Wine Reviews

2962529624USSterling delivers a solid Pinot at an affordable price with this dry, tart bottling. It shows classic silkiness and delicacy, with good cherry, pomegranate, tea and sandalwood flavors.Vintner's Collection8616CaliforniaCentral CoastCentral CoastSterling 2012 Vintner's Collection Pinot Noir (Central Coast)Pinot NoirSterling
2962629625SpainOn first take, the bouquet is hampered by reduced aromas of iodine and the palate feels hard, tight and racy. With airing, this shows better. Flavors of blackberry and plum come to life and finish well, and as a whole, this is good in a pedestrian, regular way.Crianza8613Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachRaiza 2009 Crianza (Rioja)TempranilloRaiza
2962729626USA spicy blend of 44% Grenache, 32% Syrah and 24% Tempranillo, all grown in Fair Play, an increasingly interesting place for Rhône varieties. With soft swirls of fruity plum amid masculine tobacco and leather, there's a lusciousness to the finish that's appealing but could use a bit more of a kick.G minor8624CaliforniaFair PlaySierra FoothillsVirginie Boone@vbooneBaiocchi Wines 2011 G minor Red (Fair Play)Grenache BlendBaiocchi Wines
2962829627ItalyTorcicoda is a thick and deeply extracted Primitivo with mature notes of fruit preserves, blackberry and jasmine tea. The wine is big and bulky upon first impression but then relaxes and evolves slowly with more time in the glass. It imparts sweet tannins and a long, spicy finish.Torcicoda8824Southern ItalySalentoTormaresca 2006 Torcicoda Primitivo (Salento)PrimitivoTormaresca
2962929628SpainCharred on top and showing roasted berry aromas underneath. This wine sizes up as a plump, round berry ball with low-to-medium acidity and soft tannins. It's just mildly herbal and rooty, with a soft finish. It flows smoothly and won't cause any eyebrows to be raised. Drink now.Conde de Valdemar Gran Reserva8835Northern SpainRiojaMichael Schachner@wineschachBodegas Valdemar 2001 Conde de Valdemar Gran Reserva (Rioja)Tempranillo BlendBodegas Valdemar
2963029629SpainAfter an initial blast of raw oak this Ribera settles nicely to show appealing leather and berry aromas along with savory blackberry and molasses flavors. There's also ample spice, chocolate and toast to give it a dark personality. Nice for a young wine; it's flush, lush and quite dense.8817Northern SpainRibera del DueroMichael Schachner@wineschachArrocal 2006 Ribera del DueroTempranillo BlendArrocal
2963129630ItalyHere's a smoky, nutty blend of Greco and Fiano with a flat, broad approach and well-integrated notes of pear, Golden Delicious apple and honey. The wine tastes soft and thick and makes a excellent impression on the palate.Faius8825Southern ItalyIrpiniaI Capitani 2006 Faius White (Irpinia)White BlendI Capitani
2963229631FranceElegant, structured and mineral, this is an excellent wine at the village level, with its green fruit and its promise of aging. A pure, crisp green aftertaste.88BurgundyPuligny-MontrachetRoger Voss@vossrogerLouis Latour 2006 Puligny-MontrachetChardonnayLouis Latour
2961129610USWith 7% Malbec, this hearty red is tightly wound in youthful tannins and a smoky cloud of complex flavor. Leathery and earthy, it traffics in plum, blackberry and chocolate, intertwining the rich ripe fruit into a harmonious whole that pleases the palate.8828CaliforniaKnights ValleySonomaVirginie Boone@vbooneRodney Strong 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Knights Valley)Cabernet SauvignonRodney Strong
2963329632ItalyGreco di Tufo is one of the best white wines from southern Italy and this luminous expression makes that argument very well. The wine is fresh, tonic and generous with its aromas of mineral and stone fruit. You couldn't ask for a better partner to any fresh fish dish.NovaSerra8830Southern ItalyGreco di TufoMastroberardino 2007 NovaSerra (Greco di Tufo)GrecoMastroberardino
2963429633USThis wine would be a great value even for more money. It's bone dry, soft and extremely balanced, with cherry, black currant, plum and carob flavors that are grounded with a nice, sweet edge of fresh herbs and tobacco.Reserve8810CaliforniaNapa ValleyNapaNapa Family Vineyards 2004 Reserve Merlot (Napa Valley)MerlotNapa Family Vineyards
2961229611ArgentinaBlueberry, plum and cardamom aromas include a whiff of wood smoke. A balanced palate has energy along with brambly berry and chocolate flavors. A chewy, solid finish is good but less lively than the palate.Icon8820Mendoza ProvinceMendozaMichael Schachner@wineschachRubus 2014 Icon Malbec (Mendoza)MalbecRubus
2963529634USThis sharp, spicy, herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc showcases the flavors of the Columbia Gorge AVA. It's a pungent wine, with sweet grassy flavors and a hint of toast, despite fermentation in stainless steel. Unusual but interesting.Columbia View Vineyards8814OregonColumbia Gorge (OR)Oregon OtherPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Cor Cellars 2006 Columbia View Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Gorge (OR))Sauvignon BlancCor Cellars
2963629635AustraliaThis full-throttle blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre comes across as almost Zinfandel-like, with bold, briary fruit and hints of damp earth. Shows a bit of warmth on the finish, but also a flourish of bright berry fruit. Drink now and over the next several years.The Cadenzia8825South AustraliaMcLaren ValeJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzD'Arenberg 2005 The Cadenzia G-S-M (McLaren Vale)G-S-MD'Arenberg
2963729636USErath makes a solid, reliable, all-purpose but somewhat generic Oregon Pinot Noir. This blended wine fills a desperate need for something that can represent good old basic Oregon Pinot Noir. It's accessible and spicy, with clean and tangy red fruits. A bit sharp and acidic, it should improve over the next couple of years as it softens out.Estate Selection8830OregonDundee HillsWillamette ValleyPaul Gregutt@paulgwine Erath 2006 Estate Selection Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills)Pinot NoirErath
2961329612PortugalThis soft wine is a blend of two local white grapes: Síria and Fonte Cal. Intense acidity and a cool-climate feel from the high- altitude vineyards make this crisp, with grapefruit and lemon flavors. Drink now.Beyra Branco8812Beira InteriorRoger Voss@vossrogerRui Roboredo Madeira 2016 Beyra Branco White (Beira Interior)Portuguese WhiteRui Roboredo Madeira
2963829637ItalyFeudi di San Gregorio delivers one of the best Fiano's you will ever taste: The wine is rich and smooth with aromas of yellow fruit, nuts and white mineral that accompany you throughout the experience. Drink it with your favorite Mediterranean dishes.8824Southern ItalyFiano di AvellinoFeudi di San Gregorio 2007 Fiano di AvellinoFianoFeudi di San Gregorio
2961429613USCabernet specialist Terra Valentine tries their hand at Merlot, with mixed results. The wine feels labored, as though it were produced to meet some sort of profile. It's soft, gently tannic and sweet in cherry pie, mocha and anise.Estate Grown8650CaliforniaSpring Mountain DistrictNapaTerra Valentine 2010 Estate Grown Merlot (Spring Mountain District)MerlotTerra Valentine
2963929638SpainRoasted and dark, with full blackberry and smoked-meat aromas. Organic Tempranillo, Syrah, Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon comprise this tight, dark, rugged wine with forward tannins and acidity bolstering cherry, cassis and cola flavors. Made in the modern, ripe style. Drink now–2010.Qubél8853Central SpainVinos de MadridMichael Schachner@wineschachGosalbez Orti 2003 Qubél Red (Vinos de Madrid)Red BlendGosalbez Orti
2964029639ItalyHere's a traditional, old school Taurasi with bright notes of apple skin and red berry that add buoyancy and freshness. The wine is drinkable and approachable (not always an easy feat for Aglianico) and leaves a long endnote of dusty tannins.Bosco Faiano8839Southern ItalyTaurasiI Capitani 2003 Bosco Faiano (Taurasi)AglianicoI Capitani
2961529614USThis Syrah offers toasty and charred notes that frame the fruity core of red cherry and raspberry. It's medium bodied, offering supple tannins that support mocha and grilled herb flavors.8625VirginiaVirginiaFox Meadow 2010 Syrah (Virginia)SyrahFox Meadow
2961629615FranceAydie's easy drinking wine, showing off the fruity side of Tannat. It has ripe fruits, light acidity and tannins and a hint of spice. This is a great wine for barbecues with its easy quaffing character right at the fore. Drink now. Screwcap.Aramis8610Southwest FranceRoger Voss@vossrogerChâteau d'Aydie 2012 Aramis Tannat-SyrahTannat-SyrahChâteau d'Aydie
2961729616ArgentinaA purple tint and aromas of black fruits, graphite, toast and minerally crispness set the bar high, but in the mouth and on the palate things are less impressive. There's a raw, acidic bite despite oaky creaminess, while flavors of wild berry and herbs finish a bit green.8613OtherPatagoniaMichael Schachner@wineschachAlpataco 2011 Malbec (Patagonia)MalbecAlpataco
2961829617FranceThis is a fruit-forward, almost-Beaujolais-like wine, with bouncy cherry and raspberry fruit, medium weight in the mouth and a simple but satisfying finish. Drink it over the next several months.869Rhône ValleyCôtes du RhôneJoe Czerwinski@JoeCzLes Trois Couronnes 2012 Grenache-Syrah (Côtes du Rhône)Grenache-SyrahLes Trois Couronnes
2961929618USRipe bramble, black cherry and berry notes are enticingly fragrant on this Merlot-based Bordeaux-blend. The palate is concentrated with cherry and berry flavors too, but more tart and crisp in profile, with a nervy cranberry acidity that reverberates on the finish.Old World Blend8635New YorkNorth Fork of Long IslandLong IslandAnna Lee C. IijimaMattebella 2008 Old World Blend Red (North Fork of Long Island)Bordeaux-style Red BlendMattebella
2962029619USMainly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this is a soft, easy wine for drinking now. It has fruit-forward flavors of blackberries and cherries, with a strong dose of sweet, smoky oak.Red Label8625CaliforniaNapa CountyNapaNewton 2011 Red Label Claret (Napa County)ClaretNewton
2962129620SpainGiven that Albariño doesn't age that well, this 2010 version is in pretty good shape. Aromas of stone fruits and wet stones lead to a plump, fleshy palate with chunky flavors of melon and lees. On the finish is where this shows its age; there's mild oxidation and bitterness along with a soft, fading feel.La Comtesse de Pazo Barrantes8660GaliciaRías BaixasMichael Schachner@wineschachPazo de Barrantes 2010 La Comtesse de Pazo Barrantes Albariño (Rías Baixas)AlbariñoPazo de Barrantes
2962229621USThere's some nice weight and spice here in this mild-mannered Graciano, adept in its baked plum and strawberry flavor, spicy leather throughout the soft textures with a pronounced savory hit on the finish. Pair with grilled meats or paella.Terra Alta Vineyard8628CaliforniaClements HillsCentral ValleyVirginie Boone@vbooneRiaza 2010 Terra Alta Vineyard Graciano (Clements Hills)GracianoRiaza
2962329622USThis is a good wine, but it's not on a par with previous vintages, which probably was the result of the unusually cool summer. The wine tastes simple, with delicious but one-dimensional licorice, sweet, softened cola and blackberry jam flavors.Ballard Canyon Estate Reserve8636CaliforniaSanta Barbara CountyCentral CoastRusack 2011 Ballard Canyon Estate Reserve Syrah (Santa Barbara County)SyrahRusack
2962429623ItalyHere's a simple Pinot Grigio from Abruzzo with pretty aromas of white flowers. The palate offers bright green apple and pear flavors with a crisp and refreshing finish. Pair this with light pasta salads.STLTO8610Central ItalyTerre di ChietiKerin O’Keefe@kerinokeefeSpinelli 2012 STLTO Pinot Grigio (Terre di Chieti)Pinot GrigioSpinelli

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