2007 Central Coast Pinot Noir; $23
13/20 — Bright red cherry, cranberry, cola, clove, briar fruit and sweet vanilla flavors and a long finish define this Pinot Noir. Pairs well with roasted lamb.
2008 Cotes du Robles Blanc; $24
14/20 — This white Rhone-style blend, comprising Roussanne, Grenache and Viognier, exhibits pear and honey aromatics, crisp acidity and tropical fruit flavors.
2006 RED4 Huerhuero; $14
13.5/20 — Crafted with Petite Sirah and Syrah with a lesser amount of Tannat and Touriga, this well-structured red blend shows off a dark violet hue; sweet plum, cherry and spice scents; and blackberry and cherry flavors.
San Luis Obispo County
13.5/20 — This thirst-quenching and summery pink wine offers peach, raspberry and honeysuckle aromas, juicy peach and nectarine flavors, and a deliciously dry and spicy aftertaste.
Edna Valley Vineyard
2007 Paragon Chardonnay; $15
13.5/20 — Tropical fruit, peach and green pear flavors characterize this bright Chardonnay, which also displays subtle oak nuances with vanilla, caramel, pineapple and nutmeg on the palate.
Santa Barbara County
2007 Huntington Pinot Noir; $21
13.5/20 — Lush and concentrated, this medium-bodied Pinot exhibits ripe plum, earth, blackberry and white pepper aromatics, which give way to a round mouthfeel, sweet tannins, and layered red cherry, cranberry and toasty oak flavors.
Sta. Rita Hills
2006 Ten Pinot Noir; $80
15/20 — Crafted from ten clones, this well-balanced Pinot Noir shows off dark plum, black cherry, currant, cedar and earthy scents, intense flavors, and a firm but velvety aftertaste.
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon; $45
14/20 — Including Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a touch of Petit Verdot, this Cab features black cherry and licorice aromas with crisp tannins and blackberry liqueur and chocolate flavors.
2005 Pinot Noir; $55
15/20 — Dark cherry, nutmeg, caramelized apple, cinnamon and clove fragrances frame this medium-bodied Pinot, which features bright acidity, layered plum, spice, cherry, strawberry and vanilla oak flavors, and a lingering aftertaste.
2005 High Serenity Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon; $24
13/20 — Sweet dried currant aromas with a hint of dust, bay laurel and fennel open on this full-bodied Cab, giving way to a soft and round mid-palate with oaky tannins.
2005 Round Mountain Vineyard Zinfandel; $22
13/20 — This Zin, an easy-drinking summer red that’s heavy on flavors and light on tannins, exhibits licorice hints on the palate with a deliciously tart acidity and peppery finish.
2005 Barrel Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; $18
13.5/20 — With a dash of Merlot added, this Cab offers concentrated black cherry and blackberry aromas with supple tannins, cassis and berry flavors, and a smoky, spicy tone.
Russian River Valley
2007 Bluffs Pinot Noir; $21
13/20 — Red cherry, lavender, rose petal and herbal scents echo on this balanced Pinot’s juicy, rounded palate.
2006 Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay; $45
15/20 — Crafted from ripe grapes, this wine has a weighty, soft mouthfeel and complex toast, vanilla and exotic fruit flavors, which are joined by something wilder.
2007 Pinot Noir; $28
13/20 — Cherry and strawberry flavors, accented by sweet vanilla notes, earthiness and spices, define this Pinot Noir. Pairs well with herbed chicken and grilled salmon.
2007 Thorn Ridge Ranch Pinot Noir; $60
15/20 — This dark, highly extracted and distinctly Californian Pinot exhibits layered blackberry, currant, licorice, leather and clove flavors with a lingering, earthy finish.
Patz & Hall
2007 Jenkins Ranch Pinot Noir; $55
14.5/20 — Walnut spice bread, clove, cinnamon and mulled cherry cider aromatics complement this lush Pinot’s smooth and creamy palate, and raspberry, cherry and pomegranate flavors.
Woody White; $15
13/20 — Comprising 76 percent Symphony and 24 percent Chardonnay, this white wine features peach, apricot and floral flavors with a crisp finish. Pairs well with Cajun fare.
2005 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir; $42
13.5/20 — Bright and concentrated, this graceful Pinot Noir offers deep black fruit and spice flavors with oak hints.
2007 The Alphabets Pinot Noir; $20
12.5/20 — Cherry, plum, blackberry, tobacco, licorice and cinnamon aromas precede the Pinot Noir’s bright acidity, firm tannins, dried red fruit flavors and long aftertaste.
2007 SBS; $20
13.5/20 — Consisting of 73 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 27 percent Semillon, this crisp and full-bodied white blend features bright pineapple, citrus and tropical fruit aromas with creamy pineapple, pear and lime flavors.
Domaine Ste. Michelle
Cuvée Brut; $12
13/20 — Made through the méthode Champenoise, this sparkler exhibits bright acidity, palate-cleansing effervescence and delicate flavors, pairing well with Japanese cuisine.
2007 Sinister Hand; $26
15/20 — A dark and juicy Rhone-styled red blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre showcasing bright red fruit, black pepper and smoked meat flavors with excellent texture.
WALLA WALLA VALLEY
L'Ecole Nº 41
2007 Seven Hills Vineyard Estate Luminesce; $19
13/20 — Crafted from 70 percent Semillon and 30 percent Sauvignon Blanc, this sweet white Bordeaux blend shows off citrus, toast, mint and floral scents with complex melon, pear, pineapple, gooseberry, vanilla, and herbal flavors.
2007 Chardonnay; $37
14/20 — Rich and silky, this elegant Chardonnay exhibits bright, layered peach, pear, pineapple, nectarine and lemon meringue flavors with a spice-laden finish.
2007 Unpredictable Lad Vin de Paille Semillon; $37
14.5/20 — Baking spice, sherbet, guava, burnt sugar, lemon zest and melon aromatics give way to this pale straw-colored Semillon’s sweet palate and clean aftertaste.
SOUTH EASTERN AUSTRALIA
McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate
2007 Chardonnay; $12
13/20 — White nectarine, melon, apple and layered tropical fruit—with touches of vanilla and brown spice—define this golden Chardonnay. Pairs well with a grilled salmon steak.
2008 Cullen Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Semillon; $32
14/20 — Featuring 19 percent Semillon added in, this Sauvignon Blanc exhibits honeysuckle, citrus, grass and vanilla aromas with musk, pear, mineral and lime flavors.
2008 Sauvignon Blanc; $15
13/20 — Crisp and refreshing, this Sauvignon Blanc features plush, layered citrus, honeydew melon, passion fruit and peach flavors with a lively acidity.
2006 Pinot Noir; $25
14/20 — Displaying deep ruby and maroon hues, this full-bodied Pinot reveals plum, cherry and spicy oak aromas with a soft, velvety texture and dark fruit flavors.
2007 Riesling; $14
13.5/20 — Crisp and well structured, this full-bodied, slightly off-dry Riesling shows off apple and peach fragrances with a lingering mineral-laden finish.
2005 Sauternes; $26
13.5/20 — Containing a touch of Sauvignon Blanc, this golden-colored Semillon features honeyed, candied fruit aromas, medium-bodied pineapple and peach flavors, and a silky, lingering aftertaste.
2007 Chablis Saint Martin; $30
15/20 — Vibrant yellow in hue, this Chablis displays an intense floral nose with fresh mineral and fruit flavors and a long, precise finish.
2008 Chiroubles; $12
13/20 — Silky and soft, this medium-bodied Gamay features a fresh, tender mouth with cherry and menthol flavors.
2006 Saint Aubin 1er Cru La Chatenière; $43
14/20 — A rich and refined Chardonnay featuring toast, floral and pear aromatics, giving way to a full-bodied palate.
2008 Domaine Val de Lamartinien Saint Véran; $16
14/20 — A dry, round and medium-bodied Chardonnay featuring a white flower, white fruit and hazelnut character. Pairs well with seafood and poultry.
Champagne Louis Roederer
N.V. Brut Premier; $47
15/20 — Hawthorn, almond and toast scents match this pale gold Champagne’s smooth palate and vinous, fruity flavors.
Domaine de Jau
2006 Banyuls; $n/a
14/20 — A woodsy fortified dessert wine made from Grenache, highlighting sweet vanilla, cinnamon, pudding, mocha and herbal flavors. Pairs well with chocolate.
2007 Chinon Rosé; $15
13.5/20 — Made via the saignée method with Cabernet Franc, this versatile Rosé displays lively strawberry fruit flavors with a lingering finish. Pairs well with charcuterie, goat cheese, and fish.
2006 Tokaji Muscat Lunel; $17
14/20 — Straw yellow in hue, this semi-dry Muscat features an elegant, floral nose followed by a sweet and mellow palate. An easy-sipping summer wine.
5 Year Old Malmsey Madeira; $24
15/20 — Full-bodied and sweet, this non-vintage fortified wine is made from Malmsey (Malvasia) grapes, and displays a fruit-driven style with tangy brown sugar and butterscotch flavors and a lingering finish. Best enjoyed with a dessert.
2006 No. 1 Selección Especial; $22 (375 ml)
14.5/20 — A naturally sweet white wine made from Muscat Alexandria grapes, showcasing pale gold colors, intense orange, exotic spice, floral and musky flavors, and a punch of minerality.
2008 Albariño; $15
14/20 — Crisp and complex, this refreshing, full-bodied white wine offers bright pear, passion fruit, peach and pineapple scents and flavors. Pairs well with seafood.
2004 Pinot Noir; $15
12.5/20 — A lighter-styled Pinot Noir with earthy aromas, and raspberry and strawberry flavors, pairing well with chicken and wild pheasant.
2007 Glenhurst White; $n/a
13/20 — Made from 55 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 45 percent Viognier, this full-bodied white blend exhibits intense yellow apple, lychee and fresh apricot aromas and flavors with hints of citrus.
2007 Selección Malbec; $20
13/20 — A deep dark Malbec defined by black fruit, floral, leather, vanilla and spice aromas, velvety tannins and supple raspberry, cherry, violet, black pepper and blackcurrant flavors.
2007 Sparkling Chardonnay; $12
13.5/20 — Made from Familia Zuccardi’s organic grapes, this pale gold sparkler offers fresh apple, pear, banana and pineapple flavors with a lingering aftertaste.
2008 Torrontés; $13
13/20 — This crisp, fragrant white wine exudes citrus, peach, jasmine blossom and herb scents, mingling with a fresh palate and bright acidity.
Releases Main Page
(Updated 08/31/09 SV)