Wine Reviews

2834028339FranceThis second wine of Labégorce Margaux is named after the former neighboring estate Labégorce Zédé that was amalgamated after the 2009 vintage. This is a ripe wine, full of the fruit of the vintage as well as having a firm dry tannic structure that will allow it to age. With juicy blackberry fruits still so youthful, it is going to be ready drink from 2019.Zédé de Labégorce8940BordeauxMargauxRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Labégorce Margaux 2012 Zédé de Labégorce (Margaux)Bordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Labégorce Margaux
2834128340FranceProduced from a 17-acre vineyard, dominated by Merlot, this is the top wine of Château Renard. It is structured and firm with tannins and dense concentration that will probably remain with this rich wine as it matures. Drink from 2018.8934BordeauxFronsacRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau Renard Mondesir 2011 FronsacBordeaux-style Red BlendChâteau Renard Mondesir
2834228341USComing from a site best known for its Syrah, this wine brings high-toned aromas of violets, herb and dark fruit. The black-fruit flavors are rich yet supple, with fine-grained but occasionally toothy tannins providing support. Mocha flavors linger on the finish. It's a bit oak heavy but by and large carries it.Les Collines Vineyard8939WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportCollege Cellars 2014 Les Collines Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonCollege Cellars
2834328342USThis tart, sleek, pretty wine shows bright strawberry and raspberry fruit. Quite young and fresh, it's still rather tight and stubbornly closed, even after breathing for a full 24 hours.Eileen Vineyard8960OregonEola-Amity HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Cristom 2014 Eileen Vineyard Pinot Noir (Eola-Amity Hills)Pinot NoirCristom
2834428343FranceVines on the slope of the Brouilly hill give a firmly structured wine. It is has a fine sense of balance between the tannins and the bright black-cherry fruits. Rich and crisp with acidity, it is going to be a wine that brings out so much fruitiness as it matures. Drink from late 2017.Les Cailloux8922BeaujolaisCôte de BrouillyRoger Voss@vossrogerEmmanuel Fellot 2014 Les Cailloux (Côte de Brouilly)GamayEmmanuel Fellot
2834528344USThe Sullivan designate mixes Pommard, Wädenswil and Dijon 777 clones, which were aged 10 months in 30% new French oak. It's similar to the winery's Dardis bottling in terms of the balance between fruit and herbs, though here there is a bit of a hole in the midpalate. Otherwise, it's a friendly mix of black cherry, cola and chocolate: forward and open.Sullivan8952OregonWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Fairsing 2014 Sullivan Pinot NoirPinot NoirFairsing
2834628345USMade in a big, bold, full-bodied style, this blend is showy in juicy blackberry, cedar and currant, flavors that are surrounded by firm, integrated tannin. A taste of cigar and chocolate gives the end note a nightcap kind of feel.The Equalizer8920CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneAmmunition 2014 The Equalizer Red (Sonoma County)Red BlendAmmunition
2834728346ArgentinaRoasted gamy berry and spice aromas are vintage Salta. This feels potent and grabby, but well balanced. Roasted berry flavors match the nose, while this offers notes of chocolate, mint and herbs. The finish is strong, a bit hot and demanding, but overall this full-force Malbec is on the money.8920OtherSaltaMichael Schachner@wineschachAnko 2015 Malbec (Salta)MalbecAnko
2832128320GreeceThis 100% Mavroudi, a regional red wine of Thrace, has an expressive, red-fruit nose with warm hints of vanilla and smoky spice. Grown in northeastern Greece on an ancient site overlooking the Aegean Sea, this is smooth and velvety with rich, spicy flavors and a lingering finish. Its texture and complexity lends it to pairings with more opulent dishes like rack of lamb and beef stew, but alternately, consider its Mediterranean roots and sip alongside a plate of spicy black olives or a Greek salad.Maronia Vineyard8712ThrakiSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaTsantali 2003 Maronia Vineyard Mavroudi (Thraki)MavroudiTsantali
2832228321ItalyPear, Golden Delicious apple, natural smoke and mineral form a fine, elegant whole. Verdicchio has natural creaminess and the plush consistency of this wine demonstrates this fact. Pair it with pork, poultry or pasta.Casal di Serra8714Central ItalyVerdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico SuperioreUmani Ronchi 2005 Casal di Serra (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore)VerdicchioUmani Ronchi
2832328322USIt opens with sweet/tart raspberry fruit, a streamlined, well-defined wine underscored by tart, citrusy acids. It does not show the harmonious complexity of the blends, but it is a very pleasant wine, soft and approachable, sweet and smooth. A bit one-dimensional; it begins with fresh berry fruit, tosses in a hint of cherry tobacco, and leaves a slightly earthy impression in the finish, but fails to move in the mouth.Meyer Vineyard8742OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Lemelson 2005 Meyer Vineyard Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)Pinot NoirLemelson
2832428323ItalyNative Italian grape Garganega and Sauvignon Blanc are blended to produce a layered white wine with fresh tones of stone fruit, kiwi, melon and lemon zest. This interesting combination offers good, fresh acidity and vibrant fruit flavors.Serego Alighieri Possessioni8715VenetoVenetoMasi 2006 Serego Alighieri Possessioni White (Veneto)White BlendMasi
2832528324AustraliaDense and blackberryish on the nose, this medium- to full-bodied Shiraz offers plenty of fruit in soft, easy-to-drink package. Hints of dried spices give it more interest than your average $12 Shiraz.8712New South WalesHunter ValleyJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzHope Estate 2006 Shiraz (Hunter Valley)ShirazHope Estate
2832628325ChileAmong Chilean Chardonnays, this one gets it more right than wrong. The nose deals apple pie and mineral, while the palate shows mostly apple, pear and butterscotch flavors. Not complex or stately, but round, fresh and generally on target.8715Casablanca ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachArboleda 2006 Chardonnay (Casablanca Valley)ChardonnayArboleda
2832728326AustraliaComes out of the chute showing a funky, rubbery edge, but that blows off with a little time to reveal dark, somewhat earthy notes of cola and blackberry. It's medium-bodied, with good length to the finish, where it picks up enough dusty tannins to give it backbone.Cabernet Shiraz Merlot879Western AustraliaWestern AustraliaJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzIronberry 2005 Cabernet Shiraz Merlot Red (Western Australia)Red BlendIronberry
2832828327ItalyBasilicata, the “arch” of the boot of Italy, is one of the country's most fascinating and little-known regions. Insular, superstitious and rustic, it is also a territory deeply linked to its wine growing traditions. Here's an openly aromatic white with soapy floral notes and flavors of dried apricot and honey. You'd think it was a dessert wine, but its not.Terre di Orazio Dry8610Southern ItalyBasilicataCantina di Venosa 2005 Terre di Orazio Dry Muscat (Basilicata)MuscatCantina di Venosa
2834828347AustraliaTannic and extracted, with gritty tannins and dark, almost dried fruit. This is powerful stuff, framed by hints of brown sugar and baking spices. Try pairing it against char-grilled steak or lamb.8925VictoriaBendigoJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzBalgownie Estate 2013 Shiraz (Bendigo)ShirazBalgownie Estate
2832928328ChileThere's no escaping the asparagus and canned bean aromas that consume the bouquet, but those scents do fade after a while and the nose eventually leads to flavors of lime, white peach and citrus. The zest and balance are good, and the vegetal character becomes less austere with time; but all along the way the wine carries that love-it-or-hate-it snap of green.Visión8614Casablanca ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachCono Sur 2006 Visión Sauvignon Blanc (Casablanca Valley)Sauvignon BlancCono Sur
2834928348GermanyA haze of smoked nut and toasted cedar envelop ripe, fleshy black cherry and raspberry in this rich, but elegantly balanced, Spätburgunder. Crisp, tart cranberry and cassis notes brighten the midpalate easing into a finish marked b fine but slightly bitter tannins. Drinks well now but should meld nicely from 2020.8937RheingauAnna Lee C. IijimaBaron Knyphausen 2014 Spätburgunder (Rheingau)SpätburgunderBaron Knyphausen
2835028349USThis affordable wine is smooth and deeply fruity, rather full bodied, and quite enjoyable for the ripe blackberry and boysenberry flavors. Not as tannic as some, it still has a moderately gripping texture that will be perfect with grilled meat.8916CaliforniaClarksburgCentral ValleyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsCriss Cross 2014 Petite Sirah (Clarksburg)Petite SirahCriss Cross
2833028329USNow part of the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates portfolio, this pioneering Oregon winery seems to be holding firm to a clean, simple style of winemaking, as exemplified by this fresh and lightly fruity Pinot Gris. Lemony and tart, it's the sort of pleasantly generic white wine that one might expect to find from Italy.8614OregonOregonOregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Erath 2006 Pinot Gris (Oregon)Pinot GrisErath
2833128330South AfricaThis is for real Pinotage lovers, so bashful drinkers, beware. The nose bursts with ripe red fruit and spice—Pinotage hallmarks—and on the palate, lively, spicy and smoky flavors of berry and savory spice abound. It's a wine full of personality and is best enjoyed with a dish of grilled spicy ribs or ethnic food that can tame its wildness.8614PaarlSusan Kostrzewa@suskostrzewaFairview 2005 Pinotage (Paarl)PinotageFairview
2833228331USThis wine is a combo of Paso Robles and Edna Valley. The Paso fruit brings slightly cooked, jammy pear and apricot flavors, while the San Luis Obispo grapes provide balancing acidity and a keen lime edge. The result is dry and easy.8615CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastMartin & Weyrich 2006 Pinot Grigio (Central Coast)Pinot GrigioMartin & Weyrich
2833328332ChileMalbec from Chile may not seem as natural as from Argentina, but you will not go wrong with this stocky, soft, lightly baked offering. The palate has a touch of herbal lift to accent the black fruit, while the finish is firm, comfortable and consistent.Reserve869Maipo ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachSanta Alicia 2006 Reserve Malbec (Maipo Valley)MalbecSanta Alicia
2833428333ItalyAromas of stone fruit, melon and almond skin lend this Procanico-Verdello-Grechetto blend a sophisticated touch and the wine delivers nutty nuances in the mouth.Vigna Tragugnano8616Central ItalyOrvietoSergio Mottura 2005 Vigna Tragugnano (Orvieto)White BlendSergio Mottura
2833528334GermanyIn contrast to Knyphausen's 2006 Riesling, the 2006 kabinett is restrained and minerally, offering crisp pineapple and green apple flavors underscored by mouthwatering acidity. It's slightly lighter in body as well, with a raciness that would work well served alongside sautéed trout.Baron K Kabinett8615RheingauJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzBaron Knyphausen 2006 Baron K Kabinett Riesling (Rheingau)RieslingBaron Knyphausen
2833628335USA nice glass of Cab for $13. It's bone dry, with a scour of sandpapery tannins, and hints of cherries, blackberries, plums, cola and cedar. Shows real class for a statewide-appellated Cab at this price.8613CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherTin Roof 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (California)Cabernet SauvignonTin Roof
2833728336GermanyA hint of dried apricot underscores the ripe apple aromas in this fresh and appealing auslese. It's sweet but not overly so, with apple and melon flavors that are plesantly round without becoming soft.Auslese8614Mosel-Saar-RuwerJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzRudolf Müller 2006 Auslese Riesling (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer)RieslingRudolf Müller
2833828337GermanyThis plump, succulent Riesling offers up scents of honey, ripe pears and even some slate-driven minerality, then follows through on the palate with crisp pear and citrus flavors, underscored by wet stones. Fresh and clean, it's an ideal apéritif, but would also work well with various Asian dishes.Essence8611Mosel-Saar-RuwerJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzS.A. Prüm 2006 Essence Riesling (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer)RieslingS.A. Prüm
2833928338ItalyThere's a real clean and genuine quality that comes through thanks to aromas of peach, yellow fruit and Golden Delicious apple. It drinks well too—easy and forthcoming—and would make an excellent match to grilled chicken, spicy asian food or stay-at-home pasta.868Northeastern ItalyVigneti delle DolomitiMezzacorona 2006 Chardonnay (Vigneti delle Dolomiti)ChardonnayMezzacorona

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