Wine Reviews

2955129550FranceAn attractively simple, fruity Pinot Noir. It has ripe wild strawberry and red plum flavors, spiced with a gamy edge. The wine has a light structure, and is not for aging.8412BurgundyBourgogneRoger Voss@vossrogerManuel Olivier 2009 BourgognePinot NoirManuel Olivier
2955229551USToo much acidity in this dry wine, making it almost sour. Yet it has an enormous core of red and black cherry fruit, with a tasteful application of smoky oak, and a lovely, silky texture. Seems too unbalanced to age, so drink up.Regan Vineyards Reserve8440CaliforniaSanta Cruz MountainsCentral CoastBargetto 2008 Regan Vineyards Reserve Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mountains)Pinot NoirBargetto
2955329552USBrisk acidity provides a bracing balance to the ripe pineapple, pear and peach jam flavors, and there's a nice streak of minerality. However, the wine is far too sweet, and is cloying in the sugary finish.Signature Selection El Camino Vineyard8415CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastBianchi 2009 Signature Selection El Camino Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Barbara County)ChardonnayBianchi
2955429553ArgentinaCrimson in color but also translucent, with a candied, slightly green nose. Overall this is a simple quaffer with no excess weight and reasonably good flavors of berry and plum. Bland on the finish, but for $4 who's caring about finish?Red844Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachBroke Ass 2009 Red Malbec-Syrah (Mendoza)Malbec-SyrahBroke Ass
2955529554ItalyThe Il Tralcetto line (pretty bottles fastened with a snippet of grapevine on the neck of the bottle) continues with this bright, ruby-colored Pinot Nero. The wine opens with wild berry and forest floor aromas and offers bright, easy freshness on the close.Il Tralcetto8412VenetoVenetoCescon Italo Storia e Vini 2008 Il Tralcetto Pinot Nero (Veneto)Pinot NeroCescon Italo Storia e Vini
2955629555FranceThis is a full-bodied rosé with soft red berry and tart cherry flavors intertwined with notes of white chocolate. The finish could last a bit longer. Drink up.8416Languedoc-RoussillonCorbièresLauren Buzzeo@laurbuzzChâteau Ollieux Romanis 2009 Rosé (Corbières)RoséChâteau Ollieux Romanis
2955729556ArgentinaSmells sweet and artificial, with chemical notes and overwrought vanilla. Juicy in the mouth, with flesh and freshness. But the flavors are oaky, so much so that the wine's citrus and apple quality is masked. Finishes with grapefruit and bitterness. Weird and all over the map.Don Nicanor8418Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachNieto Senetiner 2008 Don Nicanor Chardonnay-Viognier (Mendoza)Chardonnay-ViognierNieto Senetiner
2955829557GeorgiaA winemaking history in a bottle, this Georgian wine made from Rkatsiteli grapes is an unusual peek into techniques tracing back 8,000 years. Deep gold in color due to an extended maceration on grape skins, this wine was aged in buried clay vessels, then oak, giving it a smoky, earthy profile with notes of butterscotch and roasted nut skins. There's not a lot of acidity, but it's refreshing with pretty orange peel notes and a grape tannin astringency on the finish.Satrapezo 10 Kvevri8435KakhetiAnna Lee C. IijimaTelavi 2007 Satrapezo 10 Kvevri Rkatsiteli (Kakheti)RkatsiteliTelavi
2955929558USUnripe, with strong lemongrass, green pea and feline spray flavors accompanying more pleasant lemons and limes. Acidity is strong, and the wine is totally dry.8422CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaKissos 2009 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley)Sauvignon BlancKissos
2956029559ItalyThis Refosco (a native grape of northeast Italy) opens with plush, ripe fruit flavors and then follows with bitter acidity that comes as quite a surprise. Pair this wine with butter- or cheese-based dishes that will help diminish that sharp acidic bite.8414VenetoVenetoLa di Motte 2007 Refosco (Veneto)RefoscoLa di Motte
2956129560FranceLight Pinot Noir, with crisp raspberry flavors. The very fruity wine has an edge of bitterness to go with the acidity.8414BurgundyHautes Côtes de NuitsRoger Voss@vossrogerManuel Olivier 2008 Hautes Côtes de NuitsPinot NoirManuel Olivier
2956229561SpainPungent and grassy on the nose, with a strong nettle and green herb character. The palate is soft and playful, with pithy white fruit flavors and then a soda-like dry finish. Plump, wayward and a bit green overall.8424Northern SpainRuedaMichael Schachner@wineschachReina de Castilla 2009 Sauvignon (Rueda)SauvignonReina de Castilla
2956329562USA bit murky, the herbal and spicy flavors of Malbec are softened into a smooth but diffuse wine, with a plastic note in the finish.8420WashingtonRattlesnake HillsColumbia ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Roza Ridge 2008 Malbec (Rattlesnake Hills)MalbecRoza Ridge
2956429563FranceLemony, fruit-driven wine, very crisp in character, with lightness and delicacy. Acidity and a touch of pear flavor offer balance.Loire Valley Demi-Sec8415Loire ValleyVouvrayRoger Voss@vossrogerSauvion 2010 Loire Valley Demi-Sec (Vouvray)Chenin BlancSauvion
2956529564USFairly light and innocuous; you really have to make an effort to draw anything from the nose. The palate is sweet and sugary, especially for Pinot Gris, which should be more dry and snappy. And that sweetness carries onto the finish and all the way out the back door. Not offensive, but overly sweet and thick given the grape and origin.8314OregonOregonOregon OtherMichael Schachner@wineschachSilvan Ridge 2001 Pinot Gris (Oregon)Pinot GrisSilvan Ridge
2956629565USLike a photocopy of a good Chardonnay, this wine is indistinct. There are some decent peach and apple flavors and what tastes like a dose of oak, but it's really thin and watery.Barrel Aged838CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherWoodbridge 2001 Barrel Aged Chardonnay (California)ChardonnayWoodbridge
2956729566USSweet and simple, with pleasant peach, apple and spice notes. Fresh and clean on the finish.837CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherWoodbridge 2002 Johannisberg Riesling (California)Johannisberg RieslingWoodbridge
2956829567USA thin, uninspiring wine with citrus and apple sauce flavors and lots of acidity. Tastes watered down, but will do in a pinch.Private Selection8311CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastRobert Mondavi 2001 Private Selection Chardonnay (Central Coast)ChardonnayRobert Mondavi
2956929568SpainGrainy, unfocused aromas start it off, and the wine just never gets back on track after that. The palate is bulky and overdone with plum and prune flavors, while the finish seems sweet and raisiny, and without a lot of harmony. As a whole it's chewy yet neither here nor there.Crianza8318Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachPradorey 1999 Crianza (Ribera del Duero)Tinto del PaisPradorey
2957029569USBorderline translucent in color, and equally light in the nose. The aromas are of cranberry and chlorine. The palate is all strawberry and some bitter oak, and while it picks up steam and fills out with time, the initial impression is hard to overcome.Umpqua Cuvee8239OregonUmpqua ValleySouthern OregonMichael Schachner@wineschachHenry Estate 2001 Umpqua Cuvee Pinot Noir (Umpqua Valley)Pinot NoirHenry Estate
2957129570USA bit weedy in the nose, with notes of pepper and salsa. The flavor profile runs sour, with rhubarb and pie cherries sticking out. The mouthfeel is where the wine suffers most; it's hard and aggressive, with piercing tannins and acids that combine forces to starch out your palate and cheeks.White Bluffs - Estate Grown & Bottled8221WashingtonColumbia Valley (WA)Columbia ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachClaar 1999 White Bluffs - Estate Grown & Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))Cabernet SauvignonClaar
2957229571AustraliaOffers cracker and wheat aromas, and light white stone-fruit flavors that seem coated in confectioner's sugar, or talc. Perhaps it's the “unwooded” designation talking, but this wine seems a little light, and not much like Chardonnay.Promised Land - Unwooded8210South AustraliaSouth AustraliaWakefield 2002 Promised Land - Unwooded Chardonnay (South Australia)ChardonnayWakefield
2957329572USWhile not smelling much like typical Viognier, this southern Oregon offering is round, sweet and ripe, with honey and apple flavors. The finish is sweet and honeyed, and also quite short. A chunky, full-bodied mouthfeel is the most typical characteristic of the wine.Del Rio Vineyards8218OregonRogue ValleySouthern OregonMichael Schachner@wineschachSilvan Ridge 2001 Del Rio Vineyards Viognier (Rogue Valley)ViognierSilvan Ridge
2957429573USQuite viscous, with creamy peach, melon and pear flavors at its core. An odd mineral note sticks out, though, while the finish could use a touch more acidity.8210CaliforniaEl DoradoSierra FoothillsMadroña 2001 Riesling (El Dorado)RieslingMadroña
2957529574USDry, bright and light, with simple, modest fruit flavors and a short clean finsih.8215CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaTrefethen 2002 Riesling (Napa Valley)RieslingTrefethen
2957629575USA bizarre wine weird-aromas and flavors. Smells smoky-sweet, like cotton candy, with mint and peach puree, and has similar flavors. Hard to tell if it's dry or sweet.Blanche's Vineyard8218CaliforniaLivermore ValleyCentral CoastCedar Mountain 2000 Blanche's Vineyard Chardonnay (Livermore Valley)ChardonnayCedar Mountain
2957729576AustraliaFruit on the palate is yellow but flat; you'll find more yellow fruit on the nose, where it shows a little more life. Finishes with some chalk and herb.Lightly Wooded8218South AustraliaSouthern FleurieuMt. Jagged 2001 Lightly Wooded Chardonnay (Southern Fleurieu)ChardonnayMt. Jagged
2957829577USTastes and smells hot, with a burnt rubber note that persists through the tart, peppery finish. The wine is very dry, with little fruit.8214CaliforniaCaliforniaCalifornia OtherHawk Crest 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon (California)Cabernet SauvignonHawk Crest
2957929578AustraliaThe mixed plum fruit is unremarkable but fine. In terms of texture, there's not much, until some powdery-woody tannins pop up on the back end.Kanga's Leap828Australia OtherSouth Eastern AustraliaRiverina Estates 2002 Kanga's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon (South Eastern Australia)Cabernet SauvignonRiverina Estates
2958029579USFlat but clean, with very light and distant apricot and celery aromas. The flavors veer toward green apple and lemon, while the finish is bland. From a texture standpoint, it's watery, with only modest fruit quality.8213OregonWillamette ValleyWillamette ValleyMichael Schachner@wineschachWillamette Valley Vineyards 2001 Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley)Pinot GrisWillamette Valley Vineyards

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