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August 2006

New wine releases from around the world




Earthquake by Michael-David Winery
2004 Syrah; $24
12.5/20Lucious cherry and "rumbling" earthtones upon entry, with hints of gooseberry and leather that ease into a full-bodied finish of strong, supple tannins.

Incognito by Michael-David Winery
2004 Rouge; $19
14/20This blend of Rhone-style varietals bursts with fresh blueberry and dried cranberry notes, finishing with a smooth myriad of tannins and spice.

Incognito by Michael-David Winery
2005 Viognier; $19
12.5/20Grown on a river delta located below sea level, this Viognier is weighty with a rich, fleshy mouthfeel that leads to layers of pear and spice with an elegant, lengthy finish.


Sesquipedalian by Cole Bailey Vineyards
2005 Sauvignon Blanc; $18
14/20Striking lime, melon, spice aroma and white peach flavor can be found in this light, summer-friendly wine with a purposely verbose name.

Napa Valley

Flora Springs
2003 Club Selection Cabernet Sauvignon; $35
13.5/20Rich, full-fruit characteristics of black cherry, cassis and cocoa, with firm but supple tannins. A complex wine with various flavor notes and a long, satisfying finish.

Legends from Larry Bird and Mitch Cosentino
2004 Merlot; $28
14/20Flavors of red and black cherries, with a hint of pepper folding into poached plums. Medium full bodied supported by ripe tannins and spice in a complex finish.

Legends from Larry Bird and Mitch Cosentino
2004 Chardonnay; $25
14.5/20Dry, yet with rich fruit and a bright balance. Notes of pears, apples and some exotic citrus flavors show throughout the palate.

Napa Cellars
2003 Cabernet Sauvignon; $26
14/20Vibrant aromas of blueberries and blackberries that join cedar and tobacco. A well-structed palate is layered with bold tannins and ripe fruit characteristics.

William Hill Estate
2003 Cabernet Sauvignon; $26
13/20Aromas of cassis, currant and raspberry. A small percentage of grapes are whole berry fermented, contributing to a soft tannin structure, added richness, texture and body.

William Hill Estate
2003 Merlot; $23
13.5/20Aromas of black cherry, berries and licorice accented by smokey oak lead to flavors that are open and characteristic of bright red fruit.

Paso Robles

2004 Pinot Noir Signature Collection; $25
13/20Dark vermillion hues and full tannin structure complement rich cherry-jam flavors and ample spicy oak tones. It deserves a couple of years of aging.

Wild Horse
2004 Cabernet Sauvignon; $20
12.5/20Well structured with aromas and flavors of anise, black and bing cherries, and cedar, coupled with a rich mouthfeel yielding smooth tannins.

Wild Horse
2004 Merlot; $20
14/20Candied cherry fruit, baking spices and a smooth mouthfeel are balanced by firm tannins. Pairs well with a wide range of grilled meats and spicy vegetable dishes.

San Francisco Bay

Rosenblum Cellars
2004 San Francisco Bay Zinfandel; $18
13/20Rich, soft plum and ripe cherry flavors, with elements of earthy spice and dark chocolate.

Sonoma County

Iron Horse Vineyards
1998 Blanc de Blancs; $34
14/20Made from 100 percent Chardonnay and aged seven years on the yeast, with flavors of browned sourdough.

Iron Horse Vineyards
1996 Blanc de Blancs LD; $60
No RatingLD stands for Late Disgorged, meaning aged longer, which makes the wine richer and creamier. It has a burst of juiciness at its core, like a lemon drop.

Iron Horse Vineyards
2001 Classic Vintage Brut; $30
13.5/20A traditional blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, that combines the sparkling character of Champagne with the bright fruit of Sonoma County.

Iron Horse Vineyards
2004 "Q" Pinot Noir; $70
13/20Distinct clove aroma, with a darker color and firmer tannins than Iron Horse's other Pinot offerings. It has bright fruit and is well balanced.

Iron Horse Vineyards
2001 Russian Cuvée; $30
13/20A sweeter cuvée, with a Brut-level of dryness. Delicious as an aperitif or served with a fruit-based dessert.

Iron Horse Vineyards
2003 Wedding Cuvée; $34
14/20Made from mostly Pinot Noir, it is vibrant and yeasty with a peach-flesh color. It was served recently at the White House for newlyweds Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.



Baron de Brane
2003 Margaux; $30
14/20Intensely aromatic nose with notes of blackberries and dark cherry. Powerful and round on the palate, this wine also should show longevity and can be aged five to ten years.

Château Brane-Cantenac
2003 Margaux Grand Cru; $60
15.5/20Dark ruby red with purple hues. A complex nose dominated by vanilla with a toasty character. This wine has a well-balanced structure with a long, aromatic finish.


Nicolas Feuillatte
Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs Brut Vintage 1998; $33
15.5/20Pale gold in color, with flavors of green apple, dried figs, honeysuckle and a fresh, bright finish.

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(Updated: 12/31/09 SV)

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