Wine Reviews


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2613126130USThis Cabernet-based Bordeaux blend is from Jess Jackson-owned vineyards high above Alexander Valley. Made solidly in the modern style, it's very ripe, very soft, and extraordinarily rich in chocolate-infused cassis, cherry, date and violet flavors that are liberally treated with new oak. It's a delicious, seductive wine that should ride out the next 8 years with ease.Red Wine9070CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaLegacy 2004 Red Wine Red (Alexander Valley)Bordeaux-style Red BlendLegacy
2613226131ItalyDespite its age, you still get intact nuances of fruit and berry preserves. This hearty Taurasi does not seem to have suffered too much from the hot vintage and offers thick dense black fruit and firm tannins. Radici is a flagship wine for southern Italy.Radici9043Southern ItalyTaurasiMastroberardino 2003 Radici (Taurasi)AglianicoMastroberardino
2613326132USA fine value in Oregon Pinot Noir, the estate bottling from Apolloni brings typical varietal flavors of sassafras, cherry cola and fresh herb. The fruit is perfectly ripe, yet retains the peppery, herbal, leafy character of northern Willamette Valley sites. Barrel aging adds length, texture and a finishing splash of butterfat.Estate9032OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Apolloni 2006 Estate Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirApolloni
2613426133USThis is winemaker Rich Cushman's estate vineyard. At 25 years of age, it may well be the oldest Riesling planting in the region. The alcohol is just under 11%, but there is plenty of acid under the fruit, so despite its off-dry designation, this is a wine that would work wonderfully well with a wide variety of cheeses and appetizers. Flavors suggest pears and peaches, detailed with spice and stone.Columbia Gorge Vineyard9014OregonColumbia Gorge (OR)Oregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Viento 2006 Columbia Gorge Vineyard Riesling (Columbia Gorge (OR))RieslingViento
2613526134ItalyThis dark Aglianico offers lush concentration and generous aromas of toast, leather, earth, exotic spice, black cherry, coffee and blackberry tart. It's got complexity and character and delivers both freshness and thick density.Preludio89Southern ItalyIrpiniaDonnachiara 2006 Preludio Aglianico (Irpinia)AglianicoDonnachiara
2613626135SpainBig and burly, with highly respectable aromas of ripe blackberry, toast and mint. Attractive plum and blackberry flavors follow, and as it passes from palate to finish the wine shows its depth and structure. A little stiff in terms of oak and tannin and kind of simple overall. Still, it's a wine that indicates that La Mancha could finally be ready for the world stage.Crianza8934Central SpainLa ManchaMichael Schachner@wineschachEl Vinculo 2004 Crianza Red (La Mancha)Tempranillo BlendEl Vinculo
2613726136SpainThis label has turned a corner from its early days; the 2005 is a very nice wine with smooth, ripe berry aromas backed by black cherry, smoked meat, coffee and other savory, dark flavors. Structured and well put together, with medium-depth flavors and good balance.Roble8917Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachFinca El Encinal 2005 Roble (Ribera del Duero)TempranilloFinca El Encinal
2613826137USThis is the first Grüner fruit from Underwood Mountain, and it promises good—maybe great—things to come. Sleek and stony, the wine epitomizes the racy, slightly grassy, slightly peppery quality of classic Austrian Grüner, with a Pacific Northwest twist—a certain brilliant intensity to the fruit that reflects this northern latitude. Clearly the best Grüner from Oregon or Washington to date.Underwood Mountain Vineyard8918OregonColumbia Gorge (OR)Oregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Viento 2007 Underwood Mountain Vineyard Grüner Veltliner (Columbia Gorge (OR))Grüner VeltlinerViento
2614826147USThis Oak Ridge bottling is rich and unctuous. Scents and flavors of rose petals mingle with a lightly soapy, oily, broad midpalate that floats along on a bed of flowers, stone fruits, toast, hazelnuts, caramel and stone. A splash of everything, but it comes together in a seductive, open framework with just enough acid to support it.Oak Ridge Vineyard8918OregonColumbia Gorge (OR)Oregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Sineann 2007 Oak Ridge Vineyard Gewürztraminer (Columbia Gorge (OR))GewürztraminerSineann
2613926138AustriaOrange marmalade and sweet acidity mark this as a particularly rich style of Beerenauslese. The botrytis is intense, but even this cannot overwhelm the great sweetness and richness.Riesling Beerenauslese8948NiederösterreichRoger Voss@vossrogerZull 2006 Riesling Beerenauslese Riesling (Niederösterreich)RieslingZull
2614026139AustriaThere is good depth of flavor in this delicious wine. The creamy apple flavors are crisp alongside pear skin tannins, while the touch of pepper gives some intrigue to the aftertaste. Screwcap.Aussere Bergen8925NiederösterreichRoger Voss@vossrogerZull 2007 Aussere Bergen Grüner Veltliner (Niederösterreich)Grüner VeltlinerZull
2614126140ItalyI Capitani, a dynamic family-run winery not far from Taurasi, opts for a traditional wine that puts more emphasis on elegance and complexity and less focus on brawn and power. Aromas include cherry, cola, tar, licorice and red apple. The wine is already a bit brownish on its edges, so don't wait long to drink it.Bosco Faiano8939Southern ItalyTaurasiI Capitani 2004 Bosco Faiano (Taurasi)AglianicoI Capitani
2614926148USThe winery releases an extensive lineup of single vineyard Pinots; here is the mix of leftover barrels. Purple fruits, earth, slightly green tannins and a hint of toast come into play.8945OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Penner-Ash 2014 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirPenner-Ash
2614226141SpainA fresh and lively style of Rioja, with red-fruit aromas leading straight to a no-issues palate full of ripe plum and cherry flavors. The wine is uncomplicated, smooth and even a little chocolaty.Crianza8930Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachLar de Paula 2003 Crianza (Rioja)Tempranillo BlendLar de Paula
2614326142FranceA spicy, full, fat wine, with a good citrus touch, this is made lively by the green fruit flavors, the edge of honey and the rounding toast.Charmes Premier Cru89BurgundyMeursaultRoger Voss@vossrogerLouis Jadot 2006 Charmes Premier Cru (Meursault)ChardonnayLouis Jadot
2615026149ItalyCreamy and refreshing, this offers aromas of white spring flower, white peach and tropical fruit. The bright frothy palate offers mature pear, apple, tangerine zest and candied lemon drop alongside an elegant perlage and fresh acidity.Extra Dry89VenetoValdobbiadene Prosecco SuperioreKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeSanta Margherita 2015 Extra Dry (Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore)GleraSanta Margherita
2614426143AustraliaThe blend includes just 14% Mourvèdre, with the balance split evenly between Shiraz and Grenache, and the result is a medium-bodied red with soft tannins and plenty of ripe fruit. Blackberry, plum and spice notes show good concentration and some chocolaty overtones. Drink now and over the next several years.The Seven Surveys Old Vines8915South AustraliaBarossaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzPeter Lehmann 2005 The Seven Surveys Old Vines G-S-M (Barossa)G-S-MPeter Lehmann
2615126150ItalyMade with Nerello Mascalese, this opens with aromas of flint, ripe orchard fruit and a whiff of baked bread. The dry palate shows red apple, flint, lemon drop and Mediterranean herb alongside bright acidity and a persistent, elegant perlage.Brut Metodo Classico8945Sicily & SardiniaEtnaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeAntichi Vinai 1877 2011 Brut Metodo Classico (Etna)Nerello MascaleseAntichi Vinai 1877
2614526144FranceA rounded, toast-rich wine, with the full creaminess of malolactic acidity very evident. This richness works, giving a sensuous, opulent style, just kept in check by the acidity, but very ready to let all its ripeness rip.Les Cortons Premier Cru89BurgundySaint-AubinRoger Voss@vossrogerRoux Père et Fils 2006 Les Cortons Premier Cru (Saint-Aubin)ChardonnayRoux Père et Fils
2614626145AustraliaAn impressive effort from this winery located on the cool Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne, Stonier's 2006 Pinot Noir features some slightly herbal and properly earthy notes alongside its cherry fruit and a touch of bacony oak. It's medium-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, layered finish. Drink now–2012.8925VictoriaMornington PeninsulaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzStonier 2006 Pinot Noir (Mornington Peninsula)Pinot NoirStonier
2615226151FranceKnown for its pink-metallic bottle cover and signature “Ace of Spades” logo, this fresh-faced wine is crisp and zesty. The wine, with a pale salmon-pink color and lively mousse, is light and full of red-currant fruit that keeps it bright. Dry, young and fruity, it's made by the Cattier house for entrepreneur and rapper Jay Z. Drink now.Brut Rosé89450ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerArmand de Brignac NV Brut Rosé (Champagne)Champagne BlendArmand de Brignac
2614726146USSearingly tart, this might be a 2007 Muscadet for its thrilling, stiletto-steel spine and leesy minerality. Simply calling it unoaked does not begin to do justice to the complexity and textural density that this unusual Oregon Chardonnay offers. For acid lovers who don't think that Chardonnay must be slathered in toasty new wood in order to have any flavor, this wine will be a joy.Unoaked8918OregonColumbia Gorge (OR)Oregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Phelps Creek 2007 Unoaked Chardonnay (Columbia Gorge (OR))ChardonnayPhelps Creek
2615326152ItalyMade with 100% Pinot Nero, this lively sparkler offers sensations of red berry, tangerine, a hint of pastry dough and a dash of cake spice. Crisp acidity lifts the creamy texture.Rosé8945LombardyFranciacortaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBarone Pizzini 2012 Rosé Pinot Nero (Franciacorta)Pinot NeroBarone Pizzini
2615426153GermanyHints of lemon shortbread, fresh apple and white flower unfold on the nose of this delicately honeyed wine. On the palate, sweet white-peach and yellow-cherry flavors run just a shade off dry. Easy going and fresh, it finishes long, with a streak of tangerine acidity.Dom Off-Dry8918MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaBischöfliche Weingüter Trier 2015 Dom Off-Dry Riesling (Mosel)RieslingBischöfliche Weingüter Trier
2615526154USThis proprietary blend combines 52% Cabernet Franc, 34% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, another in its line of Aaron Pott-made wines. It's lovable in its austerity and varietal suggestions of dried herb, cedar and green bean. Dusty, soft tannins support a full-bodied, straightforward structure.Paramour89135CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneBlackbird Vineyards 2013 Paramour Red (Napa Valley)Bordeaux-style Red BlendBlackbird Vineyards
2615626155SpainSpicy, toasty black-fruit aromas set up a firm palate with wrenching tannic grip. Spicy flavors of dark plum and blackberry are typical of this type of Monastrell blend. Peppery notes and herbal accents are up front on the finish.C8914LevanteJumillaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Carchelo 2014 C Red (Jumilla)Red BlendBodegas Carchelo
2615726156FranceA rich hint of apple crumble precedes tart notes of lemon freshness. The palate fizzes with frothy bubbles and gives the impression of lightness and ease. A very clean-cut, sprightly and refreshing finish almost hides the more serious autolytic backdrop of this elegant, fine-fruited Crémant.Blanc de Blancs Brut89AlsaceAlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoBoeckel 2014 Blanc de Blancs Brut Auxerrois (Alsace)AuxerroisBoeckel
2615826157FranceVery faint notes of red berry are supported by floral overtones on the nose. The palate has pleasantly bitter elements that enhance the yeasty notes of bread crust. The body remains light while the finish is dry and balanced.Brut Rosé89AlsaceAlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoBoeckel 2014 Brut Rosé Pinot Noir (Alsace)Pinot NoirBoeckel
2615926158FranceCreamy notes of Red Delicious apple are tinged with hints of shortbread on the nose. These become more forward on the creamy palate as the frothy mousse amplifies them. This is dry, restrained and elegant with a wonderfully refreshing finish.Brut Rosé8919AlsaceAlsaceAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoBott Frères NV Brut Rosé Pinot Noir (Alsace)Pinot NoirBott Frères
2616026159USPut this into the budget category (for Oregon Pinot Noir) where it shines. Fruity and forward, there's plenty to like in the mix of orange flesh and rind, and strawberry and cherry hard candy. The fruit is backed with ample tannin, and a warm touch of mocha and toast fills in the finish.8928OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Brooks 2014 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirBrooks

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