting of the wine's mineral component.Alma de Blanco8815GaliciaMonterreiMichael Schachner@wineschachPazo das Tapias 2009 Alma de Blanco Godello (Monterrei)GodelloPazo das Tapias
2288022879SpainA black wine with aromas of graphite, molten earth and black fruit. The palate is a pounder with strong tannins and blazing acidity, and that creates a mouthfeel with grating intensity and roasted black fruit flavors. Lively late, with herbal notes and a lasting tannic bite. At over 15% alcohol, there's a lot of fire and toughness, so hold for a few more years and hopefully the tannins will soften.Reserva8825Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachPradorey 2005 Reserva (Ribera del Duero)TempranilloPradorey
2288122880PortugalA broad, ripe and very accessible wine. Spiced by nutmeg and vanilla, it is based on solid, chunky black fruits and distinguished layer of tannins. Ready to drink, or keep for one year.Duas Quintas88DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerRamos-Pinto 2008 Duas Quintas Red (Douro)Portuguese RedRamos-Pinto
2288222881USThe Roussanne really shines in the blend, offering rich, ripe, soft, seductive aromas of peaches and apricots, then folding into a broad midpalate with no rough edges. There is a definite peaches-and-cream feel to the midpalate, and that creamy flavor and texture runs right through a gentle finish.Blanc du Moulin8817WashingtonHorse Heaven HillsColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Domaine Pouillon 2008 Blanc du Moulin White (Horse Heaven Hills)White BlendDomaine Pouillon
2288322882SpainOpens with black fruit aromas, dry oak and spice. The palate shows an oaky creaminess, sticky tannins and solid berry fruit flavors that are matched and maybe even trumped by buttery oak. A little dry and drawing on the finish, but still a very nice RDD.8825Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachEmilio Moro 2007 Ribera del DueroTinto FinoEmilio Moro
2288422883SpainA nicely made and easy to like kind of young Ribera red with clean, bold blackberry aromas and flavors that fit the wine's big, tannic structure. Composed on the back palate and beefy on the finish. Perfect for grilled meats. Drink now through 2012.Viña Pilar Crianza8822Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachFelix Callejo 2006 Viña Pilar Crianza (Ribera del Duero)TempranilloFelix Callejo
2288522884FranceA fruity style, not powerful but bright, with some rich strawberry jam flavors. It has an edge of tannins as well as spice, dried fruits and a cool, soft aftertaste.Domaine Mont Chavy88BeaujolaisMorgonRoger Voss@vossrogerGeorges Duboeuf 2008 Domaine Mont Chavy (Morgon)GamayGeorges Duboeuf
2288622885USThis is a big, rich, showy Chardonnay. Barrel fermented and aged in 80% new French oak, it shows buttered toast and charry vanilla bean aromas and flavors. The fruit below is good, if a little heavy and ripe, suggesting apricots and pears. Best now in its youth.8852CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaAlpha Omega 2007 Chardonnay (Napa Valley)ChardonnayAlpha Omega
2288722886SpainLeafy and spicy, with notes of paprika, tomato, dried leaves and broth. But in the mouth, it's fresh and vital, with good balance and flavors of dried cassis, tobacco and herbs. For an older wine from industrial Valdepeñas it's doing a good job. But now is the time to drink it.Gran Reserva8815Central SpainValdepeñasMichael Schachner@wineschachAnciano 1999 Gran Reserva Tempranillo (Valdepeñas)TempranilloAnciano
2288822887ItalyLight and tonic with raw notes of cherry and forest fruit, this is a bright, easy-drinking Rosso di Montalcino. Pair it with lamb, rosemary and roasted potatoes. The wine's natural acidity and tannins can stand up to the consistency of those dishes.8865TuscanyRosso di MontalcinoBiondi Santi 2007 Rosso di MontalcinoSangiovese GrossoBiondi Santi
2288922888USBone dry, with brisk tannins, this is a Merlot to drink with good food and not worry about the wine overshadowing it. It's really drinkable, with a soft, lush mouthfeel and flavors of cherries, currants, spices and cedar. A huge and welcome improvement over the '06.8815CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastBrass Tacks 2007 Merlot (Central Coast)MerlotBrass Tacks
2289022889USVery rich, creamy and oaky, made in the ripe, California style of Chardonnay. Brims with buttered toast, vanilla cream, and caramelized wood aromas and flavors riding over underlying pineapples, pears and limes. Flamboyant, if a little top-heavy. Ready now.Bien Nacido Vineyard8838CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastTantara 2007 Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley)ChardonnayTantara

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