Advance Buying Guide by fjzhangxiaoquan

VIEWS: 147 PAGES: 51

									                           Buying Guide

                               The picturesque village of Puy-L’Evêque, in the Cahors region of southwest France.

                           Special Advance Release

                            Wines reviewed for the February 2010 issue,
                                        in home January 7
                                                FOR ADDITIONAL RATINGS AND REVIEWS
                                                       tannins. It is dark, a solid wall of flavor, finishing   three to four years. Imported by Wine Traditions.
CAHORS                                                 with a chink of light and acidity. Imported by Old       —R.V.
                                                       World Wines Inc. Editors’ Choice. —R.V.

94    Jean-Luc Baldès 2006 Clos Trigue-
      dina The New Black Wine
(Cahors); $NA. By heating part of the must             90       Château Haut-Monplaisir 2006
                                                                Prestige (Cahors); $25. Lightly per-
                                                                                                                88       Château La Caminade 2006
                                                                                                                         Cahors; $14. A beefy wine, solid and
                                                                                                                structured. The tannins are dense, very dry,
before vinification, Jean-Luc Baldès has revived       fumed, the wine then shows elegant concentra-            packed with the juiciest of black fruits, and
the medieval way of making Cahors, when it was         tion. It has ripe, vibrant fruit, but this is rounded    promising a year or two’s aging. There is a hint of
know as the black wine. It gives, literally, black     by the finely judged wood. Over the fruit, there’s       perfume from wood and sweet fruits. A great
colored wine, with flavors of stewed prunes allied     a suave layer of wood giving a wine that has aging       wine for rich meats. Imported by Bayfield
to intense, dry tannins. Red berries add fresh-        potential. Imported by Vintage ’59 Imports. —            Importing Ltd. —R.V.
ness, but this is more jelly, cooked fruits and        R.V.
darkness. Imported by Eagle Eye Imports. —
                                                       90       Jean-Luc Baldès 2006 Clos Trigue-
                                                                dina (Cahors); $NA. With additions
                                                                                                                88       Jean-Luc Baldès 2007 Clos Trigue-
                                                                                                                         dina La Chapelle du Clos (Cahors);
                                                                                                                $NA. A bold, fruity wine, the dry tannins at the

93       Jean-Luc Baldès 2006 Clos Trigue-
         dina Probus (Cahors); $NA. A wine
that is proof that not all powerful wines also need
                                                       of Tannat and Merlot to the 75% Malbec, this is
                                                       the main wine from the estate of Jean-Luc
                                                       Baldès. It is powerful, dark and dense, a proper
                                                                                                                heart of big generous dollops of black plums, ripe
                                                                                                                berry fruits and a solid structure. From old vine-
                                                                                                                yards, this is pure fruit, very direct, concentrated.
high alcohol, this intense 13% ABV wine is con-        tribute to the Malbec grape, with its dry tannins        Imported by Eagle Eye Imports. —R.V.
centrated, almost black in its color, a classic Mal-   at the center of the black fig, spice and bitter cof-
bec. It has all the solid tannins, structure, the
darkest of black plums and licorice flavors. It
should age well. Imported by Eagle Eye Imports.
                                                       fee flavors. Worth aging for 2-3 years, but drink-
                                                       able now with rich food. Imported by Eagle Eye
                                                       Imports. Editors’ Choice. —R.V.
                                                                                                                87       Clos la Coutale 2007 Cahors; $NA.
                                                                                                                          The wine feels light, with tannins that
                                                                                                                are edging on lean. The bitter cherry and dark
Cellar Selection. —R.V.                                                                                         plum fruit flavors give a vivid acidity and fresh-

92       Château Haut-Monplaisir 2006
         Pur Plaisir (Cahors); $53. An
                                                       89       Château Bovila 2006 Cahors; $10.
                                                                 Wood dominates both the aroma and
                                                       the flavor of this wine. It’s good wood, giving
                                                                                                                ness, leaving the stalky tannins balanced with the
                                                                                                                acidity. Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Mer-
                                                                                                                chant. —R.V.
intensely perfumed wine, combining power and           vanilla and smooth textures. It has softened the
smooth elegance. The wood gives the perfume
initially, but the fruit is not far behind, a ripe
layer of sweet jelly flavors, bolstered by tannin.
                                                       fruit, the fresh berry flavors sitting on a soft cush-
                                                       ion of dusty tannins. It needs 2–3 years.
                                                       Imported by Ararat Import/Export Co. LLC.
                                                                                                                87       Clos Troteligotte 2007 La Fourmi
                                                                                                                         (Cahors); $13. Cherry juice aromas
                                                                                                                lead to a soft wine, the fruit full of fresh berries,
The aftertaste is fresh, bright, but still intense.    Best Buy. —R.V.                                          with only hints of tannins. There is intense acid-
Imported by Vintage ’59 Imports. Cellar Selec-                                                                  ity, the wood adding further green characters to
tion. —R.V.
                                                       89       Clos Troteligotte 2006 La Perdrix
                                                                (Cahors); $10. A rich, juicy, super-ripe
                                                                                                                the wine. Imported by Old World Wines Inc. —

91       Château Haut-Monplaisir 2005
         Prestige (Cahors); $NA. Sweet fruits
dominate this wine. It still has all the right black
                                                       wine, the fruit a powerhouse of dark flavors. In
                                                       this welter of fruit, the tannin is just a sideshow,
                                                       while the acidity brings a layer of freshness to         87       Jean-Luc Baldès 2007 Clos Trigue-
                                                                                                                         dina Le Petit Clos (Cahors); $NA.
tannins and berry fruits, but it also has great        the smoky character. It is still young, and needs        This is the simplest Cahors from Triguedina. It
ripeness, the wine spiced with vanilla and all-        2–3 years. Imported by Old World Wines Inc. —            relies for pleasure on its sheer juiciness, with soft
spice. It finishes with mouthfilling juiciness.        R.V.                                                     tannins and very fresh fruits, combined with fla-
Imported by Vintage ’59 Imports. —R.V.                                                                          vors of beetroot and red berries, the acidity fit-

91       Château Lamartine 2007 Cuvée
         Particulière (Cahors); $22. Plenty of
                                                       88       Château Haut-Monplaisir 2006
                                                                Cahors; $NA. A big beefy version of
                                                       Malbec, with chewy fruits, solid dry tannins. It is
                                                                                                                ting well into the rounded character. Imported by
                                                                                                                Eagle Eye Imports. —R.V.

dark Malbec tannins here, giving a tight, mineral
wine with a core of dryness. Around the core are
black plum and fig fruits, and an edge of the
                                                       a firm wine, packed with black currants and cran-
                                                       berry juice, spiced up with nutmeg, vanilla and
                                                       tense tannins. Imported by Vintage ’59 Imports.
                                                                                                                85       Château Haut-Monplaisir 2007
                                                                                                                         Tradition (Cahors); $18. This is pure
                                                                                                                fruit, blackberry, dark cherries and plums. The
crispest black currants. Firmly extracted, with        —R.V.                                                    tannins give a huge burst of dryness to the wine,
fine wood toast flavors. Imported by T. Edward                                                                  but at this young stage, the juicy fruit and wood
Wines Ltd. Editors’ Choice. —R.V.
                                                       88       Château La Caminade 2007 La
                                                                Commandery (Cahors); $24. Some-
                                                                                                                are dominant. Imported by Vintage ’59 Imports.

91       Clos Troteligotte 2006 CQFD
         (Cahors); $NA. CQFD means Charte
de Qualité Fûts de Chêne (oak barrels), two con-
                                                       body was carried away with wood here. The wine
                                                       is totally dominated by flavors of burnt wood—
                                                       even the 50% new wood was too much in 2007.              85       Château La Caminade 2007 Mis-
                                                                                                                         sion la Caminade (Cahors); $12. A
cepts in one wine. The flavors are of the richest      That said, the fruit could increase in weight and        soft, juicy style of wine. It’s made for early drink-
fruit, freshened with acidity and enveloped in         black berry flavors. But not just yet—in another         ing, with light tannins, flavors of milk chocolate,

               W I N E S          R E V I E W E D              F O R        T H E        F E B R U A RY               2 0 1 0         I S S U E
red berries and only a hint of texture. There is a
final rather rustic character. Imported by Wine
Traditions. —R.V.
                                                       flavors finished with acidity and wood spice.
                                                       Imported by Wine Traditions. —R.V.                    85    Domaine de Mirail 2008 Caber-
                                                                                                                   net-Merlot (Vin de Pays des Côtes
                                                                                                             de Gascogne); $12. There is a fresh, crisp

                                                       85      Château Bellevue la Forêt 2006
                                                               (Côtes de Frontonnais); $12. Fron-
                                                       ton, a small vineyard area just outside Toulouse
                                                                                                             character to this light rosé. It is eye-watering in
                                                                                                             its refreshing character, with balancing acidity,
                                                                                                             smoothing out the edges with a touch of caramel.
                                                       specializesin the Negrette grape. This gives a        Imported by Potomac Selections. —R.V.

91       Château Bellevue la Forêt 2005
         Optimum (Fronton); $21. A wine for
further aging. The wood element is powerful, but
                                                       dried fruit character, along with juicy black
                                                       grapes and a dense, dusty texture. The wine has a
                                                                                                             85    Producteurs Plaimont 2008
                                                                                                                   Colombelle Rosé (Vin de Pays des
                                                       touch of wood to smooth out the rustic wrinkles.
then so is the rich, jammy fruit. You can feel the                                                           Côtes de Gascogne); $9. It takes skill to
                                                       Imported by Wine Traditions. —R.V.
weight, taste the extraction, the bitter chocolate                                                           make a fresh, light rosé from the naturally tannic
character bursting out of the ripest blackberry                                                              Tannat grape, but this wine succeeds mar-
fruit flavors. Keep for 2–3 years. Imported by
Wine Traditions. Editors’ Choice. —R.V.
                                                       85      Château Cahuzac 2007 Fronton;
                                                               $13. Spice, licorice and tobacco com-
                                                       bine to give a wine that is tannic and solid. The
                                                                                                             velously. It is fresh, crisp, flavored with raspber-
                                                                                                             ries. Perfect summer drinking. Screwcap.
                                                                                                             Imported by Winesellers Ltd. Best Buy. —R.V.
                                                       fruit element shows acidity, bright berries and

90       Château Bellevue la Forêt 2006
         Optimum (Fronton); $21. A big
wine, with its great floral perfumes dominating
                                                       damsons. A touch of green pepper cuts through
                                                       the fruit. Imported by WineWise. —R.V.                84       Château C ah u z ac 2008 R o s é
                                                                                                                      (Fronton); $13. A lively wine, layering
the dark tannins and dense texture. The berry                                                                wild strawberry and vanilla flavors with a light
fruit is part of this powerful expression of struc-
ture. Here the Négrette expresses its pure juicy
                                                       85    Producteurs Plaimont 2008
                                                             Colombelle (Vin de Pays des
                                                       Côtes de Gascogne); $9. A wine that is so
                                                                                                             spritz and sweetshop candy. The acidity is crisp,
                                                                                                             apple skin fresh. Imported by WineWise. —R.V.
and tannic character, leaving final very fresh acid-
                                                       easy to drink, with its fresh berry fruits, light
ity. Imported by Wine Traditions. —R.V.
                                                       stalkiness and gentle tannins. It is fruity, juicy,   WHITE WINES
                                                       bursting with bright acidity and easy flavors.

90       Château Les Tours des Verdots
         2006 Côtes de Bergerac; $21.
Dominated by Merlot, but with sizable chunks
                                                       Screwcap. Imported by Winesellers Ltd.. Best
                                                       Buy. —R.V.                                            90       Domaine des Terrisses 2006 Terre
                                                                                                                      Originelle (Gaillac); $20. If you are
                                                                                                             looking for wild flavors, then this wine is for you.
of other Bordeaux grapes, this is finely polished,
wood-aged wine. It has perfumed spice and dry
tannins from the wood. The fruit balances well,
                                                       84      Château Bellevue la Forêt 2007
                                                               Cuvée BLF (Fronton); $11. There is
                                                       a barnyard feel to this wine, from its rustic aro-
                                                                                                             It is dry, but smells sweet, with lychee, green
                                                                                                             candy and aromatic spices. It’s a wine with a ter-
                                                                                                             rific character, needing cheeses and rich fish
showing wild blackberry and licorice. Age for 2–3
                                                       mas through the edgy berry fruit to the final fla-    dishes to bring out its full potential. Imported by
years. Imported by Wine Impressions. —R.V.
                                                       vors of acidity and beetroot. The character gives     Wine Traditions. —R.V.
                                                       licorice and spice as well as blackberry fruits.
88       Château Bellevue la Forêt 2007
         Ce Vin (Fronton); $12. An elegant,
stylish wine, with touches of toast, packed with
                                                       Imported by Wine Traditions. —R.V.
                                                                                                             89       Château Les Tours des Verdots
                                                                                                                      2008 Bergerac Sec; $21. Layers of
                                                                                                             spicy wood add to the smooth, creamy character
blackberry juice, black cherries and good con-
centration. It’s a wine with depth, richness, the      ROSÉ WINES                                            of this wine. It has vivid acidity lifted by green
                                                                                                             fruit skins and flavors of pineapple and grape-
berry fruits both delicious and fresh. Imported by                                                           fruit. There is a final perfume from the Mus-
Wine Traditions. —R.V.
                                                       86      Château Bellevue la Forêt 2008
                                                               Rosé (Fronton); $12. A wine that is
                                                       rounded, fresh but with some weight, giving ripe
                                                                                                             cadelle in the blend. Imported by Wine
                                                                                                             Impressions. —R.V.

88       Château Les Tours des Verdots
         2007 Clos des Verdots (Bergerac);             strawberry and crisp acidity at the same time.
$13. A smooth, velvet textured wine. It has some
weight, but the balance is what is most attractive
                                                       There is some softness, but the wine is very dry,
                                                       obviously a food wine. Imported by Wine Tradi-
                                                                                                             89     Jean-Luc Baldès 2007 Clos Trigue-
                                                                                                                    dina Le Moelleux du Clos Chenin
                                                                                                             Blanc (Vin de Pays du Comté Tolosan);
about this wine. It has spice, crisp black currant     tions. —R.V.                                          $NA/500 ml. Chenin Blanc as far south as
fruits and intense freshness that tips over into                                                             Cahors is a rarity. But this wine works. It is fresh,
final acidity. Imported by Wine Impressions.
Best Buy. —R.V.                                        86    Jean-Luc Baldès 2007 Clos Trigue-
                                                             dina Le Rosé du Clos (Vin de Pays
                                                       du Comté Tolosan); $NA. Subtitled Vin de
                                                                                                             packed with dried apricots, white figs, the
                                                                                                             crispest honey and vibrant acidity. Imported by
                                                                                                             Eagle Eye Imports. —R.V.

88       Domaine des Terrisses 2007 Gail-
         lac; $14. The local grapes Braucol and
Duras give a juicy wine, with a firm backdrop of
                                                       Lune, moon wine, because the grapes were har-
                                                       vested at night. That has allowed the wine to pre-
                                                       serve its freshness with lively acidity and fresh     88     Jean-Luc Baldès 2008 Clos Trigue-
                                                                                                                    dina Le Sec du Clos Chardonnay-
meaty tannins. The wine is fresh, light in charac-     red currant flavors. Imported by Eagle Eye            Viognier (Vin de Pays du Comté Tolosan);
ter, with a violet perfume and rosemary herbal         Imports. —R.V.                                        $NA. Only red wine can be made under the

Cahors appellation, hence the Vin de Pays
moniker for this white from Jean-Luc Baldès. It
is rich, creamy, touched by apricots and ripe
                                                         96       Gianni Voerzio 2005 La Serra
                                                                  (Barolo); $125. We are enthusiasti-
                                                         cally impressed by this gorgeous wine: From the
                                                                                                                tones will surely become more elegant with time.
                                                                                                                Imported by Vintus LLC. Cellar Selection.
quince. It finishes softly, warmly, rather than          La Morra location in the Barolo region, Gianni
crisply. Imported by Eagle Eye Imports. —R.V.            Voerzio and his wife Franca have been making
                                                         wine since 1986 and carry forth a philosophy that
                                                         relies on both innovation and tradition. This is a
                                                                                                                95       Mauro Molino 2005 Vigna Conca
                                                                                                                         (Barolo); $NA. Here’s an impressive
                                                                                                                new name in Barolo. Mauro Molino first bottled
87       Domaine des Terrisses 2008 Gail-
         lac; $12. A rounded wine, offering pear
flavors brightened by soft acidity. The wine has
                                                         ripe, full and rich expression of Nebbiolo with
                                                         long-lasting flavors of blackberry, tar and cola.
                                                                                                                in 1985 and has shown consistent results that
                                                                                                                seem to have hit a high point this vintage. Fruit is
an attractive edge of toast to fill out the fruit.       Imported by Dancing Bear Cellars. Cellar               harvested from the Vigna Conca cru, resulting in
                                                         Selection. —M.L.                                       elegant and refined pulses of wild berries, cola
Imported by Wine Traditions. Best Buy. —R.V.
                                                                                                                and white almond. The wine is delicate and fem-

86    Domaine de Mirail 2008 Colom-
      bard (Vin de Pays des Côtes de
                                                         95       Cantina Bartolo Mascarello 2005
                                                                  Barolo; $NA. Founded in 1918 by one
                                                         of the grandfathers and custodians of Barolo tra-
                                                                                                                inine, but delivers a blast of power and persis-
                                                                                                                tency on the close. Imported by Michael Skurnik
                                                                                                                Wines. Cellar Selection. —M.L.
Gascogne); $12. Aromas of green apples bring
                                                         dition, this historic estate is now run by Bartolo’s
a fresh burst of acidity. The wine is bright, with a
firm texture of lime zest and red apple skins.
Imported by Potomac Selections. —R.V.
                                                         energetic daughter Maria Teresa. She continues
                                                         in a tradition of excellence, which highlights
                                                         integrity of fruit and intensity of flavors. There’s
                                                                                                                94       Angelo Germano 2005 Vigna Rué
                                                                                                                         (Barolo); $NA. With a long winemak-
                                                                                                                ing history that spans back to 1908, the Germano
                                                         beautiful purity here in the form of cassis fruit,     family has played an important role in the evolu-

85     Haut Marin 2008 Colombard-
       Sauvignon Blanc (Vin de Pays des
Côtes de Gascogne); $11. The crispest acid-
                                                         cherry cola and smoked Spanish cedar. Drink
                                                         after 2017. Imported by Robert Chadderdon
                                                                                                                tion of Barolo and Langhe wines. The Vigna Rué
                                                                                                                cru expression is an incredible wine with beauti-
                                                         Selections. Cellar Selection. —M.L.                    fully focused aromas of wild berry, cola and min-
ity, bright apricot and green plums. This is a light,                                                           eral. The mouthfeel is equally impressive thanks

fresh, instant quaffing wine, a delicious apéritif                Enrico Bergadano 2005 Sarmassa                to the polished and drying nature of the tannins.
style with a character that’s as bright as a button.              (Barolo); $65. Founded by Enrico              Imported by K&L Wine Merchants. —M.L.
Screwcap. Imported by Elite Wines Import.                Bergadano in 1974, this estate is now managed
—R.V.                                                    by son Piercarlo who farms two hectares of vines
                                                         in Barolo, Monforte and Novello. This is the fam-      94       Bric Cenciurio 2005 Coste di Rose
                                                                                                                         (Barolo); $43. Coste di Rose is a gor-

85     Producteurs Plaimont 2008
       Colombelle Blanc (Vin de Pays
des Côtes de Gascogne); $9. A fresh, grassy,
                                                         ily’s top wine, with fruit harvested from the cele-
                                                         brated Sarmassa cru. It shows incredible density
                                                         and elegance with bright aromas of wild berries,
                                                                                                                geous Barolo with impressive elegance and com-
                                                                                                                plexity. Aromas touch on delicate hints of violets,
                                                                                                                spice, cola and cedar and are beautifully unified
green herb wine, light, crisp and clean. It is a         white truffle and licorice. The drying tannins are     and integrated overall. The texture is thick and
wine for easy quaffing, with no pretension, no           tight and firm. Drink after 2015. Imported by          dense yet the quality of the tannins is particu-
thought needed, just summer pleasure. Drink              Vinarium Inc. Cellar Selection. —M.L.                  larly polished and tight. Don’t open this bottle
this year. Screwcap. Imported by Winesellers                                                                    before 2015. Imported by Italia Wine Imports.
Ltd. Best Buy. —R.V.
                                                         95       Giacomo Grimaldi 2005 Le Coste
                                                                  (Barolo); $75. Founded in 1930 by

                                                         Ferruccio Grimaldi, this family-run estate is now
                                                         showing some very exciting results. The La Coste
                                                         Barolo is a tight and focused wine that promises
                                                                                                                94       Cascina Ballarin 2005 Bricco Rocca
                                                                                                                         (Barolo); $NA. Cascina Ballarin’s
                                                                                                                Barolo Bricco Rocca comes from the La Morra

PIEDMONT                                                 to age beautifully over many more years. The
                                                         tannins and acidity are perfectly integrated and
                                                                                                                area of the Langhe and offers intense aromas of
                                                                                                                blue flower, violets, almond flowers, cinnamon
                                                         the nose boasts bright and intense layers of forest    and powdered licorice. The focus here is on ele-
BAROLO                                                   fruit, exotic spice, mesquite and black licorice. A    gance and harmony and the mouthfeel follows
                                                         Marc de Grazia selection; various American             through with power and determination. This is a

96       Eugenio Bocchino 2005 La Serra
         (Barolo); $99. This beautiful expres-
s io n o f N e b bi o l o f ro m t h e L a S erra c ru
                                                         importers. Cellar Selection. —M.L.                     truly beautiful wine. —M.L.

represents the best of Barolo winemaking tradi-
tion. Eugenio Bocchino heads a family-run estate
                                                         95       Luciano Sandrone 2005 Cannubi
                                                                  Boschis (Barolo); $165. One of the
                                                         most exciting names in Barolo, with fruit from
                                                                                                                94       E. Pira E Figli (Chiara Boschis)
                                                                                                                         2005 Cannubi (Barolo); $95. Vint-
                                                                                                                ner Chiara Boschis took over this historic estate
that spans almost six hectares in La Morra, Ver-         one of the most celebrated vineyard crus, this         after the death of its founder Luigi Pira. She con-
duno, Roddi and Alba. This is a focused and              vintage of Cannubi Boschis is a real treasure.         tinues in a precise Barolo tradition that pays
tightly tuned wine with bright berry nuances and         Cellar the wine 10 years or more to achieve bal-       attention to quality of fruit and vineyard designa-
exciting crispness, length and elegance. Imported        ance between its firm tannins and bright acidity.      tions. The Cannubi cru, for example, is cele-
by Small Vineyards LLC. Cellar Selection.                The wine already shows incredibly complex aro-         brated for the elegant nature of its wines. Here
—M.L.                                                    mas of wild berry fruit, truffle and cola and those    you will encounter fine aromas of orange blos-

               W I N E S            R E V I E W E D             F O R        T H E        F E B R U A RY              2 0 1 0        I S S U E
som, wild berries, white mineral and delicate flo-
ral notes. Imported by Indigenous Selections.
                                                      94      Mauro Veglio 2005 Vigneto Gat-
                                                              tera (Barolo); $NA. Mauro Veglio’s
                                                      estate is a small, family run affair that turns out
                                                                                                            intensity and persistency over the palate. This is a
                                                                                                            cellarworthy wine that will drink best five to 10
                                                                                                            years from now. When it’s ready, pair it with
                                                      excellent results year after year. A deep under-      braised lamb with aromatic herbs. A Marc de
                                                      standing of the Nebbiolo grape results in wines       Grazia selection; various American importers.
94     Franco Molino Cascina Rocca
       2005 Rocche dell’Annunziata
(Barolo); $48. The Barolo Rocche dell’Annun-
                                                      that are distinguished by signature aromas of wild
                                                      berries, mesquite, white truffle and fragrant

ziata exhibits bright berry notes followed by deli-
cate tones of violet, slate, wet earth, spice and
                                                      cedar. Tight tannins feel polished and dry in the
                                                      mouth and this Barolo should age nicely for
                                                      many more years. Imported by Rare Wine Com-
                                                                                                            93       Gianni Gagliardo 2005 Cannubi
                                                                                                                     (Barolo); $149. Here’s a boutique win-
                                                                                                            ery that has pushed forward over the generations
smoke. In the mouth, this beautiful wine delivers
                                                      pany. —M.L.                                           to offer beautiful expressions of Nebbiolo. Of its
density and concentration capped by bright acid-
                                                                                                            three Barolos, we especially love this wine from
ity and drying, firm tannins. Drink after 2015.
Imported by Frank Johnson Selections. —M.L.
                                                      94      Poderi Luigi Einaudi 2005 Nei
                                                              Cannubi (Barolo); $100. Poderi
                                                      Luigi Einaudi consistently produces some of the
                                                                                                            the Cannubi cru: it embodies delicate harmony
                                                                                                            and lingering flavors of wild berries, mineral and
                                                                                                            spice. The wine is dry and firm on the palate and

94      Luciano Sandrone 2005 Le Vigne
        (Barolo); $155. The Le Vigne cru
from Luciano Sandrone delivers focused aromas
                                                      world’s best Barolo and its Cannubi cru expres-
                                                      sion is particularly elegant and refined in the
                                                                                                            leaves a lasting impression of freshness. Imported
                                                                                                            by Enotec Imports, Inc. —M.L.
                                                      2005 vintage. The wine boasts power and density
of wild cherries, white almond, cola and light
shadings of sweet spice. The texture is drying and
firm and the wine excels in the mouth thanks to
                                                      backed by delicate aromas of wild raspberry,
                                                      spice and drying mineral notes. It imparts a firm
                                                      but smooth feel in the mouth. Imported by Emp-
                                                                                                            93       Giuseppe Rinaldi 2005 Cannubi
                                                                                                                     San Lorenzo Ravera (Barolo);
                                                                                                            $NA. This is an extraordinary Barolo with deep
the tight and supple feel of its tannins. Pair this   son (USA) Ltd. —M.L.                                  and intriguing layers of wild berry, orange zest,
delicious wine with lamb, pork or beef. Imported                                                            almond skin, light graphite shadings and linger-
by Vintus LLC. —M.L.
                                                      93      Bric Cenciurio 2005 Barolo; $NA.
                                                               This base Barolo from Bric Cenciurio
                                                                                                            ing smoke or dried tobacco. The wine feel
                                                                                                            smooth and supple in the mouth and closes with

94      Marchesi di Barolo 2005 Cannubi
        (Barolo); $NA. Thanks to its sandy,
well-draining soils, the Cannubi cru delivers del-
                                                      offers everything you should look for in an excel-
                                                      lent Nebbiolo from the Langhe, Piedmont. The
                                                                                                            firm tannins that give it backbone and staying
                                                                                                            power. Imported by Polaner Selections. —M.L.
                                                      wine is delicate and layered with soft shadings of
icate and elegant wines with refined and com-
plex aromas. Violets, orange zest, Spanish cedar,
smoke and wild berries all emerge from the nose
                                                      berry fruit and spice. The mouthfeel is supple
                                                      but determined with a blast of berry freshness
                                                      on the close. Imported by Italia Wine Imports.
                                                                                                            93       Marcarini 2005 Brunate (Barolo);
                                                                                                                     $58. With fruit harvested from the
                                                                                                            beautiful Brunate cru located just a short dis-
of this deeply layered wine. You could pair this      —M.L.                                                 tance away from the Barolo castle, this wine from
Barolo with white truffles and other equally deli-                                                          Marcarini will delight you. The aromas here are
cate or aromatic foods. Imported by Wine Wave.
Cellar Selection. —M.L.                               93      Cascina Adelaide 2005 Cannubi
                                                              (Barolo); $88. With a modern winery
                                                      located at the foot of the picturesque town of
                                                                                                            full, generous and recall wild berry, cedar, smoke,
                                                                                                            licorice and cherry cola. Tight, firm tannins and
                                                                                                            bright acidity make the wine both cellar worthy
                                                      Barolo, Cascina Adelaide proudly produces a           and food friendly. Imported by Empson (USA)
94      Marchesi di Barolo 2005 Sarmassa
        (Barolo); $NA. Violets, spring flowers,
orange peel, licorice and cola emerge from the
                                                      bold and innovative interpretation of Barolo. This
                                                      is a powerful and generous wine with big spice,
                                                                                                            Ltd. —M.L.

nose of this beautiful Barolo. The tannins are
tight and the acidity is bright, and the wine needs
                                                      berry, smoke and mineral tones. The cards it
                                                      plays best, however, are intensity and persistency.
                                                      Imported by Tesori Wines. —M.L.
                                                                                                            93       Oddero 2005 Brunate (Barolo);
                                                                                                                     $110. Oddero’s Brunate cru expression
                                                                                                            of Barolo delivers an amazing medley of power
another decade of cellar aging. Once it reaches
                                                                                                            and complexity. The wine is full of ripe berry aro-
its peak drinking era, the wine would pair per-
fectly with duck in orange sauce or New Zealand
lamb. Imported by Wine Wave. —M.L.
                                                      93      E. Pira E Figli (Chiara Boschis)
                                                              2004 Cannubi (Barolo); $108.
                                                      Beguiling, concentrated and suave, this classically
                                                                                                            mas backed by lingering tones of delicate min-
                                                                                                            eral, cola and spice. The mouthfeel is dense, rich
                                                                                                            and the wine promises to evolve beautifully dur-
                                                      styled Barolo opens with lavender, cherry,            ing the cellaring process. Drink after 2015.

94      Mario Marengo 2005 Brunate
        (Barolo); $NA. The Brunate cru is
famously celebrated for its sturdy, well-struc-
                                                      almond and anise, which slide in to blackberry
                                                      brandy flavors on the palate. Long finish. Intense
                                                                                                            Imported by Soilair Selection. —M.L.

tured Barolos. The soil is a bit denser and richer
here and the wines take on more concentration
                                                      and delicious from start to finish; a real stunner.
                                                      Drink now or cellar 5–7 years. Imported by
                                                      Indigenous Selections.
                                                                                                            92       Andrea Oberto 2005 Vigneto
                                                                                                                     Brunate (Barolo); $NA. This cheer-
                                                                                                            ful Barolo shows many of the most common
and power as a result. You’ll recognize aromas of                                                           characteristics associated with the Brunate cru.
wild berries, almonds, graphite, smoke and cola.
The tannins are tight and firm and this wine will
last many long years in the cellar. Cellar Selec-
                                                      93      Giacomo Grimaldi 2005 Sotto il
                                                              Castello di Novello (Barolo); $50.
                                                      This expression of Nebbiolo offers elegant layers
                                                                                                            Because this site has darker, denser soils, the
                                                                                                            wine shows more richness and intensity of aro-
                                                                                                            mas and flavors. You’ll get black cherry, plum,
tion. —M.L.                                           of berry, smoke, spice and cola that build in         peppercorn and Indian spice. The mouthfeel is

tight and firm. Imported by Chambers & Cham-
bers. —M.L.                                            92       Mario Gagliasso 2005 Rocche del-
                                                                l’Annunziata (Barolo); $55. This is a
                                                       gorgeous wine on many fronts. Firstly, its aromas
                                                                                                               menthol flavors appear on the close. Imported
                                                                                                               by Vignaioli. —M.L.

92       Andrea Oberto 2005 Vigneto Roc-
         che (Barolo); $NA. A farmer and for-
                                                       of wild berry, smoke and cedar are focused and
                                                       pristine. Secondly, the texture it imparts in the
                                                       mouth is dense, firm but ultimately yielding and
                                                                                                               92      Silvio Grasso 2005 Bricco Luciani
                                                                                                                       (Barolo); $70. This Bricco Luciani
                                                                                                               expression of Nebbiolo shows pretty berry
mer truck driver who shares a great passion for
viticulture, Andrea Oberto (who works with his         plush. Lastly, the wine’s fresh flavors endure for      nuances that are woven carefully between
son Fabio) is a winemaker to watch. This unique        many minutes. Imported by Acid Inc Selections.          mesquite, cola, spice and white pepper. There’s
expression of Barolo delivers beautiful harmony        —M.L.                                                   personality and dimension here and the wine
and intensity, but remains a pleasurable and                                                                   tastes particularly bright and vibrant in the
                                                                                                               mouth. You could pair this Barolo with quail or
approachable wine all the same. The tannins are
still firm, so let it age five to ten more years.      92       Monfalletto 2005 Bricco Gattera
                                                                (Barolo); $NA. Cola, mesquite, bright
                                                       berry and orange zest describe the nose of this
                                                                                                               Cornish hen. A Marc de Grazia selection; various
                                                                                                               American importers. —M.L.
Imported by Chambers & Chambers. —M.L.
                                                       delicate and feminine expression of Nebbiolo.

92       Aurelio Settimo 2005 Rocche
         (Barolo); $50. Located in the La
                                                       This is the kind of Barolo you’ll want to pair with
                                                       sophisticated lamb and pork dishes that are             91      Barale Fratelli 2005 Vigna Can-
                                                                                                                       nubi (Barolo); $NA. Delicate and
                                                                                                               ethereal aromas of wild berry, balsam, cola, white
Morra fraction of the Barolo wine area, Aurelio        accented by a slight touch of exotic spice. The
                                                       wine’s natural acidity and its tannins keep the         pepper and aromatic herbs emerge from this
Settimo is a small, boutique winery that started
                                                       palate refreshed and dry. Imported by Omni-             characteristic Barolo. The wine slides down the
selling fruit in 1962. Eventually, the family                                                                  palate with tonic freshness and personality, cul-
decided to bottle its product and the results are      wines Distribution. —M.L.
                                                                                                               minating in menthol flavors on the close.
spectacular. This fresh Barolo from the Rocche                                                                 Imported by Wine Emporium. —M.L.
cru is bright and tonic with lively notes of berry,
mesquite and cola. Imported by Masciarelli Wine
                                                       92       Poderi Luigi Einaudi 2005 Costa
                                                                Grimaldi (Barolo); $99. The Costa
Co. —M.L.
                                                       Grimaldi cru is celebrated for producing some
                                                       of the best Barolo fruit. This expression of Neb-
                                                                                                               91      Barale Fratelli 2005 Vigna
                                                                                                                       Castellero (Barolo); $NA. Compared
                                                                                                               to the estate’s Vigna Cannubi cru, this expression
                                                       biolo focuses on berry freshness and a complex
92       Cascina Adelaide 2005 Preda
         (Barolo); $98. Preda is a solid and
dense expression of Barolo with oak-related notes
                                                       rendering of delicate spice and smoke. The wine
                                                       feels tight and tonic in the mouth and ends with
                                                                                                               of Nebbiolo offers slightly more structure, den-
                                                                                                               sity and staying power. The aromas here recall
                                                                                                               black cherry, plum, spice and Spanish cedar. The
                                                       lingering mineral and piquant spice. Imported
of vanilla and spice that need a few more years to                                                             mouthfeel is rich, supple and very clean. Drink
                                                       by Empson (USA) Ltd. —M.L.
integrate fully. The quality of the fruit is evident                                                           after 2014. Imported by Wine Emporium.
and with 10 more years of cellar aging all those                                                               —M.L.
elegant Nebbiolo aromas of licorice and white
                                                       92       Roberto Sarotto 2005 Audace
                                                                (Barolo); $NA. Audace is a chewy, ripe
truffle should shine through. Imported by Tesori
Wines. —M.L.
                                                       and generous expression of Nebbiolo that offers
                                                       intriguing complexity of aromas and flavorful
                                                                                                               91      Elvio Cogno 2005 Ravera (Barolo);
                                                                                                                       $NA. Elvio Cogno is a winery to watch
                                                                                                               closely in the future. These are exciting wines,
                                                       nuances. You’ll recognize tones of blueberry,           loaded with charm and personality. The 2005
92       Cascina del Monastero 2005
         Bricco Luciani (Barolo); $NA. This
boutique estate was founded in 1926 by Alessio
                                                       cherry cola, licorice and wet earth. Polished tan-
                                                       nins fuel a sensation of power, length and dry-
                                                                                                               Ravera cru expression is tightly packed with fra-
                                                                                                               grant fruit, floral and spice aromas and the
                                                       ness in the mouth. —M.L.                                mouthfeel is smooth, silky and long. Drink after
Grasso and is now run by his grandson Giuseppe.
                                                                                                               2015. Imported by Vias Imports. —M.L.
The generational shift has brought equal
attention to tradition and technology and this         92       Scarzello 2005 Vigna Merenda
                                                                (Barolo); $70. From the Merenda cru
wine shows aspects of both. Pristine aromas of
wild berry, crushed peppercorn and white
                                                       of Barolo, this vineyard-designate wine delivers
                                                       bright and elegant tones of wild berries, cola,
                                                                                                               91      Gianfranco Bovio 2005 Vigna
                                                                                                                       Arborina (Barolo); $NA. Gianfranco
                                                                                                               Bovio represents 20 hectares of vines planted to
truffle make for a very compelling bouquet.            cedar, licorice and white pepper. The wine shows        Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera. The Arborina
—M.L.                                                  excellent balance between the firmness of the           cru has clay soils and its wines are, as a result,
                                                       tannins and freshness of the fruit. Drink after         slightly more concentrated and darker in color.

92       Marcarini 2005 La Serra (Barolo);
         $58. With this fine Barolo, Marcarini
cements its reputation for quality Barolo made
                                                       2015. Imported by Vignaioli. —M.L.                      Aromas here recall blackberry, black licorice and
                                                                                                               cherry cola. Imported by Robert Chadderdon

with top-notch fruit. This beautiful wine shows
elegant tones of black fruit, plum, cherry, spice,
                                                       92        Scarzello 2005 Barolo; $50. With
                                                                 five hectares of vines, Scarzello is a fam-
                                                                                                               Selections. —M.L.

mesquite and smoked cedar wood. The mouth-
feel is tonic and bright and the wine never seems
                                                       ily-run, boutique winery with a keen focus on tra-
                                                       ditional Barolo winemaking. This is a bright and
                                                       ethereal wine with pretty tones of wild berry, for-
                                                                                                               91      Gianfranco Bovio 2005 Vigna Gat-
                                                                                                                       tera (Barolo); $NA. The Vigna Gat-
                                                                                                               tera cru produces elegant wines with immediate
heavy or overdone. Imported by Empson (USA)            est floor, dried tobacco and dark cola. In the          floral notes of blue flower and violet. Those aro-
Ltd. —M.L.                                             mouth, the wine is vibrant and tonic and fresh          mas are followed by red fruit and spice with dis-

              W I N E S           R E V I E W E D             F O R        T H E        F E B R U A RY              2 0 1 0        I S S U E
tant smoke and mineral. This wine is very much
enhanced by the beauty of its mouthfeel, which is
silky. Delicious. Imported by Robert Chadder-
                                                        nothing else. This vintage of its prized product
                                                        offers beautiful hints of blue flowers and wild
                                                        berries followed by herbal overtones. In the
                                                                                                                90       Ve g l i o 2 0 0 5 V i g n a d ’ V i g n i a
                                                                                                                         (Barolo); $50. Impressive for its allur-
                                                                                                                ing nose with multiple layers of Indian spice,
don Selections. —M.L.                                   mouth, it tastes rich and fresh, silky and smooth.      cherry fruit and leather. Ripe fruit is intense and
                                                        Imported by Domaine Select Wine Estates.                focused on the palate while the long finish

91       Marziano Abbona 2005 Terlo Rav-
         era (Barolo); $50. Terlo Ravera shows
a pretty garnet color with ruby highlights and
                                                        —M.L.                                                   exhibits some slightly rustic character. Give the
                                                                                                                burly tannins four or five years to integrate fully.
                                                                                                                Imported by Bacco Wine & Spirit, LLC.
offers penetrating aromas of red fruit, spice, cola     90       Francesco Rinaldi 2005 Cannub-
                                                                 bio (Barolo); $NA. An historic estate
and chopped mint. There’s a smooth and silky
sensation in the mouth and the wine’s solid tan-
nins create a sturdy backbone. Imported by
                                                        with an enviable winemaking past, Francesco
                                                        Rinaldi is one of those wineries that sets the bar
                                                                                                                90        Veglio 2004 Barolo; $30. Exotic and
                                                                                                                          brawny, with an alluring nose of tar and
                                                                                                                licorice interlaced with violets and roses. Muscu-
                                                        for everyone else. Its Cannubbio cru expression
Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd. —M.L.                                                                            lar tannins frame streamlined cherry fruit and
                                                        of Barolo shows deeply characteristic notes of
                                                                                                                earth tones in the mouth. Nicely persistent.
                                                        wild berries, licorice and cola. The wine follows

91       Pio Cesare 2005 (Barolo); $61.
         Firm but sophisticated, with earthy aro-
mas of saddle leather, spice cabinet and violets
                                                        through to the palate with clarity, density and
                                                        brightness. Drink after 2015. Imported by
                                                                                                                Although not the most sophisticated of Barolos,
                                                                                                                Veglio offers solid value in the category. Best
                                                                                                                after 2013. Imported by Bacco Wine & Spirit,
                                                        Polaner Selections. —M.L.
upfront, followed by flavors of crushed roses in                                                                LLC.
the mouth. Long, dry finish. A bold wine to pair
with bold food. Give the gripping tannins least
three to four years to mellow out before opening.       90       Piazzo Armando 2005 (Barolo);
                                                                 $40. With 70 hectares of vines and
                                                        many generations of family management, Piazzo
                                                                                                                90       Virna Borgogno 2005 Cannubi
                                                                                                                         Boschis (Barolo); $NA. Virna Bor-
Imported by Maisons Marques & Domaines                                                                          gogno and her husband Gianni Abrigo are partic-
USA.                                                    Armando is a steady and consistent producer of          ularly focused on cru expressions of Barolo. We
                                                        Barolo and other traditional wines of the Langhe.       really love their Cannubi Boschis Nebbiolo
                                                        This is the winery’s top product and its quality
91       Rocche Costamagna 2005 Bricco
         Francesco (Barolo); $NA. Alessan-
dro Locatelli represents the newest generation
                                                        shows thanks to delicate aromas of wild cherries,
                                                        light cinnamon and pressed blue flowers.
                                                                                                                because of the depth and clarity of the fruit. The
                                                                                                                wine’s aromas recall berries, forest floor, wild
                                                                                                                mushroom and chopped peppermint. Drink after
to carry forth the activities of this historic winery   Imported by Angelini Wine. —M.L.                        2015. —M.L.
with roots spanning back to 1841. This wine is
named after the estate’s founder, Francesco
Costamagna, and shows a very traditional and
ethereal side to Nebbiolo. The aromas are femi-
                                                        90       Pio Cesare 2004 Barolo; $64. Plenty
                                                                 of leather, rose and vanilla from toasty       89       Camerano 2004 Cannubi San
                                                                                                                         Lorenzo (Barolo); $75. Elegant in
                                                                                                                style, spicy in flavor, with a suave texture that
                                                        French oak make for a very pretty opening. The
nine and delicate with small berries and shadings       full-bodied palate shows exuberant cherry and           attests to deft handling at the winery. Plenty of
of sweet spice and herbs. —M.L.                         boysenberry flavors wrapped in a refined tannin         coconut, earth and salumeria tones on the
                                                        structure. A modern expression that can be              medium finish. Open and drinking well now but

91       San Biagio 2001 Sori del Rovere
         (Barolo); $NA. This is a big, burly
Barolo with chunky, slightly drying tannins and
                                                        enjoyed now or laid down to await more com-
                                                        plexity. Imported by Maisons Marques &
                                                                                                                needs a flavorful accompinament such as duck.
                                                                                                                Imported by Singular Selections.
                                                        Domaines USA.
an enchanting nose that delivers earth and min-
eral notes alongside rose petals and tar. Mature                                                                89       Damilano 2004 Lecinquevigne
                                                                                                                         (Barolo); $50. Lots of spice, leather
and drinking well now but could be laid down
for those who like softer, more developed wines.
                                                        90       Renato Ratti 2004 Marcenasco
                                                                 (Barolo); $55. Sexy notes of musk,
                                                        earth and spice box lead to a palate chock full of
                                                                                                                and cherry character. Intense on the palate with
                                                                                                                mixed berry and violet flavors. Medium bodied,
Screams for a well-marbled steak. Imported by                                                                   with fresh acidity on the medium finish and
                                                        cherry, strawberry, earth and tar flavors. Tannins
Terra Verus Trading Co. LP.                                                                                     chewy tannins. Best after 2010. Imported by Vias
                                                        are strapping and the finish is currently rather
                                                        closed-in, suggesting cellaring to 2011 or later.
91       Vietti 2004 Castiglione (Barolo);
         $45. Made in a modern, more accessi-
ble style, with a stunning nose of mocha, singed
                                                        Imported by Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.
                                                                                                                89       Damilano 2004 Liste (Barolo); $83.
                                                                                                                        Some lifted notes join tar and floral aro-
meat, roses and coffee. Earth and violets prevail
in the mouth and carry over to the long finish.         90       Rocche Costamagna 2005 Rocche
                                                                 dell’Annunziata (Barolo); $NA.
                                                        Rocche dell’Annunziata is one of the best cru
                                                                                                                mas on the nose while the concentrated palate
                                                                                                                shows intense earth and rose flavors in a frame of
The refined tannin structure tempts early con-                                                                  polished tannins. Mineral and tar flavors come
sumption but a few years cellaring will add to the      sites of the La Morra fraction. This wine is aged       through on the lingering finish. Best after 2010.
complexity. Imported by Remy Cointreau USA.             in large oak casks (instead of smaller oak bar-         Imported by Vias Imports.
                                                        rique) to emphasize the natural beauty of the

90       Anselma 2005 Famiglia Anselma
         (Barolo); $NA. The Anselma family is
committed to producing only great Barolo and
                                                        fruit. You’ll get aromas of forest berries, dark cola
                                                        and chopped mint. The mouthfeel is tonic, fresh
                                                        and very long-lasting. —M.L.
                                                                                                                89       Francesco Rinaldi 2005 Le Brunate
                                                                                                                         (Barolo); $NA. This is a solid Barolo
                                                                                                                with dense aromas of black cherry, licorice,

mesquite wood and exotic spice. The wine’s tex-        mas that evolve into rose petal and cherry flavors     dense mineral, tar and leather flavors which carry
ture in the mouth is dense, concentrated and           on the palate. While not concentrated, this wine       over to the lingering finish. This is a wine built
slightly gritty. Give this wine a few more years of    is quite elegant and approachable in its youth.        for the long haul. The tannins should start to be
cellar aging to relax those tight tannins. Imported    Drink now to 2014. Imported by Vias Imports.           approachable in 2012 while the fruit density will
by Polaner Selections. —M.L.                                                                                  carry it to 2020 and beyond. Imported by

89       Giuseppe Rinaldi 2005 Brunate Le              88       Veglio 2005 Barolo; $16/375 ml.
                                                                This is a powerful bully of a wine but a
                                                                                                              Maisons Marques & Domaines USA.

         Coste (Barolo); $NA. Here is a rich
and expressive Barolo (with fruit sourced from
the celebrated Brunate Le Coste cru) that
                                                       good value in the pricey Barolo category. Sweaty,
                                                       masculine aromas lead to a concentrated palate
                                                       framed by strapping tannins and flavors of black
                                                                                                              92      Vietti 2005 Masseria (Barbaresco);
                                                                                                                      $110. A jaw-dropping tangle of com-
                                                                                                              plexity on the nose, with vanilla, mocha and
focuses squarely on fruit and floral aromas. There     earth and violets. Medium finish. Give it a few        cherry pie filling aromas. The concentrated
are tiny background shadings of clove and exotic       years to grow up. Imported by Bacco Wine &             palate shows serious aromas of tar, earth and
spice that bring up the rear and the wine’s            Spirit, LLC.                                           leather, giving way to smoke, cherry and barbe-
mouthfeel is polished and tight. Imported by                                                                  cue on the long finish. Give the tannins several
Polaner Selections. —M.L.
                                                       85       Azienda Agricola Cogno 2004
                                                                Barolo; $48. Pretty aromas of expen-
                                                                                                              years to smooth out before drinking. Imported
                                                                                                              by Remy Cointreau USA.

89       Mauro Sebaste 2005 Barolo; $NA.
         We are big fans of Mauro Sebaste but
found this vintage of his base Barolo to be slightly
                                                       sive leather, calfskin and roses follow through to a
                                                       subtle palate of tar and violets. Cherry and wild
                                                       berry flavors perfume the medium finish. Tan-          91      Cigliuti 2004 Serraboella (Bar-
                                                                                                                      baresco); $75. Dense and chewy, this
less charged and intense than previous years.          nins are a bit too muscular for the otherwise del-     highly nuanced example offers up an enticing
You’ll get characteristic aromas of wild fruit, cola   icate structure; drink after 2011. Imported by         combination of animal notes (sweaty saddle,
and spice and the mouthfeel is drying, polished        Vias Imports.                                          leather) and vibrant fruit (raspberry, cherry). The
and long-lasting. Give this wine another five to 10                                                           abundant tannins and ambitious level of oak will
years of cellar aging. Imported by Tutto Vino.
—M.L.                                                  85       Camerano 2004 Barolo; $65. Cur-
                                                                rently in a closed phase, the nose shows
                                                       some subtle aromas of leather and roses followed
                                                                                                              benefit from five to 10 years aging. Imported by
                                                                                                              Indigenous Selections.

89       San Biagio 2003 Barolo; $NA. The
         heat-laden 2003 vintage has given this
wine a more approachable acid and tannin struc-
                                                       by cherry and leather flavors on a rather light-
                                                       weight palate. Decanting will help blow off some
                                                       rubber notes and soften the extremely gripping
                                                                                                              91      Contratto 2000 Alberta (Bar-
                                                                                                                      baresco); $60. A highly nuanced nose
                                                                                                              leaning more toward animal and mineral notes
ture than your average Barolo, but also a quirky       tannins. Imported by Singular Selections.              than fruit opens this muscular effort. Leather, ash
collection of aromas, including tomato skin, fresh                                                            and forest fire flavors dominate the palate,
kindling and fried green tomatoes. Fruit spici-
ness and dusty rose notes weave through the
fairly long finish. Drink or hold five years.
                                                       83       Giordano 2004 Barolo; $35. There
                                                                 is definitely some good ripeness here
                                                       but cherry and farmyard tones are hampered by
                                                                                                              framed by sinewy tannins. A few cherry notes
                                                                                                              peek through the tar-infused finish. Serve with
                                                                                                              game. Imported by Bedford International.
Imported by Terra Verus Trading Co. LP.                a bit too much sulfur while the short finish shows

89       Virna Borgogno 2005 Preda Sar-
         massa (Barolo); $NA. This Preda
                                                       some nice leather but also a funky undertone.
                                                       Not the best of its class. Imported by Atlas
                                                                                                              90      Marchesi di Gresy 2004 Marti-
                                                                                                                      nenga (Barbaresco); $66. Intense
                                                                                                              notes of violets and Christmas spice follow
Sarmassa cru Barolo promises to open and evolve                                                               through to an elegant, multi-layered palate with
with more time in the cellar (at least 10 years). At                                                          plenty of strawberry fruit. Drinking well now but
this point, the wine is still a bit closed and firm    BARBARESCO                                             will benefit from four or five years in the cellar.
although the aromas are already showing pretty                                                                Imported by Dalla Terra.
tones of fruit and blue flowers. The mouthfeel is
polished but hard. —M.L.                               93       Giacosa Fratelli 2000 Rio Sordo
                                                                (Barbaresco); $50. This muscular,
                                                       tightly knit Barbaresco shows intriguing animal,       90      Poderi Colla 2005 Roncaglie (Bar-
                                                                                                                      baresco); $66. Enchanting aromas of

88       Azienda Agricola Cogno 2004
         Ravera (Barolo); $74. Elegant but
gripping, with cherry, violet and leather notes on
                                                       rose and barnyard scents that promise to develop
                                                       greater complexity over time. Intense and con-
                                                       centrated in the mouth, meaty tannins and sear-
                                                                                                              violets, perfume and mocha lead to a concen-
                                                                                                              trated palate where muscular tannins provide a
                                                                                                              backdrop for cherry, raspberry and vanilla flavors.
the nose, followed by a rapberry and rose-infused      ing acidity provide the backdrop for mushroom,         Raspberry and caramel flavors infuse the rich fin-
palate. Black earth and berry notes flavor the         charcoal and violet notes that carry over to the       ish. Best after 2010. Imported by Empson (USA)
long finish. The very austere tannins will need        long finish. Drink 2010–2020. Imported by Bed-         Ltd.
until 2012 to come around. Imported by Vias            ford International.

                                                       93       Pio Cesare 2004 Barbaresco; $64.              88      Batasiolo 2004 Barbaresco; $44. A
                                                                                                                        little earthy, but some charming aromas

88       Principiano Ferdinando 2004 Ser-
         ralunga (Barolo); $55. Woodsy notes
are intertwined with cedar, rose and flowery aro-
                                                                Glorious aromas of coffee, vanilla and
                                                       exotic spices mark the nose of this very impres-
                                                       sive red. Strapping tannins are the backdrop for
                                                                                                              of licorice and tar show through on the slightly
                                                                                                              diffuse nose. Nebbiolo’s normally grippy tannins
                                                                                                              have been beaten into submission here, provid-

               W I N E S          R E V I E W E D             F O R        T H E        F E B R U A RY              2 0 1 0        I S S U E
ing a soft frame for leather and strawberry flavors     complex finish. Will gain more complexity with a         and spice box aromas leading into a spicy, con-
which follow through to the moderate finish.            few years in the cellar but may be drunk now for         centrated palate with a smattering of finely
Should gain complexity from a year or two in the        the appeal of its youthful fruit. Imported by            buffed tannins. Peppery, medium finish. A suave
cellar. Imported by Boisset Family Estates.             Maisons Marques & Domaines USA.                          and lusty package. Drink now or lay down for a
                                                                                                                 few years to allow the oak to integrate more fully.

88       P i e r 2 0 0 1 R i o S o rd o R i s e r v a
         (Barbaresco); $NA. An honest,                  90       Vietti 2006 Scarrone Vigna Vec-
                                                                 chia (Barbera d’Alba); $85. Dark,
                                                                                                                 Imported by Remy Cointreau USA.

straightforward Barbaresco with earth, woods
and tar aromas interlaced with pine tones. Burly
and tannic in texture, with a slightly drying finish
                                                        dense and thoroughly modern with vibrant layers
                                                        of boysenberry and black cherry fruit. Finely
                                                        buffed tannins surround exotic spice and intense
                                                                                                                 88       Cigliuti 2006 Serraboella (Barbera
                                                                                                                          d’Alba); $30. A sinewy wine that
                                                                                                                 begins with barnyard and blueberries wrapped
enlivened by flower notes. Drink 2010–2012.             wild berry flavors on the palate that trail off into a   around a mineral core. The palate is earthy and
Imported by Terra Verus Trading Co. LP.                 long, vanilla-infused finish. Very impressive.           medium-bodied with diffuse berry and molasses
                                                        Imported by Remy Cointreau USA.                          notes that lead to a medium finish with jazzy

83       Pier 2001 Vila Riserva (Bar-
         baresco); $NA. Despite good persis-
tence and appealing earth and leather flavors,          89       Cascina Zerbetta 2006 Barbera
                                                                 del Monferrato; $25. This tree-hug-
                                                                                                                 white pepper spice. A good partner for hangar
                                                                                                                 steak. Drink now. Imported by Indigenous
this Barbaresco fails to hit the mark. Aromas of        ger’s delight is organic, biodynamic and vegan.
paint thinner undermine the cherry fruit and flat-
ten out the flavors in the mouth. Imported by
Terra Verus Trading Co. LP.
                                                        Gorgeous flowery high notes open the complex
                                                        nose while leather notes well up on the palate.
                                                        The long, crisp, finish shows appealing cherry
                                                                                                                 88       I Quaranta 2006 Asia (Barbera
                                                                                                                          d’Asti); $NA. There’s a lot going on
                                                                                                                 here, with a profusion of black fruit flavors
                                                        and earth flavors. An appropriate choice with            underscored by an edgy ash note. The complex
                                                        vegetable lasgna. Imported by Organic Vintners.          palate shows green olive flavors layered with
BARBERA                                                                                                          blueberry pie and just the faintest hint of tannin.

92       Vietti 2005 La Crena (Barbera
         d’Asti); $47. Serious and multifaceted,
                                                        89       Fontanafredda 2007 Briccotondo
                                                                 Barbera (Piedmont); $13. An
                                                        impressive effort at this price point, the Bricco-
                                                                                                                 Tannery shop tones chime in on the finish. Drink
                                                                                                                 now to 2010. Imported by Terra Verus Trading
                                                                                                                 Co. LP.
with peppery black fruit aromas wrapped up in a         tondo Barbera offers up an eclectic mix of herbs,
frame of toasty new oak. Abundant but plush tan-
nins support intense blackberry and roasted nut
flavors in the mouth, winding up with a hit of
                                                        scented soap, yuzu and citrus fruit leading into a
                                                        concentrated, multilayered palate. Long, cherry-
                                                        infused finish. Drink now to 2011. Imported by
                                                                                                                 88       I Quaranta 2005 India Superiore
                                                                                                                          (Barbera d’Asti); $NA. Bright and
                                                                                                                 impressive, this ambitious Barbera shows black
mocha on the long, highly nuanced finish. Not           Domaine Select Wine Estates.                             and red raspberry upfront while cherry and
your grandmother’s Barbera. Imported by Remy                                                                     chocolate dominate the palate. The slight grip at
Cointreau USA.
                                                        89      Massimiliano Vivalda 2003
                                                                Amistá Superiore (Barbera
                                                                                                                 the end of the finish suggests this wine would
                                                                                                                 pair well with grilled veal. Imported by Terra

91       Sandrone 2006 Barbera d’Alba;
         $45. Voluptuous yet serious, this aspira-
                                                        d’Asti); $33. A serious contender with sophisti-
                                                        cated notes of leather, barnyard and cedar
                                                                                                                 Verus Trading Co. LP.

tional bottling boasts dense black fruit under-
lined by notes of wet stones, cigar and coffee.
Intense and big in the mouth. Drinking beauti-
                                                        wrapped up in toasty vanilla oak. A hint of char
                                                        adds an edge to a streamlined palate infused with
                                                        earth, mushroom and strawberry tones. A slight
                                                                                                                 88       La Spinetta 2005 Bionzo Superi-
                                                                                                                          ore (Barbera d’Asti); $50. After ini-
                                                                                                                 tial notes of fresh paint blew off, deep berry fruit
fully now but the bracing acidity will keep it fresh    lack of persistence takes it out of the top flight.      and woodsy aromas took over, making for a
for several years. Imported by Vintus LLC.              Fully mature, drink now. Imported by Testa               strong opening. Red plum and campfire flavors
                                                        Wines Of The World.                                      unfold in the mouth and show good depth. The

90       Pio Cesare 2006 Fides (Barbera
         d’Alba); $38. A sinewy wine that
begins with fruits de bois and chocolate, bol-          89       Pier 2006 La Morosa (Barbera
                                                                 d’Alba); $NA. At three years of age,
                                                                                                                 lightly spiced finish winds up slightly hot. Will
                                                                                                                 hold a year or two but unlikely to improve sub-
                                                                                                                 stantially. Imported by Indigenous Selections.
stered by cherry notes on the palate and just the       alluring developed notes of leather and mush-
faintest splash of tannin. The lovely plum-infused
finish goes on and on. Drink with the best wood-
burning oven pizza. Imported by Maisons Mar-
                                                        room dominate the nose, framed by intense
                                                        plummy fruit. Crisp but well-integrated acidity
                                                        backs up cherry cordial and chocolate flavors in
                                                                                                                 88       P e l a s s a 2 0 0 5 Tu c c i ( B a r b e r a
                                                                                                                          d’Alba); $23. Full and generous, this
                                                                                                                 succulent Barbera d’Alba is a true crowd pleaser.
ques & Domaines USA.                                    the mouth that slide into a moderately long,             The wine is soft but dense in texture and it offers
                                                        cherry-berry finish. Drink up. Imported by Terra         compelling aromas of black cherry, smoke,

90       Pio Cesare 2007 Barbera d’Alba;
         $21. This wine announces its modern
                                                        Verus Trading Co. LP.                                    mesquite and cola. Pair it with roast chicken or
                                                                                                                 pork. Imported by Slocum & Sons, Inc. —M.L.
intentions with polished opening notes of vanilla,
caramel and coffee from aging in small French
oak barrels. The intense palate shows cherry and
                                                        89       Vietti 2006 Tre Vigne (Barbera
                                                                 d’Asti); $19. The inky color and lavish
                                                        oak aromas announce high ambitions. Fortu-               88       Pio Cesare 2006 Barbera d’Alba;
                                                                                                                          $22. Pio Cesare’s Barbera is a modern
boysenberry fruit which lead into a long, very          nately, the wine delivers, with luscious caramel         interpretation of a traditional grape, and a well-

done one at that. Refined notes of mocha, cinna-
mon and vanilla vie with vibrant strawberry fruit
while lively acidity lifts and supports the wine.
                                                         cherry note makes for a nice finish. Imported by
                                                         Empson (USA) Ltd.                                      83       Bricco Dei Guazzi 2006 Barbera
                                                                                                                         del Monferrato; $16. This is a one-
                                                                                                                trick pony, but it’s got quite a nice trick. Candied
Coffee notes dominate the perfumed, medium-
length finish. Imported by Maisons Marques &
Domaines USA.
                                                         86       Pelassa 2005 Barbera d’Alba; $14.
                                                                  This is a plush and upfront wine that
                                                         offers succulent aromas of cherry, black fruit and
                                                                                                                cherry aromas are the opener and follow through
                                                                                                                on the crisp palate. Little tannin is in evidence on
                                                                                                                the finish, where cherry flavors are joined by
                                                         plum. It glides clean down the palate thanks to its    some boysenberry notes. A good choice for
                                                                                                                pasta in a tomato sauce. Imported by Bedford
88       Vietti 2006 Scarrone (Barbera
         d’Alba); $47. Deftly balanced and
juicy, with mineral notes underlying ripe boysen-
                                                         thick density and soft, smooth texture. The wine
                                                         has the pulp and density to pair with most winter      International.
                                                         foods. Imported by Slocum & Sons, Inc. —M.L.
berry fruit. Loads of black cherry and cedar fla-
vors slide into a rich finish with a burst of vanilla.                                                          83       E. Pira E Figli (Chiara Boschis)
                                                                                                                         2006 Barbera d’Alba) $30. Nice
Serve now with a piatti di salumi. Imported by
Remy Cointreau USA.
                                                         86       Veglio 2007 Barbera d’Alba Supe-
                                                                  riore; $15. Light-bodied and lacking in
                                                         tannin, this is a more traditional Barbera, with
                                                                                                                raspberry and blueberry fruit on the nose but
                                                                                                                turns lean and tart in the mouth and finishes with
                                                                                                                a blast of untamed acidity. A wine for acid freaks.
                                                         attractive mixed berry fruit on the nose, followed
                                                                                                                Drink now. Imported by Indigenous Selections.
87       Massimiliano Vivalda 2004 ‘l
         Clumbé (Barbera d’Asti); $18.
Light-bodied and juicy, this is an eminently quaf-
                                                         by forest floor and graham cracker flavors in the
                                                         mouth. Drink now. Imported by Bacco Wine &

fable Barbera, with loads of bing cherry fruit and
                                                         Spirit, LLC.
a refreshingly fruity but short finish. The open-
knit structure makes this easy to partner with fla-
vorful fish. Drink now. Imported by Testa Wines
                                                         85       Duchessa Lia 2007 Barbera d’Asti;
                                                                  $10. Crisp and light on its feet, this
                                                         easy-drinker serves up exotic aromas of ginger
                                                                                                                92       Poderi Luigi Einaudi 2006 I Filari
                                                                                                                         (Dolcetto di Dogliani); $42. An
                                                                                                                extraordinary expression of Dolcetto, with gor-
Of The World.
                                                         backed by raspberry jam, tobacco and strawberry        geous animal, woods and licorice aromas that
                                                         liqueur flavors that show just a bit of persistence.   lead toward an intense palate infused with boy-
87       Pelassa 2007 Barbera d’Alba; $14.
         Here’s a pretty Barbera d’Alba with
cheerful aromas of blackberry, sweet spice and
                                                         Very impressive for the price. With nonexistent
                                                         tannin, this wine would be a perfect choice for
                                                                                                                senberry flavors that linger on the long finish.
                                                                                                                The sinewy tannins will benefit from a few years
                                                         pizza night. Imported by Italian Wine Growers.         aging. Imported by Empson (USA) Ltd.
cinnamon. The wine is soft, round and smooth
                                                         Best Buy.
and that touch of sweetness on the close makes it
a good candidate for roast tomatoes with chèvre
chaud. Imported by Slocum & Sons, Inc. —M.L.
                                                         85       Marchesi di Barolo 2006 Maràia
                                                                  (Barbera del Monferrato); $11.
                                                                                                                92       Romana Carlo 2003 Brich dij Nòr
                                                                                                                         (Dolcetto di Dogliani); $NA. This
                                                                                                                single-vineyard Dolcetto is concentrated, juicy
                                                         Strikingly crisp, this wine starts out with some       and impressive. The raspberry and black cherry

87       Vietti 2006 Tre Vigne (Barbera
         d’Alba); $26. Aromas of strawberries,
wet stones and hay follow through to a very fresh
                                                         woodsy complexity on the nose then adds rasp-
                                                         berry and earth flavors in the mouth. A few dusty
                                                                                                                flavors are rounded out by developed notes of
                                                                                                                leather and earth while finely polished tannins
                                                         tannins peek through on the short finish. Try with     and good palate length make for a sophisticated
palate with crisp acidity, little tannin and a diffuse
                                                         pepperoni pizza. Imported by Wine Wave.                mouthfeel. The finish is strikingly long and tex-
berry character. Quite a nice package, perfect for                                                              tured, with excellent depth of flavor. At five years
pizza or lasagna. Imported by Remy Cointreau                                                                    old, this wine is fully mature and drinking well
                                                         84       Marchesi di Barolo 2006 Ruvei
                                                                  (Barbera d’Alba); $18. Traditional
                                                         and elegant, this Barbera opens with notes of
                                                                                                                now. Imported by Terra Verus Trading Co. LP.
                                                                                                                Editors’ Choice.

86       Boroli 2006 Quattro Fratelli (Bar-
         bera d’Alba); $25. An unfussy nose              leather and seasoned wood. More fruit shows
of rapberries and grape jam leads to a crisp, juicy
palate that finishes with appealing blackberry fla-
                                                         through on the palate, with cherry and plum fla-
                                                         vors leading to a leather-infused finish offering
                                                                                                                90       Sandrone 2007 Dolcetto d’Alba;
                                                                                                                         $27. This wine sets out to impress and
                                                                                                                hits its mark. Red raspberries and exotic spices
vors. The lack of tannin makes this smooth exam-         up just the slightest brush of tannins. Imported
                                                                                                                make for an alluring opening while green herbs
ple a good choice for pasta in a tomato sauce.           by Wine Wave.
                                                                                                                and grass notes vie with ripe strawberry and
Imported by Dalla Terra.                                                                                        plum fruit on the palate. Sophisticated tannins

                                                         84       Romana Carlo 2004 Rumanota
                                                                  Barbera (Piedmont); $NA. The sub-
                                                                                                                give an edge to the mineral finish. Drink now to

86       Marcarini 2006 Ciabot Camerano
         (Barbera d’Alba); $20. This wine                tle nose, with an alluring fusion of mineral, bing
                                                         cherry, toffee and black earth scents promises a
                                                                                                                2012. Imported by Vintus LLC.

gives the impression of having been pushed just a                                                                        Poderi Luigi Einaudi 2006 Vigna
bit too far, with a nose and palate dominated by         bit more than the palate can deliver. The fruit                 Tecc (Dolcetto di Dogliani); $30.
vanilla and mocha notes imparted by small oak            turns a bit stewed in the mouth though firm acid-      This hearty red is in a charm-challenged state
barrels. Nonetheless, black cherry and strawberry        ity bolsters the package and the finish is short       with chunky tannins dominating the raspberry
flavors manage to peek through on the palate,            and a bit jagged but flavorful. Imported by Terra      fruit. The surprising concentration and long fin-
supporte by a cushion of lush tannins. A bright          Verus Trading Co. LP.                                  ish promise much however. Two years in the cel-

               W I N E S            R E V I E W E D             F O R        T H E        F E B R U A RY              2 0 1 0        I S S U E
lar will allow the fruit to open up and the tannins
to fall in line. Imported by Empson (USA) Ltd.        87     Marchesi di Barolo 2007
                                                             Madonna di Como (Dolcetto
                                                      d’Alba); $18. A charming package, with rasp-
                                                                                                            86      Poderi Colla 2006 Pian Balbo (Dol-
                                                                                                                    cetto d’Alba); $18. Muscular tannins
                                                                                                            nearly mask raspberry and cherry notes in this

88      Cigliuti 2007 Serraboella (Dol-
        cetto d’Alba); $20. Generous and
dense, this wine opens with plum aromas under-
                                                      berries and fresh plums as an opening act fol-
                                                      lowed by leather and mushrooms on the palate
                                                      and just a hint of tannin. The finish falls a bit
                                                                                                            structured red. The juicy palate leads to a fairly
                                                                                                            long, earthy finish. Drink with pepperoni and
                                                                                                            sausage pizza. Imported by Empson (USA) Ltd.
pinning an herbal top note. The well-crafted          short but offers up an intriguing watermelon
palate unfolds a generous array of fruit flavors
that slide into an edgy, mineral finish. Drink now
                                                      note. Drink up. Imported by Wine Wave.
                                                                                                            86      Renato Ratti 2005 Colombè (Dol-
                                                                                                                    cetto d’Alba); $15. A pleasant, tradi-
with barbecued pork. Imported by Indigenous
Selections.                                           87      Poderi Luigi Einaudi 2006 Dol-
                                                              cetto di Dogliani; $23. Impressive
                                                      complexity on the nose from layers of red fruit
                                                                                                            tionally made Dolcetto, the Ratti shows black
                                                                                                            fruit aromas and flavors of smoked meat and soy.
                                                                                                            A well made, balanced wine, its only failing is its
                                                      and barnyard as well as some dusty notes. Cherry      slightly sour aftertaste. Imported by Dreyfus,
88      Pelassa 2006 Paié (Langhe); $23.
          This attractive Dolcetto opens with
dense concentration and pretty aromas of black
                                                      and raspberry fruit vie with stringy tannins in the
                                                      mouth. Unlike many Dolcettos, this one will ben-
                                                                                                            Ashby & Co.

fruit, plum, spice and cola. The wine’s texture is
chewy and dense, but fresh acidity appears at the
                                                      efit from a few years bottle age. Imported by
                                                      Empson (USA) Ltd.                                     86      Veglio 2007 Dolcetto d’Alba; $9.
                                                                                                                     Really charming, with a nose of green
                                                                                                            plums, red berries and earth that jumps out of
end to keep the palate bright and clean.
Imported by Slocum & Sons, Inc. —M.L.
                                                      87      Renato Ratti 2006 Colombè (Dol-
                                                              cetto d’Alba); $15. Expressive flavors
                                                      of boysenberry, raspberry and strawberry are bal-
                                                                                                            the glass and curls up in your lap. The palate is
                                                                                                            lacking a bit in intensity but makes up for it with
                                                                                                            iresistable cassis flavor followed by fresh-roasted
88      Pio Cesare 2008 Dolcetto d’Alba;
        $21. A strong showing, with tones of
blueberry and iodine interwoven with animal and
                                                      anced and focused in this well-crafted, well-
                                                      priced red. Sophisticated tannins mix with
                                                                                                            coffee. The bracing acidity would be well
                                                                                                            matched by a cheese-laden dish such as lasagna.
                                                      blackberry fruit on the silky finish. Try with bar-   Drink now to one year. Imported by Bacco Wine
barnyard scents on the nose. The palate shows
                                                      becued steak. Imported by Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.        & Spirit, LLC. Best Buy.
red fruit flavors with flowers at the back and ends
on a leather note. Refined tannins allow for
immediate consumption. Imported by Maisons
Marques & Domaines USA.
                                                      87      San Romano 2007 Bricco delle
                                                              Lepri (Dolcetto di Dogliani); $20.
                                                      This serious example opens with an enticing mix-
                                                                                                            84      Giacosa Fratelli 2006 San Rocco
                                                                                                                    (Dolcetto d’Alba); $16. The nose on
                                                                                                            this burly red is disappointingly mute. Nonethe-
                                                      ture of cassis interwoven with forest floor and       less, the palate shows intriguing flavors of earth

88      Tenuta Rocca 2004 Vigna Sorì
        Rocca (Dolcetto d’Alba); $18. This
modern-style Dolcetto has plenty of dark, jammy
                                                      mulch notes that lead to a palate with diffuse
                                                      mineral tones. Bright in the mouth but a bit thin
                                                                                                            and fall leaves that linger on the finish. Mouth-
                                                                                                            coating tannins will benefit from another year or
                                                      in the midpalate and turning slightly sharp on the    two in bottle. Imported by Bedford International.
fruit, a chunky crowd-pleasing personality and
                                                      finish. Drink now to two years. Imported by
enough structure underneath to give it longevity
and length. A pleasant if nontraditional take on
Dolcetto. Imported by Clyde Thomas.
                                                      Indigenous Selections.
                                                                                                            84      Pio Cesare 2007 Dolcetto d’Alba;
                                                                                                                    $22. Spicy strawberry scents are a bit

                                                      86      Marchesi di Gresy 2005 Monte
                                                              Aribaldo (Dolcetto d’Alba); $17.
                                                                                                            hampered by some rubbery aromas which may
                                                                                                            subside over time. Soft tannins frame raspberry

87      Camerano 2007 Dolcetto d’Alba;
        $20. The enticing nose of the Camer-
ano Dolcetto invites you to dive right in with its
                                                      Earth aromas meld with cherry and boysenberry
                                                      fruit and continue through to the palate, where
                                                                                                            and black cherry flavors in the mouth which per-
                                                                                                            sist on the juicy finish. Imported by Maisons
                                                      just the faintest tannic grip peeks through. This     Marques & Domaines USA.
exuberant aromas of summer fruits. This is an         sumptuous red shows a bit less acidity than typi-
elegant, lightweight example, with fresh mul-
berry and blueberry flavors in the mouth
wrapped in finely buffed tannins. The medium
                                                      cal for Piedmont, making it a good partner for
                                                      something in a slightly sweet sauce; think pulled
                                                      pork or barbecued ribs. Imported by Marchesi
                                                                                                            84      Sandrone 2006 Dolcetto d’Alba;
                                                                                                                    $25. Attractive notes of fall leaves and
                                                                                                            mushrooms underlie top notes of nail polish
finish is infused with cherry brandy notes. Drink     di Gresy USA.                                         remover that blow off with air. The crisp palate
up before 2012. Imported by Singular Selections.                                                            has just a bit of grip supporting intense raspberry

87      Conterno Fantino 2006 Bricco
        Bastia (Dolcetto d’Alba); $25. An
                                                      86      Massimiliano Vivalda 2007 Dol-
                                                              cetto d’Asti; $15. A modern, fruit-
                                                      forward version with appealing blackberry and
                                                                                                            flavors. Try with lasagna. Imported by Vintus

impressive package, with gentle aromas of min-        mulberry flavors that turn more sedate on the                 Giribaldi 2004 Dolcetto d’Alba;
erals and raspberries that follow through to a        palate. While short, the finish shows enticing                $14. The immediate sensation is of sul-
juicy palate with loads of berry flavor. Polished     mixed berry fruit. A year in the cellar will soften   fur and reduction; underneath there is some
tannins and black cherry notes define the linger-     the slightly drying tannins and integrate the pro-    greeness but also bright red fruit and floral fla-
ing finish. Drink now to 2011. Imported by Emp-       nounced acidity. Imported by Testa Wines Of           vors, with a short to medium finish. Imported by
son (USA) Ltd.                                        The World.                                            Atlanta Improvement Co.

OTHER RED WINES                                      88      Pelassa 2006 Nebbiolo d’Alba;
                                                             $23. Beautiful in terms of intensity and
                                                     consistency, this light style of Nebbiolo offers
                                                                                                         straightforward, this Spanna opens with damp
                                                                                                         earth and some lifted flowery notes. Mouthcoat-
                                                                                                         ing tannins frame cherry and rose petal flavors

91      Dessilani 2000 Riserva (Gatti-
        nara); $55. An exceptional example of
an underappreciated appellation, this Gattinara
                                                     pretty aromas of forest fruit and crushed white
                                                     pepper. Polished tannins bring up the rear and
                                                     this wine would pair nicely with quiche or cheese
                                                                                                         which persist on the medium finish. Drink now
                                                                                                         to 2011. Imported by Bedford International.

offers up a gorgeous nose of animal, leather and
spice accented by high floral tones. The palate
                                                     flan. Imported by Slocum & Sons, Inc. —M.L.
                                                                                                         83      Bricco Dei Guazzi 2005 La Presi-
                                                                                                                 denta (Monferrato); $20. Crisp but
has mature tannins and a complex tangle of fla-
vors ranging from charcoal-grilled meat to earth     88      Sandrone 2005 Valmaggiore
                                                             (Nebbiolo d’Alba); $55. Dense and
                                                     gripping, this Nebbiolo d’Alba outdoes many
                                                                                                         smooth, this Piedmont blend shows straightfor-
                                                                                                         ward blueberry and barnyard notes upfront while
                                                                                                         the palate offers up some fall leaves and ash fla-
and mushrooms. A nice kick of acidity on the fin-
                                                     Barolos. The complex nose shows blueberry           vors before fading to an earthy finish. Drink up.
ish means it can stand up to even the heaviest
                                                     notes and lifted aromas of perfumed soap. The       Imported by Bedford International.
duck dishes. Imported by Bedford International.
                                                     palate is concentrated but in a closed state;
Editors’ Choice.
                                                     leather and tar notes dominate but yield to
                                                     refreshing blackberry flavors on the finish. Can    GAVI
90      I Quaranta 2005 Velours (Monfer-
        rato); $NA. I Quaranta has succeeded
                                                     be drunk now but several years aging will give

in fashioning a thoroughly modern, lush style of
wine from an eclectic blend of 60% Barbera and
                                                     the tannins a chance to soften and allow the
                                                     palate to open up. Imported by Vintus LLC.          87      Bricco Dei Guazzi 2007 Gavi di
                                                                                                                 Gavi; $20. The nose is all gardenia and
                                                                                                         pear enveloped by citrus. The crisp palate doesn’t
40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Hints of mocha back
up dense plum and strawberry fruit on the nose
which give way to a refined palate showcasing
                                                     87      Fontanafredda 2005 Eremo
                                                             (Langhe); $17. A blend of Barbera
                                                     and Nebbiolo, this middleweight charmer opens
                                                                                                         have a great deal of intensity but compensates
                                                                                                         with very pleasant flavors of pear drop and nettle.
                                                                                                         Enjoy with fish in a citrus sauce. Imported by
highly polished tannins. A final kick of acidity     with roses and raspberry fruit while the palate     Bedford International.
adds freshness to the deep chocolate and cassis      shows interesting woodsy undertones. Drink now
flavors that linger on the finish. Imported by
Terra Verus Trading Co. LP.
                                                     with guinea hen or roast pork. Imported by
                                                     Domaine Select Wine Estates.                        87       Michele Chiarlo 2005 Gavi; $18. A
                                                                                                                  standout at the tasting, the Chiarlo was
                                                                                                         made to be enjoyed with food. A complex palate

89      Saracco 2006 Pinot Nero (Monfer-
        rato); $31. Made in a more oxidative
(Piedmont-like) style than is typical for most
                                                     87      Pelassa 2005 Antaniolo (Roero);
                                                             $28. This Nebbiolo by Mario Pelassa is
                                                     loaded with aromas that recall Christmas spice,
                                                                                                         offers lime peel mingled with apricot and peach;
                                                                                                         and there is plenty of acidity that allows the fla-
                                                                                                         vors to come through to a fine finish. Imported
Pinot Noirs, with high-toned notes of burnt cher-    chopped mint and nutmeg. There’s an incredibly      by Kobrand.
ries and citronella. The palate is chewy and         strong balsam note here that resembles eucalyp-
weighty and leads to a serious, intense finish
laced with notes of gardenia. Drinking well now.
                                                     tus and peppermint. Pair this wine with lamb and
                                                     mint jelly. Imported by Slocum & Sons, Inc.
                                                                                                         86      Pio Cesare 2008 Cortese di Gavi;
                                                                                                                 $21. This wine seems to have a bit of
                                                                                                         everything. Lovely aromas of fresh cut grass mix
Imported by Dalla Terra.
                                                                                                         with pear and melon on the nose while the palate

88      La Spinetta 2006 Campe’ della
        Spinetta (Langhe); $30. Crisp and            87      Sandrone 2006 Valmaggiore
                                                             (Nebbiolo d’Alba); $61. Sleek and
                                                     focused, with well-defined cherry fruit and red
                                                                                                         offers some nice minerality and ends on a linger-
                                                                                                         ing peach note. Drink now to two years.
                                                                                                         Imported by Maisons Marques & Domaines
well-balanced, this Nebbiolo opens with youthful
                                                     flower notes. The full-bodied palate is tightly     USA.
aromas of raspberry parfait and coffee ice cream
                                                     wound with accents of orange peel and black
with sweaty saddle undertones. Slightly drying
tannins frame the multilayered palate while
cherry tones dominate the medium finish. A
                                                     cherry. The finish drops a bit short. Drink over
                                                     the next few years with flavorful pork dishes.
                                                     Imported by Vintus LLC.
                                                                                                         86      Principessa Gavia 2005 Gavi; $14.
                                                                                                                   It took a few minutes to wake the
                                                                                                         Principessa up; but when she did, there were
year in the cellar will smooth out the rough-and-
                                                                                                         plenty of bright summer fruit aromas, which
tumble mouthfeel. Imported by Indigenous
Selections.                                          86      Pier 2007 Asnas Estate Selection
                                                             Rosso (Langhe); $NA. Crafted from
                                                     an intriguing blend of Nebbiolo, Barbera and
                                                                                                         seemed to come rushing out as if to make up for
                                                                                                         lost time. It settled into a pleasant, rich, if not
                                                                                                         very precise wine with a short to medium finish

88      Marchesi di Gresy 2007 Marti-
        nenga (Langhe); $28. A youthful,
fruity expression of Nebbiolo with roses, gardenia
                                                     Petit Verdot, this Langhe blend delivers dense,
                                                     forward fruit in a compact structure with firm
                                                                                                         that will work well with food. Imported by Banfi
                                                     tannins and luscious blackberry fruit. Moderate
and candied orange dominating the nose while
worn leather and mulch flavors back up cherry
fruit in the mouth. This wine’s strongest point is
                                                     finish. Drink now or cellar for a year. Imported
                                                     by Terra Verus Trading Co. LP.                      86      Ricossa 2007 Gavi; $15. An exotic
                                                                                                                  nose of spiced pears and white pepper
                                                                                                         with butter undertones makes for an eye-opening
its long, rose-flavored finish. Best now through
2011. Imported by Dalla Terra.                       84      Dessilani 2005 Spanna Riserva
                                                             (Colline Novaresi); $17. Elegant and
                                                                                                         start. Made in a more luxuriant style than many
                                                                                                         Gavi, it shows a bit of texture on the palate and

              W I N E S          R E V I E W E D            F O R       T H E       F E B R U A RY             2 0 1 0        I S S U E
finishes with flavors of green plums, freshly cut
grass and lychee. Drink up. Imported by Touch-
stone Wines.
                                                        Caramel notes from toasty new oak vie with kiwi
                                                        flavors in the mouth while the finish is long and
                                                        dry. Drink now or age a few years for even more
                                                                                                               84      Veglio 2008 Moscato d’Asti; $13.
                                                                                                                       Confected but charming nonetheless,
                                                                                                               with pure aromas of honey and roasted pineapple
                                                        complexity. Imported by Maisons Marques &              bolstered by light minerality. Peach and fresh

85       La Scolca 2004 Black Label (Gavi);
         $46. The Black label is the flagship of
La Scolca; it is a more harmonious wine than the
                                                        Domaines USA.                                          ginger come through on the slightly watery finish.
                                                                                                               Drink now. Imported by Bacco Wine & Spirit,

regular bottling, without its edginess. The nose is
reticent, a touch of apple and vanilla, expanding
                                                        84       Cornarea 2007 Roero Arneis; $27.
                                                                  Bracing notes of quince are the opening
                                                        act for this fragrant, light-bodied quaffer. There’s

into a rich seamless palate, but like its sibling, is
marred by its finish, which is a little short.
                                                        well-defined acidity in the mouth and zesty fla-
                                                        vors of lime and grapefruit on the finish. A good
                                                                                                               83      Massimiliano Vivalda NV Nettare
                                                                                                                       (Moscato d’Asti); $16. Opens nicely,
Imported by Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd.                                                                     with peach pie and baked pear shot through with
                                                        choice for salty hors d’oeuvres. Imported by
                                                                                                               notes of Fernet Branca. Turns a bit earthy and
                                                        Tesori Wines. Imported by Wine Spoken Here.

85       Villa Sparina 2007 Gavi di Gavi;
         $20. A nice racy version, with lots of
mineral, orange and clove notes that linger nicely
                                                                                                               slightly frothy in the mouth. The high level of
                                                                                                               sweetness and moderate acidity make this a good

on the finish. Well defined, crisp and thirst-
                                                        MOSCATO                                                choice for pairing with dessert. Drink now.
                                                                                                               Imported by Testa Wines Of The World.
quenching. Serve with pasta primavera.
Imported by Domaine Select Wine Estates.
                                                        86       Duchessa Lia 2008 Moscato
                                                                 d’Asti; $13. Quite sweet, but with
                                                        good concentration and balancing acidity that          82      Umberto Fiore 2008 Moscato
                                                                                                                       d’Asti; $13. Chemical notes make for a

84       La Scolca 2004 White Label (Gavi
         di Gavi); $22. The light colored regu-
lar bottling offers plenty of mineral and some
                                                        make for a refreshing impression. Lovely grape
                                                        and honeysuckle flavors unfold on the palate, giv-
                                                                                                               less-than-promising begining but ease into pretty
                                                                                                               apricot, elderflower and honey flavors. Finish is
interesting lemon peel aromas. It still has plenty      ing way to a medium finish with a fresh citrus         longer than most, with nice balancing acidity.
of complexity, but the flavors are bunched in the       tang. No improvement with age. Imported by             Drink now. Imported by A.V. Brands.
midpalate, and the finish is thin and short.            Italian Wine Growers.
Imported by Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd.
                                                                                                               OTHER SPARKLING
                                                        86       Fontanafredda 2007 Moncucco
84       Principessa Gavia 2007 Gavi; $14.
         Intense notes of orange flower and cit-
                                                                 (Moscato d’Asti); $13/375 ml.
                                                        Fontanafredda’s Moscato d’Asti is a cut above its
rus make for a bright opening. Crisp and refresh-
ing in the mouth with faint grass flavors, this light
example would be a good partner for ceviche or
                                                        competitors, with intense orange, grape and pear
                                                        aromas that lead into a palate of white grapes and
                                                        ground cherries. The medium finish is intensely
                                                                                                               84      Banfi NV Brut Metodo
                                                                                                                       Tradizionale Classico (Piedmont);
                                                                                                               $24. Encouraging aromas of bread dough and
yellowtail sashimi. Drink up. Imported by Banfi         sweet but an underlying freshness saves it from        baked apple give way to a rubber note. Moder-
Vintners.                                               being cloying. Drink with a plate of mixed fruit.      ately flavorful in the mouth but somewhat mono-
                                                        Imported by Domaine Select Wine Estates.               dimensional with a foamy mousse. Medium

84       Principessa Perlante 2007 Gavi;
         $17. Slightly off-dry, with short-lived
                                                                                                               finish. Drink now. Imported by Banfi Vintners.
but attractive notes of fresh apple and pear drop.      86       Neirano 2008 Pitulé (Moscato
                                                                 d’Asti); $13. This Moscato is a great
This wine is exceptionally light but with a faint
bitterness that reminds us we’re in Italy. Drink
                                                        value, a perfect opening for a big party. Made in a
                                                        subtle, lightly sweet style, with sophisticated gar-
                                                                                                               84      Duchessa Lia NV Spumante Dolce
                                                                                                                       (Brachetto d’Acqui); $17. A more
now. Imported by Banfi Vintners.                                                                               serious Brachetto than many, with raspberry, tan-
                                                        denia and white flower scents on the nose. A
                                                                                                               gerine, and peach fruit balancing the noticeable
                                                        jazzy midpalate mineral note contributes some

82       Fratelli Martini 2005 Canti (Gavi);
         $13. The Canti suffers from a lack of
acidity, which mars the pleasant minerality and
                                                        edge, while the elegant finish trails off into
                                                        intriguing notes of fresh ginger and roasted
                                                                                                               sweetness. There’s nothing like a crimson
                                                                                                               sparkling wine to get your guests talking; serve
                                                                                                               this one to them with quail in a fruit sauce. Drink
                                                        pineapple. Drink up, no reason to age. Imported
apricot jam flavors of the wine. The low acid                                                                  as young as possible. Imported by Italian Wine
gives the wine little presence on the palate, and a     by Scoperta Importing Co. Inc. Best Buy.
short finish. Imported by Canti Wine USA.

                                                        84       Tosti NV Moscato (Asti); $12. The
                                                                 nose is all fresh grapes and peach pie,
                                                                                                               82      Banfi 2007 Rosa Regale (Bra-
                                                                                                                       chetto d’Acqui); $22. Aromas of
OTHER WHITE WINES                                       sliding into apricots and stone fruits in the
                                                        mouth. Short, straightforward finish. With a           fresh summer fruits are countered by an earthy
                                                        fleeting and foamy mousse, this is not a wine for      note whose contribution is questionable. Light
89       Pio Cesare 2007 L’Altro Chardon-
         nay (Piedmont); $22. Unique and
appealing, with scents of pear drop and roasted
                                                        serious times but is well suited to casual summer
                                                        sipping or with lightly sweet desserts. Drink now.
                                                                                                               on the palate with nice strawberry fruit but turns
                                                                                                               a bit cloying on the finish. Mousse lacks persis-
walnuts leading into a luxuriously textured palate.     Imported by Admiral Imports.                           tence. Drink now. Imported by Banfi Vintners.

                                                       the finish is the first and only glaring announce-
                                                       ment of oak. Drink now through 2014. Imported
                                                       by Fine Estates From Spain. Editors’ Choice.
                                                                                                              87       Marqués de Vargas 2004 Reserva
                                                                                                                       (Rioja); $30. Aromas of Christmas
                                                                                                              spice, pepper and dried fruit fall more into the
RIOJA                                                  —M.S.                                                  traditional category than modern, while the
                                                                                                              palate is snappy, a little lean and delivers straw-

95       Sierra Cantabria 2006 Amancio
         (Rioja); $167. Brawny but lovely, with
monster black fruit, balsam wood, tobacco and
                                                       92       Luis Cañas 2004 Amaren (Rioja);
                                                                $50. A really nice, dark, modern style
                                                                                                              berry and raspberry fruit with a light buttery oak
                                                                                                              note. Tight and dry on the finish, but lean. Ready
                                                                                                              to drink. Imported by Steve Miles Selections.
                                                       of Rioja from a good vintage. The nose is mildly
cola nut aromas. The palate is ultra rich and          foresty early on and robustly fruity, with stand-      —M.S.
modern in style, with deep, brandied flavors of        out black cherry and blackberry aromas. The
cola, black cherry and spice. Driven, modern and
properly tannic, with a fair amount of mocha and
creaminess on the finish. Drink from late 2010
                                                       palate is full, clean and balanced, with alert fla-
                                                       vors of berry, spice, citrus peel and chocolate.       87       Ramirez de la Piscina 2006 Cri-
                                                                                                                       anza (Rioja); $15. Firm, earthy and
                                                                                                              rubbery aromas lead to a tight, focused palate
                                                       Smooth as a glass table on the finish. Drink now
thru 2014. Imported by Fine Estates From               through 2014. Imported by Henriot Inc. Edi-            with robust black cherry in the lead and black
Spain. Cellar Selection. —M.S.                         tors’ Choice. —M.S.                                    tea and coffee notes along the side. Toasty, dark
                                                                                                              and a touch bitter on the finish, and overall it’s a

95       Viñedos de Paganos 2006 La
         Nieta (Rioja); $163. Deep and dark as
night, with a lake’s worth of cassis and black fruit
                                                       90       Marqués de Cáceres 2004
                                                                Gaudium (Rioja); $64. Jammy and
                                                                                                              solid crianza with condensed flavors and a basic
                                                                                                              mouthfeel. Imported by Fine Estates From
                                                                                                              Spain. —M.S.
                                                       sweet smelling, with intensity and a lot of
aromas. There is no interference here; just pure,      ripeness. Throughout it teeters on the precipice
big-boned, modern-style Tempranillo flavors of
currants, blackberry and soft, cuddly oak. Fin-
ishes with cream and coconut, but length and
                                                       of being overripe, but amid the chunky darkness
                                                       and sweetness there’s tasty berry, chocolate and
                                                                                                              87       Vallobera 2006 Crianza (Rioja);
                                                                                                                       $22. Bursts with bright, linear cherry
                                                                                                              and raspberry aromas and flavors, but it’s not
                                                       spice. Finishes a bit pruney and raisiny, so get at
power as well. Hold until late 2010 and drink                                                                 caustic, sharp or grating. Acidity at peak power
                                                       it as soon as you can. Imported by Vineyard
through 2015. Imported by Fine Estates From                                                                   yields a zesty, racy personality while a blanket of
                                                       Brands. —M.S.
Spain. Editors’ Choice. —M.S.                                                                                 vanilla flavor softens the cherry and raspberry
                                                                                                              fruit. Crisp and a good food wine. Imported by

94       Benjamin Romeo 2006 La Viña de
         Andres Romeo (Rioja); $166. Huge
                                                       89      Bodegas Palacio 2004 Cosme
                                                               Palacio y Hermanos Reserva
                                                       (Rioja); $30. A solid, serious Rioja reserva with
                                                                                                              Axial Wines USA. —M.S.

wine with sweetness and smooth qualities from
head to toe. Aromas of mint leaf, pastry and
sweet black fruits are magnetic, while the lush,
                                                       licorice, leather, char and good berry aromas.
                                                       The palate is juicy, pure and tastes of clean black
                                                                                                              86       Benjamin Romeo 2006 Predicador
                                                                                                                       (Rioja); $37. Dark purple in color, with
                                                                                                              can’t-miss aromas of prune and raisin. The palate
                                                       cherry and cola flavors. Picks up steam as it
layered palate is complete and packed with berry                                                              is predictably soft, with manageable heft but low
                                                       opens up, and then finishes with a light butter
fruit, toast, fudge and tobacco flavors. Layered                                                              acidity and thus very soft edges. Flavors of baked
                                                       streak and proper weight. No complaints; almost
and deep on the finish, with cola, herbs and                                                                  black fruits are warm but short, and the oak is
                                                       makes the upper echelon. Drink now through
licorice notes. Beautiful wine. Drinkable now and                                                             plentiful. A little too ripe and raisiny to rate
good through 2013. Imported by Fine Estates            2012. Imported by HAB North America. —M.S.             higher. Imported by Fine Estates From Spain.
From Spain. Editors’ Choice. —M.S.                                                                            —M.S.

                                                       88       Bodegas Franco-Españolas 2004
                                                                Barón D’Anglade Reserva (Rioja);
93       Benjamin Romeo 2006 La Cueva
         del Contador (Rioja); $103. Starts
with the scent of beef on the grill, and then folds
                                                       $40. A heavier style of Rioja, with raisin and
                                                       prune aromas and a brandied character. The
                                                                                                              86       Luis Cañas 2006 Crianza (Rioja);
                                                                                                                       $15. Lean, focused cherry and rasp-
                                                                                                              berry aromas properly portend a snappy, fresh,
in black fruit and fine aged cheese. The palate is     palate is expectedly flush and ripe, with weight       edgy palate of semitart red plum and raspberry
as rich and smooth as a silk throw, while flavors of   and size along with black cherry and herbal tea        flavors. Buttery oak brings some softness, while
berry, cassis, herbs and coffee cover the bases.       flavors. Shows good stamina and fullness on the        the finish is a bit hot and high in acid. More tra-
Mildly balsamic on the finish, yet not compli-         finish. Ready to drink now before it starts to fade.   ditional in style than modern. Imported by Hen-
cated, demanding or overly complex. Drink now          Imported by Admiral Imports. —M.S.                     riot Inc. —M.S.
through 2012. Imported by Fine Estates From
Spain. Editors’ Choice. —M.S.
                                                       88       Ramirez de la Piscina 2006 Selec-
                                                                ción Crianza (Rioja); $22. Coconut
                                                       and vanilla aromas are squarely in the lead, but
                                                                                                              RIBERA DEL DUERO
93       Viñedos de Paganos 2006 El Pun-
         tido (Rioja); $62. Another stellar El
Puntido, this time with excellent concentration
                                                       the nose’s berry base is more than solid. Plump,
                                                       round and showing good overall balance, with           92       Emina 2006 Prestigio (Ribera del
                                                                                                                       Duero); $28. Just right on the nose,
and full-load aromas of black fruit, leather, fine     flavors of cola, dark fruit and coconut. A ripe,       with a smoky, attractive set of deep berry aro-
dried cheese and cola. The palate is tight, prop-      bulky crianza with plenty of leftover oak on the       mas. The palate is pure and composed, with a
erly stretched and racy, with bursting black rasp-     finish. Imported by Fine Estates From Spain.           pure, tasty mix of berry fruit, cocoa and mild oak.
berry and cassis flavors. Coconut and resin on         —M.S.                                                  Smooth, long and creamy on the finish, and deli-

               W I N E S          R E V I E W E D             F O R        T H E        F E B R U A RY              2 0 1 0        I S S U E
cious overall. Best wine to date from Emina.         but also delivering alot of clean fruit, size and    plexity. Drink now through 2012. Imported by
Drink now into 2012. Imported by Grape Expec-        balance. The palate has moderate to full tannic      Vinos and Gourmet Inc. —M.S.
tations (CA). —M.S.                                  grip, which props up berry, vanilla, wood and

92      Protos 2004 Reserva (Ribera del
        Duero); $45. Protos is a flagship Rib-
                                                     mild herbal flavors. Long, solid and a little oaky
                                                     late, with proper purity and a commitment to the
                                                     near future. Drink now through 2011. Imported
                                                                                                          88      Comenge 2006 Ribera del Duero;
                                                                                                                  $25. Bold and chunky Ribera wine with
                                                                                                          black fruit aromas that don’t tread lightly. The
era del Duero property and its wines have been       by Tradewinds Specialty Imports. —M.S.               palate is lush and features a nice overall feel,
on the rise lately. This is ripe and spicy, with                                                          while the flavors of berry fruit and chocolate hint
black fruit and then a twitch of prune and moss                                                           at raisin but don’t fully cross the threshhold.
on the nose. It’s racy, pure, forward and stout,
with a mix of red and black fruit flavors. Warm
                                                     89      Legaris 2006 Crianza (Ribera del
                                                             Duero); $27. Opens with floral, blue-
                                                     berry aromas, mineral notes and a spot of jammy
                                                                                                          Heavier and darker than prior years. Drink now.
                                                                                                          Imported by Folio Fine Wine Partners. —M.S.
and integrated on the finish. Drink now through      candy. The palate is alert and well balanced, with
2013. Imported by RV Distributors. —M.S.             grab and juicy flavors of raspberry and plum off-
                                                     set by a wave of buttery oak. Textured, full and     88      Terra Incognita 2004 Ribera del
                                                                                                                  Duero; $75. Incognito deftly describes

91      Val Sotillo 2004 VS Reserva (Rib-
        era del Duero); $100. Full, heavy,
chunky wine with a powerful bouquet of black
                                                     satisfying on the finish. Very nice wine. Imported
                                                     by Gregory White PR. —M.S.
                                                                                                          the unusual beet and blueberry aromas on this
                                                                                                          wine, which is a bit narrow and scracthy. On the
                                                                                                          plus side, it’s concentrated and powerful, with
fruit and chocolate. The palate is about as full                                                          bold berry flavors, tannic grip and herbal influ-
and concentrated as they come, but there’s good
balance and aging potential along with cassis,
                                                     89      Matarromera 2006 Crianza (Rib-
                                                             era del Duero); $27. Ripe, stout and
                                                     concentrated on the bouquet, with cassis and
                                                                                                          ences. Chunky on the finish but lacks the preci-
                                                                                                          sion and identifiable Ribera del Duero character
blackberry and mild herbal shadings. Savory and                                                           that a $75 wine should have. Imported by John-
                                                     lightly roasted berry aromas. Solid and tannic in
strong as it is long on the finish. Drinkable now                                                         son Brothers Liquor Company. —M.S.
                                                     the mouth, with full plum and cherry flavors.
but better from 2011–2014. Imported by
                                                     Finishes big and friendly, with a very mild herbal
Tradewinds Specialty Imports. —M.S.
                                                     undertone and a slight dose of sauciness. Very
                                                     nice RDD. Imported by Grape Expectations
                                                                                                          87      Bodegas Qumrán 2005 Crianza
                                                                                                                  (Ribera del Duero); $30. A little

90    Bodegas Imperiales 2004 Abadia
      de San Quirce Reserva (Ribera del
Duero); $45. A round, chewy wine with a nice
                                                     (CA). —M.S.
                                                                                                          saucy and leathery on the nose, but there’s also
                                                                                                          licorice, blackberry and woody aromas to ponder.
                                                                                                          Flush and well composed on the palate, with
mix of black fruit, vanilla, aged cheese and light
balsam wood on the nose. The palate is big but
                                                     88      Bodegas Qumrán 2006 Crianza
                                                             (Ribera del Duero); $30. There’s an
                                                     exotic twist to the nose, which rests on black
                                                                                                          plum, raspberry and mild salty, savory notes. Fin-
                                                                                                          ishes with good feel but a slight herbal taste of
doesn’t bite back, and the flavors of creamy berry                                                        tomato and/or oregano. Imported by Bodegas
                                                     cherry, plum and a splash of black coffee. The
are broad and nice. A very solid wine with weight                                                         Qumrán. —M.S.
                                                     palate is sound and structured, with dark fruit
and heat; drink now through 2011. Imported by
                                                     flavors accented by spice and tea notes. Com-
Basque Country Imports, Inc. —M.S.
                                                     fortable on the finish, with good tannins and
                                                     acids holding it all together. Drink now. Imported
                                                                                                          87      Emilio Moro 2006 Ribera del
                                                                                                                  D u e ro ; $ 2 8 . Aromas of rubber,

90      Finca El Quiñón 2006 Jaros (Rib-
        era del Duero); $35. This wine gets it
right. The color is dark and opaque, while the
                                                     by Bodegas Qumrán . —M.S.
                                                                                                          smoked beef, syrupy berry and buttery oak are
                                                                                                          inviting enough, while the palate has edgy acidity
                                                                                                          that pushes the wine’s black cherry element while
nose offers perfume, Middle Eastern spice, fruit-
cake and solid black fruit. Enticing in the mouth,   88    Bodegas y Viñedos Rauda 2004
                                                           Tinto Roa Reserva (Ribera del
                                                     Duero); $40. Full, ripe and so tannic in its pre-
                                                                                                          cutting an obvious oak dosage. Accents of tea,
                                                                                                          herbs and spice give it character; finishes with an
where full black fruit flavors are pumped up by                                                           obvious kick of butter and resin. Imported by
fine herb and spice notes. And then coffee and       sent form that it’s scratchy and hard on the         Fine Estates From Spain. —M.S.
chocolate fill the finish. Drink now through 2010.   mouth. Aromas of ripe berry and syrup hint at its
                                                     core power, while flavors of blackberry, fresh
Imported by Vin de Terra Imports, Inc.. —M.S.
                                                     raisin and chocolate are true and good. A power-
                                                     packed wine with a fierce mouthfeel; only time
                                                                                                          87      Mesoneros de Castilla 2006 Roble
                                                                                                                  (Ribera del Duero); $23. Slightly

90      Finca Torremilanos 2005 Crianza
        (Ribera del Duero); $30. An attrac-
tive, ripe wine that pushes up against raisiny but
                                                     can bring it around. Hold until 2011. Imported
                                                     by Monarchia Matt International. —M.S.
                                                                                                          saucy on the nose, with jammy, baked fruit aro-
                                                                                                          mas hinting at cherry and raspberry. The palate
                                                                                                          feel is a little tough but healthy, with red fruit
then draws back to focus on blackberry, licorice                                                          flavors accented by vanilla and coconut. Tight,
and other dark aromas and flavors. Very good
weight and mouthfeel, with nice balance sup-         88      Carmelo Rodero 2005 TSM (Rib-
                                                             era del Duero); $NA. A blend of
                                                     Tempranillo with Cab Sauvignon and Merlot.
                                                                                                          crisp and showing a final wave of tomato on the
                                                                                                          finish. Imported by Tradewinds Specialty
porting ripe berry, cola and mild chocolate fla-                                                          Imports. —M.S.
vors. Finishes lush and warm. Drink now through      Aromas of black cherry, spice, aged cheese and
2011. Imported by Grapes of Spain. —M.S.             earth are solid, while the palate features good
                                                     fruit but some weakness in structure. Flavors of     86      Abadía la Arroyada 2005 Crianza
                                                                                                                  (Ribera del Duero); $23. Opens with

90      Val Sotillo 2005 Crianza (Ribera
        del Duero); $35. Full, earthy and ripe,
                                                     black cherry and berry are rich at first but fade
                                                     fast, while the finish is nice but short on com-
                                                                                                          tight black cherry and raspberry aromas, but also
                                                                                                          a whiff of pine and chemical. The palate is round,

full and tannic, with snappy berry flavors
accented by balasmic notes, oak resin and vanilla.    83       Condado de Oriza 2008 Ribera
                                                               del Duero; $11. Hard aromas of
                                                      matchstick, bramble and tart fruit don’t exactly
                                                                                                             plum and savory marinade is good and par for
                                                                                                             the course. Drink now. Imported by Grape
                                                                                                             Expectations (CA). —M.S.
Finishes with traditional vanilla-dill notes and a
slight stemminess. Imported by Rad Grapes.            qualify as friendly, while the palate is grabby and
—M.S.                                                 tastes of fruit punch and herbal berry. Short and
                                                      a touch burnt tasting on the finish. Acceptable, as
                                                      it leaves you wanting more. Imported by Luneau
                                                                                                             87       Cyan 2001 Pago de la Calera
                                                                                                                      (Toro); $55. Maturing fairly well, with
                                                                                                             brown edges to the wine’s earthy hue. The nose is
85      Atalayas de Golban 2006 Ribera
        del Duero; $22. A bit murky and               USA Inc. —M.S.                                         rooty and deep, but there’s a definite cheesy,
                                                                                                             mildly bretty accent to it. And the mouthfeel is
damp on the nose, with brandied fruit and raisin
aromas. The palate is solidly formed, with basic
raspberry flavors but not much follow through as
                                                      82       Pago de los Capellanes 2008
                                                               Joven Roble (Ribera del Duero);
                                                      $20. Smells like a dog badly in need of a bath,
                                                                                                             defined by major tannic grip and bite. Warm and
                                                                                                             mildly raisiny, with caramel on the finish. Drink
                                                                                                             now. Imported by Grape Expectations (CA).
the finish shows buttery, soft flavors. Inoffensive
                                                      and alongside those funky aromas there’s berry         —M.S.
but more generic than individual. Imported by         fruit and bubblegum. The palate is forceful and
Rare Wine Company. —M.S.                              sort of heavy and tannic, with herbal, semitart
                                                      plum flavors. Bright and lively, but unsophisti-       CAMPO DE BORJA
85      Conde de San Cristóbal 2006 Rib-
        era del Duero; $25. Warm, baked
                                                      cated, with poor aromas. Imported by Antalva
                                                      Imports. —M.S.
aromas smell of clay and raisin, and later a wave
of minty green enters the picture. The palate is
                                                                                                             88       Pagos del Moncayo 2008 Gar-
                                                                                                                      nacha-Syrah (Campo de Borja);
                                                                                                             $18. A round, full specimen with mineral-laden
sort of lean, with some holes in the fabric, while    TORO & CIGALES                                         raspberry aromas and a fresh but serious palate
flavors of wild berry and black fruits fold in a                                                             of berry, cherry cough drop and fine rubber.
heavier note of molasses. Limited in its virtues;
short in complexity. Imported by Steve Miles          91       Cyan 2003 Prestigio (Toro); $27.
                                                               Warm, earthy aromas of molasses, moss
                                                      and baked fruit scream rich and big, and the
                                                                                                             There’s a distinct creamy, oaky feel that’s con-
                                                                                                             firmed by finishing flavors of vanilla, mocha and
Selections. —M.S.                                                                                            woodspice. A step up the ladder for Campo de
                                                      palate matches that early announcement with
                                                                                                             Borja. Imported by Axial Wines USA. —M.S.
                                                      cola, baked blackberry, coffee and syrupy flavors.
85      Monteabellón 2008 5 Meses en
        Barrica (Ribera del Duero); $13.
                                                      Weighty and forceful, but not without style and a
                                                      flash of elegance. Pure Toro; drink now through
                                                                                                             87       Penelope Sanchez 2008 Gar-
Dark and powerfully oaked despite its 5-month                                                                         nacha-Syrah (Campo de Borja);
                                                      2012. Imported by Grape Expectations (CA).
pedigree. Mint, tar, shoe polish and blackberry                                                              $12. Dark, roasted lead aromas frame secondary
work the bouquet, while the palate is structured                                                             baked black fruit and leather scents, while the
and tight but also quite dark and woody. Mocha,                                                              palate is oaky, stocky and tannic, with creamy,
butter and pepper flavors carry the finish on this
healthy and structured wine that may also be too
                                                      90       Val de Los Frailes 2003 Prestigio
                                                               (Cigales); $25. Pine needle, cedar
                                                      plank and forest floor define the mature nose,
                                                                                                             barrel-led berry flavors and more than adequate
                                                                                                             balance and freshness. Mocha and toast are key
oaky for its own benefit. Imported by JW Sieg                                                                finishing notes, and overall it’s a nice blend of
                                                      while the full, grabby, tannic palate is loaded with
Wines. —M.S.                                                                                                 85% Garnacha with Syrah. Imported by Axial
                                                      likable cola, black fruit and chocolate flavors.
                                                      Ripe, pure, rich and tannic, with some bite, burn      Wines USA. Best Buy. —M.S.

85      Torrederos 2008 Tinto (Ribera del
        Duero); $14. Rubber and berry aro-
                                                      and ruggedness. Drinkable now but needs food
                                                      to cut the tannins. Imported by Grape Expecta-
                                                      tions (CA). —M.S.                                      86      Almira 2008 Los Dos Old Vines
                                                                                                                     Grenache-Syrah (Campo de
mas are solid if standard, while the palate has
                                                                                                             Borja); $8. Nice value red wine with solid black
freshness and bounce along with cherry, rasp-
                                                                                                             fruit aromas, licorice and crushed mineral notes.
berry and rubbery latex. Slight amounts of heat
and bitterness show up on the finish, but overall     88       Cyan 2003 12 Meses (Toro); $19.
                                                              Definitely a once-ripe, raisiny wine with
                                                      hard Toro tannins and molasses aromas and fla-
                                                                                                             It’s flush and showing good volume, and the
                                                                                                             plum/berry core flavors have a vanilla accent.
this is an entirely functional young wine.
                                                      vors. Borderline syrupy but with enough struc-         Mildly medicinal on the finish but overall it offers
Imported by Antalva Imports. —M.S.
                                                      ture and grip to make the grade. Warming and           good power, structure and concentration.
                                                      rich wine, with a fierce strucutre and big tannic      Imported by Winebow. Best Buy. —M.S.

84      Bracamonte 2008 Roble (Ribera
        del Duero); $11. Raspberry and
                                                      framework. Drink now. Imported by Grape

cherry are the fruit components on this wholly
basic, grabby and oaky youngster. The palate is
                                                      Expectations (CA). —M.S.
                                                                                                             86       Quo 2008 Grenache (Campo de
                                                                                                                      Borja); $10. A little heat on the nose is

                                                      88       Val de Los Frailes 2003 Pago de               acceptable given that the remaining cherry and
creamy and wood-riddled, with milk chocolate                   las Costanas (Cigales); $60. Quite            plum aromas are pure. A bit acidic on the palate
and carob flavors running side by side with basic     rustic smelling, with hickory smoke, barbecue          but staunchly fresh, with good fruit flavor in the
red berry fruit. A typical RDD joven that is          sauce, spice and cola aromas. Like most Cigales        red plum category. Cleansing due to higher acid-
decent but won’t turn many heads. Imported by         wines, it has a firm tannic bite and a grating         ity, with hints of mocha and mineral. Imported by
Spain Wine Collection. —M.S.                          mouthfeel. But the flavors of roast berry, black       The Artisan Collection. Best Buy. —M.S.

              W I N E S           R E V I E W E D            F O R        T H E        F E B R U A RY              2 0 1 0        I S S U E
85   Bodegas Aragonesas 2008 Cinco
     Josés 5 Joes Old Vine Garnacha                   NAVARRA
                                                                                                           through 2013. Imported by Fine Estates From
                                                                                                           Spain. —M.S.
(Campo de Borja); $8. Racy red wine, with
mild bramble and brine aromas to go with
spunky cherry-plum flavors. Quite zesty, bright
                                                      84     Bodegas Nekeas 2007 Vega Sin-
                                                             doa Cabernet Sauvignon-Tem-
                                                      pranillo (Navarra); $12. Herbal berry fruit
                                                                                                           90       Venta del Puerto 2006 N° 12
                                                                                                                    Selección Especial (Valencia); $35.
                                                                                                           For a Valencia D.O. wine, this is darn appealing.
and juicy, but solidly put together and not overly    aromas are about as typical of Navarran Cabernet     The nose is warm, rooty and smells of cola nut,
acidic. Even shows a distant chocolaty side,          Sauvignon as you’ll get, which still doesn’t make    fresh raisins and cassis, while the driving palate
which is not uncommon for young Garnacha.             it a great wine. To the contrary, there’s a lot of   offers roasted black fruit flavors along with sweet
Imported by Spanish Vines, Inc. Best Buy.             foresty, herbal, tomatoey flavor here, although      tomato and herbs. Drying and tannic on the fin-
—M.S.                                                 the acidity and balance are good. Standard fare      ish, but balanced. Neither cooked nor over-
                                                      for the region; 60% Cab and 40% Tempranillo.         weight. Drink now through 2011. Imported by
                                                      Imported by Fine Estates From Spain. —M.S.           Spanish Vines, Inc.. —M.S.
                                                      83    Bodegas Piedemonte 2007
                                                            Gamma Cabernet Sauvignon-                      88    Bodega Otto Bestué 2007 Bestué
                                                                                                                 de Otto Bestué Finca Santa
86      Monasterio de las Viñas 2008
        Garnacha-Syrah (Cariñena); $9.
                                                      Merlot-Tempranillo (Navarra); $9. Typi-
                                                      cally Navarran in that the nose is green, with
                                                                                                           Sabina Cabernet Sauvignon-Tempranillo
                                                                                                           (Somontano); $20. Aromas of sawdust
For a large-production, simple red wine, this         herbal aromas along with cherry and heat. The        announce oak, but otherwise the nose is earthy
Garnacha-Syrah blend is good. The nose features       palate has decent weight and feel, but the flavors   and fairly attractive, with plum and rooty notes.
red licorice candy, cherry and raisin aromas,         are rooty and herbal, with a similar finish. Solid
                                                                                                           Round, ripe, tannic and solid in the mouth, with
while the palate is round, fairly smooth in feel,     but probably more herbal/green than what most
                                                                                                           broad flavors of black cherry, rubber and oak.
and tastes of bright red fruits and milk chocolate.   people are seeking. —M.S.
                                                                                                           Shows good grip on a slightly oaky, medicinal fin-
Imported by Great Wines & Vineyards. Best                                                                  ish. Hold another nine months to let the oak set-
Buy. —M.S.
                                                      80    Seis de Azul y Garanza 2007
                                                            Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot
                                                      (Navarra); $23. Out of balance and lacking
                                                                                                           tle. Imported by Axial Wines USA. —M.S.

85      Abrazo 2008 Abrazo del Toro
        Syrah (Cariñena); $5. How many $5
                                                      freshness on the nose. Baked aromas and old
                                                      leather scents don’t impress, and the palate is
                                                                                                           88       Venta del Puerto 2006 N° 18
                                                                                                                    Vendimia Seleccionada (Valencia);
                                                                                                           $45. Heavier and oakier than No. 12, and in our
wines are this good? Not many. The nose is zesty      saucy and heavy, with tomato paste, cooked plum
                                                                                                           opinion not quite as balanced. The nose is rich,
and aggressive but settles and doesn’t offend,        and green herb flavors. Imported by Fine Estates
                                                                                                           minty and raisiny, while the rock-solid palate has
while the juicy, fresh palate has bright cherry and   From Spain. —M.S.
                                                                                                           fierce tannic grip and flavors of black cherry,
raspberry flavors. Basic, ripe, clean red wine.                                                            tomato and cola. Firm and composed on the fin-
Imported by Axial Wines USA. Best Buy.
                                                      OTHER RED WINES                                      ish, but a pounding heavyweight. Drink now thru
                                                                                                           2012. Imported by Spanish Vines, Inc.. —M.S.

85      Bodegas Añadas 2008 Care (Car-
        iñena); $13. Aromas of medicinal
                                                      93      El Nido 2006 Clio (Jumilla); $46.
                                                               Oddly, this is preferable to El Nido’s
                                                      $140 Cab-heavy fruit bomb. Maybe that’s              85       Joaquín Gálvez Bauzá 2006 Leva
                                                                                                                    Daniel’s (Alicante); $42. An unusual
                                                      because Monastrell is the go-to grape in Jumilla,    wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Tem-
berry, sucking candy, rhubarb and raspberry are a
                                                      and this is 70% Monastrell and only 30% Cab          pranillo, Syrah and Merlot. It’s floral but under-
touch gawky, but the snappy palate of blueberry
                                                      compared to the opposite with El Nido. All that      developed, with volatility and stunted fruit. The
and boysenberry is good. Fresh, racy and simple
                                                      said, this wine is ripe, approachable and dark,      palate has punch and size but also saucy, herbal
red wine. 50% Syrah and 50% Tempranillo.                                                                   flavors and a leathery, salinic finish. Shows flashes
                                                      with excellent balance and a fudgy, warm finish
25,000 cases produced. Imported by Axial Wines                                                             but it doesn’t dance in the mouth. Imported by
                                                      of fruitcake and blackberry. Drink now through
USA. —M.S.                                            2013. Imported by Fine Estates From Spain.           Grapes of Spain. —M.S.

84     Grandes Vinos y Viñedos 2008
                                                                                                           84    Bodega Otto Bestué 2007 Bestué
                                                                                                                 de Otto Bestué Finca Rableros
       D’Aragon Old Vine Garnacha
(Cariñena); $11. Starts with clean but basic          90      El Nido 2006 Jumilla; $142. There’s
                                                                 no denying the wine’s power and inten-
                                                      sity. It’s concentrated like a cement block, with
                                                                                                           (Somontano); $17. Mildly horsey on the nose,
                                                                                                           with alfalfa, reedy fruit and grilled beef aromas.
cherry/berry aromas, but with a candied twist.
                                                      richness, plummy aromas, sweetness and char.         The palate is wet and lean, with good acidity and
The palate is more lean and sharp than ideal,
                                                      But it’s also candied and ultrarich in the mouth,    a dose of heat, while the flavors of cherry tilt
with zippy red fruit flavors that carry some scour.                                                        toward medicinal and weedy without fully going
                                                      with syrupy flavors of berry extract, cola and
Lively and peppy, but a little sharp in the long      chocolate. A heavy wine that shows every ounce       there. Basic Tempranillo-Cab Sauvignon with a
run. Imported by Avanti Fine Wine Selections.         of its 15.5% alcohol. Ultimately it’s more sweet     green streak. Imported by Axial Wines USA.
—M.S.                                                 and powerful than it is precise. Drink now           —M.S.

81     Bodega Virgen de la Sierra 2007
       Condesa de Sarabella
(Calatayud); $6. Green and lean Garnacha,
                                                      citrus and lime. Finishes with a slice of white
                                                      grapefruit and a tiny spot of pith. Drink immedi-
                                                      ately. Imported by Bon Vivant Imports. —M.S.
                                                                                                             ity to get it through the year. Imported by Freix-
                                                                                                             enet USA. Best Buy. —M.S.

with tobacco, celery and other vegetal aromas.
Chunky in the mouth, but rather sour tasting,
with grassy, green fruit and bite. Not a prime-       87     Agricola Castellana 2008 Azum-
                                                             b r e Ve n d i m i a S e l e c c i o n a d a
                                                                                                             84       Emina 2008 Verdejo (Rueda); $13.
                                                                                                                       Quiet on the nose and only slightly more
                                                                                                             zesty in the mouth. There’s grassy, pithy citrus
time player. Imported by Axial Wines USA.             Verdejo (Rueda); $18. Slightly prickly on the          flavors, a little kick from the wine’s acid, and then
—M.S.                                                 nose, but there’s balancing melony sweetness to        a pithy, mild-mannered finish. Standard-fare
                                                      keep it on line. The palate is fresh and snappy,       Verdejo. Imported by Grape Expectations (CA).
                                                      with citrus flavors, particularly grapefruit. And      —M.S.
VERDEJO                                               the finish is lemony and dry. No glaring faults;

90      Emina 2008 Selección Personal
        Verdejo (Rueda); $36. An interest-
                                                      good Verdejo to drink ASAP. Imported by The
                                                      Artisan Collection. —M.S.                              84       V i ñ a V i l a n o 2 0 0 8 Ve r d e j o
                                                                                                                      (Rueda); $16. Sort of strange smelling,
                                                                                                             with perfume and air freshener aromas to go with
ing, well-made wine with distinct barrel notes.                                                              dust and cider. The palate is wet but short in fla-
There’s woodspice, toast, vanilla and elegant
white fruit on the nose, yet the palate maintains
                                                      87       Bodegas Vidal Soblechero 2008
                                                               Viña Clavidor Verdejo (Rueda);
                                                      $14. Neutral aromas of citrus and almond skin
                                                                                                             vor and length. The citrus and apple character is
                                                                                                             shallow, while the finish is pithy. Middling and
Verdejo’s natural verve while offering flavors of     precede a jumpy, fresh and spritzy palate of           not as fresh as it probably once was. Imported
cinnamon apple, spiced pear, banana and tropical      green apple and citrus flavors. Tight, crisp, food-    by Johnson Brothers Liquor Company. —M.S.
fruit. Drier on the finish, with a nip of butter-     friendly white wine with cut and zest. Comfort-
scotch. Imported by Grape Expectations (CA).
                                                      ably fits the Rueda/Verdejo model. Imported by
                                                      Antalva Imports. —M.S.
                                                                                                             80       V iña Cantosán 2008 Verdejo
                                                                                                                      (Rueda); $9. Dusty, flat and about half
                                                                                                             oxidized, this is a bland version of Verdejo that

89      M o n t e s p i n a 2 0 0 8 Ve r d e j o
        (Rueda); $11. Classic Verdejo that
won’t wow but will definitely get your palate
                                                      86       Mania 2008 Verdejo (Rueda); $15.
                                                               Grassy and pungent, with lime, citrus
                                                                                                             isn’t unpalatable but lags behind the field. Hits
                                                                                                             with a thud; very little life to it. Imported by
                                                                                                             Spain Wine Collection. —M.S.
                                                      and white pepper on the nose. Tangy and simple
going. Standard but clean grapefruit and goose-
                                                      across the palate, with basic pineapple and pas-
berry aromas lead to citric but balanced flavors of
                                                      sion fruit flavors. Good but thins out on the fin-
orange, grapefruit and pineapple. On the dot in
                                                      ish, leaving leftover acidity. Imported by
terms of balance. Drink as soon as possible.
                                                      Tradewinds Specialty Imports. —M.S.
Imported by Spanish Wine Imports, LLC. Best
Buy. —M.S.                                                                                                   90       Avanthia 2008 Godello (Valdeor-
                                                                                                                      ras); $30. A serious, oak-influenced

                                                      85       Agricola Castellana 2008 Cuatro
                                                               Rayas Verdejo (Rueda); $14. Nec-
                                                                                                             Godello with smooth aromas of baked apple,

89      Shaya 2008 Old Vines Verdejo
        (Rueda); $15. Opens with sly, clean
mineral and white fruit aromas that hook you into
                                                      tarine and citrus aromas are solid, while the
                                                      palate is more racy, sharp and linear than some,
                                                                                                             wood resin, vanilla, spice and green melon. The
                                                                                                             palate has weight and fine acidity, so it’s tight
                                                                                                             despite delivering a blast of oaky flavor. Along-
                                                      with narrow, semisour flavors of lemon and
its lively but round palate of citrus, green melon                                                           side that resiny taste, there’s green banana and
and fresh herbs. There’s plenty of fruit and acid-    orange. Decent feel, maybe a little high in acid,      peach notes. Fresh but woody; should age well
ity to keep it moving, and overall it’s a Verdejo     and showing a pithy bitterness on the crisp finish.    for at least another 18 months. Imported by Fine
done right. Imported by Fine Estates From             Imported by The Artisan Collection. —M.S.              Estates From Spain. —M.S.
Spain. —M.S.

                                                      85       Pedro Escudero 2008 Fuente
                                                               Elvira Verdejo (Rueda); $15. No               88       Pazo das Tapias 2008 Alma de

88      C o n d e s a E y l o 2 0 0 8 Ve r d e j o
        (Rueda); $14. Immediately this strikes
you as true Verdejo from Rueda. It has pungency
                                                      one says Verdejo is an ager, but this ’08 is fading.
                                                      The nose is soft and peachy, with weight and
                                                                                                                      Blanco Godello (Monterrei); $15.
                                                                                                             A little heavy and sweet on the nose, but juicy
                                                                                                             and deep on the palate, with round, pleasant
on the nose, with accents of cucumber and celery      vanilla. The palate is equally soft and melony, and    lemon, grapefruit and green melon flavors. Dry,
to the primary passion fruit, apricot and citrus      the green-fruit flavors are starting to turn mealy.    pure and driving white wine with a long, clean
aromas. Plenty of zing to it, and tastes of citrus    Still good enough, but without much spunk it           finish. Galician Godello in good form. Imported
and fresh green apples. Then tangerine and            might be better to wait for 2009. Imported by          by The Artisan Collection. —M.S.
grapefruit carry the finish. Varietally correct.      Grapes of Spain. —M.S.
Imported by Henriot Inc. —M.S.

                                                      85       Tapeña 2008 Verdejo (Tierra de                88       Viña Godeval 2008 Cosecha
                                                                                                                      Godello (Valdeorras); $19. Peachy,

88      Ermita Veracruz 2008 Verdejo
        (Rueda); $18. Crisp on the bouquet,
with green apple and controlled fresh celery aro-
                                                               Castilla); $10. A consistent wine from
                                                      year to year that’s made in a friendly, mass-appeal
                                                      style. It’s not so pungent and citrusy like some
                                                                                                             mildly sweet, smooth and inviting. Godeval
                                                                                                             always makes a true and easy wine that show-
                                                                                                             cases the essence of Godello but doesn’t go off
mas. The palate is also fresh, with basic round-      Verdejo; instead it’s more peachy, sweet and mel-      the blueprint. Flavors of apple and citrus are well
ness, bounce and natural flavors of apple cider,      ony. Soft on the finish but with just enough acid-     blended, and the grapefruity finish is only mildly

              W I N E S           R E V I E W E D            F O R        T H E        F E B R U A RY              2 0 1 0         I S S U E
pithy. Eminently drinkable white wine from
Spain. Imported by Fine Estates From Spain.
                                                       Tempranillo. Imported by Johnson Brothers
                                                       Liquor Company. —M.S.                                  97     Williams Selyem 2007 Hirsch
                                                                                                                     Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma
                                                                                                              Coast); $72. A brilliant wine. Racy in acidity,

87       Abad Dom Bueno 2008 Godello
         (Bierzo); $18. Much more fresh and
                                                       85       Ilurce 2008 Rosado (Rioja); $10.
                                                                Reddish in color, with raspberry and
                                                       other high-toned aromas. The palate is fleshy but
                                                                                                              silky in texture, yet powerful, it exudes the
                                                                                                              essence of Pinot Noir’s greatness. Shows great
                                                                                                              fruity ripeness in the cherry, Dr. Pepper cola,
perky than previous years, with grapefruit, nec-       clean, with good acidity pushing slightly sweet        licorice and bacon flavors, and also a wild, forest
tarine and other citrusy aromas. Pink grapefruit is    cherry and raspberry flavors. Finishes with sugar      quality of grilled mushrooms, thyme and fennel.
without doubt the lead player in terms of flavor,      and a good mouthfeel. Gets the job done.               Absolutely dry, with a firm spine of tannins, the
and otherwise it’s simply a tight, citric wine with    Imported by Fine Estates From Spain. Best              structure is near perfect. A divine expression of
scour and poise. Drink now. Imported by Fron-                                                                 Hirsch, and a good candidate for six years in the
                                                       Buy. —M.S.
tier Wine Imports. —M.S.                                                                                      cellar. Cellar Selection. —S.H.

85       Gancedo 2008 Capricho Val de
         Paxariñas Godello (Bierzo); $24. A
                                                       83       Muga 2008 Rosé (Rioja); $12. After
                                                                many years of singing the praises of
                                                       Muga’s rosé, this vintage seems lacking and sour.      97     Williams Selyem 2007 Rochioli
                                                                                                                     Riverblock Vineyard Pinot Noir
little dusty and spicy on the nose, with pear and                                                             (Russian River Valley); $75. Always one of
                                                       The nose is short and quiet, while the palate
apple checking in. The palate has spritz and acid-                                                            Williams Selyem’s top Pinot Noirs, the 2007 is a
                                                       delivers lean, citric flavors and a sharp, scouring
ity, while the flavors run sweet with ripe apple,                                                             spectacular wine. The vines are the closest to the
                                                       finish. Whets the whistle, but doesn’t put a smile
pineapple and tropical fruit. Tastes like orange                                                              river in the famed Rochioli vineyard, and the
candy on the finish, with a sugary lasting impres-     on your face. Imported by Fine Estates From
                                                                                                              resulting wine always has an elegant structure
sion. Good but needs more balance and har-             Spain. —M.S.
                                                                                                              and fruity accessibility that make it drinkable at a
mony. Imported by The Artisan Collection.
                                                                                                              younger age. Showing rich flavors of cherries, red
                                                       CALIFORNIA                                             currants, cola, bacon, anise, Asian spices and
                                                                                                              smoky oak, it will develop beautifully over the

OTHER WHITE WINE                                       PINOT NOIR                                             next decade. —S.H.

87       Esperanza 2008 Verdejo-Viura
         (Rueda); $15. A clean, almost oceanic         100       Williams Selyem 2007 Litton
                                                                 Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir
                                                                                                              97     Williams Selyem 2007 Allen Vine-
                                                                                                                     yard Pinot Noir (Russian River
                                                                                                              Valley); $78. Not showing well now due to the
opening is fresh and citrusy as it should be, while    (Russian River Valley); $100. A spectacular
                                                                                                              tannins. It’s dry and tough, with a resistance to
the palate shows pulse, balance and a little scour     Pinot Noir, but a very young one, and extremely
                                                                                                              the richness. Yet the core of flavor is enormous.
to go with orange, grapefruit and other citrusy        dry. It’s a wine of great structure, with rich acids
                                                                                                              Shows concentrated, flashy flavors of cherry mar-
flavors. Pithy and biting late, with ample fruit       and tannins framing extraordinarily complex fla-
                                                                                                              malade, raspberry, orange blossom, cola, licorice,
throughout. Imported by Axial Wines USA.               vors of grilled cherries, strawberries and raspber-
                                                                                                              rose tea and spices that go on and on and con-
—M.S.                                                  ries, with complicating notes of cola,
                                                                                                              tinue to develop in the glass. The texture is pure
                                                       pomegranates, orange zest, anise, dusty Asian
                                                                                                              silk and satin. Needs 4–6 years to develop, and
                                                       spices and smoky sandalwood. A truly great Pinot
ROSÉ WINES                                             Noir from a great vintage that needs time in the
                                                                                                              could go beyond that. Cellar Selection. —S.H.

                                                       bottle to express itself. The vineyard, which is

87       Borsao 2008 Rosé (Campo de
         Borja); $8. One of Spain’s top value-
                                                       owned by the winery, is only 19 acres, planted to
                                                       an array of newer and older clones. Best after
                                                                                                              96       Chronicle 2007 Cerise Vineyard
                                                                                                                       Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley); $48.
                                                                                                              The vineyard is about 1,000 feet above Boonville.
oriented rosés. It’s inviting, colorful, easy to
                                                       2013, if you can keep your hands off. —S.H.            The wine is impeccable. Crisp in acidity, with a
understand and tasty. Aromas of fresh fruits and
melon get it going, while the palate is clean,                                                                silky, elegant texture, it shows complex flavors of
fresh, only mildly candied and full of cherry and
red plum flavors. Scores high by keeping it sim-
                                                       98   Williams Selyem 2007 Precious
                                                            Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir
                                                       (Sonoma Coast); $90. Ripe and delicious
                                                                                                              cherries, raspberries, cola, orange zest, Asian
                                                                                                              spices and earthy rhubarb. It’s dry, but with a
ple. Drink ASAP. Imported by Fine Estates                                                                     rich, fruity-oaky sweetness. Delicious and com-
                                                       right out of the bottle, although it will age          pelling, it should develop over the next 6–8 years.
From Spain. Best Buy. —M.S.
                                                       well. Made from a vineyard on the true Sonoma          —S.H.
                                                       Coast, in the remote Fort Ross area, it’s fabu-
86       Viña Vilano 2008 Rosado (Ribera
         del Duero); $12. An improvement
from recent years, but that may be a reflection of
                                                       lously rich in cherry, framboise and red currant
                                                       flavors, with intriguing waves of anise, bacon and     95    Williams Selyem 2007 Vista Verde
                                                                                                                    Vineyard Pinot Noir (San Benito
when we’re tasting the wine. At this point in time     sweet, vanilla-scented smoky sandalwood. There’s       County); $54. The winery’s best Vista Verde
it’s showing dusty plum and raspberry aromas           a foresty taste, too, suggesting dried pine nee-       ever. Terrific in crisp acidity and finely meshed
and good body weight. The flavors of raspberry         dles. The tannins and acids are near perfect.          tannins that frame ripe, rich flavors of cherry
and cherry are solid, while the finish is cleansing.   Stunning now, and should hold for at least six         pulp, root beer, anise and oak that finish long and
Beyond palatable; it’s really a nice rosé from         years. —S.H.                                           impressively delicious. Complex and compelling

now, and will develop in the bottle over the next
6–8 years. Cellar Selection. —S.H.
                                                        least 2012 to awaken it. Cellar Selection.
                                                        —S.H.                                                   91         Baileyana 2007 La Entrada Pinot
                                                                                                                           Noir (Edna Valley); $33. Consider-
                                                                                                                ably riper than Baileyana’s other Pinots. It shows

95     Williams Selyem 2007 Bucher
       Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian
River Valley); $54. Forward and delicious, a
                                                        93       WesMar 2007 Pinot Noir (Sonoma
                                                                 Coast); $35. Dry, silky and complex,
                                                                                                                in the richer, softer mouthfeel and deeper fla-
                                                                                                                vors. The red cherries veer toward blackberries,
                                                        this Pinot is as good as WesMar’s more costly sin-      yet the texture remains silky and dry. New oak, as
vibrant wine that’s fully drinkable now for the         gle-vineyard Pinots, which makes it a great value.      always, is judiciously applied. Delicious now, and
richness of fruit. Shows ripe waves of black and        It shows great structural integrity, with crisp acids   should develop over the next 3–4 years. —S.H.
red cherries, raspberries, cola, chocolate and          and fine tannins that house exotic flavors of
crème brûlée, leading to a long, sweetly spicy fin-
ish. Seems destined to be an early drinker, so
best now and through 2012. —S.H.
                                                        cherry compote, Dr. Pepper cola, orange zest,
                                                        Canadian bacon and Asian spices. Now–2013.
                                                        Editors’ Choice. —S.H.
                                                                                                                91         WesMar 2007 Salzgeber Vineyard
                                                                                                                           Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley);
                                                                                                                $50. Dry and silky, a very proper Pinot Noir
                                                                                                                from this fine, cool vintage. It’s marked in youth

95     Williams Selyem 2007 Peay Vine-
       yard Pinot Noir (Russian River
Valley); $54. Pretty tannic, with a hard edge,
                                                        93       WesMar 2007 Balletto Vineyard
                                                                 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast); $40.
                                                                                                                by brisk acids and forward, somewhat one-
                                                                                                                dimensional flavors of cherries, cola and spices,
                                                        Give this beauty 3-4 years in the cellar, and if you    with the smoky sandalwood of barrel age. Could
although it’s very fruity and rich, and should          can’t, at least decant it for hours before serving.     develop all kinds of surprises over the next 4–6
soften and mellow with time in the cellar. Thor-        It’s a beautiful young Pinot Noir, very dry and as      years. —S.H.
oughly dry, it shows complex flavors of wild rasp-      silky as satin in the mouth, showing ripe, oak-
berries, cherry compote, cola and spices,
compounded with smoky, sweet oak. Give it until
2011 to begin to come around. Cellar Selection.
                                                        inspired flavors of cherries, raspberries, cocoa,
                                                        cola and spices. Shows the elegant acidity and
                                                        structure of this wonderful vintage on the
                                                                                                                91         WesMar 2007 Pinot Noir (Russian
                                                                                                                           River Valley); $35. A beautiful, fine
                                                                                                                young Pinot Noir that shows off the WesMar
                                                        Sonoma Coast. Cellar Selection. —S.H.                   style of crisp elegance at a lower price than their
                                                                                                                single-vineyard wines. Dry and silky, it feels fine

94       WesMar 2007 Hellenthal Vine-
         yard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast);
$50. Here’s a young, dry, acidic Pinot Noir that
                                                        93    Williams Selyem 2007 Coastlands
                                                              Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma
                                                                                                                in the mouth, offering rich flavors of cherries,
                                                                                                                cola and sweet, smoky oak. Now–2012. —S.H.
                                                        Coast); $69. This is one of the darkest of
clearly wants some time in the cellar. It has a
beautifully silky texture, and is made in a light,
elegant style, with very complex flavors. Waves
                                                        Williams Selyem’s new Pinots and also one of the
                                                        ripest. It’s jammy in the intensity of raspberry
                                                        and cherry fruit, with a savory, Dr. Pepper cola
                                                                                                                90         Baileyana 2007 S-bar Pinot Noir
                                                                                                                           (Edna Valley); $50. This seems to be
                                                                                                                a bottling of some of the best blocks from the
of sour red cherry candy and cola flavors wash
                                                        richness. The spiciness, which is one of wine-          winery’s Firepeak estate vineyard. Although it’s
over the palate, accented with orange zest, cin-
                                                        maker Bob Cabral’s specialties in capturing, is         modest in alcohol and quite acidic, it’s richer and
namon, Asian spices, anise and sandalwood. Bet-
                                                        exotic. It’s a big, fat, rich wine that needs decant-   deeper than Baileyana’s El Pico Pinot, with waves
ter after 2011 and should develop for 3–5 years
                                                        ing now, and should age for 4–6 years. Cellar           of cherries, cola, rhubarb and spice. Should
after that. Cellar Selection. —S.H.
                                                        Selection. —S.H.                                        develop bottle complexity over the next 3–5
                                                                                                                years. —S.H.
94     Williams Selyem 2007 Flax Vine-
       yard Pinot Noir (Russian River
                                                        92     McIntyre Vineyards 2007 Estate
Valley); $54. Despite firm tannins and tough
acidity this wine is so rich and silky, you can drink
                                                               Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia High-
                                                        lands); $42. Starts out very full-bodied and
                                                        rich, almost too heavy for Pinot Noir. Then the
                                                                                                                90         Chronicle 2007 Pinot Noir
                                                                                                                           (Sonoma Coast); $35. A classy Pinot
                                                                                                                Noir that shows the attributes of its vintage and
it now, with decanting. It floods the mouth with
raspberries, cherries, chocolate, anise, cinnamon       acids kick in to accent the silky texture, and you      origin. The grapes come from the cooler, south-
spice and sweet oak. Absolutely delicious, with a       know it’s a ripe, ageable Pinot Noir. With deep         ern part of Russian River Valley, and the wine
silky, seductive mouthfeel. Although it’s the least     flavors of raspberries, cherries, red currants,         displays brisk acidity and complex flavors of cher-
expensive of Williams Selyem’s new releases, it’s       licorice, cocoa and peppery spices, it should           ries, pomegranates and cola. It’s young now, but
right up there. —S.H.                                   develop well over the next 4–6 years. Cellar            dry and elegant, and should develop bottle com-
                                                        Selection. —S.H.                                        plexity through 2013. —S.H.

94      Williams Selyem 2007 Ferrington
        Vineyard Pinot Noir (Anderson
Valley); $62. A wonderful wine from one of the          92      Williams Selyem 2007 Weir Vine-
                                                                yard Pinot Noir (Yorkville High-                90         Gainey 2007 Limited Selection
                                                                                                                           Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills); $48.
best vineyards in Anderson Valley. It’s a bit acidic    lands); $56. Shows lots of acidity and also the         Very rich and ripe, with masses of cherries, red
and tannic now, the result of this cool vintage,        firm tannins and tug of dried herbs that always         currants and mocha that finish thoroughly dry
but time in the bottle should soften and resolve        accompany this bottling. Quite good, with fruity        a nd s pic y. F u l l - b o d i e d , t o o , a l m o s t l i k e
the tartness and astringency. The wine itself is        flavors of cherries, raspberries, currants and cola,    Grenache. Quite good, but a bit ungainly in
very dry, with flavors of cherries, cola, balsam,       but feels a little rustic. Could harmonize over the     youth. Needs a few years in the bottle.
Asian spices and oak. Needs aging through at            next 6–8 years. —S.H.                                   2010–2013. —S.H.

               W I N E S           R E V I E W E D              F O R        T H E       F E B R U A RY                2 0 1 0             I S S U E
90     Peters Family 2006 Sonoma Stage
       Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma
Coast); $47. Delicious flavors of cola, cherries,
                                                        A bit keen and juvenile, but could develop bottle
                                                        nuance in a year or two. —S.H.                                   85       Derbes 2006 Pinot Noir (Russian
                                                                                                                                  River Valley); $47. There’s a streak of
                                                                                                                         green mint that cuts through the cherry and cola
raspberries, rose tea, orange peel, vanilla and
smoky sandalwood merge in this single-vineyard
Pinot Noir, and it’s nicely dry, with a silky-smooth
                                                        87        Educated Guess 2007 Pinot Noir
                                                                  (Car neros); $25. Here’s a nice,
                                                        smooth Pinot Noir meant for drinking now. It’s
                                                                                                                         flavors, leaving behind a sharp hit of acid. Does-
                                                                                                                         n’t seem likely to develop with age, but good for
                                                                                                                         its dry silkiness. —S.H.
texture. Give it a good decant before serving, as it    dry and silky, with attractive flavors of cola, cher-
gets better as it breathes. —S.H.                       ries, raspberries, spices and smoke. —S.H.
                                                                                                                         85       Manzanita Creek 2007 Reserve
                                                                                                                                  Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast); $32.

90       Segue 2007 Filigreen Vineyard
         Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley); $47.
Sharp acidity makes this young wine a bit tart
                                                        87        J. Lohr 2007 Fog’s Reach Vineyard
                                                                  Pinot Noir (Arroyo Seco); $35. Very
                                                        ripe and almost sweet in jammy, pie-filling cher-
                                                                                                                         An awkward wine, tough and gritty in tannins,
                                                                                                                         with green, mint tea flavors alongside the cher-
                                                                                                                         ries and cola. Good, but lacks charm and rich-
now. It has solid flavors of cherries, raspberries,     ries and raspberries, with a rich seasoning of cin-              ness. Drink now. —S.H.
bacon and smoky sandalwood, and is dry and              namon, brown sugar and cocoa. But it’s
silky. Decant for a few hours, or better yet, give it
a year or two in the cellar. —S.H.
                                                        technically dry, and has a crispness from fine
                                                        Arroyo Seco acidity. Drink now. —S.H.                            85       Rued 2007 Pinot Noir (Russian
                                                                                                                                  River Valley); $35. Pretty soft for a
                                                                                                                         Pinot Noir, and lacking the structural integrity

90       WesMar 2007 Oehlman Vineyard
         Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley);
$37. Tannic and acidic now, with a bite-down
                                                        87        Koehler 2007 Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita
                                                                  Hills); $45. Rather tart and dry now,
                                                        with a minty streak cutting through the black
                                                                                                                         the variety needs. Nonetheless, the flavors of
                                                                                                                         black and red cherries, cola, orange zest and
                                                                                                                         spices are delicious. Drink now. —S.H.
mouthfeel, although the overall texture is nice         cherry, cola, anise and spice flavors. It’s an ele-
and silky, and shows the elegance of Pinot Noir.
Give it a few years in the cellar to let the black
cherry, currant, anise and cedar flavors mellow
                                                        gantly structured wine of finesse and delicacy,
                                                        b u t c o u l d b e f a t t e r a n d r o u n d e r. D r i n k
                                                        Now–2012. —S.H.
                                                                                                                         84       La Crema 2008 Pinot Noir (Mon-
                                                                                                                                  terey); $24. Marked by fresh fruity
                                                                                                                         acids and primary tastes of raspberries, cherries
and develop. —S.H.                                                                                                       and cola, this is a pleasantly dry Pinot Noir. It’s an

89       Baileyana 2007 El Pico Pinot Noir
         (Edna Valley); $33. Made in the
                                                        87        Kokomo 2007 Peters Vineyard
                                                                  Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast); $48.
                                                        Very good, but could be firmer in tannic struc-
                                                                                                                         everyday type that shows the silkiness of the vari-
                                                                                                                         ety. —S.H.

crisp, lighter-bodied way that is Edna Valley
Pinot Noir, this is an elegant wine to drink now
and for a year or two. It has an angular structure
                                                        ture, with a soft, melted mouthfeel. Yet the fla-
                                                        vors are delicious, of cherries, raspberries,
                                                        currants, cola, orange tea, herbs, cinnamon spice
                                                                                                                         84       Smoking Loon 2007 Pinot Noir
                                                                                                                                  (California); $9. Not bad for an intro-
                                                                                                                         ductory or everyday sort of Pinot. Of course, it’s a
housing cool-climate flavors of cherries, cola,         and smoky sandalwood. The softness seems to                      bit thin and acidic, but nicely silky, with modest
herbs and sweet, smoky sandalwood. —S.H.                limit ageability. —S.H.                                          cherry, cola and mint flavors. —S.H.

89       Baileyana 2007 Grand Firepeak
         Cuvée Pinot Noir (Edna Valley);
$33. In youth this wine is marked by almost
                                                        87        La Rochelle 2007 Classic Clones
                                                                  Pinot Noir (Arroyo Seco); $40.
                                                        Arroyo Seco is an iffy place to grow Pinot or any
                                                                                                                         83       Five Rivers 2008 Pinot Noir (Cali-
                                                                                                                                  fornia); $14. Basic everyday Pinot
                                                                                                                         Noir. It’s dry, with simple cola and cherry flavors,
excessive acidity and dryness, the result of the        red wine. Cool and windswept, it needs a warmer                  and a grating acidity. —S.H.
cool vintage in this cool region. Its ageworthiness     vintage, which 2007 wasn’t. Rochelle’s new bot-
may be limited, but give it a year or so to allow
the berry, currant, cola and oak flavors to develop
bottle character. —S.H.
                                                        tling is very dry and acidic. It lacks a bit of gen-
                                                        erosity, in the green mint edge to the cherries.
                                                        But it’s very elegant, with an appealing minerality.
                                                                                                                         83       Lockwood 2007 Block 7 Pinot
                                                                                                                                  Noir (Monterey); $17. Harsh, rustic
                                                                                                                         and slightly sweet. The acids give the cherry and
                                                        Drink now. —S.H.                                                 root beer flavors a sour candy taste. Drink now.

88     Kokomo 2007 Windsor Oaks
       Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian
                                                        86        Calcareous 2007 Pinot Noir (York

River Valley); $36. A bit sharp, with the acidity
giving a cutting mouthfeel to the cherry, cola,
orange zest, anise and smoky sandalwood flavors.
                                                                  Mountain); $32. Dry, soft and simple,
                                                        with pleasant flavors of grilled cherries, raspber-
                                                        ries, cola, red licorice, red currants and smoky
                                                                                                                         82       Adobe Road 2008 Pinot Noir Rosé
                                                                                                                                  Pinot Noir (Sonoma County); $18.
                                                                                                                         Nice and crisp and silky in texture, but far too
Yet it’s nice and dry and silky, and two or three       oak. The texture is nice and silky. Drink now.                   sweet for a table wine, with sugary flavors of
years in the bottle could provide resolution.           —S.H.                                                            raspberries and nougat, which is a sugary almond
—S.H.                                                                                                                    paste. —S.H.

88       Segue 2007 Pinot Noir (Russian
         River Valley); $42. Delicious and
                                                        86        Muirwood 2007 Suter Vineyard
                                                                  Pinot Noir (Arroyo Seco); $17. A
                                                        lighter, elegant style of Pinot Noir, dry and silky,             82       La Crema 2008 Pinot Noir
                                                                                                                                  (Sonoma Coast); $24. Disagreeable
complex now, offering upfront waves of raspberry        with cherryskin, tobacco, cola and sweet oak fla-                for its harsh acidity and vegetal streak that mars
tart, cherry pie with the crust, vanilla, toast, cin-   vors, wrapped into furry tannins. This is a good                 the cherries and suggests a bitter green herb.
namon and cocoa flavors. The acidity is just fine.      price. Drink now. —S.H.                                          Disappointing. —S.H.

                                                       and herbs. Give this 100% Cabernet at least five
                                                       years to begin to mellow. Cellar Selection.
                                                                                                              94    Knights Bridge 2007 Beckstoffer
                                                                                                                    To Kalon V ineyard Caber net
                                                                                                              Sauvignon (Napa Valley); $110. The vine-

97       Blackbird Vineyards 2007 Illustra-
         tion (Napa Valley); $90. A spectacu-
lar wine that gets better and better with every        95   Sbragia 2006 Rancho Del Oso
                                                            Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell
                                                                                                              yard is, of course, in Oakville, which makes you
                                                                                                              wonder why they put the generic Napa Valley on
                                                                                                              the label. The wine itself, which is 100% Caber-
sip. It’s dramatic from the get-go, with rich, fine    Mountain); $75. This is the most accessible,           net Sauvignon, is very dry and tannic. Flamboy-
tannins framing extraordinarily good flavors of        most interesting and most compelling of Sbra-          ant, too, with deep black currant flavors bathed
blackberries, black currants, anise, dark choco-       gia’s new Cabernets. It’s extraordinarily powerful     in 100% new French oak. Feels lavish and impor-
late and cedar. Superb structure, great length and     in the potent, sweetly refined tannins and ripe        tant, but young. Better left untouched for 6–8
finish, with perfect acidity. A joy to drink.          flavors of blackberries and cassis, leading to a       years. Cellar Selection. —S.H.
Now–2016. —S.H.                                        long, rich finish. You can drink it now, but it will
                                                       age effortlessly for a good 8–10 years. —S.H.

96      Baldacci 2006 Brenda’s Vineyard
        Cabernet Sauvignon (Stags Leap
                                                                                                              94       Knights Bridge 2007 Cabernet
                                                                                                                       Sauvignon (Knights Valley); $95.

District); $85. Easily earns its high score for
the sheer power and mass, equal to anything out
                                                       95   Sbragia 2006 Cimarossa Vineyard
                                                            Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell
                                                       Mountain); $75. Ed Sbragia is making some of
                                                                                                              Grown in the winery’s estate vineyard, which is
                                                                                                              on the steep slopes of the western, Sonoma side
                                                                                                              of Mount St. Helena, this is a tough, tight young
of Napa. Erupts in the most complex blackber-          the most interesting single-vineyard Cabernets
ries, black currants, licorice and 100% new                                                                   mountain wine. Made from 100% Cabernet, its
                                                       in California. This one, from Howell Mountain,         blackberry and currant flavors have a distinct
smoky oak flavors, with a spicy finish that goes on    shows the density and power that typify all his
and on. The tannins are strong and fine and                                                                   tang of minerals that are swamped by dry, astrin-
                                                       wines. Although it’s thoroughly dry, it tastes
impressive. Not for the faint-hearted, and not a                                                              gent tannins. Dramatically structured, with bril-
                                                       almost sweet in grilled blackberry marmalade fla-
wine to drink now, as it will swamp food. Should                                                              liant acidity, but needs time. Give it until at least
                                                       vors, balanced with good acidity and wonderfully
begin to emerge after 2012. Cellar Selection.                                                                 2012. Cellar Selection. —S.H.
                                                       fine tannins. Feels like it has the capacity to age
                                                       for decades. Cellar Selection. —S.H.
                                                                                                              94       Rubicon Estate 2006 Rutherford;

96     Rodney Strong 2006 Rockaway
       Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander
Valley); $75. Impresses for the sheer power of
                                                       95    Sbragia 2006 Monte Rosso Vine-
                                                             yard Cabernet Sauvignon
                                                                                                                       $145. The new Rubicon, which is
                                                                                                              almost all Cabernet Sauvignon, brings to mind
                                                                                                              the 2003 and 2004. It doesn’t have the sheer
                                                       (Sonoma Valley); $50. One for the cellar. It’s
ripeness, but also and especially for the struc-                                                              force of 2002 or 2005, but it’s certainly a classic
                                                       vibrantly rich and forward in blackberries, black
ture. The flavors of blackberries, cherries, cur-                                                             Rutherford wine, and has a good future. Bone
                                                       cherries, plums, dark chocolate and sweet smoky
rants, cocoa, herbs and sweetly smoked oak are                                                                dry, it shows herb-infused flavors of blackberries,
                                                       new oak, yet very tannic. Creates an astringency
beautiful and complex, yet the tannin-acid bal-                                                               cocoa, spices and smoky sandalwood, and yes, the
                                                       that lasts through the spicy finish. It would be a
ance is near perfect. This single-vineyard wine is                                                            tannins are dusty. Drinkable now, with a good
                                                       pity to open it before 2012, and will last for years
one of the finest Sonoma County Cabernets of                                                                  decant, and should develop in the bottle over the
                                                       after. Cellar Selection. —S.H.
the vintage. Should age effortlessly through 2014,                                                            next 6–8 years. Cellar Selection. —S.H.
growing purer and more elegant. Editors’
Choice. —S.H.
                                                       94       Ehret 2006 Bella’s Blend (Knights
                                                                Valley); $39. A deeply impressive Bor-
                                                       deaux blend. It comes from this small, but presti-     93       B Cellars 2006 Georges III Caber-
                                                                                                                       net Sauvignon (Rutherford); $55.

95       Blackbird Vineyards 2007 Para-
         mour (Napa Valley); $90. Some
wines are meant for immediate consumption.
                                                       gious, appellation, which is a bridge between
                                                       Sonoma County and Napa Valley. Marked by dry-
                                                                                                              A classic example of a young, sweetly fruity and
                                                                                                              very refined Napa Cab that needs some time in
                                                       ness and a superb tannic structure, it has deep        the cellar. Polished and lovely, with finely ripe
Others require age. This wonderful wine satis-
                                                       flavors of blackberries, black currants, violets,      tannins and decadently good flavors of blackber-
fies on both sides. It’s softly rich and polished in
                                                       herbs and cedar. Needs time. Give it 4–6 years in      ries, black cherries, chocolate, currants and oak.
tannins, with accessible blackberry, cassis and oak
                                                       the cellar. Cellar Selection. —S.H.                    The palate’s enjoyment is interfered with by the
flavors. Yet it has the structure and depth to go
for years. Now–2016, at least. —S.H.                                                                          astringency. Give it until 2012 to begin to come
                                                                                                              around. Editors’ Choice. —S.H.
                                                       94       Joseph Phelps 2006 Insignia
                                                                (Oakville); $200. There are $15 Cabs
95      Knights Bridge 2007 Dr. Crane
        Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Val-
ley); $110. Beautiful from start to finish, but
                                                       that are better to drink now. This is so strong and
                                                       fruity, so oaky, so tannic, it just overwhelms the     93     Baldacci 2006 Black Label Estate
                                                                                                                     Cabernet Sauvignon (Stags Leap
tannic, and not drinkable now, in the classic          palate in its extreme youth. Just massive in black-    District); $65. Massive. Made from 100%
sense. The vineyard is in St. Helena, and the win-     berries, black currants, coffee, cocoa, dried herbs    Cabernet, and lavish in new French oak, it’s an
ery should say so on the label. The tannins are        and 100% new, smoky-sweet French. Ridiculous           impressive wine, but not one you want to open
hard, and while they’re very finely ground, they       to open it anytime soon. Desperately needs time        now. Everything is on steroids, with a heart of
prevent the palate from full appreciation of the       in the bottle, and the point score reflects poten-     blackberries and currants just waiting to emerge.
lush blackberries, black cherries, dark chocolate      tial. Try 2012–2018. Cellar Selection. —S.H.           Cellar through 2011 and try again. —S.H.

               W I N E S          R E V I E W E D             F O R        T H E        F E B R U A RY              2 0 1 0         I S S U E
93       Blackbird Vineyards 2007 Arise
         (Napa Valley); $50. This Bordeaux
blend has a terrific structure, with a molten core
                                                        in its earthy dryness and moderate alcohol. There
                                                        are plenty of blackberries, cherries and currants,
                                                        but also notes of violets, mushrooms and herbs
                                                                                                               THE WINE ENTHUSIAST
                                                                                                                   BUYING GUIDE
of ripe, sweetly complex blackberries and black         that make it complex. Fresh acidity and thick tan-
                                                                                                               The Buying Guide includes ratings and reviews of new
currants, but it’s also a very tannic wine. The tan-    nins provide structure to this wine, which comes       releases and selected older wines evaluated by Wine
                                                                                                               Enthusiast Magazine’s editors and other qualified tasters.
nins are of the hard kind, tough and astringent,        from the cooler districts of Oakville and Coomb-       On a regular basis the Buying Guide includes reports on
with a drying finish. The wine needs a year or          sville. Now–2014. —S.H.                                special tastings and the wines of specific producers. Regular
                                                                                                               contributors to our Buying Guide include Senior
two to mellow. —S.H.                                                                                           Editor/Tasting Director Joe Czerwinski, Assistant Tasting

93       Blackbird Vineyards 2007 Contrar-
         ian (Napa Valley); $90. Give this
                                                        93       Vin Perdu 2007 Vin Perdu (Napa
                                                                 Valley); $75. Extraordinarily rich and
                                                        ripe, this unique Cabernet-based blend contains
                                                                                                               Director Lauren Buzzeo, Senior Editor Susan Kostrzewa
                                                                                                               and Contributing Editor Michael Schachner in New York,
                                                                                                               European Editor Roger Voss in Bordeaux, Italian Editor
                                                                                                               Monica Larner in Rome, Contributing Editor Steve
                                                                                                               Heimoff in Oakland and Contributing Editor Paul Gregutt
young wine some time in the cellar to let the tan-      30% Syrah. It’s a dramatic wine, marked by a           in Seattle. If a wine was evaluated by a single reviewer, that
nins drop out. Right now, it’s a bit hard and astrin-   near-perfect tannin structure and massive, long-       taster’s initials appear following the note. When no initials
                                                                                                               appear, the wine was evaluated by two or more reviewers
gent, although it’s so rich in fruit that a good        lasting flavors of blackberries, black currants,       and the score and tasting note reflect the input of all
decanting will let you enjoy it. Shows a molten         chocolate, licorice, candied violets, sweet leather,   tasters.
                                                                                                                   Each review contains a score, the full name of the wine,
core of blackberries, crème de cassis, cocoa and        peppery spices and smoky sandalwood. Marked            its suggested national retail price, and a tasting note. If price
cedar, with a mineral undertow. Dramatic wine.          by youthful primary fruit now, it needs time to        cannot be confirmed, $NA (not available) will be printed.
                                                                                                               Prices are for 750-ml bottles unless otherwise indicated.
—S.H.                                                   knit together. Give it until after 2012 to come
                                                        around, and should develop for many years after.       TASTING METHODOLOGY AND GOALS
                                                                                                               Tastings are conducted individually or in a group setting and

93       Ehret 2006 Hillside Reserve Caber-
         net Sauvignon (Knights Valley);
                                                        Cellar Selection. —S.H.                                performed blind or in accordance with accepted industry
                                                                                                               practices. Price is not a factor in assigning scores. When pos-
                                                                                                               sible, wines considered flawed or uncustomary are retasted.
$32. This 100% Cab shows all the hallmarks of
an ageable wine. But it’s beautiful now for the
complexity of the tannins and the elegant inte-
                                                        93       Vineyard 7&8 2006 7 Cabernet
                                                                 Sauvignon (Spring Mountain);
                                                        $75. A lovely Cabernet Sauvignon that shows its
                                                                                                               ABOUT THE SCORES
                                                                                                               Ratings reflect what our editors felt about a particular wine.
                                                                                                               Beyond the rating, we encourage you to read the accompa-
gration of blackberry and black currant fruit with      fine mountain pedigree. Accessible now, with           nying tasting note to learn about a wine’s special characteris-
oak. A dramatic, impressive wine that shows you         decanting, for the upfront blackberry, black cur-
                                                                                                                 Classic 98–100: The pinnacle of quality.
don’t have to spend a lot of money for a terrific       rant, plum, sweet cedar and mineral flavors that
                                                                                                                  Superb 94–97:  A great achievement.
California Cab. Now–2012. Editors’ Choice. —            feel so rich and balanced and drily tannic. Should      Excellent 90–93: Highly recommended.
                                                                                                               Very Good 87–89:  Often good value; well recommended.
S.H.                                                    develop well over the next 6-8 years. —S.H.                 Good 83–86:  Suitable for everyday consumption;
                                                                                                                                 often good value.
                                                                                                               Acceptable 80–82: Can be employed in casual, less-

93     Forefathers 2007 Lone Tree Vine-
       yard Cabernet Sauvignon
(Alexander Valley); $50. If you buy this 100%
                                                        92     Chimney Rock 2006 Tomahawk
                                                               Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
                                                        (Stags Leap District); $110. This is the most
                                                                                                                                 critical circumstances.

                                                                                                               Wines receiving a rating below 80 are not reviewed.

Cab, don’t even think of drinking it now. Put it in     expensive of the winery’s new Cabs. It’s also the      SPECIAL DESIGNATIONS
                                                                                                               Editors’ Choice wines are those that offer excellent quality
the cellar and be patient. It has the soft tannins      fruitiest and most in need of time in the cellar.      at a price above our Best Buy range, or a wine at any price
and herbal quality of a fine Alexander Valley           Right now, it’s a candied blast of blackberries and    with unique qualities that merit special attention.
                                                                                                                  Cellar Selections are wines deemed highly collectible
Cabernet Sauvignon, but it’s just not ready to          cherries. The tannins are sweet and chunky, and        and/or requiring time in a temperature-controlled wine cel-
drink now. Give it until 2012, at least, to let the     the oak isn’t integrated with everything else. It’s    lar to reach their maximum potential. A Cellar Selection
                                                                                                               designation does not mean that a wine must be stored to be
cherries, cocoa and red currants transmogrify to        awkward. But it should develop for a good 6–8          enjoyed, but that cellaring will probably result in a more
sweet mellowness. Cellar Selection. —S.H.               years, maybe even longer. The score reflects its       enjoyable bottle. In general, an optimum time for cellaring
                                                                                                               will be indicated.
                                                        potential. Cellar Selection. —S.H.                        Best Buys are wines that offer a high level of quality in
                                                                                                               relation to price. There are no specific guidelines or for-

93     Joseph Phelps 2006 Backus Vine-
       yard Cabernet Sauvignon
(Oakville); $250. Not the greatest Backus ever,         91       B Cellars 2006 Cabernet Sauvi-
                                                                 gnon (Oakville); $45. Considering
                                                                                                               mulae for determining Best Buys, but they are generally
                                                                                                               priced at $15 or less.

                                                                                                               SUBMITTING WINES FOR REVIEW
and not in the league of the 2001 and 2005. More        the price of some Oakville Cabs, this one’s a          Wines should be submitted to the appropriate reviewing
                                                                                                               location as detailed in our FAQ, available online via
akin to the 2000. But shows the power and               value. It’s quite a good wine, rich and tannic and Inquiries should be addressed to
superb tannin development of this fine Oakville         oaky and ripe, offering appealing blackberry,          Assistant Tasting Director Lauren Buzzeo at 914.345.8463
                                                                                                               or email There is no charge
vineyard. Nearly 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s          black cherry, black currant and smoky oak flavors      for submitting wines. We make every effort to taste all wines
flamboyant in blackberry, black currant and cedar       that finish dry and spicy. Should develop over the     submitted for review, but there is no guarantee that all
                                                                                                               wines submitted will be tasted, or that reviews will appear in
flavors, with a grip of mineral or graphite. Should     next 3–5 years, although it seems to lack the stuff-   the magazine. All wines must be accompanied by a submis-
age quite well at least for the next 12 years, grad-    ing for the long haul. —S.H.                           sion form, which may be downloaded from our Web site.
ually losing tannins and gaining sweetness. Cellar                                                             LABELS

Selection. —S.H.                                                 Baldacci 2006 IV Sons Cabernet                Labels are paid promotions. Wineries and winery
                                                                                                               representatives are given the opportunity to submit labels,
                                                                 Sauvignon (Stags Leap District);              which are reproduced and printed along with tasting notes

93       Prime 2006 District 4 Cabernet                 $35. This is the least costly of Baldacci’s ’06        and scores. For information on label purchases, contact
                                                                                                               Denise Valenza at 813.571.1122; fax 866.896.8786; or email
         Sauvignon (Napa Valley); $39. A                Cabs, and is quite close in quality to the more
beautiful Cabernet that gives a nod to Bordeaux         expensive bottlings. It’s classic Napa, showing

beautiful tannins framing ripe, juicy flavors of
blackberries, black currants, plums and smoky
cedar. Combines power with elegance, and
                                                       ming below those depths, as well as lots of sweet,
                                                       smoky oak. But you’d need a crystal ball to know
                                                       what this Bordeaux blend will do in 10 or 15
                                                                                                              88       Halter Ranch 2005 Ancestor
                                                                                                                       Estate Reserve (Paso Robles); $44.
                                                                                                              Here’s a beautiful, balanced wine to drink now.
should develop over the next six years. —S.H.          years. —S.H.                                           It’s soft and rich and complex, with flavors of
                                                                                                              blackberries, cherries, currants and milk choco-

91       Decoy 2007 Napa Valley; $30.
          Mainly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot,
this is a dry, full-bodied wine that shows consid-
                                                       90       Turnbull 2006 Cabernet Sauvi-
                                                                gnon (Napa Valley); $45. Grown on
                                                       the estate in Oakville, this is a very tannic Caber-
                                                                                                              late, accented with sweet, smoky oak. A Cabernet
                                                                                                              Franc-based Bordeaux blend with a splash of
                                                                                                              Syrah. —S.H.
erable sophistication and elegance. Fruit afi-         net. It’s almost old-fashioned, a dark, full-bodied
cionados will find a wealth of blackberries,
cherries and cocoa, while structuralists will like
the firm tannins and acids. Quite good now and
                                                       wine with earthy-herbal notes and a hard, astrin-
                                                       gent finish. There are complex flavors of black-
                                                       berries, mocha, licorice, allspice, cloves, violets
                                                                                                              88       Robert Hall 2007 Cabernet Sauvi-
                                                                                                                       gnon (Paso Robles); $21. Shows the
                                                                                                              fruity ripeness that Paso Robles so easily
for a few years. Editors’ Choice. —S.H.                and cedar. Could do interesting things beyond          achieves, with waves of blackberries and cassis.
                                                       2011. —S.H.                                            Yet there’s also good structure, with rich, fine tan-

91       Truchard 2006 Cabernet Sauvi-
         gnon (Carneros); $35. Not quite as
ripe as previous vintages, with an earthy, herbal      89     Bennett Lane 2006 Reserve
                                                              Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Val-
                                                                                                              nins and a good spine of acidity. With a slightly
                                                                                                              sweet finish, it’s an elegant Cabernet to drink
                                                                                                              now. —S.H.
edge, but that works to the wine’s advantage,          ley); $95. Feels awkward in the mouth now,
highlighting its elegance and class. Smooth,
smoky oak frames the blackberry and currant fla-
vors. Should develop bottle complexity over the
                                                       with hard tannins and tart acids. However, it has
                                                       an attractive richness of blackberries and cassis,
                                                       enhanced with rich oak. It’s a classically youthful
                                                                                                              88    Rodney Strong 2006 Brothers
                                                                                                                    Ridge Single Vineyard Cabernet
                                                                                                              Sauvignon (Alexander Valley); $75. This is
next 6–8 years. —S.H.                                  Cabernet that should develop with 3-5 years in         a 100% Cabernet, grown further north than the
                                                       the bottle. —S.H.                                      winery’s amazing Rockaway bottling, which is to

90       Emilio’s Terrace 2006 Reserve
         Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville);
$45. Made in a drier, earthier style than most         89       Forth 2007 All Boys Cabernet
                                                                Sauvignon (Dry Creek Valley);
                                                                                                              say in a hotter area. Comparisons are inevitable.
                                                                                                              Although it’s rich and even dramatic, it’s not as
                                                                                                              impressive a wine, showing a raisiny edge to the
Oakville Cabs, this one emphasizes structure           $25. A really good Cabernet that shows elegance        black currants and chocolate. Doesn’t have the
over fruity power. It’s a sleek, elegant wine, brim-   and class, and this is a good price for it. Dry and    balance for aging, so drink now with upscale beef
ming with tannins and acids that frame black-          rich in tannins, it has waves of blackberries, black   and lamb dishes. —S.H.
berry, currant, mineral and dried herb flavors,        currants, herbs, violets and smoky cedar, and is
with a touch of raisins in the finish. —S.H.           reminiscent of a good Bordeaux. —S.H.
                                                                                                              88       Sinatra Family 2007 Cabernet
                                                                                                                       Sauvignon (Napa Valley); $95.

90      Hestan 2005 Meyer Vineyard
        Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Val-
ley); $45. Still strong and jammy at the age of
                                                       88       Bennett Lane 2006 Caber net
                                                                Sauvignon (Napa Valley); $55. A
                                                       good Cabernet, if a little sharp in acidity. Firmly
                                                                                                              Superripe, showing a direct, crowd-pleasing
                                                                                                              appeal with its array of oak-inspired blackberries,
                                                                                                              cherries, sweet currants and chocolate. The
four-plus, with fresh blackberry, black currant        tannic and dry, it has deep, impressive flavors of     structure is gorgeous Napa, with near-perfect
and spicy oak flavors brightened with zingy acid-      blackberries, black currants, unsweetened dark         tannins and just-in-time acidity. Shows a juvenile
ity. It’s a distinctly New World wine, and a very      chocolate and smoky oak. The sharpness contin-         fruity sweetness, but is not particularly subtle
good one, but it needs a year or three in the cel-     ues through the finish. Could mellow out with          now, just all power. The gamble is in the cellar.
lar to mellow and resolve. Cellar Selection.           age. —S.H.                                             Try after 2012. —S.H.

90    Katherine Goldschmidt 2007
      Crazy Creek Valley Caber net
                                                       88       Bennett Lane 2006 Maximus
                                                                (Napa Valley); $35. This Bordeaux-
                                                       Syrah blend is very good, a dry, full-bodied red
                                                                                                              88       Terra Sávia 2006 Sanel Valley
                                                                                                                       Vineyards Meritage (Mendocino);
                                                                                                              $18. A lovely Bordeaux-style wine, dry and richly
Sauvignon (Alexander Valley); $20. Shows               that will be versatile at the table. It shows deep     tannic, showing complex flavors of blackberries,
real class and elegance for a Cab of this price.       flavors of blackberries, cherries and cocoa, with      black currants, dried herbs and smoky oak, with
Ready to drink now, its richly tannic structure        edges of bacon, cola, anise, orange zest and sweet     hints of violets, cocoa and spices. Shows lots of
provides the framework for dry, complex flavors        dried herbs. It’s a fine wine to enjoy over the next   elegant structure, at a good price. Drink now.
of blackberries, cherries, red currants, anise and     three years. —S.H.                                     Editors’ Choice. —S.H.
herbs. Give it a few hours of decanting. —S.H.

90       Tu r n b u l l 2 0 0 5 B l a c k L a b e l
         (Oakville); $100. Not drinkable now
                                                       88     Calcareous 2007 Twisted Sisters
                                                              Cabernet Sauvignon (Central
                                                       Coast); $28. Rich and dry, with pleasant black-
                                                                                                              87       Cosentino 2007 The Cab Cabernet
                                                                                                                       Sauvignon (California); $18. Shows
                                                                                                              the nobility of structure of Cabs costing far more,
or anytime soon, due to the tannins. Scours the        berry, cherry, currant and cedar flavors. Some-        with fine blackberry and black currant fruit and
mouth with a hard astringency, like the Caber-         times Central Coast Cabs can be green, but not         soft, dry tannins. A bit quick on the finish, but
nets of a generation or two ago. There are rich,       this one. An elegant, complex wine for drinking        this is a good price for a wine of this class.
ripe flavors of blackberries and currants swim-        now and through 2012. —S.H.                            —S.H.

               W I N E S           R E V I E W E D             F O R       T H E        F E B R U A RY              2 0 1 0         I S S U E
87       Educated Guess 2007 Cabernet
         Sauvignon (Napa Valley); $20.
Another good Cabernet from this winery. It’s a
                                                         cherries and dark chocolate. The tannins are
                                                         mountain tough. Altogether, it’s a tough, rugged
                                                         wine that could improve in the bottle. —S.H.
                                                                                                                85      Oak Grove 2008 Reserve Caber-
                                                                                                                        net Sauvignon (California); $8.
                                                                                                                More like Zinfandel with its peppery, prickly
very grapey Cabernet, with fresh, jammy black-                                                                  mouthfeel, but not a bad wine for everyday pur-
berry fruit that tastes like it just came from the
fermenter. But it’s dry and balanced and likeable.
                                                         86       Clayhouse 2007 Cabernet Sauvi-
                                                                  gnon (Paso Robles); $15. A very
                                                         nice wine that’s dry and balanced, and shows
                                                                                                                poses. It’s dry and full-bodied and brisk, with
                                                                                                                blackberry, currant and herb flavors. Best Buy.
                                                         quite a bit of elegance. The alcohol is low, and

87     Forth 2005 Rebecca’s Vineyard
       Cabernet Sauvignon (Dry Creek
Valley); $38. This dry, spicy wine shows the
                                                         the flavors of cherries, currants, herbs, anise and
                                                         cedar are savory. —S.H.                                85      Sean Minor 2007 Four Bears
                                                                                                                        Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Val-
                                                                                                                ley); $17. A good, everyday Cabernet. It’s dry,
rustic, rugged quality that often accompanies Dry
Creek Cabs. It has the briary texture of a Zinfan-
del, but with Cabernet’s classic blackberry and
                                                         86    Hans Fahden 2006 Narrative
                                                               Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma
                                                         County); $30. Dry and tannic, with a hard
                                                                                                                full-bodied and ripe, with blackberry, black
                                                                                                                cherry, currant, caramel and oak flavors. Drink
                                                                                                                now. —S.H.
black currant profile. Drink now–2012. —S.H.             mouthfeel and not enough richness to get past
                                                         the goal line. Shows blackberry, black currant,

87       Frog’s Leap 2006 Cabernet Sauvi-
         gnon (Rutherford); $75. Mainly
                                                         herb and oak flavors, and a green herbaceous-
                                                         ness suggesting dill and sage. Not an ager, so
                                                                                                                85      Six Sigma 2006 Cabernet Sauvi-
                                                                                                                        gnon (Lake County); $42. Shows a
                                                                                                                polished structure that’s dry and moderate in
Cabernet Sauvignon, with a drop of Cab Franc,            drink up. —S.H.
this blend shows the type of tannins that Ruther-                                                               alcohol, with flavors of blackberries, cherries and
                                                                                                                oak, as well as a Bordeaux-esque herbaceousness.
fordians like to call dusty, and those tannins do
have a finely ground latticework. But they’re also
astringently dry, and the underlying fruit flavors,
                                                         86      Lloyd of Calcareous 2006 Moose
                                                                 Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Rob-
                                                         les); $45. A heavy, softly ripe, super-extracted
                                                                                                                But there’s an underripe note of vegetable that
                                                                                                                seriously detracts. The vintage was a problem,
of cherries and blackberries, don’t seem rich            Cabernet. If you like sheer power, you’ll get off      but this is a wine whose proprietor has high
enough to stand up to extended aging. —S.H.              on the massive blackberries, black currants, milk      ambitions. —S.H.
                                                         chocolate and caramelized oak. —S.H.

87       Scheid Vineyards 2005 Reserve
         Claret (Monterey); $55. Youthfully
fruity now, with sweet, jammy flavors of black-          86       Nobos 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
                                                                  (Dry Creek Valley); $24. Produced
                                                                                                                85      Sodaro 2005 Estate Blend Private
                                                                                                                        Reserve (Napa Valley); $65. This
                                                                                                                Bordeaux blend has some sharp edges. It’s
berries, cherries, raspberries, licorice, vanilla oak    from the Sierra Foothills winery, Shenandoah,          slightly unripe, with green wintergreen notes that
and spices. Comes from the warm, southern part           this is a dry, briary and rustic Cabernet. It has      lend a tartness to the blackberry and smoky oak
of Salinas Valley. Could develop, but it’s a gam-        wild berry, currant and black pepper flavors, with     flavors. Doesn’t seem likely to improve in the
ble. —S.H.                                               edgy tannins. Needs rich beef and cheese dishes        bottle. —S.H.
                                                         for balanced food pairing. —S.H.

87     Steven Kent 2006 Ghielmetti
       Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
(Livermore Valley); $60. Rich and bold, but              86    S b r a g i a 2 0 0 6 Wa l l V i n e y a rd
                                                               Caber net Sauvignon (Mount
                                                                                                                85      Sodaro 2005 Felicity Cabernet
                                                                                                                        Sauvignon (Napa Valley); $40.
                                                                                                                Somewhat sharp in acids and tannins, with a
tough in tannins, with a hard astringency to the         Veeder); $75. Shows the hard, bigtime tannins          streak of green mint that weakens the blackberry
ripe blackberries, black currants, licorice and          of this important mountain appellation and also
                                                                                                                and cherry flavors. Good structure, but a bit
dark chocolate. Could age out and mellow in a            its tightly wound blackberry and currant flavors,
                                                                                                                unripe and unbalanced, and not likely to age.
couple of years, but no guarantees. —S.H.                with their dusting of herbs. Marred by a slightly
                                                         unripe streak of vegetable, and not likely to

87      Steven Kent 2006 Home Ranch
        Cabernet Sauvignon (Livermore
                                                         improve with age. —S.H.

                                                                                                                84      Eberle 2007 Vineyard Selection
                                                                                                                        Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Rob-
Valley); $75. It was probably the vintage, which
was less than spectacular, but this wine, while a
good, elegantly structured Cabernet, doesn’t jus-
                                                         85       Emilio’s Terrace 2006 Sophie’s
                                                                  Rows (Oakville); $75. A disappoint-
                                                         ment after the rich 2005. They should have
                                                                                                                les); $19. A bit soft and sweet, with raspberry,
                                                                                                                black cherry, cola and chocolate flavors. Would
tify its price. It’s bone dry and tannic, with flavor-   declassified this vintage. The wine is dry and         benefit from greater dryness and acidic structure,
ful blackberries, black currants, minerals and oak.      sharp, with green, sharp acids and modest berry,       although the tannins are kind of strong. Okay
A fine wine to drink with upscale fare, but the          currant and herb flavors. —S.H.                        with a grilled steak. —S.H.
sharp finish suggests against aging. —S.H.

                                                         85       Firestone 2007 Discoveries Caber-
                                                                                                                84      Galante 2007 Kick Ass Cabernet
                                                                                                                        Sauvignon (Carmel Valley); $12.
87       Thomas Fogarty 2005 Lexington
         Meritage (Santa Cruz Mountains);
$46. Very dry and sharp in acidity, with a citrusy
                                                                  net Sauvignon (California); $10.
                                                         Good price for a Cab of this quality. It’s full-bod-
                                                         ied, dry and elegantly balanced, showing real
                                                                                                                Good and dry, if a bit rugged in texture, with a
                                                                                                                scoury, tart mouthfeel. The flavors are of black-
bite, like a hit of lime. The Cabernet-Merlot fla-       varietal character in the blackberries, black cur-     berries, currants and herbs. A sound, full-bodied
vors are very rich, suggesting blackberries, black       rants and rich tannins. Best Buy. —S.H.                red wine at an everyday price. —S.H.

84       Halter Ranch 2006 Caber net
         Sauvignon (Paso Robles); $28.
Sharp in acids and tannins, which gives a prickly
                                                                                                              cherries, red currants, anise and sandalwood.
                                                                                                              Ready to drink now. —S.H.

mouthfeel to the blackberry, cherry and currant
flavors. The wine is, by definition, good for every-   94       Duckhorn 2006 Estate Grown
                                                                Merlot (Napa Valley); $85. Classic
                                                       Duckhorn, which is to say, dry, tannic, elegantly
                                                                                                              87      Summers 2007 Summers Ranch
                                                                                                                      Merlot (Knights Valley); $30. A
                                                                                                              nervy young wine, marked by fruity acidity and
day purposes, but rustic. —S.H.
                                                       structured and expensive. The winemaker suc-           primary flavors of blackberry and cherry jam,
                                                       ceeded, in this so-so year, in crafting a rich,        cocoa and spices, wrapped into strong tannins. A
84       Rocca 2006 Estate Cabernet
         Sauvignon (Napa Valley); $75.
Tastes jammy and tart in blackberries, and very
                                                       nuanced wine of considerable interest. It may not
                                                       be a longterm ager, but it’s delicious now, with
                                                                                                              bit rude now, but with the balanced integrity to
                                                                                                              develop over the next 2–4 years. —S.H.
tannic. The combination of sharp fruitiness and        deep flavors of blackberries, red currants, violets,
astringency is not pleasant now, leading to the
question of ageability. Doesn’t seem likely, so
                                                       cocoa and smoky oak, balanced with the prettiest
                                                       acidity. Grows better in the glass as it breathes.
                                                                                                              86      Bonterra 2007 Merlot (Mendo-
                                                                                                                      cino County); $16. Ultra-fruity, offer-
                                                                                                              ing waves of ripe black cherries, plums, red
drink soon. —S.H.
                                                                                                              currants and cola, accented with sweet, vanilla-

84       Round Hill 2008 Cabernet Sauvi-
         gnon (California); $8. A pretty good          92       C Square 2007 Merlot (Bennett
                                                                Valley); $28. Bennett Valley is a little
                                                       appellation in Sonoma County and it’s been
                                                                                                              scented oak. Good and dry, with rich tannins, but
                                                                                                              would benefit from greater restraint and subtlety.
                                                                                                              Drink now. —S.H.
Cabernet for this everyday price. It’s very dry and
                                                       known as a good source of nuanced Merlot since
rich in tannins, with sweet-and-sour flavors of
cherries, herbs and mint. Fine for an inexpen-
sive, by-the-glass program. —S.H.
                                                       Matanzas Creek specialized in the variety. This
                                                       new bottling recalls those glory days. It’s a fine
                                                       Merlot, dry and silky and elegant, with ripe fla-
                                                                                                              86      Turnbull 2006 Merlot (Oakville);
                                                                                                                      $35. Ungainly, with stiff, puckery tan-
                                                                                                              nins giving a hard astringency, and unintegrated
                                                       vors of black and red cherries, chocolate and          oak sticking out. Somewhere inbetween are mod-
84       Smoking Loon 2007 Cabernet
         Sauvignon (California); $9. Very
dry, tannic and peppery, with blackberry and
                                                       herbs. Try as a softer, gentler version to Caber-
                                                       net. —S.H.
                                                                                                              est cherry, anise and herb flavors. Pretty good,
                                                                                                              but not likely to go anywhere, so drink now.
herb flavors. Not particularly Cabernet-like, but
pleasant, a sound, everyday and full-bodied red
to drink with grills and roasts. —S.H.
                                                       92       Wente 2006 Small Lot Merlot
                                                                (Arroyo Seco); $35. A beautiful Mer-
                                                       lot, Wente’s best in at least a decade. It’s not one   85      Mendielle Vertu 2007 Proprietary
                                                                                                                      Red Merlot (Mendocino County);
                                                       of those big, superripe Napa Merlots, but instead      $27. Tannic and fruity, with the taste of an

83       Calcareous 2006 Cabernet Sauvi-
         gnon (York Mountain); $34. Lots
of ripe, jammy blackberry, cherry and chocolate
                                                       is elegant and classically balanced, almost Bor-
                                                       deaux in style, with rich tannins and good acidity.
                                                                                                              energy bar. The flavors suggest ripe blackberries,
                                                                                                              anise, almonds, honey, pepper and dark choco-
                                                       There’s an herbal touch to the black cherry and        late. Drink now. —S.H.
fruit and sweet smoky oak in this wine, but not
                                                       mineral flavors. Very fine, very appealing, and a
much else in the way of structure. Ready now.
                                                       natural companion for food. Now–2012. —S.H.
                                                                                                              85      Muirwood 2007 Merlot (Arroyo
                                                                                                                      Seco); $14. Here’s a good, dry, afford-

83       Montevina 2007 Cabernet Sauvi-
         gnon (California); $11. Harsh and
                                                       88       Waterstone 2006 Merlot (Napa
                                                                Valley); $18. A very dry, somewhat
                                                       herbal Merlot, with a brittle, tannic mouthfeel. It
                                                                                                              able Merlot that offers plenty of everyday plea-
                                                                                                              sure. It’s medium-bodied and crisp, with flavors
                                                                                                              of cherries and mocha that finish in a scour of
sharp in tannins and acids, but this is a pretty       has flavors of black cherries, currants and sage.      tannins and spice. —S.H.
good price for a dry, full-bodied red wine with        Feels elegant and sophisticated in the mouth, a
blackberry and currant flavors. Drink with rustic
fare, such as burgers or pasta with sausages.
                                                       wine to drink now. —S.H.
                                                                                                              85      Round Hill 2008 Merlot (Califor-
                                                                                                                      nia); $8. Lots to admire in this dry, full-

                                                       87       Chelsea Goldschmidt 2008 Merlot
                                                                (Dry Creek Valley); $15. What a
                                                                                                              bodied Merlot. It’s forward and charming in sour
                                                                                                              red cherry candy, blueberry and herb flavors,

83     Muirwood 2007 Vaquero Vine-
       yard Cabernet Sauvignon (Arroyo
Seco); $15. Dry and sharp in acidity, with
                                                       wonderful wine for the price. It’s dry, elegant and
                                                       classically structured, and while the cherry, herb,
                                                                                                              with a nice edge of smoky oak. Contains a little
                                                                                                              Cabernet and Zinfandel for complexity, and the
                                                       tobacco and oak flavors finish a bit short, this       alcohol is nice and low. Great price. Best Buy.
slightly green flavors of blackberries, blueberries,   Merlot shows lots of appeal. It’s a great by the       —S.H.
coffee and mint. Drink now. —S.H.                      glass pour. —S.H.

83       Rivino 2006 Sedulous (Mendo-
         cino); $28. Honey-sweet and simple,           87       Sean Minor 2007 Four Bears Mer-
                                                                lot (Napa Valley); $17. Here’s a solid
                                                                                                              85      Smoking Loon 2007 Merlot (Cali-
                                                                                                                      fornia); $9. Dry and full-bodied, a
                                                                                                              sound, everyday red wine that will be versatile at
with crisp, jammy flavors of berries, cherries and     wine that provides lots of elegant pleasure at a       the table. Shows a good array of blackberry,
cocoa. It’s a Bordeaux blend with a splash of          pretty good price. It’s dry and firm in tannins,       cherry, currant and oak flavors, wrapped into
Viognier. —S.H.                                        with deep, long flavors of blackberries and black      firm tannins. Best Buy. —S.H.

               W I N E S          R E V I E W E D             F O R        T H E        F E B R U A RY              2 0 1 0        I S S U E
84       Nobos 2005 Merlot (Dry Creek
         Valley); $20. A good, ruggedly tannic
Merlot, with lots of sweet blackberry, cherry and
                                                        Not ready now, but should easily negotiate the
                                                        next 4–6 years. Cellar Selection. —S.H.
                                                                                                               and elegance at this price. It has rich, complex
                                                                                                               flavors of blackberries, black cherries, red cur-
                                                                                                               rants and oak, with earthy, leathery, bacon and
red currant flavors. Tastes sweet in jammy fruit,
with rustic tannins. Drink now. —S.H.                   93    Rusack 2007 Ballard Canyon
                                                              Estate Syrah (Santa Barbara
                                                        County); $36. A stunning Syrah, with a bit of
                                                                                                               licorice notes. Needs a few years to come around
                                                                                                               due to the tannins, or give it a good decant.

84       Robert Hall 2007 Merlot (Paso
         Robles); $21. Shows the difficulties of
                                                        Petite Sirah that seems to provide darkness, tan-
                                                        nins and structure. Marked with black pepper
Merlot in Paso Robles. It’s all blackberry and
cherry pie filling, sweet and spicy, but lacking in
                                                        aromas, it’s extraordinarily rich in blackberry,
                                                        blueberry and mocha flavors, with a mushroomy
                                                                                                               90    Brander 2008 Colson Canyon
                                                                                                                     Vineyard Syrah (Santa Barbara
                                                                                                               County); $35. This is the winery’s least accces-
structure and a sense of terroir. Drink this sim-       earthiness and sweet smoky oak influences. Full-
                                                                                                               sible 2008 Syrah. It’s too tannic and acidic to be
ple, easy wine now. —S.H.                               bodied and dense now, it wants at least 3–5 years
                                                                                                               properly appreciated, although decanting will
                                                        to come around. Cellar Selection. —S.H.
                                                                                                               help to unleash the massive blackberry, black
83       Firestone 2007 Discoveries Merlot
         (California); $10. A bit heavy and soft,
although it’s nicely dry, with good tannins. The        92       Baileyana 2006 Grand Firepeak
                                                                 Cuvée Syrah (Edna Valley); $30.
                                                                                                               currant and chocolate flavors. Cellar it through
                                                                                                               2010 if you can. —S.H.
cherry flavors are mixed with herbs, with a touch       Big, bold, powerful, extracted, intense. Pours
of smoky oak. —S.H.                                     almost black in color, and tastes immense in
                                                        blackberries, black currants, sweet smoked             90    Brander 2008 Mesa Verde Vine-
                                                                                                                     yard Syrah (Santa Barbara

83       Five Rivers 2006 Merlot (Central
         Coast); $11. Simple and rather sweet,
with sour candy flavors of cherries, red currants,
                                                        leather and pepper, with a bacony spiciness.
                                                        Acidity and tannins both are evident, giving this
                                                        Syrah good structure. Seems at its best now and
                                                                                                               County); $20. Dark, soft and delicious, this
                                                                                                               Syrah has extremely complex flavors. They range
                                                                                                               from blackberries and black currants to choco-
vanilla and smoky oak. Easy to drink with every-        soon. —S.H.                                            late, anise, bacon, black pepper, violets, and an
day fare. —S.H.                                                                                                edge of smoky sandalwood. Drink this bone dry

83       Oak Grove 2008 Reserve Merlot
         (California); $8. Dry and thin in fruit,
                                                        91    A Donkey and Goat 2007 The
                                                              Recluse Broken Leg Vineyard
                                                        Syrah (Anderson Valley); $35. Lots of
                                                                                                               wine now. —S.H.

with flavors of cherries, mint and herbs, and a
kiss of wood. Pretty good for this everyday price.
                                                        smoky leather and crushed black pepper in this
                                                        wine, a clear sign the Syrah comes from a cool
                                                                                                               90       Robert Hall 2007 Syrah (Paso
                                                                                                                        Robles); $21. Made in a lighter, more
                                                                                                               elegant and accessible style, this is very fine and
—S.H.                                                   climate. Crisp acidity, too, giving the wine a
                                                                                                               impressive Syrah, at a good price. Thoroughly
                                                        bright mouthfeel. Might even have a drop of
                                                                                                               dry and moderate in alcohol, it shows rich,
82       Cinnabar 2007 Merlot (Paso Rob-
         les); $21. Ultraripe, simple and almost
as sweet as jelly, with flavors of cherries, raspber-
                                                        Viognier. There’s a citrusy lift to the blackberries
                                                        and black currants. Should develop smoothly
                                                        through 2013. —S.H.
                                                                                                               smooth tannins that frame interesting flavors of
                                                                                                               blackberries, currants, sour cherry candy,
ries and vanilla. The alcohol is 15.9%. —S.H.                                                                  tobacco, leather, crushed black pepper and
                                                                                                               smoky sandalwood. Ready now. Editors’

                                                        91    A Donkey and Goat 2007
                                                              Fenaughty Vineyard Syrah (El
                                                        Dorado); $35. An impressive Syrah, not just
                                                                                                               Choice. —S.H.

94       Palmeri 2005 Van Ness Vineyard
         Syrah (Alexander Valley); $53. A
                                                        for its ripeness, but for the structure. Fine, firm
                                                        tannins and acids, along with well-integrated oak,
                                                        provide a classic framework to the ripe blackber-
                                                                                                               90       Sinor-LaVallee 2007 Luna Matta
                                                                                                                        Vineyard Syrah (Paso Robles);
                                                                                                               $25. An interesting and very delicious Syrah that
noble red wine, based on the finely ground tan-         ries, leather and chocolate. Good now, with            shows what Paso can do when it really tries. It’s
nins and superb integration of fruit and oak.           decanting, but really wants 2–4 years of aging.        soft in acids, but rich and firm in tannins, offering
There’s a purity to the complex waves of black-         —S.H.                                                  ripe layers of blackberries, chocolate, violets,
berries, currants, Canadian bacon, dried herbs,
                                                                                                               anise, cedar and tons of black pepper. Fine now,
black pepper and sandalwood, with a minerally
tang that must come from the soil. Wonderful
now, this great Syrah should develop additional
                                                        91       Davis Family 2007 Gwyzer Block
                                                                 Syrah (Russian River Valley); $38.
                                                        This is a big, strong, gutsy Syrah, a powerhouse
                                                                                                               and should develop over the next 3–4 years.

bottle nuances over the next six years. —S.H.           of jammy blackberries, currants, bacon, pepper
                                                        and sandalwood. It’s completely dry, with rich,
                                                                                                               89     A Donkey and Goat 2007 Perli
                                                                                                                      Vineyards Syrah (Mendocino
93       Palmeri 2005 Stagecoach Vine-
         yard Syrah (Napa Valley); $53.
Tight and hard in tannins now, with a dusty
                                                        thick tannins and a long, spicy finish. Good now,
                                                        with proper fare, and should glidepath through
                                                        the next six years. —S.H.
                                                                                                               Ridge); $35. This is a wine that wants a little
                                                                                                               time in the cellar. It has very rich, ripe, concen-
astringency, especially on the finish. But there’s a                                                           trated blackberry and cherry flavors, accented
                                                                                                               with bacon, smoky oak and black pepper. But it’s
considerable heart of blackberries, currants and
dark chocolate, accented with complex notes of
violets, leather, dried herbs and peppery spices.
                                                        91       Rusack 2007 Syrah (Santa Barbara
                                                                 County); $25. A beautiful Syrah, dry,
                                                        full-bodied and tannic, that shows lots of class
                                                                                                               tannic and the fruit is jammy. The parts simply
                                                                                                               haven’t knit together. Give it 2–3 years. —S.H.

89       A Donkey and Goat 2007 Syrah
         (Mendocino); $20. A very nice Syrah
that shows plenty of upscale character. While it’s
                                                       86      Jalama 2006 Paradise Road Syrah
                                                               (Santa Barbara County); $30. A                82       Lucas & Lewellen 2006 Syrah
                                                                                                                      (Santa Barbara County); $26. Dull
                                                                                                             and vegetal, with modest cherry flavors. But the
                                                       dry, tannic and severe Syrah. It’s tart and sandpa-
not as complex as the winery’s vineyard-desig-         pery in the mouth, with a scoury mouthfeel, and       texture is smooth and the finish is dry. —S.H.
nated Syrahs, it shows a rich tannin structure and     although you’ll find some cherries and currants,
ripe blackberry, anise, chocolate and pepper fla-
vors. Will drink well for the next couple years.
Editors’ Choice. —S.H.
                                                       there’s not enough richness to counterbalance
                                                       the toughness. —S.H.
                                                                                                             82       Oak Grove 2008 Reserve Shiraz
                                                                                                                      (California); $8. Harsh and jammy,
                                                                                                             with thin flavors of cherries and pepper, accom-
                                                                                                             panied by sharp acids. Okay in a pinch. —S.H.

88       Brander 2008 Syrah (Santa Ynez
         Valley); $22. A polished, pretty Syrah.
                                                       86      J a l a m a 2 0 0 6 L a P re s a S y r a h
                                                               (Santa Barbara County); $30. A bit
It’s black in color and very soft, and tastes like a
                                                       aggressive in tannins, with a sharp, sandpapery
                                                                                                             PETITE SIRAH
blackberry- and blueberry-infused chocolate            bite, and the flavors don’t give enough richness to
                                                       balance that roughness. Still, it’s a well-struc-
drink, with hints of bacon. Luscious and ready to
drink now. —S.H.                                       tured, dry wine, with pleasant blackberry, blue-
                                                       berry, herb and tobacco flavors. Drink now.
                                                                                                             91       Kokomo 2007 Petite Sirah (Dry
                                                                                                                      Creek Valley); $27. The Yiddish word
                                                                                                             “zaftig” perfectly describes this Petite Sirah. It’s

88    Brander 2008 Clover Creek Vine-
      yard Syrah (Santa Barbara
                                                       —S.H.                                                 big, powerful and fleshy, with potent flavors of
                                                                                                             blackberries, cherries, plums, currants, dark
County); $20. Like pepper in your Syrahs?
This one’s for you. It’s distinctly Californian, in
the superripe blackberry, currant and chocolate
                                                       86      Paraiso Vineyards 2004 Syrah
                                                               (Santa Lucia Highlands); $20. Very
                                                                                                             chocolate, licorice, bacon and peppery spices, all
                                                                                                             wrapped into significant tannins. A very nice
                                                                                                             example of the variety, it’s dry and balanced, and
                                                       dry and fairly tannic, with interesting flavors of
flavors. The appealing softness suggests drinking      cherries, currants and licorice, and an earthy-       should age for years. —S.H.
now. —S.H.                                             tobacco note. The finish is very peppery. It’s a

87       Cuvaison 2007 Syrah (Carneros);
         $32. Rather heavy and super-fruity now,
                                                       solid, good wine with some extra qualities of ele-
                                                       gance and depth. —S.H.
                                                                                                             86       Barra 2004 Petite Sirah (Mendo-
                                                                                                                      cino); $22. Sweet and rich in fruit and
                                                                                                             smoky oak, with thick tannins and the rustic
with fruitstand flavors of blackberries, cherries                                                            mouthfeel of a youthful Petite Sirah. The flavors
and plums. It’s a ripely delicious wine, but a bit
one-dimensional, not showing much elegance or
                                                       86      Scheid Vineyards 2006 Syrah
                                                               (Monterey); $24. Very dry and pep-
                                                                                                             are of jammy blackberries, cherries, leather, cof-
                                                                                                             fee and black pepper. Should age for a long time
                                                       pery-spicy, with firm tannins. Shows juvenile, pri-
subtlety. Could develop bottle nuance over the                                                               without necessarily gaining elegance. —S.H.
                                                       mary fruit flavors of cherries, blackberries and
next 4–6 years. —S.H.
                                                       dark, unsweetened baker’s chocolate. Could gain

87       Forth 2005 La Rousse Vineyard
         Syrah (Dry Creek Valley); $24. This
                                                       some elegance with a year or so in the bottle.
                                                                                                             83       Glen Ellen 2007 Reserve Petite
                                                                                                                      Sirah (California); $10/1.5 L. Full-
                                                                                                             bodied, dry and robust, with flavors of berries,
single-vineyard Syrah is dry and elegantly struc-                                                            leather, tobacco and spices. It’s a rustic, tannic
tured. It pleases for its rich mouthfeel and layers
of blackberry, currant, licorice, bacon, pepper        85      Calcareous 2007 Twisted Sisters
                                                               Syrah (Paso Robles); $28. A bit
                                                                                                             wine, but this is a decent price for a double bot-
                                                                                                             tle. Best Buy. —S.H.
and cedar flavors. At its best now and for a few       tough and gritty in tannin structure, with sweetly
more years. —S.H.                                      jammy flavors of raspberries, cherries and red
                                                       plums, accented with smoky oak. Seems at its          80       Oak Grove 2008 Reserve Petite
                                                                                                                      Sirah (California); $8. Simple, soft

87       Manzanita Creek 2007 De Luxe
         Syrah (Sonoma Coast); $27. A
tough, rugged, tannic young wine, brisk in acids
                                                       best now. —S.H.                                       and dull, with vegetal aromas and flavors that
                                                                                                             barely suggest cherries. —S.H.

and pepper, and not showing much opulence
now. There’s a molten core of blackberries and
                                                       85      Terry Hoage 2007 The Hedge
                                                               Syrah (Paso Robles); $48. A bit hot
                                                       in alcohol, and glycerine gives a sugary-sweet
grilled, meaty leather, leading to a bone dry fin-
                                                       edge to the blackberries, black cherries and oak.
ish. Should mellow with 1–2 years in the bottle.
                                                       There might even be some residual sugar. If you
                                                       like your reds soft and on the sweet side, and lots
                                                                                                             94     Williams Selyem 2007 Papera
                                                                                                                    Vineyard Zinfandel (Russian River
                                                                                                             Valley); $48. The 2007 vintage was a fabulous
                                                       of people do, it’s for you. —S.H.
87       Three Coins 2007 Betsy’s Vine-
         yard Syrah (Knights Valley); $28.
                                                                                                             one for Williams Selyem across all varieties, and
                                                                                                             the Zinfandels were winners for the cool, bal-
A pretty good Syrah. It’s a bit rugged and rustic,
with edgy tannins accented with a peppery              83      B Cellars 2006 Syrah (Napa Val-
                                                               ley); $45. Heavy and tannic and rather
                                                                                                             anced growing season. The Papera is a big, rich,
                                                                                                             jammy wine, but also a drily elegant one. It offers
mouthfeel, but it’s dry and full-bodied, with fairly   dull now, and overripe, too. Shows blackberry         waves of raspberry, Fig Newton, red currant and
complex flavors of blackberries, black currants        jam, chocolate and currant flavors that veer into     Canadian bacon flavors, with superfine tannins. A
and leather. Drink now. —S.H.                          stewed prunes. Drink now. —S.H.                       beautiful, exuberant Zinfandel that’s wonderful

               W I N E S          R E V I E W E D              F O R       T H E       F E B R U A RY              2 0 1 0        I S S U E
now and for the next six years. Editors’ Choice.
—S.H.                                                  90       Z-52 2006 Truchard Vineyard Zin-
                                                                fandel (Napa Valley); $24. Shows
                                                       all the Zinny character you could want, with
                                                                                                              high alcohol, with flamboyant flavors of milk
                                                                                                              chocolate, oozingly ripe blackberries and blue-
                                                                                                              berries, anise liqueur and black pepper. The fin-

93       Black Sears 2006 Zinfandel (How-
         ell Mountain); $42. The vineyard has
                                                       masses of wild forest berries, sweet red currants,
                                                       licorice, bacon, smoky sandalwood and peppery
                                                                                                              ish is totally dry. Lusty and heady. —S.H.

been source to extraordinary Zinfandels from
other producers, such as Howell Mountain Vine-
                                                       spices. The pedigree comes in the dryness and
                                                       the fine balance of tannins, acids and oak. A first-
                                                       rate, upscale Zin. Editors’ Choice. —S.H.
                                                                                                              87       Kokomo 2007 Perotti Vineyards
                                                                                                                       Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley); $27.
                                                                                                              Very ripe. You can taste the sunshine in the
yards and D-Cubed. Now here it is under its own
brand. It’s a wonderful Zinfandel, powerful and                                                               blackberry, cherry, blueberry, mulberry and
complex, yet dry and elegant. The tannins are
strong, but finely ground, and the raspberry,          89     Ottimino Vineyards 2006
                                                              Ottomino Vineyard Zinfandel
                                                       (Russian River Valley); $32. This is a big,
                                                                                                              cocoa flavors. They burst in the mouth, carrying
                                                                                                              waves of spices and fruity acids through a spicy,
                                                                                                              slightly hot finish. At its best now. —S.H.
cherry, red currant, cola and Asian spice flavors
are luscious. Drink now and through 2012.              powerful Zinfandel. It’s very strong in blackberry,
—S.H.                                                  blueberry, cocoa and peppery spice flavors, and
                                                       also very tannic and dry. A dramatic wine, it will
                                                       do well with barbecue and heavily spiced beef
                                                                                                              87       Peachy Canyon 2007 Mustang
                                                                                                                       Springs Zinfandel (Paso Robles);
                                                                                                              $36. Spicy and dry, this Zin offers flavors of cur-
93     Williams Selyem 2007 Forchini
       Vineyard Zinfandel (Russian River
Valley); $48. A big, boldly powerful but ele-
                                                       dishes. Should develop bottle age through 2013
                                                       or so. —S.H.
                                                                                                              rants, tobacco, pepper and cocoa. The tannins
                                                                                                              are thick, but acidity is low, giving it a soft mouth-
gant Zinfandel, full-bodied in the mouth and dry,                                                             feel. Could be more concentrated, but it’s an ele-
offering waves of ripe fruits and spices. The cool
2007 vintage has kept the wine from being too
                                                       89       Rued 2006 Zinfandel (Dry Creek
                                                                Valley); $25. Very good Dry Creek
                                                                                                              gant wine. —S.H.

ripe, resulting in balanced flavors of blackberries,
currants, licorice, bacon, cocoa, black pepper and
                                                       Zin, robust and dry and spicy. Really gets the
                                                       tastebuds watering, with its tart flavors of sour
                                                       cherry candy, red currants, blueberries, tart
                                                                                                              87       Valley of the Moon 2007 Zinfan-
                                                                                                                       del (Sonoma County); $16. A nice,
                                                                                                              smooth, rich Zinfandel that shows classic flavors
Asian spices. Just terrific. Drink over the next six
                                                       raisins and oodles of peppery spices. Drink this       at a fair price. It’s fully dry, with rich, fine tannins
years. —S.H.
                                                       lusty wine with barbecue. Editors’ Choice.             and ripe flavors of berries, currants, dark choco-
                                                       —S.H.                                                  late, cola, cedar and lots of peppery spices. Good

92     Ottimino Vineyards 2006 Von
       Weidlich Vineyard Zinfandel
                                                                                                              now with broiled steak, beef tacos, juicy burgers

(Russian River Valley); $36. This is the dri-
est, most elegant and balanced of Ottomino’s new
                                                       88      Hanna 2006 Bismark Mountain
                                                               Vineyard Zinfandel (Sonoma Val-
                                                                                                              and Thai beef dishes. —S.H.

single-vineyard Zinfandels. It has a Cabernet-like
structure, although the wild blackberry, mul-
                                                       ley); $65. Despite the “valley” appellation, this
                                                       is one of the highest elevation vineyards in
                                                       Sonoma County. It’s a dense, tannic, concen-
                                                                                                              87       Wilson 2007 Tori Vineyard Zinfan-
                                                                                                                       del (Dry Creek Valley); $32. A good,
                                                                                                              lusty Zinfandel to toss back with excellent barbe-
berry, plum and exotic spice flavors are all Zin, as
                                                       trated wine, with a deep core of black currants,       cue and roasts. It’s a big, full-bodied, fruity wine,
are the dense, sandpapery tannins. Good now
                                                       black pepper and chocolate. Zinfanatics will           packed with dry, tannicly Zinny flavors of wild
with upscale rich beef and cheese dishes, and
                                                       absolutely love it, but it’s very high in alcohol,     berries, beef jerky and crushed black pepper.
should develop gradually in the bottle for many        almost Port-like, although the finish is absolutely    Drink now. —S.H.
years. —S.H.                                           dry. —S.H.

90     Ottimino Vineyards 2006 Rancho
       Bello Vineyard Zinfandel (Russian               88       Kokomo 2007 Zinfandel (Sonoma
                                                                County); $22. A lovely Zinfandel, soft
                                                                                                              87       Z-52 2006 Zinfandel (Lodi); $12. A
                                                                                                                       great buy at this price for its richness
                                                                                                              and overall integrity. Has a medium body, with
River Valley); $26. A wildly flavored, tannic          and delicious. It has very ripe flavors of red cher-   fine, fuzzy tannins and bone-dry, complex flavors
and exuberant Zinfandel that showcases the vari-       ries, red currants, raspberries, cocoa, anise and      of wild berries, currants, herbs, tobacco and tons
ety’s exotic personality. Dry and full-bodied, it      peppery spices, wrapped into rich, finely ground       of peppery spices. Best Buy. —S.H.
has brambly flavors of blackberries, black cur-        tannins. Drink now. —S.H.
rants, licorice, mocha and smoky cedar, liberally
sprinkled with dusty Asian spices. Drink
now–2013. —S.H.                                        88       Mazzocco 2007 West Dry Creek
                                                                Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley); $32.
                                                                                                              86       Mazzocco 2007 Maple Zinfandel
                                                                                                                       (Dry Creek Valley); $40. With more
                                                                                                              than 16% alcohol, this Zin has a hot mouthfeel,
                                                       Mazzocco’s Zins are dependably superripe and           even for Dry Creek Zinfandel. Still, it’s dry and

90       Titus 2007 Zinfandel (Napa Val-
         ley); $27. Delicious and succulent, a
gigantic Zinfandel. Impresses for the powerful
                                                       high in alcohol. This ’07 is a big, strong wine,
                                                       offering flavors of blackberry and blueberry jam,
                                                                                                              smooth, with savory flavors of blackberry jam,
                                                                                                              chocolate, red and black currants, bacon and
                                                       spread onto buttered white toast and sprinkled         pepper. It’s a good example of its type, and of
ripeness of the blackberry, plum and cherry fruit,     with anisette. It’s delicious and heady. —S.H.         Mazzocco’s house style. —S.H.
accented with waves of smoky wood, cocoa and
Asian spices. The tannins are rich and strong.
Will age for a long time, gradually losing density
and becoming softer and sweeter. —S.H.
                                                       88       Wilson 2007 Diane’s Reserve Zin-
                                                                fandel (Dry Creek Valley); $60. A
                                                       big, soft, ultrarich style of Zinfandel. It has very
                                                                                                              86       Peachy Canyon 2007 Especial Zin-
                                                                                                                       fandel (Paso Robles); $40. There’s a
                                                                                                              musty aroma to this wine that detracts, and the

blackberry and spice flavors taste tamped down.
It’s also very tannic, and might blossom in a year
or so. —S.H.
                                                       83      Peachy Canyon 2007 Vortex Zin-
                                                               fandel (Paso Robles); $36. Some-
                                                       what musty, with a sweaty sox smell that
                                                                                                             spices. Would score higher if it were more con-
                                                                                                             centrated and complex. —S.H.

86       Summers 2007 Four-Acre Zinfan-
         del (Napa Valley); $34. Somewhat
                                                       interferes with the fruit. The flavors are of sweet
                                                       black currants, and acidity is quite soft. Drink
                                                       now. —S.H.
                                                                                                             85      Paraiso Vineyards NV Souzao
                                                                                                                     Port (Santa Lucia Highlands); $25.
                                                                                                             Made from a Portuguese variety, this Port-style
sharp and tartly aggressive now in jammy fruit,                                                              wine has a residual sugar of 8%. The flavors veer
with raspberry, cherry, wintergreen mint and cola
flavors, sweetened with smoky wood notes. Doe
not seem like an ager, so drink now with very rich
                                                       83      Smoking Loon 2007 Zinfandel
                                                               (California); $9. Smells like tobacco
                                                       and pepper, and then turns tannic and dry in the
                                                                                                             toward blackberries and dark chocolate. It’s also
                                                                                                             very tart. Yet it doesn’t deliver enough richness,
                                                                                                             and it finishes hot. Your mouth longs for more
meats, oils and cheeses to soften the hardness.        mouth, with blackberry flavors emerging after it      fruit, richness, complexity. Drink now. —S.H.
—S.H.                                                  warms up. A decent everyday Zin. —S.H.

86       Wilson 2007 Ellie’s Old Vine Vine-
         yard Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley);            82      Calcareous 2006 Zinfandel (Paso
                                                               Robles); $28. Not a very successful
                                                                                                             83      Optima 2006 Orgaz Zinfandel
                                                                                                                     Port (Dry Creek Valley); $26.
                                                                                                             Everything’s nice about this dessert wine except
$32. Soft and fruity, a gently tannic, easy and        wine. It’s hot and glyceriney-sweet, with enor-       for the thinness of flavor. It’s honey-sweet, with
slightly sweet Zinfandel to drink now with barbe-      mously high alcohol framing jammy flavors of          firm tannins and a bracing jolt of warming alco-
cue and beef tacos. It’s filled with jammy black-      blackberries and chocolate. —S.H.                     hol, with sweet caramelization from wood. But
berries, cherries, black raspberries, chocolate and
                                                                                                             the fruit is dilute. Needs greater concentration.
spices. —S.H.
                                                       82      Cosentino 2006 Cigar Zin Zinfan-
                                                               del (California); $25. Sweet and sim-

85       Montevina 2006 Zinfandel
         (Amador County); $12. A fresh,
crisp young Zinfandel, briary and brambly, with
                                                       ple. Tastes like melted cherry and blackberry
                                                       jam, mixed with cola, cocoa, white sugar and
                                                       spices. —S.H.
                                                                                                             OTHER RED WINES
exuberant flavors of wild raspberries, cola, red
licorice, mint and loads of peppery spices. A
good, inexpensive wine for everyday fare. —S.H.        82      Fetzer 2008 Valley Oaks White
                                                               Zinfandel (California); $9. Tastes
                                                                                                             88      Kokomo 2007 Cuvée Iris (Sonoma
                                                                                                                     County); $22. This is a dry, full-bodied
                                                                                                             blend of unidentified varieties. It’s a sound wine
                                                       sugary sweet, with a spritzy feeling like a
                                                                                                             to pair with meats and cheeses, with rich tannins

84       Barra 2004 Estate Zinfandel
         (Mendocino); $20. This is a rough
and ready Zinfandel. With its briary, brambly fla-
                                                       sparkling wine and simple flavors of raspberries
                                                       and vanilla. Technically, it’s a flawed wine, but
                                                       millions of people will love it. —S.H.
                                                                                                             framing flavors of cherries, currants, cola, anise,
                                                                                                             tobacco, herbs and spices. Drink now. —S.H.

vors of wild berries and pepper, and the strong,
edgy tannins, it needs rich meats and cheeses to
play against. —S.H.                                    82      Oak Grove 2008 Reserve Zinfan-
                                                               del (California); $8. Soft and a bit
                                                                                                             88      Steven Kent 2006 Petit Verdot
                                                                                                                     (Livermore Valley); $40. A big, fat,
                                                                                                             ripe, unctuous wine. Shows massive black cherry,
                                                       sweet in jammy blackberries and cherries, with
                                                                                                             chocolate and cedar flavors, with prickly spices
84     Kokomo 2007 Timber Crest Vine-
       yards Zinfandel (Dry Creek Val-
ley); $32. Very ripe, almost sweet, like
                                                       lots of pepper. Compromised by some unripe
                                                       green mint flavors. —S.H.
                                                                                                             through the finish, and firm tannins. Bold and
                                                                                                             impressive now with rich fare. —S.H.
raspberry, cherry and blackberry purée with a
sprinkle of brown sugar, cinnamon and pepper.
Fortunately there’s a tannic, acidic counterpoint
                                                       82      Peachy Canyon 2007 Old School
                                                               House Zinfandel (Paso Robles);
                                                       $36. Dull and soft, an uninteresting Zinfandel
                                                                                                             88      Te r r y H o a g e 2 0 0 7 T h e 4 6
                                                                                                                     Grenache-Syrah (Paso Robles);
to the richness. Ready now. —S.H.                      where everything seems muted and slightly             $45. Here’s a dark, rich, ripe and full-bodied
                                                       moldy. It’s dry, with suggestions of berries and      southern Rhône-style wine that personifies Paso
                                                                                                             Robles reds. A blend of Grenache and Syrah, it
84       Lake Sonoma 2007 Zinfandel (Dry
         Creek Valley); $19. A good Zinfan-
                                                       spices. —S.H.
                                                                                                             offers gobs of cherry pie filling, anise, bacon and
                                                                                                             peppery spices wrapped into soft tannins. Fin-
del, dry, crisply acidic and rugged in tannins, with
cherry-berry and spice flavors with a hint of
tobacco and leather. But there’s a green, vegetal
                                                       80      Nine x Nine 2006 Old Vine Zinfan-
                                                               del (Lodi); $13. Tastes sweet and alco-
                                                       holic, with vegetal flavors that barely break into
                                                                                                             ishes a bit hot. Drink soon. —S.H.

streak that detracts. Drink now. —S.H.                 berries and cocoa. —S.H.
                                                                                                             87      Rivino 2007 Sangiovese (Mendo-
                                                                                                                     cino); $25. Shows the rugged, rustic

84       Peachy Canyon 2007 Snow Zin-                                                                        nature of most California Sangioveses, but with
         fandel (Paso Robles); $36. Doesn’t            FORTIFIED RED WINES                                   additional notes of interest to raise the score a
seem quite ripe, with a sweet green pea taste to                                                             few points. Dry and crisply acidic, but light and
the blackberries and cocoa. Soft, too, lacking clas-
sic structure. Yet it’s spicy and tannic and will
drink well with easy barbecue. —S.H.
                                                       86      Benson Ferry 2003 Port (Lodi);
                                                               $30. Ultra-sweet, with honeyed flavors
                                                       of blackberries, currants, chocolate, anise and
                                                                                                             elegant in body, it shows flavors of cherries,
                                                                                                             tobacco, sandalwood, black pepper and Asian
                                                                                                             spices. Drink now. —S.H.

               W I N E S          R E V I E W E D             F O R        T H E       F E B R U A RY              2 0 1 0        I S S U E
87      Road i Red NV Red Blend (Men-
        docino County); $10. A really won-
derful wine that’s dry and robust and frankly
                                                      quirky variety in California. The problem isn’t
                                                      ripeness, because this wine brims with cherries
                                                      and chocolate. Its limitation is structure. Badly
                                                                                                             ROSÉ WINES
super-drinkable. The producer, Weibel, doesn’t
tell us what the grapes are, but the wine is spicy
and briary, with blackberry and cola flavors.
                                                      needs firmness, elegance, dryness, acidity, lower
                                                      alcohol. —S.H.                                         87      Six Sigma 2008 Rosé (Lake
                                                                                                                     County); $18. A good rosé, properly
                                                                                                             dry and crisp, and not too fruity. There are dried
Great as a by-the-glass pour. Best Buy. —S.H.
                                                      84       Jalama 2007 Camp 4 Mourvèdre
                                                               (Santa Barbara County); $30. A
                                                                                                             herb and tea notes to the raspberries, and a nice
                                                                                                             spiciness. A little sharp on the finish, but a fine

87      Terry Hoage 2007 5 Blocks (Paso
        Robles); $48. Extremely high alcohol
                                                      tough wine to like. Mourvèdre needs warmth,
                                                      and this wine appears to have lacked enough of it
                                                                                                             effort. —S.H.

shows up as heat throughout, especially in the
finish. That aside, this Rhône red blend has lots
to like. It’s dry and full-bodied and soft, with
                                                      to ripen. Shows an earthy, green herb and mint
                                                      tug to the sweet oak and cherries. Drink now.
                                                                                                             81      Glen Ellen 2008 Zinfandel Rosé
                                                                                                                     (California); $10. Overtly sugary, basi-
                                                                                                             cally a dessert wine, with raspberry, vanilla and
complex flavors of blackberries, currants, choco-                                                            spice flavors. —S.H.
late, leather, anise, black pepper and sandalwood.
Drink now with rich meats and cheeses. —S.H.          84       Terry Hoage 2007 Skins Grenache
                                                               (Paso Robles); $38. A bit one-dimen-
                                                      sional, with jammy red cherry pie filling flavors      CHARDONNAY
87      Valley of the Moon 2007 San-
        giovese (Sonoma County); $16.
Shows the high acidity, cherry flavors, silky tex-
                                                      that taste sweet and glyceriney. Tasty, but cloys
                                                      after a few sips. Ready now. —S.H.
                                                                                                             95     Williams Selyem 2007 Hawk Hill
                                                                                                                    Vineyard Chardonnay (Russian
ture and dryness you expect from this variety. It’s
not an especially complex wine, but a good,
sound one that needs rich oils, cheeses and meats
                                                      84       Fenestra NV True Red Lot 24 (Cal-
                                                               ifornia); $11. A good, everyday red
                                                      wine. It’s a bit rugged and scoury, but dry, with
                                                                                                             River Valley); $50. Very powerful, very strong,
                                                                                                             almost overwhelming in the sheer wealth of fruit
                                                                                                             and oak, but balanced with acidity. This is of
to balance the tartness. —S.H.                        flavors of cherries, herbs, tobacco and pepper.        course a trademark of the vineyard. Winemaker
                                                      Nice with burritos. —S.H.                              Bob Cabral himself calls it “concentrated.” It det-

86      Scheid Vineyards 2007 Grenache
        (Monterey); $21. Here’s a dry, elegant
Grenache for drinking now. It has a silky texture,    83       Castle Rock 2007 Petit Verdot
                                                               (Monterey County); $12. Dry and
                                                                                                             onates on the palate with an almost dessert wine
                                                                                                             quality of lemons, pineapples, honey, vanilla and
                                                                                                             minerals, but it’s totally dry. Will hold for per-
with slightly rough tannins and flavors of cherry     tannic, with flavors of cherries, herbs and            haps six years. —S.H.
pie, anise, mocha, pepper and herbs. —S.H.            tobacco. Not a lot going on, but this is a good

86      Terry Hoage 2007 The Pick (Paso
                                                      price for a sturdy, full-bodied red wine. —S.H.
                                                                                                             94     Bjornstad 2007 Ritchie Vineyard
                                                                                                                    Chardonnay (Russian River Val-
        Robles); $40. Feels a bit one-dimen-
sional now, showing fruit and oak sweetness and
ripe, forward cherry pie and spice flavors. Could
                                                      83       Cinnabar NV Lot 310 Philoso-
                                                               pher’s Stone (Paso Robles); $32. A
                                                      hard, tough, tannic and acidic wine. Not showing
                                                                                                             ley); $40. Dramatically rich and ripe, a bells
                                                                                                             and whistles Chardonnay made in the white Bur-
                                                                                                             gundy style. It’s flamboyant in pineapple, nec-
age, but the simple structure suggests otherwise.     much charm, because the cherry-berry flavors,          tarine, guava and oak- and lees-influenced
Drink this southern Rhône-style blend now.            while dry, are swamped with astringency. Zinfan-       buttered toast, cream and vanilla crème brûlée,
—S.H.                                                 del and Teroldego. —S.H.                               but it’s also very acidic and dry, which provides
                                                                                                             balance and elegance. Fine now and for 3 or 4

85      Mosby 2007 Dolcetto (Santa Bar-
        bara County); $24. Very rich and              83       Jalama 2006 El Capitan (Santa
                                                               Barbara County); $30. Not quite
                                                                                                             years. —S.H.

ripe, a big, somewhat rustic wine that explodes in
the mouth with the flavors of cherries, red cur-
rants, cocoa and sandalwood. The texture is silky,
                                                      ripe, with an herbal, almost vegetal taste that cuts
                                                      across the cherries and red currants. Acidic and
                                                      tannic, too. This hard, austere wine is unlikely to
                                                                                                             94      Pahlmeyer 2007 Chardonnay
                                                                                                                     (Sonoma Coast); $70. A massive
                                                                                                             Chardonnay, rich in fruit and oak. Shows long,
the finish dry. Drink this charming wine with rich    improve. —S.H.                                         decadent flavors of roasted pineapples, nec-
beef dishes. —S.H.                                                                                           tarines, honeysuckle, vanilla, buttered toast and

85      Rivino 2006 Cabernet Franc (Men-
        docino); $25. Good and brisk, if a bit
                                                      83       Mosby 2006 Teroldego (Santa
                                                               Barbara County); $30. Strongly fla-
                                                      vored and rustic in the mouth, with harsh, not
                                                                                                             meringue, dusted with cinnamon spice and
                                                                                                             brown sugar. Structure is fortunately provided by
                                                                                                             crisp acidity and even a framework of wood tan-
one-dimensional, a tannic, crisply dry wine with      quite ripe tannins framing jammy flavors of cher-      nins. Now–2013. —S.H.
flavors of cherries, herb tea, red currants, smoky    ries, coffee and spice. This tough wine needs
sandalwood and spices. The astringency is not
likely to soften with age. —S.H.
                                                      rich, oily meats and cheeses to balance it. —S.H.
                                                                                                             93     Bjornstad 2007 Porter-Bass Vine-
                                                                                                                    yard Chardonnay (Sonoma

84      Calcareous 2007 Reserve Estate
        Mourvèdre (Paso Robles); $42.
                                                      82       Clayhouse 2007 Adobe Red (Cen-
                                                               tral Coast); $15. A rugged wine, with
                                                      harsh tannins and a green, unripe taste to the
                                                                                                             Coast); $40. Chardonnay doesn’t get much
                                                                                                             richer or riper than this. Explodes with grilled
                                                                                                             pineapple, lemondrop, smoky meringue, but-
Shows all the difficulties of succeeding with this    cherry-berry flavors. —S.H.                            tered toast and cinnamon spice flavors, bright-

ened and boosted by crisp, citrusy cool-climate       defines the ripe California style. It’s a little hot,   from this Monterey appellation. The flavors veer
acidity. Racy and clean and complex, it should        but so massive in flavors of pineapples, lemon-         toward lemons, limes and Asian pears. Drink this
develop bottle nuance over the next four years.       drop candy, crème brûlée and sweet buttered             drily elegant Chardonnay now. —S.H.
—S.H.                                                 toast, you can’t help but be impressed. A winery

92      Clos du Bois 2007 Calcaire
                                                      and wine to watch. —S.H.
                                                                                                              88       Kunde 2007 Chardonnay
                                                                                                                       (Sonoma Valley); $17. The wine
        Chardonnay (Russian River Val-
ley); $25. Made in a leaner, crisper style than
many Chards nowadays, this Chardonnay trades
                                                      90       Baileyana 2007 Grand Firepeak
                                                               Cuvée Chardonnay (Edna Valley);
                                                      $30. This is a dry Chardonnay marked by pro-
                                                                                                              brims with pineapples, Asian pears and papayas,
                                                                                                              dusted with every spice in your pantry. It’s bone
                                                                                                              dry, with a crisp bite of acidity. A touch of oak
power for elegance. It’s almost like a Sauvignon      nounced acids and steely minerals. The underly-         and lees gives it a rich edge of cream and but-
Blanc, with citrusy acids framing flavors of limes,   ing flavors are of exotic pineapples and guavas,        tered toast. —S.H.
pineapples and green apples that have a miner-        while new oak and lees aging add richer notes of
ally edge. New French oak adds just the right
touch of richness. A commendable restaurant
wine. —S.H.
                                                      buttered toast and sour cream. Drink now.
                                                      —S.H.                                                   88       Te r r a S a v i a 2 0 0 8 R e s e r v e
                                                                                                                       Chardonnay (Mendocino); $14.
                                                                                                              Very ripe and bright in acidity, with clean, vibrant

92     Dutton Estate 2008 Dutton Palms
       Vineyard Chardonnay (Russian
                                                      90      Bjornstad 2007 Barbed Oak Vine-
                                                              yard Chardonnay (Bennett Val-
                                                      ley); $30. Lots of oaky richness in this dry, crisp
                                                                                                              flavors of Meyer lemon custard, Key lime pie,
                                                                                                              vanilla sorbet and crème brûlée flavors. Could
                                                                                                              be more elegant, but it’s certainly not shy. —S.H.
River Valley); $42. Super-rich in vanilla and         Chardonnay. It has high acidity and a dusty min-
smoky caramelized oak, and ripe in pineapples,
peaches and apples, this is a powerful Chardon-
nay. It’s dramatic now in sheer strength, but not
                                                      erality, but also a thick coat of sweet, butter-
                                                      scotchy oak and powerful flavors of lemons,
                                                      limes, pineapples and exotic tropical fruits. Drink
                                                                                                              87       No 2008 Chardonnay (Monterey
                                                                                                                       County); $15. The word No refers to
                                                                                                              no oak and no malolactic fermentation. The wine
an ager, so drink now. —S.H.                          over the next four years. —S.H.                         is sharp in acids and totally dry, but with super-
                                                                                                              ripe flavors of pineapple, pear, peach and green

92     Dutton Estate 2008 Dutton Ranch
       Kyndall’s Reserve Chardonnay
(Russian River Valley); $36. A very ripe, oaky
                                                      90     Marimar Estate 2007 Don Miguel
                                                             Vineyard La Masia Chardonnay
                                                      (Russian River Valley); $37. There’s a flow-
                                                                                                              apple marmalade. Very clean and mouth-cleans-
                                                                                                              ing. Editors’ Choice. —S.H.

Chardonnay made in a popular style to appeal to
fans of richness. Swamps the palate with pineap-
ple tart, pear marmalade, crème brûlée, vanilla
                                                      ery note to this Chardonnay, which is dry, crisply
                                                      acidic and strong in flavor in its youth. Brims with
                                                      pineapple tart filling, Key lime pie, orange zest,
                                                                                                              87       Patianna Organic Vineyards 2008
                                                                                                                       Chardonnay (Mendocino County);
                                                                                                              $18. A rich, fruity Chardonnay with lots of flavor
and cinnamon spice flavors, balanced with crisp       honeysuckle, daffodil and smoky, vanilla-oak fla-       and bright, mouthwatering acidity. Made sur lie,
acidity. —S.H.                                        vors, with a creamy, yeasty richness. Would ben-        but with no oak, it has yeasty notes accenting
                                                      efit from greater restraint and subtlety, which         pineapples, Asian pears, green apples, honey-

92      Sbragia 2007 Gamble Ranch Vine-
        yard Chardonnay (Napa Valley);
                                                      may come after 3–5 years in the bottle. If you
                                                      drink it now, give it a good decanting. —S.H.
                                                                                                              suckle, cinnamon and vanilla. —S.H.

$40. This massive, explosive Chardonnay is
marked by extremely ripe pineapple, pear and
peach fruit, accented with lots of sweet,             90       MooBuzz 2007 Chardonnay (Cali-
                                                               fornia); $13. Delivers lots of bang for
                                                                                                              87      Rodney Strong 2007 Reserve
                                                                                                                      Chardonnay (Russian River Val-
                                                                                                              ley); $40. New oak dominates the aromas and
caramelized oak. It’s a potent, high alcohol wine     the buck. Shows real Chardonnay character, with         flavors, with buttered toast, buttered popcorn
whose buttered popcorn flavors are complex by         rich vanilla cream-infused flavors of ripe pineap-      and caramel overwhelming the underlying fruit,
crisp acidity and minerals. A bit obvious, but a      ples, pears, sautéed bananas, buttered toast and        which suggests pineapples and green apples.
fine example of its style. —S.H.                      honey. At this price, it’s a fantastic buy that can     Although the wine is dry and acidity is fine, the
                                                      stand next to Chards costing far more. Best Buy.        fruit lacks the richness to support the oak. —S.H.

92     Williams Selyem 2007 Drake
       Estate Vineyard Chardonnay

                                                                                                              86       Frog’s Leap 2008 Chardonnay
(Russian River Valley); $60. Another mas-
sive, dramatically rich Chardonnay from Williams
Selyem. Purists will find it ponderous, but there’s
                                                      88       B j o r n s t a d 2 0 0 7 C h a rd o n n a y
                                                               (Sonoma County); $25. Strong in
                                                      flavor, showing the ripeness and crispness of all
                                                                                                                       (Napa Valley); $26. There’s an herbal
                                                                                                              undertow to this wine, with suggestions of dill
                                                                                                              and sage to the pineapples, green apples and but-
no denying the wealth of pineapple tart, orange       Bjornstad’s Chardonnays, with lemondrop, lime           tercream. It’s also soft, lacking the clean vibrancy
custard, crème brûlée, butterscotch and vanilla       tart, vanilla and buttered toast flavors. Very good,    that a rich Chardonnay requires. Drink now.
flavors. Lobster comes to mind as a natural part-     but doesn’t quite have the elegance and refine-         —S.H.
ner. —S.H.                                            ment of the vineyard bottlings. —S.H.

91      Knights Bridge 2007 West Block
        Chardonnay (Knights Valley); $65.             88       J. Lohr 2007 Arroyo Vista
                                                               Chardonnay (Arroyo Seco); $25.
                                                                                                              86       Gainey 2007 Limited Selection
                                                                                                                       Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills); $38.
                                                                                                              Tastes too oaky, with overwhelming smoky
With high alcohol and 100% new French oak,            Very rich, oaky and acidic, showing the crisp,          caramel, vanilla extract and buttered toast notes
this wine could easily be clumsy, but it isn’t. It    minerally profile that usually marks white wines        that swamp the underlying pineapples and

              W I N E S           R E V I E W E D             F O R        T H E       F E B R U A RY               2 0 1 0        I S S U E
peaches. In this case, you’re better off with
Gainey’s regular 2007 Chard, which costs a lot
less. —S.H.
                                                        84      La Crema 2008 Chardonnay
                                                                (Sonoma Coast); $20. Dry, stream-             SAUVIGNON BLANC
                                                        lined and acidic, with suggestions of peaches,

86       J. Lohr 2006 October Night Vine-
         yard Chardonnay (Arroyo Seco);
                                                        apples, vanilla, cream and cinnamon. A decent
                                                        everyday Chardonnay with a touch of smoky oak.        91    Patianna Organic Vineyards 2008
                                                                                                                    Sauvignon Blanc (Mendocino
                                                                                                              County); $18. Patianna has a very good track
$25. Made in the California style, with very ripe                                                             record with this unoaked variety, which is grown
pineapple and apple fruit, elaborated by French                                                               in the warmer Hopland area of inland Mendo-
oak barrels, malolactic fermentation and sur lie
aging. The result will appeal to many, even if it’s a
                                                        84      Montevina 2008 Chardonnay
                                                                (California); $11. Dry and tart, with
                                                                                                              cino. The ’08 is very dry, very crisp in citrusy
                                                                                                              acids, and complex, with New Zealand-style fla-
                                                        flavors of pineapples, apples, vanilla and toast. A
bit obvious and direct. —S.H.                                                                                 vors of gooseberries, white currants, minerals and
                                                        solid Chardonnay at an everyday price. —S.H.
                                                                                                              geraniums, in addition to riper flavors of pineap-
                                                                                                              ples, limes and sweet Meyer lemons. Editors’
86       Kendall-Jackson 2008 Vintner’s
         Reserve Chardonnay (California);
$15. Oaky, fat and slightly sweet, with creamy
                                                        84      Nobos 2007 Nobos Chardonnay
                                                                (Monterey); $20. Way too oaky, dom-
                                                                                                              Choice. —S.H.

                                                        inated by vanilla, buttered toast and creme
flavors of pineapples, buttered popcorn and
vanilla. A good approximation of a Burgundian-
                                                        brulée flavors that feel heavy and imposed on the
                                                        modest pineapple and ripe lime fruit. Made in
                                                                                                              91      Tangent 2008 Paragon Vineyard
                                                                                                                      Sauvignon Blanc (Edna Valley);
                                                                                                              $13. With no oak, this polished wine shows only
style California Chardonnay at a fair price.
—S.H.                                                   the popular style. —S.H.                              pure varietal flavors of pineapples, lemons, limes,
                                                                                                              green apples and vanilla. It’s pure and clean, with

86       Muirwood 2008 Chardonnay
         (Arroyo Seco); $14. Crisply acidic             84      William Hill Estate 2007 Chardon-
                                                                nay (Napa Valley); $25. Smoky,
                                                                                                              brilliant, mouthwatering acidity, and totally dry.
                                                                                                              One of the best unoaked white wines in Califor-
                                                                                                              nia, it’s easy to find, with 8,700 cases produced.
and very dry, with modest pineapple, lime and           sweet oak and vanilla dominate this wine, which
                                                        also has flavors of mangoes, peaches and pears.       Editors’ Choice. —S.H.
mineral flavors and a touch of leesy sourness
wrapped into a cream mouthfeel. Drink now.              The oak is simply too strong for the underlying
—S.H.                                                   fruit. —S.H.
                                                                                                              90    Six Sigma 2008 Michael’s Vine-
                                                                                                                    y a rd S a u v i g n o n B l a n c ( L a k e
                                                                                                              County); $28. A fine example of Lake County
86       Round Hill 2008 Oak Free
         Chardonnay (California); $12.
Brisk and sprightly, with keen acidity that makes
                                                        83      Kokomo 2007 Peters Vineyard
                                                                Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast); $28.
                                                                                                              Sauvignon Blanc, offering crispness, brightness
                                                                                                              and integrity. Shows intense flavors of citrus
                                                        An awkward Chardonnay that’s too strong and
                                                                                                              fruits, lemongrass and herbs, and is totally dry,
the mouth water. The basic flavors suggest ripe         exaggerated for balance. Shows New World fla-         with a mineral-laden spiciness in the finish.
Meyer lemons, pineapples, Key lime pie, spicy           vors of superripe pineapple jam and vanilla cus-      —S.H.
Asian pear, vanilla and honeysuckle. A good, rich       tard, with a honey-sweet finish. —S.H.
crowd pleaser at an affordable price. —S.H.

                                                        82      Firestone 2008 Discoveries                    89      Ehret 2008 Sauvignon Blanc
                                                                                                                      (Knights Valley); $16. This is a dry,

86       Wente 2008 Riva Ranch Chardon-
         nay (Arroyo Seco); $20. Oaky and
ripe, this Chardonnay shows barrel-inspired
                                                                Chardonnay (California); $10.
                                                        Bizarre and exaggerated flavors of buttered pop-
                                                                                                              crisp and very elegant Sauvignon Blanc. It shows
                                                                                                              savory flavors of lemons, limes and lemongrass,
                                                        corn and caramel dominate this wine, which oth-       girded with a fine, structural minerality. Super-
vanilla and buttered toast flavors that enrich the                                                            clean, it’s a terrific partner to grilled shrimp,
                                                        erwise has crisp flavors of pineapples. At this
pineapples and apples. A touch of Gewurz-                                                                     bruschetta with veggies and garlic, a ham sand-
                                                        price, it will appeal to lots of people. —S.H.
traminer lifts it into floral and lychee territory.                                                           wich, broiled chicken with rice, you name it. Edi-
—S.H.                                                                                                         tors’ Choice. —S.H.
                                                        81      Fenestra 2008 Chardonnay (Liver-
                                                                more Valley); $16. Raw and simple,
85       Rivino 2008 Chardonnay (Mendo-
         cino); $22. Tasty and rich, this unoaked
Chardonnay is very ripe and crisp, with vanilla
                                                        with lemon and lime flavors that taste unnatu-
                                                        rally oaked in sweet smoky vanilla. —S.H.
                                                                                                              88      Kendall-Jackson 2008 Vintner’s
                                                                                                                      Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Califor-
                                                                                                              nia); $12. Clean and crisp, with classic flavors of
and honey touches to the candied lemondrop,                                                                   lemons, limes and gooseberries, softened with a
pineapple and honeysuckle flavors. Drink now.
—S.H.                                                   81      Lockwood 2008 Chardonnay
                                                                (Monterey); $12. Dry, acidic and
                                                                                                              touch of buttercream and vanilla. The finish is
                                                                                                              fine and has a touch of sweet honeysuckle. A
                                                        watery, with a suggestion of lemon and lime fruit.    good value. Best Buy. —S.H.
84      Castle Rock 2008 Reserve
        Chardonnay (Russian River Val-
ley); $18. Heavy and honey-sweet, with ultra-
ripe flavors of pineapple jam, vanilla, caramel and     81      Round Hill 2008 Chardonnay (Cal-
                                                                ifornia); $8. Sweet in fruit and oak,
                                                                                                              87      Clif Family 2008 Rte. Blanc Sauvi-
                                                                                                                      gnon Blanc (Napa Valley); $18.
                                                                                                              There’s no oak on this wine, but it sure doesn’t
buttered toast. Crisp acidity provides needed bal-      with simple, candied flavors of pineapple jam and     lack in richness. Offers a blast of lemons, limes,
ance. —S.H.                                             vanilla custard. —S.H.                                pineapples, honeysuckle flowers, vanilla and

smoky butter, brightened with crisp acidity. The
grapes come from Yountville. —S.H.                      84       Joseph Phelps 2008 Sauvignon
                                                                 Blanc (St. Helena); $32. A bit on the
                                                        sweet, simple side, with flavors like a supermar-
                                                                                                                 vanilla. There’s lots of good acidity to make it
                                                                                                                 clean. Could be more concentrated, though.

87       Dry Creek Vineyard 2008 Fumé
         Blanc (Sonoma County); $12.
Great price for this unoaked white wine. It’s
                                                        ket carton of pineapple, apple, pear and mango
                                                        juices. Oak adds even sweeter notes of vanilla.
                                                        Lacks complexity, especially at this price. —S.H.        VIOGNIER
smooth and crisp in mouthwatering acidity, with
ripe flavors of citrus fruits, lemongrass, minerals
and vanilla that finish with a honeyed richness.        84       No 2008 Sauvignon Blanc (Lake
                                                                 County); $12. A crisply acidic Sauvi-
                                                        gnon Blanc, with savory flavors of citrus fruits,
                                                                                                                 92       Tangent 2008 Paragon Vineyard
                                                                                                                          Viognier (Edna Valley); $17. Even
                                                                                                                 though this wine is unoaked and inexpensive, it’s
Easy to find, with production of 21,696 cases.
                                                        lemongrass and vanilla that finish with a honeyed        one of the best Viogniers out there. It shows the
Best Buy. —S.H.
                                                        sweetness. There’s more than a touch of that             lean, drily crisp profile of Edna Valley whites,
                                                        gooseberry, feline spray that is a little cloying.       with wildly exotic flavors of citrus, tropical fruits,
87     Gainey 2008 Limited Selection
       Sauvignon Blanc (Santa Ynez Val-
ley); $18. Although the winery describes the
                                                        —S.H.                                                    wildflowers, peaches, pears, minerals and vanilla.
                                                                                                                 At this price, it’s a giveaway. Editors’ Choice.

oak on this wine as neutral, it seems to stick out.
The flavors are dominated by buttered toast and
                                                        84       Six Sigma 2008 Rooster Vineyard
                                                                 Sauvignon Blanc (Lake County);

vanilla honey. Then the lemons and limes kick
in, with their undergirding of minerals. Gainey
                                                        $20. This is a Marlborough-style Sauvignon
                                                        Blanc. It’s bone dry and crisply acidic, with a
                                                        firm, minerally finish. The flavors are of limes,
                                                                                                                 87       Rivino 2008 Viognier (Mendo-
                                                                                                                          cino); $24. There’s no oak on this Viog-
                                                                                                                 nier, so the fruit stands out, and what fruit it is.
has good grapes, but needs to develop a better          lemons and gooseberries, with a potent sugges-           Superripe in pineapples, honey, mangoes, guavas
delineation between their regular and Limited           tion of feline intensity. —S.H.                          and Asian pears, with crisp, citrusy acidity that
Selection Sauvignon Blanc. —S.H.                                                                                 makes it vibrant and clean, if a little direct. Drink
                                                                                                                 now. —S.H.
86       Forth 2008 Sanford Ranch Sauvi-
         gnon Blanc (Mendocino County);
$18. A nice, versatile white wine at the table. It’s
crisp in acidity and highly aromatic, with flavors      91       Tangent 2008 Paragon Vineyard
                                                                 Riesling (Edna Valley); $20. Bril-
                                                                                                                 85       Halter Ranch 2008 Halter Ranch
                                                                                                                          Vineyard Viognier (Paso Robles);
                                                                                                                 $24. Made in a very fruity style, with upfront,
of citrus, geranium, green melon, honeysuckle,          liant. That crisp, tart Edna Valley acidity provides     sweet pineapple, peach, green apple and honey-
vanilla and cinnamon. Finishes basically dry,           the perfect counterpoint to the orange, peach,           suckle flavors. Acidity provides some cleansing
although that honey makes it almost sweet.              apricot, honeysuckle flower and mineral flavors.         balance to the flamboyant richness. —S.H.
—S.H.                                                   This unoaked Riesling is a joy to drink. The wine-
                                                        maker suggests Mexican dishes, but it’s super-
                                                        versatile. Editors’ Choice. —S.H.                        85       Lucas & Lewellen 2008 Viognier
                                                                                                                          (Santa Barbara County); $19.
85     Flora Springs 2008 Soliloquy
       Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc                                                                                  Fruity and very acidic, with jammy flavors of
(Oakville); $20. Good structure on this 100%
Sauvignon Blanc, with crisp acidity and even            88       Castle Rock 2008 Riesling (Mon-
                                                                 terey County); $12. Shows the bril-
                                                        liantly clean, racy acidity of Monterey that
                                                                                                                 limes and tart green apples. It’s a dry, stream-
                                                                                                                 lined wine with some resemblance to Pinot Gri-
                                                                                                                 gio. —S.H.
some nice, dusty tannins. But the pineapple,
                                                        provides backbone and firmness to the citrus,
Meyer lemon and lime flavors are too sugary
sweet for a dry table wine. —S.H.
                                                        peach, wildflower and mineral flavors. With a
                                                        hint of diesel, it’s a lovely California Riesling at a
                                                        great price. Best Buy. —S.H.
                                                                                                                 84    Lucas & Lewellen 2008 Late Har-
                                                                                                                       vest Viognier (Santa Barbara
                                                                                                                 County); $24. Very sweet, with honey and apri-
85       Wrath 2008 San Saba Vineyard
         Sauvignon Blanc (Monterey); $23.
                                                                                                                 cot jam flavors balanced with keen acidity. Yet

This is an oak-free wine. It’s bone dry and very
crisp in acidity, which cleanses the palate and
                                                        86    Kendall-Jackson 2008 Vintner’s
                                                              R e s e r v e R i e s l i n g ( M o n t e re y
                                                        County); $12. Not really dry, this Riesling has
                                                                                                                 sweetness is almost all you get. The underlying
                                                                                                                 flavors are thin. —S.H.

prepares it for food. The flavors are of citrus
                                                        an official residual sugar reading of 2.11. It’s
fruits and gooseberries. There’s a strong hint of       blended with Gewürztraminer, Muscat Canelli,             OTHER WHITE WINES
that feline taste that turns some people off.           Chardonnay and Viognier. The end result is fruity
—S.H.                                                   and spicy, with flavors of honey-splashed apples,
                                                        citrus fruits and peaches. High acidity provides         96      Williams Selyem 2007 Late Har-
                                                                                                                         vest Muscat (Russian River Val-

84       Clayhouse 2008 Sauvignon Blanc
         (Paso Robles); $14. A bit on the
sweet side, with flavors of lemonade, pineapple
                                                        much-needed crispness. —S.H.                             ley); $40. The winery’s philosophy is, if you’re
                                                                                                                 going to make a dessert wine, why not make it

juice and vanilla. But it’s balanced with crisp acid-
ity. Fine with ham, fruit salad, Chinese food.
                                                        86    Scheid Vineyards 2007 Viento
                                                              Vineyard Late Harvest Riesling
                                                        (Monterey); $21. Very sweet, with flavors of
                                                                                                                 fabulously sweet instead of boringly off-dry?
                                                                                                                 With 17.5% residual sugar, this indeed hits the
                                                                                                                 limit of the sweetness scale. Yet it’s superbly bal-
—S.H.                                                   honey, apricot jam, orange essence and smoky             anced with acidity, giving a refreshing balance to

               W I N E S           R E V I E W E D              F O R        T H E        F E B R U A RY               2 0 1 0         I S S U E
the intense apricot jam, lemon drop, candied gin-      peppery Asian spices of every kind. A great apéri-    plum, smoke, pepper and cherry. On the palate,
ger, pineapple crème brûlée and vanilla custard        tif wine or with North African and Indian fare.       it’s full-bodied with flavors of cherry, currant,
flavors. A tremendous success for a California         —S.H.                                                 plum and clove. A brooding, unfolding wine per-
dessert wine. Editors’ Choice. —S.H.                                                                         fect for a fireside sip. —S.K.

91       Tangent 2008 Paragon Vineyard
         Albariño (Edna Valley); $17. A
                                                       84      Calcareous 2008 Marsanne (Paso
                                                               Robles); $25. Almost as sweet as a
                                                       dessert wine, with vanilla-scented flavors of trop-   87      Osprey’s Dominion 2005 Flight
                                                                                                                     Meritage (North Fork of Long
beautiful white wine notable for its extreme dry-      ical fruits, honeysuckle flowers and crème brûlée.    Island); $35. An enticing Meritage, with aro-
ness and fresh crispness of acidity. Really            Would benefit from greater acidity to balance all     mas of violet, anise, crushed herbs and red berry
cleanses the mouth, letting it appreciate the          that richness, but will appeal to people who like     fruit followed by deep, savory spice flavors of cin-
unoaked flavors of tangerine, melon, peach and         an off-dry white wine. —S.H.                          namon, pepper and cedar. Balanced but full of
minerals. A brilliant wine to drink with almost                                                              character, this wine will pair well with meats and
anything, but especially shellfish. Editors’
Choice. —S.H.                                          84      Fenestra 2008 Semonnay Semil-
                                                               lon-Chardonnay (Livermore Val-
                                                                                                             poultry dishes. —S.K.

89       Fenestra 2008 Silvaspoons Vine-
         yards Torrontés (Lodi); $15. A really
                                                       ley); $16. A little on the simple, sweetly fruity
                                                       side, with pie-filling pineapple and apple flavors
                                                       enriched with smoky vanilla, caramel and but-
                                                                                                             87       Palmer NV Select Reserve (North
                                                                                                                      Fork of Long Island); $25. This wine
                                                                                                             starts with an attractive blend of cinnamon, clove
nice, dry wine that stimulates the mouth with          tered popcorn. Nice and crisp in acidity, but         and cigarbox aromas, followed by flavors of cedar,
crisp acidity, then offers waves of interesting,       tastes a bit too sweet for a dry table wine. —S.H.    black cherry, cinnamon and pepper on the palate.
complex flavors. Lemons, limes and pineapples                                                                Ageable and balanced, if a little fiery. —S.K.
are accented with richer notes of papayas and
honeysuckle, finishing in a swirl of spice. Good as
an exotic alternative to Sauvignon Blanc. Edi-
                                                       84      Five Rivers 2008 Pinot Grigio (Cal-
                                                               ifornia); $11. Made sugary-sweet, with
                                                       lemonade and pineapple juice flavors that are         86    Bellangelo 2006 Porto Elana
                                                                                                                   Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot (Fin-
tors’ Choice. —S.H.                                    offset with crisp, coastal acidity. The grapes seem   ger Lakes); $24. Cigarbox, pepper and red
                                                       to have come from Monterey County. —S.H.              cherry on the nose leads into vanilla, smoke and

88       Fenestra 2008 Sémillon (Liver-
         more Valley); $13. Quite a nice white
wine for its acidity and sophistication, which is a    84      Little Black Dress 2008 Pinot Gri-
                                                               gio (California); $13. Made in the
                                                                                                             cedar on the palate. Rich but not heavy, it will
                                                                                                             pair well with cured meats, cheeses, heartier
                                                                                                             dishes. —S.K.
function of the crispness. Shows clean, lively fla-    style that has made Pinot Grigio so popular. It’s
vors of citrus fruits, peaches, wildflowers and
vanilla, with umami notes of cashew nut and foie
gras. Dry, but feels honey-rich on the finish. Best
                                                       fruity and crisp in acidity and finishes slightly
                                                       sweet. Tastes like a blend of orange, pineapple
                                                       and mango fruit juice. —S.H.
                                                                                                             86       Miles 2002 Milestone Cabernet
                                                                                                                      Franc-Merlot (Seneca Lake); $30.
                                                                                                             Appealing aromas of cherry, mocha and cinna-
Buy. —S.H.                                                                                                   mon lead on this balanced blend from Miles. On

87       Eberle 2008 Muscat Canelli (Paso
         Robles); $14. This is a dependably
                                                       82      Jalama 2007 Giallo (Santa Bar-
                                                               bara County); $20. Made from Pinot
                                                       Gris, this dry white wine tastes too oaky in but-
                                                                                                             the palate, red berry and spice play against each
                                                                                                             other in an elegant dance. Friendly but poised.
good, satisfyingly sweet wine from Eberle. The         tered toast, buttered popcorn and caramel. It fin-
2008 vintage, with 5.5% residual sugar, is overtly
sweet, with good acidity framing savory flavors
of tangerine crème brûlée, apricot jam, ripe pear
                                                       ishes with raw acidity. —S.H.
                                                                                                             86       Waters Crest 2006 Campania
                                                                                                                      Rosso (North Fork of Long Island);
                                                                                                             $30. This red has a fruity, jammy nose with a
and vanilla custard. Good price for a full bottle of   NEW YORK                                              peppery kick. On the palate it’s a mixture of
a dessert wine this delicious. —S.H.                                                                         spicebox, cherry, coffee and pepper. Approach-
                                                       CABERNETS & BLENDS                                    able and well made—a good everyday drinking

87    Halter Ranch 2008 Halter Ranch
      Côtes de Paso Blanc Marsanne-
                                                       87      Bellangelo 2006 Cabernet Sauvi-
                                                                                                             red. —S.K.

Roussanne (Paso Robles); $24. Fruity, rich
and honey-sweet, with decadent flavors of peach
and pear jam, apricot, pineapple, green apple
                                                               gnon (Finger Lakes); $24. This rich
                                                       Cabernet starts with aromas of vanilla, nutty oak
                                                       and mocha, unfolding into flavors of ripe red
                                                                                                             85       B ro t h e r h o o d 2 0 0 6 C a b e r n e t
                                                                                                                      Sauvignon (New York); $15.
                                                                                                             Cherry, black currant and cinnamon lead on the
and vanilla, enhanced with sweet, smoky oak.           berries, cedar, pepper and toast. Good depth of       nose of Brotherhood’s enticing Cabernet. On the
There’s a good spine of acidity for balance.           flavor and a poised fruit and acid balance give       palate, a touch of smoke mingles with red
—S.H.                                                  the wine class. Pair with rich meat dishes or ripe    berries, spice and pepper. A clean, food-friendly
                                                       cheeses. —S.K.                                        style red with a lingering spicy finish —S.K.

87       Thomas Fogarty 2008 Gewürz-
         traminer (Monterey); $18. A classic
California Gewürz, dry and coastal crisp in acid-      87      B o u k é 2 0 0 7 R e d Ta b l e W i n e
                                                               (North Fork of Long Island); $21.             85       Freedom Run 2006 Meritage
                                                                                                                      (New York); $28. Black and red
ity. Assaults the palate with citrus, papaya and       This Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and         cherry, pepper and fennel on the nose and palate
flowery geranium flavors that are washed with          Syrah blend starts with a sultry wave of juicy        recommend this rich Meritage. A full mouthfeel

is punctuated by lively spice. A touch rustic but
paired with meats and heartier dishes, a good go-
to red. —S.K.
                                                       84      Macari NV Sette 7 Red Table Wine
                                                               (North Fork of Long Island); $17.
                                                       Cherry, anise and vanilla on the nose lead into
                                                                                                             83      Hudson-Chatham 2007 Empire
                                                                                                                     (Hudson River Region); $22.
                                                                                                             Cherry, blueberry, tea…this combination of Cab
                                                       cherry and spice on the palate. The wine is lively    Franc from the Finger Lakes, Merlot from Long

85     Keuka Spring 2007 Reserve
       Caber net Sauvignon (Finger
Lakes); $25. Blueberry, blackberry and cherry
                                                       and cheerful, with a touch of brooding allure on
                                                       the finish. —S.K.
                                                                                                             Island, and Baco Noir from the Hudson Valley is
                                                                                                             aged 24 months in oak and offers ample spice
                                                                                                             because of it. The black fruit/red berry is bal-
on the nose are followed by integrated but
sophisticated flavors of cherry, dark fruit and
spice. A friendly, elegant wine with some aging
                                                       84      Martha Clara 2005 6025 (North
                                                               Fork of Long Island); $40. Mush-
                                                                                                             anced by a minerality and a clean finish. —S.K.

potential; pair with venison, beef. —S.K.
                                                       room, tobacco, dried spice….this is a wine with
                                                       unique character. It’s distinctive but mellow on      83      Niagara Landing NV Old Mill Red
                                                                                                                     (New York); $11. This friendly red
                                                                                                             blend, made with Cabernet, Steuben and Ives,
                                                       the palate, with red berry, pepper, cigarbox and

85       Knapp 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
         (Finger Lakes); $14. Plum, black
cherry and pepper gives this hearty red a lush
                                                       smoke flavors. Pair with grilled meats, duck.
                                                                                                             starts with aromas of allspice, cherry and pepper
                                                                                                             followed by flavors of fresh, tart red berry and
                                                                                                             spice. It’s a fun and easy-drinking red that will
start. Round, full flavors of black fruit and spice                                                          pair well with myriad dishes, from pasta to grilled
on the palate are balanced by moderate tannins
and good acidity. Pair with game, hearty
                                                       84     Osprey’s Dominion 2005 Caber-
                                                              net Sauvignon (North Fork of
                                                       Long Island); $20. Red currant, sweet cedar
                                                                                                             steaks. —S.K.

stews,and grilled steaks. —S.K.
                                                       and warming spices on the nose lead into like fla-
                                                       vors on the palate. Slightly tart with a smoky
                                                                                                             OTHER RED WINES
85       Martha Clara 2005 Five-O (North
         Fork of Long Island); $20. Red                edge, the wine is overall a good everyday sip. Pair
berry, cherry, vanilla and cedar on aromas are fol-
lowed by subtle waves of fruit and spice in this
                                                       with pastas, hamburgers, lamb. —S.K.
                                                                                                             84     Christiano Family NV Mirage Mer-
                                                                                                                    lot-Syrah (North Fork of Long
                                                                                                             Island); $20. This Syrah/Merlot blend offers
fresh red. It has feisty spice underneath but the
pretty flavors of cherry and vanilla soften it.        84      Shaw 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
                                                               (Finger Lakes); $35. This wine has a
                                                       nose of black fruits, mocha and toffee, and on
                                                                                                             aromas of plum, spice and cedar followed by fla-
                                                                                                             vors of black fruit, tobacco and pepper. The wine
                                                                                                             has an overall clean, crisp quality that recom-
                                                       the palate, warming spices, tart cherry and a
                                                                                                             mends it to food pairing; consider grilled ribs,

84       Billsboro 2007 Cabernet Sauvi-
         gnon (Finger Lakes); $20. Black
fruit and cherry leads on this balanced red. Fla-
                                                       touch of sweetness. The flavors aren’t overly
                                                       complex, but the wine is appealing, and the finish
                                                       lingering. —S.K.
                                                                                                             duck or aged cheeses. —S.K.

vors of black pepper, black currant and plum on
the palate are round but not overbearing. A good
                                                                                                             82     Martha Clara NV Red Sweetie
                                                                                                                    Glaciers End Red Table Wine
daily red to pair with pastas, stews and meat
dishes. —S.K.
                                                       84      Wölffer 2006 Fatalis Fatum (The
                                                               Hamptons, Long Island); $40.
                                                       Appealing aromas of tobacco, smoke and spice
                                                                                                             (North Fork of Long Island); $13. As the
                                                                                                             name suggests, this is a sweet red with a touch of
                                                                                                             candied appeal. The nose offers red berries and a
                                                       herald the masculine edge to this red blend. Fla-
                                                                                                             touch of smoke and spice; the palate is fruity with
84      Brooklyn Oenology 2006 Social
        Club Red (North Fork of Long
Island); $15. Warming spice, cherry and plum
                                                       vors of chocolate, smoke, spicebox and pepper
                                                       are carried by a bright, red fruit wave. A touch
                                                                                                             an underpinning of cedar and pepper. Fun but
                                                                                                             simple. —S.K.
                                                       tart on the finish but overall well rounded.
on the nose and palate give this wine a food-
friendly edge. A touch of smoke and mocha adds
appeal. Pair with grilled meats, pastas. —S.K.                                                               ROSÉ WINES
                                                       83     Bellangelo 2006 Francesca Rossa
                                                              Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon (Fin-
84       Hudson-Chatham 2007 Cabernet
         Franc (New York); $17. This bright,
                                                       ger Lakes); $13. This red starts with a nose of
                                                       mint, spice and clove, leading into subtle flavors
                                                                                                             87      Wölffer 2008 Grandioso Rosé
                                                                                                                     Table Wine (Long Island); $29.
                                                                                                             Crisp and classic, with a nose and flavors of
lively red starts with refreshing aromas of cherry
                                                       of cherry, menthol and spice. Approachable and        lemon, raspberry and spice. Clean and delicate,
and plum, and on the palate, waves of cedar, red
berries and pepper. Though not terribly complex,       easy drinking, with a rustic, appealing edge.         the wine will show well next to grilled seafood,
the wine has an appealing, sprightly character         —S.K.                                                 salads and lighter fare. —S.K.
and will pair well with poultry and game. —S.K.

                                                       83      Brooklyn Oenology 2006 Motley
                                                               Cru (North Fork of Long Island);              86      Bellangelo 2008 Sophia Dry Rosé
                                                                                                                     Pinot Noir (Finger Lakes); $13. A
84       Lakewood 2007 Crystallus (Finger
         Lakes); $17. This refreshing red offers
black cherry and pepper on the nose and on the
                                                       $18. Pepper, herbs and black fruit on the nose
                                                       are followed by simple flavors of spice, violet and
                                                                                                             sensual aroma of musky spice and strawberry
                                                                                                             starts this wine out well. On the palate, the wine
palate, a clean array of red berry, spice and cedar.   berry on the palate. Spicy with a spin of brooding    offers an interesting mix of delicate, dancing fla-
Its dry style will pair well with food—think poul-     fruit. Not terribly poised but an interesting sip.    vors and rounder, bigger spice. Unique, with
try or duck. —S.K.                                     —S.K.                                                 some heft. —S.K.

               W I N E S          R E V I E W E D             F O R        T H E       F E B R U A RY              2 0 1 0        I S S U E
85       Glenora 2008 Rosé Pinot Noir
         (Finger Lakes); $14. Fresh and fruity
on the nose and palate, the wine offers citrus and
                                                        pair well with seafood, chicken and spicy cuisine.
                                                        —S.K.                                                  GEWÜRZTRAMINER
strawberry in a slightly sweet and friendly pack-
age. A great accompaniment to grilled chicken           85    Peconic Bay Winery 2007 La Bar-
                                                              rique Chardonnay (North Fork of                  88      Bloomer Creek 2007 Gewürz-
                                                                                                                       traminer (Finger Lakes); $18. Pear,
                                                                                                               apple, citrus and flowers on the nose…a unique
salad, light cheeses or fruit. —S.K.                    Long Island); $22. The wine’s barrel aging
                                                                                                               beginning. The wine offers soft and elegant fla-
                                                        comes through immediately, with its toasted nut
                                                                                                               vors of white fruit and spice with good acidity to
84       Red Tail Ridge 2008 Dry Rosé (Fin-
         ger Lakes); $17. A subtle, pretty nose
of vanilla, cherry and strawberry is backed up by
                                                        and vanilla nose. On the palate, the wine is bal-
                                                        anced—with its citrus fruit, spice and touch of
                                                                                                               keep its elegant character going. A lingering,
                                                                                                               fresh finish. Pair with poultry or Asian cuisine.
                                                        flowers. Elegant and easy to love—a good use of        —S.K.
bigger flavors of sour cherry, spice and vanilla.
                                                        oak. —S.K.
Fun and exuberant but not terribly delicate. A
good match with meats and poultry. —S.K.

                                                        84       Keuka Spring 2007 Chardonnay
                                                                 (Finger Lakes); $14. A full nose of
                                                                                                               87      Lakewood 2008 Gewürztraminer
                                                                                                                       (Finger Lakes); $17. Rich, mouthwa-
                                                                                                               tering aromas of flowers, citrus and spice are fol-
84       Sheldrake Point 2008 Dry Rosé
         (Finger Lakes); $12. Fresh and fun
with a nose of rhubarb and spice. On the palate,
                                                        flowers and citrus is followed by quiet flavors of
                                                        lemon and spice in this friendly Chardonnay
                                                                                                               lowed by pretty, balanced flavors with a lively,
                                                                                                               spicy backbone. Fresh but floral and round—a
strawberry and spice is delicate with a touch of        from Keuka Spring. Subtle and easy, the wine           balanced and lovely white. Pair with Indian or
tartness. A great go-to summer sip that will pair       will pair well with grilled fish or chicken salad.     Thai cuisine. —S.K.
nicely with salmon, grilled meats. —S.K.                —S.K.

                                                                                                               85      Bloomer Creek 2007 Block 97
                                                                                                                       Gewürztraminer (Finger Lakes);
83       Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards 2008 Dry
         Rosé (Finger Lakes); $12. Vanilla,
cherry, strawberry and spice on the nose is fol-
                                                        84       Macari 2008 Early Wine Chardon-
                                                                 nay (North Fork of Long Island);
                                                                                                               $28. Grapefruit, honeysuckle and flowers on the
                                                                                                               nose are followed by full flavors of fruit and
                                                        $17. Grapefruit, citrus and flowers on the nose        spice. A viscous mouthfeel but the wine is ele-
lowed by slightly smokier, bigger flavors on the        are followed by a lively, slightly sweet array of      gant and friendly. Lovely sip for a summer day.
palate. The wine has a fruity character backed by       fun flavors in this “early” wine. Released young, it   —S.K.
pepper and spice. Clean and suited for myriad
                                                        has an effervescent quality that makes it a nice
flavors, from seafood salad to grilled lamb. —S.K.
                                                        choice for a warm weather sip or accompaniment
                                                        to dessert. Not terribly complex, but appealing.       84     Red Newt Cellars 2007 Sawmill
                                                                                                                      Creek Vineyards Gewürztraminer
                                                                                                               (Finger Lakes); $36. Citrus, apple, spice and
CHARDONNAY                                              —S.K.
                                                                                                               flowers on the nose and palate give this pretty
                                                                                                               wine dimension. It’s a simply good sip that will

86    Lamoreaux Landing 2007 Estate
      Bottled Reserve Chardonnay (Fin-                  84    Peconic Bay Winery 2007 Steel
                                                              fermented Chardonnay (North                      pair well with spicy cuisine and seafood. —S.K.

ger Lakes); $20. The delicate nose on this              Fork of Long Island); $22. Tropical fruits,
reserve Chard offers citrus and flowers with a
touch of nutty spice. On the palate, it’s a straight-
                                                        flowers and citrus lead this appetizing Chardon-
                                                        nay from Peconic. On the palate, the wine has
                                                                                                               84     Red Newt Cellars 2007 Curry
                                                                                                                      Creek Vineyards Gewürztraminer
                                                                                                               (Finger Lakes); $42. This wine offers lychee,
forward white with elements of lemon citrus,            some depth, with lemon/grapefruit citrus, pear         apple and pear on the nose and palate and is both
grapefruit and hazelnut. An easy-drinking               and apple. A good everyday white. —S.K.                fresh and floral. Mouthwatering with a lingering
Chardonnay with class. —S.K.                                                                                   finish. Pair with grilled poultry, salads, fruit or

86       Ravines 2007 Chardonnay (Finger
         Lakes); $19. This Chardonnay has
                                                        83       Heron Hill 2005 Ingle Vineyard
                                                                 Chardonnay (Finger Lakes); $18.
                                                                                                               Indian cuisine. —S.K.

                                                        This wine starts out toasty, with spice, nuts and
depth, starting with its unfolding nose of ripe
                                                        citrus in the nose and nutty spice on the palate.      PINOT GRIS
Chardonnay fruit, minerals, hazelnut and citrus.
                                                        Vanilla and lemon add to the mix. A bit heavy-
The palate offers flavors of pear, citrus and
grapefruit, its character refreshing and fruity but
somewhat complex. An impressive white that can
                                                        handed, but fans of oak will enjoy. Pair with fish,
                                                        pasta and poultry. —S.K.
                                                                                                               87    Red Newt Cellars 2007 Curry
                                                                                                                     Creek Vineyards Pinot Gris (Fin-
                                                                                                               ger Lakes); $23. A light, elegant nose of
handle richer dishes. —S.K.                                                                                    almonds, apple and honeysuckle, followed by

                                                        83    Macari 2005 Barrel Fermented
                                                              Reserve Chardonnay (North Fork
                                                                                                               fresh flavors of nuts, apple and flowers on the

85       Lucas Vineyards 2008 Chardon-
         nay (Finger Lakes); $13. This
refreshing Chardonnay entices with aromas of
                                                        of Long Island); $23. Delicate citrus, spice
                                                        and flowers lead this pretty Chardonnay from
                                                                                                               palate. Pretty, balanced and lingering in the fin-
                                                                                                               ish. A great food wine. —S.K.

                                                        Macari. On the palate, attractive flavors of toast,
tropical fruit, citrus and fresh white flowers. The
crisp style smacks of grapefruit and lemon, but
it’s well rounded. Food-friendly, the wine will
                                                        citrus and fresh fruit are soft and subtle. A pretty
                                                        wine for everyday cuisine. —S.K.
                                                                                                               87      Wölffer 2008 Pinot Gris (Long
                                                                                                                       Island); $22. The Wolffer Pinot Gris
                                                                                                               has an attractive, zesty character from the start,

with its nose of melon, pear, citrus and spice fol-   vors are integrated and soft. The wine has depth      palate distinguish this commercial-style red
lowed by a fun, lively array of lemon, toast and      and an elegant demeanor but fun, upfront fruit at     blend. Mouthfilling and layered, it’s a fitting
pear. Pretty and an enjoyable drink on its own, or    the same time. An interesting sip for myriad beef     cohort to ripe cheeses, beef stew or grilled meats.
with delicate foods. —S.K.                            and lamb dishes. —S.K.                                —S.K.

85      Hunt Country Vineyards 2008
        Pinot Gris (Finger Lakes); $16. The
nose on this Pinot Gris—full of nutty spice and
                                                      87      Three Fox 2007 Alouette Caber-
                                                              net Franc (Virginia); $27. This ele-
                                                      gant, soft red starts with layers of cherry,
                                                                                                            83        Elk Creek Vineyards 2007 Estate
                                                                                                                      Cabernet Franc (Kentucky); $35.
                                                                                                            Black fruit, pepper and spice lead this likeable sip
minerals—has instant appeal. On the palate, it        warming spice, vanilla and mint, and leads into       from Kentucky. Red berry, cranberry and plum
offers a combination of subtle spice and fresh        flavors of red berry, cinnamon, pepper and spice.     fruit mixed with pepper and vanilla gives it dimen-
fruit, a delicate balance. The wine has curve but     Subtle but structured, it’s a classy sip. —S.K.       sion, and the finish is both tart and spicy. A nice
is overall clean and spicy. Poised but approach-                                                            everyday red perfect for winter cuisine. —S.K.
able. —S.K.
                                                      87      Veramar 2007 Cabernet Franc
                                                              (Virginia); $21. This seductive Caber-
                                                      net Franc opens up with aromas of cherry, vanilla     83        Veramar NV Rooster Red Wine
                                                                                                                      (Virginia); $20. Cherry, pepper and
RIESLING                                              and spice leading into layers of blackberry, plum,    warming spices lead on the red from Virginia. On
                                                      cinnamon and cedar on the palate. Fruit and           the palate, cedar, spice and pepper are delivered

85      Atwater 2008 Riesling (Finger
        Lakes); $16. This elegant Riesling
offers apricot, flowers and tropical fruit on the
                                                      spice are balanced here, and medium tannins
                                                      means the wine can age. Paired with roasted
                                                      duck or beef, the wine is a sure hit. —S.K.
                                                                                                            in a big package. Pair with grilled meat, spicy cui-
                                                                                                            sine. —S.K.

nose and palate, balanced by good acidity. Aro-
matic and refreshing, it ends with a sweet and
spicy spin. A pretty everyday sip, great for spicy    86      Chaddsford 2007 Cabernet Sauvi-
                                                              gnon (Pennsylvania); $19. Black
                                                                                                            83        Vivác Winery 2006 Divino (New
                                                                                                                      Mexico); $27. Spiced meats, cherry
                                                                                                            and pepper give this plucky red a food-friendly
cuisine or with fruit. —S.K.                          cherry, mocha and pepper lead on this easy-           edge. On the palate, it’s spicy and slightly tart,
                                                      drinking red from Chaddsford. On the palate,          with cranberry, blueberry and crushed herbs.

84      Cascata 2008 The Professor’s Clas-
        sic Riesling (Finger Lakes); $18.
This Riesling has a zingy but complex character,
                                                      soft cherry fruit, cedar spice and chocolate give
                                                      the wine a luscious edge. Pair with Mexican
                                                      mole, spiced ribs or pasta. —S.K.
                                                                                                            Earthy and dry, the wine will pair well with
                                                                                                            spiced meat and pastas. —S.K.

starting with the pear, lemon and vanilla on the
nose and the honey, apricot and lemon on the
palate. It’s elegant but easy drinking, and a great   86      Delfosse 2007 Cabernet Sauvi-
                                                              gnon (Monticello); $24. Currant,
                                                                                                            83        Vivác Winery 2006 Diavolo (New
                                                                                                                      Mexico); $33. This wine starts with a
                                                                                                            combination of herbs, allspice and cinnamon
accompaniment to richer ethnic cuisine. —S.K.         cola, spice and cherry lead this layered Cab from     leading into spicy, red berry flavors. A touch
                                                      Delfosse. It’s an approachable style but with added   angular, but its dry character makes it easy to pair

84      Lamoreaux Landing 2008 Reserve
        Riesling (Finger Lakes); $30. Citrus,
spice and pear on the nose give way to waves of
                                                      character: cinnamon spice, tobacco and black
                                                      cherry on the palate is integrated and smooth. An
                                                      elegant wine with ageable chops. —S.K.
                                                                                                            with food. Think spicy cuisine, grilled beef or
                                                                                                            hamburgers. —S.K.

spice, white fruit and flowers on the palate. A
                                                                                                            WHITE WINES
pretty wine with a soft finish. —S.K.
                                                      85      Cooper Vineyards 2007 Cabernet
                                                              Franc (Virginia); $17. Aromas of

84      The Grapes of Roth 2008 Riesling
        (Long Island); $22. This Riesling is
the project of Roman Roth, accomplished wine-
                                                      vanilla, cherry and cola start this impressive
                                                      Cabernet Franc from Cooper. On the palate,
                                                      pepper, cherry and spice is balanced and
                                                                                                            87        Kinkead Ridge 2008 Estate Bot-
                                                                                                                      tled Viognier-Roussanne (Ohio
                                                                                                            R i v e r Va l l e y ) ; $ 1 6 . T h i s f u n , f l i r t y
maker for Long Island’s Wolffer Estate. Tropical      assertive. A lingering finish of cedar and plum       Viognier/Roussanne blend starts with lively
fruit and pear in the nose and on the palate is       adds to the appeal. —S.K.                             lemon and citrus aromas and leads into a joyful
balanced by a nice minerality and spice. The                                                                blend of curvy honey and plucky spice. Fruit and
wine has depth but is still refreshing. Pair with
Thai food, fruit. —S.K.                               85      Penns Woods 2005 Reserve
                                                              Cabernet Sauvignon (Pennsylva-
                                                      nia); $46. Cherry, coffee and spicy cedar starts
                                                                                                            acidity are in good balance. A pretty wine with
                                                                                                            character. —S.K.

                                                      this masculine Cab from Penns Woods. On the
                                                      palate, tobacco, red currant and pepper offer
                                                      savory and sweet elements. The wine is balanced
                                                                                                            86        Cooper Vineyards 2008 Viognier
                                                                                                                      (Virginia); $21. Sweet, spicy and floral
                                                                                                            aromas start this stylish Viognier from Cooper.
RED WINES                                             with good acidity and tannins. Pair with smoked       The wine has some heft with its honeyed layers
                                                      ribs, hamburgers. —S.K.                               of flowers, spice and fruit. It’s elegant and

87      Kluge Estate 2005 New World
        Red (Monticello); $20. Brooding
                                                      84      Penns Woods 2005 Ameritage
                                                                                                            approachable…a sultry sip. —S.K.

black fruit with waves of savory spice start this
wine out well. The spicy but juicy black fruit fla-
                                                              Reserve (Pennsylvania); $55. Black
                                                      fruit, spice and savory richness on the nose and      86        La Chiripada 2008 Artist Series 1
                                                                                                                      Viognier (New Mexico); $20. This

              W I N E S           R E V I E W E D            F O R        T H E       F E B R U A RY               2 0 1 0           I S S U E
poised white from New Mexico starts with deli-
cate floral, honey and vanilla aromas, followed by
pretty, mellow flavors of honey, flowers and spice.
                                                       96      Standish 2005 The Standish Sin-
                                                               gle Vineyard Shiraz (Barossa Val-
                                                       ley); $135. If Standish’s Relic is the feminine
                                                                                                             a lot of other things going on in the glass. So it is
                                                                                                             with this wine, which is loaded with bakery aro-
                                                                                                             mas of vanilla, brown sugar, nutmeg and white
A lovely sip with desserts and soft cheeses.           side of Shiraz, this is in a more masculine vein,     pepper alongside concentrated flavors of Chrst-
—S.K.                                                  with slightly coarser tannins and more weight,        mas pudding, ripe berries and a savory edge to
                                                       but still possessing great intensity without any      the finish. Drink 2012-2018. Imported by Ter-

84       Page Springs 2007 La Serrana
         Viognier (Cochise County); $30.
                                                       heaviness. Cassis, blueberry and black olive fla-
                                                       vors are tinged with hints of asphalt and espresso,
                                                                                                             lato Wines International. —J.C.

Rich orange, lemon and citrus spices lead this
Viognier from Page Springs. On the palate, it’s
fuller bodied, with lots of spice and citrus to bal-
                                                       leading into a warm, lingering finish. Drink now-
                                                       2025. Imported by Epicurean Wines. Cellar
                                                       Selection. —J.C.
                                                                                                             92       Henry’s Drive Vignerons 2007
                                                                                                                      Reserve Shiraz (Padthaway); $50.
                                                                                                             This full-bodied, fleshy Shiraz weighs in at a
ance out the honeyed fruit. Pair with cheese,                                                                hefty 16% alcohol, but don’t let that put you off.
fruit and spicy cuisine. —S.K.
                                                       94      Kaesler 2006 Old Bastard Shiraz
                                                               (Barossa Valley); $190. From vines
                                                                                                             For the near term, it’s a delicious bowl of mixed
                                                                                                             berries dressed up with elegant accents of smoke,

83     Good Harbor 2007 Manitou
       Chardonnay-Pinot Gris (Leelanau
Peninsula); $10. Big aromas of pineapple, citrus
                                                       planted more than a century ago, this richly con-
                                                       centrated, voluptuous wine blossoms with time in
                                                       the glass, revealing aromas of brandied black
                                                                                                             toast, vanilla and mocha that hide the alcohol
                                                                                                             well. Drink now-2015. Imported by Quintessen-
                                                                                                             tial Wines. —J.C.
and flowers lead on this Chardonnay/Pinot Grigio       cherries and dark chocolate. The tannins are
blend. On the palate, lemon, ripe fruit and honey
flavors are sweet and somewhat aggressive. A fun
wine to pair with cheeses, dessert. —S.K.
                                                       creamy smooth, the length on the palate prodi-
                                                       gious. But at 15.5% alcohol, this wine’s warmth is
                                                       noticeable; opt for drinking it over the next 10
                                                                                                             92       Kilikanoon 2006 Covenant Shiraz
                                                                                                                      ( C l a re Va l l e y ) ; $ 4 0 . The 2006
                                                                                                             Covenant Shiraz, drawn from Kilikanoon’s base
                                                       years. Imported by Epicurean Wines. —J.C.             in the Clare Valley, adds some savory, herbal

82       Penns Woods 2005 Reserve
         Chardonnay (Pennsylvania); $34.
This wine starts with a showy nose of vanilla, nuts    94      Kilikanoon 2006 R Shiraz (Barossa
                                                               Valley); $105. This compelling wine
                                                                                                             notes vaguely reminiscent of rhubarb to a lush,
                                                                                                             creamy base built on blueberry-blackberry fruit
                                                                                                             and hints of licorice and espresso. Concentrated
and oranges/citrus, leading into like flavors with a   delivers a tidal wave of chocolate, dark berries,     and long on the finish, gradually turning from
spin of spice. It’s a bigger style Chardonnay that     earth and black olive aromas and flavors. It’s huge   creamy to slightly dusty in texture. Drink now-
will pair well with richer dishes: think salmon,       in the mouth yet amazingly supple in texture,         2020. Imported by Old Bridge Cellars. Editors’
creamy poultry, steak. —S.K.                           leaving no sense of excessive weight or alcohol.      Choice. —J.C.
                                                       Hints of toast, menthol and coffee linger on the

                                                       surprisingly elegant finish. Drink now-2025.
                                                       Imported by Old Bridge Cellars. Cellar Selec-         92       Kilikanoon 2006 M Shiraz
                                                                                                                      (McLaren Vale); $70. Aged in 100%

85       Château des Charmes 2007 Ries-
         ling (Niagara-On-The-Lake); $13.
                                                       tion. —J.C.                                           new French oak, this wine opens with scents of
                                                                                                             vanilla and pipe tobacco, but also shows a strong
Citrus and pear on the nose and palate comprise
this friendly Riesling. It’s spicy with a combina-
tion of pear, lemon and apple on the palate. Sim-
                                                       93      Henschke 2005 Tappa Pass Vine-
                                                               yard Selection Shiraz (Barossa);
                                                       $75. Epitomizes in many ways the emerging
                                                                                                             core of ripe raspberries. Mixed berries take over
                                                                                                             on the palate, softly framed by layers of mocha
                                                                                                             and vanilla. This full-bodied wine’s tannins are
ple but food-friendly. Pair with creamy cheeses        Barossa style, marrying huge fruit and creamy         creamy in texture, just turning ever so slightly
or Asian dishes. Imported by Specialty Cellars.        tannins with more restrained oak use. Licorice        dusty on the long finish. Drink now-2023.
—S.K.                                                  and peppery spice lead the way, backed by notes       Imported by Old Bridge Cellars. Cellar Selec-
                                                       of plum, cola and even roasted meat. Lush and         tion. —J.C.
                                                       long on the finish. Drink now-2020. Imported by
                                                       Negociants USA, Inc. —J.C.
                                                                                                             92       Schild Estate 2006 Ben Schild
                                                                                                                      Reserve Shiraz (Barossa); $35.

                                                       93      Mitolo 2007 Savitar Shiraz
                                                               (McLaren Vale); $75. Mitolo’s top
                                                                                                             Full-bodied, lush and velvety, the 2006 Ben
                                                                                                             Schild Reserve is ready to drink now and over

98       Standish 2006 The Relic Shiraz
         (Barossa Valley); $135. This prodi-
gious wine showcases Barossa’s ability to deliver
                                                       Shiraz offering from 2007 is its Savitar bottling,
                                                       from McLaren Vale. This full-bodied, creamy,
                                                       lush, expansive wine features aromas of toast and
                                                                                                             the next 8 years. Hints of espresso and black olive
                                                                                                             impart complexity to the plum and blueberry
                                                                                                             fruit, and a licorice note chimes in on the softly
big, mouthfilling flavors without any suggestion       vanilla upfront, followed by mixed berries that       textured finish. Imported by The Australia-New
of heat or heaviness. Scents of stone fruit, pepper    seem to grow in intensity with every sip. Drink       Zealand Wine Connection. Editors’ Choice.
and red currants mark the nose, while the flavors      now-2020. Imported by Vintus LLC. —J.C.               —J.C.
take on a darker cast, heading toward black cher-
ries and black olives. The tannins are supremely
silky, but this graceful, feminine beauty should
drink well through at least 2020. Imported by
                                                       93      Two Hands 2006 Coach House
                                                               Block Shiraz (Barossa Valley);
                                                       $120. For this reviewer to not notice the alcohol
                                                                                                             92       Schubert 2007 The Gosling Roen-
                                                                                                                      nfeldt Road Shiraz (Barossa); $30.
                                                                                                             The 2007 Gosling manages to combine savory,
Epicurean Wines. Cellar Selection. —J.C.               in a wine that weighs in at 16.4% there have to be    spicy complexity with bold fruit, delivering pep-

pery, herbal notes alongside cherry and blueberry
flavors. It’s mouthfilling, with a creamy texture,
yet retains a sense of freshness on the lingering
                                                     It’s medium-bodied, with a lovely plump softness
                                                     to its mouthfeel, yet not without spine. Drink it
                                                     over the next 5-8 years. Imported by Terlato
                                                                                                            91       Two Hands 2007 Gnarly Dudes
                                                                                                                     Shiraz (Barossa Valley); $35. Two
                                                                                                            Hands’ 2007 Gnarly Dudes is a nicely balanced
finish. Drink now-2020. Imported by Total Bev-       Wines International. Editors’ Choice. —J.C.            wine, managing to be full bodied and supple in
erage Solution. Editors’ Choice. —J.C.                                                                      tannins while still coming in under 15% alcohol.

92      Two Hands 2007 Lily’s Garden
        Shiraz (McLaren Vale); $60. Some-
                                                     91       Flinders Run 2007 Shiraz (South-
                                                              ern Flinders Ranges); $30. The
                                                     Southern Flinders Ranges is a relatively new viti-
                                                                                                            Brown sugar and cinnamon shadings accent the
                                                                                                            main plum and earth elements, all wrapped up in
                                                                                                            a long, spicy finish. Drink now-2017. Imported
what precariously balanced at 15.7% alcohol, this    cultural region, where Flinders Run has been           by Terlato Wines International. —J.C.
may not turn out to be the most long-lived Shi-      making a splash with its powerful, opulent Shiraz.
raz, but it is delicious for current consumption.
The tannins are soft and creamy in texture, while
the blueberry and black berry fruit is intensely
                                                     The 2007 is full bodied and lushly textured, its
                                                     plum fruit gently wrapped in a layers of cedar         90       Brokenwood 2007 Shiraz (Hunter
                                                                                                                     Valley); $36. Truth be told, the differ-
                                                                                                            ence in quality between this wine and the $125
                                                     and mocha. Drink it over the next 5-10 years.
concentrated, tinged with nuances of vanilla,        Imported by Southern Starz, Inc. Editors’              Graveyard Vineyard bottling doesn’t appear that
menthol and chocolate. Imported by Terlato           Choice. —J.C.                                          great, so savvy consumers should jump on this
Wines International. —J.C.                                                                                  Shiraz, which offers leather, coffee and roasted
                                                                                                            meat complexity allied to medium body, a creamy

91      Andrew Hardy 2005 Ox Shiraz
        (McLaren Vale); $105. This volup-
                                                     91       Henschke 2006 Mount Edelstone
                                                              Vineyard Shiraz (Eden Valley);
                                                     $110. This is one tightly wound Shiraz. There’s
                                                                                                            texture and a long, firmly structured finish. Drink
                                                                                                            2015-2025. Imported by Old Bridge Cellars.
tuous, fleshy Shiraz seamlessly blends superripe     cedar and spice on the nose, but the plum fruit is     —J.C.
berries with vanilla, coffee and cocoa notes. It’s
                                                     balled up inside, needing time to emerge. Still,
full-bodied, with a creamy texture that persists
through the lengthy finish. Between the touch of
warmth and ultrasoft tannins, smart consumers
                                                     the spice notes are impressive, ranging from sage
                                                     to peppercorn, and the structure is impeccable.
                                                                                                            90      D’Arenberg 2008 The Laughing
                                                                                                                    Magpie Shiraz-Viognier (McLaren
                                                                                                            Vale); $29. Starts off dark and a bit brooding,
                                                     Probably worth trying again in 2016. Imported
will want to drink this over the near term—now                                                              with aromas of plum, espresso and black olive,
                                                     by Negociants USA, Inc. Cellar Selection.
through 2015. Imported by Southern Starz, Inc.                                                              but shows hints of brighter fruit elements on the
—J.C.                                                                                                       palate. Mouthfilling but dry on the finish, this is
                                                                                                            still very young; decant if serving now, or try

91      Brokenwood 2007 Graveyard
        Vineyard Shiraz (Hunter Valley);
                                                     91       Kilikanoon 2006 Oracle Shiraz
                                                              (Clare Valley); $70. Dark and choco-
                                                     laty in style, with hints of earth and espresso ooz-
                                                                                                            2013-2020. Imported by Old Bridge Cellars.
$125. One of the Hunter Valley’s top bottlings,
                                                     ing in. This is a big, heavy, fudge-like Shiraz that
Brokenwood’s Graveyard Vineyard is still marked
by hints of toasty oak at this young stage in its
evolution. Vanilla accents lifted sour cherry and
                                                     comes across as impressive for its concentration if
                                                     not for any sense of elegance or finesse. Might
                                                                                                            90       D’Arenberg 2006 The Vintage
                                                                                                                     Fortified Shiraz (McLaren Vale);
                                                                                                            $40. Although this is fortified, it’s not overly so,
                                                     improve with aging, but might not; a gamble, so
cranberry aromas, but on the palate the flavors                                                             with the finished alcohol level resting around
                                                     drink it over the next couple of years. Imported
darken and deepen, trending toward black cher-                                                              18%. The result is a decadently sweet mash-up of
ries and plum. Has a nicely balanced, silky tex-     by Old Bridge Cellars. —J.C.                           brandy-macerated raspberries that turn choco-
ture in the mouth, then a firm, long finish                                                                 laty on the finish. Although it lacks the complex-
suggesting cellaring. Drink 2012-2025. Imported
by Old Bridge Cellars. Cellar Selection. —J.C.       91       Oliverhill 2008 Jimmy Section Shi-
                                                              raz (McLaren Vale); $37. Oliverhill
                                                     seems to have hit the mark in 2008 with their
                                                                                                            ity, tannic grip and minerality of the best true
                                                                                                            Ports, it’s a tasty drop nonetheless. Drink now-
                                                                                                            2025. Imported by Old Bridge Cellars. —J.C.
                                                     Jimmy Section Shiraz, a seamless blend of blue-
91      De Bortoli 2007 Reserve Release
        Syrah (Yarra Valley); $55. A top-
notch effort, this is the sort of wine that should
                                                     berries and cream dressed up with savory notes
                                                     of dark earth and dark coffee. Full-bodied and         90       Jim Barry 2006 The McRae Wood
                                                                                                                     Shiraz (Clare Valley); $38. This full-
shatter existing stereotypes of Australian Shiraz.   creamy textured, this densely concentrated wine        bodied Shiraz starts off with blackberry aromas
Savory notes of smoked meat and espresso com-        should be at its best now-2020. Imported by            tinged with menthol, then delivers concentrated
bine with blackberry fruit and scents of violets,    Southern Starz, Inc. —J.C.                             blackberry flavors framed by vanillin oak. It’s a
and while the wine is clearly concentrated, it                                                              full-bodied, creamy-textured wine, with a long,
weighs in at only 13% alcohol. Drink 2012-2020.
Imported by De Bortoli Wines USA Inc. —J.C.          91       Plantagenet 2007 Shiraz (Great
                                                              Southern); $29. With its expressive
                                                     notes of espressso and black olive, this Shiraz is
                                                                                                            slightly warming finish. Drink now-2018.
                                                                                                            Imported by Negociants USA, Inc. —J.C.

91      Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier
        2007 Shiraz-Viognier (Victoria);
$21. This joint-venture has been turning out
                                                     on the savory side, but it still carries enough
                                                     plummy fruit to provide balance. It’s mouthfilling
                                                     and generous, while a bit of tartness on the finish
                                                                                                            90       Kilikanoon 2006 Attunga 1865
                                                                                                                     Shiraz (Clare Valley); $235. From
                                                                                                            an ancient vineyard, this full-bodied, slighly
consistently charming, balanced Shiraz over the      serves to highlight the coffee and earth flavors.      dusty-textured Shiraz boasts attractive scents of
past few vintages. The 2007 is simultaneously        Drink now-2017. Imported by Old Bridge Cel-            mixed berries, but also a slightly tarry note. Fla-
peppery-spicy, floral-perfumed and meaty-savory.     lars. Editors’ Choice. —J.C.                           vors run in a similar vein, adding in hints of

              W I N E S          R E V I E W E D            F O R        T H E        F E B R U A RY              2 0 1 0        I S S U E
espresso and vanilla, while the finish develops an
ever so slightly gritty, bitter note. Hope that mel-
lows with age and stow this away until 2014.
                                                       90       Tapestry 2006 The Vincent Shiraz
                                                                (McLaren Vale); $55. Tapestry’s style
                                                       is to blend bold fruit with ample oak, and that’s
                                                                                                              89       Canonbah Bridge 2004 Drought
                                                                                                                       Reserve Shiraz (Western Plains);
                                                                                                              $30. Fully mature, this flavorful, authentic-tast-
Imported by Old Bridge Cellars. Cellar Selec-          the case here, with plum and spice cake notes          ing Shiraz features scents of toast, molasses and
tion. —J.C.                                            framed by toast and vanilla. This is a full-bodied,    vanilla, followed up by flavors of tobacco and cas-
                                                       creamy-textured Shiraz, showing some warmth            sis on the palate. It’s a bit coarsely textured, but
                                                                                                              assertive and would pair well with roast beef or
90       Kilikanoon 2006 Parable Shiraz
         (McLaren Vale); $40. A finely judged
blend of fruity and savory, the 2006 Parable mar-
                                                       on the persistent, fruit-driven finish. Drink now-
                                                       2020. Imported by Scott Street Portfolio. —J.C.        lamb. Imported by Meadowbank Estates. —J.C.

ries ripe plums with meaty elements as well as
hints of coffee and vanilla. It’s round in the         90       Ta p e s t r y 2 0 0 7 M V S h i r a z
                                                                (McLaren Vale); $27. Like most                89     Cape Barren 2007 Blewitt Springs
                                                                                                                     Vineyard Reserve Release Old
                                                                                                              Vine Shiraz (McLaren Vale); $39. From 70-
mouth and cuddly in texture, finishing with the        Tapestry offerings, this wine shows plenty of
                                                                                                              year-old vines, this medium-bodied wine starts
softness of velvet. Drink it over the next five        cedary and cinnamon-like oak, but the soft plum
                                                                                                              off with aromas of red currants tinged with cin-
years. Imported by Old Bridge Cellars. —J.C.           and blackberry fruit serve to provide balance. It’s
                                                                                                              namon and herbs, then shows a darker side on
                                                       full and creamy-textured in the mouth, then fin-
                                                                                                              the palate, ranging into flavors of coffee, plum

90       Longview 2007 Yakka Shiraz
         (Adelaide Hills); $25. Not a typically
fruit-driven Shiraz, Longview’s 2007 Yakka boasts
                                                       ishes with some warmth and a burst of tart acid-
                                                       ity for balance. Drink now-2017. Imported by
                                                                                                              and boysenberry. It’s creamy in texture, finshing
                                                                                                              with dusty persistence. Drink 2014-2020.
                                                       Scott Street Portfolio. —J.C.                          Imported by Click Wine Group. —J.C.
pungent scents of smoke, leather and marinated
beef, then delivers earthy, meaty flavors. It’s full
in the mouth, with a creamy texture that turns
chewier on the finish—perfect alongside rare
                                                       90       Two Hands 2007 Angels Share
                                                                Shiraz (McLaren Vale); $35. Plums,
                                                       vanilla, toasty oak and a bit of chocolate fudge.
                                                                                                              89       Capel Vale 2007 Regional Series
                                                                                                                       Shiraz (Mount Barker); $22. Full-
                                                                                                              bodied, creamy-textured and amply concen-
beef or lamb. Drink now-2018. Imported by The          The 2007 Angels Share features all of those fla-       trated, this is a warm, velvety offering from the
Country Vintner. Editors’ Choice. —J.C.                vors in a full-bodied, chewy Shiraz. The long,         Western Australian outpost of Mount Barker.
                                                       richly textured finish suggests pairing with grilled   Bold plum and berry flavors are framed by vanilla

90       Meerea Park 2005 The Aunts Shi-
         raz (Hunter Valley); $23. Hunter
Valley Shiraz is somewhat out of fashion here in
                                                       steak or lamb chops. Imported by Terlato Wines
                                                       International. —J.C.
                                                                                                              and velvety tannins. Drink now-2014. Imported
                                                                                                              by Vintage New World. —J.C.

the U.S., but this is an excellent example of the
genre, one that can be taken home and enjoyed          90       Vasse River 2005 Shiraz (Margaret
                                                                River); $21. Offers up a nice blend of        89       Clonakilla 2006 Hilltops Shiraz
                                                                                                                       (Hilltops); $26. It’s not Clonakilla’s
                                                                                                              top-of-the-line Shiraz-Viognier, but it’s still darn
tonight. It starts with intense, smoky, pungent        savory and fruity elements, marrying marinated
leathery aromas, and the fruit is more leathery        beef and ripe cherries and framing them in             good, and in its savory notes of tapenade, leather
than fruity in character, yet there’s compelling       vanilla-scented oak. The wine is full-bodied and       and peppery spice, it provides a nice alternative
complexity in this medium-bodied, silky-textured       supple in texture, ending with hints of fine           to common fruit-driven Shiraz. On the palate,
wine. Drink now-2015. Imported by Luxe Vin-            tobacco and silk. Drink now-2015. Imported by          this is beefy and potent, with some supporting
tages. Editors’ Choice. —J.C.                          Margaret River Wines. Editors’ Choice. —J.C.           blueberry fruit, a creamy texture and a long,
                                                                                                              spicy finish. Drink now-2020. Imported by USA
                                                                                                              Wine West. —J.C.
90       Mitolo 2007 G.A.M. Shiraz
         (McLaren Vale); $55. Mitolo’s G.A.M.          90       Water Wheel 2007 Shiraz
                                                                (Bendigo); $18. Water Wheel wines
features great freshness and verve this vintage,
showcasing mixed berries—raspberries and
                                                       consistently deliver quality and value. The win-
                                                       ery’s 2007 Shiraz is made in a decadently supple,
                                                                                                              89       D’Arenberg 2007 The Dead Arm
                                                                                                                       Shiraz (McLaren Vale); $65. The
                                                                                                              Dead Arm rarely wows this reviewer in our blind
blackberries—framed by a generous helping of           drink-now style with enough cocoa and mocha
                                                                                                              tastings, and while the 2007 is undeniably a very
vanilla. Despite 15% alcohol, it comes across as       overtones to bring chocolate cake to mind.
                                                                                                              good wine, it shows a tart edge and a reined-in
balanced and only medium in body, finishing            There’s some cedar and spice complexity as well.
                                                                                                              personality. Toast and vanilla frame cranberry
crisp and long. Imported by Vintus LLC. —J.C.          Drink now-2013. Imported by Southern Starz,
                                                                                                              and raspberry fruit, chocolate overtones and
                                                       Inc. Editors’ Choice. —J.C.                            savory, meaty elements. Try it after 2015 and see

90       Plantagenet 2006 Hazard Hill Shi-
         raz (Western Australia); $13. A ter-
rific value, Plantagenet’s 2006 Hazard Hill Shiraz     90       West Cape Howe 2006 Shiraz
                                                                (Western Australia); $18. Roasted
                                                                                                              if it has loosened up at all. Imported by Old
                                                                                                              Bridge Cellars. Cellar Selection. —J.C.

is a silky, feminine-styled Shiraz that starts with    meat, floral notes, peppery spice...sounds rather
smoky, slightly floral notes, then adds in peppery
spice, delicate red berries and just a hint of
                                                       nice. Add in silky tannins, hints of coffee and
                                                       blueberry and a long finish, and you have a pretty
                                                                                                              89       De Bortoli 2007 Estate Grown Shi-
                                                                                                                       raz-Viognier (Yarra Valley); $36.
                                                                                                              De Bortoli winemaker Stephen Webber operates
chocolate before leaving your mouth watering on        wine at a realistic price. Drink now-2014.             on a somewhat contrarian level, so this is not a
the finish. Drink now. Imported by Old Bridge          Imported by The Country Vintner. Editors’              soft cuddly Shiraz-Viognier loaded with apricot
Cellars. Best Buy. —J.C.                               Choice. —J.C.                                          notes. Instead, it features savory, meaty aromas

lifted by peppery elements and black olive,
espresso and tart plum flavors. It’s medium-bod-
ied, firmly structured, and should age through at
                                                        89      Leeuwin Estate 2006 Art Series
                                                                Shiraz (Margaret River); $35. The
                                                        2006 Art Series Shiraz isn’t a powerful, intensely
                                                                                                              than with a main. Imported by Terlato Wines
                                                                                                              International. —J.C.

least 2020. Imported by De Bortoli Wines USA
Inc. —J.C.
                                                        concentrated wine, but a pretty, elegant rendi-
                                                        tion of Shiraz. Cherry and cracked pepper aro-
                                                        mas and flavors dominate, framed by soft, silky
                                                                                                              89       Xanadu 2007 Shiraz (Margaret
                                                                                                                       River); $18. This Shiraz offers wonder-
                                                                                                              ful purity of fruit, ranging from blueberries to
                                                                                                              raspberries, just touched with hints of cracked
89       Heathcote Estate 2006 H.D. II Shi-
         raz (Heathcote); $95. Like Spinal
Tap, this wine turns the volume up to 11, packing
                                                        tannins. It makes for an easy drink with standout
                                                        varietal character to be consumed over the next
                                                        5-6 years. Imported by Old Bridge Cellars.
                                                                                                              pepper, cinnamon and toast. Atypically struc-
                                                                                                              tured for a wine under $20, this medium-bodied
in enough blueberry jam for breakfast on the            —J.C.                                                 example of Margaret River Shiraz should drink
                                                                                                              well from 2013-2023. Imported by Rathbone
Queen Mary II and enough cedary oak to build
                                                                                                              Wine Group. —J.C.
100 saunas. It’s undeniably powerful and intense,
and embued with a lush, creamy texture; the only        89      Oliverhill 2008 Red Silk Shiraz
                                                                (McLaren Vale); $37. A satisfying
question is how it will evolve. Drink it now and
stand your hair on end. Imported by USA Wine
                                                        steak house red, Oliverhill’s 2008 Red Silk does-
                                                        n’t have the intensity or complexity of the Jimmy     88       Kangarilla Road 2007 Shiraz
                                                                                                                       (McLaren Vale); $23. Long a steak
                                                                                                              house staple, Kangarilla Road’s Shiraz mixes dark
West. —J.C.                                             Section or Mount Benson Shirazes, but still
                                                        offers plums and vanilla, plenty of weight and        berries and plums with touches of cedar, caramel
                                                        richness and a delicate dustiness on the finish.      and vanilla. The creamy-textured tannins pick up

89    Henry’s Drive Vignerons 2008 Pil-
      lar Box Reserve Shiraz (Padth-
away); $20. Deliciously fruity, this full-bodied
                                                        Drink now-2016. Imported by Southern Starz,
                                                        Inc. —J.C.
                                                                                                              just enough dustiness on the finish to match well
                                                                                                              with fatty cuts, like ribeyes. Drink now-2015.
                                                                                                              Imported by Click Wine Group. —J.C.
Shiraz offers a big mouthful of flavor for the
price, ranging from plums to mixed berries. The
tannins are extremely supple, and the finish is
                                                        89      Rocky Gully 2007 Shiraz-Viognier
                                                                (Frankland River); $16. Marked by
                                                        fragrant plum aromas, this silky-textured wine
                                                                                                              88       Kangarilla Road 2008 Shiraz-
                                                                                                                       Viognier (McLaren Vale); $27.
long and a bit warm but nuanced, with hints of                                                                There’s a healthy 8% Viognier in the blend, but
                                                        adds cherries, anise and vanilla to the mix on the
charred meat coming through. Drink now-2014.                                                                  this wine doesn’t come across as overtly apricotty.
                                                        palate. It’s medium in body, but round, with a
Imported by Quintessential Wines. —J.C.                                                                       Instead, it delivers big blueberries and blackber-
                                                        long, complex finish. A delicious Shiraz to drink
                                                                                                              ries on the nose and hints of plum and cola, with
                                                        over the next 2-3 years. Imported by USA Wine

89       Jim Barry 2006 The Armagh Shi-
         raz (Clare Valley); $175. Intensely
toasty on the nose, along with powerful menthol
                                                        West. Editors’ Choice. —J.C.
                                                                                                              just a hint of raisining. It’s full bodied—almost
                                                                                                              viscous in texture—balanced by crisp acids on
                                                                                                              the finish. Drink now-2016. Imported by Click
notes that persist from start to finish. This full-
bodied, almost syrupy-concentrated Shiraz fea-
                                                        89      Shirvington 2007 Shiraz (McLaren
                                                                Vale); $67. Starts off with deep, dark
                                                        aromas of chocolate, licorice, cola and plum, then
                                                                                                              Wine Group. —J.C.

tures plums and blackberries that take on a
slightly medicinal cast, finishing on a fresh, resiny
                                                        offers flavors of dates, chocolate and vanilla that
                                                        fan out across the palate. Drink this full-bodied,
                                                                                                              88       Kiss Chasey 2008 Shiraz (Mar-
                                                                                                                       garet River); $15. This well priced
                                                                                                              wine offers typical Shiraz aromas and flavors,
note. Try after 2016. Imported by Negociants
                                                        softly textured Shiraz over the next few years.       ranging from cherries to black olives and weaving
USA, Inc. Cellar Selection. —J.C.                       Imported by Quintessential Wines. —J.C.               in some smoky and tarry accents. It’s medium-
                                                                                                              bodied, with a plump feel but also a firmly tannic
89       Layer Cake 2008 Shiraz (South
         Australia); $15. Fully ripe, easy-
drinking Shiraz, offering a multitude of fruit
                                                        89    Tait Wines 2007 The Wild Ride
                                                              Shiraz (Southern Flinders
                                                                                                              backbone that would serve it well alongside
                                                                                                              steak, chops or burgers. Imported by Total Bev-
                                                        Ranges); $30. Full-bodied, lush and showing           erage Solution. —J.C.
nuances—plum, black cherry, blueberry—plus              just a bit of alcoholic warmth, The Wild Ride fea-
just a hint of tarriness. Tannins are silky and         tures high-toned boysenberry fruit on the nose, a
unobtrusive, making this a wine to drink now and
over the next few years. Imported by Vintage
                                                        touch of herbal nuance and the slightest hint of
                                                        raisined fruit on the palate. Drink this creamy-
                                                                                                              88       Nine Stones 2008 Shiraz (Hill-
                                                                                                                       tops); $14. Starts off with some
                                                                                                              Rhône-like aromas of smoke, cracked pepper,
Point. Editors’ Choice. —J.C.                           textured, superripe Shiraz over the next few          blueberries and a touch of meatiness, then deliv-
                                                        years. Imported by Southern Starz, Inc. —J.C.         ers vibrant fruit and spice on the palate. With its

89       Leeuwin Estate 2006 Siblings Shi-
         raz (Margaret River); $20. Leeuwin
                                                                                                              medium body and tart finish, this could almost

Estate hits the spot with its 2006 Siblings Shiraz,
tailored for immediate consumption. It delivers
                                                        89      Two Hands 2007 Sophie’s Garden
                                                                Shiraz (Padthaway); $60. Dense
                                                        and fudge-like in consistency, with aromas and
                                                                                                              pass for Crozes-Hermitage. Like most C-H,
                                                                                                              enjoy it on the young side for its fresh, juicy fruit.
                                                                                                              Imported by Vineyard Brands. Editors’ Choice.
bold aromas and flavors of cracked peppercorns          flavors of mocha, molasses and marinated beef.        —J.C.
and black cherries in a medium-bodied format            It’s as if the fruit has been cooked down into an
framed by supple tannins that turn slightly dusty
on the finish. Drink it over the next few years.
Imported by Old Bridge Cellars. —J.C.
                                                        intense reduction, with even the acids magnified
                                                        into tartness on the finish. At 16.4% alcohol, this
                                                        is probably a better match with the cheese course
                                                                                                              88       Nova Vita 2008 Mad Russian Shi-
                                                                                                                       raz (Adelaide Hills); $20. Leads off
                                                                                                              with effusive blueberry aromas tinged with stone

               W I N E S           R E V I E W E D             F O R        T H E       F E B R U A RY              2 0 1 0         I S S U E
fruit, then delivers plenty of bold, primary fruit
on the palate. There’s a touch of Raisinets, too,
along with supple tannins and a lipsmacking fin-
                                                         87      Cooralook 2007 Shiraz (Heath-
                                                                 cote); $15. Cooralook is making very
                                                         good wines at affordable prices, and this Shiraz is
                                                                                                               87       Yangarra Estate Vineyard 2007
                                                                                                                        S h i r a z ( M c L a re n Va l e ) ; $ 2 5 .
                                                                                                               Despite some very ripe fruit flavors and ample
ish. Easy drinking for lovers of superripe fruit         in the same vein. It’s immediately approachable,      (14.5%) alcohol, this full-bodied Shiraz isn’t par-
over the next 2-3 years. Imported by Blue Cove           offering crisp raspberry fruit tinged with herbal-    ticularly lush. The tannins are rich and velvety,
Wines USA LLC. —J.C.                                     grassy-briary notes and a softly dusty finish. It’s   but the acids are elevated and tartness dominates
                                                         an easy sipper that won’t overpower most dishes.      the finish. Drink it over the next several years.

88       Tar & Roses 2007 Shiraz (Heath-
         cote); $30. Dark berries or plums,
cedar and spice notes sum up the aromas and fla-
                                                         Imported by Yabby Lake Vineyard, Inc.. —J.C.          Imported by Yangarra Estate Vineyard. —J.C.

vors you can expect from this Heathcote Shiraz.
It’s medium to full in body, and while it’s not
                                                         87      Green Point 2006 Shiraz (Victo-
                                                                 ria); $14. Very clean and correct, from
                                                         the pure aromas of fresh cherries to the medium
                                                                                                               86       2 Up 2008 Shiraz (South Aus-
                                                                                                                        tralia); $15. A pleasant, medium-bod-
                                                                                                               ied Shiraz that features piles of ripe berries
overly lush, neither is it overly lean—making it a       body and supple tannins. The result is an easy-       alongside a touch of rhubarb-like herbaceous-
balanced drink with moderate complexity. The             drinking, fresh-fruited wine that just hints at       ness. Reasonably concentrated and long; turns
firm finish suggests cellaring another year or two,      darker fruit on the palate and boasts a clean,        crisp on the finish. Imported by Click Wine
or pairing it with grilled or roasted meats.             mouthwatering finish. Imported by Moët Hen-           Group. —J.C.
Imported by Click Wine Group. —J.C.                      nessy USA. —J.C.

88     Water Wheel 2008 Memsie Shi-
       raz-Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon                     87      Longwood 2008 Single Vineyard
                                                                 Shiraz (McLaren Vale); $30. Aged
                                                                                                               86       Cape Barren 2007 Native Goose
                                                                                                                        Shiraz (McLaren Vale); $29. This
                                                                                                               medium-bodied wine leans strongly toward the
(Bendigo); $15. Made in a mouthfilling, supple           partly in new American Oak hogsheads and              red side of the fruit spectrum, offering aromas
style, this cheerful blend is easy to like and easy
                                                         partly in used French Oak barriques, the barrel       and flavors that range from red currants and
on the pocketbook. Black cherry and vanilla
                                                         regime shows in this wine’s obvious vanilla and       raspberries to a hint of rhubarb and a touch of
notes are perhaps a little simple, but carried
                                                         caramel accents to its boysenberry fruit. Supple      cinnamon. It could be a bit longer on the finish,
along by a rich, creamy mouthfeel and a lingering
                                                         and creamy in texture before turning crisp on the     but it’s a solid effort overall. Imported by Click
finish, they make for a satisfying glass of hearty
                                                         finish. Drink now. Imported by Southern Starz,        Wine Group. —J.C.
red. Drink now-2014. Imported by Southern
                                                         Inc. —J.C.
Starz, Inc. —J.C.

                                                         87      Nine Stones 2007 Shiraz (Hill-                86       Henry’s Drive Vignerons 2008
                                                                                                                        Morse Code Shiraz (Padthaway);
88       Willow Bridge 2007 The Dog Shi-
         raz (Western Australia); $27. On
the oaky side of things, with lots of cedar, vanilla
                                                                 tops); $14. A dusty, savory style of Shi-
                                                         raz, with elements of smoke, earth, black olive
                                                                                                               $9. Intensely fruity and fresh, with mounds of
                                                                                                               blueberries and raspberries carried by a slightly
                                                         and cola all rolled into a medium-bodied Shiraz       syrupy mouthfeel. Sure, Euro-drinking snobs
and baking spices supported by vaguely plum-
                                                         with some drying tannins. Drink it over the next      might call it a simple fruit bomb, but it’s a darn
like fruit flavors and plenty of weight on the
                                                         couple of years with rare beef or lamb. Imported      good version of that style. Drink it over the next
palate. Drink it over the next few years. Imported
                                                         by Vineyard Brands. —J.C.                             2-3 years. Imported by Quintessential Wines.
by Total Beverage Solution. —J.C.
                                                                                                               Best Buy. —J.C.

87       A.T. Richardson 2007 Chockstone
         Shiraz (Grampians); $22. A solid                87    Nugan Family Estates 2007
                                                               McLaren Parish Vineyard Shiraz
                                                         (McLaren Vale); $25. Chunky and a bit hard-           86       Nine Stones 2008 Shiraz (McLaren
                                                                                                                        Vale); $14. The Nine Stones line of
effort, the 2007 Chockstone is a balanced, acces-
sible red. There’s ample cherry fruit, touches of        edged, this Shiraz combines plum and vanilla          regional Shiraz bottlings do taste distinctly dif-
cedar, vanilla and woodspice and modest tannins.         notes with hints of cocoa and black olive. There’s    ferent. This McLaren Vale offering features
Everything is in proportion, and it should drink         some richenss here, it just needs a few years to      earthy, almost root vegetable-like aromas and fla-
well for the next 5-8 years. Imported by Under-          emerge. Try 2012-2017. Imported by Southern           vors, plus cola and peppery spice. The tannins
dog Wine Merchants. —J.C.                                Starz, Inc. —J.C.                                     are soft, but the acids are crisp, imparting a
                                                                                                               lemony quality to the finish. Drink now.

87       Brokenwood 2007 Shiraz (Barossa
         Va l l e y - M c L a r e n Va l e ) ; $ 2 7 .   87      Vinaceous 2007 Snake Charmer
                                                                 Shiraz (McLaren Vale); $20. The
                                                                                                               Imported by Vineyard Brands. —J.C.

Although based in the Hunter, Brokenwood has
reached into South Australia for this Shiraz,
                                                         aromas of this Shiraz are surprisingly dark; they
                                                         tend toward the blackberry and cola end of the
                                                         spectrum, while the flavors are more reminiscent
                                                                                                               86       Ram’s Leap 2007 Shiraz (Western
                                                                                                                        Plains); $14. Dark and earthy, with
                                                                                                               modest plum fruit framed by ample vanilla. The
which offers lifted, rather perfumed aromas of
raspberries and strawberries supported by vanilla        of stewed berries with a touch of cinnamon.           wood tannins come on strong on the tart finish,
underpinnings. A hint of mint creeps in on the           Medium to full in body, the wine is pleasantly        but don’t hold onto it expecting positive evolu-
finish, framed by supple tannins and crisp acidity.      round in the mouth, then turns tart on the finish.    tion; pair it with foods that will work with the
Drink now-2015. Imported by Old Bridge Cel-              Drink now-2015. Imported by The Country Vint-         astringency, like rare steak or burgers off the grill.
lars. —J.C.                                              ner. —J.C.                                            Imported by Meadowbank Estates. —J.C.

86       Two Hands 2007 Max’s Garden
         Shiraz (Heathcote); $60. This ambi-
tious offering from Two Hands is a bit of dissap-
                                                       85       The Wishing Tree 2007 Shiraz
                                                                (Western Australia); $11. A solid
                                                       effort in the everyday category, with plummy
                                                                                                              83       Two Hands 2007 Samantha’s Gar-
                                                                                                                       den Shiraz (Clare Valley); $60. This
                                                                                                              wine’s 16.2% alcohol is a dominant feature, and
pointment. The bold black cherry fruit seems           fruit marked by touches of rhubarb and asphalt.        although it offers some rich raisined aromas and
slightly cooked or raisiny, and there’s a grassy,      The wine’s best feature may be its plump, tender       flavors of dried fruit and spice, it starts warm and
herbal element as well. But it’s also nicely con-      texture; it does turn tart on the finish. Drink now.   finishes hot. Drink now. Imported by Terlato
centrated and weighty, with a mouthwatering fin-       Imported by USA Wine West. —J.C.                       Wines International. —J.C.
ish that redeems it. Imported by Terlato Wines
International. —J.C.
                                                       85       Willow Bridge 2007 Shiraz (West-
                                                                ern Australia); $15. Like its big “The        81       RockBare 2007 Shiraz (McLaren
                                                                                                                       Vale); $18. Tastes highly confected,

85       D’Arenberg 2007 The Love Grass
         Shiraz (McLaren Vale); $19. This is
85% Shiraz, with the balance being Petit Verdot,
                                                       Dog” stablemate, this is pretty woody stuff, with
                                                       cedary notes dominating the aromas and flavors.
                                                       It does offer enough tart berry fruit to give it
                                                                                                              with strawberry and raspberry aromas and fla-
                                                                                                              vors that come across almost like bubble gum or
                                                                                                              cotton candy. Dissappointing. Imported by Click
Viognier, Tinta Cão, Grenache, Tempranillo and         palate weight and appeal. Best consumed over           Wine Group. —J.C.
Mourvèdre. The result is a pleasant, slightly          the next 2-3 years. Imported by Total Beverage
woody wine, with blackberry, cola and cedar aro-       Solution. —J.C.
mas and flavors. Tart and slightly astringent on                                                              ARGENTINA
the finish, so it will do well paired with fattier
cuts of red meat. Imported by Old Bridge Cel-
lars. —J.C.
                                                       85       Xanadu 2007 Next of Kin Shiraz
                                                                (Margaret River); $13. A simple,
                                                       fruity quaffer, this is almost confected in its rush

85       Hope Estate 2007 Estate Grown
         Shiraz (Hunter Valley); $13. Shows
                                                       of red currants and cherries, yet stays balanced
                                                       thanks to crisp acidity and a clean, fresh finish.
                                                       Drink it over the next year or two. Imported by
                                                                                                              94       Alta Vista 2006 Single Vineyard
                                                                                                                       Temis Malbec (Uco Valley); $50. A
                                                                                                              mighty Malbec in every way, shape and form.
pleasant aromas of mixed berries and leather,          Rathbone Wine Group. —J.C.                             Opens with toasty oak, a pinch of sawdust and
then delivers flavors of pie cherry and vanilla on                                                            perfumed black fruit, vanilla and spice notes. The
the palate. Made in a crisp, tart style, which
requires food to be seen at its best advantage; try
it with burgers over the next few years. Imported
                                                       84       D’Arenberg 2008 The Stump
                                                                Jump Shiraz (McLaren Vale); $11.
                                                       Fine as an entry-level quaffer, this medium-bod-
                                                                                                              palate is lofty and rich, with beautiful berry and
                                                                                                              plum flavors. A smooth, sexy wine from the Uco
                                                                                                              Valley that shows that vineyard sourcing
by Winesellers Ltd.. —J.C.                             ied red blends aromas of maple syrup and dill          absolutely matters. Best wine from Alta Vista to
                                                       with red-berry and herb flavors. Turns tart on the     date. Imported by Buena Cepa Wines. Editors’

85       Marquee 2007 Classic Shiraz (Vic-
         toria); $12. A solid, medium-weight
                                                       finish. Imported by Old Bridge Cellars. —J.C.          Choice. —M.S.

effort, with a slightly lifted character to the aro-
mas of dark cherries and roasted meat and black-
berry flavors that finish fresh and clean. Good
                                                       84       Reilly’s 2006 Stolen Block Shiraz
                                                                (Clare Valley); $35. Marked on the
                                                       nose by scents of berry, rhubarb and leather, this
                                                                                                              93       O. Fournier 2006 Alfa Crux Mal-
                                                                                                                       bec (Uco Valley); $47. Brilliantly col-
                                                                                                              ored, with dynamite concentration and lovely
weekday drinking. Imported by Marquee Artisan          wine morphs on the palate to offer flavors of          black fruit and earthy aromas. Precise on the
Wines. —J.C.                                           prune, chocolate and date. Although the tannins        palate but also big and muscular, with silky tan-
                                                       are supple, the wine’s substantial alcohol (15.8%)     nins, grip and a late rush of deftly applied French

85       Sylvan Springs 2005 Shiraz
         (McLaren Vale); $20. Scents of rasp-
berry jam and chocolate intermingle on the nose
                                                       shows through on the finish. Probably best con-
                                                       sumed in its youth. Imported by Southern Starz,
                                                       Inc. —J.C.
                                                                                                              oak. Delicious and a fine reflection of the Uco
                                                                                                              Valley, Argentina’s top Malbec region. Imported
                                                                                                              by Fine Estates From Spain. Editors’ Choice.
of this full-bodied Shiraz. The warmth of its alco-                                                           —M.S.
hol shows through a little on the palate, and the
flavors turn tart and cranberryish on the finish.
Drink now-2015. Imported by Southern Starz,
                                                       83       Redbank 2007 The Long Paddock
                                                                Shiraz (Victoria); $10. This is a sim-
                                                       ple, cherry-dominated fruity quaff at a realistic      92    Bodega NQN 2006 Coleccion NQN
                                                                                                                    Patagonia Universe Malbec
Inc. —J.C.                                             price. It’s only light to medium in body, with crisp   (Neuquén); $23. Excellent Malbec at a very
                                                       acids and a bit of tannic astringency on the finish.   good price. Ripe, big, burly and a powder keg of
                                                       Imported by Negociants USA, Inc. —J.C.                 alluring cassis, licorice and inky aromas. Rich,
                                                                                                              stout and smooth in the mouth, with generous
                                                                                                              black cherry, baked plum, coffee and chocolate
                                                                                                              flavors and finishing notes. Pure as can be; drink
                                                                                                              now through 2012. Imported by Vias Imports.
        FOR MORE WINE RATINGS, VISIT OUR WEB SITE AT                                                          Editors’ Choice. —M.S.

                                                                                                              92       Pulenta Estate 2007 I Malbec
                                                                                                                       (Mendoza); $29. The nose offers a
                                                                                                              fine mix of floral berry, dusty earth and classic

               W I N E S          R E V I E W E D             F O R        T H E        F E B R U A RY              2 0 1 0        I S S U E
Malbec richness, while the palate is juicy, bal-
anced and tastes of cassis, blackberry, fresh plum,
cracked pepper and baking spices. Full and long
                                                       89       Altocedro 2007 Reserva Malbec
                                                                (La Consulta); $39. One of Altoce-
                                                       dro’s better efforts to date starts with meaty, ripe,
                                                                                                               Vista’s Temis. Imported by Buena Cepa Wines.

on the finish, and overall it’s right where you        chunky black fruit aromas and a big wave of
want it to be. Drink now through 2011. Imported
by Paul Hobbs Winery. —M.S.
                                                       mocha, cocoa and berry syrup. Quite the creamy
                                                       specimen but it has enough acidity and vitality
                                                                                                               88    Bodega Noemía de Patagonia
                                                                                                                     2008 J. Alberto Single Vineyard
                                                                                                               Malbec (Río Negro Valley); $45. The 2008
                                                       to not run flat. Mocha, carob, plum and other           Noemía wines all seem a little sedate and short

91       Lagarde 2007 Henry Lagarde Sin-
         gle Vineyard Malbec (Mendoza);
$20. Nice and pure, with controlled berry aro-
                                                       sticky flavors extend from palate to finish. Drink
                                                       now. Imported by Epic Wines. —M.S.
                                                                                                               compared to prior years. This wine is dark, crusty
                                                                                                               and tarry on the nose, with requisite black fruit
                                                                                                               and a slightly soupy quality. The palate is full and
mas, a dash of pepper and integrated background
oak. A tasty, easy-to-drink wine with fine balance
and fresh flavors of cherry, raspberry, cassis,
                                                       89       Bodega NQN 2006 Malma
                                                                Reserve Malbec (Neuquén); $16.
                                                       Interesting Malbec with character and individu-
                                                                                                               chewy, with medium-intensity black fruit and
                                                                                                               chocolate flavors. Finishes short, without much
chocolate and a medicinal finish. Good depth,          ality. The nose is savory and smoky, with spice         velocity. Imported by Vias Imports. —M.S.
length and size throughout. Delicious Malbec.          and floral aromas. Full and ripe in the mouth,
Imported by New World Wines. —M.S.                     where roasted black fruit, clove, spice and cola all
                                                       make a showing. Textured and sizable late, with a       88       D o l c e Stefan i a 2007 M al b ec
                                                                                                                        (Mendoza); $15. Fresh, inviting rasp-
                                                                                                               berry, strawberry and tempered vanilla aromas
91       Naiara 2006 Gran Reserva Malbec
         (Mendoza); $35. Blackberry, black
cherry, cola and a whole lot of attractive aromas
                                                       coffee note to the finish. Drink now through
                                                       2011. Imported by Vias Imports. —M.S.                   set up a snappy, equally fresh palate of cherry
                                                                                                               and raspberry. There’s no excess heft, beef,
get this dense, pure Malbec going in the right
direction. Lush and delicious black fruit flavors
lead the palate, which also bring cola and a dust-
                                                       89     Domaine Jean Bousquet 2006
                                                              Grand Reserve Malbec (Tupun-
                                                       gato); $25. Briary berry aromas have a modest
                                                                                                               extract or color to this wine; it’s restrained but
                                                                                                               not miserly. And it finishes crisp and flashy. Well
                                                                                                               made and likely good with food. Imported by
ing of pepper. Lighter on the finish than the start,   but welcome rooty, medicinal accent, while the          Global Wine Imports LLC. —M.S.
with olive, vanilla and mild chocolate notes.          palate is aggressive, ripe and offers the right
Imported by Vox Wine Group. —M.S.                      framework for sweet berry and plum flavors.
                                                       Pure and clean on the finish, with mocha and            88       Familia Mayol 2007 Finca Mon-
                                                                                                                        tuiri Malbec (Luján de Cuyo); $19.

91       Riglos 2006 Gran Malbec (Men-
         doza); $32. Interesting aromas of san-
dalwood, violets and berries give this one an
                                                       root beer notes. High-quality Malbec. Imported
                                                       by Buena Cepa Wines. —M.S.
                                                                                                               From 83-year-old vines, this is an opaque wine
                                                                                                               with pastry/graham cracker aromas and a little
                                                                                                               bit of leather and funk. The palate has hard-hit-
elevated, magnetic nose, while the palate is lush,
big and full of black fruit and masculine tannins.
A dark, minerally style from high-elevation vine-
                                                       89       Zuccardi 2007 Q Malbec (Maipú);
                                                                $20. Opens with warm, woody aromas
                                                       that fold in molasses and maple along with mildly
                                                                                                               ting, cheek-slapping tannins and dense but
                                                                                                               herbal plum, blackberry and salinic flavors. It’s
yards with a coating of vanilla and caramel on the     baked berry fruit. The palate is alert but bal-         not elegant or sleek, but it is big, thick and makes
long finish. A new wine to watch. Imported by          anced, with proper acidity pumping up cherry,           its point. Imported by Elite Wines Import.
Paul Hobbs Winery. —M.S.                               plum and snappy berry flavors. Buttery notes and        —M.S.
                                                       toffee warm the finish, which keeps its poise.

90       Don Miguel Gascón 2008 Malbec
         (Mendoza); $14. A beautiful bright
                                                       Imported by Winesellers Ltd.. —M.S.
                                                                                                               88    Familia Schroeder 2007 Saurus
                                                                                                                     Patagonia Select Malbec
purple luster draws you in, and the nose is bright,
clean, focused and full of wild blackberry. Bal-
anced in the mouth, with size and tannin but
                                                       88       Alpataco 2006 Reserve Malbec
                                                                (Neuquén); $20. Cherry, cough drop,
                                                       mineral, heat and red licorice on the nose, with
                                                                                                               (Neuquén); $20. Clean, straightforward aro-
                                                                                                               mas of berry, cassis and mineral are nice, while
                                                                                                               the palate has ample lushness, purity and focus.
plenty of acidity and fruit. Tastes of blackberry,     medicinal raspberry and plum flavors. Snappy            Flavors of cola, black currant and blackberry are
vanilla cream, molasses and spice, and the finish      and fresh in the mouth, with a rooty finish             solid, and the finish keeps its pose. On the money
brings it on home. Sincere and excellent for the       touched up by vanilla. Flavorful and properly
                                                                                                               for a regular, journeyman’s Malbec. Imported by
price. Imported by Gascon USA. Best Buy.               executed, with a slight intrusion of cherry cough
                                                                                                               S Selections. —M.S.
—M.S.                                                  medicine. Imported by Ecosur Group, LLC.

90       Martino 2006 Old Vine Malbec
                                                                                                               88       Viña Cobos 2008 Felino Malbec
                                                                                                                        (Mendoza); $19. An opening of
         (Mendoza); $19. Very nice Malbec
from vines with up to 80 years of age. The nose is
briary, earthy and deep, with purity and power.
                                                       88       Alta Vista 2006 Single Vineyard
                                                                Serenade Malbec (Luján de Cuyo);
                                                       $50. Praise before criticism, and we like the
                                                                                                               lightly baked black fruit aromas and graham
                                                                                                               cracker is pleasant and ready, while the palate
And the palate is juicy, lively and packs enticing     wine’s stocky body, bright color and mouthfeel.         has size, a cushioned feel and herbal, spicy berry
flavors of plum, blackberry, cured meat and            In those categories, it’s a high flier. But there’s     flavors and a swatch of oak on the back end. With
vanilla. Warming, ripe stuff. Delicious and ready      also a briny, pickled accent to the nose and            oak and toast on the finish, it comes to a nice
to drink. Imported by Southern Wine Group.             accents of olive, rhubarb and herbaceousness.           conclusion. Good Malbec with some pedigree.
—M.S.                                                  Interesting in that it differs greatly from Alta        Imported by Paul Hobbs Winery. —M.S.

87     Alta Vista 2006 Grande Reserve
       Terroir Selection Malbec (Men-
doza); $25. Dark and saturated to the eye, and
                                                         87      Va l l e P e rd i d o 2 0 0 6 R e s e r v a
                                                                 Malbec (Neuquén); $20. Mossy and
                                                         quite woody, and maybe even bretty, but also rich
                                                                                                               The nose has some rubber and smoke to go with
                                                                                                               black fruit, while the palate has good body and
                                                                                                               sweet black plum and berry flavors. Full enough
powerful on the nose. In the mouth, the flavors          and stout, with concentration. Aromas of cheesey      but not baked or heavy. Imported by Global
of raspberry and plum are solid, while overall the       black fruit are staunch, while the round palate       Vineyard Importers. —M.S.
wine is full and stocky but short on complexity          has richness, thickness and flavors of molasses,
and uniqueness. Well executed but highly regular
for an upper-shelf Malbec. Imported by Buena
Cepa Wines. —M.S.
                                                         baked berries and licorice. Finishes surprisingly
                                                         quick. Imported by Cannon Wines Limited.
                                                                                                               85       Alta Vista 2008 Classic Malbec
                                                                                                                        (Mendoza); $12. Big but flat, with
                                                                                                               soft aromas of baked plum and fall leaves. The
                                                                                                               palate is all brown sugar, caramel, chocolate and

87       Bodega NQN 2007 Malma Malbec
         (Neuquén); $13. Opens with rich,
broad, semiroasted aromas of black fruit, rubber
                                                         86      Finca Sophenia 2008 Reserve
                                                                 Malbec (Tupungato); $15. Earthy,
                                                         leathery aromas are front and center on the
                                                                                                               rich but hard to find black fruit, while the finish
                                                                                                               is sweet like milk chocolate and toffee. Decent
                                                                                                               wine but definitely soft and syrupy. Imported by
and earth. The palate is basic and mildly tannic,        broad, beefy nose that also blends in dark fruits     Buena Cepa Wines. —M.S.
with black plum, baked berry and mild herbal             including blueberry. The palate is medium-bod-
flavors. Has a syrupy profile on one hand, but
tannic bite keeps it on course. Tastes good as it
gets the job done. Imported by Vias Imports.
                                                         ied, with black cherry, blackberry and herbal fla-
                                                         vors. Shows good feel and a solid, middle-of-
                                                         the-road overall character. Imported by The
                                                                                                               85     Bodega Noemía de Patagonia
                                                                                                                      2008 A Lisa Malbec (Río Negro
                                                                                                               Valley); $25. Colorful but low in pulse, with
—M.S.                                                    Country Vintner. —M.S.                                jammy, pasty aromas sitting in front of a bulky,
                                                                                                               one-dimensional palate that offers standard

87       Carmelo Patti 2005 Malbec (Men-
         doza); $30. Jammy strawberry aromas
are alluring but light, which suggests more of an
                                                         86      Grittini 2006 Malbec (Neuquén);
                                                                 $16. Bright but spotty on the nose, with
                                                         salinic red fruit aromas that are one part rasp-
                                                                                                               blackberry fruit and mildly herbal side flavors.
                                                                                                               Has just enough acidity to keep it pumping, but
                                                                                                               as a whole it comes across a little too heavy and
Old World style compared to most of the beefy,           berry and one part pool water. The palate is in       jammy compared to previous years. Imported by
brawny Malbecs out there today. The palate is            the narrow, tannic field but the flavors are good,    Vias Imports. —M.S.
crisp and agile, with light-framed raspberry fla-        with blackberry, bitter chocolate and generic
vors. More elegant than hefty, but also a little
hollow on the midpalate and finish. Imported by
Southern Wine Group. —M.S.
                                                         darkness working the the palate and finish.
                                                         Imported by ARGCA Imports. —M.S.                      85       Bodega Septima 2008 Malbec
                                                                                                                        (Mendoza); $12. Creamy dark-berry
                                                                                                               aromas carry a floral, blueberry hint, while the

87       Familia Cassone 2005 Obra Prima
         Reserva Malbec (Mendoza); $22.
                                                         86      Mairena 2005 Malbec (Mendoza);
                                                                 $18. Sweet aromas of berry syrup give
                                                         the wine steam and weight heading into a thick,
                                                                                                               thick palate teeters on syrupy as it delivers
                                                                                                               gummy, mildly baked black fruit flavors. Lactic
                                                                                                               and full on the finish, with a touch of crusty bit-
Different than most, with reduced, rubbery aro-          chewy palate of baked berry, candy, vanilla and       terness along with milk chocolate and/or carob.
mas that also bring graphite and olive into play.        buttery flavors. Syrupy and creamy, but also a bit    Imported by Aveníu Brands. —M.S.
Very thick and syrupy in the mouth, with low             lactic on the finish. Imported by San Rafael
acidity leading to chewy plum and blackberry fla-
vors. Licorice and baked fruit notes control the
                                                         Import Company. —M.S.
                                                                                                               85       Cristobal 1492 2008 Malbec (Men-
                                                                                                                        doza); $10. Slightly minty at first, with
finish, which is short and chunky. Ready to drink
now. Imported by The Artisan Collection. —M.S.           86      O. Fournier 2007 Urban Uco Mal-
                                                                 bec (Uco Valley); $11. Textbook Mal-
                                                         bec with a nice, modern package. Solid as you’d
                                                                                                               resiny oak, berry and mild leafy aromas. Things
                                                                                                               fall into line with airing, and the palate of savory,
                                                                                                               barrel-accented berry fruit is mildly herbal but

87       Pascual Toso 2008 Barrancas Vine-
         yards Reserve Malbec (Mendoza);
$24. Quite the woody wine, with aromas of
                                                         expect, with plum/berry aromas, a hint of cherry
                                                         candy and then a drawn, mildly saucy palate of
                                                         red fruit. Good mouthfeel, nothing abrasive, and
                                                                                                               solid. A little drying and leafy but pretty good
                                                                                                               overall. Imported by Vinos del Sur. Best Buy.
sawmill, cracked pepper, black licorice and dark         competent on the finish. Imported by Fine
fruit. The palate has a healthy feel to it, with inte-
grated acidity that props up the oak-infused wild
                                                         Estates From Spain. Best Buy. —M.S.
                                                                                                               85       Finca Los Lirios 2006 Malbec
                                                                                                                        (Luján de Cuyo); $17. Aromas of tree
berry and herb flavors that dominate. Finishes
with another wave of spicy, raw oak. Imported
by T.G.I.C. Importers. —M.S.
                                                         86      Tercos 2007 Malbec (Maipú); $12.
                                                                   Nicely put together but totally generic,
                                                         as if it were sent from the central casting dept.
                                                                                                               bark and rooty fruit are balanced by floral notes,
                                                                                                               while the palate is angular and juicy, with acid-
                                                                                                               propelled berry and mild citrus flavors. Jumpy,
                                                                                                               fresh and tomatoey on the finish. Could use more
                                                                                                               bulk, darkness and concentration; seems sort of
                                                                                                               dilute and high-acid. Imported by Global Wine
         FOR MORE WINE RATINGS, VISIT OUR WEB SITE AT                                                          Imports LLC. —M.S.

                                                                                                               85       Mil Piedras 2007 Malbec (Uco Val-
                                                                                                                        ley); $12. Aromas of black fruit carry a
                                                                                                               light oak accent, and overall this is the type of

               W I N E S            R E V I E W E D             F O R       T H E        F E B R U A RY              2 0 1 0         I S S U E
Malbec that will earn more friends than detrac-        There’s no shortage of freshness and pop on the       finish, and always does it seem on the sweet and
tors. Kind of hard and tannic in the mouth, with       palate, and the cherry and raspberry flavors are      sticky side. Imported by Elite Wines Import.
crisp black cherry and raspberry flavors. Clean        nothing if not racy. Shows a tasty, sweet side but    —M.S.
but tough mouthfeel. Needs a burger or a slice of      also rudimentary raw materials. Imported by
pizza to cut the tannins. Imported by Cannon
Wines Limited. —M.S.
                                                       Vinos del Sur. —M.S.
                                                                                                             82      Casa de Campo 2008 Malbec
                                                                                                                     (Mendoza); $9. Tart, lean red fruit

85       Santa Faustina 2006 Malbec
         (Mendoza); $20. A strange set of aro-
                                                       84      Finca Sophenia 2008 Altosur Mal-
                                                               bec (Tupungato); $11. Opens with
                                                       earthy muscle but the nose soon loses focus and
                                                                                                             aromas don’t give much reason to plow forward,
                                                                                                             but if you do expect a high-acidity wine with a
                                                                                                             snappy mouthfeel and flavors of rhubarb, red
mas makes for an unusual bouquet: violets, black       freshness as it transitions to rubber and paste       plum and raspberry. Not much body or anything
cherry, flower-scented air freshener and blue-         along with berry fruit. Hard tannins work the dri-    else, really. Imported by Indigo Wine Group.
berry are all part of the picture. The palate is       ving palate, while the flavors are of black plum,     —M.S.
superficial and not real deep, with candied,           grape jelly and herbs. Decent but doesn’t inspire.
unconventional flavors of herbal berry and candy.      Imported by The Country Vintner. —M.S.
Finishes jammy and off the grid. Imported by                                                                 80      Rio Seco 2007 Estate Bottled Mal-
                                                                                                                     bec (Mendoza); $8. Light, transpar-
Global Wine Imports LLC. —M.S.
                                                       84      O. Fournier 2008 Urban Uco Mal-
                                                               bec (Uco Valley); $11. Floral blue-
                                                                                                             ent and candied with underdeveloped, boring
                                                                                                             flavors and a mild chemical harshness. Barely

85       Va l l e P e r d i d o 2 0 0 6 M a l b e c
         (Neuquén); $15. A grabby wine with
earthy/mulchy aromas, licorice and prune aro-
                                                       berry aromas are candied, artificial smelling and
                                                       sweet, and the palate is supremely rich, sweet,
                                                       candied and unctuous. About as thick and ripe as
                                                                                                             worth a look. 40,000 cases produced. Imported
                                                                                                             by Vici Wine and Spirits. —M.S.

mas. The palate has a balsamic character to the        you get in a value Malbec, but also over the top
black cherry and dark plum flavors, and the finish     with baked fruit and candy. Needs to be dialed        PINOT NOIR
is more of the same. Solid enough but it doesn’t       back a notch. Imported by Fine Estates From
vary much or improve along the way. Imported           Spain. —M.S.
by Cannon Wines Limited. —M.S.
                                                                                                             93     Bodega Chacra 2008 Cincuenta y
                                                                                                                    Cinco Pinot Noir (Río Negro Val-

85       Zuccardi 2008 Serie A Malbec
         (Mendoza); $14. Complete but not
                                                       83      Dante Robino 2007 Malbec (Men-
                                                               doza); $13. Smoke and earth notes vie
                                                       with leather, olive, herbal scents and baked fruit
                                                                                                             ley); $125. Still the king of South American
                                                                                                             Pinot Noir, Chacra’s “55” offers a beautiful amal-
                                                                                                             gam of dusty Middle Eastern spice aromas along
overly exciting. The nose has Malbec’s basic black     aromas prior to a syrupy, sweet and cloying berry
                                                                                                             with raspberry, cherry and cocoa notes. It’s a
fruit and spice components, while the palate is a      fruit palate. Lacks drive and spine as it comes
                                                                                                             finessed but forceful (read: high-alcohol) Pinot
little high in acidity and sharpness, but also shows   across heavy, and the finish is syrupy and herbal,
                                                                                                             with penetrating black cherry, plum and choco-
buttery oak and blackberry fruit. Fruity but oaky,     with a rubbery bite at the end. Imported by Blue
                                                                                                             late flavors, and the finish is long but hot in its
with some excess tart acidity on the finish.           Moon Wines. —M.S.
                                                                                                             youth. Doesn’t lack for much of anything. Best
Imported by Winesellers Ltd.. —M.S.
                                                                                                             from late 2010 through 2013. Imported by

84       Bautista Simona 2007 Reserva
         Malbec (Mendoza); $15. Fairly
                                                       83      Dolce Stefania 2006 Reserva Mal-
                                                               bec (Mendoza); $16. Fairly citrusy
                                                       and lean for a reserve-level Malbec. The nose is
                                                                                                             Kobrand. Editors’ Choice. —M.S.

jumpy and foxy on the nose, but underneath
you’ll find zippy red fruit and gumball sweetness.
                                                       short, high-toned and shows aromas of red fruits,
                                                       citrus and even celery. The palate is fresh but
                                                                                                             90      Bodega Chacra 2008 Treinta y Dos
                                                                                                                     Pinot Noir (Río Negro Valley);
                                                                                                             $150. Purple in color, with ripe, meaty, earthy
The palate has a syrupy feel with decent tannins       tight and drying, with raspberry flavors and
and a pedestrian structure. Tastes sweet, ripe and     cherry skins and tomato on the finish. A red-         aromas mixed with herbs, exotic berry fruit
candied, with mild raisin on the finish. Imported      dominant wine. Imported by ARGCA Imports.             scents and vanilla. This is feisty and full-bodied
by ARGCA Imports. —M.S.                                —M.S.                                                 Pinot with integrated plum, blueberry and
                                                                                                             well-applied oak. It’s a little more citrusy and
                                                                                                             zesty than in previous vintages, and definitely a
84       Finca El Portillo 2008 Estate Bot-
         tled Malbec (Uco Valley); $10.
Fairly round aromas of blackberry are also
                                                       83      Sottano 2007 Malbec (Mendoza);
                                                               $15. Roasted berry and plum aromas go
                                                       counter to the wine’s tough, tannic, semisour feel
                                                                                                             heavier style than its Cincuenta y Cinco counter-
                                                                                                             part, which will allow it to age for another four
slightly grapey, while the plump palate offers         and flavor profile. Lean, a little choppy and tight   to seven years. Imported by Kobrand. Cellar
dark fruit flavors and a choppy mouthfeel. Fin-        in the mouth, with herbal cherry notes on the         Selection. —M.S.
ishes with a taste of powdered drink mix and           finish. Generic except for its hardness. Imported
grape bubblegum. Decent but shows all the signs
of the large-production, commercial wine that it
                                                       by Well-Oiled Wine Company. —M.S.
                                                                                                             89      Bodega Chacra 2008 Barda Pinot
                                                                                                                     Noir (Río Negro Valley); $22. Aro-
is. Imported by Palm Bay International. —M.S.
                                                       83      Viña Las Perdices 2007 Malbec
                                                               (Mendoza); $13. Firm raspberry and
                                                                                                             mas of rose hips, tomato leaf, raisin and black
                                                                                                             cherry get this fuller-bodied Pinot going on its

84       Finca La Niña 2008 Malbec (Men-
         doza); $9. Young and foxy Malbec with
red fruit aromas and a little bit of wet dog.
                                                       cherry aromas, but nothing more, and then a
                                                       tight, tough palate with syrupy, baked berry fla-
                                                       vors and molasses. Turns mildly buttery on the
                                                                                                             way to a chunky palate of ripe raspberry, plum
                                                                                                             and creamy oak. There’s length and a smooth
                                                                                                             mouthfeel, and it avoids common New World pot

holes like faux butter or popcorn-like flavors.
Drink now. Imported by Kobrand. —M.S.
                                                       The palate is juicy with fresh acidity, and the fla-
                                                       vors of red plum and raspberry are solid. A struc-
                                                       tured wine with good DNA. Drink now through
                                                                                                               85      Familia Schroeder 2007 Saurus
                                                                                                                       Patagonia Cabernet Sauvignon
                                                                                                               (Neuquén); $12. Opens with red fruit aromas

86       Alpataco 2007 Pinot Noir
         (Neuquén); $20. Shows peppy cherry,
                                                       2011. Imported by Winesellers Ltd. —M.S.
                                                                                                               that are like a million other generic red wines,
                                                                                                               while the body has size, grab and stickiness. Fla-
citrus and other short, angular aromatics, which
is followed by a zesty red fruit flavor profile with
a snappy mouthfeel. Dominated by cherry and
                                                       87       Bodega Septima 2007 Cabernet
                                                                Sauvignon (Mendoza); $12. A
                                                       gritty but well-made wine with aromas of crushed
                                                                                                               vors of cola, cherry, cassis and plum are red in
                                                                                                               nature and basically good, while the finish is can-
raspberry, and on the finish there’s mild buttery      brick, red pepper flake, earth and sandalwood.
                                                                                                               died but not overly so. An everyman’s Cabernet
oak and carob. Good wine; distinctly tight and         The palate is tightly wound and mildly tannic,
red fruited. Imported by Ecosur Group, LLC.            with semisweet flavors of black plum, fig, black        in every sense of the word. Imported by S Selec-
—M.S.                                                  cherry and chocolate. Shows a medicinal edge on         tions. —M.S.
                                                       the finsih, but nothing too drastic. Imported by

85       Valle Perdido 2008 Pinot Noir
         (Neuquén); $15. Racy cherry and red
                                                       Gregory White PR. Best Buy. —M.S.
                                                                                                               84      Alberti 154 2008 Cabernet Sauvi-
                                                                                                                       gnon (Mendoza); $13. Standard
berry aromas are salinic and light, while the
palate is lean and revolves around tangy, citrusy
red-fruit flavors. Fresh and a little rubbery on
                                                       87    Domaine Jean Bousquet 2007
                                                             Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
                                                       (Tupungato); $18. A little heat early on, and
                                                                                                               fare, with baked, rubbery aromas and a tarry
                                                                                                               undercurrent. The palate is dense and packed,
the finish, with a tight, singular personality.        also aromas of pepper, fresh fallen leaves and dry      with sweet, medicinal flavors of brandied cher-
Imported by Cannon Wines Limited. —M.S.                berry fruit. It’s more traditional in style, meaning    ries and cassis. Rubbery and leathery in terms of
                                                       it isn’t pitch black, sweet and thick. Instead the      mouthfeel, with a roasted, reduced quality to the
                                                       wine shows earthy, mature flavors of fig paste,
                                                                                                               finish. Imported by Southern Wine Group.
CABERNET SAUVIGNON                                     raspberry and cough drop. More competent than
                                                       flashy. Imported by Buena Cepa Wines. —M.S.             —M.S.

90       Lagarde 2007 Reserva Cabernet
         Sauvignon (Mendoza); $15.
Lagarde regularly makes consistent, true wines         86    Familia Cassone 2007 Finca La Flo-
                                                             rencia Cabernet Sauvignon (Men-                   84      Alta Vista 2007 Premium Caber-
                                                                                                                       net Sauvignon (Mendoza); $18.
and this Cab is compact, solid and smooth, with        doza); $14. Inviting raspberry and cherry
                                                                                                               Not as clean and fresh on the nose as it could be;
spice and a lot of berry fruit on the nose.            aromas have a tiny level of volatility, while the
                                                                                                               instead pickle and barnyard notes enter the pic-
Refined, deep and pure on the palate, with black-      palate is chunky, bold and edgy, with big berry
berry, marzipan and licorice flavors. Very nice        flavors leading the way. Full on the finish, with       ture. It’s better on the palate, which is sweet and
Argentine Cabernet for the money. Drink now            some oak and vanilla to give it padding. Lively,        sticky as it delivers chunky berry fruit flavors.
into 2011. Imported by Andes Importers, Inc.           full-bodied Cabernet that’s pretty good in the          Sort of cloying on the finish. Imported by Buena
Best Buy. —M.S.                                        long run. Imported by The Artisan Collection.
                                                                                                               Cepa Wines. —M.S.

88       Carlos Basso 2008 Reservado
         Cabernet Sauvignon (San Carlos);
$16. Big and black, with aromas of tar, black-         86       Tour 52 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
                                                                (San Juan); $11. For everyday con-             84      Argento 2008 Reserva Cabernet
                                                                                                                       Sauvignon (Mendoza); $16. Atypi-
berry and black olive. The palate, however, is         sumption, this is good Cabernet with rousing            cal on the nose, as air freshener, berry jelly and
snappy and pleasantly fresh, with lively cherry,       fruit, body and pulse. The nose has smoke, rub-         exotic but odd aromas take over. The palate
raspberry and plum flavors. Tight, balanced,           ber, pepper and cured meat to go with berry and
                                                                                                               seems superficial and wholly unusual, with floral
competent and nice, with a smear of chocolate on       cassis aromas, and the palate is very fruity, driving
the finish. Imported by Southern Wine Group.           and loaded with flavorful cherry, raspberry and         blueberry flavors and then an angular, floral fin-
—M.S.                                                  plum fruit. Not refined but good and honest.            ish. Not terrible but doesn’t seem much like
                                                       Imported by 31 Degrees South Imports. Best              Cabernet. Imported by Lion Nathan USA, Inc..

88       Zuccardi 2007 Q Cabernet Sauvi-
         gnon (Mendoza); $20. Warm, rich
aromas of wild berry carry a hint of dried cheese,
                                                       Buy. —M.S.                                              —M.S.

while the rest of the bouquet is woodsy and spicy.
                                                                                                               84      Te r r a z a s d e L o s A n d e s 2 0 0 8
                                                                                                                       Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendoza);
                                                                                                               $11. Generic, solid aromas of medicinal rasp-
                                                                                                               berry and cherry lead to a gum-burning, tannic
        FOR MORE WINE RATINGS, VISIT OUR WEB SITE AT                                                           palate of rooty cherry and plum flavors. Finishes

                                                                              with verve but also stand-out acidity and grab.
                                                                                                               Regular in every way. Imported by Moët Hen-
                                                                                                               nessy USA. —M.S.

               W I N E S          R E V I E W E D              F O R        T H E       F E B R U A RY               2 0 1 0        I S S U E
83      Alta Vista 2008 Classic Cabernet
        Sauvignon (Mendoza); $12. Baked,
saucy and mildly burnt smelling, with a sweet,
                                                      sweet fruit. Finishes like a strawberry dipped in
                                                      cheap chocolate. Modest quality at best.
                                                      Imported by Organic Vintners. —M.S.
                                                                                                            ward. Solid but generic red wine. Imported by
                                                                                                            Simone International. —M.S.

faux-chocolate edge to balance things out. The
palate is bland and creamy, with milk chocolate,
baked fruit and pepper flavors. Has thickness but     81      Valentin Bianchi 2008 Elsa Caber-
                                                              net Sauvignon (San Rafael); $9.
                                                                                                            83    Familia Schroeder 2007 Saurus
                                                                                                                  Patagonia Select Merlot
                                                                                                            (Neuquén); $20. Starts out short and dry on
is challenged in terms of taste and aromas.           Narrow aromas of brick dust, tomato and dried         the nose, with little fruit character. The palate is
Imported by Buena Cepa Wines. —M.S.                   fruits are none too impressive, and the sticky        also on the hard and lean side, with tart straw-
                                                      palate of sweet, baked, candied black fruit tastes    berry and raspberry flavors. Short but mild on

83      Domados 2007 Rosillo Cabernet
        Sauvignon (Mendoza); $12. Mildly
pickled red-fruit aromas fail to convey freshness
                                                      more like molasses than anything. Gritty and
                                                      burnt tasting on the finish. Imported by Quin-
                                                      tessential Wines. —M.S.
                                                                                                            the finish; fades away fast. Imported by S Selec-
                                                                                                            tions. —M.S.

or ripeness, and so it’s no surprise that the core
flavors are a bit herbal and briney. Decent                                                                 BONARDA
mouthfeel helps it along, while the finish is short   MERLOT
and borders on medicinal. Imported by Elemen-
tal Importers. —M.S.
                                                      88      Andeluna 2007 Merlot (Tupun-
                                                              gato); $10. Hot and crusty smelling at
                                                                                                            86       E s t i r p e To n b e r t 2 0 0 7 O a k
                                                                                                                     Bonarda (Mendoza); $12. Earthy,
                                                                                                            friendly berry aromas are good sbecause they

83      Doña Paula 2008 Los Cardos
        Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendoza);
$10. Wayward and slightly weedy on the nose,
                                                      first blush and then the nose turns to mocha and
                                                      smoky berry. Good mouthfeel, rich and balanced,
                                                      with a fresh quality as well. Solid, complete red
                                                                                                            don’t overpower, and although the mouth is
                                                                                                            chunky and a little tannic and rubbery, the flavors
                                                                                                            are deep and ripe. Tarry and dark on the finish,
with candied fruit notes that help it along. The      wine with a nice berry-packed Merlot character.
                                                                                                            with typical Bonarda weight. Imported by Patag-
palate is more acidic and rhubarby than ideal,        Imported by San Francisco Wine Exchange. Best
                                                                                                            onia Wine & Imports, LLC. —M.S.
although the tartness is offset by a creamy flavor    Buy. —M.S.
of carob bean. Short and hot on the finish;
acceptable but not well executed. Imported by
Vineyard Brands. —M.S.                                86      Domaine Jean Bousquet 2007
                                                              Reserva Merlot (Tupungato); $17.
                                                                                                            84       Caligiore 2007 Reserve Bonarda
                                                                                                                     (Mendoza); $15. Smells sweet and
                                                                                                            gummy, like a plum-flavored sucking candy or a
                                                      More floral and blueberry driven than Bousquet’s
                                                                                                            piece of grape bubblegum. The palate is a bit

82      Alamos 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
        (Mendoza); $13. An austere wine
with candied cherry and citrus peel aromas. Inor-
                                                      regular Merlot from ’07 but not discernibly bet-
                                                      ter or worse. The palate is round and the balance
                                                      and feel are good. Flavors of floral blueberry fol-
                                                                                                            punishing and hard, while wild blackberry, acidity
                                                                                                            and finishing oak make up the flavors. Lively but
                                                                                                            untamed. Imported by Marquee Artisan Wines.
dinately hard and sharp in the mouth, with sour       low the bouquet, and the finish shows a dash of
berry flavors and no soft spots. Exceedingly fresh    sweet berry syrup and chocolate. Imported by
and snappy, but a big step down from previous         Buena Cepa Wines. —M.S.
vintages. Imported by E & J Gallo. —M.S.
                                                                                                            84       Durigutti 2007 Bonarda (Men-
                                                                                                                     doza); $13. Pretty good blackberry

81      Argento 2008 Cabernet Sauvi-
        gnon (Mendoza); $13. Gaseous aro-
                                                      86      Domaine Jean Bousquet 2007
                                                              Merlot (Tupungato); $12. Toasty,
                                                      dark aromas set up a smooth, semirich palate of
                                                                                                            aromas with an earthy, mulchy edge. Racy and
                                                                                                            typically rubbery in the mouth, with a muscular
mas include notes of animal, burnt meat and           creamy berry flavors mixed with spice, vanilla        structure and herbal red fruit flavors. Very tight
muddy earth. The palate is gummy and cloying,         and pepper. This wine won’t take you to wonder-       and like elastic on the finish. Has its good points
with sweet, syrupy flavors of candied fruit. Shows    land but it doesn’t go off course, either. Good       with limits. Imported by Southern Wine Group.
a weedy character and a jumbled persona.              and tasty Merlot with more than adequate bal-         —M.S.
Imported by Lion Nathan USA, Inc.. —M.S.              ance. Imported by Buena Cepa Wines. —M.S.

                                                                                                            83       Tercos 2007 Bonarda (Maipú);
                                                                                                                     $12. Opens with gravelly raspberry aro-
81      Pircas Negras 2008 Cabernet
        Sauvignon (Famatina Valley); $12.
Smells citric and green, with carob notes that
                                                      85      Areo 2007 Merlot (Neuquén); $15.
                                                               Typical of a Patagonian red, the profile
                                                      of this Merlot is fresh, racy and snappy, Red fruit
                                                                                                            mas and sour citrus notes. The palate is high in
                                                                                                            acidity, while the main flavors are black fruit,
seem artificial and forced. Very simple, creamy       and black pepper aromas get it going, while the       licorice and rubber. Licorice reappears on the
and candied, with faux chocolate flavors and          cherry and raspberry flavors are crisp and for-       finish, which is sweet but hard. Imported by
                                                                                                            Global Vineyard Importers. —M.S.

         FOR MORE WINE RATINGS, VISIT OUR WEB SITE AT                                                       81       Espiritu de Argentina 2007
                                                                                                                     Bonarda (Mendoza); $10. Low
                                                                                                            intensity red fruit aromas are better than the sour
                                                                           orange peel and stemmy bramble that mar the
                                                                                                            wine’s nose and core flavors. Tart, tight red wine
                                                                                                            with a narrow mouthfeel, tannic grab and

rhubarb on the finish. Imported by Cecchetti
Racke. —M.S.
                                                       the parts have their virtues. Imported by Testa
                                                       Wines of the World. —M.S.                              84      Fantelli 2008 Chardonnay (Men-
                                                                                                                      doza); $10. Opening peach and apri-
                                                                                                              cot aromas are basic, while the plump palate has
                                                                                                              adequate freshness and flavors of butterscotch,
OTHER RED WINES                                        CHARDONNAY                                             banana and cream. Not a lot of fruit or verve, but
                                                                                                              round and friendly. Drink right away or wait for

91       Bodega Septima 2007 Gran
         Reserva (Mendoza); $25. A fine
wine from Septima, most likely with Malbec at its
                                                       85      Alamos 2008 Chardonnay (Men-
                                                               doza); $13. Roll out the barrel as far as
                                                       aromas go; it’s got a lot of toast and popcorn. The
                                                                                                              the ’09. Imported by Kensington Distributors
                                                                                                              Inc. —M.S.

base (though the label says nothing of the sort).      palate is creamy and smooth, with apple, peach
Aromas of blackberry, raspberry, perfume, pep-
per and asphalt are attractive, and the rooty rich-
                                                       and a fairly high level of sweetness. Regular on
                                                       the finish, with some leftover popcorn and spiced
                                                                                                              84      Finca El Portillo 2008 Estate Bot-
                                                                                                                      tled Chardonnay (Uco Valley);
ness and slight medicinality of the core flavors       apple. Imported by E & J Gallo. —M.S.                  $10. A little dusty and also sort of briney on the
are unique but not out of focus. One of the win-                                                              nose, with citric acidity pushing orange, apple
                                                                                                              and pear flavors. A textbook sweet, simple South
ery’s best wines to date. Imported by Aveníu
Brands. —M.S.                                          85      Carlos Basso 2008 Chardonnay
                                                               (Mendoza); $10. A lot of barrel toast
                                                       and butterscotch on the nose, and also baked
                                                                                                              American Chardonnay with a tropical leaning
                                                                                                              and finishing flavors of pineapple. Imported by

89       Zuccardi 2006 Zeta Malbec-Tem-
         pranillo (Mendoza); $45. Round
                                                       apple and roasted nuts. Pretty good texture, bal-
                                                       ance and acidity, with flavors of pear, banana and
                                                                                                              Palm Bay International. —M.S.

and saturated on the nose, with a baked, syrupy
set of dark-fruit aromas. The palate is plump but
offers proper acidity, and thus the flavors of cola,
                                                       walnut. Long and nutty finish, with warmth and a
                                                       touch of vanilla. Imported by Southern Wine
                                                       Group. Best Buy. —M.S.
                                                                                                              83      Doña Paula 2008 Los Cardos
                                                                                                                      Chardonnay (Mendoza); $10.
                                                                                                              Apple juice, brine and slightly sour smelling aro-
mocha and blackberry are round but balanced.                                                                  mas, with an extremely soft palate of papaya and
Buttery oak comes up on the finish, and overall
this is a tasty but somewhat regular high-end
Malbec (with 34% Tempranillo). Imported by
                                                       85      Piattelli 2008 Premium Chardon-
                                                               nay (Mendoza); $15. A little toasty
                                                       but not too much, with apple, pear and other
                                                                                                              not much else. Finishes sweet, honeyed, flat and
                                                                                                              almondy. Seems to have already gone past its
                                                                                                              prime. Imported by Vineyard Brands. —M.S.
Winesellers Ltd.. —M.S.                                standard New World aromas. The palate is
                                                       smooth, tropical and easygoing, with buttery,

88       Sur de los Andes 2006 Infinito
         (Mendoza); $30. Spunky dark fruit
                                                       warm flavors of melon and apple. Holds it
                                                       together on the finish. Imported by Vinocopia.
                                                                                                              83      Te r r a z a s d e L o s A n d e s 2 0 0 8
                                                                                                                      Chardonnay (Mendoza); $11. Aro-
                                                                                                              mas of apple cider are a touch acrid, while the
aromas open the show, with leather, cheese and         —M.S.
mocha coming in later. The palate is a little                                                                 palate is wet and easy but low in acidity. Flavors
                                                                                                              of melon and white fruits show some bitterness
grabby and acidic, but the juicy flavors of plum,
wild berry, citrus and cassis are good. Finishes
with some bounce in its step due to full acidity,
                                                       85      Va l e n t i n B i a n c h i 2 0 0 8 E l s a
                                                               Chardonnay (San Rafael); $9.
                                                       Sweet it is, but given the price it is good wine
                                                                                                              and break up in front of a flat finish. Imported by
                                                                                                              Moët Hennessy USA. —M.S.
and overall it maintains freshness and zest. Mal-      with mass appeal. Apple, pear and mellow citrus
bec with smaller doses of Cabernet Sauvignon,
Cab Franc and Merlot. Imported by Frontier
Wine Imports. —M.S.
                                                       aromas and flavors feature zero funk or mealy
                                                       character, and the finish offers a dab of butter-
                                                       scotch. Shows mild residual sugar but many con-
                                                                                                              82      Tapiz 2008 Chardonnay (Men-
                                                                                                                      doza); $16. Rather flat and oily
                                                                                                              smelling, resulting in a low-pulse bouquet. The
                                                       sumers will like that. Imported by Quintessential      mouth is wet and chunky as it features sweet

87       Luigi Bosca 2007 Gala 1 (Men-
         doza); $40. Recent ratings have been
                                                       Wines. Best Buy. —M.S.                                 mango and cantaloupe flavors. Orange candy and
                                                                                                              sweetness is about all you get on the finish.
consistent for this pricey Malbec-Petit Verdot-
Tannat blend. The nose is woody and the fruit
seems baked, and along the route you encounter
                                                       84      Argento 2008 Chardonnay (Men-
                                                               doza); $13. Dusty and mild on the
                                                       nose, with melony, sweet, tropical flavors. Easy-
                                                                                                              Imported by Epic Wines. —M.S.

a cheesy, horsey quality. Thick on the palate, with
good structure and buttery flavors of strawberry
                                                       going on the palate, with decent verve and a
                                                       fresh, simple, apple-based finish. Bright but basic
and raspberry. Doesn’t bring it all together, but      Chardonnay from Argentina. Imported by Lion
                                                       Nathan USA, Inc.. —M.S.
                                                                                                              88      Te r r a z a s d e L o s A n d e s 2 0 0 8
                                                                                                                      U n o a k e d R e s e r v a To r ro n t é s
                                                                                                              (Salta); $17. A nice Torrontés with good mus-
                                                                                                              cat-like aromas along with a blast or orange blos-
                                                                                                              som. The palate has weight, roundness and good,
                                                                                                              true flavors of lemon, orange and melon. Long
                                                                             and rock-solid on the finish, with focus through-
                                                                                                              out. Drink soon. Imported by Moët Hennessy
                                                                                                              USA. —M.S.

               W I N E S          R E V I E W E D             F O R        T H E       F E B R U A RY               2 0 1 0        I S S U E
87       Bodega Goulart 2009 T Torrontés
         (Luján de Cuyo); $11. Nice from the
get-go, with lime, citrus and fresh herb aromas.
                                                         84       Finca Sophenia 2009 Altosur Tor-
                                                                  rontés (Tupungato); $11. Sulfuric
                                                         and gassy to start with, then tropical fruit and
                                                                                                                   81      Lagarde 2008 Reserva Viognier
                                                                                                                           (Mendoza); $15. A hint of orange
                                                                                                                   escapes from an otherwise acrid, oily nose, while
The palate is round and whole, with easygoing            dusty aromas rise up. Like many varietal Tor-             the flavors of nectarine, peach and lychee are
flavors of lemon, mango, papaya and melon.               rontés, this has an oily feel and flavors of white        pithy and bitter. Can’t offer a whole lot of posi-
Fresh and pleasant on the finish, and perfect for        peach, banana and nutmeg. Finishes somewhat               tives about this weird Viognier. Imported by
aperitifs. Imported by Southern Starz, Inc. Best         flat and dilute, with mild bitterness. Imported by        Andes Importers, Inc. —M.S.
Buy. —M.S.                                               The Country Vintner. —M.S.

86       O. Fournier 2008 Urban Uco Tor-
         rontés (Cafayate); $11. Floral, oily            83       Rio Seco 2008 Estate Bottled Tor-
                                                                  rontés (Mendoza); $8. Overdone
                                                                                                                   80      Zolo 2008 Viognier (Mendoza);
                                                                                                                           $12. Generic, mealy, bland and flat
                                                                                                                   banana aromas and flavors. Not so bad that you
aromas are offset by the scents of lychee and            aromas of candle wax, incense and air freshener           can’t drink it but impossible to get excited about.
lime. The palate is tropical and tasty, with peach,      show the musky side of the grape, while the               Imported by Epic Wines. —M.S.
lychee and persistent freshness. It’s getting a little   palate is heavy with nectarine and citrus flavors.
heavy and lazy at this point in its development,         Finishes a little pithy and mealy, with a final wave
but it’s an honest reflection of northern Argen-         of muskiness. Imported by Vici Wine and Spirits.
tinean Torrontés. Imported by Fine Estates               —M.S.
From Spain. Best Buy. —M.S.

85       Argie 2008 Andes Torrontés (La
         Rioja); $17. Light and slightly soapy
smelling, with lychee notes. The palate is full and
round, with warm flavors of tangerine and lychee.
Finishes with heft, smooth edges and sweetness,
                                                         85       Mil Piedras 2008 Viognier (Men-
                                                                  doza); $12. In the limited but chal-
                                                         lenged world of Argentinean Viognier, this one is
and overall it weighs in as a heavyweight Tor-           pretty good. It’s a touch oily and pickled, but
rontés that might hit the mat hard when it fades.        that’s a varietal trait and a reflection of warm ter-
Imported by Cannon Wines Limited. —M.S.                  roir more than a fault. Flavors of citrus, pineap-
                                                         ple and mango are solid, while the orange

85       Casa de Campo 2009 Torrontés
         (Mendoza); $9. Fresh and chalky Tor-
rontés with lemon peel and green banana aro-
                                                         blossom character helps give it lift. Imported by
                                                         Cannon Wines Limited. —M.S.

mas sitting in front of melon, mango and citrus
flavors. Not overpowering or acidic, but clean
and healthy. Drink right away for maximum
                                                         85       Viña Las Perdices 2009 Viognier
                                                                  (Mendoza); $13. Floral, white stone
                                                         fruit aromas are sweet but generally attractive,
freshness and character. Imported by Indigo              while the lively palate is oily in feel but still fresh
Wine Group. Best Buy. —M.S.                              mostly due to youth. Lemon, apple and melon
                                                         are the flavor components, while the finish is

84       Bodega Goulart 2008 T Torrontés
         (Luján de Cuyo); $12. Oily match-
stick aromas run counter to the wine’s innocuous
                                                         sweet almost to the point of being sugary, which
                                                         is a detractor. Drink right away. Imported by
                                                         Elite Wines Import. —M.S.
color. The palate is light in weight but heavy in
blossomy flavors of orange, lime, tangerine and
other citrus fruits. Lacks the lychee/tropical qual-
ity that makes Torrontés special, and finishes bit-
                                                         84       Lagarde 2009 Altas Cumbres
                                                                  Viognier (Luján de Cuyo); $10.
                                                         Sweet apple aromas are probably the most
ter and pithy. Imported by Southern Starz, Inc.          defined thing coming off the innocuous nose,
—M.S.                                                    while the palate is forceful and citrusy, with jan-
                                                         gly pineapple, peach and lemon flavors. Ampli-
                                                         fied white wine with a vague Viognier identity.
                                                         Imported by New World Wines. —M.S.



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