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May 2008

New wine releases from around the world



Arroyo Seco

Jekel Vineyards
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon; $14
This medium-bodied, Bordeaux-styled Cab offers scents of plum, dark fruits and black cherry; flavors of cocoa and earth; chewy tannins and a lingering finish.

Dry Creek Valley

Frei Brothers Winery
2006 Reserve Dry Creek Valley Merlot; $20
Exhibiting flavors of blackberry and cherry with hints of vanilla and spice, this fruit-forward red sips well with roasted turkey and honey-glazed ham.

McDowell Valley

A Donkey and Goat Winery
2007 Isabel's Cuvée, McDowell Valley Grenache Rosé; $18
This pink vino, which exhibits flavors of tangerine, watermelon, strawberry, apricot and sweet tomato, pairs well with curry stews and baked ham.

Monterey County

Robert Talbott Vineyards
2005 Logan Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Pinot Noir; $30
Inviting blueberry aromas with hints of smoke segue into flavors of blueberry, cherry and cola. Pairs well with swordfish and scallops.

Robert Talbott Vineyards
2006 Kali Hart Vineyard Chardonnay; $13
With tropical fruit, ripe melon and honeysuckle aromas on the nose, this thick and chewy vino displays flavors of pineapple, wood and butter, and reveals a finish of lemon, tangerine and ripe nectarine.

Napa Valley

Casa Nuestra Winery & Vineyards
2005 St. Helena Estate Meritage; $45
A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, this well-structured red exhibits flavors of blackberries and cassis, and pairs well with grilled steak and lamb.

Chappellet Winery
2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon; $46
Aromas of blackberry, smoke, dark chocolate and bay leaf complement this Cab’s velvety textures and spicy black fruit flavors.

Chappellet Winery
2006 Chardonnay; $29
Pear, tropical fruit and floral aromas precede this sweet Chardonnay’s creamy texture and baking spice, apple, pear and citrus fruit flavors.

Frank Family Vineyards
1998 Napa Valley Champagne Brut; $65
This pale straw-colored bubbly exudes scents of roasted hazelnuts, toasted brioche and citrus, and exhibits a palate boasting candied lemons and vanilla custard.

Frank Family Vineyards
2004 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; $45
Smoky and fragrant aromas of black cherries, roasted espresso and cedar complement a flavorful palate of ripe blackberries and currants with a dash of sage.

Frank Family Vineyards
2006 Napa Valley Chardonnay; $33
This Chardonnay exhibits zesty aromas of lemon/lime, ginger, vanilla and spice cake, and displays a crisp and mellow palate with flavors of stone fruits, green apples and Asian pears.

Frank Family Vineyards
2006 Napa Valley Zinfandel; $37
Greeting the tongue with flavors of sweet blackberry jam, black pepper and clove spice, this layered Zin develops a full, mid-palate and a long finish.

Joseph Phelps Vineyards
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon; $54
Revealing a bouquet of cinnamon, licorice and caramel aromas along with flavors of cherry, currant and fresh cream, this ruby-hued Cab pairs well with a meal of grilled lamb.

Louis M. Martini Winery
2004 Napa Valley Lot 1 Cabernet Sauvignon; $100
This full-bodied Cab exhibits aromas of melted licorice, black cherry and dark chocolate, and reveals flavors of vanilla, plum and toasted nuts.

William Hill Estate
2006 Napa Valley Chardonnay; $22
Crisp flavors of ripe pineapple, pear and citrus fruits give way to a creamy finish, making this Chardonnay a good companion to meals of grilled red snapper or tuna.

Paso Robles

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
2005 J. Lohr Hilltop Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon; $35
With aromas of blackberries, cedar, anise, tar and vanilla-toasted oak greeting the nose, this dark vino displays supple texture and balance, and pairs well with beef bourguignon and hearty stews.

Martin & Weyrich Winery
2005 Meritage; $33
An amalgamation of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, this red flaunts black fruit flavors along with hints of cedar, tobacco and Indian spice.

Russian River Valley

Dutton-Goldfield Winery
2006 Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir; $38
This dark red offers flavors of cherry, cranberry, blackberry and coffee followed by a clean finish. Enjoy now with fresh cheeses or, after some aging, with truffle risotto and smoked quail.

Foppiano Vineyards
2006 Estate Pinot Noir; $28
The floral aromas of fresh cherry and raspberry from this red complement its flavors of cherry cobbler, raspberry jam, nutmeg and clove. Pairs well with grilled lamb chops.

MacMurray Ranch
2006 Winemaker's Block Pinot Noir; $60
Inviting scents of red and black fruit, cinnamon and spice perfume this Pinot Noir’s silky texture and flavors of ripe strawberry, raspberry and truffles.


Frank Family Vineyards
2000 Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; $65
This ink-hued Cab assembles aromas of red currants, raspberries and toasted oak, and bright flavors of briar fruit with velvety tannins.

Santa Barbara County

Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards
2007 Los Alamos Vineyard Chenin Blanc; $14
Slightly sweet, tropical flavors of lychee, mangosteen and pineapple accentuate this vino’s creamy entry and finely edged finish. Serve with a spicy, Thai-inspired dish of shrimp.

Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards
2007 Mandolina Dolcetto; $17
This light-bodied vino shows flavorful hints of dried cherry, oolong tea and sage. A note of oak complements smooth tannins and well-balanced acidity.

Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards
2007 Los Alamos Vineyard Gewürztraminer; $16
Dry in the mouth, this balanced wine perfumes the nose with the aromas of roses, lavender, gardenia and jasmine, and pairs well with Munster cheese and smoked salmon.

Santa Ynez Valley

Bridlewood Estate Winery
2004 Estate Syrah; $40
Vanilla, cocoa powder and intense floral aromas perfume this Syrah’s chewy tannins and flavors of cassis, dried black fruit, mocha and dark chocolate.

Sonoma County

Pollo Rosso Lot Two; $16
A blend of Zinfandel, Syrah and Cabernet Franc, this red offers soft tannins, flavors of blue fruit and a nose of pepper, cassis, vanilla and spice.

Gallo Family Vineyards
2004 Northern Sonoma Estate Cabernet Sauvignon; $80
This Cabernet Sauvignon displays fresh, dark fruit flavors and a smooth mouthfeel, and makes a good companion to filet mignon and venison medallions.

Moon Mountain Vineyard
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon; $15
Exhibiting velvety tannins, flavors of dark cherry, cassis and smoky spices with a finish of bittersweet chocolate, this Cab pairs well with mesquite grilled steaks and wood-fired pizzas.

V-Twin Vineyards
2005 V-Twin Zin Zinfandel; $24
Scents of raspberry, plums and black pepper accompany flavors of bing cherry in this Zin, which pairs well with grilled meats and spicy sauces.

Multiple AVAs

Gnarly Head Cellars
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon; $11
Exhibiting black peppercorn, cedar and blackberry on the nose, this Cab displays flavors of blueberries and currants, and pairs well with spicy meatballs and strong cheeses.

Gnarly Head Cellars
2005 Merlot; $11
Along with lush black cherry flavors layered with hints of toasted almond, vanilla and cocoa, this red reveals a smooth finish and pairs well with barbecued ribs.

Happy Camper Wines
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon; $8
Aromas of plums and spice complement this Cab’s black fruit and berry flavors, and silky and soft tannins. Serve with roasts and full-flavored cheeses.

Happy Camper Wines
2006 Merlot; $8
Delivering scents of blackberry, plum and spice, this Merlot includes currant and smooth tannins on the palate, which make it a good match for grilled pork tenderloin and smoked salmon.


Dundee Hills

Domaine Serene Vineyards & Winery
2005 Clos du Soleil Vineyard Chardonnay; $40
With aromas of toasty pear, spiced yellow apple, vanilla, caramel and lemon greeting the nose, this Chardonnay displays a rich, round palate with flavors of pears, apricots and lemon curd, and pairs well with a meal of grilled striped bass.

Winter's Hill Vineyard
2005 Pinot Noir Cuvée du Vigneron; $39
Exuding blackberry, menthol and vanilla aromas, this Oregon red displays dark fruit flavors with hints of white pepper and chocolate.


Columbia Valley

Whitestone Winery
2005 Lake Roosevelt Shores Vineyard Estate Merlot; $28
13.5/20This balanced Merlot displays a strong berry structure on the front followed by a long and smooth finish. Chicken and turkey pair well with this red.




Château Lassègue
2004 Lassègue Saint-Émilion Grand Cru; $50
15/20Complex and layered, this Bordeaux blend reveals its tannins in the finish, continues to improve with age, and pairs well with beef and poultry.


Champagne Besserat de Bellefon
Cuvée des Moines Blanc de Blancs; $65
15/20Fresh citrus notes match toasted aromas in this bubbly, which presents flavors of dry fruit and honeyed apricots, and pairs well with lobster and smoked herring.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte
Brut Extrem'; $40
13.5/20Crisp and delicate, this pale gold bubbly exhibits flavors of hops, mixed spices and citrus peel, which are underlined by woody notes and hints of mimosa and hyacinth.

Côtes du Rhône

Perrin & Fils
2006 Perrin Réserve; $10
14/20This blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mouvèdre and Cinsault exudes aromas of spice and caramel, and exhibits a full palate containing fine tannins.

Côtes du Rhône Villages

Perrin & Fils
2006 Côtes du Rhône Villages; $14
Half Syrah and half Grenache, this blend exudes aromas of cherries and licorice, and displays a full-bodied mouthfeel with elegant tannins and an aftertaste of thyme and rosemary.



Tenuta di Arceno
2004 Arcanum I; $96
14/20A blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, this red will improve with age. Aromas of raspberries and vanilla accent its flavors of ripe, spicy black cherries and licorice, which pair well with grilled lamb.


Maso Canali Vineyard
2007 Trentino Pinot Grigio; $23
13.5/20 On the nose are peach aromas with hints of honey, which complement this light sipping wine’s flavors of apricot, lemon and pineapple. Pairs well with seafood and salad.


Stellina di Notte
2006 Pinot Grigio; $10
13/20Presenting fresh fruit flavors of golden apple, melon and kiwi, this crisp and delicate Pinot Grigio reveals well-balanced acidity and a silky, smooth finish.



Symington Family Estates
2005 Altano; $13
13/20Consisting of Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca, this red displays floral aromas and intense flavors of ripe berries, and pairs well with a grilled steak.


Rías Baixas

Martín Códax
2007 Albariño; $15
This fresh, flowery and smooth white demonstrates good balance, and exhibits flavors of ripe apple, apricot, melon and lemon zest. Sip with a summer salad, pasta or barbecue


Bodegas Marqués de Cáceres
2007 Medium-Sweet Satinela; $9
14/20Made with Viura and Malvasia, this semi-sweet wine imparts aromas of apples and grapefruit, which complement its silky flavors of apples, pears and white peaches.



Don Miguel Gascón
2007 Argentina Malbec; $12
Exhibiting velvet tannins and flavors of blackberry, plums and mocha, this dark violet Malbec pairs well with pasta, grilled steak and warm chocolate.




Nine Stones
2006 Hilltops Shiraz; $13
With scents of plums and raspberries as well as peppery overtones, this vino reveals fine-grained tannins, flavors of sweet fruit and a long, dry finish.


McLaren Vale

Nine Stones
2007 McLaren Vale Shiraz; $13
Aromas of violets, black pepper and anise frame a palate with intense fruit character and finely grained tannins.


Okanagan Valley

Mission Hill Winery
2003 Mission Hill Family Estate Oculus; $51
A Bordeaux-inspired blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this red displays layered raspberry, cedar, truffle and chocolate flavors with fine, ripe tannins.


Casablanca Valley

2005 Primus; $21
This blend of Caménère, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot gives off spicy, toasty aromas, and shows strong, ripe flavors of blackberries and cherries.

2007 Sauvignon Blanc Reserva; $10
With fragrant fresh stone fruit highlighting floral notes, this white exhibits zesty flavors of citrus, melons and herbs, and pairs well with salmon and pasta salad.



Galil Mountain Winery
2004 Yiron; $22
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah reveals flavors of ripe berries with notes of vanilla, nutmeg and toasted oak, and pairs well with veal and spiced mutton.



Whitehaven Wine Company
2007 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc; $20
Exuding aromas of currant-leaf, gooseberry and herbs, this light, well-balanced white avoids overly grassy flavors and displays a crisp, clean finish. Serve with oysters or apples.

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(Updated 11/04/09 SV)

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