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June 2006

June 6, 2006

Iron Horse Vineyards 2005 Rosato Di Sangiovese

Ah, the hot summer days are coming for Homo sapiens residing in the northern hemisphere. Wine wise, there is no better substitute to cool you down at sunset than with a sweet glass of rosé. Increasingly popular, both still and sparkling rosés are the way to go. The real fun begins when you ask a third party to do a blind taste test of a rosé—they take on so many interesting characteristics, it’s difficult to identify them without seeing their tell-tale pink color. Here, winemaker David Munksgard plays with the noble Italian grape varietal Sangiovese. The offering is full of life with a strong backbone. Rich and full-bodied, it’s vibrant and loaded with summer fruit flavors with a strawberry dominance. Perfect as an aperitif and great with something like a grilled halibut with fruit salsa…and it’s cheap.

Rating: 14/20

Other Sangioveses we've tasted
Check out our guide to California
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June 12, 2006

Morlanda 2001 Criança

The Priorat Denominaciones de Origen of Catalonia, Spain, is hot. Since there aren’t many acres of grapes planted in this northeastern corner of the country, and the demand is high, prices have been going up for these wines. Morlanda—owned by The Heredad Collection (makers of Freixenet, Gloria Ferrer, Segura Viudas and others)—is a small winery. It produces only 2,690 cases of this 2001 blend of Garnacha (60 percent), Cariñena (30 percent) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10 percent). Since Garnachas tend to reach their first peak at ten years of age, this offering is still quite young. This is a robust and intense vino showcasing a plethora of fruit scents and flavors. Full-bodied with a rich mouth feel, it remains entertaining all the way to its long finish. We recommend it with grilled meats.

Rating: 14.5/20

Other Red Blends we've tasted
Check out our guide to Spain
For more information, visit

June 19, 2006

Whitehall Lane Winery 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

The folks at Whitehall Lane Winery are serious about what they do. Winemaker Dean Sylvester runs this small designer winery owned by the Leonardini family, producing ultra-premium wines from top-quality fruit. Whitehall Lane chose, quite literally, not to screw around when bottling their Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve by being the first winery in North America to use the Vino-Seal glass closure. Just pull this recyclable glass cork (it resembles a decorative decanter stopper) and out pours the prestigious vino in your glass. Whitehall Lane selected Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from the Leonardini Vineyard in St. Helena, Calif., and the Morisoli Vineyard in Rutherford, Calif., and aged the juice in a combination of American and French oak barrels for 25 months. The result is a deep and complex beverage with a plethora of fruit flavors, mocha and spice. It has a noble mouthfeel and leads progressively to a smooth and pleasurable finish.

Rating: 17/20

Other Cabernets we've tasted
Check out our guide to Napa Valley
For more information, visit

June 26, 2006

Wölffer 2002 Reserve Chardonnay

This week we head to Christian Wölffer’s magical estate in Sagaponack, N.Y., on the south fork of the Long Island wine country, 100-mile drive from the concrete jungle and fancy restaurants of New York City. Roman Roth, Wolffer Estate’s winemaker since 1992, is seriously dedicated to his art, producing Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Rosé and Sparkling wines of great character. As a result, should you be lucky enough to experience the hard-to-get 2002 Reserve Chardonnay, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. A light golden color greets you with a bouquet of pear and apple scents. Crisp with hints of citrus, yet creamy and yeasty, this vino has good balance and treats wood lovers to elegant oak notes. For a taste treat, serve it with white fish accompanied by a cilantro and mango salsa.

Rating: 14/20

Other Chardonnays we've tasted
Check out our guide to New York
For more information, visit



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