Wine Reviews

2820128200USYou'll want to stash this young Cab away for a while because it's too closed and tannic now for enjoyment. But it has a very rich, concentrated core of cassis flavor and is dry and balanced in acidity. Should negotiate the next 6–8 years easily, and maybe longer.9155CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaFrazier 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonFrazier
2820228201USThe wine is still showing a lot of rich new oak flavors: toast, coconut and vanilla crème. Sur lie aging (in 100% French oak) adds plenty of texture and the impression of minerality. Behind the oak is a lush mix of fruits, from tangerine and pineapple through papaya and ripe banana.9136WashingtonWashingtonWashington OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Abeja 2006 Chardonnay (Washington)ChardonnayAbeja
2820328202FranceA delicious, full, creamy wine, the mousse just filling the mouth. It is well balanced, some toasty fruits going with the flavors of grapefruit and apricot. The wine has an impressively taut texture, bringing the promise of some aging potential.Fleur de Prestige Millésime Brut91ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerBeaumont des Crayères 2000 Fleur de Prestige Millésime Brut (Champagne)Champagne BlendBeaumont des Crayères
2820428203ItalyLa Marega is a ripe and juicy wine with fruity aromas of red cherry, apple, cedar and exotic spice, ranging from nutmeg to cardamom. The blend is unusual too with Corvina, Rondinella, Croatina, Dindarella and Sangiovese. Deep, dark concentration rolls over the palate with beautiful intensity and succulence. Drink after 2013.La Marega9167VenetoAmarone della Valpolicella ClassicoLe Salette 2004 La Marega (Amarone della Valpolicella Classico)Corvina, Rondinella, MolinaraLe Salette
2820528204USThis vineyard-designated Sauv Blanc is half fermented in stainless steel, 40% in concrete eggs and the rest in French oak. It is completely different from the winery's Columbia Valley bottling, with much riper and rounder fruit flavors showing off stone fruits, such as peaches and apricots, along with tropical hints of papaya. There's plenty of stuffing and spice, and a perfect mix of the grape's innate herbaceous and grassy qualities, ramped up with riper, sweeter fruit.Stillwater Creek Vineyard9130WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Matthews 2007 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley (WA))Sauvignon BlancMatthews
2820628205USThe Claret is half Cabernet Sauvignon, with the other four Bordeaux grapes filling in the other half, and is quite firm, sappy and muscular. It is tightly structured with cassis, black cherry and plenty of dark, tarry undertones. The herbal aspects show in some black olive and black tea flavors; the tannins are strong and supple, and the wine has a sinuous finish suggesting both strength and length. An exceptional value, this wine should age very nicely.Claret9130WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Matthews Estate 2005 Claret Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendMatthews Estate
2820728206USConsistent with previous releases, this Michel Rolland effort is a soft, silky, smoky wine that introduces itself with round cherry fruit and then charges ahead with layers of licorice, citrus, coffee and rock that enliven the finish. There is plenty of tart raspberry fruit to open, and the balancing acids to give the wine a tight core. It's a very polished and appealing balance of forward, approachable fruit married to more elegant, ageworthy tannins and acids.9155WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Pedestal 2005 Merlot (Columbia Valley (WA))MerlotPedestal
2820828207USNot showing well now due to hard tannins and extreme dryness. There's a core of blackberry fruit but it's buried beneath astringency. This Merlot-based Bordeaux blend may develop.Ispiri8545CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaEric Guerra 2005 Ispiri Red (Alexander Valley)Bordeaux-style Red BlendEric Guerra
2820928208ArgentinaA zesty, lean-boned wine, but give it credit for offering classic pepper and raspberry aromas mixed with a touch of pickle and green. The palate is properly sized and balanced, with tart plum flavors that are satisfying enough. Not a deep or sophisticated wine, but it's clean and pretty good for Argentine Pinot.Eagle's Rock8510Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachFinca la Celia 2007 Eagle's Rock Pinot Noir (Mendoza)Pinot NoirFinca la Celia
2821028209USAt about four years of age, Talbott's '04 tastes overripe. It has the aromas and flavors of a botrytized, late-harvest Chardonnay, brimming with apricot jam and pineapples, except that it's bone dry. With the very high acidity, this makes it unbalanced and not entirely enjoyable. This is a bottling that seems to do better in cooler vintages.Diamond T Estate8565CaliforniaMonterey CountyCentral CoastTalbott 2004 Diamond T Estate Chardonnay (Monterey County)ChardonnayTalbott
2821128210ArgentinaA neutral nose is the result of oak and mild apple and banana aromas offsetting each other. The palate is fairly forward, with apple, pear and banana flavors. Balance is achieved courtesy of healthy fruit, light oak and good acidity. Don't expect miracles and it should do the trick.8516Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachTapiz 2007 Chardonnay (Mendoza)ChardonnayTapiz
2821228211USOaky and tannic, this Merlot-based Bordeaux blend feels tough and dry right now, although it does have deep touches of blackberry jam. Might soften and sweeten with some time in the bottle.Lexington8545CaliforniaSanta Cruz MountainsCentral CoastThomas Fogarty 2004 Lexington Meritage (Santa Cruz Mountains)MeritageThomas Fogarty
2821328212USRich and ripe in fruit and a little heavy in toasty oak, this Chard will appeal to fans of that California style. It oozes with pineapple tart, peach pie, butterscotch and caramel candy flavors.Reserve8535CaliforniaSonoma ValleySonomaHighway 12 2006 Reserve Chardonnay (Sonoma Valley)ChardonnayHighway 12
2821428213USA textbook example of a New World style of California Chardonnay, with high oak and very ripe pineapple pie filling, vanilla-honey and cinnamon spice flavors wrapped into a soft, semi-sweet mouthfeel. Many consumers will love it.8540CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaHuge Bear 2006 Chardonnay (Sonoma County)ChardonnayHuge Bear
2821528214USYou could classify this as an off-dry wine, but it's just sweet and honeyed enough to be a dessert wine. With pleasant acidity providing balance, it shows flavors of ripe peaches, diesel, nectarines, apples, vanilla and buttercup flowers.Old Vine8520CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaJana 2007 Old Vine Riesling (Napa Valley)RieslingJana
2821628215USBone dry, earthy and leathery, this Proprietor's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon seems a bit tired. The fruit is showing early signs of fading, and the tannins—earthy, green and a bit rough—may already be taking over. Some earthy, organic, almost biodynamic flavors come out in the finish.Proprietor's Reserve8536WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Maryhill 2005 Proprietor's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonMaryhill
2821728216USA nice everyday Chard, fairly rich in fruit, herb and spice flavors, and with a nice overlay of oak. Easy to drink and totally dry.Handley Vineyard8520CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaHandley 2006 Handley Vineyard Chardonnay (Dry Creek Valley)ChardonnayHandley
2821828217USThis is a pretty good wine, dry, spicy and full-bodied, but it's not particularly Cabernet-ish or Napa-ish. It could be Zinfandel or Syrah or anything, with its peppery black currant and mocha flavors. It's also quite soft. Drink now.8522CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaBridgeway 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)Cabernet SauvignonBridgeway
2821928218USOak stars in this wine, to its detriment. Underneath all that wood is a crisply elegant Chardonnay with ripe pear, peach and papaya flavors. But the oak plasters it with a ton of caramel and butterscotch that tastes excessive.Bacigalupi Vineyard8555CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaRutz 2005 Bacigalupi Vineyard Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayRutz
2822028219USMade in a style so ripe and direct in fruit and oak, it's almost simple, with spun sugar flavors of raspberries, cherries, anise and vanilla. Those flavors are delicious, yet the wine lacks structural integrity.Sierra Madre Vineyard8542CaliforniaSanta Maria ValleyCentral CoastSierra Madre 2006 Sierra Madre Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley)Pinot NoirSierra Madre
2822128220USThe Naked Riesling is organically farmed and produced. This new vintage already seems a bit tired and has an unusually deep (oxidized?) golden color. It's drinking well enough, like a somewhat aged apple cider, but does not have the sort of freshness that one would hope for in a just-released 2007 wine.Naked8512WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Snoqualmie 2007 Naked Riesling (Columbia Valley (WA))RieslingSnoqualmie
2822228221USWith an opening scent of freshly crushed raspberries and cherries sprinkled with black pepper and drizzled with anisette, this is an inviting wine. A Grenache-based Rhône blend, it turns soft and a little sweet and simple in the mouth, but is very easy to enjoy.Cuvée Christie8528CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastTercero 2006 Cuvée Christie Red (Santa Barbara County)Rhône-style Red BlendTercero
2822328222USComes down on the honeyed, easy side of Chardonnay, with ginger ale, pineapple jam, green apple butter and vanilla flavors designed to please. Drink now.8525CaliforniaAlexander ValleySonomaHawkes 2006 Chardonnay (Alexander Valley)ChardonnayHawkes
2822428223USThis is a light Pinot, both in color and body, with modest flavors of cola, cherryskin and orange tea. It's very dry and nicely silky in the mouth. Seems at its best now.Oehlman Vineyard8533CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaHawley 2006 Oehlman Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirHawley
2822528224FranceAromas of red berries and summer flowers lead easily into a palate of soft, creamy fruit. The wine is simple, pleasant, a celebratory rosé. If it lacks great character, it does hang together well, leaving a fresh aftertaste.Grand Rosé Brut8560ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerBeaumont des Crayères NV Grand Rosé Brut (Champagne)Champagne BlendBeaumont des Crayères
2822628225FranceSoft and creamy, this has freshness, the taste of pear and apricot and a light texture. It's in the apéritif style, light, delicate and elegant.Cuvée des Moines Brut Blanc de Blancs8569ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerBesserat de Bellefon NV Cuvée des Moines Brut Blanc de Blancs Chardonnay (Champagne)ChardonnayBesserat de Bellefon
2822728226USOccupying the bottom rung (in terms of cost) of the Columbia Crest ladder, Two Vines wines are generally light, quite clean and simple, with a minimum exposure to oak. This fits the mold, with flavors of strawberry chews and cotton candy. The tannins are also light and herbal, with an earthy, pleasantly leafy finish.Two Vines858WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Columbia Crest 2005 Two Vines Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonColumbia Crest
2822828227USComes down on the brittle side, a dry, acidic Pinot Noir with good structure, but lacks the richness you really want. You'll find modest cherry, cola and vanilla flavors.8524CaliforniaSonomaSonomaMacMurray Ranch 2006 Pinot Noir (Sonoma)Pinot NoirMacMurray Ranch
2822928228FranceFruity, soft, with attractive green apple and pineapple flavors, a fresh, lightly sweetened style.Sélection Premier Cru Brut85ChampagneChampagneRoger Voss@vossrogerMarc Hebrart NV Sélection Premier Cru Brut (Champagne)Champagne BlendMarc Hebrart
2823028229USThe cassis, black currant, chocolate and sweet oak flavors star in this soft, easy wine. It could use a firmer structure, but it's very savory and easy to drink.8525CaliforniaLodiCentral ValleyMettler Family Vineyards 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (Lodi)Cabernet SauvignonMettler Family Vineyards

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