Wine Reviews

2688126880USDilute and slightly bitter, this does not reflect the warm near-perfect 2014 vintage. Thin generic red fruit comes and goes quickly, with earthy, stemmy tannins left to finish.8225OregonOregonOregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Harry & David 2014 Pinot Noir (Oregon)Pinot NoirHarry & David
2688226881USThis pure varietal bottling spent two years in barrel. It's extremely leathery, dried out, and smells and tastes of the tack room. This is not terroir. It's most likely barrel-related.Reserve8248OregonColumbia Valley (OR)Oregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Cathedral Ridge 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (OR))Cabernet SauvignonCathedral Ridge
2688326882FranceThis 24-acre estate has produced an intensely toasty wine. With burnt oak that totally killed the fruit, it has hard to see this wine becoming attractive to drink.82BordeauxMédocRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau la Gravette Lacombe 2014 MédocBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau la Gravette Lacombe
2688426883USThis wine starts off with great aromas of baking spice, plum and vanillin. The palate has some nice fig and prune flavors, but there is also a charred oak note that is bitter. Disjointed in body, it has austere acidity, an opulent body and rough tannins. It finishes long, dry and bitter.Reserve8234VirginiaVirginiaCarrie DykesNarmada 2013 Reserve Cabernet Franc (Virginia)Cabernet FrancNarmada
2688526884SpainOvert can't-miss aromas of mustard and sauerkraut would be fine if this were a hot dog, but it's not. In the mouth, this feels strained and wiry. Sour pickled flavors of cabbage and plum finish raw. This is loaded with challenges and flaws.8118Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachPagos de Valcerracin 2015 Ribera del DueroTempranilloPagos de Valcerracin
2688626885USThis is sour, bitter and just all-around dull tasting. A charmless wine.8113OregonOregonOregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Rascal 2015 Pinot Noir (Oregon)Pinot NoirRascal
2688726886USThe leathery aromas and flavors all but obliterate the fruit, and turn the tannins chewy and bitter. There's a bare hint of cassis—that's about it.8138OregonColumbia Valley (OR)Oregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Cathedral Ridge 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (OR))Cabernet SauvignonCathedral Ridge
2688826887USThe nose on this wine is quite interesting, with a ripe cranberry scent and a prominent note of marijuana. That herbal, grassy note is also the main player on the palate, as there's not much fruit or other components to go with it. It's light in body and tannin, with ample acidity.8143VirginiaVirginiaCarrie DykesWinery at La Grange 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (Virginia)Cabernet SauvignonWinery at La Grange
2688926888SpainThere isn't much to love about this weedy abrasive high-acid Tempranillo. Green and grassy in flavor, with a minty acidic finish, this is barely cutting it as a whole.809Central SpainVino de la Tierra de CastillaMichael Schachner@wineschachLove 2015 Tempranillo (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla)TempranilloLove
2689026889ItalyRed berry, cedar and light spice aromas lead the way on this dazzling red. The vibrant palate is loaded with finesse, delivering bright red currant, red raspberry, white pepper and chopped herb alongside bright acidity and firm, polished tannins. Impeccably balanced, it's loaded with elegance, energy and intensity but it's still young, so give it time to fully develop. Drink 2020–2038.98235TuscanyBolgheri SassicaiaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTenuta San Guido 2013 Bolgheri SassicaiaRed BlendTenuta San Guido
2689126890USThis is an incredibly beautiful and yes, joyful, sparkler, made from equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This particular offering was disgorged in July 2016. It positively impresses in minerality, complemented by a more fulsome sense of lemon, apple and hazelnut on the creamy palate, leaving a rich trail of silk on the finish.Joy! Estate Bottled98250CaliforniaGreen ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneIron Horse 2003 Joy! Estate Bottled Sparkling (Green Valley)Sparkling BlendIron Horse
2689226891USThis is a beautiful, complex and complete wine, from the delicate, spiced raspberry aroma through the creamy, nuanced finish. Subtle but well-defined fruit flavors like white cherry and raspberry pulse across the palate, buoyed by an ultrafine effervescence and lively acidity. But the texture is smooth around the edges, lending a sense of extra depth and layering to this extraordinary bottle. Just coming into its own now, it will improve through at least 2020.J. Schram96150CaliforniaNorth CoastNorth CoastJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsSchramsberg 2008 J. Schram Rosé (North Coast)RoséSchramsberg
2689326892USAn offering meant to toast all manner of celebrations, this wine wows, blending 78% Pinot Noir with 22% Chardonnay in a near-perfect union. Dry and beautifully floral, it opens in a bouquet of marzipan, peach and honey. The mousse is fine, while supporting acidity lends a lemon peel and grapefruit lift. The memory imprinted on the palate will linger long after all the toasts to the happy couple—or whatever else you're celebrating—have been made.Wedding Cuvée Estate Bottled9644CaliforniaGreen ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneIron Horse 2012 Wedding Cuvée Estate Bottled Sparkling (Green Valley)Sparkling BlendIron Horse
2689426893ItalyEarthy aromas of tilled soil, underbrush, leather, purple flower, cedar and ripe black-skinned berry lead the way on this delicious blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot. The smooth full-bodied palate doles out juicy blackberry, red currant, licorice, exotic spice, mocha and a hint of game while tightly knit but velvety tannins lend both structure and finesse. It's already compelling but give it time to fully develop. Drink 2018–2027.d'Alceo95242TuscanyToscanaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCastello dei Rampolla 2012 d'Alceo Red (Toscana)Red BlendCastello dei Rampolla
2689526894AustriaClouds of aromatic flower play along with zesty orange flavors. Grapefruit provides spice and drive. The palate shows that counterpoint of ripeness and tartness that makes this so very moreish. This is juicy and powerful, yet precise and toned despite all its generosity. This is a light, tightrope walk between two thrilling worlds. It's full of life and joy with an endless finish.Gaisberg Reserve9529KamptalAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoEichinger 2015 Gaisberg Reserve Riesling (Kamptal)RieslingEichinger
2689626895AustriaWonderfully concentrated notes of ripe mirabelle plums open up on the nose. There also is a heady lemon note. The palate is rich with the same fleshy ripe fruit but has a fault line of zesty orange at its core that provides focus and seems to illuminate clouds of ripe aromatic citrus at every turn. This shimmers with tangerine and clementine. The body is immensely concentrated but has total direction and drive. Enjoy 2020–2040.Hochrain Smaragd9568WachauAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoFranz Hirtzberger 2015 Hochrain Smaragd Riesling (Wachau)RieslingFranz Hirtzberger
2689726896USA designation used only when a vintage deserves, this reserve is definitely worthy. Almost a decade after bottling, it offers an intensity of chocolate, cinnamon and clove against soft, mellowed and structured tannin. Dusty sage and a bramble of blackberry complete the picture. It may have another five to seven years of beauty left within, but why wait?Reserve95260CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneJarvis 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonJarvis
2689826897USThe La Jota and W.S. Keyes vineyards are the sources for this classically styled wine that is intense and alive in minerality. Clove, black pepper and mountains of dried herb are front and center between firm, dusty tannin and oak. The texture is plush and velvety on the palate, with plenty of length on the finish.9585CaliforniaHowell MountainNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneLa Jota Vineyard 2013 Merlot (Howell Mountain)MerlotLa Jota Vineyard
2689926898USThe new oak is dialed down a bit to 33% in this memorable red from the producer's estate Quail Hill Vineyard. Lovely in every way, it opens in rose petals and a subtlety of Asian five-spice, before a succulence of cranberry, rhubarb and orange unleash a fullness of fruit and lush texture on the palate.Monastery9570CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneLynmar 2014 Monastery Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirLynmar
2690026899USAlong with a fascinating nose, this bottling from the appellation's westernmost vineyard offers the rounded ripeness of cherimoya, nectarine and white peach but with a laser-sharp line of crushed sea shell and flint minerality alongside scratched lemon skin. The palate rides that chalky line the whole way, offering hints of lime pith, tangerine, sea salt and just enough almond warmth.Solomon Hills Vineyard9534CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannRyan Cochrane 2014 Solomon Hills Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley)ChardonnayRyan Cochrane
2690126900AustriaThe merest touch of tropicality, of ripe passion fruit, hovers on the nose before lemon and orange kick in. The palate still has an edge of reduction but that is a good and reassuring sign. There is a rich core of ripe poised fruit: tangerine and aromatic oranges are firmly held with grapefruit freshness. There is a beautiful juxtaposition of generosity and tangy freshness. The finish is lip-smacking and utterly fresh—that rich core of fruit invites you to sip and explore again and again.Steiner Kögl Reserve9551KremstalAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoSalomon-Undhof 2015 Steiner Kögl Reserve Riesling (Kremstal)RieslingSalomon-Undhof
2690226901USVery savory aromas of roasted lamb, bacon fat, teriyaki and crushed pepper meet with light blueberry and a touch of mint on the nose of this delicious, well-rounded bottling by winemaker Sashi Moorman from the vineyard's oldest blocks. The palate kicks off with a zesty acidity, then come waves of black pepper-crusted beef roast, oregano, bay leaf, dark plum fruit and lavender. The solid structure ensures cellar potential but it's ready to drink today.Originals9542CaliforniaBallard CanyonCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannStolpman 2014 Originals Syrah (Ballard Canyon)SyrahStolpman
2690326902FranceThis lush, concentrated Viognier combines cool-weather weight with summertime echoes of apricots and honey. Hints of toasty oak provide an ample frame for this full-bodied wine that avoids any sense of oiliness or heaviness while remaining bold, rich and long. Drink now–2020.Domaine des Grands Amandiers95124Rhône ValleyCondrieuJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzPaul Jaboulet Aîné 2014 Domaine des Grands Amandiers (Condrieu)ViognierPaul Jaboulet Aîné
2690426903AustriaThe most gentle strawberry fruit appears unobtrusively on the nose. The palate reveals incredibly pure and honest wild strawberry fruit. The palate is slender but totally concentrated—there is depth to the wine and something ethereal and utterly seductive. This is not about power but about arresting allure. The true nature of Pinot Noir has been captured here, without force, without guile. This is honest and all the more disarming for that.Reserve Limited Edition9555WagramAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoAnton Bauer 2014 Reserve Limited Edition Pinot Noir (Wagram)Pinot NoirAnton Bauer
2690526904USAllen Vineyard grapes have the maturity and complexity to impart a boldly balanced roundness of lemon curd, fig and apple, plus a searing undercurrent of salty minerality. With substantial weight, and texture for miles, it remains bright and fresh in the glass, with a lingering impression of cinnamon toast.Allen Vineyard9558CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneWilliams Selyem 2014 Allen Vineyard Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayWilliams Selyem
2690626905AustriaThe merest hint of reduction reminds you of how young this wine actually is. On the palate, a very generous full-fruited picture unfolds: there is very ripe juicy yellow pear and countless juicy citrus notions of clementine, tangerine, satsuma and orange. All of this is cut with precise, tart and ripe lemon freshness. This interplay of tart and ripe creates tension and drive. This is lovely now but is a powerhouse of potent long-lasting fruit. Drink 2017–2040.Heiligenstein Lyra Reserve9570KamptalAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoBründlmayer 2015 Heiligenstein Lyra Reserve Riesling (Kamptal)RieslingBründlmayer
2690726906AustriaDelicious notions of ripe greengages haunt the nose, alongside fragrant orange peel. The palate is still taut and tight, sprightly and streamlined, as if powered and propelled forward by invisible citrus force. There is such drive and precision here, you almost feel movement and speed. The finish is clean but clearly this is for the longer run. It will take bottle age for this to reveal its scented, fruit-laden core. Drink 2022–2040.Steinmassel Reserve9555KamptalAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoBründlmayer 2015 Steinmassel Reserve Riesling (Kamptal)RieslingBründlmayer
2690826907ItalyThis delicious Brunello opens with classic Sangiovese aromas of dark-skinned berry, new leather, crushed herb and baking spice. Showing impressive freshness and elegance for what was a scorching vintage, the balanced palate delivers layers of juicy morello cherry, licorice and cinnamon while refined tannins provide polished support. Drink through 2026.95TuscanyBrunello di MontalcinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCerbaiona 2011 Brunello di MontalcinoSangioveseCerbaiona
2690926908AustriaThe gentlest hint of the purest ripe apricot aroma rises from the glass. There is the merest touch of blossom honey before the palate opens up into a nirvana of apricot and rounded aromatic orange and mandarin flavors. This is clean, precise and impressive—a picture postcard of the sunny 2015 vintage. This may be charming now but, wait a few years and it will be lethal. Drink now–2030.Heiligenstein Reserve9539KamptalAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoEichinger 2015 Heiligenstein Reserve Riesling (Kamptal)RieslingEichinger
2691026909USA prime example of why Pinot Noir is great to release later in its life, this six-year-old wine is signing with concentrated strawberry, iron, dried rose petals, stewed black cherry and raw beef. The palate is quite earthy but also packs black plum, vanilla, pepper, thyme and marjoram into a wondrous and complete package.Hillside Vineyard95125CaliforniaEdna ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannWedell Cellars 2010 Hillside Vineyard Pinot Noir (Edna Valley)Pinot NoirWedell Cellars

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