Wine Reviews

2465324652USTalk about an assorted but attractive bouquet: this has lemon, peach, dried herbs—even some honey. The flavors veer mostly toward citrus—predominantly lemon and orange. But there's a touch of sweet pineapple in there, too. The finish is spicy and maintains the citrus from the palate, but it does tail off a bit heavy and hot.Reserve8819CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastEOS 2000 Reserve Fumé Blanc (Paso Robles)Fumé BlancEOS
2465424653USIntense, fruity, soft and sensuous, this sweet and pretty wine features whole cluster fermentation. It is lively and balanced, fruity and smooth. Terrific for summer sipping.8818OregonUmpqua ValleySouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Abacela 2000 Dolcetto (Umpqua Valley)DolcettoAbacela
2465524654ChilePepper and molasses aromas top concentrated black plum notes on the nose. The mouth is chewy and medium-weight, and offers bright but sturdy blackberry fruit, and some earth and oak notes. Finishes with good length, and tart berry and fresh-cut wood flavors.Edicion Limitada8818Maipo ValleyMorandé 1999 Edicion Limitada Syrah-Cabernet (Maipo Valley)Syrah-CabernetMorandé
2463124630ChileA touch syrupy and saucy on first blush, with a full, healthy, ripe palate that's typically Chilean due to herb, berry and leather flavors. Sound, smooth and driven on the finish, with overall good vibrations for an organic wine.Bio-Sur8714Colchagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachCaliterra 2009 Bio-Sur Cabernet Sauvignon (Colchagua Valley)Cabernet SauvignonCaliterra
2465624655New ZealandLike a fairway-splitting drive in golf, this wine is just what the masses want: It's full of grapefruit, passion fruit, gooseberry and citrus rind. The acidity, however, is pounding, so the finish might sweat your tongue a bit, thereby yielding a juicy mouthfeel. Overall, it starts well and then fades a bit.8818MarlboroughNautilus 2001 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough)Sauvignon BlancNautilus
2465724656New ZealandCrisp and refreshing for a Gewürz, a variety that can often get overblown. Peppery floral scents mingle with green apples, moving smoothly into pineapple, peach and pear fruit flavors. Minty-fresh greens emerge to play a leading role on the long, clean finish.8812MarlboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzSpy Valley 2001 Gewürztraminer (Marlborough)GewürztraminerSpy Valley
2463224631GermanyThe biggest difference between Huber's R bottlings and this Alte Reben (old vine) Pinot Noir is the crispness of this wine's acids. It still shows the complexity Huber builds in: an herbal tinge to the cherry fruit, hints of mushroom and coffee, it just comes across as a bit sharper and edgier. Drink now–2015.Alte Reben Trocken8780BadenJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzHuber 2007 Alte Reben Trocken Spätburgunder (Baden)SpätburgunderHuber
2465824657FranceOpen and inviting, this wine lays out traditional Chardonnay aromas and flavors of peach and citrus accented by toasty oak in a powerful and easily understood wine. There's a certain lack of finesse that's more than made up for by rich and expressive flavors.8844BurgundyChassagne-MontrachetLouis Latour 2000 Chassagne-MontrachetChardonnayLouis Latour
2463324632New ZealandA medium-bodied Chardonnay with a slight lactic note to it, the 2008 Martinborough Vineyard Chardonnay is crisp and long on the finish, highlighting its flavors of vanilla and pineapple. Might improve with another year or two in the bottle.8740MartinboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzMartinborough Vineyard 2008 Chardonnay (Martinborough)ChardonnayMartinborough Vineyard
2465924658USYou'd never confuse this with a California Chard. Well, Anderson Valley, maybe. It's a cool-climate wine. Aromas of fresh, cold green apples, with what seems like an overlay of buttery oak. Brilliantly dry and crisp in the mouth. It's all about acidity here; flavors are secondary. Clean as a whistle, edgy, a nervously racy wine that practically cries out for shellfish.8817OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyRex Hill 1999 Chardonnay (Willamette Valley)ChardonnayRex Hill
2466024659ItalySome cool earth, leather and smoked meat aromas get this ripe, full-bodied Sangiovese going. The palate is fairly soft, a reminder of blackberry pie. And there's plenty of unmistakable milk chocolate, too. Look at it as a tamed, rich, enjoyable red; a wine well suited to an autumn dinner.Riserva8819TuscanyMorellino di ScansanoMichael Schachner@wineschachVal delle Rose 1998 Riserva (Morellino di Scansano)SangioveseVal delle Rose
2463424633South AfricaThis Chenin immediately draws you in with notes of baked apple, beeswax and softly toasted brioche. The rich, medium-weight mouth carries similar notes of spicy toast and ripe pear flavors. Full-flavored and easy to drink; enjoy now.The Den8712Coastal RegionLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzPainted Wolf 2009 The Den Chenin Blanc (Coastal Region)Chenin BlancPainted Wolf
2463524634South AfricaAn interesting wine, this blend offers a complex nose of ripe whole lychee and fresh pressed apple aromas countered by glimmers of beeswax and rose florals. More red apple unfolds in the round mouth, with a touch of sweet lime oil freshening up the finish.Amalie8735Western CapeLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzSolms-Delta 2009 Amalie Viognier-Grenache Blanc (Western Cape)Viognier-Grenache BlancSolms-Delta
2463624635ItalyCampoRe opens with slightly oxidized (but not overwhelming) aromas of caramel and butterscotch followed by mature melon, apricot and dried almond. The wine tastes soft and slightly sweet with marzipan-like flavors on the close.CampoRe87Southern ItalyFiano di AvellinoTerredora 2008 CampoRe (Fiano di Avellino)FianoTerredora
2463724636ItalyIf you're itching to spend an afternoon sipping a cool Italian white by the pool or on your back porch with friends, here is your wine. Southern Italy's answer to quality Pinot Grigio, this luminous Greco offers aromas of pear and peach with a crisp, lemony finish.Loggia della Serra87Southern ItalyGreco di TufoTerredora 2009 Loggia della Serra (Greco di Tufo)GrecoTerredora
2463824637USA fine Sauvignon Blanc, ripe, dry and pure in pineapple, lime green apple and oak flavors. Feels a little sweet and simple in the finish, but a fancy, crisp wine.Vittorio's Vineyard8724CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaV. Sattui 2009 Vittorio's Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley)Sauvignon BlancV. Sattui
2463924638USLoads of pineapple jam and roasted peach flavors in this rich, oaky Chardonnay. Nothing shy about its fruity power, with rich vanilla and caramel oak barrel influences. Could use greater complexity and nuance.Maldonado Vineyard Dijon Clones8739CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVenge 2009 Maldonado Vineyard Dijon Clones Chardonnay (Napa Valley)ChardonnayVenge
2464024639ChileSweet, jammy and friendly on the nose, with a bit of herbs, olive and leather. The palate is firm and healthy, with some oaky residue along with jammy, grainy blackberry, baked plum and bitter chocolate flavors. Sweet and chewy in terms of feel, with a nicely baked overall character.8719Aconcagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachArboleda 2009 Syrah (Aconcagua Valley)SyrahArboleda
2464124640USThis is Pinot on the edge of ripeness, with layers of herb and tomato leaf threaded in with tart wild berry fruit. The tannins are a little rough, but overall the balance is right and the wine does not overreach.Ferris Wheel87OregonUmpqua ValleySouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Brandborg 2008 Ferris Wheel Pinot Noir (Umpqua Valley)Pinot NoirBrandborg
2464224641USMade in a heavy, dense style, with extracted fruit flavors and lots of oak, this Cab is immediately flashy in chocolate, blackberry jam and toast. It delivers in richness, yet lacks a certain vitality. Drink now.8727CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaCharles Krug 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonCharles Krug
2464324642South AfricaThere's not a ton of assertive character to this wine aside from its gripping tannins and firm structure. The fruit is faint and shy, with notes of dark berries, black tea and licorice spice hiding in the background. Open well in advance, give it a good decant, or try cellaring for another couple of years before drinking.8735Simonsberg-StellenboschLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzKanonkop 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (Simonsberg-Stellenbosch)Cabernet SauvignonKanonkop
2464424643USGood price for a rich, textured Syrah. Shows delicious cherry, black raspberry, chocolate, anise, pepper and sandalwood flavors, wrapped into smooth tannins. Drink this soft, fruity Syrah now.8716CaliforniaSanta BarbaraCentral CoastKrow Shore 2008 Syrah (Santa Barbara)SyrahKrow Shore
2464524644ItalyThe Greco Bianco grape (a native variety of Calabria in southern Italy) offers compelling aromas of pear, Golden Delicious apple and stone fruit. Librandi does a great job with this wine that shows density and creamy spice on the close. Pair it with white meat or fish.87Southern ItalyCiròLibrandi 2009 CiròGreco BiancoLibrandi
2464624645ItalyThis darkly colored Primitivo opens with sweet notes of Christmas spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, blackberry jam and plum cake. The wine is sticky and chewy on the close with sweet, succulent tannins.87Southern ItalyPugliaMasseria del Fauno 2010 Primitivo (Puglia)PrimitivoMasseria del Fauno
2464724646South AfricaA tasty, value-priced organic red that's perfect for grilled meat entrées with notes of mulled spices and espresso among the black berry and plum fruit core. Black cherry skins flesh out the medium-weight mouth, with firm tannins providing a tight structure and lingering through the long finish. Drink now–2012.Made With Organically Grown Grapes8710Western CapeLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzReleaf 2009 Made With Organically Grown Grapes Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Shiraz (Western Cape)Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-ShirazReleaf
2464824647USGrapefruit mixed with honey and some green veggies welcome you in, while the intriguing palate provides citrus, more honey, apricots and even some scallions. Simple and straightforward it's not; but it is fairly easy to drink. Served chilled on the front porch during the summer.8818CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVoss 2000 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley)Sauvignon BlancVoss
2464924648USLean and crisp despite bells and whistles of barrel fermentation and lees aging. Sure, that adds richness and depth, but the wine stays true to its roots with high acidity and the flavor profile of apples, not pineapples. It's a distinguished wine. That's not a technical term, but it gets the point across.8828OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyBergström 2000 Chardonnay (Willamette Valley)ChardonnayBergström
2465024649New ZealandThis is a typically snappy New Zealand Sauvignon featuring mildly vegetal aromas along with the required touch of cat pee and grapefruit. Bold lemon and tangerine flavors comprise the citrus palate, which leads into a tangy acid-driven finish full of lemon and grapefruit. Tart, juicy and pleasant.Mt. Cass Road8815WaiparaChancellor Estates 2000 Mt. Cass Road Sauvignon Blanc (Waipara)Sauvignon BlancChancellor Estates
2465124650ItalyThis is but the second vintage in the states of this rich, internationally styled Sangiovese from this catch-all DOC near Montalcino. It's chewy, thick and packed full of black plum and blackberry. Full yet nonaggressive tannins solidify the balance, while potent hints of bitter chocolate and coffee rise up on the finish.8817TuscanySant'AntimoMichael Schachner@wineschachFanti 2000 Sangiovese (Sant'Antimo)SangioveseFanti
2465224651USMuscular, mildly sweaty aromatics make this a little tough to get into, but the flavors are really elevated and complex. There's layered citrus, slate, licorice and spice all working together. The texture is nice, with spiciness coming on late. A bit of sweetness properly offsets the spicy, peppery quality to the finish.8821CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaDuckhorn 2000 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley)Sauvignon BlancDuckhorn

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