Wine Reviews

2877128770USFrom a high-elevation site farmed by the producer, Goat Trek is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Zinfandel, an unusual comingling of different personalities that manage to get along. A succulence of red currant, raspberry and dried herb complements a crispness of acidity that surprises. Big-bodied, it's also refined and graceful.Goat Trek Vineyard9155CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneQuivira 2012 Goat Trek Vineyard Red (Dry Creek Valley)Cabernet BlendQuivira
2877228771USHailing principally from Two Blondes Vineyard, the aromas of cocoa, savory herbs, pencil shavings, anise and spice are followed by fruit flavors so soft and plush you just want to sink into them. The finish lingers. It explores the variety's more savory side.Stage Right9145WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportScript 2012 Stage Right Cabernet Franc (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet FrancScript
2877328772USThough Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc each make up just 3% of this wine, they seem to show themselves aromatically, with herb and floral notes that provide the backdrop for Merlot's cocoa and cherry. The red fruit flavors are plump and juicy, backed by bright acid that leads to a long, fruit filled finish. It doesn't always come off as completely varietal but it's nearly impossible to resist all the same.Seven Hills Vineyard9140WashingtonWalla Walla Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportSeven Hills 2013 Seven Hills Vineyard Merlot (Walla Walla Valley (WA))MerlotSeven Hills
2877428773USMelon, sea salt and white peach aromatics lean into a pomelo pith and wet concrete backbone on this crisp, nearly austere and completely impressive bottling. There is great lime peel and yellow grapefruit tension to the palate, which is linear and acid-driven, and possesses a chalky texture as well as warmer yellow pear flavors.Camp 4 Vineyard9124CaliforniaSanta Ynez ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannShane Wines 2014 Camp 4 Vineyard Grenache Blanc (Santa Ynez Valley)Grenache BlancShane Wines
2877528774USFrom a site planted in 2002, 100% varietal and given time in 50% new French oak, this steal of a deal offers dusty minerality around a thickness of vanilla and cherry pie, finding a way to rein in its concentrated richness before going too far. This is a likable and impressive wine well worth seeking.Home Ranch Cuvée9148CaliforniaSonoma ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneSojourn 2013 Home Ranch Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma Valley)Cabernet SauvignonSojourn
2877628775USThis luxurious wine from a rising star winery is saturated with ripe fruit flavors and accented with spices and dark chocolate, verging on sweetness. It's not an oak bomb, but has dark, melting blackberry and chocolate-covered cherry flavors supported by fine tannins and full body.9132CaliforniaRed Hills Lake CountyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsSol Rouge 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Hills Lake County)Cabernet SauvignonSol Rouge
2877728776ItalyAn expressive nose offers alluring scents reminiscent of blackberry, black currant, violet and graphite. On the savory palate, notes of vanilla and clove lightly brush over fresh plum and juicy black cherry. It's balanced, with fresh acidity and chewy tannins. Drink through 2022.Taber Riserva9148Northeastern ItalyAlto AdigeKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeCantina Santa Maddalena 2012 Taber Riserva Lagrein (Alto Adige)LagreinCantina Santa Maddalena
2877828777USBlackberry, violets, gingerbread, cola and cedar show on the great nose of this blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah from the Fallbrook area north of San Diego. Complex flavors of incense and juniper spice up the backbone of blueberry and black plum, with a beef char component adding to the savory side.9128CaliforniaSouth CoastSouth CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmann2Plank 2013 Grenache-Syrah (South Coast)Grenache-Syrah2Plank
2877928778USApple strudel and lime sorbet met with crisp pear, tart lemon peels and a touch of quinine on the edges of this wine's nose. The palate is incredibly chalky and mineral-driven, with flavors of yellow apple peels and lime skins vying for attention amidst the grippy texture.Rancho Boa Vista9124CaliforniaBallard CanyonCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmanna-non-ah-mus 2014 Rancho Boa Vista Grenache Blanc (Ballard Canyon)Grenache Blanca-non-ah-mus
2878028779USThis blend is mostly Merlot (86%) along with Cabernet Franc, with the fruit coming from two of the state's top sites, Boushey and Champoux. Initially brooding raspberry compote, graphite and dried herb aromas are followed by supple, tart fruit and coffee flavors that sail on the finish. The balance is impeccable. It charms with its subtleties rather than its power, but make no mistake, it charms.Valery9150WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportAvennia 2013 Valery Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendAvennia
2878128780USA little floral and a lot of fruity and spicy elements make this full-bodied wine delicious and nicely complex. The grape flavors are fully ripe, like blackberry and black cherry, and the texture is broad and juicy without being too soft. It blends grapes from Angel Camp Vineyard with Balo-grown grapes.Avenging Angel9155CaliforniaAnderson ValleyJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsBalo 2013 Avenging Angel Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley)Pinot NoirBalo
2878228781FranceThis wine is ripe and balanced, with a tension between the fresh acidity and mineral texture. The red fruits, stylish and attractively bright, bring out the warmth of the south-facing vineyard. Drink now.Château des Muraires Séduction9129ProvenceCôtes de ProvenceRoger Voss@vossrogerBernard Magrez 2015 Château des Muraires Séduction Rosé (Côtes de Provence)RoséBernard Magrez
2878328782New ZealandThis shows ample mushroomy complexity without showing any evidence of tiring. Hints of shiitakes add richness and depth to the black cherry flavors, while a dried-mushroom dustiness adds length and interest to the finish. Drink now–2020.T Letter Series9135MarlboroughJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzBrancott 2012 T Letter Series Pinot Noir (Marlborough)Pinot NoirBrancott
2878428783GermanyA shower of minerals highlights this brisk, breezy kabinett. Sweet, musky canteloupe sweetens the palate, energized by a shock of lime and lemon. It's effortlessly, perhaps dangerously, quaffable.Goldtröpfchen Kabinett8824MoselAnna Lee C. IijimaReichsgraf von Kesselstatt 2013 Goldtröpfchen Kabinett Riesling (Mosel)RieslingReichsgraf von Kesselstatt
2878528784USThis cuvée saw 20% new oak and is the little sibling to the winery's Barrel Select. It offers the same hint of funk, slightly murky color, and rich, textural makeup. Black cherry, cola, chocolate, bramble and spice are all in play, making for a complex wine that captures your attention.Elkton Cuvée8820OregonElkton OregonSouthern OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine River's Edge 2012 Elkton Cuvée Pinot Noir (Elkton Oregon)Pinot NoirRiver's Edge
2878628785ItalyThis opens with earthy aromas of game, underbrush and leather. The ripe palate offers dried cherry, fleshy raspberry, grilled sage, licorice and baking spice alongside bracing tannins.1815 Rosso8858Sicily & SardiniaEtnaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeScilio 2011 1815 Rosso (Etna)Red BlendScilio
2878728786SpainDusty apple and melon aromas are pure and good. An even-keeled palate is moderately citrusy and a touch pulpy, with melon, peach and nectarine flavors. A mild dose of bitterness and pith on the finish is normal for the variety.8815Northern SpainRuedaMichael Schachner@wineschachShaya 2013 Verdejo (Rueda)VerdejoShaya
2878828787USThe size of this wine distracts slightly from its thick, concentrated dark plum and blackberry brambly quality, the tannins soft and the oak able to stand behind the fruit. A syrupy, leathery and mocha finish seals the deal.Three Valleys8845CaliforniaSonoma CountySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneSt. Francis 2012 Three Valleys Zinfandel (Sonoma County)ZinfandelSt. Francis
2878928788USIn need of a heaping plate of smokey, grilled meat, this Zin is generous in terms of ripeness, with 14% Petite Sirah adding color and depth. Stewy plum and a taste of raisin bread come to the fore amidst a background of leather and soft, robust blackberry.8845CaliforniaDry Creek ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneSt. Francis 2012 Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)ZinfandelSt. Francis
2879028789ItalyThis pale, copper-colored rosato opens with delicate aromas of berry, crushed flower and mineral. The linear palate offers strawberry, flint, nectarine zest and grapefruit alongside crisp acidity. Enjoy soon.Rosato8820Sicily & SardiniaEtnaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeTenuta delle Terre Nere 2013 Rosato Nerello Mascalese (Etna)Nerello MascaleseTenuta delle Terre Nere
2879128790ItalyPretty floral aromas with whiffs of red berry and savory herb take shape in the glass. Flinty mineral, pink grapefruit and a hint of baking spice back up the red cherry core.Alnus8823Sicily & SardiniaEtnaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeI Custodi 2013 Alnus Red (Etna)Red BlendI Custodi
2879228791USQuince, lime and white peach fruit flavors suggest that this was sourced from relatively cool sites. Some skin flavors are in evidence, providing extra length and definition. The finish is balanced, with a touch of heat.56% Oregon/44% Washington8819Washington-OregonPaul Gregutt@paulgwine J. Scott Cellars 2012 56% Oregon/44% Washington Roussanne (Washington-Oregon)RoussanneJ. Scott Cellars
2879328792FranceWhile this wine is rich and spicy, it also has a strong mineral element that cuts into the honeyed, ripe character. It's a smooth wine with potential. Drink from 2017.Hatschbourg Grand Cru8830AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerJoseph Cattin 2013 Hatschbourg Grand Cru Gewurztraminer (Alsace)GewürztraminerJoseph Cattin
2879428793USThis black grape dessert wine is relatively light in color and transparent, offering aromas of dried violet, raspberry concentrate and light clove. The flavors prove bright and memorable, with raspberry and pomegranate juice most apparent. This is a great conversation starter at the end of a meal.Estate8832CaliforniaCarmel ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannJoullian 2012 Estate Muscat Hamburg (Carmel Valley)Muscat HamburgJoullian
2879528794USWelcoming but brisk peach aromas meet with some lemon peel sharpness on the nose of this blend of grapes from the Santa Lucia Highlands and Arroyo Seco. It's quite juicy on the palate, with apple blossoms, nectarines and pungently fragrant white flowers. Good acidity that keeps the mouth singing for a while.8825CaliforniaMontereyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannJoullian 2013 Chardonnay (Monterey)ChardonnayJoullian
2879628795SpainBriny citrus, saline and lees aromas drive the nose on this minerally Albariño that also offers mild oak notes. Flavors of green banana, peach, apple and woodspice finish crisp and with a touch of elegance.8817GaliciaRías BaixasMichael Schachner@wineschachLagar da Condesa 2013 Albariño (Rías Baixas)AlbariñoLagar da Condesa
2879728796USA 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 20 months in 40% new French oak, this wine has a brambly quality. Otherwise it's dusty and intense, offering high-impact swirls of cassis, pomegranate and dusty cocoa powder. From start to finish the wine is ripe yet juicy.8847CaliforniaChalk HillSonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneUptick Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Chalk Hill)Cabernet SauvignonUptick Vineyards
2879828797ItalyMade with organically farmed fruit, this opens with aromas of ripe berry, baking spice and a violet note. The palate offers red cherry, strawberry and ground white pepper alongside fresh acidity and silky tannins.8814Sicily & SardiniaVittoriaKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeVigna di Pettineo 2012 Frappato (Vittoria)FrappatoVigna di Pettineo
2879928798FranceThis is a perfumed wine, spicy and textured. It is off-dry which gives it a warm character, apples and white fruits over a rounded texture. It could age another few months and will be more balanced from 2016.Hengst Grand Cru8835AlsaceAlsaceRoger Voss@vossrogerWunsch & Mann 2012 Hengst Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace)RieslingWunsch & Mann
2880028799ItalyMade with Nero d'Avola and other grapes, all bush-trained, this opens with subdued aromas of dark berry and toast. The dense palate offers dried blackberry, oak-driven spice and a chocolate note alongside firm tannins. Drink sooner rather than later to capture the fruit flavors.Doppiozeta8850Sicily & SardiniaNotoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeZisola 2011 Doppiozeta Red (Noto)Red BlendZisola

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