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September 2006

New wine releases from around the world



Alexander Valley

2004 Big River Zinfandel; $29
14.5/20Filling, fat and meaty with great richness. Soft, round, plumy flavors display its old vine nature.

Dry Creek Valley

2004 Teldeschi Zinfandel; $30
14.5/20With a dash of Petite Sirah and Carignane added, this Zin has huge, jammy, inky, slightly kirsch-like aromas. Very broad and intense with cherry and sweet plum characters.

Livermore Valley

Fleming Jenkins Vineyards & Winery
2004 Madden Ranch Syrah; $40
14/20Olympic skater Peggy Fleming's winery produces this Syrah from grapes grown at football commentator John Madden's vineyard. It has silky tannins, a long lasting finish and aromas of black cherry, spice and black pepper.


337 Wine Cellars
2004 Cabernet Sauvignon; $15
13.5/20This Cabernet made entirely from the Clone 337 grape that is usually added to regular Cab blends. It is elegant and full bodied.

Clay Station
2004 Petite Sirah; $12
13.5/20Intense black cherry, chocolate and espresso notes and nuances of vanilla, toast and pepper on the finish. Full-bodied fruit character with velvety tannins.

Clay Station
2005 Viognier; $13
13.5/20Crisp acidity, with aromas of white peach, honeysuckle and jasmine followed by juicy apricot and peach on the palate.

2005 Merlot; $18 for 3.0L box, $7 for 750mL bottle
13.5/20Available in an innovative freshness-maintaining "bota box" this merlot has fruit-forward flavors of cherry with a hint of vanilla and toasty notes.

2005 Shiraz; $18 for 3.0L box, $7 for 750mL bottle
12.5/20Soft, supple mouthfeel with flavors of blueberries, spice and oak nuances that lead into a lingering finish.

Gnarly Head
2005 Old Vine Zin; $12
12.5/20Rich, dark berry flavors from the small Zinfandel grape clusters are aged in French, American and Hungarian oak, which create layers of plum, pepper and chocolate.

King Fish
2005 Pinot Grigio; $6
No RatingAromas of pear, ginger and orange blossom, with concentrated citrus flavors of orange and lemon on the palate.


Richard de los Reyes (RDLR)
2002 Syrah; $18
13.5/20From a certified biodynamic vineyard comes this big, juicy and bold Syrah. Rich with juicy blackberries and luscious blueberries.


Night Owl
2005 Riesling; $11
12.5/20Blended with Malvasia Bianca and Chenin Blanc, this Riesling displays a white peach character layered with fragrant crushed ginger and spicy floral notes with a long, juicy finish.

Napa Valley

Cornerstone Cellars
2002 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; $60
16/20Intense aromas of fresh plums, accented with spices and cedar. Well balanced, with nicely resolved tannins and a sweet, silky finish.

Cornerstone Cellars
2002 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon; $75
16.5/20Silky and round entry, with forward flavors of vanilla, sage, grilled fruit, rosemary and toasty French oak.

Cosentino Winery
2003 M. Coz; $120
14.5/20This premium red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc is bottled unfined and unfiltered, with only 524 cases produced.

Cosentino Winery
2003 "The Poet" Meritage; $65
15/20Each lot was punch cap fermented aged separately for 30 months in French oak barrels. The blend was made just prior to bottling.

Flora Springs
2005 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay; $24
14/20Creamy with a full, luscious mouthfeel. Flavors of peach and pear on the palate, with just a hint of pineapple.

Flora Springs
2004 Merlot; $25
13.5/20Full fruit characteristics of strawberry and cherry, with a hint of raspberry and spiciness. The tannins of green tea-like and smooth.

2004 Chardonnay; $14
13.5/20Notes of citrus and green apples. The crisp fruit is balanced by a creamy finish. Pairs well with salad, oysters, mild cheeses, grilled fish or creamy pastas.

2002 Merlot; $16
14/20Displays rich, ripe plums, black cherries and blueberries with a backbone of moderate tannins and a lush, lingering finish.

2004 Dickerson Zinfandel; $30
14/20Aromas of black raspberry, orange peel, violets, licorice and eucalyptus. Bright, sweet and lush in the mouth, with strong flavors of ripe berries, chocolate and spicy oak.

North Coast

2005 Sauvignon Blanc; $13
13.5/20Round, yet well balanced on the palate. Finishes with a burst of flavor, suggesting lime, pineapple and lemon grass.

2004 Devil's Gulch Vineyard Pinot Noir; $52
16/20Wild, brambly blackberry and woodsy aromas. Bright, sweet and mouth-filling, with rich raspberry, candied cherry, cinnamon and forest floor notes.


Flora Springs
2005 Soliloquy Sauvignon Blanc; $25
13.5/20Focused and lean, with a clean fruit sensation on the palate. The finish is smooth and long, with just a touch of tartness to give it that extra zing at the end.

Russian River Valley

2004 Dutton Ranch-Sanchietti Vineyard Pinot Noir; $55
16.5/20Aromas of blueberries, black cherry and violets. In the mouth, blackberry and blueberry expands into Asian spice overtones and a lingering candied berry finish.

2004 Belloni Zinfandel; $29
14.5/20Layers of boysenberry, plum, currant, allspice and vanilla are integrated with smooth, lingering tannins. Vibrant with sweetness in the mouth.

San Francisco Bay

Fleming Jenkins Vineyards & Winery
2005 "Victories" Rosé; $20
13/20Commemorating winery owner and Olympian Peggy Fleming's victory over breast cancer, 100 percent of this rosé's profits go to cancer research.

Fleming Jenkins Vineyards & Winery
2005 Syrah Rosé; $17
13.5/20With only 74 cases produce, this low-volume, rich and balanced rosé has intense aromas of peach and honeydew melon with orange blossom and cinnamon nuances.

Santa Cruz Mountains

Fleming Jenkins Vineyards & Winery
2004 Syrah; $32
14/20Aromas of plum, raspberry and cherry are complemented by touches of eucalyptus. It has substantial yet elegant tannins.

Fleming Jenkins Vineyards & Winery
2004 Jenkins Vineyard Chardonnay; $35
14/20Aromas of pear, green apple and graham cracker, followed by flavors of melon, tangerine and marshmallow. It has crisp acidity with a lingering fruit and mineral finish.

Sierra Foothills

Cameron Hughes
Lot 17 2004 Barbera; $14
13.5/20This special cuvée from the Sierra Foothills packs raisins and black pepper flavors.

Sonoma Coast

2004 Pinot Noir; $25
13.5/20Slightly beefy and smokey in aroma, and crisp and medium full bodied on the palate. Subtle, complex flavors of black currant, cherry, tobacco, dark chocolate and mint.

Sonoma County

2002 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; $45
14/20Rich, full bodied and round, with layers of cedar, blackberry and chocolate flavors. The finish is long and toasty, with tannic grip that suggests it will improve with aging.

2005 Pinot Gris; $18
13/20Richer and more full-bodied, this Pinot Grigio can be paired with seafood dishes or spicy foods. Aromas of lemons, baked nuts and green melons.

Sonoma Valley

2004 Barricia Zinfandel; $29
13.5/20Well balanced, supple and rich, with a mouth-filling center. Aromas of blackberries, cassis, licorice, bitter chocolate and vanilla.

2004 Old Hill Zinfandel; $60
15.5/20Rhone-like intensity with blackberry, black pepper, vanilla, coffee, smokey and mint scents. Thick and rich on the palette with a ripe, fine astringency in the finish.

Stags Leap District

Cameron Hughes
Lot 16 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon; $14
14/205,000 cases of this special cuvée are available at Costco.


Western Cape

Golden Kaan
2005 Chardonnay; $10
12.5/20Pale lime-green color, with gentle peach and nutty scents. Well-balanced, with soft-wood flavors make this a friendly and easy-drinking Chardonnay.

Golden Kaan
2004 Shiraz; $10
14/20Bouquet of ripe berries with green pepper and spicy flavors that dominate on the palate. Ripe tannins are well integrated and make for easy accessibility.

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(Updated: 12/27/12 BH)

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