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March 2008

New wine releases from around the world




Patz & Hall
2005 Hyde Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir; $60
14.5/20Structured yet silky, this complex Pinot Noir has elegant flavor notes of blueberry, blackberry, fig, mocha and spice.

Monterey County

Jekel Vineyards
2006 Monterey County Pinot Noir; $17
With aromas of bright cherry cola, cloves and black tea foreshadowing flavors of bright cherries and herb, this wine pairs well with salmon and pheasant.

Napa Valley

Century Cellars Vineyards
2005 Century Cellars BV Merlot; $6
13/20 Spicy aromas of dark cherries foreshadow flavors of chocolate and jam-like strawberries, which are accented by soft tannins on the palate. This vino pairs well with lamb chops, lasagna and rich stews.

Duckhorn Vineyards
2004 Estate Grown Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; $95
With aromas of berries, flowers and tobacco, this blended Cabernet offers flavors of ripe cherries, blueberries and pepper. The vino will age well, and pairs nicely now with steak and lamb.

Duckhorn Vineyards
2005 Napa Valley Merlot; $52
Blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, this wine exudes aromas of raspberries, leading to flavors of blackberry, toast and herb. Along with smooth tannins and a long finish, this red pairs well with fowl and ham.

Grgich Hills
2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown; $60
14/20This Napa Valley wine has aromas of black cherry and cocoa powder. The balanced fruit and tannin pairs with roasted meats, grilled Portobello mushrooms or a decadent chocolate dessert.

2005 Merlot Napa Valley; $45
14.5/20 A traditional Merlot blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, this ruby-colored wine is dark and complex. With notes of black currant, vanilla, and spice, this Merlot will age well.

North Coast

Dynamite Vineyards
2005 Dynamite Vineyards Zinfandel North Coast; $11
13/20Revealing flavors of spicy black raspberries with hints of chocolate, licorice and crushed black pepper, this vino pairs well with spice-rubbed pork, grilled flank steak and sausage-laden pasta.

Little Black Dress Wines
2006 Little Black Dress Syrah Rosé; $9
12/20A light and crisp Syrah blend. Pomegranate, cranberries, strawberries, and rose blend nicely for a pleasantly dry wine.


Casa Nuestra Winery & Vineyards
2006 Tinto Classico Oakville Estate Old Vines; $40
A field-blended wine made from vines planted in the early 1940s. This wine has a taste of creamy raspberries and dark cherries with a peppery finish. This wine pairs well with pork medallions or a vodka cream sauce.


Donati Family Vineyard
2005 Chardonnay; $18
14/20 A beautiful and classic Chardonnay with subtle oak flavor. This luscious wine pairs well with roasted chicken, salmon steaks and grilled summer vegetables.

Donati Family Vineyard
2005 Claret Estate Vineyard Paicines; $22
This Bordeaux-style blend exudes a ripe red fruit nose, displays flavors of dark fruit and chocolate, and pairs well with grilled steak and venison

Paso Robles

Bianchi Winery
2004 Signature Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles; $22
14/20Mixed berry jam, vanilla and coffee flavors are followed by notes of oak spices and ample tannins. This cab pairs well with flank steak and buttery Yukon Gold mashed potatoes.

Bianchi Winery
2005 Heritage Selection Zinfandel—Zen Ranch, Paso Robles; $24
The dark ruby-colored vino reveals spicy earth flavors layered with ripe, dark berries, plums and currant, and pairs well with chicken, turkey and lamb.

Martin & Weyrich Winery
2005 Flamenco Rojo Tempranillo; $27
A deeply colored red wine, Tempranillo is Spain's equivalent to Cabernet Sauvignon. Richly perfumed and elegant, this wine will age wonderfully for a decade or more.

Santa Barbara County

Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards
2003 Mandolina Classico Toccata; $18
13.5/20A careful blend of Sangiovese, Freisa, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. With notes of strawberry, blueberry, earth and spice, this flavorful wine pairs well with Italian cuisine.

Santa Maria Valley

Bianchi Winery
2005 Signature Selection Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley; $25
This elegant wine has a truly sophisticated flavor. With mild tannins, this wine has notes of black cherry, herbal spice and hints of brown sugar.

St. Helena

Casa Nuestra Winery & Vineyards
2007 Rosado St. Helena Estate ; $23
Only 199 cases of this blend were created. A mix of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this wine offers abundant strawberry and bright plum flavors. This bottle pairs well with grilled salmon, ribs, or a traditional turkey dinner.



Stone Hill Winery
2004 Norton; $18
13/20Made from a true native American varietal, the Norton grape, this estate-grown red exudes spicy aromas, exhibits a full-body along with dry, blackberry flavors, and pairs well with red meat, wild game and lamb.


Dundee Hills

Argyle Winery
2005 Reserve Series Argyle Nuthouse Chardonnay; $30
14.5/20Perfuming the nose with white peach, hazelnut and vanilla, this white wine displays creamy textures along with flavors of peaches and pears, and pairs well with shrimp and lobster.

Willamette Valley

Willamette Valley Vineyards
2006 Pinot Noir, $25
13.5/20 Aromas of black and red fruit, earth and spice. Flavors of black cherry, currant and dried plum, with a round, warm mouthfeel and a long, lingering finish.


Columbia Valley

Olsen Estates
2006 Olsen Estates Rouge des Coteaux, Columbia Valley; $37
14.5/20This Rhône-styled blend reveals delicate aromas of strawberry and rose petals, displays flavors of fresh berries, spice and pepper, and pairs well with grilled steak and lamb.

Whitestone Winery
N.V. Pieces of Red; $20
14/20Displaying large tannins, this Merlot-based blend combines flavors of tart berries with chocolate, and pairs well with steak or lamb.




Champagne Besserat de Bellefon
Cuvée des Moines Brut Rosé; $50
Aromas of wild strawberries, almonds and red currant jelly on the nose set the stage for the fleshy blackcurrant and red fruit flavors in this vino, which pairs well with pizza

Champagne Charles de Cazanove
Le Premier Cru; $58
Only 200 cases of this Champagne were imported to America. This equal blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is complex yet balanced, with a delicate dryness.

Loire Valley

Château de la Ragotière
2006 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie; $13
This vineyard produces its grapes on vines that average over 25 years old. Dry and flavorful with subtle citrus flavor, this wine is a terrific value.



Gianni Zonin Vineyards
2001 Pinot Grigio; $14
A crisp and flavorful wine for the summer months. When served with a perfect chill, this wine is subtly fruity with a dry finish.



Osborne Ports
2000 Vintage Porto
14/20Balanced and sweet, this ruby-red Port has intense flavor. Red fruits and citrus blend well with pronounced floral notes.


Ribera del Duero

Bodegas Valdubón
2002 Valdubón Reserva; $24
14.5/20A lively red, this Tempranillo has a nose of coconut and vanilla, with spicy, red berry flavors that pair well with grilled lamb chops and grilled swordfish.


Coastal Region

MAN Vintners
2007 Chenin Blanc; $8
13.5/20 This Chenin Blanc is unexpectedly delicious. A crisp, tangy citrus palate has a delicate fizz. This versatile wine pairs well with most poultry, fish and veggie dishes.

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(Updated 06/03/08 SCV)

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