Wine Reviews

2811128110AustraliaWith its knockout nose of blackberries and baking spices, this is an instant stunner. It follows that overture with complex flavors in a similar theme. It's full bodied and mouthcoating in intensity. The only question mark is whether the firm tannins will help it mature gracefully or leave it with a persistent drying quality on the finish. Imported by Wine Brokers Unlimited.Clarendon9165South AustraliaClarendonJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzClarendon Hills 2005 Clarendon Grenache (Clarendon)GrenacheClarendon Hills
2811228111AustriaFrom the Kellerberg vineyard, this is a powerfully rich wine, with its cream and nutmeg flavors complemented by creamed baked apples. There is strong pepper and spice character here.Kellerberg Smaragd9139WachauRoger Voss@vossrogerDomäne Wachau 2007 Kellerberg Smaragd Grüner Veltliner (Wachau)Grüner VeltlinerDomäne Wachau
2811328112ItalyMade from equal parts Greco and Fiano, Campanaro is Feudi's flagship white wine and exhibits fleshy tones of mature peach, honey and pear. Thanks to its crisp acidity, it would make an idea companion to cheesy pasta dishes. A wonderful wine overall.Campanaro9148Southern ItalyCampaniaFeudi di San Gregorio 2006 Campanaro White (Campania)White BlendFeudi di San Gregorio
2811428113SpainSweet blueberry and floral/lilac aromas give this a more elegant, fragrant opening than many of the oak-ladened blockbusters it competes with. The palate is ripe and mixes in flavors of blackberry, cappuccino and bitter herbs. Feelwise, all is calm and lush. And best of all there's continuity from front to back. Only 1,000 cases made.Selección9150Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachRudeles 2004 Selección (Ribera del Duero)Tempranillo BlendRudeles
2811528114USIn 2007 the excellent Celilo vineyard serves up a stunning Gewürztraminer. The brilliantly displayed floral, citrus and mineral scents lead into a soft, rich and thoroughly delicious wine with layers of green berry, citrus, melon and mineral, along with refreshing acids and a streak of toasty hazelnut.Celilo Vineyard9118OregonColumbia Gorge (OR)Oregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Sineann 2007 Celilo Vineyard Gewürztraminer (Columbia Gorge (OR))GewürztraminerSineann
2811628115USWith its black pepper, cassis, beef jerky and Provençal herb flavors, this Syrah offers rich, complex drinking at a fair price. Fully dry, its tannins are thick, but very finely ground. Shows class and elegance through the long, spicy finish.Punchdown9125CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaSpicerack 2006 Punchdown Syrah (Sonoma Coast)SyrahSpicerack
2811728116USSugar saves the day in this dessert wine. It's very sweet and fruity, like a blackberry tart with the smoky crust, sauced up with sweetened espresso, shaved chocolate, candied orange zest and roasted coconut flakes.Port9125CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastSylvester 2005 Port Syrah (Paso Robles)SyrahSylvester
2811828117ItalyPoema is an extraordinary wine that straddles a fine line between tradition and modernity. Its aromas include chocolate-covered cherry, vanilla, black volcanic mineral and exotic spice. It's got a chewy texture and huge intensity in the mouth thanks to its blockbuster tannins and long staying power.Poema91Southern ItalyTaurasiManimurci 2004 Poema (Taurasi)AglianicoManimurci
2812228121AustriaVery crisp and fresh, this is a product of the relatively cool conditions of 2007. It is a lively, green and white fruit-flavored wine, all tense structure and perfumed acidity with a layer of concentration.Terrassen Smaragd9028WachauRoger Voss@vossrogerDomäne Wachau 2007 Terrassen Smaragd Riesling (Wachau)RieslingDomäne Wachau
2811928118USStill spritzy, very tart and tangy, with orange peel and lemon drop flavors. Perhaps showing just a bit more intensity than the 2006, this is a terrific follow-up with the same mix of delicacy and power that suggests that the Columbia Gorge AVA may well be the best site in the Pacific Northwest to grow Riesling.Underwood Mountain Vineyard9114OregonColumbia Gorge (OR)Oregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Viento 2007 Underwood Mountain Vineyard Riesling (Columbia Gorge (OR))RieslingViento
2812328122ItalyPietracalda (“hot stone”) is Fiano di Avellino done in a vibrant and lively style to enhance its natural aromas of pear, peach and white stone. The wine has crisp acidity and a creamy, pulpy feel in the mouth.Pietracalda9033Southern ItalyFiano di AvellinoFeudi di San Gregorio 2006 Pietracalda (Fiano di Avellino)FianoFeudi di San Gregorio
2812028119USOver the years this Rhône blend, based on Mourvédre, Grenache and Syrah, has been an excellent value, and the '05 is one of the best yet. Rich and soft, it's packed with opulent cherry and blackberry pie filling, cassis, red currant, licorice, pepper and smoke flavors, with a creamy, chocolaty taste throughout. Yet the wine is totally dry and balanced.Z Cuvée9118CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastZaca Mesa 2005 Z Cuvée Red (Santa Ynez Valley)Rhône-style Red BlendZaca Mesa
2812128120AustraliaRipe black cherry and cedary aromas can't hide the touch of alcohol that seems to emanate from the glass. But the wine is balanced on the palate, not showing any excessive warmth, framing its black cherry and chocolate flavors with bright acidity. The crisp acids on the finish accentuate the tannins, making this an uncommonly structured Grenache. Imported by Wine Brokers Unlimited.Hickinbotham9065South AustraliaClarendonJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzClarendon Hills 2005 Hickinbotham Grenache (Clarendon)GrenacheClarendon Hills
2812428123USThis unoaked Sauvignon Blanc shows the crisp tartness that Anderson Valley brings to white wines. Fully dry, its flavors suggest lemongrass, grapefruit and pepper, with a racy tang of cold steel. The aftertaste is long and powerful.9020CaliforniaAnderson ValleyFoursight 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (Anderson Valley)Sauvignon BlancFoursight
2812528124USThis lovely, single-vineyard Sauvignon Blanc showcases bright, ripe fruit with crisp acidity, and manages to finish dry. It's creamy textured, packed with lemon, lime and pink grapefruit flavors, and richer notes of melons, figs, wild honey, vanilla and smoke.Kick Ranch9021CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaCarica 2006 Kick Ranch Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma County)Sauvignon BlancCarica
2812628125ItalyThis compact Aglianico embraces a traditional style with a leaner appearance and elegant tones of bramble, forest berry and balsam notes that recall cola and dried mint. It tastes fresh and offers enduring notes of berry fruit on the finish. Made with grapes from 70-year-old vines.Satyricon90Southern ItalyIrpiniaTecce 2004 Satyricon Aglianico (Irpinia)AglianicoTecce
2812728126AustraliaA full-bodied, mouthfilling wine, Giaconda's 2005 Aeolia Roussanne showcases aromas of toasted cashews, then balances them against bold peach and citrus fruit. The oak lends a slightly charred quality to the wine, which comes through on the finish as a hint of espresso. Drink now and over the next few years.Aeolia90100VictoriaVictoriaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzGiaconda 2005 Aeolia Roussanne (Victoria)RoussanneGiaconda
2812828127AustraliaThis 60-40 blend provides excellent value at this price. It's full-bodied but silky-soft in texture, with aromas and flavors that range from plum to earth and cola to dried spices. The tannins melt away on the palate, leaving behind a long, mouthwatering finish. Drink now.Twelve Staves9017South AustraliaMcLaren ValeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzLongwood 2006 Twelve Staves Shiraz-Grenache (McLaren Vale)Shiraz-GrenacheLongwood
2812928128USTextbook Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot, big and bold, yet with great textural balance and complexity. Strikes the palate with concentrated cherry, red currant, licorice, orange zest, root beer, clove, cinnamon and pepper flavors that are totally dry, with a full-bodied weight.9038CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastLucienne 2005 Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirLucienne
2813028129USVery rich and honeyed, a powerhouse Chard oozing with pineapple jam, crème brûlée, and coconut candy flavors. For all its sweet mouthfeel, the wine is dry and crisp in brilliant acidity.Premier Reserve9024CaliforniaAnderson ValleyNavarro 2006 Premier Reserve Chardonnay (Anderson Valley)ChardonnayNavarro
2813128130ItalyTaurasi can sometimes be a gritty, raw wine with overdone power and heft. But this expression is soft and yielding thanks to its aromas of blackberry, vanilla, black stone and spice. The tannins are rock-solid and hard. A Marc de Grazia selection, various American importers.Vigna Cinque Querce9072Southern ItalyTaurasiSalvatore Molettieri 2004 Vigna Cinque Querce (Taurasi)AglianicoSalvatore Molettieri
2813228131AustraliaThis wine nicely captures Pinot Noir's elusive silky texture and weight without heaviness, then combines those attributes with complex earthy flavors and touches of sassafras and cola. Finishes long, with hints of maraschino cherries and caramel. Drink now–2014.Reserve9040VictoriaMornington PeninsulaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzStonier 2005 Reserve Pinot Noir (Mornington Peninsula)Pinot NoirStonier
2813328132USPerfectly fills the need in California for a bone-dry, racy white wine. Acidity is the star here, enriched with savory lemon and lime zest, grilled pineapple, pepper and mineral flavors. After all the oak and supersweetness of too many wines, it makes you want to sing and dance.9018CaliforniaAnderson ValleyNavarro 2007 Pinot Gris (Anderson Valley)Pinot GrisNavarro
2813428133USFrom a well-regarded vineyard that's source to several Pinots comes this fine '06. It's silky and dry and crisp and young, with raspberry and cherry jam flavors complexed with smoky oak, green tea and peppery spice. Should age well for the next six years.Toulouse Vineyard9040CaliforniaAnderson ValleyPhillips Hill 2006 Toulouse Vineyard Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley)Pinot NoirPhillips Hill
2813528134USFar better known as a Pinot Noir producer, Roessler has released this dry Riesling from 25-year-old vines, and it's a terrifically interesting, distinctive California white wine. At 4 years of age, it's bone dry, showing crisp, vibrant Anderson Valley acidity, and is showing the oily, diesel, peach, honeysuckle and hazelnut flavors of a maturing, Alsatian-style Riesling. Should continue to develop bottle complexity for another decade.Wiley Vineyard9018CaliforniaAnderson ValleyRoessler 2004 Wiley Vineyard Riesling (Anderson Valley)RieslingRoessler
2813628135USThis single vineyard in the Dundee Hills recalls Oregon Pinots from days gone by. It's not too big, not too oaky, plenty ripe and delivers spicy berry fruit along with earthier streaks of leaf, herb, baking spices and a whiff of cinnamon. Stiff acids and earthy tannins betray its youth, but though still a little rough around the edges, this could be cellared for a decade or more.La Colina Vineyard9060OregonDundee HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Torii Mor 2006 La Colina Vineyard Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills)Pinot NoirTorii Mor
2813728136USThis blend mixes the estate fruit with several different vineyards, making a more fruit-forward, accessible wine than the single-vineyard offerings. Flavors show bright raspberry and tart cranberry, leading to some tangy acids, backed with earth, rock and hints of caramel. The new oak is gently applied, adding to the finish without taking away the wine's naturally juicy fruit.La Cuillère Member's Reserve9055OregonOregonOregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Torii Mor 2006 La Cuillère Member's Reserve Pinot Noir (Oregon)Pinot NoirTorii Mor
2813828137USThe power of mountain fruit drives this young, impressive Zinfandel. It's a tight, tannic puppy right now, dry and aloof. But such are the massive blackberry, mulberry, espresso and pepper flavors that the wine should easily hold its own for many years. Best after 2008 and through 2013.V.G.S.9055CaliforniaMount VeederNapaChâteau Potelle 2005 V.G.S. Zinfandel (Mount Veeder)ZinfandelChâteau Potelle
2813928138AustraliaThis blend of 70% Grenache, 25% Shiraz and 5% Mourvèdre features surprisingly dark fruit flavors akin to blackberries and cola. A hint of mint or eucalyptus enlivens the bouquet and helps to lighten this otherwise rather full-bodied, brooding wine. Finishes long, with enough dusty tannins to warrant cellaring through 2015.The Ironstone Pressings9065South AustraliaMcLaren ValeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzD'Arenberg 2005 The Ironstone Pressings G-S-M (McLaren Vale)G-S-MD'Arenberg
2814028139USThis is a big, strong, exuberant Zindandel that shows Dry Creek's briary, brambly personality at its best. It's a dry, full-bodied, tannic wine, with flavors of blackberries, cherries and currants. Black pepper, star anise and cinnamon provide the exotic spices. It's quite a good, rich Zinfandel at a very good price.9022CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaPeterson 2006 Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelPeterson

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