Wine Reviews

25812580USThe aromas of flowers, mineral, peach and almond are initially light but pleasing. The stone-fruit flavors are full bodied and sweet, pulling up ever so slightly on the finish.Boushey Vineyard8935WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportàMaurice 2014 Boushey Vineyard Marsanne-Viognier (Yakima Valley)Marsanne-ViognieràMaurice
25822581USLes Collines and Stone Valley fruit make up 75% of this wine with the rest coming from Seven Hills, Pepper Bridge and Summit View. It offers generous aromas of blueberry puree, dried herbs, red fruit, woodspice, dried flowers and mineral. The flavors bring the same but are more pulled-back than the aromas suggest, with a bit of astringency that holds the wine back.8932WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportAmavi 2013 Syrah (Walla Walla Valley (WA))SyrahAmavi
25832582USExamples of this variety are rare in the state. Aromas pop with heaping amounts of fresh flowers and orange peel that are reminiscent of freesia in their intensity. The coffee and blue-fruit flavors are smooth and sultry, showing pleasing depth.One Upland Vineyard8950WashingtonSnipes MountainColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportBrian Carter Cellars NV One Upland Vineyard Touriga Nacional (Snipes Mountain)Touriga NacionalBrian Carter Cellars
25842583USSpecks of rosemary give the aromatic entry of this wine a nice herbal invitation. This subtlety is followed by more bombastic waves of big, juicy black cherry, berry and oak. The tannins are still substantial, suggesting cellaring, through 2021.8945CaliforniaCarnerosNapa-SonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneCharthia 2013 Pinot Noir (Carneros)Pinot NoirCharthia
25852584FranceThe gravel soil on this Lévèque family property makes a great place to grow white grapes. A 50/50 blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon, this fresh wine suggests the ability to age. It is fruity now, hinting at apricots as well as citrus. It can be drunk now for its freshness, although wait until late 2016 for it to develop greater depths.8920BordeauxGravesRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau de Chantegrive 2013 GravesBordeaux-style White BlendChâteau de Chantegrive
25862585FranceSpice and ripe fruit, with attractive tannins and a soft texture. This wine is open, generous, rich and packed with black currant fruitiness. Give this wine another 2–4 years, but it could well be drinkable sooner.Cuvée Aliénor9020BordeauxFronsacRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Mayne Vieil 2011 Cuvée Aliénor (Fronsac)Bordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Mayne Vieil
25872586AustriaThis is a crisp, but also rich style of Federspiel. It is full of ripe pear and apple flavor as well as a fine pinch of pepper. Acidity creeps in the background to balance this ready-to-drink wine. Screwcap.Loibner Klostersatz Federspiel90WachauRoger Voss@vossrogerF X Pichler 2012 Loibner Klostersatz Federspiel Grüner Veltliner (Wachau)Grüner VeltlinerF X Pichler
25882587AustraliaThe most aromatically complex of the FE 2012 Rieslings, the Poison Hill offers beguiling scents of tangerine sherbet and Earl Grey tea. It's almost too perfumy for its soft, medium-bodied structure and slightly dusty-textured finish, but those floral elements are also its appeal. Drink now–2020+.Poison Hill Vineyard9035Western AustraliaFrankland RiverJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzFrankland Estate 2012 Poison Hill Vineyard Riesling (Frankland River)RieslingFrankland Estate
25892588AustriaThis is a serious wine, despite the ripe fruitiness on its surface. It is full of peach and mango flavors, but structured by a cool, mineral feel. Tangy acidity and tight texture adds tension. It still needs to age 2–4 years. Screwcap.Steinbügel90NiederösterreichRoger Voss@vossrogerGraf Hardegg 2010 Steinbügel Grüner Veltliner (Niederösterreich)Grüner VeltlinerGraf Hardegg
25902589GermanyExquisitely smoky and savory dried herb tones calibrate rich, tropical fruit aromas on this dry yet voluptuously textured Riesling. The palate is penetrating with minerality and a soft, elegant lemon-lime acidity. Finishes long and rich.Gimmeldinger Biengarten Trocken9042PfalzAnna Lee C. IijimaA. Christmann 2010 Gimmeldinger Biengarten Trocken Riesling (Pfalz)RieslingA. Christmann
25912590USSingle vineyard, 100% varietal Malbec can be spot on, and this succeeds with a balanced flavor profile of mixed berries and earthy tannins. There's a hint of volatility, that quickly blows off. Decanting for an hour or so is advised.Gamache Vineyard9035WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine àMaurice 2010 Gamache Vineyard Malbec (Columbia Valley (WA))MalbecàMaurice
25922591ItalyThis traditionally styled Barolo has a classic fragrance of violet, rose and leather, with balsamic notes. The palate reveals ripe berry and spice with notes of pipe tobacco and while the acidity is tame the wine is massively tannic. Hold this for a few more years, but drink it before 2020.Bussia9092PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBarale Fratelli 2009 Bussia (Barolo)NebbioloBarale Fratelli
25932592ItalyThis shows enticing aromas of mint, spice and balsamic herbs and delivers a restrained palate of black cherry, with undertones of sage, white pepper, coffee and espresso. This is still aggressively tannic and needs time to soften.Castellero9082PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBarale Fratelli 2009 Castellero (Barolo)NebbioloBarale Fratelli
25942593USRich cherry fruit anchors this excellent, estate-grown Merlot. It's lush and textural, with deep, dark fruit flavors and pleasant roasted notes of coffee and smoke. Half the barrels were new American oak, the rest French, mostly new.9025WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Gamache 2009 Merlot (Columbia Valley (WA))MerlotGamache
25952594AustraliaMade in a superripe, dense, almost fudge-like style, The Ripper tastes like a plummy, chocolaty Christmas cake with slightly coarse tannins on the finish. It's Port-like in flavor, but without the heat from elevated alcohol. Drink it over the next few years.The Ripper9020Western AustraliaGeographeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzHope Estate 2010 The Ripper Shiraz (Geographe)ShirazHope Estate
25962595AustriaCrisp, clean, mineral wine, with hints of a more aromatic character in the background, this is packed with apple and lemon flavors. A straight line of delicious acidity cuts like a knife through the wine. For aging over 3–5 years. Screwcap.Zöbing90KamptalRoger Voss@vossrogerHirsch 2012 Zöbing Riesling (Kamptal)RieslingHirsch
25972596IsraelThis is a balanced and complex fifty-fifty blend, with herbal accents of licorice root, coffee bean and foliage that mingle harmoniously with ripe fruit notes of blackberry, wild raspberry and cherry. Medium weight and lushly textured, but not overdone, with a long finish that delivers light hints of mocha and pepper.9039GalileeLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzPelter 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz (Galilee)Cabernet Sauvignon-ShirazPelter
25982597GermanyWet stone and earth notes add a distinct minerality to intensely fruity peach and apricot flavors on this ripe, but dainty Riesling. Zippy acidity and a flurry of fresh, green herbs make for a brisk finish.Bernkasteler Badstube Spätlese9029MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaPeter Nicolay 2011 Bernkasteler Badstube Spätlese Riesling (Mosel)RieslingPeter Nicolay
25992598AustraliaAn easy-drinking introduction to Shiraz from Western Australia's Great Southern region, the 2010 Omrah offers gentle cherry and cedar notes accented by hints of chocolate and roasted meat. It's medium to full bodied, with a round, supple mouthfeel that ends in a wash of softly dusty tannins.Omrah9020Western AustraliaWestern AustraliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzPlantagenet 2010 Omrah Shiraz (Western Australia)ShirazPlantagenet
26002599GermanyWhiffs of slate and petrol add nuance to white flower and pineapple aromas on this intensely minerally, dry Riesling. The palate is lush and full with ripe nectarine flavor, freshened with a swathe of fresh green herbs on the finish.Trocken9025RheinhessenAnna Lee C. IijimaRheingraf 2011 Trocken Riesling (Rheinhessen)RieslingRheingraf
26012600AustraliaThere's a lot to like in this effort: ample dark fruit, complex notions of tea leaves and dried grasses, and a richly textured, long finish. The wine is medium bodied and not very tannic, making it easy to sip repeatedly. Drink it over the next 8–10 years.Finisterre9030Western AustraliaMargaret RiverJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzRobert Oatley 2009 Finisterre Cabernet Sauvignon (Margaret River)Cabernet SauvignonRobert Oatley
26022601USRipe, flashy fruit stars in this unoaked Chardonnay, in the form of pineapples, kiwis, limes and pears. The grapes for this delicious wine come from the winery's estate vineyard, in the cool southwestern pocket of the Russian River Valley.Unoaked9027CaliforniaGreen ValleySonomaIron Horse 2011 Unoaked Chardonnay (Green Valley)ChardonnayIron Horse
26032602USLa Clarine Farm's rosé is slightly cloudy, sourced mostly from Syrah grapes, with unusual additions of Mourvèdre, Sémillon and Viognier. Winemaker Hank Beckmeyer says the Syrah grapes barely ripen and that's why he likes them for this wine. Light at 12.8% alcohol, it's an intriguing melange of earthy dark strawberry and mint, crisp in acidity.9017CaliforniaSierra FoothillsSierra FoothillsVirginie Boone@vbooneLa Clarine Farm 2012 Rosé (Sierra Foothills)RoséLa Clarine Farm
26042603ChileOak, resin, vanilla and creamy aromas run side by side with cherry, cassis and berry scents on this blend of Cabernet, Carmenère, Petit Verdot and Syrah. The palate is tight, juicy and textured, with good density. Flavors of creamy oak, mocha, raspberry and plum set up a medium-length, strong finish. Drink through 2017.Axel Primero9040Colchagua ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachLa Playa 2010 Axel Primero Red (Colchagua Valley)Red BlendLa Playa
26052604USThis is a rich, robust Pinot Noir, defining the big, tannic style. It explodes in cherry, cola and pomegranate fruit flavors, with the added note of caramelized oak. You can drink this wine now, but it should hold in the bottle for 6–8 years, gradually mellowing. The vineyard is in the cooler southern part of the valley, near Carneros.Los Olivos9042CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaMaldonado 2011 Los Olivos Pinot Noir (Napa Valley)Pinot NoirMaldonado
26062605USThis Cab wants a few more years to let its internal inconsistencies resolve. The primary cherry and blackberry fruit has faded and is turning nutty. But it's still pretty tannic. Needs to throw some sediment to let the inherent fruit emerge. Try after 2016.Bell Mountain Vineyard9052CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaMedlock Ames 2008 Bell Mountain Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley)Cabernet SauvignonMedlock Ames
26072606ChileEarthy aromas include pencil eraser, wild herbs and eucalyptus along with tea and blackberry. This is very smooth and lush in the mouth, a reflection of a warm vintage. Flavors of olive, herbs, tobacco and black fruits are textbook for the variety, while a mellow, polished finish is silky and easygoing. Drink through 2016.Edición Limitada9023Maipo ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachMorandé 2009 Edición Limitada Carmenère (Maipo Valley)CarmenèreMorandé
26082607ChileThis wine from the Santa Carolina family opens with ripe blackberry, prune and minerally aromas. It's rubbery and deep on the palate, with dark, toasty flavors of blackberry and bitter chocolate. A lightly herbal and spicy tasting finish with medium intensity fades away with lactic creaminess.Raices Nobles9021Maipo ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachOchagavia 2010 Raices Nobles Cabernet Sauvignon (Maipo Valley)Cabernet SauvignonOchagavia
26092608USThough labeled simply Columbia Valley, this is a classic example of Wahluke Slope Syrah. Well-integrated layers of citrus, berry, roasted coffee beans, vanilla cookie and Graham cracker combine into a most accessible, yet complex wine. It's ready to drink, and should be consumed over the next 3–4 years.9017WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Barnard Griffin 2011 Syrah (Columbia Valley (WA))SyrahBarnard Griffin
26102609USThick, heavy, potent and mouth-coating, this is a liquorous, almost syrupy wine, sure to please those who like big fruit, big tannins, and big barrel flavors. Chocolate, espresso, tar and bourbon barrel flavors dominate, in keeping with the house style.Bacchus Vineyard9028WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Barrister 2009 Bacchus Vineyard Syrah (Columbia Valley (WA))SyrahBarrister

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