Wine Reviews


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2937129370USCaramelized blackberry, beef jerky and sweet tar arise on the nose of this bottling. The palate shows vanilla, blackberry, blueberry and a touch of asphalt. The tannins are a bit scattered, but the pepper spice is nice.8735CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannBridlewood 2014 G-S-M (Santa Barbara County)G-S-MBridlewood
2937229371USThis wine has attractive butter, ripe apple and pear aromas, and is nice and fruity in style. An almost-sweet sensation rounds out the texture, and tasty accents of baking spices and vanilla keep coming with each sip.8712CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherJim Gordon@gordone_cellarsCalifornia Republic 2014 Chardonnay (California)ChardonnayCalifornia Republic
2937329372USKlopp is a mix of California and Burgundy clones, one of the producer's finest offerings every year, made in an opulent, balanced style. Lush layers of strawberry and cherry are surrounded by truffle-like dirt. The wine is concentrated in tannin and subtle oak, while anise marks the measured finish. The wine will benefit from time in the cellar through 2020.Klopp Ranch9360CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneMerry Edwards 2012 Klopp Ranch Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirMerry Edwards
2937429373USThe nose on this Ethan Lindquist-made wine from the cool-climate vineyard his parents planted shows a fabulous but not overripe cornucopia of espresso, tobacco leaf, oregano and lava rocks. The flavors are quite savory, with dried blueberries, teriyaki, beef jerky, roasted meat, lavender, rosemary and a citrus-like acidity framing the edges.The Nuts Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard9374CaliforniaEdna ValleyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannNo Limit 2010 The Nuts Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard Syrah (Edna Valley)SyrahNo Limit
2937529374USFrom old vines within the Fanucchi Wood Road Vineyard in the heart of the appellation, this is a rare bottling of a variety more commonly found in the Jura, but acquiring new fans in California, especially made at this high level. Creamy and round, it remains fresh on the palate in a lemon-swirled minerality that provides a savory edge of ginger.9326CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneZeitgeist 2014 Trousseau Gris (Russian River Valley)Trousseau GrisZeitgeist
2937629375ItalyStructured and elegant, this opens with aromas of blue flower, tilled earth, leather and a balsamic note. The multifaceted palate delivers wild cherry, raspberry, orange peel, menthol and cinnamon, while youthfully austere but fine tannins provide support. It already shows nice depth but hold for complexity. Drink 2016–2025.Il Puro Gran Selezione93150TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeVolpaia 2010 Il Puro Gran Selezione (Chianti Classico)SangioveseVolpaia
2937729376AustriaSavory notes of herb and pine join the scent of ripe yellow plum with the faintest echo of passion fruit. The palate is full of juicy yellow plum toned by lemony freshness. Rounded, fruitful, spicy yet streamlined, this is utterly drinkable, so lay on more than one bottle!Steiner Point9321KremstalAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoMüller-Grossmann 2013 Steiner Point Riesling (Kremstal)RieslingMüller-Grossmann
2939029389USThis is a terrific representation of all that is spectacularly specific about Keefer Ranch, a relatively cool site for grapes in Green Valley. Earthy and spicy in clove and nutmeg, the wine is layered in cranberry and crisp cherry. It's supple and silky on the palate, with an earthy oomph to the finish.Keefer Ranch9352CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneCellars 33 2013 Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirCellars 33
2937829377AustriaBeautifully pure apple fruit plays on nose and palate. Citrus juice frames the fruit and heightens the freshness even more. If you like a slender, supercrisp style of Riesling, the purity of this will have you hooked.9320KamptalAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoSchloss Gobelsburg 2014 Riesling (Kamptal)RieslingSchloss Gobelsburg
2937929378FranceYou can tell this is a prestige cuvée by the weight and shape of the bottle. The wine does justify its packaging, a rich and smooth offering that's structured and textured without losing sight of generous fruitiness. Orange peel combines with red berries to give a full while fresh wine. Try aging it for a few more months and drink at the end of 2015.Confidentielle9333ProvenceCôtes de ProvenceRoger Voss@vossrogerDomaine Saint-André de Figuière 2014 Confidentielle Rosé (Côtes de Provence)RoséDomaine Saint-André de Figuière
2938029379AustriaCrushed apricot flesh framed by mandarin and lemon freshness sets the tone. Where the nose is full of charm, the palate is full of verve. Exciting, almost electric freshness flashes on the palate and makes for a dynamic, streamlined but structured drink. Somewhere in the background, notes of honey lurk deliciously.Steinbühel9333KremstalAnne Krebiehl MW@AnneInVinoMalat 2013 Steinbühel Riesling (Kremstal)RieslingMalat
2938129380ItalyFragrances of moist earth, blue flowers, black plum and spice lead the nose of this structured wine. The palate delivers juicy red cherry, crushed raspberry, espresso, mocha, white pepper, grilled herb and anise alongside assertive but fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. Hold for additional complexity; drink 2016–2022.Gran Selezione9360TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeMazzei 2010 Gran Selezione (Chianti Classico)Red BlendMazzei
2938229381USThis is a limited-production offering from a tiny appellation, blended with small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Crème de cassis and Bing cherry give it an unexpected expansiveness of juicy texture, with jolts of tobacco and dried herb playing on the palate before a balanced finish wraps it up in a dry, resolved bow.9378CaliforniaDiamond Mountain DistrictNapaVirginie Boone@vbooneEn Garde 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Diamond Mountain District)Cabernet SauvignonEn Garde
2938329382ItalyFull-bodied and refined, this opens with aromas of mature, spiced plum, violet, tilled soil and truffle. The firm palate offers up crushed black cherry, raspberry, ground black pepper and anise alongside a backbone of fresh acidity and firm tannins. A note of Mediterranean herb signals the close. It already has nice depth but hold for more complexity. Drink 2017–2025.L'Imperatrice Gran Selezione9370TuscanyChianti ClassicoKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeFattoria di Corsignano 2010 L'Imperatrice Gran Selezione (Chianti Classico)SangioveseFattoria di Corsignano
2939129390USDecadent aromas of golden pear and Tahitian vanilla rise to the top of this incredibly well-crafted wine, a blend of multiple vineyard sources, most of them single-vineyard designated in other wines. Steely minerality buoys the overall experience, with a touch of vanilla custard. The wine is rich on the aroma yet balanced in taste, with a finishing accent of orange blossom.9340CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneRamey 2012 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayRamey
2938429383USNorm Yost named this wine after his wife. It shows rich, deep and mysterious aromas, from dried rose petals and cherries to funky mushrooms, fresh-cut sagebrush, maple and damp wood. It's very full once sipped, with a mushroom ragu element cut by red cherries, orange peels, cranberries and a forest floor finish. This Pinot could handle a big steak.Kate's Cuvee Rio Vista Vineyard9355CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannFlying Goat Cellars 2010 Kate's Cuvee Rio Vista Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)Pinot NoirFlying Goat Cellars
2939229391USFarmhouse just-churned butter is most prominent on the nose, opening up a world that then flowers into layers of ripe, rich apple and pear. Balanced and textured, the wine reflects its near-ideal vintage, marked by a pronouncement of structure and power. Finishing with a zing, it will stand up to time in the cellar, through 2020.9370CaliforniaSonoma CoastSonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneReuling Vineyard 2013 Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast)ChardonnayReuling Vineyard
2938529384USThis is an outrageously appealing wine with aromas of smoke, dried herbs and abundant peppery spices. It's sensuous and layered in feel, with generous dark fruit and black pepper flavors. It shows a profound sense of elegance, purity and detail with a finish that seems unending—a complete knee buckler.L'Idiot du Village9342WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportGramercy 2012 L'Idiot du Village Mourvèdre (Columbia Valley (WA))MourvèdreGramercy
2939329392USDried apple peels, squeezed nectarines, creamy cherimoya and quinine combine on this fresh and salty nose from winemaker Steve Fennell. A pine nut warmth opens the palate, followed by an array of exotic flavors like lychee, lemongrass and kiwi, plus some citrusy cider and salt. It's broad enough to appeal to the masses, but retains enough acidity for refined palates.La Entrada La Rinconada Vineyard9355CaliforniaSta. Rita HillsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannSanford 2011 La Entrada La Rinconada Vineyard Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills)ChardonnaySanford
2938629385USThis offers reserved notes of cherry and raspberry compote, cranberry, earth and assorted dried herbs. With the oak pleasantly dialed back, the focus remains on the fruit. The palate displays exquisite purity, elegance and detail, with a light grip of tannins pulling it all together. It's drinking beautifully now, but you could open it up in 2025 or 2030 and it wouldn't bat an eye.Lower East9332WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportGramercy 2012 Lower East Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonGramercy
2938729386USThe nose on this wine is both subtle and deep, showing dried rose petals, cherry kirsch, black currants and a hint of elderberry. It's silky once sipped, with licorice, mocha and dark raspberry all set against tart cherry-skin tannins that give plenty of structure for aging. Drink 2018–2028.Ryan9350CaliforniaMt. HarlanCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannCalera 2012 Ryan Pinot Noir (Mt. Harlan)Pinot NoirCalera
2938829387USWinemaker Carl Bowker delivers a great-smelling wine on this blend of 64% Tempranillo and 36% Grenache, with aromas of purple fruit, violets and a pepper-crusted bacon. The palate suggests a very flavorful pork roast in plum sauce, showing hoisin, ripe blackberries and grape candy, proving simultaneously playful and elegant.Sympatico9354CaliforniaPaso RoblesCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannCaliza 2012 Sympatico Red (Paso Robles)Red BlendCaliza
2939429393USWinemaker Adam Lee goes big on this bottling from the vineyard planted by the two Garys (Pisoni and Franscioni), showing bacon fat, blackberries and graphite on the nose. Once sipped, it veers more tart, with cranberry and just-ripe raspberry picking up some complexity from thyme herbs.Garys' Vineyard9355CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannSiduri 2013 Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)Pinot NoirSiduri
2938929388CanadaLovely, dense aromas of dried flowers, herbs, cherries and chocolate immediately capture attention. This is a superbly elegant wine, with both precision and power. Orange-peel flavors highlight deep cherry compote, with tension, balance and length in abundance.Block 2 Platinum9345British ColumbiaOkanagan ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine CedarCreek 2012 Block 2 Platinum Pinot Noir (Okanagan Valley)Pinot NoirCedarCreek
2939529394USThis powerful Pinot is not for the meek or easily afraid. It's a heavyweight in its prime, stemmy and unabashedly full-throttled in juicy Bing cherry, blackberry and raspberry. Though generous in style, it remains coiled in acidity, with springtime aromas of just-picked rose, proving beauty can come in a substantial package.9360CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneThree Sticks 2012 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)Pinot NoirThree Sticks
2939629395USBrian Loring makes this spicy wine from a vineyard in the hills overlooking Highway 101 east of Nipomo. Cinnamon powder pumps up aromas of pomegranate, saddle leather and raspberry. It's lively with chai spices and typical cranberry juice at first, then the acidic structure reveals a more savory side, with cherry tomato, tapenade and dried meats on the finish.Aubaine Vineyard9350CaliforniaSan Luis Obispo CountyCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannLoring Wine Company 2013 Aubaine Vineyard Pinot Noir (San Luis Obispo County)Pinot NoirLoring Wine Company
2939729396USThe nose on this well-priced appellation blend by Brian Loring has it all: golden honey, caramel apple, supple peach flesh, pressed white flowers, fresh yellow flowers and even quinine. The apple-flesh flavors show oak influence in hints of butterscotch and pineapple, yet the mouthwatering acidity keeps it all in balance.9324CaliforniaSanta Lucia HighlandsCentral CoastMatt Kettmann@mattkettmannLoring Wine Company 2013 Chardonnay (Santa Lucia Highlands)ChardonnayLoring Wine Company
2939829397USThe fruit is sourced from multiple vineyards across the appellation, including Eastside Estate, a vineyard formerly known as 3 Starrs recently purchased by the producer. Aromas of exotic plumeria provide an inviting entry, followed by a subtle, yet lightly rich expression of yellow apple and ample minerality. Everything combines for a balanced wine that's not overly heavy or overripe.Unoaked9339CaliforniaRussian River ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneWilliams Selyem 2013 Unoaked Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)ChardonnayWilliams Selyem
2939929398USMade from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot from Stillwater Creek and Conner Lee vineyards, this standout wine beautifully displays the strength of the 2012 vintage. Aromas of dark roasted coffee beans, café au lait, graphite and dark cherry lead to sweet, layered, persistent fruit flavors with a lingering, open finish. It's near-irresistible now but will peak from 2021 to 2025.Indomitable9350WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportWoodinville Wine Cellars 2012 Indomitable Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Bordeaux-style Red BlendWoodinville Wine Cellars
2940029399USHailing from Elephant Mountain Vineyard, this new offering—blended with 15% Merlot—brings aromas of fresh and dried herbs, pencil lead, mocha, potting soil and flowers. It's rich and flavorful with coffee and cherry notes backed by exceptionally integrated tannins, all leading to a lingering finish.Stratus9332WashingtonYakima ValleyColumbia ValleySean P. Sullivan@wawinereportCloudlift Cellars 2012 Stratus Petit Verdot (Yakima Valley)Petit VerdotCloudlift Cellars

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