Wednesday, April 30, 2008

2006 Trevor Jones Virgin Chardonnay 88 points

2006 Chardonnay, Australia $18

The oak component of California Chardonnays can be overpowering, and this unoaked chard offers a refreshing change. Clean, refreshing and complex with pineapple, baked apple, pear and a subtle layer of spice. A well made offering that has restrained acids and slightly sweet long finish. Drink now.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

2005 Ruffino Modus 91 points

Red Blend, Toscana, $25

Big production wines normally don't thrill me, I like boutique producers that are more difficult to find. I decided to try this one and was not disappointed. Deep ruby red hue, this blend of 50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot is very impressive with richness and refinement. Balanced and dry, it offers a ripe, viscous mouth-feel with black cherry, espresso, and toast flavors. Mid-palate is light but the finish has elements of butter, spice, and oak to make this very enjoyable red wine. Drink now.

Monday, April 28, 2008

2004 Merryvale Starmont 92 points

Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, $20

A beautiful cab, soft and luscious with style and balance. This blend includes Merlot to help tame tannins, Petit Verdot for fruity depth and Cabernet Franc for additional aromatic complexity. Blackberry, cassis, coffee and mocha framed by smoky oak flavors create a smooth, mellow mouth-feel. Beautiful now, and should hold well for six years.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

2006 Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling 91 points

Riesling, Clare Valley, $20

Wow, this riesling has an amazing nose of fresh citrus, like smelling a bowl of fresh fruit. This easy drinking wine pops onto the palate with pear, lemon/lime, fresh peach's and honeydew. The acidity is restrained and some spicy notes glide across the palate to finish off this refreshing white wine.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

2005 Schild Estate Sparkling Shiraz 90 points

Sparkling Shiraz, Barossa, $20

This wine really surprised me, I tasted it over a day and each time it got better. Great for Mothers day because it's so easy to drink, light, soft with a luscious mouth-feel and tons of flavor. Full bodied, soft tannins with hints of Bing cherries, strawberries and an earthy component. Creamy texture and toast, vanilla and leather finish off this elegant sparkling shiraz. Drink now.

Friday, April 25, 2008

2006 L'Ecole No. 41 Sémillon 92 points

Sémillon, Seven Hills Vineyard Estate, Walla Walla (WA), $20

Delicious and ripe, one of best Sémillon I've ever tasted and with a good punch of achohol. Very clean and creamy with green apple, melon, kiwi and honeysuckle with just the right amount of oak. Barrell-fermenting helps add balance and tempers the acidity and brings out toasty vanilla on a lingering finish.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

2004 Geyser Peak Walking Tree Vineyard 93 points

Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, $22

A big Cab is always a big deal to me and this one is dynamite, big, rich and powerful. This cab is young but very approachable and food friendly and will only get better in the cellar till 2013. This wine needs some air to open up, with it's deep ruby color this cab has an expressive nose of blackberry, cherries and cassis. Tannins soften with aging in French oak barrels and propel forward big dark fruit of luscious flavors of blueberry jam, plum and roasted coffee. The toasted oak adds caramel, leather and spice to finish off this beautifully layered wine with a long finish.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

2005 Isenhower Cellars Wild Thyme 91 points

Red Blend, Columbia Valley (WA), $22

Red blends are some of my favorites and very flexible paring with foods. Juicy and rich, jammy raspberries and currants with a hint of minerality on the nose, 60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon gives this alot of power. A plush and pleasing mouth feel with elegant red fruit brings out flavors of pomegranates, currants, minerals, chocolate, and herbs. A beautiful long finish that surprisingly brings out hints of mint, drink now thru 2015.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

2006 The Magnificent Wine Company 90 points

House Wine White Columbia Valley 2006 $10

This is a big tropical blend, with apples, pears, melons and peaches equally in the mix. The fruit is front and center, and the wine has unusual polish for its price. It keeps coming on through a surprisingly long finish, with nicely structured skin and rind flavors wrapping up the finish

Monday, April 21, 2008

2007 Allan Scott Sauvignon Blanc 90 points

Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, $14

I love tasting Sauvignon Blancs from Marlborough because there so big and powerful and this one doesn't disappoint. Passion fruit and nectarine are joined by spicy hints of jalapeño, I also get mild hints of pineapples. Well balanced with both tropical fruit and spice adds structure and Leeds to a mouth watering finish. Drink now thru 2010.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

2005 Massena The Howling Dog 95 points

Petite Sirah, Barossa Valley, $32

Get this fabulous wine while you can, it can be cellard up till 2018. Petite Sirah is one of my favorite wines and this is one of the best I've ever had. Its inky/blue/purple hue is accompanied by scents of blueberry liqueur, crushed rocks, and acacia flowers. Full-bodied, powerful, and rich, with surprisingly supple, but extravagant levels of tannin, it is not yet ready for prime time drinking. Purchasers should forget it over 4-5 years, then watch it unfold over the next two decades.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

2004 Chateau Souverain 91 points

Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, $22

Big, rich and powerful, overall a great cab for the price. Big flavors of black cherry, creme de cassis, milk chocolate, leather and earth. Smokey oak and vanilla add extra layers to this lush full bodied wine. This wine is well structured with supple tannins that add to a long silky finish. Drink now thru 2012.

Friday, April 18, 2008

2001 Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva 91 points

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain $15

2001 is one of the best years for Rioja, i was surprised to find it, but it's available. Bright, vivid dark ruby color, intense nose brings to mind blackberry jam. Two years in french oak shows a wonderful leather, vanilla and tobacco layered over dark fruits. The spicy undertones and smokey vanilla come out on an elegant finish. Drink now thru 2009.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

2006 Gainey Sauvignon Blanc 92 points

Sauvignon Blanc (Santa Ynez Valley); $13

Gainey vineyard is a top tier California sauv blanc producer and this wine does not disappoint. Kick ass price at $13 bucks or less, and perfect for warm weather. Crisp, elegant and dry kicks off with big citrus flavors of lime, honeydew, passion fruit and a subtle hint of vanilla. This wine spends 8 months in all neutral oak and has 15% semillon, to add a little sweetness. Mouthwatering finish inviting a second -and third - sip. Enjoy this vibrant, varietally distinctive Sauvignon Blanc over the next 1-2 years.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

2005 Courtney Benham Zinfandel 92 points

Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2005 $15

Beautifully showcases the variety in a pure, classic way, with it's silky mouthfeel and complex flavors. Dark ruby color, showing wild berries, gingersnap cookies, cocoa and vanilla. The fruit is well integrated with a light oak and pepper component to finish off long and smooth. Drink now thru 2010.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

2007 Eradus Sauvignon Blanc 92 points

Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, $20

Another fabulous sauv blanc with pungent aromas of gooseberries, nettles and even some redcurrants - very varietal. Excellent palate weight and flavour intensity; lots of pink grapefruit, lime zest and fresh herbs, it’s soft yet with excellent structure and balance, finishing with superb length and freshness. Drink now.

Monday, April 14, 2008

2005 Inkwell Wild Thing 92 points

Shiraz, McLaren Vale, $15

This is a big, powerful wine, but easy to drink because it's well balanced. The bouquet offers soaring blueberry, blackberry liqueur and layers of jammy dark fruit. As it opens up intense black pepper, chocolate and spice notes propel forward. This medium-bodied wine finishes off with silky smooth long finish. Drink this best buy now thru 2011.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

2005 Lake Sonoma Zinfandal 91 points

Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, $15

Wow, great zin for the money, ripe fruit flavors of, blackberry and cocoa mingle with an elegant mid palate of spiciness. The toasted oak and leather, along with a medley of dark fruit and restrained tannins lengthen the finish and add complexity. Drink this best buy now thru 2012.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

2007 Seresin Sauvignon Blanc 91 points

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand $18

Perfect for spring/summer, another great sauv blanc, big passion fruit, lime, featuring prominent herbaceous notes and a slight creaminess. It’s full-bodied, broad and mouth-filling in the context of Sauvignon Blanc, with a long, white grapefruit finish. Drink through the end of 2011.

Friday, April 11, 2008

2005 Mill Creek Syrah 91 points

Mill Creek 2005 Corner Pocket Vineyard Syrah (Dry Creek Valley); $32

Beautiful, but to tannic, with a couple of years of rest I would rate this even higher. Northern Rhône is the model for this dry, single-vineyard wine. Freshly milled black pepper, blackcurrant, black cherries and mint. A very nice oak component comes out on a long finish. Best after 2011.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

2006 Montgras Carmenère 90 points

Carmenère Colchagua Valley Reserva 2006 $12

Intense aromas of ripe red fruits, chocolate, cherries and a touch of vanilla. Spicy flavors come through in the palate, with good volume and a long smooth finish

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

2005 Bodegas Castano Solanera 90 points

Other Red Wine from Spain $15

Crimson in color, with a nose of raspberry and red currant, framed by floral notes. The dense, full-character has a smooth caressing palate, packed with sweet, creamy raspberry and black fruits a fine tannic background, well-balanced acidity and a long finish.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

2006 Bodegas Ateca Atteca 92 points

Grenache, Spain $16

Young and fresh, this wine is deep garnet in color with hints of smoke and orange peel on the nose. Medium bodied it delivers an alluring bouquet of Asian spices, wild black cherry, and blueberry. Layered and sweetly-fruited, the wine is well balanced with a long finish. Drink now thru 2010.

Monday, April 7, 2008

2005 Peter Lehmann Shiraz 92 points

Shiraz Barossa 2005 $15

Beautiful and lush, this supple Shiraz with cassis and blackberry fruit wrapped in a soft coat of caramel, coffee and vanilla oak. Nicely complex, yet at the same time this is easy to drink. Finishes long, framed by dusty tannins, this best buy is drinkable till 2011.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

2003 Chateau Chevalier 91 points

Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain, $20

Great cab for the price, dense fruit flavors of blackberry, dark chocolate, creme DE cassis and roasted walnuts. The concentrated fruit meld very well with hints of toasty oak and a velvety, mouth-coating sweet finish. Drink now thru 2009 if you can get it.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Spanish Vines NV Tempranillo 87 points

Spanish Vines NV Tempranillo (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla); $10

This is a very approachable wine, reminds me of restaurant table wine in Madrid. Very light and easy drinking Tempranillo with jammy cherry aromas and flavors will strike you as pure and fresh. Not very complex, but perfect for a summer red, drink now.

Friday, April 4, 2008

2005 Bodegas Ramon Ramos Monte Toro Roble 91 points

Bodegas Ramon Ramos 2005 Monte Toro Roble (Toro) ; $17

The wine region of Toro traditionally produces big brooding wines, but this one is different. Big, yes, bulky, yes but i still like it. Earth, tobacco and mushroom come out with hints of cocoa and a little spice round out this full bodied wine. Drink now.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

2005 Kenwood Zinfandel 90 points

Zinfandel, Sonoma County, $14

Kenwood produces alot of fine wine and this one doesn't disappoint, briary and rustic. This wine hits the palate with flavors of raspberry, boysenberry and lots of spice. New French Oak adds a vanilla component to a long, long finish, drink now thru 2011.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

2004 Loriñon Crianza 88 points

Tempranillo, Rioja, $13

Earth, earth and more earth, almost a little musty, but that's what i like about riojas. This wine needs to open up, but when it does the juicier, brighter fruit are brought to the palate along with some tangy, somewhat sharp acids. Raspberry, cherry folds in with a dash of oak that brings vanilla and additional tannin into the picture. Drink now thru 2010.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

2006 Casa de Vila Verde Vinho Verde 89 points

Casa de Vila Verde 2006 Vinho Verde; $8

Perfect for the springtime or summertime, crisp and lively but very dry. This Vinho Verde shows granny smith apples, lime and pink grapefruit flavors, a deliciously fresh wine, with green edges and lively flavors. Drink now thru the end of 2008