Wine Reviews

2678326782USSomething different and almost irrestible, this red dessert wine is high in alcohol but still comes off as a table wine in flavor, but with obvious, tasty sweetness. Beyond that the flavors and slight grip of tannins seem like those of a big red wine.Latigo Dessert Wine9250CaliforniaRed Hills Lake CountyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsHawk and Horse Vineyards 2011 Latigo Dessert Wine Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills Lake County)Cabernet SauvignonHawk and Horse Vineyards
2676126760USThis wine opens with aromas of apricot and pear. The flavors coat the palate while showing a lot of restraint and exquisite balance.Estate Grown and Bottled Le Blanc9036WashingtonRed MountainColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportHedges 2015 Estate Grown and Bottled Le Blanc White (Red Mountain)White BlendHedges
2676226761AustriaLifted pear-drop aromas are accompanied by the peppery green of watercress and arugula. The concentrated palate is grounded by earthy, savory yeast notes and framed by fresh lime peel. There is a dollop of riper pear fruit at the core, shining and shimmering with added charm.Per Due9015KremstalAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoHermann Moser 2015 Per Due Grüner Veltliner (Kremstal)Grüner VeltlinerHermann Moser
2678426783USThis medium-bodied and complex wine keeps a nice balance between ripe pear and buttered-toast flavors and some good, mouth-cleansing fruit acidity. It has richness, layers of interest and a measure of restraint, too.Manchester Ridge Vineyard9242CaliforniaMendocino RidgeJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsLa Follette 2013 Manchester Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay (Mendocino Ridge)ChardonnayLa Follette
2676326762FranceThis premier cru is on the cooler left bank of the Serein river, making this vintage a crisply mineral wine that's tight with zesty lemon and fine crisp acidity. The hints of yellow fruits are still to develop. The wine is structured and needs to age, so drink from 2018.Vau de Vey Premier Cru9232BurgundyChablisRoger Voss@vossrogerJean-Marc Brocard 2015 Vau de Vey Premier Cru (Chablis)ChardonnayJean-Marc Brocard
2678526784USThis wine is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot and 8% Merlot, coming from Seven Hills, Loess and Mill Creek Upland vineyards. Light aromas of toast, barrel tones, flowers, licorice and dark fruit are followed by earth and other savory flavors that are light but still show weight and density.Reserve92150WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportLeonetti Cellar 2013 Reserve Red (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendLeonetti Cellar
2676426763USRedolent with ripeness and lavish caramel-vanilla tones throughout, this blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Syrah is very much an Austin Hope wine, alluring in aromas of lush blackcurrant, kirsch and melted chocolate on the nose. The palate is rich with espresso, German chocolate cake and crème de cassis, surrounded by flavors of molasses, brown sugar, coffee candy and even Scotch on the finish.9245CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannTreana 2014 Red (Paso Robles)Red BlendTreana
2676526764ItalyForest floor, resin, spiced plum and incense aromas lead the nose on this robust red. The chewy brawny palate delivers black cherry marinated in spirits, licorice, nutmeg and pipe tobacco while firm, velvety tannins provide the framework. Drink 2017 through 2026.9259VenetoAmarone della Valpolicella ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeVenturini Massimino 2011 Amarone della Valpolicella ClassicoRed BlendVenturini Massimino
2678626785New ZealandThis brooding, dark Syrah is medium to full in body, built upon layers of of firm, dusty tannins. Intense blackberry and hickory smoke notes fill out the flavor profile. The chewy tannins come close to being overdone, but mouthwatering stone fruits save the day on the lingering finish. Drink 2018–2028.Reserve Gimblett Gravels9230Hawke's BayJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzVidal 2014 Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah (Hawke's Bay)SyrahVidal
2676626765USMarzipan, marshmallow, cotton candy, churned butter and pie crust show on the very buttery but fascinating nose of this bottling, made by a winery that likes lots of bottle age. Broad, hearty, ripe and delicious flavors of butter, meringue and vanilla are leveled by sour yellow apple touches and an intriguing chive and Maui onion element.Sierra Madre Vineyard9250CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannWedell Cellars 2012 Sierra Madre Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley)ChardonnayWedell Cellars
2676726766USThis is a very full and deep wine, with aromas of black plum, mulberry, Dr Pepper, mint-chocolate chip and purple flowers. It's hearty on the palate as well, with black tea and rose petals showing alongside thick, rich mulberry, clove and baking spice galore. It's not dainty at all.Aubaine Vineyard9250CaliforniaArroyo Grande ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannWindemere 2013 Aubaine Vineyard Pinot Noir (Arroyo Grande Valley)Pinot NoirWindemere
2676826767USThis wine is a blend of fruit from Alder Ridge and Olsen Vineyards. Aged in older barrels, it displays mesmerizingly pure aromas of raspberry, mortared dried herbs and pot roast. The flavors are elegant, textured and detailed, displaying a fine sense of balance along with plenty of length. It takes some time to get going but once it does it sails.L'Idiot du Village9242WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportGramercy 2013 L'Idiot du Village Mourvèdre (Columbia Valley (WA))MourvèdreGramercy
2676926768USThe oak is quite apparent on this bottling, and that's the point. Red apple, ripe pear, pomelo pith and sweetgrass meet with a touch of honey on the nose. The palate shows the oak more prominently, with light honey butter, sweet almond and vanilla, yet fresh, grassy notes shine through on the finish.Reserve9245CaliforniaHappy Canyon of Santa BarbaraCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannGrassini 2014 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara)Sauvignon BlancGrassini
2677026769USThis wine is named for the four Sullivan brothers, one of whom makes the Benovia wines and another who makes this wine, among others. A clear labor of love, this small-production Chardonnay is well tended to. A sweetness of honeysuckle opens on the nose, followed by a depth of vanilla oak and stony minerality, the acidity fresh and bright.Four Brothers Vineyard9240CaliforniaBennett ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneGrey Stack 2014 Four Brothers Vineyard Chardonnay (Bennett Valley)ChardonnayGrey Stack
2677126770USTons of spice notes entertain the nose on this bottling, from white pepper and dill to sandalwood and incense, all against a cranberry-fruit backdrop. The palate, framed by an impressive though not oppressive structure, shows a touch of pasilla chile and black pepper before riper boysenberry and cranberry arise in the midpalate. Rose petals, pencil lead, thyme and oregano add nuance.Estate Grown9226CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannButtonwood 2013 Estate Grown Cabernet Franc (Santa Ynez Valley)Cabernet FrancButtonwood
2678726786USFresh and inviting on the nose, this wine is redolent with strawberries and hibiscus as well as cinnamon candy, fennel and chaparral. A sip grips the palate with polished tannins, offering baked black cherries in licorice sauce, rhubarb, smoke and earthy flavors.9238CaliforniaPaso Robles Willow Creek DistrictCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannAnglim 2013 Grenache (Paso Robles Willow Creek District)GrenacheAnglim
2678826787USFreshly buttered toast with a thin coating of marmalade comes to mind when sniffing this wine that also shows a touch of cinnamon and Meyer-lemon juice on the nose. The riper, rounded palate offers yellow apples dipped in caramel, sea salt and cinnamon, which pops again on the back end.9222CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannBrophy Clark 2014 Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley)ChardonnayBrophy Clark
2678926788USThis wine has peppery, meaty aromas, good flavors that meld beef with berry, and a rich, mouthcoating texture. It's full bodied, very ripe but not sweet, and it encourages one sip after another.Old Vine9230CaliforniaMendocinoJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsTrinitas 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel (Mendocino)ZinfandelTrinitas
2679026789FranceA silky ripe wine that has great yellow and white stone fruits. That is contrasted with a strongly mineral character, touches of honey and intense acidity. The wine is still young but it has a delicious future. Drink starting from 2019.Vers Châne9245BurgundyPouilly-FuisséRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau de Lavernette 2014 Vers Châne (Pouilly-Fuissé)ChardonnayChâteau de Lavernette
2677226771FranceThis comes from one of the Premier Crus that line the lower slopes of the hill of Corton. It has weight, richness and a densely tannic character that promises aging. Its packed red fruits are cut with juicy acidity as well as a firmer structure and dark-berry flavors. This finely perfumed wine needs to age, so drink from 2018.Les Moutottes Premier Cru9245BurgundyAloxe-CortonRoger Voss@vossrogerCapitain-Gagnerot 2013 Les Moutottes Premier Cru (Aloxe-Corton)Pinot NoirCapitain-Gagnerot
2677326772USThe aromas of dark coffee, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, and black cherry are still locked up but provide appeal. The flavors are textured and full, showing layers of dark fruit that undulate into the distance and display a fine sense of balance.Reserve9245WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportColumbia Crest 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonColumbia Crest
2677426773ArgentinaGrapy, jammy boysenberry and blueberry aromas are exotic, with integrated barrel and spice notes. This feels weighty but balanced; flavors of blueberry, currant and chocolate finish with plum-like juiciness and length. Drink through 2021.Gran Familia9250Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachGimenez Riili 2013 Gran Familia Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecGimenez Riili
2677526774USA vineyard-designate since 2007, this wine shows vigor and volatility in the glass, a mix of white pepper, heightened acidity and an underlay of black tea and forest floor. Brooding in dark berry, it never lets the fruit become entirely ripe, opting instead for savory complexity.Burnside Road Vineyard Estate Grown9242CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneBalletto 2014 Burnside Road Vineyard Estate Grown Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirBalletto
2677626775USLight hay in color and with a creamy, near-perfect foam, this sparkler shows fresh Asian pear, light plumeria, wet river stone and rain-on-sidewalk aromas, altogether quite minerally on the nose. Impressively textural, it's cleansing on the palate, a bit like licking chalk, with flavors of lemon skin, tart yellow-apple rind and crisp pear flesh.Brut Nature Blanc de Blancs Méthode Champenoise Estate Grown9280CaliforniaBen Lomond MountainCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannBeauregard 2013 Brut Nature Blanc de Blancs Méthode Champenoise Estate Grown Chardonnay (Ben Lomond Mountain)ChardonnayBeauregard
2677726776ItalyAromas of resin, spiced plum, blue flower and a whiff of pipe tobacco float out of the glass. The smooth brawny palate presents dried black cherry, prune, vanilla, mocha and cinnamon framed in firm, velvety tannins. Drink 2018–2016.Campo dei Titari Riserva9295VenetoAmarone della Valpolicella ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeBrunelli 2011 Campo dei Titari Riserva (Amarone della Valpolicella Classico)Red BlendBrunelli
2677826777USAlmost three-quarters of this blend is made up of Cabernet Sauvignon (45%) and Malbec (30%), with smaller additions of Petit Verdot, Carmenere, Syrah and Merlot. Together they sing, loudly, in a lush, structured explosion of plummy blackberry, boysenberry, leather and espresso. A bright current of acidity throughout keeps it fresh in the glass.Estate9270CaliforniaChalk HillSonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneChalk Hill 2013 Estate Red (Chalk Hill)Red BlendChalk Hill
2677926778FranceThis wine comes from the historic walled vineyard around the Château des Bachelards in Fleurie. It is floral, dense and spicy, rich with pepper, concentrated spice and tannins. With its dark character and still-firm tannins, the wine needs more time, so drink from 2017.Le Clos9290France OtherRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau des Bachelards 2014 Le Clos GamayGamayChâteau des Bachelards
2678026779USAttractive, spicy oak perfume and plush, concentrated fruit flavors rest on a luxurious and velvety texture in which fine tannins seem to melt into the ripe blackberry and cassis flavors. The wine is full bodied, layered, very broad and mouthfilling, with a long finish.Estate Grown9230CaliforniaRed Hills Lake CountyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsObsidian Ridge 2013 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills Lake County)Cabernet SauvignonObsidian Ridge
2678126780New ZealandFirmer and more tannic than many Hawke's Bay Syrahs, this is nonetheless classy, with gentle cracked-pepper notes and ripe blueberries upfront, followed by layers of blackberries, black olives and spice. The lingering finish features bright berries underscored by coffee grounds. Drink 2018–2025.Deerstalkers9240Hawke's BayJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzSacred Hill 2013 Deerstalkers Syrah (Hawke's Bay)SyrahSacred Hill
2678226781USThis wine is principally Cabernet Sauvignon (62%), with the rest equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Aromas of dried herb, black cherry, licorice, cocoa and barrel spice give way to plentiful tart-cherry flavors backed by bright acidity and lightly chewy tannins. It stretches out on the finish.Tapteil Vineyard Reserve9250WashingtonRed MountainColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportTamarack Cellars 2012 Tapteil Vineyard Reserve Red (Red Mountain)Bordeaux-style Red BlendTamarack Cellars

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