Wine Reviews

2629526294SpainRipe, brandied aromas of baked cherry and blackberry are heady and leathery upon airing. This shows raw tannins and scratchy acidity in front of traditional flavors: vanilla, oak, currant and raspberry. An oaky finish comes with vanilla, toast and chocolaty accents.Crianza8720Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachViña Mayor 2010 Crianza (Ribera del Duero)TempranilloViña Mayor
2629626295MexicoThe bouquet on this blend of Cab, Zin, Merlot and Tempranillo is fairly smooth and complex, with spice and modest heat. The palate, however, seems to be on the roasted and burnt side of the fence, with chocolate notes bringing up the rear. This is tasty but heavy, grabby and hot.Amado IV8758Valle de GuadalupeMichael Schachner@wineschachViñas de Garza 2008 Amado IV Red (Valle de Guadalupe)Red BlendViñas de Garza
2629726296ItalyCitto is an informal Tuscan red made with organically-farmed fruit that opens with bright cherry, blueberry, light spice and leather. This is a very likable wine with bright fruit freshness and all the easy qualities needed to pair next to a heaping plate of fettuccine and meat sauce.Citto8711TuscanyToscanaVolpaia 2009 Citto Red (Toscana)Red BlendVolpaia
2629826297USWente does a consistently good job with this Riesling, which is from a cool appellation in the Salinas Valley. The '11 is off-dry and clean in acidity, with citrus fruit, green apple, honey and spice flavors.Riverbank8713CaliforniaArroyo SecoCentral CoastWente 2011 Riverbank Riesling (Arroyo Seco)RieslingWente
2629926298USWoodenhead makes a range of Pinot Noirs from both the Russian River and Anderson valleys and this one starts out with an earthy ring of raspberry, a lot of black tea and some herbal undertones. Still impacted from its time in oak, the finish is hard to pinpoint, slightly spicy and unresolved.Wiley's Vineyard8760CaliforniaAnderson ValleyVirginie Boone@vbooneWoodenhead 2009 Wiley's Vineyard Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley)Pinot NoirWoodenhead
2630026299USA savory, tannic and slightly earthy Cabernet Sauvignon made by winemakers Denis and May-Britt Malbec, who consult on many Napa Valley-based projects. The 2007 and 2009 are more indicative of how silky smooth and refined their Cabernets can be, with this one exhibiting just slightly too much tobacco and smoke on the finish, overpowering the berry fruit.Sonatina Vineyard8780CaliforniaLake CountyVirginie Boone@vbooneXurus 2008 Sonatina Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Lake County)Cabernet SauvignonXurus
2630126300ItalyFresh citrus and stone fruit give this Soave Classico a very bright and lively feel. It's an easy, food-freindly wine produced in the informal but cheerful style that characterizes this white wine region in northern Italy.Staforte8722VenetoSoave ClassicoPrà 2011 Staforte (Soave Classico)GarganegaPrà
2630226301USIncredibly sweet, with caramelized brown sugar flavors of blackberries and chocolate, this dessert wine tastes a bit like an easy Port. It's made with traditional Port varieties, with California additions of Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Turns quick and simple on the finish, so drink now.8755CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaPrager 2009 Port (Napa Valley)PortPrager
2630326302PortugalCelebrating the beaches and waters around Lisbon in name, this ripe and fruity wine is forward with black fruits and soft tannins. It's an easy, rich wine, finishing with bright acidity.Mar da Palha8717LisboaRoger Voss@vossrogerQuinta de Chocapalha 2009 Mar da Palha Red (Lisboa)Portuguese RedQuinta de Chocapalha
2630426303USRaw pastry dough, blackberry jam and vanilla aromatics are offset by cigar box and leather notes. Compared to Rappahannock's nonreserve 2010 Cabernet Franc, this wine feels warmer due to its alcohol, which is more than 1% higher than the nonreserve bottling. The palate is chewy and muscular, with flavors of dried rose petal and espresso that surface late.Reserve8736VirginiaVirginiaRappahannock Cellars 2010 Reserve Cabernet Franc (Virginia)Cabernet FrancRappahannock Cellars
2630526304USSmooth, dry and tannic, but a little thin, this is not one for the cellar. Shows some nice blackberry, black currant and oak flavors, with marked Napa elegance and balance. Drink up.8732CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaRenteria 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonRenteria
2630626305USThe honey, orange, pineapple-jam and vanilla flavors are extremely rich, but balanced and brightened by brilliant acidity. It's elegant, clean and delicious.8722CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastStraight Line 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (Santa Barbara County)Sauvignon BlancStraight Line
2630726306USA Cabernet Franc with great depth on the nose, this features notes of cola, spiced dark cherry, cigar box and undergrowth. The palate feels broad and jammy, layered with notes of cassis and coffee grounds. Firm tannins keep the palate grounded, but they become more drying on the finish.Reserve8732VirginiaVirginiaSunset Hills 2010 Reserve Cabernet Franc (Virginia)Cabernet FrancSunset Hills
2630826307SpainScratchy, minty aromas are the opening on this rough and rugged blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon. In the mouth, this is hard as nails, with extreme tannic bite. Flavors of blackberry and chocolate are ripe and satisfying, while resiny oak, baking spice notes and rough tannnins define the finish.Cala N. 28722Central SpainVino de la Tierra de CastillaMichael Schachner@wineschachTinedo 2009 Cala N. 2 Tempranillo-Cabernet Sauvignon (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla)Tempranillo-Cabernet SauvignonTinedo
2630926308ItalyFrom the long ago 2005 vintage, this riserva offers simple aromas of cassis and plum backed by pressed violets, cola and tar. The close is acidic and somewhat bitter.Diacono Gerardo 1028 Riserva8720Central ItalyGutturnio Colli PiacentiniTorre Fornello 2005 Diacono Gerardo 1028 Riserva (Gutturnio Colli Piacentini)Red BlendTorre Fornello
2628126280USMerlot makes up three quarters of this wine with the rest Cabernets Franc (17%) and Sauvignon. The Franc shows itself, with aromas of lightly leafy herbs that are followed by tire rubber, anise, vanilla and cherry. The cranberry and cherry flavors are sweet, with rustic tannins backing them up.Sobra8824WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportTertulia 2012 Sobra Red (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendTertulia
2631026309SpainRoasted, rubbery aromas come with an herbal offset and mild stalky notes. This is full and rubbery feeling, with baked berry, herb and peppery flavors residing before a dry, tannic, stocky finish that's a fair conclusion to this blend of Garnacha, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon.Vinyes Velles Old Vines8720CataloniaPrioratMichael Schachner@wineschachTosalet 2009 Vinyes Velles Old Vines Red (Priorat)Red BlendTosalet
2628226281ItalyAttractive aromas of rose, plum and blue flower float out of the glass. On the palate, vanilla, espresso and toasted oak overwhelm dried black cherry while astringent tannins leave a mouth-drying finish.Rocche dell'Annunziata8848PiedmontBaroloKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMario Gagliasso 2011 Rocche dell'Annunziata (Barolo)NebbioloMario Gagliasso
2628326282ItalyDelicately scented, this opens with aromas of dried black cherry and toasted notes. On the concentrated palate, oak-driven spice takes center stage while mature dark-skinned fruit and dried prune provide the background. Pair it with Gorgonzola at the end of the meal.8845VenetoRecioto della Valpolicella ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMonte Faustino 2011 Recioto della Valpolicella ClassicoRed BlendMonte Faustino
2628426283ItalyMade entirely with Garganega, this offers aromas of maple syrup, pressed white flower and candied orange zest. The round palate doles out dried apricot and tangerine while a hint of orange blossom honey backs up the finish.Acinatium8855VenetoRecioto di SoaveKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeSuavia 2009 Acinatium (Recioto di Soave)GarganegaSuavia
2628526284FrancePepper and spice come through strongly in this lemon and red-fruit-flavored wine. It has a creamy texture cut through with tangy orange and red currants. The aftertaste is full while always fruity.Château de la Clapière8820ProvenceCôtes de ProvenceRoger Voss@vossrogerFabre en Provence 2015 Château de la Clapière Rosé (Côtes de Provence)RoséFabre en Provence
2628626285FranceThere are edges of cocoa, pepper and curing spice to the dense red plum and cherry core of this attractive Syrah. Just a touch of gamy character throughout adds depth and intrigue. The rich fruit flavors continue on to the palate, with a texture like crushed satin and lingering notes of coffee, bittersweet chocolate and sweet spice.8817France OtherVin de FranceLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzMaison Nicolas Perrin 2014 Syrah (Vin de France)SyrahMaison Nicolas Perrin
2628726286ItalyAromas of banana, yellow stone fruit and a heady whiff of jasmine jump out of the glass. The rounded palate offers peach, pink grapefruit and an herbal note alongside bright acidity.8819LombardyLuganaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMalavasi Daniele 2015 LuganaTurbianaMalavasi Daniele
2628826287SpainLemon and grapefruit aromas come with minerally notes of granite and crushed vitamin dust. An almost sharp and cutting palate offers generic citrus and green apple flavors in front of a chiseled, high-acid finish.8825GaliciaRías BaixasMichael Schachner@wineschachMar de Frades 2015 Albariño (Rías Baixas)AlbariñoMar de Frades
2628926288USThis Chardonnay wants time to warm and breathe in the glass, so don't pour it right from the fridge. After a little while it develops considerably in generosity, offering waves of tropical fruits, peaches and pears. The oak is pretty strong, even jarring. Give it a few years in the cellars to let everything knit together.Dutton Ranch8745CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaB Cellars 2011 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayB Cellars
2629026289ItalyThis bubbly Prosecco Superiore offers vibrant tones of white flower and cut grass followed by light touches of peach and honeydew melon. The mouthfeel is creamy and soft with a subtle touch of sweetness.Millesimato Extra Dry8725VenetoConegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco SuperioreBacio della Luna 2012 Millesimato Extra Dry (Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore)GleraBacio della Luna
2629126290USSoftly delicious, this is a beautiful Merlot to drink now. It's a little hot in alcohol on the finish, but feels elegant in the mouth, offering waves of cherries, currants and mocha.Unfiltered8735CaliforniaCalistogaNapaBarlow 2009 Unfiltered Merlot (Calistoga)MerlotBarlow
2629226291ItalyHere's a Chardonnay-based sparkler from Piedmont that opens with bright tones of lemon and sweet grapefruit followed by yeasty tones of freshly baked bread. There's some bitter almond as well, which adds tartness to the finish.Brut8716PiedmontPiedmontBorgo Maragliano NV Brut Chardonnay (Piedmont)ChardonnayBorgo Maragliano
2629326292ItalyExtra sweetness and density give this wine a full and generous personality. Dry Proseccos usually show a little extra peach juice and nectarine, as this wine does, without being heavy or cloying.Dry8720VenetoConegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco SuperioreBortolotti NV Dry (Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore)GleraBortolotti
2629426293ArgentinaFour years running this wine has scored 87 and been a Best Buy. The bouquet is scratchy but nicely aromatic, including hints of spice to go with ripe berry scents. The palate is jammy and home to rooty berry, mild spice and very light oak flavors. The finish is a bit hot and fiery, which food will tame.8711Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachTilia 2011 Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecTilia

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