Wine Reviews


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2727127270USAn elegant, compelling Chardonnay, its fruit accented with lemon, honey and lime. Low cropping of Dijon clone 76 has concentrated the flavors (and the alcohol—a surprising 15.7%) without turning the wine into an overblown fat boy. Nuanced and long, it is one of the most satisfying Chardonnays to come out of Oregon in recent memory.Crawford Beck Vineyard9224OregonEola-Amity HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Seven of Hearts 2009 Crawford Beck Vineyard Chardonnay (Eola-Amity Hills)ChardonnaySeven of Hearts
2727227271USA wonderful, amazingly rewarding wine, certainly one of California's best Albariños. If there's any oak at all, it's insignificant. What stars is brilliant Edna Valley acidity and racy flavors of citrus fruits, pears, white flowers and white peppery spices. The perfect cocktail wine.Paragon Vineyard9217CaliforniaEdna ValleyCentral CoastTangent 2009 Paragon Vineyard Albariño (Edna Valley)AlbariñoTangent
2727327272PortugalDense, dusty tannins are the hallmark of this powerful and impressive wine. It has great rich black fruit, spiced with wood, layered with bitter chocolate, plum skins and a dry core that promises good aging.Tres Bagos Grande Escolha92DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerLavradores de Feitoria 2007 Tres Bagos Grande Escolha Red (Douro)Portuguese RedLavradores de Feitoria
2727427273USBiodynamically farmed, this young vineyard seems to improve with each new vintage. More and more you find an expression of soil details—delicate streaks of dried leaf, moist loam, a flavor of clay. The fruit is refined and perfectly ripe, without being fleshy. An elegant style, cellar-worthy but delicious already.Schindler Vineyard9242OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Sineann 2009 Schindler Vineyard Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirSineann
2727527274USAnother small-production stunner from Terre Rouge, this Syrah is still young and tight but potentially potent. The wine opens with notes of white pepper and mushroom, dirt and earth, delving from there into herbs and plenty of berries. Very savory it will pair deliciously with Gruyère, bacon and mushroom, preferably all together in a quiche or tart.Monarch Mine Vineyard9230CaliforniaSierra FoothillsSierra FoothillsVirginie Boone@vbooneTerre Rouge 2008 Monarch Mine Vineyard Syrah (Sierra Foothills)SyrahTerre Rouge
2727627275PortugalMining a rich vein of sweet black plum fruits, this is big and powerful while held together with firm tannins, very ripe fruit, a smoky wood character and a ripe, juicy finish. Age for 4–5 years.Quinta de Cabriz Four C9280DãoRoger Voss@vossrogerDão Sul 2007 Quinta de Cabriz Four C Red (Dão)Portuguese RedDão Sul
2727727276PortugalWant dense tannins? Then this your wine. Of course, it has much more than that. It has mineral-driven stone fruit flavors, a sense of terroir, of restrained power. It also has a serious side, and definite aging potential.Escada9218DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerDFJ Vinhos 2007 Escada Red (Douro)Portuguese RedDFJ Vinhos
2727827277PortugalNamed after family members called Maria, this is a limited-edition wine, very smooth and rich, offering its character slowly. It has complex acidity, smoky tannins and a hugely dense extracted texture. It needs aging over 5–6 years.Marias da Malhadinha92158AlentejanoRoger Voss@vossrogerHerdade da Malhadinha Nova 2007 Marias da Malhadinha Red (Alentejano)Portuguese RedHerdade da Malhadinha Nova
2727927278USVery limited, this is a relatively new project from second generation winemaker Jason Lett. It is sourced from “the oldest vines in the Willamette Valley”—presumably Eyrie vines planted in 1965, and finds similar territory as the Eyrie reserve, with a bit more richness through the midpalate, partly from more expressive barrel flavors.9263OregonDundee HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine BlackCap 2008 Chardonnay (Dundee Hills)ChardonnayBlackCap
2728027279ItalyThis gorgeous Soave Classico boasts barrique-inspired aromas of toasted almond and vanilla cream with loads of mature melon, peach, apricot and honey. The wine opens with a bright golden color and offers a silky, smooth feeling on the close.Vigneto du Lot9230VenetoSoave ClassicoInama 2009 Vigneto du Lot (Soave Classico)GarganegaInama
2728127280PortugalDeep, black-colored wine, firm, serious and still young. It has power and concentration, dark berry fruits, herbal and spice flavors and a core of wood. This is a wine for long-term aging to soften the tannins.Momentos9252DouroRoger Voss@vossrogerLuis Soares Duarte 2006 Momentos Red (Douro)Portuguese RedLuis Soares Duarte
2728227281FranceThis is a lovely effort from a challenging vintage, offering up tarry notes that turn plummy and round with air. It's full-bodied without going over the top, with a long, concentrated finish framed by silky tannins. Drink now–2018.Chloris92Rhône ValleyChâteauneuf-du-PapeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzLa Bastide Saint Dominique 2008 Chloris Red (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)Rhône-style Red BlendLa Bastide Saint Dominique
2728327282ArgentinaStandard berry aromas come with notes of leather and animal. This is firm, clacky and shows biting tannins, while the flavor profile revolves around herbal blackberry with a pinch of salt. Chocolaty oak and herbal influences guide the finish on this firm, slightly abrasive wine.8818Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachChacras 2011 Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecChacras
2728427283FranceSoft and lightly fruity, it has flavors of bitter almonds as well as red fruits. This gives the wine a firm character with some tannins and a mineral texture. Wait until late 2014 before drinking.Le Galoupet8815ProvenceCôtes de Provence La LondeRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau du Galoupet 2013 Le Galoupet Rosé (Côtes de Provence La Londe)RoséChâteau du Galoupet
2728527284FranceAlthough the wine has some richness and yellow fruits, the crisp acidity and lemon zest dominate. Fragrant and very fruity, it has some extra structure to allow it to age. Drink from the end of 2014.Cuvée Marina8823ProvenceCoteaux d'Aix-en-ProvenceRoger Voss@vossrogerCommanderie de la Bargemone 2013 Cuvée Marina White (Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence)Provence white blendCommanderie de la Bargemone
2728627285ItalyA mélange of aromas, including walnut, pineapple, peach and citrus, takes center stage. The vibrant palate is restrained and linear, offering pink grapefruit and mineral with a succulent, refreshing finish.8819Southern ItalyFiano di AvellinoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeD'Antiche Terre 2012 Fiano di AvellinoFianoD'Antiche Terre
2728727286FranceThere is plenty of fruit here, but there is also some richness, caramel flavors and a rounded texture that gives a sense of weight. Acidity at the end adds freshness.8814ProvenceCôtes de ProvenceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine de Caseneuve 2013 Rosé (Côtes de Provence)RoséDomaine de Caseneuve
2728827287FranceFrom Bandol producer Sorin, this is a rich wine with just a light saltiness from the vineyard's proximity to the sea. It has pure fruit, an attractive citrus tang and lively line of final acidity.Terra Amata8812ProvenceCôtes de ProvenceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Sorin 2013 Terra Amata Rosé (Côtes de Provence)RoséDomaine Sorin
2728927288USThe sweet char on a grilled steak will match up with the wine's oaky, blackberry jam flavors. The tannins are firm, the acidity a little on the soft side, making it ready to drink now.8836CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaDraxton 2011 Malbec (Alexander Valley)MalbecDraxton
2729027289New ZealandHints of cut grass and passion fruit on the nose are followed by attractive tropical fruit and fresh herbs on the palate. This medium-bodied wine boasts a soft, rounded feel that turns slightly chalky on the finish.8818MarlboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzForrest 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough)Sauvignon BlancForrest
2729127290New ZealandDespite its low alcohol level, this is an attractively plump, medium-bodied wine, marked by a harmonious kaleidoscope of fruit. Passion fruit, nectarine and pink grapefruit all make appearances before vanishing a bit quickly on the finish.The Doctors'8818MarlboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzForrest 2013 The Doctors' Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough)Sauvignon BlancForrest
2729227291FranceFrom the large Beaulieu estate near Aix-en-Provence, this wine shows great fruitiness as well as a mineral texture and good depth. Ripe raspberry and red currant fruits are laced with acidity. It's very much a food rosé.8815ProvenceCoteaux d'Aix-en-ProvenceRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Beaulieu 2013 Rosé (Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence)RoséChâteau Beaulieu
2729327292SpainWiry, scratchy raspberry aromas are a touch herbal but stop short of veering toward green. This blend is full, rubbery and a touch sticky in feel. Flavors of blackberry, oak and mint finish with heavy tannins and a resiny, grabby feel.Cala N. 18815Central SpainVino de la Tierra de CastillaMichael Schachner@wineschachTinedo 2009 Cala N. 1 Tempranillo-Shiraz (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla)Tempranillo-ShirazTinedo
2729427293SpainJammy but generic berry fruit aromas are crowded by lactic, pasty oak scents and vanilla. The wine is hard as cement in the mouth, with jagged tannins. Flavors of sun-baked raisin and plum fold in chocolate and rubbery notes on a grabby finish that includes residual resiny oak. This could use more time; try after 2016.Lo Mon8838CataloniaPrioratMichael Schachner@wineschachTrossos del Priorat 2010 Lo Mon Red (Priorat)Red BlendTrossos del Priorat
2729527294SpainTarry upfront aromas of berry fruits, pencil lead and shoe polish announce plenty of oak. The mouthfeel on this young Toro is full and grabby, while flavors of blackberry, oak and related mint finish peppery and blackened, with residual minty oak.Vendimia Seleccionada8818Northern SpainToroMichael Schachner@wineschachViña Mayor 2012 Vendimia Seleccionada (Toro)Tinta de ToroViña Mayor
2729627295ItalyElegant and structured, it's made from Campania's native Pallagrello Bianco, a rare grape that's almost unknown outside of the region. It has citrus, peach and chalky mineral sensations accented with a thyme note.8820Southern ItalyTerre del VolturnoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeVestini Campagnano 2012 Pallagrello Bianco (Terre del Volturno)Pallagrello BiancoVestini Campagnano
2729727296CroatiaAromas of cherry cola, brown baking spices, and cinnamon lead to flavors of black cherry, black plum conserves, and dried mission figs. There's a nice level of acidity and a persistent tannic finish.Dry Red8819Dalmatian CoastJeff Jenssen@worldwineguysVuina 2009 Dry Red Plavac Mali (Dalmatian Coast)Plavac MaliVuina
2729827297USDryly tannic, it has cherry, black tea, mushroom and sandalwood flavors that are ready to drink now.8839CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastWilliams Selyem 2012 Pinot Noir (Central Coast)Pinot NoirWilliams Selyem
2729927298USA fructose and oaky richness gives jamminess to the raspberries, cherries and cola. The Dry Creek Valley origin shows up in a certain elegance of structure, especially the acid-tannin balance. Drink now.Reserve8830CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaXYZin 2011 Reserve Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelXYZin
2730027299New ZealandThis is a bit more punchy and pungent than Zeal's Reserve bottling, but it still offers considerable value. There's ample weight and just enough citrusy fruit to support the sweaty, nettle-y aromatics and herbal flavors. Try it with fresh herb-laden dishes like ceviches or steamed mussels.8810MarlboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzZeal 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough)Sauvignon BlancZeal

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