Wine Reviews

2445124450USA lovely wine, soft and supple, with a superb tannin structure framing the most interesting and delicious flavors. Blackberries, blueberries, red and black currants, anise and cedar notes all come together in balanced harmony, leading to a long, dry finish. Not an ager, but an elegant Napa Valley wine to drink now and over the next few years.Family Reserve Generations Estate9250CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaCharles Krug 2010 Family Reserve Generations Estate Red (Napa Valley)Bordeaux-style Red BlendCharles Krug
2445224451USA brooding, textured Pinot Noir with some weight to it, deep in dark cherry and blackberry aromas and flavors, with a finish of roses and spice. This wine is aching to be paired with savory mushrooms.Londer Vineyard9244CaliforniaAnderson ValleyVirginie Boone@vbooneCouloir 2011 Londer Vineyard Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley)Pinot NoirCouloir
2445324452SpainBeronia has blended modern and traditional touches to create a fine gran reserva with spice, vanilla, coconut, tobacco and dried berry aromas. The palate offers ripe tannins and kick, while the flavor profile is earthy, with mocha, coffee, chocolate and dried berry flavors. A long, lightly toasted and chocolaty finish provides a fitting end to an excellent wine. Best from 2015–2022.Gran Reserva9233Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachBeronia 2006 Gran Reserva (Rioja)TempranilloBeronia
2445424453New ZealandThis is slightly smoky on the nose, offering scents of toasted almonds that neatly accent pear and kumquat aromas. It's richly textured on the palate, where the pear and almond notes pick up zesty citrus overtones that allow them to finish clean and fresh. Drink now.9223Central OtagoJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzCarrick 2011 Pinot Gris (Central Otago)Pinot GrisCarrick
2445524454SpainThis dark, exotic blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah is impressive given that 2008 wasn't a good year in Spain. This shows integrated oak, graphite and inky aromas in front of a full, balanced palate that's home to berry flavors, schisty minerality and mocha accents. A generous finish with plum and berry flavors as well as licorice is the right ending. Drink through 2018.Santbru Carinyenes Velles9242CataloniaMontsantMichael Schachner@wineschachPortal del Montsant 2008 Santbru Carinyenes Velles Red (Montsant)Red BlendPortal del Montsant
2445624455FranceSerious Sauvignon Blanc from the Saget home domaine, this full and ripe wine has considerable depth of flavor. Like many wines from Pouilly, it is for aging, a rich, concentrated wine that needs at 3–4 years.Le Domaine92Loire ValleyPouilly-FuméRoger Voss@vossrogerSaget la Perrière 2011 Le Domaine (Pouilly-Fumé)Sauvignon BlancSaget la Perrière
2445724456New ZealandAt the tender young age of three, this is still tight, angular and bold, laden with crunchy black-cherry fruit that's framed by hints of sandalwood and cedar. The fruit tannins are silky smooth, shored up by woody notes on the finish, but expect those to resolve over the next few years. Drink 2015–2020, possibly longer.Rachel9255MarlboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzSeresin 2010 Rachel Pinot Noir (Marlborough)Pinot NoirSeresin
2445824457USRipe, savory cherry, cola and currant flavors mark this fresh young Pinot. They're brightened by crisp acidity that cuts right across the palate, making it juicy and clean. Elegant in mouthfeel, with earthy, mushroomy complexities, it should develop over the next six years.Sierra Madre Vineyard9259CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastTestarossa 2010 Sierra Madre Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley)Pinot NoirTestarossa
2445924458FranceA terrific effort, this is a full-bodied, almost Port-like expression of Cornas. Asphalt, espresso and tapenade notes make for an intriguing bouquet, then pick up plum and earth on the palate. The finish is long, velvety and packed with drying tannins, so give it until at least 2018, then drink through 2025 or so.Les Barcillants9288Rhône ValleyCornasJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzLes Vins de Vienne 2010 Les Barcillants (Cornas)SyrahLes Vins de Vienne
2446024459USPower vs. finesse. Which wins out? It's pretty much a draw in this blend of various sites throughout the sprawling Sonoma Coast appellation. It shows the acidity and dryness of the coast, as well as the long hangtime richness of the vintage, with spicy raspberry and cherry flavors liberally oaked. A gorgeous wine, and a bargain given that it's the least expensive of the winery's 2010 Pinots. Drink now–2014.9239CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaMerry Edwards 2010 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)Pinot NoirMerry Edwards
2446124460USYou'll want to give this vigorous young Cab time in the cellar to come around. It's tannic and closed now, and the blackberry and cherry fruit has a primary fruit jamminess that wants to develop some bottle-aged characteristics. Give it until 2017 to begin to come around.Stagecoach Vineyard9265CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaKrutz 2009 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonKrutz
2446224461PortugalA big, powerful, fruity wine, this is laden with dry tannins as well as blackberry flavor. Dark and concentrated, it has a solid, dense feel with fruits layered with intense wood notes. It needs at least five years to soften and round out.Manoella9222DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerWine & Soul 2010 Manoella Red (Douro)Portuguese RedWine & Soul
2446324462FranceThis is full, rich, rounded Riesling, showing the beginnings of a more mature character. It is deliciously perfumed, concentrated with pepper as well as fragrant white fruits and a floral, crisp aftertaste. Age for another 2–3 years.Hengst Grand Cru92AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Ehrhart 2010 Hengst Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace)RieslingDomaine Ehrhart
2446424463USOffers tremendous pleasure now and over the next six years, in a wine that feels elegant and sophisticated. The tannin-acid balance is perfect, giving it a taut firmness, while the raspberry, cherry, plum and cassis flavors are elaborately rich, yet dry in the finish. The vineyard is in the Santa Rosa Plain, a cool area producing Pinots of elegance.Toboni Vineyard9255CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaGary Farrell 2011 Toboni Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirGary Farrell
2446524464New ZealandStruck flint and slightly smoky aromas give way to flavors of honeyed peaches and toasted nuts—not full on, like a Chardonnay might be, but restrained yet lush at the same time. In only a few years, this has quickly become one of New Zealand's best Pinot Gris.9225MarlboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzGreywacke 2011 Pinot Gris (Marlborough)Pinot GrisGreywacke
2446624465ArgentinaThis driving blend of Malbec with Syrah and Cabernet hails from Argentina's most northern vineyards.Bruising black plum and cassis aromas have mossy, floral sidenotes. It's grapy but not monotone, so you get boysenberry then spice flavors, especially clove. This is toasty on the finish, which has drying tannins.Pasacana9266OtherJujuyMichael Schachner@wineschachFernando Dupont 2010 Pasacana Red (Jujuy)Red BlendFernando Dupont
2446724466USThis wine is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Malbec. It shows the big, hard tannins of both varieties, as well as their dryness and intense blackberry, currant and dark chocolate flavors. The 100% new French oak is in balance with the size of the underlying fruit. Don't even think of popping the cork before 2015, and it should still be providing pleasure in 2021.Nicole's92115CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaLancaster 2009 Nicole's Red (Alexander Valley)Bordeaux-style Red BlendLancaster
2446824467USThe Damaris Chardonnay has varied in grape sourcing over the years, ranging from Santa Maria Valley to Sonoma Valley. But with this new Sonoma Coast bottling, the wine has hit new heights. It's dry, brisk in acidity and tantalizing, with citrus and tropical fruit notes.Damaris Reserve9235CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaLandmark 2011 Damaris Reserve Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast)ChardonnayLandmark
2446924468ItalyAria is a stunning Chianti Classico, boasting earthy, underbrush aromas with hints of subdued oak. The palate delivers fabulous, juicy plum and black-cherry layered with well integrated vanilla and espresso. It's still tight and tannic so give this a few more years.Aria9228TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCasa al Vento 2011 Aria (Chianti Classico)SangioveseCasa al Vento
2447024469ItalyThis vibrant Chianti Classico has ripe strawberry and raspberry aromas with hints of violet. The palate shows delicious red cherry layered with white pepper and a hint of chocolate, all in a fresh and supple style.9224TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCastello di Verrazzano 2010 Chianti ClassicoRed BlendCastello di Verrazzano
2447124470USThis Pinot's immediate lusciousness belies its complexity. Your first impression is of ripe raspberries and cherries that taste like they were baked into a pie. Then layers of minerals, mushrooms, cola and earthier fruits like persimmons and rhubarbs appear, all made brisk by amazing acidity and finishing bone dry. Lovely now and over the next six years, after an hour or two in the decanter.Rosella's Vineyard9259CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastTestarossa 2010 Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirTestarossa
2447224471USBlended with 10% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 5% Carignan, this wine displays aromas of earth, citrus peel and fresh tobacco that lead to soft, vibrant cherry flavors with light cocoa accents. It's a very pretty interpretation of the variety, with fine-grained tannins backing it up.Inigo Montoya9042WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportGramercy 2013 Inigo Montoya Tempranillo (Columbia Valley (WA))TempranilloGramercy
2447324472USThis wine impresses in its mix of stone fruit, melon and tangy passionfruit, its texture soft and velvety, marked by moderate acidity. It's a complex, lengthy white that's easy to get lost in, with or without food.Rosemary's Block Dry Stack Vineyard9030CaliforniaBennett ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneGrey Stack 2015 Rosemary's Block Dry Stack Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Bennett Valley)Sauvignon BlancGrey Stack
2447424473USKnowing only time in stainless steel, this light, clear white is zingy in grapefruit, wet stone and melon, its texture and body crisp and focused. The price for this quality is hard to beat.Y39016CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneJax 2015 Y3 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley)Sauvignon BlancJax
2447524474USMade from a several sites within the appellation, this wine is marked by full-barrel caramelization and an inviting nod to brioche. Toffee and cinnamon interweave within its rich, thick waves of texture. Tropical mango allows for a hint of fruit amidst the darker flavors.9030CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneLa Crema 2014 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayLa Crema
2447624475AustraliaAt first, this wine seems fruity and direct, loaded with dark berry fruit. But over time, it develops more and more oak character, adding notes of cedar, vanilla and mint. It's creamy in texture, with silky tannins, but remains a bit woody on the finish.Orphan Bank9069South AustraliaBarossaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzLangmeil 2014 Orphan Bank Shiraz (Barossa)ShirazLangmeil
2447724476ItalyThis robust red opens with aromas of stewed plum, raisin, dark spice and aromatic herb. The concentrated, full-bodied palate offers fig, dried cherry, nutmeg and mineral alongside austere tannins. A tobacco note closes the firm finish. Drink 2018–2030.9038LombardySforzato di ValtellinaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeNera 2010 Sforzato di ValtellinaNebbioloNera
2447824477USThis kitchen-sink blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah shows squashed black plum, caramelized blueberries, mocha and a sweet cedar touch on the nose. Toasty oak flavors carry the palate, with vanilla, brown sugar, beef char, baked blueberries and a touch of Vietnamese coffee.Darkness9030CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannOpaque 2014 Darkness Red (Paso Robles)Red BlendOpaque
2447924478AustraliaAs one might expect from a Rhône-based producer, this is a meaty, earthy rendering of Shiraz. It's only medium bodied, but frames its black olive and spice flavors in dry, dusty tannins. Drink now–2020.Shay's Flat Vineyard9036VictoriaPyreneesJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzTournon by Michel Chapoutier 2012 Shay's Flat Vineyard Shiraz (Pyrenees)ShirazTournon by Michel Chapoutier
2448024479ArgentinaWoody, heady black-fruit aromas are charred and minty. The palate is dense and tannic, while charred, earthy black-fruit flavors show herbal after tones prior to a dry and woody finish. A bit of time in the cellar should help this integrate and fully come together; drink after 2018 and through 2022.9025Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachAlpasión 2013 Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecAlpasión

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